What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

Jan 18
Oris Minimal invasive dentistry

At Oris, we use minimally invasive dentistry to treat our patients and restore their teeth to a healthy level and preserve your natural teeth. We focus on preventative techniques that will reduce your risk from oral health problems without the use of surgery and other invasive procedures.

Also known as microdentistry, this is the fairly new technique being applied across dentistry to help maintain tooth structure without the need for extensive surgery or tooth removal. We emphasise prevention and changing behaviour to eradicate the initial cause behind gum disease so that surgical intervention is only used in more advanced cases.

Scientific advances have made it possible to treat dental problems while preserving as much of healthy tooth structure as we possibly can. We use a number of techniques and apply long-lasting dental material to reduce the need for future repairs.

Tooth decay, gum disease and periodontitis can be caused by a variety of factors, all of which play their part in your oral health. Factors including diet, oral hygiene and genetics can affect your oral environment and these are individual rather than general dental issues. At our clinic, we undertake advanced risk assessment using techniques such as bacteria testing and saliva flow testing, as well as evaluating your general health and hygiene to create a treatment plan to restore your teeth and gums to their healthiest. Our dentists and hygienists will be able to pinpoint which area needs to be addressed and come up with a personalised plan of action to prevent and reduce your level of risk.

Once we have a plan in place, we will use techniques such as therapeutic disease control, periodontal therapy and periodontal maintenance rather than drills and extractions. By working together with you, we will reduce your risk from dental problems and preserve as much of your natural teeth and gum environment as possible.

By working together with you, we will reduce your risk from dental problems and preserve as much of your natural teeth and gum environment as possible.

 

 

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Thinking about teeth whitening? Here’s all you need to know

Thinking about Teeth Whitening? Here’s all you need to know

Jan 16
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We may not all be destined to walk the Hollywood red carpet but that doesn’t mean we can’t have the smile for it. With thousands of people in the UK opting for teeth whitening, it has become one of the most inexpensive and most sought after cosmetic treatments in the country. It is available widely and results can be seen in as little as one treatment. It is also one of the safest cosmetic treatments available with a number of actual whitening procedures to choose from.

There is, however, a downside to such a popular treatment. Many companies are now providing especially cheap, dangerous and unlicensed whitening treatments and products, which can cause harm to your teeth and gums. With teeth whitening so readily available, people can become tempted to opt for price rather than looking into the safety of the particular teeth whitening procedure they are paying for.

With this in mind, we’re here to give you all the information you need on teeth whitening so you can make an informed choice.

What causes teeth to discolour?

As we get older, the natural whiteness of our teeth can fade away causing staining or discolouring. Whether this is extrinsically (stained on the surface) or intrinsically (below the enamel), brushing is not always enough to keep the brightness of your teeth from growing fainter. Although there are many types of whitening toothpastes available on the market, once discolouration sets in there is only so much they can do to lighten teeth, especially for intrinsic staining.

Teeth can discolour or stain for many reasons:

  • Aging
  • Excessive drinking of red wine, coffee, tea and sugary drinks
  • Smoking or use of other tobacco
  • A build up of plaque and tartar
  • Certain medications
  • Too much fluoride ingestion
  • Trauma to teeth

Why get your teeth whitened?

People have many reasons for wanting to get their teeth whitened. Here are some of them:

  • Becoming conscious of your smile because of yellow or stained teeth is an issue for many. Teeth whitening can restore confidence and help self esteem
  • Yellow or stained teeth can age your smile, so teeth whitening can help give you a younger appearance
  • Teeth whitening is popular for special occasions, such as a wedding, anniversary or party, so you have that little extra to help you look your best
  • Simply to get rid of stained or yellow teeth

What exactly is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is effectively the use of certain procedures to lighten your teeth. Teeth can become a few shades lighter rather than ‘white’, as it is all determined by the natural colour of your teeth. Some require one treatment, and others opt for a number of sessions, but it is important to manage your expectations as the treatment essentially lightens your existing shade, not change the colour completely.

