Category: Practice News

What happens in a dental hygiene appointment?

By Maya Samuel

Visiting your dental hygienist is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. Your hygienist is a dental care professional whose area of expertise focuses on preventing oral disease such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Click here to see our infographic on the importance or healthy teeth!


So, what happens when you first arrive?

Your hygienist will begin by reviewing your medical history which is vital in ensuring safe care. This will include any medical conditions you may have or any prescribed medications you may be taking that could have an effect on the care you receive. They will also enquire about your social history which includes your smoking status and alcohol consumption that also have an influence on your oral health. Your hygienist will also ask about any past dental history, your current oral hygiene regime and any concerns you may have with your teeth.

Having a thorough look

Next, your hygienist will assess your head and neck region, your teeth and soft tissues within your mouth. They will assess the health of your gums and discuss their findings with you and finally, determine the treatment required.

What happens during the treatment?

Treatment may include scaling and root surface debridement (the removal of debris from the root surface) to remove plaque and calculus from the teeth. This is usually done by an ultra-sonic scaler which is a powered instrument producing vibrations and a water jet, as well as hand instruments where required. Your hygienist will then polish your teeth to remove stains and give your teeth a nice gleaming shine.

Sometimes a good clean can prevent the need to whitening your teeth!

Following treatment, your hygienist will then advise you of a tailored oral hygiene regime in order to maintain excellent plaque control at home. Information may include toothbrushing techniques, flossing technique and/or the use of interdental brushes. They may also share information related to smoking cessation, diet advice and the use of fluoride in preventing dental decay.

Based on your oral condition, your hygienist will then determine an appropriate schedule for you to receive on-going care and follow up on any issues raised. Any concerns that your hygienist cannot attend to will be referred accordingly and care for by the appropriate professional.

If you would like to arrange a dental hygiene appointment please give us a call on 0207 722 0040 or email info@auradentallondon.com

DIY Braces – Is this right for me?

By Amy Cuckoo

 

When we’re looking at decorating our home, normally a trip down to B&Q at the weekend is all we need to get the job done ourselves, no matter our skill set. Does this mean that we should all be opening our own painting and decorating businesses? With my ability, you would hope not!

In recent months, we’ve seen an eruption of DIY brace companies providing a “Do-It-Yourself” solution for teeth straightening. What does this mean and is it right for you?

What are DIY Braces?

“DIY Braces” or “Mail Order Braces” are a series of clear trays, known as aligners, that you use at home to straighten your teeth. There are various companies out there offering the service but they essentially all work in the same way:

Step 1: Order a kit and take your impression at home.
Step 2: A Qualified Dentist looks at your models and calculates your plan.
Step 3: Aligners are manufactured and shipped to you.
Step 4: Wear your aligners and straighten your teeth.

So, what do you need to bear in mind?

There is an art to taking dental impressions that can take nurses and dentists weeks to learn professionally and with the 3D technology we use at Aura Dental we can take your impressions without the need for putty material.  As this is likely to be the first dental impression you have taken, this can open your treatment up to errors. If the initial impression is wrong, this could cause an impact to treatment and potentially risk your desired outcome altogether, leaving your teeth worse than when you started.

When assessing for braces in a dental practice, you are recommended to have a panoramic radiograph. This allows the dentist to check for suitability of tooth movement, bone availability, gum recession and other contributing factors when looking at orthodontic treatment. Without doing one is like putting a car through a MOT without ever looking under the bonnet. Not ideal right?

So, what do you need to bear in mind? These systems will be straightening your teeth absolutely but they are not looking at the overall bite of how you bite together. This in itself can cause issues down the line in regards to tooth enamel wearing away.
We only get one set of teeth so please, just speak to any dental professional before taking the decision of proceeding with DIY braces.

What is the official word?

The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) is a charity-led society formed to act as the national representative of all orthodontists and below is the grand finale of their official statement!

¹ “The British Orthodontic Society strongly advises the public not to undertake such treatments. If you are considering braces please seek the advice of your dentist first.”

You can access the full article below in the references but let me summarise the concerns the BOS has:

  • No clinical examination has been carried out by a professional to ascertain whether orthodontic treatment is in the best interest of the patient.
  • There are various orthodontic solutions available to patients and patients need to be aware of the solutions and risks associated with them.
  • The potential for less than desirable outcomes due to the treatment being unsupervised by a professional.

All our consultations are complimentary at Aura Dental so why take the risk?

 

References

¹ British Orthodontic Society: https://www.bos.org.uk/News-and-Events/BOS-Statements/BOS-Statement-Do-it-yourself-braces

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Did you know that people with shiny white teeth are more likely to go on dates or even get jobs at interviews? No you didn’t, right?  Neither did I. Mostly because there’s nothing like that. So if you are one of those people thinking the sun won’t need to shine because your teeth are so bright, here’s a chance to quit the daydream and learn a few facts.

Let’s start from the basics. It’s all in the name. Teeth whitening simply means making your teeth as white as they should naturally be or whiter, usually by removing long standing stains or by other means which would probably make this definition too long.

