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Fissue Sealing Teeth

Fissure Sealing Teeth

The adult first permanent molar teeth tend to come into the mouth at just six years old. This is a critical period for protecting them because the diet between 6-12 tends to have higher levels of sugar. We often find that when people need to have more extensive dental treatment later in life, e.g root canal treatments or crowns, it can be linked back to damage that started soon after these particular teeth erupted in to the mouth.

We can protect the molar teeth from decay by putting a white plastic coating on the tooth soon after it comes into the mouth, called a fissure sealant. The coating plugs the natural depressions and grooves on the tooth’s biting surface called pits and fissures. Fissure sealants protect the teeth from acid attack after eating sugar (dental decay). This procedure is a particularly good idea if there has been any problems with decay in the baby teeth or if the molar teeth have deep grooves.

The procedure is very straightforward- we dry the tooth, place a conditioning agent on it which we then wash off soon after and then apply the sealant and shine the curing light on the area to set it. Placing fissure sealants is a very straight forward and painless process and can often help to boost the child’s confidence if they are nervous about visiting the dentist. Sealants can also be placed by Dental Hygienists.

We generally fissure seal the four first molar teeth at the back of the mouth which come at around age 6 so this is a good age to consider this procedure. Any child can have these teeth sealed but we particularly advise having them done if the natural pits and fissures in the tooth are deep of if there has been a history of decay in the baby teeth.

To make an appointment give us a call at: www.swords-dental.

Tel 01 8401001

Vhi Dental

Vhi Dental

Swords Dental is a member of the Vhi Direct Pay Dental Network.

Vhi Dental members can avail of Direct Payment of their plan benefits when they attend a dentist or hygienist at Swords Dental. You only have to pay the dentist for the costs of dental treatment not covered by your Vhi Dental plan.

Does VHI cover dental
Vhi Dental offer comprehensive dental cover. Enjoy cover for routine treatment including check-ups and cleanings as well as great benefits for more costly dental treatments including fillings, crowns and root canals.

Why do I need to phone Vhi Dental before going to the dentist?

You need to phone Vhi Dental as this is the first part of the claims process. It allows us to inform your dentist of your benefits and level of cover. Different people may have different levels of cover, and they may still have a waiting period depending on their level of cover or they may have reached their benefits limit for a particular treatment.

Can I phone Vhi Dental from the dentist?

Vhi strongly recommend that you phone them 24hrs before your appointment to allow adequate time for us to check your level of cover and any waiting periods you may have to serve. If you phone from the dentist there may not be adequate time for us to confirm your benefit entitlements to the dentist which would mean that your dentist would not be able to provide you with the Dentist Direct Pay service. The number to call Vhi to check your benefits is 046 9077 337 or alternatively you can email at vhidentists@intana-assist.com. If you have a dental emergency please phone Vhi as soon as possible.

Do I need to bring a claim form with me to the dentist when I’m using Dentist Direct Pay?

No, Swords Dental will have the Vhi Dental Claim form which we will get you to sign after you have had your treatment.

www.swords-dental.ie Tel. 01 8401001

Dental Sedation

Dental Sedation

Nervous Patients

Many people are a bit anxious about attending a dentist. For some people however, this fear is more pronounced and can be classified as a dental phobia. This is an intense, irrational fear of dentistry. It may be related to one specific procedure or to a more general fear of dentistry. This phobia can be triggered by a bad experience in childhood. Dental anxiety and phobia can lead to people delaying or avoiding the treatment that they need. Often the most difficult step in overcoming this fear is making the initial appointment for a chat and an assessment. The availability of relaxation techniques, modern anesthetics and sedation means that dentistry can be performed in a relaxed and pain free manner.

Premedication

This involves the use of a tablet before treatment to help the patient to relax. It offers mild sedation. Sometimes patients take a tablet the night before the treatment to help them get a good nights sleep.

Nitrous Oxide

This is a safe and effective agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a special mouthpiece to help you to relax. The use of Nitrous Oxide or “happy air”induces a feeling of lightheadedness and is often accompanied by a feeling of warmth and tingling. It makes you feel calm and comfortable. The effects wear off once the sedation is finished. This is particularly suited to children and is the only available sedation for people under the age of 16. It also works well for mild to moderately anxious adult patients.

