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Dentures are not the best solution

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What to Expect When You Are Expecting a Denture

Traditional dentures are NOT your natural teeth. Nor are they an adequate replacement of the natural teeth in most situations.  While wearing your traditional denture you most likely CANNOT:

  1. Bite into anything hard
  2. Feel the roof or your mouth
  3. Comfortably chew anything that cannot be cut easily with a fork
  4. Eat many raw vegetables
  5. Some people cannot even speak without one or both dentures moving/falling out

The bone that holds teeth in has one job.  Maintain the natural teeth.  When the natural teeth are gone, this bone begins to disappear. Over time, this will affect the fit of your denture.  When you have a denture you WILL:

  1. Require about 1 week for every decade of life to learn to use your denture
  2. Lose up to 80% of chewing function
  3. Get food under your denture
  4. Feel your denture rubs the gums/bone uncomfortably from time to time
  5. Change the fit of your denture with weight gain/loss
  6. Require laboratory relines of your denture
  7. May notice change in the shape/look of face and lips
  8. May have difficulty with certain phonetic sounds commonly “F” and “S” sounds

Many of the drawbacks of traditional dentures can be resolved by including dental implants in your treatment.  By attaching the dentures to dental implants you can:

  1. Expand the types of foods that you can comfortably eat
  2. Predictably keep dentures in your mouth while eating and speaking
  3. Prevent rubbing of denture on gums/bone
  4. Minimize jaw bone shrinking due to missing teeth
  5. Improve overall health through good nutrition
  6. Enjoy social gatherings/not be embarrassed by loose fitting dentures
  7. Feel the roof of your mouth
  8. Regain up to 90% of chewing function

If you want to improve your quality of life, ask us about implants.

Invisalign, step by step

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If you’re interested in Invisalign braces you’re probably keen to know more about what your treatment will involve. Invisalign sounds great, but will you need to undergo long and arduous appointments with your dentist to achieve a straighter smile?

The short answer is ‘no’.

From the very beginning treatment is comfortable and convenient. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a step-by-step guide to the typical Invisalign patient experience:

1. Invisalign consultation

Come and see us for a free consultation to find out if an Invisalign treatment is suitable for you. This appointment is very relaxed and will include a brief examination of your teeth and the opportunity to ask lots of questions. We’ll also go through the cost of your treatment and our payment options (we can also offer a payment plan with Flexi-Fi).

2. ClinCheck®

At your next appointment we’ll take impressions (moulds) of your teeth, which we send off to the Invisalign team. They’ll then use these impressions to create a digital model of your teeth and, based on your dentist’s recommendations, they’ll plan your treatment using special ClinCheck software.

Invisalign ClinCheck

Invisalign ClinCheck

3. Virtual treatment plan

Your virtual treatment plan is then sent back to your dentist so we can make sure we’re happy with your end result and the way your teeth are going to move throughout your treatment (we can anticipate how your teeth will look at every stage!). We can send this virtual treatment plan to your email address so that you can view it at home later.

4. Your Invisalign braces

Once your ClinCheck has been approved by you and your dentist, Invisalign will make the custom aligners that will be used to straighten your teeth. The number of aligners that you’ll need will depend on how complex your treatment plan is. Usually you’ll have one aligner for every 10-14 days of treatment. It’s important to wear your retainers for 22 hours every day, removing them only for eating, brushing and flossing.

5. Check-ups

Your dentist will give you a few aligners at a time and see you every four to six weeks to check your progress and hand over the next set of aligners. Usually this is a quick routine appointment to make sure everything is moving as planned. Occasionally we may need to make small adjustments to your teeth or Invisalign braces. For example, it might be necessary to fit small tooth-coloured buttons, to your teeth to help your aligners move them in a particular direction. These are called Invisalign attachments – you can see an example of an attachment in the below photo.

Invisalign attachments

Invisalign attachment

6. Refinements

As you reach the end of your treatment we may need to make some extra refinements to give you the very best results. These would be included in the cost of your treatment and might involve taking another set of impressions, from which Invisalign can make you some extra aligners to refine your results.

7. Retainers

Once your treatment is complete you’ll be given retainers. Before you stop wearing your Invisalign braces we can fit a discreet fixed retainer behind your teeth, which will hold them in place for the longterm. At the same time we’ll take impressions for a removable retainer, which will arrive back from our lab the following week. Your removable retainer will be very similar to your Invisalign aligners, but you will only need to wear it at night.

8. Follow-up care

Included in cost of your treatment are two years of orthodontic follow-up care, so for the next 24 months we’ll see you for regular check-ups and you can also get in touch if you have any problems.

