Man showing his teeth to the camera

Do you clench or grind?

 

If you have every woken up with a sore neck, sore shoulders, with jaw pain or with migraines, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Many people clench or grind their teeth throughout the night or during the day unbeknown to them as grinding is often painless and silent.

Grinding not only results in a shortened appearance of teeth over time as the edges of the teeth wear and are damaged, but also a squared or prominent jaw appearance.

It can be a cause of chronic migraines, neck, shoulder and jaw pain as the chewing muscles are tense and fatigued from continuous work and insufficient rest.

Your dentist is in the best position to assess the severity of grinding and the degree of wear on your teeth.  If left untreated, grinding can cause wear, cracked teeth and damage to previous dental work, which can result in the need for extensive repair and restorations of teeth.

To protect your teeth from damage while sleeping, we can provide you with a night guard that is softer than your tooth enamel. This enables the guard to be worn down as opposed to your teeth.

A simple test to determine whether you are a clench or grind your teeth if you are unsure is to firmly bite down firmly while palpating the side of your face. If you can palpate a muscle bulging out as you clench that means you have an overdeveloped or overused Masseter muscle, which is the chewing muscle.

A treatment we offer at Dentistry in Canterbury to partially relax this muscle is use anti-wrinkle treatments. Results are evident within two weeks and the reduction in appearance of the wide lower jaw is visibly noticeable. The treatment can provide a slimmer lower face and improved facial harmony to soften a squared face into a more oval one.

Anti-wrinkle injections are very effective for daytime clenchers or grinders. With regular treatments, the muscle mass shrinks and the injection dosage can be reduced over time.

If you would like to learn about the treatment further or if you have any queries about the guard, clenching or grinding please call the friendly team at Dentistry in Canterbury on 03 9888 5555.

Dr Julie Ghaly

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Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like natural tooth roots, implants are secured into the jawbone and are not visible once placed. They are used to secure crowns (part of the tooth that is seen in the mouth), bridges or dentures. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible (meaning it is not rejected by the body). Titanium is the most widely used metal in both dental and other bone implants, such as hip replacements.

What are dental implants used for?

There are many reasons why a person may lose one or more teeth. There are generally three options to replace a missing tooth or teeth: a removable denture plate, a fixed bridge, and dental implants. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, and your dentist will help you find the most suitable solution for you, both functionally, aesthetically and financially.

It is without doubt though that dental implants have risen to become the gold standard in modern dentistry for tooth replacement. It is seen by many patients and dentists as the closest replacement option to the real thing!

Dental implants can be used when a single tooth or multiple teeth are missing. And although an implant may cost more initially than other choices for tooth replacement, such as bridges or dentures, they are significantly more stable and durable than the alternatives.

It is also important to understand that when a missing tooth is not replaced in a timely fashion, the surrounding teeth may shift to fill the gap, creating problems than can only be addressed by more extensive and costly interventions.

Patients who invest in dental implants can reap the benefits for decades, provided they take good care of their implant

To find out more about dental implants please contact Dr Gina Malak on (03) 9888 5555

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The Perfect Pout

Whether you have naturally occuring thin lips, or have lost volume of tissue in your lips (as part of the ageing process) we can help rebuild and create fuller lips using dermal fillers.

A dermal filler is a hyaluronic acid based gel which is placed under the skin to ‘prop’ it up and restore volume and give a more youthful appearance.
However, many of us are well aware of unnatural looking ‘fish’ lips in Hollywood and would like to avoid this scenario.
If you have ever considered a lip augmentation and are looking for a natural result, it is important to know the Golden Ratio.
In Cosmetic applications, this ratio produces proportions that are harmonious and pleasing to the human eye. When you see a woman with a top lip approaching equal size to her bottom lip, or with a top lip larger than her bottom lip, you assume she has had plastic surgery or fillers to acheive this result.
However, when you see a woman who has full lips with a proportion accproaching that of the Golden Ratio (so her bottom lip is 1.6 times larger than her top lip) you may be left wondering if she was just blessed with beautiful lips.
We are well aware that some people might find a larger top lip appealing (Kylie Jenner? Kylie’s doctor has paid NO regard to the Golden Ratio, and has almost certainly used more than 1ml of filler in her lips, making her look incredibly unnatural.), and perhaps even want it to be obvious that they have had fillers as a form of status symbol. However, at Dentistry in Canterbury we believe in achieving a natural result that enhances your beauty rather than making it look artificial.

 

To find out more about dermal fillers contact Dr Julie Ghaly at Dentistry in Canterbury on (03) 98885555

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Porcelain Veneers

Transform your smile with porcelain veneers

Our smiles have a large impact on how we look. A good smile leaves a great first impression. Being self-conscious or unhappy about your smile can have a tremendous negative effect on your self-esteem. Do you find yourself hiding your smile before a photo or covering your mouth when you laugh?

At Dentistry in Canterbury, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to smile.

So where do porcelain veneers fit into the picture?