IV Sedation

This involves using a drug called Midazolam to establish a strong level sedation. It allows us top perform a broad range of dental treatment. The relaxed state is often described as something between sleep and wakefulness. It leads to sense of detachment from the treatment. Most patients can’t remember much of the appointment afterwards. You are conscious through the appointment however and can respond to any requests. We carefully control the level of sedation to ensure the correct level is achieved.

Who carries out the sedation?

Dr Lyndsey McTavish BDS (UWCM), MFDS, RCPS (Glasg), Dip Clin Dent (TCD), Dip Con Sed. (TCD).

Lyndsey undertakes the sedation at Swords Dental.  Lyndsey completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Sedation at Dublin Dental Hospital in 2017. Lyndsey is particularly interested in helping nervous patients and is a member of the International Society of Dental Anxiety Management. Lyndsey enjoys treating children and has a young family of her own. Her friendly and relaxed approach will help make your visit to the dentist an easier experience.

If you’re interested in making an  assessment appointment for dental sedation or have any questions you can give us a call on 8401001.

www.swords-dental.ie

Cold Sores

Cold Sores

A cold sore is a small, painful, blistered area. They usually happen where the lip joins the surrounding skin. The blisters are painful and dry up to make a yellow crust which gradually heals in a few days.

Cold sores are usually found on the lips but you can get them in other places, such as in the nostrils, on the nose or around the outside of the mouth. Cold sores tend to last 5 to 7 days and can keep coming back. Most people only have them once or twice a year.

How do I get cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by a virus (a ‘Herpes Simplex’ virus). You first get this virus in childhood or early adulthood, and it may cause a fever and mouth ulcers (called ‘primary herpetic gingivostomatitis’).

About a third of people who get this ‘primary’ infection go on to develop cold sores in later life. However, many people with cold sores did not get this primary infection.

What brings on the cold sores?

Cold sores usually appear when people are ‘run down’, or ill with something else: for example, with a cold or flu. Sunlight and ultraviolet light can often bring on an attack of cold sores. Occasionally women find that they develop cold sores at particular stages of their menstrual cycle.

Are they infectious?

Yes. Cold sores are highly infectious and the virus can be passed to other people by close contact (such as kissing). A cold sore is most infectious when it is blistering. It is important to try to avoid touching cold sores, because you can pass the virus on to other people’s hands and even, very rarely, to your own eyes. Avoid squeezing, pinching or pricking the cold sore as this can spread the infection.

Can they be treated?

Yes. Antiviral creams, such as aciclovir and penciclovir, ease the pain and blistering and help the sores heal more quickly. You can buy aciclovir from a pharmacist, but penciclovir may have to be prescribed by your doctor. You need to use these creams as early as possible when the cold sore starts to develop, and you should apply your cream regularly.

How can I avoid getting one?

Once you have had the virus it stays with you and there is little you can do to avoid an attack. How often the cold sores appear varies from person to person. However, if sunlight seems to bring on your cold sores, it is sensible to put sunblock on your lips when going out into strong sunlight.

If I have a cold sore should I see my doctor?

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in about a week. However, if you have a health condition that has weakened your immune system, or if the sores don’t heal within two weeks on their own, see your doctor. If you often get attacks, your doctor may be able to prescribe an antiviral medication to treat the sores.

I have a cold sore but am due to see my dentist. Will they still be able to treat me?

If you have a cold sore and are due to visit your dental team, check with them first. Some dentists prefer not to treat patients with active cold sores as the affected area may be painful, and may crack and bleed during dental treatment.

What if I’m breast-feeding?

Don’t stop breast-feeding. However, don’t kiss your baby, especially near the mouth or eyes, while you have an active sore as this may pass the infection on to your baby.

Can you only get cold sores around the mouth or can you get them on other parts of the body?

The virus that causes cold sores can also cause similar diseases on other parts of the body (for example, the fingers, eyes and genitals). It is therefore important not to touch cold sores as you may accidentally spread the virus to other parts of your body.

www.swords-dental.ie

Tax Relief For Dentistry

Tax Relief For Dentistry

A lot of people are unaware that you are entitled to  tax relief  of 20% on advanced dental treatments that have been carried out in the last four years. The relief can be claimed regardless of whether its your treatments or someone else’s dental treatment that you have paid for. This is done through the med 2 system, we can talk you through this process when you attend the practice. At Swords Dental we can give you this form and help you with the relevant sections and provide any receipts needed. You can also download the form at: www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/forms/med2.pdf

A guide to claiming Health and Medical expenses:http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it6.html

The eligible treatments are :

Crowns.  Restorations fabricated outside the mouth and are permanently cemented to existing tooth tissue. Income tax relief is allowable for expenditure on core preparation for crowns and temporary conditioning crown

Veneers/Etched Fillings. These are a type of crowns

Tip Replacings. This is regarded as a crown where a large part of the tooth needs to be be replaced and the replacement is made outside the mouth.

