5 Wisdom Teeth Facts – Polished Dental

Dr. Sang from Polished Dental has written a great article about five wisdom teeth facts – things you need to know about your wisdom teeth. When do they erupt? Do you always need to remove wisdom teeth? Let’s take a look.

5 Wisdom Teeth Facts – Polished Dental

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash
Wisdom Teeth Facts – Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

1. When can I expect my wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth will usually erupt from ~17-23. Of course there are exemptions and we have had patients as young as 14 and as late as 39, so feel free to book in with the team if you have any questions about this or are concerned. You’ll know when the wisdom teeth are coming via soreness (and sometimes swelling) in the gums behind your last teeth.

2. What do I do when my wisdom teeth erupt?

Book in for an examination, where your clinic will do a visual examination and take some x-rays (sometimes you’ll be referred somewhere for a whole mouth x-ray). We need to have a look how close to the nerve your wisdom teeth are and see how many roots there are, and if they have an angle or kink.

3. What’s usually done about wisdom teeth?

There are a few options. They don’t always have to be removed!

– If erupting, there is enough space for them and you can keep them clean enough – we recommend keeping the teeth to chew with. We strongly encourage you come back for routine checkups 
-If they’re unerupted we have a similar situation – sometimes they’re okay to leave there but you’ll need to ensure regular checkups to make sure everything’s okay!
-Sometimes wisdom teeth need to be removed so you’re safer in the long term.

4. How do we remove the wisdom teeth?

This depends on factors which can complicate the process:

  • Difficult access
  • Difficult tooth anatomy
  • Surrounding nerves and sinuses causing difficult anatomy.
  • Hard or older bone around wisdom teeth

This can be done under general anaesthetic at a hospital for day surgery – generally for difficult patients or anxious patients.

Most wisdom teeth extractions occur at an everyday dental clinic just like Polished Dental – we will guide you as to which type is right for you.

At the clinic, it’s a simple process as we plan thoroughly for your extraction – we use local anaesthetic so you don’t feel any pain (sometimes a light sensation).

If you haven’t been sedated for the procedure (most people aren’t) you will be able to drive home. We do recommend to have someone with you if possible. 

5. What do I do after?

The first two to three days will generally result in some discomfort and swelling for 2-3 days afterwards. Some much milder discomfort can continue for 2-3 weeks – most people are back at work after a day or two. We recommend a soft diet in the first 2-3 days (e.g. scrambled eggs, custard). Warm salt water rinses also help keep the site clean.

Paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen) can be used as pain relief. We will tailor an individual plan for patients to ensure know how best look after the healing area for them.

If you’d like to book an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental then please click here

ABC News – Dr. Montana’s Thoughts on regular dental checkups.

You may have read the news or seen our recent blog post about the ABC News article – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How often do you need to have your regular dental checkups? Well, as a follow up to our initial article we’re happy to share Dr. Montana’s thoughts on the situation – how often do you really need to go to the dentist? Does this change depending on what your dental history is like, should everyone go every 6 months…what’s the best way to ensure you have healthy teeth without going to the dentist unnecessarily? 

Regular dental checkups – what’s the scoop?

Today Dr. Montana from Polished Dental has prepared a video to explain our views more clearly. We’d love for you to take a look and let us know what you think! As it turns out, it very much depends on your own personal situation – some people can go to the dentist yearly, or some who may potentially have some issues should see us at regular intervals so we’re able to monitor your mouth and ensure nothing is getting worse. 

Come in and meet the friendly team at Polished Dental today. Give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to book a dentist appointment online at our brand new Kenmore location.

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News - What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News - What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth
What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? (source: @jontyson via Unsplash)

You may have recently read the ABC Science article summarising a recent UK study which found gum disease in patients who went to the dentist for a regular scale and polish and those who hadn’t attended in 3 years and found that there were no differences in gum health between the two groups. So what’s the point in regular visits, you might ask? Why do I need to go to the dentist so often?

The answer is…you might not have to – if you’re lucky! There are certainly patients who have a lower risk of gum disease and can extend their check-up intervals from the routine 6 months to 12 months, but for most a regular check-up is a good opportunity not just for the clean and polish but for us to examine and monitor other potential problems.

