A Good Dental Practice Prioritises Communication

Northlight Dental believes that effective dentistry relies on extensive knowledge about the science and philosophy of dental health, and just as importantly, on effective communication. In order to deliver the best dental care, dentists from all specialisations and fields should be able to connect with their patients.

Making the Patients Feel At Home

nervousnessMost of your time with the dentist, and most of our time with you are spent communicating. We, as dental care providers, take this time to explain all that the patient needs to know about their condition and how to improve it.

To achieve this level of communication, we make the patients feel welcome and at home, even on their first visit. While building their confidence of our judgment and services, it eases whatever fear they have of what may occur.

Talking With Patients, Not To Them

Patient-to-dentist communication is a two-way process that values the dentist’s ideas as much as it does the patient’s. When we deal with our patients, we make sure we get a feedback before going on with the course of treatment. It is important that we know they feel comfortable with any intervention we perform and we have their permission to proceed with the treatment.

The advantage is that we can address constructively any doubt and apprehension playing in the patient’s mind, which would not have been voiced out otherwise.

Being As Transparent As Possible

We understand that patients have a different pain threshold. We respect this by honestly discussing the pain and discomfort involved in the treatment and how we can minimise it. We also explain the issues that may occur, the period of treatment and the necessary maintenance.

The more patients know about the situation at hand, the less frightened they are when anticipating what may take place. If they feel as though they can approach us any time with any concern, a huge part of the nervousness and anxiety will disappear.

As we educate them in this manner, there will be no room for second thoughts and unwanted surprises. With this approach, we can assure our patients that our treatments’ results can meet the expectations we have agreed upon. For dental services that prioritise your needs through open communication, contact Northlight Dental today.

Are Dental Implants Advisable for People With Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that result in painful fractures in the back, forearms and hips. Victims are most likely to break their bones when they encounter hard blows from falls and heavy objects. Doctors usually advise them to steer clear of activities that may burden their already brittle bones.

dental implants dentists in Milton KeynesGiven these scenarios, are people with osteoporosis still eligible for dental implants? Yes. In fact, a recent study showed that these treatments improved the quality of life for osteoporotic women.

Improving quality of life

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine suggested that dental implants might be the best route to take for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Whilst the disease increases their risk of losing their teeth, dental implants make up for the loss and give satisfaction to their work and social lives.

The 23-question survey rated the perceptions of 237 osteoporotic women about their satisfaction with replacement teeth and the way these improved their lives. Participants were women with dental implants, fixed partial denture, false teeth and those without restorations. Researchers found that women with dental implants had higher overall satisfaction with their lives, followed by false teeth and those without restoration. Those with dental implants had the highest satisfaction in emotional and sexual areas as opposed to those without restorations.

How it happened

Apart from oral health risks, severe tooth loss has social and emotional impacts. The face collapses and becomes older, lowering self-esteem. It causes difficulty when talking and eating, as well. Dental implants restore their face, speech, chewing power and eventually confidence, allowing them to go about their lives normally.

Treatments

People with osteoporosis can undergo dental implants as long as their jawbones have adequate density to support artificial teeth. That is why some dentists conduct proper imaging and other procedures to minimise risks. Others apply bone grafts to help support the dental implants, as well.

Whilst dental implants can treat tooth loss, these do not always guarantee success especially for people with bone diseases. It is still advisable to consult dentists on this matter. Dental implants dentists in Milton Keynes provide comprehensive advice and assistance to help improve your teeth and smile. Contact us for more information on dental implants.

The Diet Evolution – The Cause of Crowded Teeth?

As if dental caries is not enough, teeth crowding adds to the list of dental problems. The Daily Mail noted that about a third of 12-year-olds in the UK suffer from malocclusion. Whilst heredity, physical trauma and habit are the usual causes, recent studies reveal diet evolution as an unlikely cause.

Diet and malocclusion

orthodontists in Milton KeynesStudies reveal that changes in people’s diet brought by evolution may be the cause of malocclusion. Researchers suggest that the shift from hunters to gatherers contributed to overcrowded teeth.

The study of 94 skeletons from Amarna, Egypt revealed that most people in the past have well-aligned teeth. Raw and coarse food affected teeth and jaw development. Since people in the past had to chew and rip apart meat, their mandibular bones in lower jaws grew bigger, stronger and more capable of accommodating all the teeth.

Everything changed during the arrival of sugar in Britain at the start of the 19th century. That, and the rise of highly processed, pre-packaged food, resulted in teeth’s deterioration. As food became softer, people did not have to use much chewing power, which caused jaws to become smaller and teeth more crowded.

