Many of us care for our bodies very well . . . until it comes to our teeth! We don’t give our teeth and gums much of a priority even though the longer there is a problem, the more costly it can be to heal it. By visiting a dentist regularly, your teeth can be cared for and any major dental problems prevented. A dentist will analyse your teeth by using a clever piece of technology called a DIAGNOdent laser, which has been designed to detect tooth decay before any visible signs have occurred. After all, tooth decay can happen to anyone, and it can often start from the inside out so it is impossible to see with the naked eye.
To prevent decay from destroying their patients’ teeth before they realize, dentists use the DIAGNOdent laser to see inside the tooth. It uses a special laser, and depending on the way that the light moves, the dentist can assess whether there is internal damage. This is a popular diagnosis model, as it is completely painless! There is no way that it can harm the patient, and as it is a simple tool the dentist can concentrate 100% on the patient rather than operating a complicated bit of equipment.
The DIAGNOdent is just one of the clever pieces of dental technology that dentists are using these days to support their patients in their drive to keep their teeth clean and healthy. Understanding exactly how much decay is inside our teeth is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle, and now thanks to this innovative technology, we are able to know without using something as unwieldly like an x-ray just how a patient is doing. Laser cavity detection is no longer just a pipe dream of the future.
Although there isn’t a magic wand that a dentist can simply wave and magically transform your teeth into white, straight, healthy teeth, there is something called a Dental Wand that can do something pretty incredible! The scientific name for it is the CompuDent and Single Tooth Anesthesia System, but many dentists have taken to calling it the Dental Wand because of the way that it looks, and the clever way that it can completely transform a dental appointment with just a small amount of movement! It is a special computer that can inject dental liquids in a completely controlled manner – far more controlled than a dentist would be able to do by hand. The stream is slow and steady, so the patient can completely relax knowing that there aren’t going to be any sudden spurts or gushes going into their mouth.
So why is this any better? Well, whenever you come into contact with a needle – whether you are getting blood taken, getting your ears pierced, or having a flu jab – the pain that you feel isn’t actually the needle, it is the reaction that your body makes when something new is forced into your body really quickly. It reacts thinking that it is being attacked, and so if we were able to inject something steadily and slowly then there would not be any pain. That is where the Dental Wand comes in: its clever control means that truly painless dentistry is right there before you – and the designers have even made sure that it does not look frightening by making it look more like a pen than a syringe.
Dentists up and down the country are now preferring to use the Dental Wand over any other method, and their patients love it too. Just wave the magic wand!
There are many different reasons why a person may have a tooth extracted: from getting rid of a baby tooth to make space for an adult tooth, to needing to for orthodontics, because it has been cracked or has decayed . . . the list is almost endless. Many people underestimate having a tooth out because of its size, but it is actually a relatively large dental procedure, and the more care and attention that you give your teeth as part of the aftercare process will hugely define how well and how quickly you recover. You want to ensure that you can reduce the risk of infection, and so listening to what your dentist says that you should do after the procedure is very important. Most of the time, they will ask you to follow these rules:
- Bite down on the gauze that they give you, even if it hurts a little, even if it is uncomfortable. It is there to prevent even greater pain and discomfort. If you start to bleed again, then you will need to get a new piece of gauze to apply until the bleeding stops.
- Sit up as much as you can, and do not do any intense movement for a few days. That includes sport, but also smaller things like running for the bus, and rushing to a meeting.
- Rinse out your mouth with warm salt water every hour, on the hour, for two full days after the surgery. This will keep the area clean and sterilised – do not use mouthwash, as this will damage the wound area.
Eat soft foods and brush but brush gently. Keeping hydrated is the key if you have lost a lot of blood, and you should be patient when you wait for the healing process to finish. For some people, it can take up to a week.
The treatment for a dental implant does not stop after the dentist has placed it into your mouth; you will need to ensure that you are looking after it for many months to come after the actual surgery. This is because your mouth is going to have to get used to a new thing, and you have to keep any hint of infection or bacteria away from it. Neglecting your new dental implant is a huge mistake, and one that could be very costly for you – both in terms of health, and financially. Thankfully there are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that you keep your new dental implant healthy after surgery:
- Do not disturb the area for at least three days, so try not to touch your mouth, spit, or rinse out your mouth with mouthwash for at least three days. Easier said than done!
- You will be given some antibiotics by your dentist – use them! Even if you do not feel as though you need to, they are a preventative measure and should definitely be taken.
- You will notice bleeding for a few days afterwards, and you shouldn’t panic unless it becomes a proper stream. Just bite down on some gauze until the bleeding stops.
- Yes, it is going to hurt. You can take any over the counter medicine to take away the pain, and it gets worse or does not disappear after a few days, then talk to your dentist.
- Soft foods are going to be your friend for at least a week, so focus on keeping hydrated and you will eventually be able to eat more solid foods again.
- Swelling and a little discomfort is to be expected – but if it does not go down after a few days, then try using moist heat to lessen it, and do not do any exercise.
If you think that you are having a dental emergency, the most important thing to do is remain calm. You will be much better able to make a good decision if you are staying calm. Chances are, if you think that you need to see a dentist, you need to see a dentist – and as it is always better safe than sorry, we would recommend that you either go to the ER or ring an emergency dentist and book an immediate appointment. This includes lingering and excruciating toothaches as they can often be smaller symptoms of a deeper problem. If it has continued for longer than three days, then it is best to chat to an emergency dentist about it. After all, they could say that it’s nothing, in which case you haven’t lost anything – or they could find something that needs immediate treatment.
For those of you who chip their teeth but do not experience any pain, that is more than enough of a reason to go and see your dentist. Pain is not always the only symptom that you need to experience in order to see a dentist, and when you have chipped a tooth it is all too easy to get dirt and bacteria into the tooth itself, damaging it from the inside out. It may even be possible at an early stage to have the chip replaced or cosmetically improved, so the sooner that you go and see a dentist, the better. The same thing goes for a broken or cracked tooth; it may not feel like an emergency to you, but the sooner that you can ensure that there is not a deeper problem, the better.
Whether a tooth is loose or fallen out, cracked or chipped, or you just feel as though something is not right – it is always better go to a dentist and hear that nothing is wrong than wait it out and then face real problems.