At Polished Dental, examples of issues we’re monitoring at your check-up are:

  • Tooth decay
  • The health and seal of old fillings
  • Cracks and wear in teeth
  • The location and movement of wisdom teeth
  • And also screen for oral cancers

So, what’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How do you know how often you should come back? After your exam – we’ll leave you with photos of you gums and teeth to let you know what we’ll be monitoring so you can remember between check-ups. We’ll also let you know when we think it’s best for you to come back – and although we love our patients – we won’t get you back too soon if you don’t need it!

What to expect at your dental checkup.

Dental Checkup at Polished Dental

What happens during a dental checkup and clean? Today the team at Polished will be breaking down what we are actually doing when you come in for a checkup.

Bib and glasses on, chair laid back.. let the fun begin!

Learn more about Polished Dental’s Checkup process.

Dental Checkup at Polished Dental

Step 1: Clinical photographs and x-rays

At Polished we take clinical photographs at your first visit with cheek retractors and a mouth mirror so that instead of us just bombarding you with numbers, long words and telling you what your oral health looks like to us we can show you! We have found it to be fantastic because a lot of the time people don’t know what is actually happening in their mouth, especially for those harder to see areas. By utilising these photographs of your own mouth and putting them up on the computer screen we can go through each tooth individually and explain to you what treatment you may require, where we are watching, showing you the areas you have said cause sensitivity or pain and what options you have available-it allows you to get to know yourself better and always prompts questions! X-rays are taken because no matter how great our eyesight is or our loops (those funny looking magnifying glasses we wear) we are unable to see underneath the gums, the nerve or under existing fillings. We do not take x-rays unless needed as we do prefer to minimise exposure to radiation as much as we can without compromising our treatment.

Step 2: Soft tissue check

Teeth are just a part of maintaining good oral health- we are also keeping an eye on your cheeks, tongue and muscles around your jaw. The dentist will also do an oral cancer check for you and is looking for any unusual lumps, ulcers or tenderness in and around your mouth.

Step 3: Charting

14distal watch, 28 unerupted, 31 occlusal decay, 47mesial palatal composite… These could be a few of those funny numbers and words you hear us calling out with the dentist is checking your teeth. Each number identifies where in the mouth it is located (upper/lower/front or back) and the surface of the tooth we are speaking about (biting surface/cheek side/in between etc) It is important that we accurately record your dentition (teeth) so that each time you come in for a check up we know exactly what part of each tooth needs watching, what restorations (fillings) you currently have or require, what teeth are missing and the alignment of your bite. That scratching you hear is a sickle probe being used it is a very fine instrument that is ideal for picking up defects in the tooth and for feeling around restorations.

Step 4:  Periodontal check

Our gums are the foundations for our teeth and it is essential that they are kept healthy as well. We use a periodontal probe to measure how healthy the gums are and take measurements so we can refer back to them if gum issues are present or arise.

Step 5: Ultrasonic cleaning

That high pitch vibrating feeling is one that people either love or hate. Plaque and Calculus build up on our teeth and no matter how good our brushing and flossing is calculus needs to be removed by a dentist. The ultrasonic scaler we use vibrates and sprays water which allows us to pick off all of the calculus and remove plaque on top of the tooth as well as just under the gum. A handscaler may be used for more stubborn areas and again is one of those scratching noises we love to associate with the dentist.

Step 6: Prophylaxis- Dentist toothpaste!

We use a product called prophy paste which is a lot grittier than regular toothpaste. It is perfect for removing stains and giving you that amazing smooth clean feeling.

Step 7: Fluoride treatment

We highly recommend fluoride to assist in maintaining good oral health so after cleaning your teeth we apply a fluoride treatment. It is a natural mineral that helps build strong teeth and prevents cavities. In Brisbane we do have fluoride in our water and in our toothpaste but the treatment you receive at a dental check up is a higher concentrate and to optimise its effects you will be asked to not rinse or eat for half an hour.