Porcelain veneers are a custom made, thin, coloured shell that is bonded to your tooth to create a natural smile. Veneers can help fix numerous smile flaws such as stains, gaps, cracks, discolouration and crowding

If you are interested in transforming your smile and would like to see what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, contact us at Dentistry in Canterbury on (03) 9888 5555

Dr Gina Malak

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Mouthguards

If you or your children play a contact sport such as football, basketball and hockey, be sure to ask your dentist about a custom mouthguard for protection.

High impact collisions can transmit energy to the teeth and jaws and a custom built mouthguard is designed to remain in place during impact to allow absorption and distribution of the force. Fortunately most dental injuries are usually not life threatening, however such injuries can be complex and expensive to treat, thus prevention is key.

Boxers wore the first mouthguards over a century ago. They were made from an unfitted piece of rubber that was hollowed and trimmed, quite similar to the “Boil and Bite” mouthguard of today, which is made from ethylene vinyl acetate and readily available from pharmacies.  These “stock” mouthguards are commonly used, however can only provide limited protection from dental injuries as they can be poorly fitting, not thick enough, easily displaced and can interfere with speech and breathing.

The modern mouthguard is made with a pressure lamination technique so it is designed to fit the individual accurately with enough thickness and balanced contact with all the teeth as well as no interference with speech and breathing.  These should also be checked periodically so feel free to bring them in for a checkup at your next checkup.

Dr Mary Ann Liu.

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Whiter & Brighter Teeth – Teeth Whitening

The use of bleaching agents to lighten and whiten the colour of teeth is a common part of general practice and one of the areas of dentistry most asked about by patients of all ages.

The tooth is made up of three layers – translucent enamel on the outside, yellow dentine underneath and the pulp (or nerve) on the inside of the tooth. Certain food types (red wine, sauces, tea, coffee), nicotine and age can all cause staining and discolouration of teeth. As you age, the thickness of dentine increases and enamel can wear away, thus making the tooth appear darker despite meticulous oral hygiene.

Hydrogen peroxide is the active bleaching agent used in professional dental bleaching products. Many bleaching products will be available in hydrogen peroxide form or contain carbamide peroxide (CP). CP is more stable and generates hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent.

The hydrogen peroxide penetrates the enamel and the oxygen molecules react with and break down the discoloured molecules within the teeth.

Benefits:

–  long term history of use in dentistry – safe and effective to use if prescribed correctly by a dental practitioner

– All components are naturally occurring in the body, and can be easily handled by the body mechanisms in low doses.

– Whiter teeth – bright and confident smile

– At lower concentrations – dental bleaching in trays has been shown to reduce risk of decay in tooth roots.

Considerations:

–  Some people may report some sensitivity during bleaching

–  Some patients may notice temporary discomfort of the gums, lips, throat, or tongue, which usually subside within 1-3 days after treatment is discontinued.

–  After bleaching, the colour will stabilise over 2 week. However your teeth can stain again over time due to coffee, tobacco and other highly coloured products or age. You may need to consider bleaching every 1-3 years.

– Crowns, bridges, partial dentures, veneers, and fillings will not bleach.

Procedure?

In the first appointment, after consultation or examination of your teeth an impression is taken of the teeth and gums. This is used to generate a stone replica of your teeth. A thin, clear, flexible tray is fabricated on the stone cast. This is trimmed and fitted to the patient.

Patients are then to apply a small amount of bleach (half a grain of rice size of bleach per tooth) onto the tray and wear in the mouth for the time set by the dentist after brushing and flossing your teeth. If it best to do it at night time before you go to bed as you will need to avoid food/drink (besides water) for at least 2 hours after bleaching. Depending on the degree of discolouration, it may take from 10 days to a few months before your teeth reach their natural “peak whiteness”.

In-chair bleaching uses a much higher concentration Hydrogen Peroxide than Take-Home options. It typically takes 1 hour where the gums and cheeks are covered and bleach is applied in 3-4 rounds.  Patients often report more sensitivity during the in-chair procedure. It may take a few sessions of in-chair bleaching to achieve the maximum shade brightness so it is still recommended to have at-home trays made.

Caution – Other types of bleach?

The teeth whitening agents you see on social media and shopping centre stalls often proudly advertise as “Peroxide Free” to imply that these bleaching agents are ‘safer’.

These bleaching agents contain sodium percarbonate. When in contact with water (such as saliva), sodium percarbonate breaks down and dissociates into sodium, carbonate and hydrogen peroxide! It is this low concentration hydrogen peroxide component that bleaches teeth.

Similarly, other “whitening” agents available online such as charcoal scrubs are highly abrasive. Whilst they can remove some external stains, they can also cause wear of the enamel and damage the gums and do not remove the deeper stains.

There are many other factors contributing to tooth discolouration such as fillings, infection, abscess, previous root-canal treatment or internal resorption that may not improve with bleaching alone. If you are thinking about bleaching your teeth to achieve a brighter smile, you should see your dentist beforehand for a consult and discuss if bleaching is suited for you.

Dr Grace Campbell