Tips when starting Invisalign

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Adult Front Top & Bottom on White-Small

The choice of Invisalign is a big step for new patients beginning their journey from crooked or spaced teeth to a new smile.

Just like  traditional braces, Invisalign improves your smile and is an effective treatment adults. You’ll enjoy the convenience of Invisalign and get the results you want by maintaining your aligners in good condition and staying on schedule.

When beginning Invisalign treatment, you should consider the following tips.

Remember to Always Wear Your Aligners

Invisalign trays are removable, but we recommend wearing your aligners as much as possible to stay on track with your treatment schedule.

Your Invisalign trays should be worn for a minimum 22 hours each day, and should only be taken out when eating or brushing and flossing.

Change Aligners on Time and In the Right Order

Staying on top of aligner changes ensures treatment goes according to plan.

Changing aligners regularly, and in the right order, will help you stay on schedule and finish treatment on time.

Attending regular monitoring appointments and following instructions from our dentists will ensure that you continue making steady progress toward a new smile.

Keep all of your old aligners until treatment is complete.

Brush and Floss Every Day While Continuing Regular Hygiene Visits

Brushing and flossing regularly is a must during Invisalign treatment. Especially after eating and drinking.

Failing to clean your teeth properly can cause bacteria from your mouth to become trapped inside your Invisalign trays. This can increase the risk of damage due to gum disease or decay.

If you are unable to brush and floss during the day, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating and drinking before putting your trays back in. Keep floss and a toothbrush with you during the day if possible.

Attending regular hygienist appointments also helps your teeth stay clean and healthy during treatment. Most patients should attend the hygienist twice a year, but in some cases more regular visits may be required. Check with your dentist and schedule appointments accordingly.

Make Sure Your Aligners Are Cleaned Regularly

Keeping your aligners clean helps keep your teeth clean. Trays will not collect debris and plaque if your teeth are regularly cleaned.

In addition to cleaning aligners after eating and drinking, we also recommend cleaning them after you wake up. Bacteria can build up in your aligners overnight during sleep.

To clean your aligners, simply brush them and rinse with cold water. Avoid soaking them in mouthwash or boiling them as this can cause damage, distortion and discoloration. Keeping your trays clean helps maintain an attractive look when wearing aligners at school or work.

Keep Track of Your Aligners and Store Them Properly

Invisalign trays can be costly to replace and losing them may delay your treatment process. Keep a close eye on your aligners when you aren’t wearing them.

Avoid leaving aligners out and exposed. Be sure to put keep them in your storage case when you they aren’t being worn. This will prevent bacteria buildup and keep you from misplacing your trays. If you leave your aligners out by accident, rinse and soak them before putting them back in.

Take Time to Adjust to Invisalign

When you first begin each new Invisalign tray, give yourself time to adjust to any discomfort. It’s important to wear your aligners for the recommended amount of time each day, even if they are uncomfortable at first.

Your speech may also be affected temporarily when beginning Invisalign treatment. The more often you wear your aligners, the faster you will adjust.

Download the My Invisalign App

The My Invisalign App is available to Quirke Dental Surgeons patients on both iPhone and Android devices and makes tracking the process of your treatment simple.

The app helps guide you through treatment by providing a platform to share your experience with others, find answers to common questions, and receive reminders when it’s time to change your aligners.

Ask us about the My Invisalign App during your free consultation or next appointment.

Your Smile is Just the Start

At Quirke Dental Surgeons, we’ll help you achieve a healthy, lasting smile. Are you ready to get started with Invisalign?

Contact us today to request a free consultation!

Invisalign clear aligner braces are here!

By | Hi-tech Dentistry, Treatment information | No Comments

We are delighted to announce that we are now certified providers of Invisalign clear aligners.

This high tech solution to crooked smiles has already been successfully used to treat over 6 million patients worldwide and we are pleased to make it available to our patients in New Ross.

These braces offer a clear alternative to traditional braces and we will offer as a potential solution to adults with crooked, crowded or spaced teeth and who may have shied away from traditional orthodontic solutions because of the appearance of brackets and wires or because they would have interfered with their lifestyle.

There are no brackets or wires in the Invisalign system and it works by using a series of different thin plastic trays to gradually move the teeth into the desired position.

If you feel that your smile could benefit from a clear Invisalign makeover, you can use our simulation software here to generate a photo of yourself with a proposed new smile. Just follow the instructions on the screen;-)

After that, call us on 051 421453 to arrange a consultation.

Invisalign Provider-JPG                       Adult Front Top & Bottom on White-Small

Tell me about dentures

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Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 8 to 12 weeks.  During this time the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made or the denture may need to be replaced entirely.