Step 8: Debriefing

At the end of every appointment we always make sure to go over what has been done at the appointment and to make sure we have answered all of your questions! The number one intimidating thing we’ve been told about visiting us is the fear of the unknown- we endeavour to break that cycle.. We love questions and it makes us excited when our patients are interested about our work and their oral health.

Remember we are here to help make the dental checkup as easy for both yourself and your family. Any questions, please ask us!

 

Sensitive Teeth – Name that twinge!

Sensitive Teeth AshgroveSensitive teeth can occur for a wide range of reasons, some as innocuous as extra sensitivity, to more concerning problems such as tooth decay or infection. The tricky part is telling these causes apart!

Extra sensitive teeth

Some people simply have extra sensitive teeth! We call this hypersensitivity and although treatment is not typically required, the good news is this can usually be managed well at home with products such as a sensitive toothpaste.

Receding gums

Ever heard the saying “long in the tooth”? It should really be called “short in the gums”! It is true that your gums can recede with age however this can also occur in younger patients. Gum disease, missing adjacent teeth, and repositioning of teeth after orthodontic treatment are all possible causes although overly hard brushing is one of the more common culprits. As the gum migrates further down the tooth, more of the root is exposed causing sensitivity. It’s best to either prevent this recession or maintain our gums before the recession worsens.

Enamel wear 

Enamel is the hard protective layer on the outermost part of our teeth. This can be worn away over time due to acid erosion or hard tooth brushing habits, leaving the more sensitive dentine layer exposed. Monitor acidic foods and drinks such as fizzy drinks, lemon water, some fruits, wine and vinegar, and try to avoid their contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw or rinsing with plain water. Internal acids, such as those resulting from reflux, are also risk factors for enamel erosion and it is best to address the causes of these acids where possible. Also remember to use a soft toothbrush and a gentle brushing technique to avoid over-scrubbing your pearly whites! Where enamel loss is more significant, a filling can be placed to cover the exposed tooth surface. This replaces your enamel and will help protect the tooth from further wear.

Chipped teeth

Similarly to enamel wear, when a tooth fractures, the second dentine layer of the tooth can be exposed, leading to sensitivity. This is usually resolved once the broken portion is repaired and the tooth is covered and sealed again.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay can cause a cavity within your tooth resulting in sensitivity. Initially this may be sensitive to cold only although sensitivity to hot food and drinks can mean the nerve is deteriorating further. Often a simple filling is all that is required however, in more severe conditions, infection may mean further treatment is necessary.
 
Regardless of the cause of tooth sensitivity, the best practice for you and your mouth is to get checked out while the problem is still manageable. We’re here to help with any questions you may have, to ensure you can keep smiling until you’re grey in the hair and not “long in the tooth”! Please give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to use our online contact form.

Dental Health – 5 ‘innocent’ habits

Dental health – these small habits can seem innocent by themselves – but repeat the offence numerous times and they can really accumulate to negatively affect your pearly whites.
 

1. Relying on mouthwash for dental health

 
Mouthwash works great for some extra cleaning power and to freshen your breath – when used in conjunction with brushing twice and flossing once every day.
 
Where it can let you down is when you rely on it to do the job of other tools – like the toothbrush and floss. Mouthwash is good at getting into crevices and gaps our toothbrush and floss cannot, but only if there is a toothbrush or floss disturbing the bacteria and plaque sticking to our teeth and gums beforehand. If we use mouthwash without brushing and flossing, it only really scratches the surface. Allowing the plaque and bacteria to remain as they are promotes tooth decay and gum disease.
 

2. Brushing too hard

 
What’s worse than brushing twice a day? Doing it incorrectly so not only are you wasting time – but also damaging your dental health.
 
We often see people who scrub at their gums which causes enamel to wear away and your gums to recede away. The correct method is to hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and use very light inwards pressure whilst moving the brush in circular motions – not back and forth like you’re scrubbing.
 
If you want a good test, use your toothbrush to push down on your gums with the same force you would when you brush your teeth – If you have the right pressure, your gums should really only slightly blanch – if at all. If your gums are blanched very white – try to reduce the pressure with which you push down to brush.
 

3. Brushing with any toothbrush but the softest you can find

 
You really should be using a soft or extra-soft toothbrush – anything harder is too hard and can cause needless damage.
 
