Trusted Cosmetic & Family Dentists in Brighton, VIC

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All Posts Tagged: Treatments

Dental Implants Explained

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Dr. Jeffrey Field, HBSC, DDS, Fellow ADSA and Diplomat NDBA

In this month’s Teeth Talk article, Senior Dentist Dr. Jeffrey Field explains all you need to know about dental implants, demystifying the terminology and various modern treatment options available to help you restore your smile.

Dental implants are titanium screws that replace missing teeth, or can be used to help anchor dentures more securely.

There are many options for missing teeth including dentures, porcelain bridges and implants.

Dentures are pieces of plastic or plastic and metal composites that look like teeth but that is where the approximation ends. They will never be as functional as your natural teeth, because, unlike your natural teeth dentures are not anchored to the bone.

Partial dentures have clasps on existing teeth to help hold the denture in place, but the dentures still can and do move with eating or speaking.

Full dentures are used when patients have no teeth. They rely suction between the denture and the empty gums to hold them in place. So as you can imagine, full dentures are not very secure during eating and talking.

A bridge is used to replace missing teeth where there are still teeth present on either side of the empty space. In this case the teeth on either side of the space are prepared for crowns, which means they are cut down in all dimensions. The crowns on the end teeth are attached to fake porcelain teeth in the middle, thus replacing the missing teeth. The problem is that crowns are meant to rebuild very damaged teeth. Often to provide a bridge we must cut down perfectly or relatively healthy teeth, thus permanently damaging them. Once a bridge is placed, over time you get recession of the gums or decay/cavities on the margins of the crowns, necessitating replacement of the bridge. As such the teeth your bridge are attached to get longer and less aesthetic over time. The gum recession and or cavities continue until you lose the  teeth that the bridge is attached to. So now you have lost 3 teeth minimum (the two end teeth plus the original missing tooth).

An implant is a free standing (does not rely on other teeth for support) and so if it fails you still have only lost one tooth unlike a failed bridge where you lose several teeth. Implants are titanium screws that are placed in the bone. Implants can be used to support crowns for single to multiple teeth or as bridge supports for longer spans of missing teeth. For patients missing all teeth in the upper, lower or both arches, implants can be used to help secure full dentures and make them more stable (move less).

If you would like to explore how dental implants could help your particular dental situation, please book a no obligation consult with Dr. Field or Dr. Antonoff to discuss your options.

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What You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

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Dr. Jeffrey Field, DDS HBSc

In this month’s Teeth Talk article, Senior Dentist Dr. Jeffrey Field explains what you need to know about wisdom teeth, including the risks and considerations regarding wisdom teeth removal.

Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

There are a number of valid reasons to remove wisdom teeth:

1) They are not functional. Studies have shown that most of chewing is done on the second bicuspid and first molar. That is we do not use our second molars let alone our wisdom teeth (third molars) to chew.

2) There is not enough room in the dental arch to allow them to completely erupt (fully emerge). As they remain partially submerged(partially impacted) they are very prone to recurrent infections. With each subsequent infection more and more jaw bone is destroyed, which in turn leads to a greater potential for re-infection and the cycle of infection after infection continues.

3) They are so far back in your mouth that you can’t properly clean them, leading to both dental decay(cavities) and periodontal diseases(gum infections)

4) They are growing close to nerves in the lower jaw and your sinus in the upper jaw. All teenagers should be assessed for wisdom teeth between the ages of 14-16 years old. Assessment at this age allows the dentist to see if wisdom teeth are present, their position, and likelihood of normal eruption. If any problems are noted, then this is the best time to remove them. The reason is, at this age the wisdom teeth will not have developed much of their roots and you can greatly decrease the chance of either nerve damage or damage to the sinus during their removal. If you wait till the person is 18 years old or older, the roots will be fully developed are therefore increase the risk of nerve or sinus damage.

What are the risks of having wisdom teeth removed?

For lower wisdom teeth there is a nerve that exits your brain in front of your ear and behind the jaw bone. This nerve provides feeling but no motor function to structures it innervates. The nerve splits into 2 pieces. One ends up supplying feeling to your lower lip and chin, but does not make your lower lip and chin move. So if this nerve is damaged your lip won’t droop in fact you will look no different, but you can have numbness to the lower lip and chin. This occurs in one patient out of every 5000 treated. The second branch of this nerves innervates the tongue supplying feeling and taste sensation to the side of the tongue. Numbness and loss of taste sensation can occur in one patient out of 15000 or 3 times less likely to occur than damage to the nerve to the lower lip and chin.

For upper wisdom teeth there are no nerves in the area, however upper wisdom teeth are close to the maxillary sinus (the air space under your eye that gets stuffed up when you have a cold. The risk is that extraction of upper wisdom can lead to an opening into the sinus. This is not a big issue and can be closed at the time of extraction. The only downside is that if this occurs you should not blow your nose for one month, just squeeze and wipe.

Where should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth can be removed either in a hospital operating room or in the dental office. In hospital you will have a general anesthetic and in the office you can either sedation plus local anesthetic (numbing) or just local anesthetic. However, except for the simplest of extractions we do recommend sedation for your comfort. Please see the information on general anesthesia versus sedation.

If you have questions about your wisdom teeth or that of your children, please book a no obligation consult with Dr. Field or Dr. Antonoff to discuss your options.

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Cosmetic Dentistry and what that means for you

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

While Dentistry may be taught as science, ever increasingly we are fusing Artistic practices with Scientific methods. This is the first part in a series of blog posts on the topic of Cosmetic Dentistry, where we will explore what makes a beautiful smile and what elements are key to an aesthetically pleasing result.