Post and Core Build-ups. These are inserts in the nerve canal of a tooth, to hold a crown. Income tax relief is allowable for post and core build-ups made from materials other than gold.

Inlays. An inlay is a smaller version of a crown. However, tax relief is only allowed if the inlay is fabricated outside the mouth. Income tax relief is allowable for inlays made from materials other than gold.

Endodontics – Root Canal Treatment.

This involves the filling of the nerve canal and not the filling of teeth.

 Periodontal Treatment

The following treatments qualify for tax relief:

  • Root Planting, which is a treatment of periodontal (gum) disease
  • Currettage and Debridement, which are part of root planing
  • Gum Flaps, which is a gum treatment
  • Chrome Cobalt Splints, if used in connection with periodontal treatment

(if the splint contains teeth, relief is not allowable)
• Implants following treatments of periodontal (gum) disease which included bone grafting and bone augmentation.

Orthodontic Treatment.

This involves the provision of braces and similar treatments. Income tax relief is allowable for the cost of temporary implants in circumstances where they form part of the overall orthodontic treatment.

Surgical Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth.Relief is allowable when undertaken in a hospital or by a dentist in a dental surgery.

Bridgework. Dental Treatment consisting of an enamel-retained bridge or a tooth-supported bridge is allowable.

You should make your claim at the end of the tax year, but you can actually claim relief on any eligible expenses dating back four years (including medical expenses, which require the Med 1 form). It is possible to choose whether to claim relief in the year when the expenses were incurred, or in the year that they were paid (if they happen to fall into two different years).You do not need to submit all your dental receipts to the Revenue, but you should hold onto them for a period of 6 years in case you are asked to prove or clarify any expenses. If you’re self-employed you can claim your relief when you file your annual tax return.

If you have any queries you via give use ring on 01 8401001

www.swords-dental.ie

Dentistry for older people

Dentistry for older people

Am I certain to lose my teeth?

No. With the right home care and help from your dental team, it is possible to keep your teeth for life. Gum disease and tooth decay can be prevented whatever your age.

What problems may older people have?

Your gums may recede (shrink back) as you get older, and your teeth may become a little more sensitive as a result. Your dental team will be able to show you the best brushing methods to keep any gum problems under control, and may suggest a mouthwash to deal with the sensitivity.

You may find it more difficult to clean your teeth properly if you have problems with your hands or arms, or if your eyesight is poor. Your dental team can give you help and advice on the best aids to use. A magnifying mirror and a good light are often helpful.

If you have lost some teeth in the past, and have bridges or dentures, you may have particular cleaning needs and problems. Your dental team can help you with these.

Some people take regular medication which makes their mouth dry. Saliva helps to protect your teeth against decay, so if you have less saliva than usual ask your dental team for advice. Or you can buy special products, including artificial saliva, in most pharmacies without a prescription.

Should I expect to have problems with my gums?

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria called ‘plaque’. Plaque forms constantly on your teeth. It is important to remove this plaque to avoid gum inflammation (swelling and soreness). If the plaque is not removed, the gum disease will, in time, affect the bone under the gums. This bone supports the tooth roots, so your teeth may gradually become loose.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

As it is often painless, many people may not know that they have gum disease. Some common signs are:

  • Gums that bleed when brushed.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Bad Breath

Not everyone has all these signs. You may have only one.

Can I still get tooth decay?

Yes. The same dental plaque that causes gum inflammation can cause decay, particularly if you have sugary foods and drinks often. There is a particular risk of decay at the gum edge when the gum has receded, as the ‘neck’ of the tooth is not protected by enamel (the hard coating that covers most of the tooth).

How can I prevent gum disease and tooth decay?

  • Thoroughly remove plaque from your teeth (and dentures if you have them) last thing at night and at least one other time during the day.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste containing 1350 to 1500ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. There are many special toothpastes on the market, including tartar control and total care toothpastes. Your dentist may prescribe a higher-fluoride toothpaste if they think you need it.
  • You should clean in between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or dental floss.
  • Cut down on how often you have food and drinks containing sugar – especially sweets that last longer in the mouth such as boiled sweets or mints.
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

What do I need to clean my teeth properly?

