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January 2017

We wish our patients a very happy 2017 and look forward to treating you this year.

Our team enjoyed a short break following a busy year and celebrated the close of the 2016 working year with a traditional Greek

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. They are designed to blend in with other teeth and are a long-term solution for restoring your smile.

They are one of the biggest advances in dentistry in 40 years.

Dental implants are made of titanium and other materials compatible with the human body.

They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw where they function as normal teeth.

Treatment

  1. A space must be ready in the mouth to accept the implant. This space may be previously existing or require an extraction of a decayed tooth.
  2. First the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone using a drill.
  3. The bone is threaded using an implant screw for a perfect fit in Step 2.
  4. An abutment is placed whilst bone around implant heals (osseointegration). This takes time (several months) for adherence of implant to bone.
  5. Impressions are made so that implant cosmetic work is customised and fits perfectly.
  6. A crown is placed on top, of the size, shape, colour and fit customised for the implant.
  7. Adjustment and healing.Phase 1 of treatment is the most discomforting aspect of the surgery though anaesthetic is given. Some pain is expected and a soft diet is recommended till healing.Chronic iummnosupressing illnesses like diabetes or leukemia may interfere with healing after surgery. Smoking and alcohol decrease the effectiveness and the success rate of implants.Implants are expensive and most dental insurance companies don’t cover the costs. However, for missing teeth, implants are a viable, long-lasting solution so think of it as an oral investment.High levels of oral hygiene are required for implant integration and maintenance. Regular check-ups and consistent brushing and flossing ensures success.

For any dental inquires, do not hesitate to contact 97502080.

 

Please refer to this video for a step by step demonstration of dental implant procedures:  http://drannabelbraganza.wordpress.com/category/dental-implants/

 

December 2016

This month our Principal Dentist Dr Chris Papastavros and oral hygienist Ari Kontominas attended a seminar on sterilisation measures for the entire team, with particular focus on endodontic practice. The seminar was an excellent opportunity to consolidate sterilisation practice and colleague experiences at Fernando’s Restaurant in Leichhardt.

 

How Stress Affects Your Mouth

Stress affects the whole body including the mouth (teeth and gums).

 

Potential impacts include:

  • Mouth ulcers (including cancer sores and cold sores)
  • Grinding or clenching
  • Less care with oral hygiene
  • Stress eating
  • Worsening of gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Chipping of teeth (from chewing nails, pens, ice in nervousness)
  • Depression

Mouth Sores

Cancer sores are small ulcers with a white, greyish or red appearance. Experts don’t know what causes them but a drop in the immune system can spur them on. The immune system drops when sick, stressed, fatigued or dealing with an allergic reaction.

Avoid irritating them by not eating spicy or hot foods, not consuming acidic foods or drinks. Over-the-counter anaesthetics such as Bonjela may soothe their

discomfort.

 

Cold sores

Cold sores are caused by HSV and are contagious. They are fluid-filled blisters appearing around the lips. Emotional upset, stress, infection or skin abrasion can bring on a coldsore. Cold sores heal on their own but over-the-counter remedies and antiviral medicines can be used to treat it from the first tingle.

 

Teeth Grinding

Stress causes clenching and grinding, both during the night and day (often subconsciously). This will cause tension in the temporomandibular (jaw) joint and may result in ear and neck pain. A night guard may need to be worn whilst sleeping if this is an ongoing problem.

 

Gum Disease

The development of periodontal disease worsens with stress. Those with emotional anxieties decrease efficiency and frequency of brushing and flossing, reducing the oral condition. This means the mouth contains more bacteria accelerating gum disease.

 

Dry Mouth

When the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, as occurs during stress or tension, and this decreases the pH in the mouth to accelerate decay. Dry mouth is a common symptom of depression.

 

Stress Eating

Stress can force us to turn to comfort eating. Many comfort foods are rich in sugar and carbohydrates which promote tooth decay. Tooth decay leads to poor oral health and the need for much dental restoration. Stress can also lead to smoking or alcohol use which also promotes tooth decay.