Now you may be thinking, “Shouldn’t a toothbrush do the job?” Well, correct me if I’m wrong but keeping anything white always requires special attention, whether it’s a bathtub, a shirt, your sneakers or your teeth. Of course, the only difference is people actually spend more than 5 years studying teeth, so it’s safe to assume they’re more delicate. You may want to avoid experimenting with them.

So while anyone can whiten their teeth, the process will vary based on a number of factors –from how badly discoloured the teeth are, how soon you want to see results or how long you want the results to last to simply postponing teeth whitening due to mouth related diseases or pregnancy. In effect, the whole process should be tailored to suit you personally including deciding if and when you can do it at home.

Meanwhile, the more effective whitening products contain higher quantities of the active agent (hydrogen peroxide) which can be very dangerous and are only legally allowed to be used or prescribed by dentists as the case demands. Even your insurance company is sure to have a few paragraphs waiting to deny you if you somehow get into trouble by using those products without supervision. Naturally, access to such products means that whitening done by dentists produces better results than the ones done at home.

This next part may break a few hearts but certain foods must be avoided during the period of teeth whitening. Some of them include strawberry, black tea or soda, black coffee, snacks with powdered cheese, tomato or red sauce, blueberries, chocolate, red wine,and others you can confirm from your dentist but yes, no pain no gain. You can still however have ice cream or yoghurt, rice, bread, milk, even sushi. But if you really must have a drink that causes discoloration, you must use a straw without shaking the drink around in your mouth. Although that is the whole point, isn’t it?

Professionally, there are two new major teeth whitening treatments – Zoom teeth whitening and Enlighten teeth whitening.

Zoom actually fits its description. It is much faster and you would be done in less than 2 hours. Perfect for a quick fix but it only makes your teeth about 6 shades lighter and lasts roughly about a year.

Enlighten on the other hand gives a shade B1 which is up to 15 times whiter than the current shade and can last up to 4 years, especially with good oral hygiene practices. Although, as you may have guessed, this is no quick fix. It takes about 3 weeks to complete the process.


BEFORE ENLIGHTEN


AFTER ENLIGHTEN

As with every new treatment, you would be right to guess that there are side effects. Provided it was done professionally, your teeth may just be very sensitive to hot or cold water or have a slight ache but it should all resolve on its own. If you did, however, assume you bagged a dental degree from a YouTube crash course, well, keep your friends close and your dentist closer.

MOUTH CANCER AWARENESS – All You Need to Know About Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer can be labelled as abnormal cell growth within the mouth. Mouth cancer can affect any area of the mouth including jaws, lips, tongue, gums, tonsils and salivary glands. All of these tissues within the mouth are layered by soft cells called squamous cells. It’s these cells that come to be malevolent during mouth cancer issues. Thus, mouth cancer can also be called squamous cell carcinoma.

Oral Cancer RiskSquamous carcinoma is the cancer commonly known to affect the oral cavity. Mouth cancer, which often called oral cancer, begins in the tissues and further affects the mouth, tongue, and lips. Additionally, it can go as far as affecting the roof of the mouth, the floor of the mouth, gums, or the cheek lining.

Mouth cancers look a lot like each other when observed with a microscope. The cells become malevolent and tend to spread quickly in the mouth and other parts of the body.

CAUSES OF MOUTH CANCER

There are many conditions, habits and lifestyle choices that can cause mouth cancer. Some examples are smoking, chewing tobacco, consuming alcohol, and exposure to dangerous UV radiation. There are also other causes of mouth cancer which includes Kaposi’s sarcoma related with AIDS, Candida infection within the mouth, and lack of nutrition i.e. diets without the presence of vitamin A, C and E, selenium iron and zinc.

The common causes of mouth cancers include:

  • Alcohol:

Excessive intake of alcohol drinks increases the possibility of mouth cancer.

  • Smoking and Use of Tobacco:

Approximately 75% of mouth cancer patients are tobacco users (including the alleged ‘smokeless’ tobacco) and smokers in general.

  • Combination of Alcohol and Smoking:

Drinking and smoking together keeps you open and vulnerable to mouth cancer.

  • Poor Dieting:

Studies have proved that consuming foods low in vegetables and fruits may expose you to the dangers of developing mouth cancer. Hence, consuming foods with high vegetables and fruits may guide you against so many types of cancer, especially mouth cancer.

  • Exposing to Sunlight:

Exposure to heat and sunlight for a long period of time is also a contributing factor in skin and mouth cancers.

 

THE SYMPTOMS – HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE MOUTH CANCER?

Mouth Cancer AwarenessA specialist can identify mouth cancer by a variety of symptoms. However, it is necessary that you go for a thorough dental check-up as soon as you notice any unusual changes, so as to ascertain if what you’re experiencing is mouth cancer.

Aura Dental is a professional oral health clinic where you can have your regular oral check-ups and examinations. For additional benefits, we include mouth cancer screenings as part of our standard general check-ups. Thus, if you need a thorough dental examination, Aura Dental is the ideal place for you.