You need a small-headed, soft- to medium-textured toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. To help clean between your teeth you could use an ‘interdental brush’, floss or tape. If you have arthritis you may find it difficult to grip a toothbrush handle, but you can get handle adapters.

Electric or ‘power’ toothbrushes are also ideal for people with limited movement. The handles are thicker and easier to hold and the oscillating head does most of the work.

Power toothbrushes have been proven to remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes, so everyone can benefit from using them. There are many products available, and your dental team can help you decide which are best for you.

How do I know if I have removed all the plaque?

Plaque can be stained with a special dye painted on your teeth with a cotton bud, or with special ‘disclosing tablets’ from the dentist.

This stain is harmless and will show any areas of your mouth which need closer attention. Look particularly where the teeth and gums meet. A further brushing will remove the stained plaque.

What if I have missing teeth?

Dentures, bridges or implants replace lost or missing teeth so that you can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence.

What causes mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers can be caused by broken teeth, poorly fitting dentures or sharp pieces of food. Once the cause is removed, ulcers should heal within 3 weeks. If you notice an ulcer which does not heal, see your dental team straight away. Many serious conditions, such as mouth cancer, can be better treated if diagnosed early at a routine check-up.

www.swords-dental.ie

Tel 018401001

Flossing your teeth.

Flossing your teeth.

After tooth-brushing, flossing once a day is the next most important way of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing the teeth is great for cleaning the tooth surfaces but about 40% of the the bacteria that cause dental decay and gum problems are in the area where the teeth meet. Flossing is a great way of removing these bacteria (plaque). It is particularly good where the teeth are tight together as inter-dental brushes such as tepes won’t be able to get into these spaces.

How to do it:
Break off a piece about 18 inches long.
Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand, and a small amount onto the middle finger of the other.
Gently slide the floss between the teeth and be careful not to let the floss snap between teeth, cutting the gum.
Make a C shape with the floss as you wrap it around the tooth. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line to the top of the tooth.
As you move from one tooth to the next, unroll a fresh section of floss from the finger of one hand while rolling the used floss onto the finger of the other hand.Don’t forget to floss the back side of each tooth.As long as you use the correct technique the type of floss isn’t super important, but we recommend Satin Oral-B floss.

If you’re having problems with the gum or would like some more information on oral hygiene you might want to consider making an appointment with our hygienist, Charlotte Quinn.

To make an appointment give us a call on 01 8401001. www.swords-dental.ie

Cold Sores

Cold Sores

A cold sore is a small, painful, blistered area. They usually happen where the lip joins the surrounding skin. The blisters are painful and dry up to make a yellow crust which gradually heals in a few days.

Cold sores are usually found on the lips but you can get them in other places, such as in the nostrils, on the nose or around the outside of the mouth. Cold sores tend to last 5 to 7 days and can keep coming back. Most people only have them once or twice a year.

How do I get cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by a virus (a ‘Herpes Simplex’ virus). You first get this virus in childhood or early adulthood, and it may cause a fever and mouth ulcers (called ‘primary herpetic gingivostomatitis’).

About a third of people who get this ‘primary’ infection go on to develop cold sores in later life. However, many people with cold sores did not get this primary infection.

What brings on the cold sores?

Cold sores usually appear when people are ‘run down’, or ill with something else: for example, with a cold or flu. Sunlight and ultraviolet light can often bring on an attack of cold sores. Occasionally women find that they develop cold sores at particular stages of their menstrual cycle.

Are they infectious?

Yes. Cold sores are infectious and the virus can be passed to other people by close contact (such as kissing). A cold sore is most infectious when it is blistering. It is important to try to avoid touching cold sores, because you can pass the virus on to other people’s hands and even, very rarely, to your own eyes. Avoid squeezing, pinching or pricking the cold sore as this can spread the infection.

Can they be treated?

Yes. Antiviral creams, such as aciclovir and penciclovir, ease the pain and blistering and help the sores heal more quickly. You can buy aciclovir from a pharmacist, but penciclovir may have to be prescribed by your doctor. You need to use these creams as early as possible when the cold sore starts to develop, and you should apply your cream regularly.