 

When stressed we can suggest exercise, counselling, mediation, massage or implementing other relaxation techniques.

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-mouth-14/your-healthy-mouth/stress-teeth

http://www.1800dentist.com/how-stress-can-affect-your-oral-health/

 

October & November 2016

In November, the Greenacre Dental team attended the Inner West and Greater Sydney Dental Conference at the Coronation Club, Burwood. The conference presented an informative lecture on cutting edge Gum Recession therapies, especially gum grafting. Pictured below are dentists Dr Papastavros & Dr Dinh with dental assistants Grace, Julie & Sevi. coronation-gum-recession

We also extend our congratulations to our oral hygienist, Ari, who has completed his Postgraduate Coursework studies at the University of Adelaide. Ari will now be able to complete restorative dental work on adult patients as a result of his newly acquired Graduate Certificate of Oral Health Science.

 

Acid Wear

Acid wear or erosion is a form of tooth wear affecting the tooth enamel. The enamel is the outer surface of the tooth. Foods and drinks like fruits, soda, juice, wine, coffee and energy drinks soften this surface by demineralising it and making it susceptible to decay and damage. Aggressive brushing can also lead to wear.

 

Impact

Acid wear can reduce the thickness of tooth enamel which changes the tooth’s texture, shape, strength and appearance. It also leads to sensitivity. Sensitivity is an indicator of advanced erosion. Once sensitivity occurs, it is important to protect the tooth and dentin (underneath layer).

 

Causewear

Saliva helps neutralise the mouth’s acidity to restore pH and balance following food or drink consumption. But saliva works slowly and acid attacks quickly, reducing the chance for repair. Hence wear overcomes the body’s natural response to save damage from food and drink.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is confirmed by physical; examination by a dentist or hygienist, as well as taking of dietary history.

 

Risks

  • Soda swishers (not using a straw)
  • Frequent snackers
  • Patients with diets consuming high levels of fruit, juices, coffee or energy drinks
  • Patients with eating disorders
  • Patients with gastric problems including reflux or heartburn
  • Patients who brush aggressively
  • Drug users

Management

  • Dental professionals encourage the following
  • Reducing acidic food and drink consumption where possible
  • Using a straw to drink acidic beverages
  • Drinking plenty of water following acidic consumption
  • Brushing teeth twice a day (before breakfast and before bedtime)
  • Brush in a soft circular manner around the whole mouth with a soft brush

 

 

 

September 2016

September brought the close of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL season. Dr Chris Papastavros, a sponsor of the team, attended the end of season function at the Dockside Pavilion, commemorating the achievements of individual players and the team in 2016. Dr Papastavros, Dr Dinh and our hygienist Ari also attended the annual Meriden School Golf day, representing the Greenacre Dental team once again.

bulldogs-dockside-pavDr Chris with two daughters and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs First Grade players David Klemmer and Josh Renyolds at the End of Season Function.

 

Odontophobia – Dental Fear

Most people have a slight dental fear – so don’t feel alone if you’re feeling the same.

Dental phobia is an extreme fear of all things dental related which leads to avoidance of the feared situation or activity. Exposure may promote anxiety, panic, hysteria and impacts on other aspects of your life.

Anxiety and fear are normal emotions experienced whilst at a dental surgery particularly if it’s your first time or you’re having a tricky unfamiliar procedure done to you. However dental phobia is a much stronger fear which makes you to avoid the situation altogether, instead of feeling burdened and overwhelmed in the surgery.

Dental phobia is usually caused by horrific experiences (80% of cases) and most likely trauma from previous experiences.

 

Fears include:

  • The dentist
  • Embarrassment of the oral condition
  • Pain
  • Loss of control whilst in the dental chair
  • Needle phobia
  • The drill or other tools

dental-phobia

Simple solutions

  • Communicate with the dentist; letting them know you’re scared will make them more focused to you emotionally
  • Attend regularly appointments to familiarise yourself with the environment and procedures
  • Close your eyes and try to relax (tensing up makes things worse)
  • Listen to your iPod
  • Ask for a step-by-step explaination of procedures or equipment used
  • Ask for sedation either by local anaesthetic or sedating gas
  • Seek help from a therapist if this fear is impacting your life.