What are the procedures used for the whitening of teeth?

With advancements in cosmetic dentistry, there are a number of options people can choose depending on their needs, comfort and budget. The most popular treatments are laser teeth whitening and bleaching gels which can be used in the comfort of your own home.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Yes! So long as a professional dentist undertakes this treatment, it is safe for patients. Your initial assessment will determine whether you are suitable for teeth whitening, as some patients may not have an oral environment ideal for this procedure, for example, if you have veneers or implants. Home teeth whitening kits that are available over the counter and online can be unsafe as they are not all approved by a dental professionals. We recommend seeing a qualified dentist in order to have your teeth whitened in the safest way possible.

Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening does not generally have side effects but you may suffer from some sensitivity following the procedure. If you suffer from sensitive teeth, you should always let your dentist know so they can advise you appropriately.

How long will my teeth stay a lighter shade?

As with any treatment, maintenance is important if you want to benefit from the effects as long as possible. Brushing regularly, flossing and avoiding food and drinks that stain can help results last longer. The procedure is not permanent but with good care, can last for a few years.

Want to speak to our dentist about your teeth whitening procedure? Book an appointment with us!

 

 

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What causes sensitive teeth & how to treat them

How to take care of sensitive teeth?

Jan 14
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If you’ve ever felt the discomfort of sensitive teeth, you’ll understand the problem it poses for thousands of people in the UK. Tooth sensitivity affects people in varying degrees, from feeling an occasional spasm to severe pain that can last for several hours. Although many do not seek help for the problem, sensitive teeth can be a sign of serious dental problems that should be checked by your dentist.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Tooth sensitivity can affect people of all age groups, but can become worse with time. Sensitivity becomes a problem when the tooth enamel surface has worn down leaving the soft layer underneath containing small pores, called the dentine, exposed. Sensitivity can occur particularly from extreme temperatures, such as hot and cold foods and drinks and cold air. This most commonly happens where the tooth and gum meet as the enamel is much thinner in this area.

The breakdown of the tooth enamel and the subsequent sensitivity can occur for many reasons:

  1. Brushing too hard – you may not realise it, but many of us can brush our teeth too abrasively, causing tooth enamel to wear away especially where the gums and teeth meet
  2. Erosion – having a highly acidic diet, particularly acidic foods and drinks, can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, leading to exposure of the layer underneath
  3. Gum recession – receding gums affect thousands of people. When gums recede or pull back, the roots of your teeth become exposed. The tooth root has no enamel so it is particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures
  4. Gum disease – gum disease is a serious problem which can cause more problems than just sensitive teeth. A build up of plaque or tartar can lead to gum disease, which causes gum recession as well as loss of tooth bone
  5. Tooth grinding – many people grind their teeth, particularly in their sleep, without realising it. Clenching and grinding teeth together can lead to the wear of the tooth enamel causing sensitivity
  6. Cracked tooth or filling – a cracked tooth or filling can cause biting of the tooth surface towards the root, causing discomfort
  7. Teeth whitening - some people can experience sensitivity during or following whitening

What can you do to help tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be managed effectively in a number of ways so you can minimise the pain and discomfort it can cause:

  • Use sensitive toothpaste – there are a number of toothpastes available for people who suffer from sensitive teeth. These work by blocking the pores of the dentine so that your teeth are less sensitive to hot or cold temperatures that can cause discomfort. Brushing twice a day with sensitive toothpaste or even rubbing the toothpaste on sensitive areas during the day can significantly decrease tooth sensitivity.
  • Avoid hot or cold food and drink – extreme temperatures can trigger sensitivity so avoiding foods such as ice cream can help. Using warm water when brushing teeth can also make a big difference.
  • Avoid high acidity food and drinks – acidic foods and drinks break down tooth enamel so try to avoid them as much as possible. This also includes reducing the number of sugary drinks and snacks you have.
  • Be careful about teeth whitening – teeth whitening is a popular and safe procedure but if you suffer from sensitivity, talk to your dentist before you have any treatments.

