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Whole Body Health

Without good periodontal (gum) health, there cannot be good general health. You can spend all day at the gym. You can have the best organic/ raw food/ juicing diet but gum disease unless controlled and treated in your mouth (the opening to the rest of your body) may have an impact on the rest of your health.

Current research on Periodontal disease points to auto immune links to the disease. In a recent course that I attend it was even described as arthritis of the mouth.

Systemic links to heart disease, stroke and certain respiratory problems; disruption of diabetic control; for ladies, increased risk of pre-term and low birth weight babies have been studied.

Research suggests that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva. This means the common contact of saliva in families puts children and couples at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member. Also, research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/periodontitis/print.html

We have been using laser technology in conjunction with a strict hygienist treatment protocol for many years now. This has increased our understanding and our success in tackling this growing problem.

To achieve maximum benefit, it is imperative to visit the dentist regularly to increase the chances of early diagnosis. Once diagnosed and after a lengthy discussion with you we would look to suggest the following protocol

  1. Assessment of base line measures, including an in-depth chart and small detailed x-rays looking at each individual area of bone loss. We need to know where we started from to know where we are going.
  2. Advice and help on how to maintain a clean and healthy mouth to increase the changes of a successful outcome.
  3. Gentle but intensive hygienist therapy using special anaesthetic gels to make the process comfortable. This may be done over a number of visits or one visit, depending on your requirements.
  4. Reassessment after a period of healing and homecare.
  5. Further discussion and decision as to continue with hygienist therapy or consider laser therapy.

Please don’t wait until your teeth start falling out. If you are worried then come and talk to us. Hopefully we can give you some advice if, nothing else.

What is Laser Dentistry?

What is laser dentistry? In simple terms it is a process involving the use of a dental laser, used in both dentistry clinics and in oral surgery. These were first approved for use in the 1990s, both in terms of use on gums and on bone for operations.

How it Works

The idea is that the laser uses a narrow and intense beam of light. The light can shape or remove tissue. They may be used on their own or in conjunction with other tools in order to do effective dental work. For cosmetic dentists it can speed up the teeth whitening process while maintaining accuracy.

People often associate dentistry with pain and it is often something that makes them hesitant to visit the dentist and ironically often make problems worse and have a negative impact on their oral health. However dental lasers can be used to reduce the pain people experience in their mouths thanks to problems such as cold sores or cankers. It can also be used to remove muscle attachment that can restrict facial movement or clear away tissue that can become overgrown after taking certain types of medication.

It is also worth remembering that dentistry is not restricted to the treatment of teeth. Gum disease is a very real problem and it is not always as easy to detect as problems with the teeth. Dental lasers can be used to aid this treatment and reduce a lot of the long term problems that occur with damaged gums such as gingivitis.

Benefits

The major benefit of using a laser is precision, allowing for more accurate treatment. This precision in turn allows for quicker and more relaxed treatments as there is less need for drills or anaesthetic. Treatments using lasers also tend to heal quicker than more traditional treatments as well and can reduce the amount of bleeding during surgical procedures, all of which quicken the process but also reduce a lot of the things that can make people feel anxious during dental treatment.

In simple terms dental lasers are a tool that needed to be handled carefully in much the same way as a dentist handling drills or specialist deep cleaning equipment. When handled in the right way they are perfectly safe to use. As with any professional it is worth asking about the level of their experience and if they are qualified to use a dental laser. Furthermore they ought to provide eyewear in order to keep your eyes safe from the bright intensity of the laser.

Getting the Best Service

What is laser dentistry? Ultimately it is another thing that dentists can use to improve the quality of their work. If you want to know more about whether or not your dentist uses them and how qualified they are to use them it is worth discussing with them directly. Most dentists will be happy to talk to you about their methods in order to reassure you and it is often possible to book a consultation before you need to get any work done.

Remember to look out for

  • Relevant qualifications
  • Quality of service
  • Experience
  • Positive feedback

Things to Consider When Getting Dental Implants

A number of people need to wear dentures and they are not always comfortable. A common complaint is that dentures can come loose, making it harder to chew or in some cases even smile or speak! One way of correcting this is with dental implants and it is worth knowing what to consider when getting dental implants.