Similar to brushing too hard, it can be very difficult to change habits when it comes to your toothbrush preference. The two go hand in hand – and we’ll often get patient say ‘but the soft ones lose their shape so quickly!’ If you can make a soft toothbrush last three months – it shows you have good brushing technique! If your soft toothbrush isn’t lasting three months and goes ‘furry’, try to be more gentle when brushing and to use a circular action instead of a back and forth scrubbing. If you’re still getting issues – let us know and we’ll be happy to help!
 

4. Chewing ice

 
Some of us are very guilty of this! (Dr. Sang)
 
Dr. Sang has actually cracked a perfectly good, never before filled, molar tooth – just by chewing on ice.
 
Your jaw muscles are very strong. Without our brain’s protective reflex telling us to stop biting (think of the last time you quickly stopped biting after accidentally biting your cheek on tongue) we can easily damage our own teeth by biting too hard.
 
Chewing on ice really tests this reflex. Ice can go from very hard to very soft extremely quickly and this can stop this protective reflex from working. The result? Our teeth banging against each other a lot harder than they should – causing costly and painful microfractures and cracks.
 

5. Loving lemons and orange smiles

 
Lemons are used commonly to freshen up some otherwise plain water. Great on a hot day but damaging to our teeth. The acid in the lemon corrodes away at our teeth and literally dissolves away the enamel layer. Again, this won’t happen after one drink, but if you multiply two or three glasses a day for multiple years – it really builds up!
 
Another innocent past time is biting down and keeping in orange slices. Your kids might do this when tucking into some fruit as a snack or during weekend sports breaks. As refreshing and fun as it is to have an orange slice mouthguard – it really increases the acid wear on our teeth. If your kids can’t let go of the past time – just make sure they’re rinsing with some water afterwards.

Why do I need a dental checkup?

Very often we’ll see patients who have not had a dental checkup for years and come to us with a problem.

We also see patients who religiously come back every 6 months for their routine check-ups.

We love BOTH types of patients – because simply – they’re in for a check-up! For us, there’s no better time to have a check-up than today.

Here’s three reasons why a dental checkup is a great idea.

1. We get a very good view of things from where we are

We don’t judge – our aim is to let you know what’s going on and to make a plan to keep everything healthy.

Many issues in dentistry are asymptomatic – that is even when something is wrong, it doesn’t hurt. A good example of this is gum disease. This is an issue we can spot very easily, but when left untreated gum disease does not always hurt and the end stage of late gum disease is loose teeth! That’s why we take photos and x-rays with exams and with regular check-ups we can keep an eye on any changes.  

2. Unfortunately dental problems don’t get cheaper to treat if left over time

All issues in dentistry are cheaper to fix when the problem is smaller. Not only that – they are almost always easier to treat when the problem is smaller!

It’s much easier to procrastinate and leave that niggling issue for next week, or next month – but the sooner it’s done the cheaper and easier it will be. Also – doesn’t it just feel better knowing your smile is pain and problem free?

3. For the kids – it helps if the first dental checkup is fun and easy.

The ideal appointment for any child at the dentist is a routine check-up. If it’s their first appointment – then it means there’s the time and opportunity to slowly show them what being at the dentist is like and that visits can be pain free and fun. If it’s a routine check-up it means that the kids know what is coming up – so there are no surprises. Both of these build up a lifelong healthy habit of carefree and affordable dental appointments.

At Polished – we believe cost should not get in the way of you and a healthy smile. That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure exams and x-rays when they are needed are affordable for you and the whole family.  

As a guide our prices are:

If you’re in a health fund:

Comprehensive exam, photos and Xrays if needed – No gap

Comprehensive exam, photos and Xrays if needed and clean – Most health funds no gap – maximum gap is $50.

If you’re not in a health fund:

Comprehensive exam and photos only – $55

Comprehensive exam, photos and Xrays if needed – $85

Comprehensive exam, photos and Xrays if needed and clean – $175

For kids – sometimes we don’t need to do a clean and therefore it will be less.

 

Please do not hesitate to give the team a call or contact us to ask any questions – we’re only too happy to help!