How can you prevent your teeth becoming sensitive?

Many people worry about their teeth becoming sensitive or have just started to see signs of teeth sensitivity. There are many steps you can take to prevent your teeth from becoming sensitive:

  • Change the way you brush your teeth – brushing your teeth with a fluoride or sensitive toothpaste twice a day can prevent sensitivity from emerging. The most important thing to remember is to use small and circular movements, not side to side, when brushing and to use a soft or medium bristled brush. This can stop abrasive brushing which can wear away at the tooth enamel. Electric toothbrushes work especially well for this purpose. You should also remember to change your toothbrush every two or three months as a worn toothbrush can be especially aggressive on gums.
  • Watch what you eat – minimise sugary and fizzy drinks in your diet and avoid high acidity foods.
  • Use a mouthguard for teeth grinding – if you grind your teeth, speak to your dentist about whether wearing a mouth guard at night can help you.
  • Speak to your dentist about gum disease – if you notice sensitive and bleeding gums, this could be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious dental problem which can lead to tooth loss and receding gums. Receding gums are very likely to cause sensitive teeth so visit your dentist regularly to minimise the damage gum disease can do.

How can Oris help you with tooth sensitivity?

You can speak to one of our dentists and hygienists about your tooth sensitivity. We will look at your symptoms and find the best way to treat your teeth. Fluoride gels and rinses may be used to relieve sensitivity and provide protection to sensitive areas. Make regular checks with us so we assess whether your symptoms have improved.

Book an appointment with us!

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Oil Pulling – Fad or Not?

Oil Pulling is certainly in fashion but does it provide benefits for your teeth, gums and oral health?

Nov 26
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If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will before the year is out. Oil pulling has recently attracted attention in all the right places. From YouTube videos, news articles, to being sold in major retailers as a teeth whitening product. There is no doubt that it is the next big thing in health and beauty, but does this ancient practice have real benefits, particularly for your oral health?

Oil pulling is a traditional south Asian medical practice, developed within the Ayurvedic tradition, dating back almost 3000 years. Seen as a holistic form of alternative medicine, this tradition placed great emphasis on the body and its preservation. The procedure itself involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth for 10 – 20 minutes before spitting it back out. The oil traditionally used for the practice was sesame oil but coconut or sunflower oil can also be used, with coconut oil being especially recommended because of its Luric acid content, well known for its anti-microbial effects.

By modern medical standards, Ayurvedic practices are of course considered pseudoscientific, but there is still much that can be learned and adopted into home remedies from these ancient traditions. While the scientific proof is inconclusive and in no situation can oil pulling reverse the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, the process itself cannot be completely dismissed. The swishing of oil around the mouth allows for the pulling out of microbes as well as the bacteria trapped in-between teeth and in the crevices of the gums. The bacteria that cause tooth decay are almost entirely single celled organisms and the skin of these cells is a fatty membrane, which on coming into contact with the oil would attach itself to it. A 2014 study for the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that oil pulling with sesame seed oil helped in reducing oral malador and the microbes causing it as much as a chlorhexidine treatment, such as mouthwash. If we go by the credibility of this study, oil pulling can be used as a viable and safe supplement to mouthwash.

Besides its bacterial cleansing claims oil pulling is also considered by some to whiten teeth, strengthen gums and eliminate bad breath, with many people especially noting how their teeth became whiter with regular use.

While oil pulling is certainly no replacement for regular dental visits and more traditional everyday oral care, such as brushing your teeth, flossing and using mouthwash, this ancient practice can be used as an addition to your everyday routine.

Book an appointment with us!