Adhesives versus implants

It can be tempting to counter this by saying there are numerous adhesives on the market that can hold dentures in place without the need for implants. There are several responses to this. One is that adhesives vary in effectiveness and some will be stronger than others. Another reason is that people often find it a nuisance to continually apply adhesives every day.

Another thing that puts people off is the cost of implant treatment. However as with any kind of treatment the cost can vary. One more affordable form of treatment is denture stabilisation. This uses fewer implants and this helps to reduce the costs involved. Generally two implants are recommended on the lower jaw and four implants on the upper jaw. The procedure rarely takes longer than an hour and so should not take too much time out of your busy schedule!

Things to consider

It is always good to have a checklist of things to think about when comparing dental services.

  • Initial consultation
  • Clear quote
  • Ask any relevant questions
  • Certification and experience
  • Feedback

Most dentists offering this treatment also ought to offer a consultation beforehand. This will allow you to discuss what requirements you have and what implants are most appropriate for your needs and personal circumstances.

You also need to consider how long the dental practise has been established and the experience of the practitioners. They should be able to provide certification showing that they have the experience necessary in order to fit the implants as required. If they are members of a professional association this is often a good indication of quality service as well.

A common concern for people is whether or not the implant procedure will hurt. It is often compared to a filling with the numbness being relatively pain free. There may be some soreness and swelling but it will often go down after about a day. If the soreness or swelling continues after that you ought to talk with your dentist to see if you need any additional treatment.

Insurance is also something people worry about and how long the implants are guaranteed for. A dentist should specify the period of time they are covered for although a number of implants should last a lifetime they are looked after correctly. While a number may provide free fittings for the first twelve months this does depend on a number of conditions. For example if you smoke you will be expected to stop as this can cause damage.

Finding the best

In short what to consider when getting dental implants is the quality of the dentist, their level of experience and the guarantees and insurance that come with the service. Careful consideration and asking the right questions will allow you to get the best quality implants to give you freedom to eat, speak and smile without the fear of something coming loose!

What are the Benefits of a Tongue Tie Surgery?

In order to accurately answer this question it is important to know what this type of surgery is and why it is beneficial. Once you are aware of this it can then be a lot easier to find appropriate treatment.

What it is

Tongue tie surgery also goes by the more formal name of anklyoglossia. You may have heard the expression tongue-tied to refer to someone who has difficulty speaking. While this is often intended as metaphorical a number of people who have speech difficulties actually do require surgery on their tongue in order to deal with speech difficulties. In some cases it may be considered alongside speech therapy.

What causes it

The way in which the tongue gets tied is due to something called the frenum. This is tissue that is left over after pregnancy. This ought to disappear or shrink down to such a small size that it does not affect speech. However if you suffer from being tongue tied the frenum may be too tight or thick and this can impair speech. It can be a hereditary condition and tends to be more prevalent in men than women.

There are different types of tongue tie surgery. The surgery may or may not involve lasers and in some cases you may require a general anaesthetic. Each of these types of surgery are appropriate in different contexts and an experienced practitioner ought to be able to guide you through the process.

What you may not realise is that the surgery has been used for a long time going as far back as the seventeenth century. It is often recommended for six month old babies in order to improve lactation and reduce pain for the mother when breastfeeding for the first time.

Effectiveness

Many people have discussed and debated the effectiveness and the appropriateness of this treatment. People who have recommended this treatment include

  • Speech therapists
  • Dentists
  • Consultants who specialise in lactation
  • Surgeons

As such this means you have a number of people you can talk with to decide whether the surgery is appropriate. Consultations are often recommended as you consider whether this surgery is right for you.

Some people may also be concerned about whether this procedure will harm their children. However it does not tend to be painful and a lot of the time children sleep through the procedure with many midwives are trained to notice the frenum and snip it as appropriate. If the surgery has to be done in hospital there may be soreness for around a week. It is also worth noting that the procedure can be done for adults as well in order to improve speech problems, chewing and so forth.

Benefits

As we can see it is not just something that can help children develop speech but also allow adults with speech difficulties to regain confidence and improved self image.

