Posts Tagged birmingham

Why is whitening such a great treatment option?


How important are our smiles?

With the ‘American smile’ being all over current magazines and social media, many of us aspire to have that perfect white smile. A smile shows confidence and happiness and is an incredibly important feature to many of us helping with our relationships and success. The oral health foundation state that a smile is at the top of the list of things that we first notice when meeting a new person and that teeth/smiles are the second most important attractive feature by both men and women (personality being first). They also found that nearly 50% of the population are unhappy with their teeth and that 64% of these people are unhappy due to them being discoloured.

Whitening is a safe, conservative and affordable option to help brighten your smile and here at Scott Arms Dental Practice we can offer you affordable whitening with great results.

What is it and when can it be used?

Tooth whitening is application of a whitening solution into a custom made tray to fit your mouth. It lightens the natural colour of your teeth safely without removing any of your tooth surface. Perhaps you’ve noticed your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be, after all they do discolour over time. Or, perhaps you drink a lot of coffee or tea and this has contributed to a discolouration of your teeth. Surface stains such as these can be effectively lightened using a whitening treatment in order to give you a brighter, whiter smile.

Which product is used to whiten teeth?

Here at Scott arms dental practice we use ‘Boutique whitening’. Boutique offers two different systems- both a day and night which caters for patients’ individual needs. Night tends to be the most popular- with so many people having such busy lives, using the night time whitening system is perfect to fit into your schedule. It is also great for those who suffer with sensitivity as it is less likely to cause sensitivity after the whitening. It’s super simple for you to do at home and gives you the flexibility to get the exact results you wish for as you can use it for as long a period of time as you like to get the results you want. The night time product is 16% carbamide peroxide and is placed into your tray and worn throughout the night. We recommend to use it every night for two weeks to get optimum results- however this amount of time can be adjusted to ensure you get your own personal results.

Once you’ve reached your desired shade, you have the trays for life. Therefore, whenever you feel as though it needs a top up- you’re able to do this as and when needed.

Whitening really is a great treatment option for those looking to brighten their smile. Not only is it simple for you to do at home, it is also minimally invasive on your teeth- no drilling or long appointments is required!

Posted in: Cosmetic Dentistry

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How can conscious sedation can help the anxious patient?

How big a problem is dental anxiety in the UK?

According to the oral health foundation, almost half of UK adults have a fear of the dentist. They also found that visiting the dentist is ranked first (22%) for making people nervous- even more popular than heights (19%). This is significant and it is the job of dentist to put people at ease, build a rapport and try to reduce the prevalence of dental anxiety in the UK.

For some, an upcoming visit to the dentist can cause anxiety and fear in the days and weeks leading up to the appointment. The specific thing that causes this apprehension is different from person to person. For some, it’s the needle, others it’s the sound of the drill. Even the fear of an x-ray causing gagging or the smell of the dentist can cause anxiety in some patients.

Some patient’s may never have experienced dental anxiety before- they may never of had extensive treatment before and now the day is looming. Things that they have never been scared of or thought about before suddenly come to light.

How can we help?

In-house sedation can be a perfect solution for these scenarios. It is both effective and safe to use. Whether someone has always suffered from dental anxiety or perhaps feel they need a little something to get them through their first course of treatment, sedation is often a helpful tool. It may also be used if a procedure is going to be a little uncomfortable, for example, extractions.

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation is when a sedative drug is given through a plastic tube into a vein in the hand or arm to help a patient relax.

Intravenous sedation is different from general anaesthesia. Many patients misunderstand and believe they will be put to sleep. This is not the case and is one reason why sedation is safer than general anaesthesia. The patient remains conscious throughout, however are often drowsy, have little awareness of what is going on and often no memory of the procedure afterwards.

What drug is used and what is the procedure?

Most commonly the drug used is midazolam, which is in the group of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines help to dampen down stimulation in the brain, and therefore help the patient remain calm and relaxed. As it is given intravenously (through a canula in a vein) the amount of sedative drug given can be easily, and therefore safely controlled. This is what we use at Scott Arms and it makes visiting the dentist far less scary for many of our patients.

Once sedated, we still numb the gum close to the area to be treated, to ensure the patient is numb throughout and for a short while after the procedure. Patients are monitored closely throughout the procedure. Afterwards clumsiness, sleepiness and forgetfulness are all very common and are all good signs the sedation has worked well.

Sedation can help patients cope with dental treatment and reduce anxiety. It can help interrupt the cycle of anxiety and patients are often more willing to come to the dentist afterwards. It is a very safe and effective option to ensure patients get the care and treatment they need, as well as being able to relax in the dental environment.

Posted in: General Dentistry

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How to use dental floss

Woman using dental floss

A frequent question dentists ask is “Do you floss?” This is an important question because flossing is a part of a good oral hygiene routine. It removes plaque from places that toothbrushes struggle to reach. Therefore, we advise all our patients to floss as part of their own oral hygiene routines. In the post, we’ll show you to floss properly.

How to floss

Break off about half a metre of floss (i.e. about 20 inches). Wind some around one finger of each hand. Hold the floss in one hand with your thumb and forefinger. Do the same with the other hand, leaving about an inch of floss between each hand.

Use a gentle rocking motion to manoeuvre the floss into the space between two of your teeth. Bring the floss up to your gum line. When you reach the gum line, curve the floss against one of the teeth then gently bring the floss down, scraping the side of the tooth as you do so. Repeat on the second tooth. Then remove the floss and repeat the entire procedure for the rest of your teeth.

Flossing tips

Here are some of our top tips for flossing:

  • Don’t neglect your back teeth. We know that the back teeth are the hardest to floss, but they are still important. Dentists usually see more cavities in the back teeth because patients neglect them.
    To help you remember which teeth you have already flossed, it helps to keep to a regular pattern. For example, you could start with the top teeth and work left to right.
  • Don’t be too aggressive or you could harm your gums. Be gentle.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist to show you how to floss properly.

My gums are bleeding – help!

Don’t worry. A little bleeding is normal when you first start flossing. This is because your gums are not yet used to the floss. Keep flossing as normal and you should see the bleeding stop after a few days. However, if your gums still bleed after a few days, see your dentist and they can check if everything is okay.

What if I find flossing too difficult?

If you find flossing difficult, then try one of these alternatives to floss:

  • Dental tape. This is a thicker version of floss, which makes it easier to hold.
  • Floss picks. A floss pick is a thread of floss attached to a handle. This makes it easy to use because the handle gives you something to hold on to. However, floss picks are single-use and can therefore quickly become expensive.
  • An interdental brush. This is a special type of toothbrush designed specifically to clean between teeth. However, the size between your teeth needs to be big enough for the brush to fit into. If your teeth are too small for an interdental brush, then try floss picks or dental tape instead.

Posted in: General Dentistry

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