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Let’s talk about mouth cancer – The causes, symptoms and facts

Let’s talk about mouth cancer - the causes, symptoms and facts

Nov 10
Mouth Cancer

 

Talking about cancer is never pleasant. But with an ageing population and longer life expectancy, the risk of suffering from cancer has increased in the UK from 1 in 3 to 1 in 2. Talking about mouth cancer and understanding the symptoms, causes and facts has never been more important.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is an important initiative, that takes place every year in November, where medical professionals, charities and a number of other organisations are work to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. With approximately 6,767 people in the UK diagnosed annually but at least 10% of the population admitting they have never heard of mouth cancer, now is the time to talk. This is a cancer that has grown by a third over the last decade. We cannot ignore it.

What is Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer is a disease that affects the lips, tongue, cheek and throat. Just as is the case with other cancers, such as breast and testicular, it is important to recognise what the symptoms are, regularly examine your mouth at home and see your dentist if you notice anything suspicious. Early detection of mouth cancer increases survival rates to 90% versus 50% for late diagnosis.

What causes Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer can be caused by genetics, with an increased risk as you get older. However, the fact is that 91% of mouth cancer diagnoses are actually linked to lifestyle. Here are the main causes of mouth cancer:

Smoking – although a quarter of people don’t think this is the case, smoking is actually the leading cause of mouth cancer. The tobacco in cigarettes is known to cause changes in the saliva. This can lead to the damage of cells, which in turn can cause them to become cancerous. Whether you smoke heavily or not, smoking can increase your risk of developing mouth cancer.

Alcohol – excessive drinking is the second biggest cause of mouth cancer in the UK, linked to over a third of cases in men and a fifth in women. Combine this with heavy smoking and you are 35 times more at risk.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – people don’t like to talk about it but this sexually transmitted virus is another major cause of mouth cancer. While most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives, when the HPV infection persists, it can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes in cells which can lead to mouth cancer. Those with multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk.

Diet – poor diet can lead to a breakdown in oral mucosa in the mouth, which can cause cells to become cancerous. Research has shown that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of mouth cancer significantly.

Chewing tobacco – a common misconception is that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking, however, this cannot be further from the truth. Chewing tobacco products have a number of dangerous ingredients which can alter the environment in your mouth and cause cancer.

What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?

We encourage everyone to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and regularly check your mouth to ensure it is healthy. Recognising the symptoms can help early detection and increase survival rates. The most common symptoms of mouth cancer are:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth or throat
  • Unusual lumps in the mouth
  • Ulcers that do not heal

Although the following are not always an indication of mouth cancer, they are symptoms you should also be aware of:

  • Pain in the mouth
  • Difficulty and even pain when swallowing
  • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • Difficulty moving your jaw
  • Weight loss

How long should I wait before consulting my dentist or doctor?

You shouldn’t wait. If you notice the symptoms of mouth cancer, make an appointment for a mouth cancer screening straight away. A dentist will be able check your symptoms and advise on the best course of action. An even better option is to go for regular mouth cancer screenings, whether you notice symptoms or not.

How can I decrease my risk from mouth cancer?

The best way to decrease your risk is to avoid smoking, excessive alcohol, chewing tobacco and speak to a sexual health provider about how to avoid sexually transmitted viruses. A healthy diet will also improve your chances of avoiding cancer and many other illnesses.

Regularly examining your mouth for symptoms, as well as booking regular mouth cancer screenings will also help.

How can Oris help?

As a preventive dental clinic, Oris Oral Health Centre is always here to provide information and improve education in the UK about mouth cancer. We offer mouth cancer screenings and can help reduce your risk with regular check-ups and early diagnosis. We offer holistic dentistry so can also advise you on how to lead a healthy life so you can reduce your risk from mouth cancer and other illnesses.

We welcome any questions you have about mouth cancer and encourage you to book a screening with us.

How can I raise awareness about mouth cancer?

Send this article to your friends and family and talk to others about the symptoms of mouth cancer. Do remember to tag us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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