Mouth cancer symptoms are often painless and looks a lot like other, non-hazardous oral symptoms. Our Dentists are capable of identifying the changes in your mouth which you may not notice.

The following are some signs that should prompt a dental visit immediately:

  • Sores that won’t heal
  • Change of colour, mostly red and white with patches
  • Coarse spots in the mouth that won’t heal
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty or pain moving jaw
  • Lump-like gatherings
  • Difficulty in talking, swallowing or chewing
  • Numbness around the mouth
  • Earache

While gum diseases, infections, and many other mouth problems can show similar reactions, it remains a top priority to visit a dentist immediately if you notice any irregular changes within the mouth region.

If any unusual changes are seen in the mouth region, we will refer you to a qualified specialist to conduct a diagnostic test of the affected area. In mouth cancer cases, identifying the problem quick and early can increase your chances of getting cured, this is why we recommend that you visit Aura Dental for regular dental examinations.

Mouth cancer can be caused by many factors. All forms of tobacco use can hugely result to mouth cancer, including the supposed ‘smokeless’ tobacco. In addition, those who indulge in binge drinking of alcohol have more chances of getting mouth cancer than the non-alcoholic drinkers. Also, long exposure to heat or sunlight is also associated with mouth cancer. A little above 25% of mouth cancer patients are not alcoholic drinkers and have never smoked.

Our dentists can help identify anything suspicious and refer you to a specialist to conduct a biopsy in a hospital setting to approve or deny the occurrence of the disease. Once it is verified that there are cancerous cells the doctor will advise the best course of treatment.

Simply because you notice a sore within the mouth region doesn’t mean you have mouth cancer. However, visiting Aura Dental regularly to examine the mouth will ensure that anything suspicious is caught in time, potentially preventing any new development of the disease. By thoroughly examining the mouth, neck, lips, gums and throat at least once every month can help you detect anything that may seem suspicious at the early stages. Quick and early interference is vital in order to increase the chance of successful treatment.

If you start to notice symptoms of mouth cancer after the examination with your dentist, quickly raise an alarm. Also, be ready to act in case any sores start to develop within the mouth region. If you notice these symptoms and they don’t show signs of healing in two weeks, book an appointment as soon as you’re able. Irregular sores that are non-cancerous will be severe in the early stages, but will heal gradually. They ought to be completely healed within a week or two.

At times mouth cancer sores appear very little and difficult to notice. Along with regular self-examinations, booking an appointment with our dentists for regular check-ups at least once or twice yearly is very important. This will guarantee the quick and early discovery of new, unusual developments that may come up.

Along with sores in the mouth, there are many other signs to look out for in cases of oral cancer that requires immediate examination. These signs include white and red spots within the mouth, bleeding from the mouth, swelling around the mouth region or a lump-like gathering around the neck or jaw may indicate the presence of cancer. Also, if you find it hard moving the mouth region, or you feel pain while speaking, swallowing or chewing, these are serious signs of mouth cancer. In case you notice any of these signs, you should quickly visit our clinic for an immediate check-up.

IS MOUTH CANCER CURABLE?

Just like every other cancer, mouth cancer can be completely cured at the early stages. As cancer moves from one part of the body to another, a complete recovery can be very difficult in the later stages. If the disease is spotted at the early stage, the possibilities of a total cure are high, and you also have a better chance of recovery if the affected area is small. However, many people tend to notice this disease at the later stage, because they don’t see their doctor or dentist regularly for examination, thereby making it difficult to obtain a complete cure.

Mouth cancer hardly ever causes pain at the initial stages. Irregular cell growth normally appears as smooth patches. A cancer sore appears like an ulcer, frequently with a gloom in the middle. The centre of the cancer sore might be white, yellow, or grey, having red edges.

MOUTH CANCER PROGNOSIS

Approximately 34,000 people are identified with mouth cancer every year. Sadly, over 65% of people with the disease won’t notice the problem until the later stages when it is difficult to be cured. Lack of public awareness of the likelihood for mouth cancer is among the reasons people fail to notice the symptoms early. Many people also fail to notice it early because they do not
visit a dentist for regular mouth cancer examination.

MOUTH CANCER TREATMENT

If you reside in London count yourself lucky for having the opportunity to access quality dental care services.

Aura dental is a patient-friendly, private dental clinic that provides professional dental services, including mouth cancer awareness and mouth cancer screenings as part of our standard general check-ups.

At Aura Dental, we keep an eye on your oral health and regular examinations allow us to see any new unusual developments in the mouth. If we notice any irregularities, we will refer you to a specialist centre in the hospital to perform biopsies of the affected area. The tests that are essential to determine the cancer stage are X-ray, endoscopy, CT scan and MRI scan.

We aim to increase awareness in the possibility of mouth cancer cases, that is why we have included a cancer screen as part of our general check-ups.

For oral dental care which includes oral surgery, paediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry, and orthodontics – we got you covered!

Book an examination with us today!

Aura Dental

Email: www.auradentallondon.com

Address: Aura Centre, Charlbert Street, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7BT, UK

Phone: 0207 722 0040