The study on the quantity of teeth per person proved the decline of oral health. Humans should have an average of 32 teeth, including wisdom teeth. The Department of Health found that the average number is now only 25.7, however. They further noted that people have to lose more teeth because of lack of space.

Researchers found other contributing factors to bad teeth, such as prolonged breastfeeding in babies and the use of baby bottles and dummies. Consumption of food without nutrients leads to malocclusion, as well.

Solving the problem

Researchers recommend that people with malocclusion undergo orthodontic treatments to prevent dental caries, which is another leading problem in Britain. They further suggest substituting soft and sugary food with tougher meat and coarse grain to build bigger jaws.

Changes to our diet made malocclusion inevitable. Fortunately, evolution allows us to fix what it caused, as well. Milton Keynes Orthodontics has a wide range of dental treatments to restore teeth in their original position. Our services will improve the appearance of your teeth and smile the healthy way. For more information about our treatments, contact orthodontists in Milton Keynes.

A Glimpse at the First “Braces”

Mostly considered as cosmetic concern brought on by modern ideologies, the desire to have straight teeth has long been in people’s minds. In what is believed to be an attempt to close gaps in teeth, the ancients also dabbled into the science and practice of orthodontic treatment.

invisible bracesOf course, they were not called ‘braces’ then. The term did not come to light until the 1990s, despite the various orthodontic efforts made years prior. Let’s take a look at some of the oldest documented attempts at improving and maintaining dental deformations.

Animal Intestines

The American Association of Orthodontists says archaeologists have discovered the mummified remains in Egypt that suggest early use of “orthodontic” appliances. These appliances were crude metal bands around their teeth made from animal intestines, also known as catgut, which served the same purpose as the modern orthodontic wire.

No later than 400-500 BC, Hippocrates and Aristotle both discovered ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions.

The Greek Device

During Greece’s Golden Age, the Etruscans buried their dead with devices intended to maintain dental space and collapse. Meanwhile, in a Roman tomb in Egypt, a researcher saw some teeth wrapped with a gold wire, which would mark the first ever documented ligature wire.

Finger Pressure

In the time of Christ, a remarkable “orthodontic” technique called finger pressure was documented by an Ancient Roman, named Aurelius Cornelius Ceslus. This technique involved applying pressure to the teeth at regular intervals. According to his hypothesis, teeth were gradually moving apart and realigning themselves as a result of their prolonged exposure to the pressure.

The Roman Wire

As noted before, the first ligature wire was found in Rome. Romans were the first to invent a dental device that resembled modern orthodontic devices. Archaeologists discovered that the dead’s teeth had a small gold wire, assumed to be an effort to move the teeth closer together and reduce the gaps. Although the date was not recorded, this marked the beginning of our journey toward the modern orthodontic practice.

Today, a far cry from the catgut wires and digital pressure, people from different parts of the world have enjoyed both metal and invisible braces, which were perfected in the late 1990s. Their accessibility and effectivity in repairing teeth have made them a routine procedure to promote dental care, for both adults and children. Based on recent developments, the future of orthodontics looks very promising.

Dental Implants Contribute to Overall Well-being, Studies Show

There are two ways to understand tooth loss—as the effect of disease or an accident, or as a sign of neglect. On the other end of this equation, however, the absence of one or more teeth may cause more problems.

dental implantsIndeed, losing your teeth creates complications, from facial distortion to difficulties when talking or chewing. Whatever the case, it does not help to undergo several teeth extractions without anything to substitute them with. With dental implants, however, you can say goodbye to these problems.

Recent studies reveal that dental implants do not only improve oral health but a person’s quality of life, as well. It has a variety of positive physical, psychological and even financial impacts that contribute to overall well-being.

Improving quality of life

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Dentistry revealed that dental implants provide better health-related quality of life for edentulous patients (people lacking teeth). By randomly assigning 102 people either implants or conventional dental treatments, they found that patients with implants experienced more improvements in perceived oral health than those under conventional treatment.

Another study showed that dental implants have beneficial effects for people with diseases. Researchers noted that these improve the oral health and quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological condition that causes difficulties in dental treatments. After months of dental implants followed by constant monitoring of nine people, they found significant improvement when eating and satisfaction with the prosthesis. They noted gradual improvement in oral well-being in 12 months, as well.

Dental implants save costs in the long run. Depending on the quality of dental work, implants may last for decades compared to regular tooth replacement treatments. Oral health experts note that careful planning, proper placement, regular appointments and good oral hygiene are factors that lead to long-term success and cost-savings effect of dental implants.

These findings only prove that dental implants do more than maintain oral health. With the right dentist, you get to have a better lifestyle and more savings. Dental implants treatment in Milton Keynes will help you improve your teeth and quality of life. Contact dentists in Milton, Keynes for more information on dental implants.