How can I avoid getting one?

Once you have had the virus it stays with you and there is little you can do to avoid an attack. How often the cold sores appear varies from person to person. However, if sunlight seems to bring on your cold sores, it is sensible to put sunblock on your lips when going out into strong sunlight.

If I have a cold sore should I see my doctor?

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in about a week. However, if you have a health condition that has weakened your immune system, or if the sores don’t heal within two weeks on their own, see your doctor. If you often get attacks, your doctor may be able to prescribe an antiviral medication to treat the sores.

I have a cold sore but am due to see my dentist. Will they still be able to treat me?

If you have a cold sore and are due to visit your dental team, check with them first. Some dentists prefer not to treat patients with active cold sores as the affected area may be painful, and may crack and bleed during dental treatment.

What if I’m breast-feeding?

Don’t stop breast-feeding. However, don’t kiss your baby, especially near the mouth or eyes, while you have an active sore as this may pass the infection on to your baby.

Can you only get cold sores around the mouth or can you get them on other parts of the body?

The virus that causes cold sores can also cause similar diseases on other parts of the body (for example, the fingers, eyes and genitals). It is therefore important not to touch cold sores as you may accidentally spread the virus to other parts of your body.

www.swords-dental.ie

Which toothpaste should you use?

Which toothpaste should you use?

The basic answer is that most of the popular toothpastes are very similar. Fluoride is the key ingredient, which strengthens the enamel and helps remineralise areas damaged by tooth decay. Avoid fluoride free toothpaste e.g Euthymol – the burning sensation does not make it more effective, its just the type of flavoring agent that’s used (the same can be said about most mouthwashes).

Colgate Total and Oral B Pro-expert are good general toothpastes which most dentists and hygienists recommend.

Sensitivity toothpastes e.g Sensodyne and Colgate Pro-Relief are good options if you have a sensitivity problem. This is often caused by areas of gum recession. Standard toothpaste options are better if you don’t suffer from sensitivity.

Care should be taken with whitening toothpastes, many are very abrasive and can cause damage longterm to the enamel coating covering your teeth. Dr Lyndsey McTavish recommends Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening or Kin Whitening Toothpaste for people looking to minimise stains.

Pronamel toothpaste is designed for use on teeth that are at risk from acid erosion (wearing away of the outer layer by acid in food and drinks).

Duraphat toothpaste can be used for patients with high rates of decay, it has a much increased fluoride content but is only available by prescription from a dentist.

For patients with Dry mouth (xerostomia) Again there are lots of brands but I find that Biotene, BioXtra and Curaprox enzycal toothpaste are great options.

Charlotte Quinn, our hygienist, recommends Colgate total for mild gum disease along with Kin products such as perio kin gel, Corsodyl products and some Curasept products. Please be aware that apart for the Colgate total the other products are not for long-term use and patients are all treated on an individual basis when recommending these products.

www.swords-dental.ie

Tooth Whitening

Tooth Whitening

 

At Swords Dental, we use a tray system for all our tooth whitening cases. This involves taking impressions of the teeth at an initial appointment and demonstrating the whitening process a few days later. Whitening gel is placed in the trays. The trays are worn overnight or for a period of 2-3 hours in the evening time. Generally we require about 3 weeks for this process to ensure a good long term result.

It is important that we do a thorough examination of the teeth and gums prior to starting to ensure you are suitable for whitening. If there are white fillings, crowns or dentures towards the front of the mouth this is significant as they will not change shade and we may need to consider replacing them afterwards.

Whitening the teeth can make them slightly sensitive during the process. This will settle soon after we finish. If sensitivity is an issue it might be worth using the trays on alternate days over a longer period. This will still ensure the same result but reduce the sensitivity.

The ‘in chair’ method of whitening involves the use of much stronger whitening agents, which are likely to cause increased sensitivity. This process is also likely to contravene the EU directive (2012) banning whitening agents containing over 6% Hydrogen Peroxide. The other major drawback of in-chair whitening is that to top up the whitening effect the procedure has to be repeated, which makes it far more expensive long-term. The trays we make can be reused in the future and typically only a small amount of whitening gel is needed to achieve this at minimal additional cost.

Whitening is a great way of producing a dramatic improvement in tooth appearance and smile without doing a lot of dentistry. We have very high levels of patient satisfaction with this procedure.

To make an appointment, call us on 018401001

www.swords-dental.ie