European Commission study recommends ban of dental amalgam

BRUSSELS, Belgium: A new study, conducted on behalf of the European Commission, recommends phasing out dental amalgam use over the next few years owing to mercury’s negative impact on the environment. According to the recently published study results, the ban should be combined with improved enforcement of the EU waste legislation regarding dental amalgam.

Dental amalgam has been in use for over 150 years for the treatment of dental cavities and is still used by the majority of dentists. It is often felt that this is an ideal material because of its longevity but sometimes perhaps for the wrong reasons. There is an increased risk of fracturing the tooth with large amalgam fillings, as it is really just a metal block, which has been wedged into the teeth. The point here is that we are trying to save the teeth not the fillings.

Dental amalgam is a combination of different metals with about 50% mercury. It is estimated that many tens of tons of mercury are placed in people’s mouths through amalgam worldwide. It has been a controversial material ever since it was introduction due to its mercury content, and the controversy still rages both in the dental and in the public domain, resulting in a number of TV documentaries. Recent evidence that small amounts of mercury are continuously released from amalgam fillings has fuelled the controversy. According to Mutter (2011), dental amalgam is by far the main source of human total mercury body burden; this is proven by autopsy studies which found 2-12 times more mercury in body tissues of individuals with dental amalgam (results of autopsy studies are considered more valuable for examining the amalgam-caused mercury body burden than the analysis of mercury levels in urine and blood). Although there is some consensus on the fact that people with amalgam fillings are exposed to some mercury released from the amalgam, the magnitude of this exposure is subject to controversy.

HEALTH EFFECTS OF DENTAL AMALGAM
Dental AmalgamThe main direct exposure pathway to inorganic Hg (acute exposure) in individuals having dental amalgams occurs during the placement or removal of the amalgam. The release rate of mercury vapour is dependent on several parameters, including: filling size, tooth and surface placement, chewing, hot beverages, food texture, tooth grinding, and brushing teeth, as well as the surface area, composition, and age of the amalgam. Moreover, mercury from amalgam may be transformed into organic mercury compounds by microorganisms in the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract.

Some scientists have observed that mercury concentrations in blood and urine do not adequately represent the mercury levels in body tissues. A number of experiments with animals and humans showed that despite normal or low mercury levels in blood, hair, and urine, high mercury levels were found in critical tissues like brain and kidney. For the living human being, who would rather not wait for the autopsy results, they can choose to undergo a Melisa test www.melisa.org. This is a blood test, which is carried out under very strict conditions to produce very accurate results.

We at Integrated Dentalcare have been a mercury-free clinic for the last 15 years. Over that period we have gained valuable experience in removing and replacing mercury fillings in a strict, controlled and safe environment which protects our clients as well as our team. This journey has been fueled by our personal desire to find safer and more biocompatible materials to reconstruct teeth. What we choose to put in people’s mouth may have an impact on that individual’s general health. After all the mouth is the opening into the rest of the body!

The European commission report can be view at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/mercury/pdf/Final_report_11.07.12.pdf

Testimonial from Jane Ioannou

This testimonial was emailed to us by one of our patients.

It was in 1999 (during my first trip to the ‘local’ American dentist when I was living in California) that I first heard the dreaded words ‘you have chronic gingivitis’. By 2009 I was in severe pain, had debilitating migraines, could eat only limited foods and had massive gum recession. I then turned to Huw Martin-Jones at Integrated Dentalcare for help. Huw was my daughter’s excellent dentist undertaking orthodontic work on her and over the time I had been visiting the practice with my daughter I had built up a deep respect of his work and his opinions in dentistry.

Huw asked his colleague Neeraj Puri (who is experienced in implant surgery) to take a look at my teeth and gums – the prognosis was not good.

Neeraj told me as kindly as he could that the bone loss was severe, all of the teeth in the upper jaw were now exposed and loose and that was the reason for the relentless pain. He asked if I would consider dentures as he was concerned there was too little bone for implants, but being a slightly vain 51 year old at the time, I said that I really didn’t want to go down that route if I could help it, so Neeraj told me about implants.