Dentures are very durable appliances and may last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear. They are however, probably the worst option for replacing missing teeth as they are bulky, are difficult to adapt to, have potential inherent stability problems and can interfere with speech initially.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
  • Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (moulds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring as natural and comfortable a fit as possible.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will likely subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures and is crucial in maintaining your oral health.

Cracked Tooth

By | Diseases, Preventative, Treatment information | No Comments

 

Cracked and fractured teeth are common dental problems. As people retain their natural teeth longer (due to advances in dental technology), the likelihood of cracked teeth increases. There are many reasons why teeth may crack, for example, biting on hard objects, trauma, grinding and clenching of teeth. All of these behaviours place the teeth under extra strain and render them more susceptible to cracking.

When tooth enamel is cracked, pain can become momentarily debilitating. When no pressure is exerted on the crack there may be no discomfort. However, as the cracked tooth performs a biting action, the crack widens. The pulp and inner workings of the tooth then become exposed, and painful irritation occurs. As pressure is released again, the two parts of the crack close back together, and pain subsides.

If left untreated, the pulp becomes irreversibly damaged and constantly painful. The resulting pulp infection can affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding the tooth. Other risks of non-treatment include extension of the crack resulting in eventual fracture of the tooth. The future prognosis of a fractured tooth is determined by the extent and location of the fracture.

Symptoms of a cracked tooth may include:

  • Unexplained pain when eating.
  • Sensitivity to warm and cold foods.
  • Pain with no obvious cause.
  • Difficulty pinpointing the location of the pain.

 

What kind of cracks can affect the teeth?

There are many ways in which a tooth can be cracked. The specific type of crack will determine what type of treatment is viable. In many cases, if the crack is not too deep, root canal therapy and a crown can be performed and the natural tooth can remain in the mouth. In other situations, the tooth is too badly damaged and requires extraction.

Here is a brief overview of some of the most common types of cracks:

Crazes – These are generally tiny vertical cracks that do not place the teeth in danger. These scratches on the surface of the teeth are considered by most dentists to be a normal part of the tooth anatomy. A craze rarely requires treatment for health reasons, but a wide variety of cosmetic treatments can be performed to reduce the negative aesthetic impact.

Oblique supra-gingival cracks – These cracks only affect the crown of the tooth and do not extend below the gum line. Usually, the affected part of the tooth will eventually break off. Little pain will result, because the tooth pulp (that contains the nerves and vessels) will usually remain unaffected.

Oblique sub-gingival cracks – These cracks extend beyond the gum line, and often beyond where the jawbone begins. When a piece breaks off, it will usually remain attached until the dentist removes it. Oblique subgingival cracks are painful and may require a combination of periodontal surgery (to expose the crown), and endodontic treatment to place a crown or other restorative device.

Vertical furcation cracks – These cracks occur when the roots of the tooth separate. This type of crack almost always affects the nerve of the tooth. Because the tooth will not generally separate completely, root canal therapy and a crown can often save the tooth.

Oblique root cracks – These cracks tend not to affect the surface of the tooth at all. In fact, the damage is only apparent below the gum line and usually below the jawbone. Root canal therapy may be possible; depending on how close the fracture is to the tooth surface. However, extraction is almost always the only option after sustaining this classification of fracture.

Vertical apical root cracks – These cracks occur at the apex (tip of the root). Though the tooth does not require extraction from a dental perspective, many patients request an extraction because of the high degree of pain. Root canal therapy alleviates the discomfort for a while, but most often, teeth affected by such cracks are eventually extracted.

How are cracks in the teeth treated?

There are many different types of cracked teeth. Some can only be seen using X-rays, while others are clearly visible to the naked eye. Some cracks cannot be detected on X-ray or visually and are diagnosed from the clinical symptoms.

In cases where the tooth root is affected, root canal therapy is the most viable treatment option. The pulp, nerves and vessels of the tooth will be removed, and the resulting space will be filled with gutta-percha. A crown or filling will be added to stabilize the tooth and it will continue to function as normal. Some teeth will need specialist referral to determine if they can be reasonably restored.

As a general rule, it is better to treat identified cracks at an early stage as their tendancy to extend often results in a need for more extensive treatment.

When the crack is too severe for the tooth to be saved, the dentist will perform an extraction. There are a number of restorative options in this case, such as bridges, dental implants and partial dentures. All of these structures can restore biting, chewing and speaking functions.

If you have any questions or concerns about cracked teeth, please ask us.

 

Why do we have bad teeth?

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Why are our teeth so bad? Why do we get tooth decay and crooked teeth? It may have something to do with what we eat, not just today – but 10,000 years ago!
Unlike most animals, humans have undergone a rapid dietary change in a relatively short period of time.

As an oversimplification, take any animal species, and you’re looking at a creature that’s been eating the same general diet for the last million years or so.