How Long Will Your Veneers Last?

Your smile might have a few flaws that you are quite unhappy with. Chipped, cracked, or stained teeth can make anyone feel self-conscious, and prompt them to seek treatment. In these cases, porcelain veneers are the perfect solution; they look very natural, are minimally invasive, and cover up minor dental imperfections with ease.

porcelain veneersYou might be wondering, however, how durable and long-lasting these restorations are. As with many things related to dentistry, the veneer’s lifespan depends much on the patient’s actions. Oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are essential; when you take good care of your veneers, you can expect them to last for a decade or more before they need to be replaced.

Extending the Lifespan of Your Veneers

Veneers never last forever, but there are definitely some things you can do to extend their lifespan. Here are the most important guidelines.

1. Oral hygiene – As mentioned earlier, simply brushing your teeth and flossing regularly are the most important things you can do to extend your veneers’ lifespan – while preserving the rest of your teeth at the same time. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleaning is also important.

2. Physical damage – Porcelain veneers are very durable, but anything that can damage the enamel should still be avoided. Do not bite any hard, non-food objects; habits like chewing on your pencil or using you’re the teeth to open a bottle cap are very destructive over time. You should also make sure to wear a mouthguard when playing any contact sport.

3. Bruxism – Tooth grinding and clenching deserve a special mention, as this behaviour can cause the veneer to break or fall off entirely. It is important to let your dentist know if you have or suspect that you have bruxism, so that they can treat the underlying cause and create a special bite guard for you.

Veneers can enhance the appearance of your teeth, correcting issues you have long been worried about and giving you the smile of your dreams. Our dentists can tell you more about the treatment, and how you can best take care of your new veneers. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Stages of Gum Disease and Signs To Watch Out For

The thing to note about gum disease is that its main cause is bacteria, found in a sticky, colourless film forming on the teeth called plaque. Daily brushing and flossing is done for the purpose of removing this unwanted substance, otherwise plaque can build up. The bacteria in plaque can infect not only your tooth and gums, but also the gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth.

gum diseaseA considerable number of people have heard of gum disease and its debilitating effects, but not many are aware it has stages. Knowing when a stage ends and when another begins can determine the dental intervention required by the patient’s condition.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest state of gum disease. It occurs when the plaque buildup at the gum line causes an inflammation. This means toxins have irritated the gum tissue, thus causing gingivitis. Common symptoms are bleeding during blushing and flossing. Since the damage has not reached the bone and the connective tissue holding the teeth in place, this type of disease is highly treatable. Practising proper oral hygiene not only prevents progression, but cures the disease altogether.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis advances into periodontitis when the supporting tissue and fibres that hold the teeth together are damaged irreversibly. At this stage, the gums may recede or pull away from the tooth to form “pockets” below the gum line, which provide a dwelling place for food and bacteria. For periodontitis, dental intervention may be necessary. One of these treatments can be professional cleaning to remove the tartar and plaque.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. The bacteria have now destroyed the fibres and bone supporting the teeth, causing them to shift, loosen and drift apart. In this case, oral surgery will be performed to remove the affected teeth.

The main advantage of detecting your gum problem early is so you can prevent further damages. If you notice signs in your gums, such as bleeding, puffiness (swollen, red gums) and recession, take action and contact Northlight Dental for a consultation and treatment today.

A Bad Bite is the Reason You Snore

Snoring is both a good and a bad sign–it tells you of health issues you need to address. Unfortunately, it is something you cannot control. Stopping your snores will seem like stopping breathing altogether.

Orthodontists in Milton KeynesWhilst it is an involuntary reaction, there are ways to reduce if not eliminate the snores and other sleeping problems. One way to achieve that is by fixing your teeth. Understanding the relationship between teeth and snoring will give you an idea about the importance of having a good bite.

Bad teeth and snoring – what is the link?

Your snores may indicate that you have excessive overbite, a protrusion of the upper set of teeth over the lower. The bad bite pushes the jaw backwards, pinching the airway. The snoring sounds follow as the crowded throat tissues vibrate against each other. In worst cases, the crooked teeth interrupt your normal breathing as the air’s passageway is blocked completely, a disorder called obstructive sleep apnoea.

Certain factors further contribute to sleeping disorders for people with overbite. Obesity, aging, spirits or sedatives may produce more sounds during sleep. Studies and experience tell us that people who drink alcohol on a regular basis before bedtime are more likely to snore.

Your overbite may escalate to other problems, such as increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, and irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation. It is important to treat your bad bite early to prevent these issues.