I received my comprehensive over view and quote for the work to be done from Neeraj in April 2010 and once everything was discussed and agreed, the work began in earnest. Over the next two years I underwent intensive hygienist treatment at the practice with Niki Hardie, who is the best, most thorough but gentle hygienist I have ever had do work on my teeth.

Over the next two years, Neeraj worked painstakingly and efficiently on water laser sterilisation of the infected sockets, he constantly reviewed my bite, he prepared my teeth for temporary bridges and made sure the teeth extraction process was as comfortable, pain free and trauma free as possible. Neeraj then undertook the implant surgery, using water lasers which made the surgery and healing process for less harrowing that it would otherwise have been.

I am hugely indebted to Neeraj for his time, patience, professionalism and commitment to this ‘project’. Without his work and the combined efforts of the whole practice, especially Niki Hardie, Lucy Tait, Jean Smith, Ania Paterson and of course Huw Martin-Jones, I would not now have a pain free, confident and truly beautiful natural smile.

The Satisfaction and Joy in working at a High Quality Dental Practice

Ania - Head Nurse, Integrated Dental Care EdinburghChoosing the right dentist isn’t always easy. When it comes to our mouths and teeth they are very sensitive areas of our body and there is nothing more comforting than having health care professionals we trust, especially when an emergency arises. When you have toothache or something breaks there is always that fear of what to do and who to turn to for help.

I have worked as a dental nurse in several dental clinics in the US and UK for the last 9 years. I have seen the fear and anxiety on the faces of people coming to the dentist not knowing who they are going to see, or being put in an assembly line with 10 minute emergency time scheduled and having treatment done without enough explanation simply because there isn’t enough time to do it. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

At Integrated Dentalcare, Edinburgh

Here at Integrated Dentalcare every patient is seen as an individual with his or her specific needs. Patients come to us knowing who they are going to see and there is always enough time to explain all the treatment options. Patients always have choices and there is no pressure on them to make the right decision.

Another aspect of the practice I really enjoy is the passion of work and the attention to detail in the work I see from working chair side. I see the high quality of dental treatment starting from simple fillings to complicated dental procedures.

The whole team takes pride in the work we provide. There is a lot of satisfaction and joy by being part of a great team!

Ania
Head Nurse, Integrated Dentalcare

Teeth in a Day: As Fast as the Tooth Fairy Takes Them, We Replace Them

One of the most upsetting episodes in a person’s life can be when they begin loosing their own teeth. This can be due to neglect; gum disease – sometimes accelerated by bite related problems; or failure to be diagnosed by their dentist. It feels like another “nail in the coffin” to getting older. You feel that you are losing your confidence, your smile. The options on the food menu seem to shrink as it becomes more difficult to eat. Even chewing the same is impossible with wobbly or missing teeth, never mind the general health implications of all the toxins and bacteria getting into your bloodstream through the gum pockets that have developed.

For some people it can be so hard that they live in denial; with some even living in hope that there is some way to regrow teeth. When realization hits home, its usually with the belief that dentures are the only way. Dentures, aren’t they what your grandparents or even your parents wore? They didn’t even look real. You see it in the street all the time – people walking around with plastic teeth oblivious to the fact that people around them are aware that these are not their real teeth. In some cases dentures even fall down during eating as they loose suction.

After laser treatment of the infected sockets we are ready to place the implants. Once this has occurred our onsite clinical ceramist will custom make the bridge for you as per your design. We may modify the design if it does not look natural on your face. Once all parties are satisfied we screw the bridge on and you are ready to go home!

- Neeraj Puri, experienced Implantoligist

What are the alternatives? Dentures do not have to look like false teeth if they are crafted artistically! Very few people have a perfect set of natural teeth. Mild to moderate discrepancies such as crowding; rotation of teeth and chipping looks very natural and believable. Of course if you want the perfect smile, there is nothing wrong with this either. After all, you are going to wear that smile for a longtime and so you need to be happy with what you see in the mirror.

That addresses the appearance, but what about the confidence of dentures not slipping when you talk, when you eat or when you sneeze? Or lets be honest, during those intimate occasions when you really wouldn’t want the other person to think that those teeth are not real.