Now, look at humans. Our diets have changed drastically in the past 20,000 years which in evolutionary terms is extremely fast. We’ve gone from diets heavy in fibrous plant materials, which are tough and require a lot of chewing, to being able to eat an entire meal through a straw!

Our early ancestors ate a lot of tough hard foods, and this required large jaws with teeth that could break down this material. The more the teeth can break down the food, the more energy can be potentially extracted from it by the body.

As our diets have gotten softer, our ancestors could get away with smaller jaws – which required less energy to grow and use. Using less energy to eat while acquiring the same energy in your diet as your large-jawed brethren = evolutionary advantage.

So humans have evolved much smaller jaws in a very short order of time. Having smaller jaws and the same number of teeth means that there is far less space, causing all manner of problems (think: wisdom teeth, cross-bites, malocclusion etc.).

Add to that the modern diet full of sugar, and you’ve got the perfect scenario for bad teeth!

Dealing with dental emergencies New Ross

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Dental emergencies can happen at any time, to any patient. While preventive dental care and the adoption of an effective at-home hygiene routine can go a long way in protecting your smile, routine wear and accidental trauma can take a toll on your teeth.

If you have experienced a dental emergency, seeking care as soon as possible can help prevent further damage.

Defining a Dental Emergency

For many patients, dental emergencies are often considered to be cases of extreme trauma to the mouth, such as a tooth being knocked out or a serious laceration occurring to the soft tissue. What many fail to recognize is that dental emergencies can also be relatively minor discomforts that, after careful examination, are indicative of larger, more serious dental conditions.

For example, while a toothache may initially seem like a problem that will quickly resolve itself, the associated pain that occurs may be a warning sign that the inner tooth structure is infected or has turned into an abscess, thereby requiring immediate treatment to protect the patient’s overall and oral health.

Similarly, patients experiencing more advanced cases of gum disease may begin to notice a change in gum color as well as bleeding when brushing or flossing. While not as dramatic as having a tooth knocked out, periodontal disease is still a serious problem that, if left untreated, can escalate and seriously compromise the patient’s dental function and health.

Ultimately, the term “dental emergency” can refer to any oral condition that has the potential to cause significant damage to the health and function of a dentition.

When Should I Seek Professional Dental Care?

Many of the seemingly minor dental emergencies, such as toothaches, minor cracks, temperature sensitivity, and gingival bleeding are often signals of a more serious oral health condition. As a result, it is especially important that patients seek care as soon as possible following the development of a dental emergency. By seeking restorative care early on, patients are able to limit the extent of damage caused by the oral condition and regain their oral health.

Emergency Dental Care in Wexford

If you are experiencing a dental emergency or discomfort, contact Quirke Dental Surgeons today on 051 421453 to schedule an urgent appointment. Our dentists are committed to helping patients protect their smiles through a number of preventive and restorative treatments. By using advanced technology and comprehensive solutions, our team can better understand the cause of your dental emergency and create an effective, lasting solution that contributes to your long-term oral health.

IV sedation for acute anxiety

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Did you know 50% of people admit to some form of anxiety visiting the dentist, with roughly 1 in 6 avoiding dental care altogether because of it? To ease anxiety dentistry has developed sedation methods that help patients relax during dental treatment.

Many can achieve relaxation with an oral sedative taken about an hour before a visit. Some with acute anxiety, though, may need deeper sedation through an intravenous (IV) injection of medication. Unlike general anesthesia which achieves complete unconsciousness to block pain, IV sedation reduces consciousness to a controllable level. Patients aren’t so much “asleep” as in a “semi-awake” state that’s safe and effective for reducing anxiety.

While there are a variety of IV medications, the most popular for dental use are the benzodiazepines, most often Midazolam. Benzodiazepines act quickly and wear off faster than similar drugs, and have a good amnesic effect (you won’t recall details while under its influence).

Other drugs or substances are often used in conjunction with IV sedation. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) may be introduced initially to help with anxiety over the IV needle stick. Local anaesthetics will also be used to numb the teeth being treated.

If we recommend IV sedation for your dental treatment, there are some things you should do to help the procedure go smoothly and safely. Because the after effects of sedation may impair your driving ability, be sure you have someone with you to take you home. Consult with both your doctor and dentist about taking any prescription medication beforehand. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and don’t wear contact lenses, oral appliances like dentures or retainers, watches or other jewellery.

Our top priority is safety — we follow strict standards and protocols regarding IV sedation and you’ll be carefully monitored before, during and after your procedure. Performed with the utmost care, IV sedation could make your next dental procedure pleasant and uneventful, and impact your oral health for the better.

If you would like more information on IV and other forms of sedation, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.