Solving the snoring problem

Treatments vary depending on the severity of the bite and the snoring. Some dentists use mandibular advancement devices that hold the lower jaw slightly forward to prevent snoring. It helps you to breathe without sound, but it does not fix the overbite effectively. Apart from MAD, dentists use retainers or braces to align teeth. For extreme cases, surgery is the best but last option. Doctors strongly recommend a change of lifestyle for those with bad habits, as well.

The best way to stop your snores is by seeking advice from a specialist to know which treatment suits you. Orthodontists in Milton Keynes provide high quality dental treatments to correct your bite. We help keep your teeth straight to improve the appearance of your smile. Contact us for more information on orthodontics in Milton Keynes.

What is Your Halitosis Telling You?

Halitosis, or bad breath, is a concern often brought up by many of our patients. While it can be an effect of problems in the mouth, it can be the cause of many discomforts and disruptions in everyday life.

dental hygieneFor this reason, temporary measures like gum, mints and mouthwashes fill the store shelves. Although they provide immediate reaction against bad breath, these accessible products fail to address the root of the problem. Health conditions, particular foods and daily practices are some of the issues on which patients need to focus.

If you are suffering from bad breath, it is likely to have been caused by one or two of these factors:

Poor dental hygiene

The main issue with bad breath is that on our part, it is effortless to cause it. As simple as keeping your mouth dry for an hour is enough to leave a nasty odour in your mouth. Dental hygiene, then, is a critical concern in matters of persevering the mouth’s freshness.

Failing to brush and floss as prescribed will keep unwanted food particles lingering in the mouth, which cause bad breath. A colourless film of odour-causing bacteria will develop that if not rinsed off thoroughly, will not only lead to bad breath but also gum irritation. Moreover, forgetting to brush the tongue traps bacteria on its uneven surface, also resulting in a foul breath.

In more serious cases, bad breath can be a result of infections in the mouth caused by poor hygiene, such as tooth decay, gum disease and mouth sores.

Unhealthy practices

Passive practices like missing a day of brushing and sleeping can contribute to bad breath; the effect is much worse if you actively introduce harmful substances to your mouth. These include tobacco products and their derivatives. This is the reason chain smokers have a distinct, unpleasant smell in the mouth that simple brushing cannot eliminate. Over time, smoking can cause problems in the gums, which only worsens the case of the bad breath.

Certain foods

The habitual eating of spicy foods and vegetables, such as garlic and onion can also lead to constant bad breath. After you digest them, they enter your bloodstream, travel to your lungs and cause your breath to have a strong, foul odour.

Given the causes, your bad breath is either telling you that you are not cleaning your mouth enough, or you are eating and doing the wrong things. If you want to eliminate it for good, you have to start at the root the problem. Start enforcing a different diet and healthier lifestyle, and keep your mouth clean. Visit our dental hygienists today for a cleaning appointment.

Signs, Causes and Solutions for Receding Gums

Are your teeth longer than the usual? Or do you feel as if your teeth are sensitive or about to fall? If you experience these things, it only means that your gums are receding.

Dentists in Milton KeynesGum recession is a gradual phenomenon that may cause serious dental problems. Gums are the only things that bind your teeth to your mouth, so their loss may lead to tooth loss. Since your teeth’s roots are exposed, these will become more vulnerable to decay-causing bacteria.

It is important to know its causes to prevent its effects. Oral health experts cite some factors that lead to receding gums:

Gum Disease

Plaque will linger in your mouth when you do not clean it properly. It becomes tartar, a hard bacteria build-up in your gums that will destroy tissue and supporting bone that keep your teeth and gums intact.

Poor oral hygiene

Your gums may recede early if you brush or floss your teeth aggressively or inadequately. Brush your teeth with the right force and direction.

Genes

Some people are more likely to develop gum disease and recession because of their genetic makeup, regardless of whether they practice proper oral care or not.

Hormones

Changes in hormones may cause gums to become more sensitive and predisposed to gum recession. Females undergoing puberty, pregnancy and menopause are more likely to develop receding gums.

Lifestyle

You will more likely suffer from receding gums early if you smoke. Nicotine from tobacco products leaves a sticky plaque on teeth and contributes to gum recession. Piercings in your mouth and tongue may irritate your gums, causing them to wear out.

Oral habits and condition

Oral habits like teeth clenching and grinding put too much force on your teeth and gums, causing them to recede. The same thing happens when you have crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. Since your teeth are not in their optimal position, you may end up putting too much pressure on your gums and bones.

Whilst gum recession is preventable with proper oral care, the right habits and lifestyle, dental treatments are still necessary especially for worse cases. Dentists in Milton Keynes can give you advice and treatment if you have receding gums. Visit us or give us a call for more information.