In these situations implants are an ideal solutions! Now you must we wondering, “for a whole mouth or a jaw, won’t that be really expensive?”. It would be if you wanted to have an implant for each missing tooth or hand crafted ceramic teeth made from scratch. A fabulous solution if you have very deep pockets and are happy to go through about 3-15 months worth of treatment. If on the other hand you are like the majority of people who want an economic and fast solution with limited downtime and follow-up appointments, then a “fixed solution” is the answer.

With implants, after some discussion on your specific requirements and “smile design”, a mockup is created for your approval. This is modified until you are happy with the design. Once you have approved the mockup, the implant treatment is carried out over the duration of one day. We remove your damaged and infected teeth and decontaminate the tooth sockets using our Waterlase. This is an approach that very few clinics are able to offer at the moment but one which gives more predictability to the final outcome. It is necessary to destroy the bacteria that caused your teeth to become lose in the first place so the same thing won’t happen to your sterile, new implants.

If this is something that you are interested in, why not come in and talk to us or better yet, why not talk to some of people whom we have made this a reality for. We are happy to arrange a meeting for you.

During the treatment process, you have the comfort of having my personal telephone number should you have any concerns or questions. We ask that you take the next day off work to rest. After this you are ready to get on with your life.

A few months later when we unscrew the bridge to make sure that all the implants have fused to the bone, you are likely to have one of these emotional responses:

“Why didn’t I do this before?”

“I had forgotten salad / meat / apples taste so good!”

“My friends / family / colleagues think I’ve had a face-lift because I look younger!”

“I feel so confident when I talk, eat, smile.”

“People around me feel that I am a happier person to be around.”

Affordable Dentistry during the Economic Downturn

As patients’ financial anxieties arise the stress is leading them to defer dental appointments and treatment, with one in four adults opting to delay treatment due to costs.  The economic downturn is one of the main culprits, with the recession obliging patients to stay away from the dentist. However, achieving short-term money savings at the expense of longer-term health problems really isn’t wise.

We became aware that patients would come in for a dental check-up but then wouldn’t take up the option of a hygiene visit, unusual behaviour for our patients and obviously due to external factors.  One reason behind this is most likely the current economic downturn. We needed a mechanism to help encourage regular attendance and a payment plan seemed like an ideal solution.

- Integrated Dentalcare Team

Preventive dentistry delivered on a regular basis greatly reduces the risk of dental disease and provides a platform for a lifetime of improved oral health.  With this in mind we designed our Payment Plan to reward loyal patients, keeping them dentally fit and reducing the need for future treatment.

Patients don’t have to be considered dentally fit to join the plan which covers regular dental health examinations and hygienist appointments each year, with the added benefit of the 10% discount on additional treatment. This will save patients a considerable amount of money in the future.

While we already had a loyal patient base, our dental plan also builds patient loyalty.  Having a payment plan makes patients feel that their interests are being looked after, and that they are being provided with a means of budgeting for their oral care which they can then access on a regular basis.

Tooth Replacement Case Study – Invisible Dentistry

Missing Teeth?

Dental implants are a great way of replacing one or more missing teeth. They are strong, long-lasting, and look and feel completely natural.

Patient Situation:

When this 48-year old woman was referred to us by her dentist, she was nervous about achieving a beautiful and lasting result. Her requirement was a reconstructed tooth imperceptible from her surrounding teeth. This particular case was classed as an advanced case because the tissues are very fine and aesthetic demands high – she has a broad smile.

The lost bone and thin skin had to be rebuilt using a four-stage intricate process and delicate surgical techniques using cutting edge products and technology. The implants themselves are tiny titanium metal rods which are gently placed into the jawbone. Over a few months the jawbone bonds with the rods to form, in effect, a false tooth root.

Dental Implant Case Study

Each phase of the treatment was carefully planned and controlled to create the perfect result – one that merges into the surroundings, making it difficult for even a dentist to discern the difference: invisible dentistry!

She has regular hygiene to maintain her smile and no whitening has been done as she wanted natural teeth. The process to copy adjacent natural teeth than whitened teeth is more technically demanding, but through exacting techniques and skills our team were able to exceed this woman’s expectations!

Please visit our Dental Implants section for more information.