Increasingly, patients seek dental treatment with the primary concern of enhancing the look of their smile. Gone are the days where patients are satisfied walking out the Clinic door with silver fillings.

Since 1977, after the introduction of fluoridation to Melbourne’s water supply, we’ve witnessed a significant improvement in general oral health – in particular, fewer cases of tooth decay, especially amongst children. As a result, the role of the of dental professional has shifted from being primarily focused on curing disease and infection, to minimal intervention and promoting preventative dental treatments.

Cosmetic Dentistry, sometimes referred to as Aesthetic Dentistry, has grown to become one of the largest treatment areas in recent times. It is also an evolving trend, with innovative treatments constantly being developed, coupled with the changing tastes and demands of the patient. Many patients are now able to enjoy a relatively high standard of dental health, allowing them to focus on achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.

Confident and photogenic smiles define this famous Hollywood power couple

Confident and photogenic smiles define this famous Hollywood power couple

The terms “Aesthetic” and “Cosmetic” may seem synonymous, however, by they differ in their literal roots: “Cosmetic” means to do something superficial to enhance the appearance of something, or to cover up a defect in order to make the object more beautiful. Beauty, as cliche as it sounds, is in the eyes of the beholder. How many times have we walked down the street and cringed when we see someone with perhaps a little too much make-up, or a wardrobe malfunction, or a set of pearly whites that almost blinded our eyes?

The definition of “Aesthetics”, on the other hand, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses” or “pleasing appearance”. In other words, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry are intertwined, with Aesthetics encompassing natural beauty beyond just the superficial overtones.

Many patients are now able to enjoy a relatively high standard of dental health, allowing them to focus on achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.
This stately couple offer a charming and noble smile for the millions of people following the royal wedding

This stately couple offer a charming and noble smile for the millions of people following the royal wedding

I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2005. As a dental student practicing at a public dental hospital where all the patients were government funded, Aesthetic Dentistry was almost non-existent. We were more focused, and rightly so, on getting the right diagnosis, creating treatment plans, and performing a level of dentistry that is adequate for the general public. Why did we do that? We were more worried about passing exams than doing anything else! We weren’t trained to be artists; instead, we were taught to be basic crafts-people!

Over the past decade, I’ve been fortunate enough to have trained with some of the best dental professionals in our field, both here in Melbourne and abroad. This has allowed me to fine-tune my craft and keep abreast of the latest developments in our industry. While Dentistry may be taught as science, ever increasingly we are fusing Artistic practices with Scientific methods. To the patient, our clients, this means that you have a wide range of dental treatments that are affordable, relatively long lasting, and above all, safe.

To the patient, our clients, this means that you have a wide range of dental treatments that are affordable, relatively long lasting, and above all, safe.
One of our clients, international model Tara Hanaphy radiates her beautiful qualities beginning with a striking and positive smile

One of our clients, international model Tara Hanaphy radiates her beautiful qualities beginning with a striking and positive smile

Before I was a dentist I knew who looked good, but didn’t know why they looked good. Having developed a deep understanding of the why, I’d like to share this with you. In this series of blog posts on the topic of Cosmetic Dentistry, we will explore what makes a beautiful smile and what elements are key to an aesthetically pleasing result. Please feel free to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest dental news, and don’t hesitate to send me your feedback / comments / encouragement as we go forward, together.

Happy smiling!

Dr. Warren Antonoff and all the staff at Lifestyle Smiles

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Thinking About a Smile Makeover?

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

In this month’s Teeth Talk issue, Principal Dentist Dr. Warren Antonoff, shares with us his experience with helping thousands of patients achieve their ideal smile.

It is quite natural for one to covet those megawatt smiles celebrities flash – they have some of the most photogenic and snap-worthy pearly whites. After all, it is part of their job to appear attractive to their audiences.

However, many of these popular personalities are not born with a fantastic set of teeth. Tom Cruise and David Beckham are some examples of celebrities who needed a smile makeover to match their fame and reputation.

The fact that many of today’s stars didn’t start with a perfect set should give you the assurance that you too can have the same mega-watt smile as your favourite public personality. By simply improving your teeth, you do your appearance (and your confidence) a big favour.

cosmetic-dentistry

There are many ways of turning your smile around. We offer a wide selection of treatments at Lifestyle Smiles:

  • Veneers This involves bonding your teeth with a very thin layer of dental porcelain or composite veneer in order to hide chipped and stubbornly discoloured surfaces or eliminating gaps. This can also be used to correct or reshape teeth. This is a popular option for celebrities as it can give their incisors that instant white, shiny dental glory and even align their teeth.
  • Crowns If your set has a large cavity or is pretty eroded, give it a royal treatment by having caps bonded on the topmost portion of your dental enamel. This option can also mask the appearance of stained teeth. The crowns act like socks or jackets covering a specific body part in order to protect or conceal some unflattering or vital aspect of it.
  • Teeth Straightening and Alignment Crooked, protruding, crowded teeth are unflattering – even when bleached a brilliant white. As such, having uneven tooth length filed away or filled and gaps and misaligned incisors corrected with braces help bring your pearly whites to the right position and keep your audience from getting distracted by your dental situation.
  • Teeth Whitening You can have this done via laser, which is quick, or via whitening gels, which may take about 2-3 weeks to show results. The former involves laser beams activating the whitening substance placed onto your tooth enamel. The latter involves a kit that you can use at home or by a dental professional in a clinic setting.

Have you settled on which procedure(s) you want to undergo with your smile makeover? Or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with the many choices and considerations? Our qualified dentists would be delighted to help you here. Simply Book an Appointment today to receive a personalised and comprehensive Smile Assessment Consultation (normally valued at $299).

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