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
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.

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!

 

Naughty or Nice – Impact of Food and Drinks on Dental Health

Can you guess which of these foods are naughty or nice?

 Although some may seems obvious, some of these foods are sneakily a lot worse than the usual suspects. Which ones can you get right?

Naughty or Nice? – Food and Dental Health!

Dairy 

Most dairy is also quite good for you but milk is quite sugary to begin with so there is a ‘naughty’ option here – can you guess which one?

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Plain milk
  • Flavoured milk (BAD these have very high amounts of sugar and as a general rule we advise avoiding flavoured milk in your diet).

 Vegetables and Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are generally quite good for your teeth but there’s one big exception – do you know which one it is?

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruit (Oranges, Lemon, Lime) (BAD – these citrus fruits are highly acidic and will increase erosion and wear on your teeth).

Teas

These seem like they’re probably bad for your teeth, right? Well, not necessarily. They can be naughty or nice. Green and black teas contain polyphenols which can kill/hold back bacteria. You can also get fluoride from your tea depending on your local water supply…

  • Black and green tea
  • Be wary of staining if you drink too much tea/caffeine.

Chips

Seems like the salt and fat would be worse for your body rather than your teeth, but that can be misleading:

  • Potato  Crisps (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • Corn chips (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • One of the main causes of tooth decay as not as obvious as sugars. Even though the crisps aren’t sweet, they do get broken down into sugars.

 Medications

  • Asthma puffers decrease saliva flow so be careful with these.

Chewing gum

Since it helps create saliva it should be good, but a lot of gum on the market has sugar added to it, causing the same old problems for your teeth:

  • Sugarfree extra
  • Sugar gum (BAD – too sugary)
  • PK (BAD – too sugary)
  • Hubba bubba (BAD – too sugary)

Food and dental health – What Next?

Here are a few things to remember if you are going to eat sugary foods :

  • Eat them with a meal. Your increased saliva will reduce the acidity of the sugar.
  • Drink more water, preferably with fluoride in it (if you’re buying bottled water check the label to see if fluoride is included)
  • Brush twice daily, after meals.
  • Floss once daily.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you down at Polished Dental for your next checkup! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about sugar and its impact on teeth, or want to come up with a plan to try and minimise the sugar you’re consuming.

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Them and How Can It Be Managed

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 causing sensitive 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 causing sensitivity

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.