 

August 2016

In Greenacre Dental news, our hygienist Ari has commenced postgraduate studies at the University of Adelaide in a Graduate Certificate of Oral Health Science. This will enable him to deliver restorative therapy to adult patients, in addition to his current role working closely with children. Principal Dentist, Dr Chris Papastavros, has been overseeing and mentoring Ari’s clinical practice, including a two day session at the University of Adelaide (pictured). The team is very excited to see him finalise his studies at the end of the year and introduce this new role at the practice in 2017. We wish him the best of luck with the remainder of his studies!

ari-chris-adelaide

 

Oral Health & Diabetes

Diabetes is where the body cannot maintain healthy blood glucose (sugar) levels required for energy. Unhealthy levels can lead to short and long term health complications. Insulin, a hormone in our bodies, converts glucose into energy for use. Some diabetes do not have insulin (Type 1) or cannot produce enough (Type 2), preventing energy conversion. Instead glucose stays in the body, keeping blood sugar levels high. Medications are required to manage this condition.

Diabetics who are poorly controlled i.e. their blood sugar levels are high with or without medication to manage, are at higher risk of tooth problems including infection and gum disease. The first signs and symptoms of diabetes occur in the mouth, which shows how important healthy teeth & gums are for diabetics.

Diabetics are at higher risk of:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Fungal infections
  • Mouth ulcers

Uncontrolled glucose levels cause dry mouth and less saliva flow which stimulates plaque build-up and lower resistance to infection. This results in unwanted decay, gum disease and fungal infections. Diabetics also take longer to heal which may accelerate mouth ulcers and periodontal disease.

 

What Diabetics can do to prevent or reverse these problems?

  • Stick to an appropriate diabetic-orientated diet – avoiding sugars!
  • Take medications are prescribed to control blood glucose levels
  • Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use interdental brushes daily (if needed)
  • Seek help immediately if you notice something wrong with your teeth.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year minimum
  • Consume plenty of water and sugar free gum to stimulate saliva production.
  • Avoid or quit smoking

 

Helplines

  • Call us! 9750 2080
  • Your local doctor
  • Diabetes Australia 1300 536 588
  • Quitline

 

July 2016

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, also known as caps, are placed over a restored tooth to improve its size, shape or appearance. It is usually needed to restore a broken, replaced or worn down tooth; protect a weakened tooth from breaking further; to support another tooth (filling or part of a bridge); or cover a discoloured tooth.

crown 1

When tooth decay is too deep, so it’s close to the nerve, it may be risky to add a crown. Either root canal treatment or extraction is better suited. Crowns work just as well as a normal, healthy tooth. If it does become loose, it can be recemented easily at a dental surgery.

 

Crowns can be made available in a variety of materials including porcelain, ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, metal, resin or temporary (used before the permanent tooth can be placed).

 

Crown preparations involve 2-3 appointments. The 1st examines and prepares the tooth including x-rays, impressions, cleaning of the tooth and placement of temporary crown. The 2nd appointment requires the placement of the permanent crown. The 3rd may be required for reglueing or reviewing the permanent crown.

crown 3A crown sits on top of a tooth. First the tooth is trimmed back as seen in panel 1 and the made cap is placed over the top of the tooth panel 2 and 3. Finally using strong materials like glue and cement, the crown is stuck down securely to the tooth surface.

Precautions with your new crown: avoid chewy, sticky or hard foods initially and floss by sliding the string out the side of the tooth rather than lifting.

Crowns last 5-15 years if maintained properly with excellent oral hygiene and oral habits.

June 2016

This month the Greenacre Dental team attended the Bulldogs vs Sharks home game at ANZ stadium. Unfortunately, the sponsored side lost to the current table champs however the entire staff enjoyed a very pleasant evening in the Ambassadors Room. Currently Dr Chris sponsors the number 15 interchange jersey for the Canterbury Bulldogs squad.

13335752_10156902785990262_8789459217582487062_nCourtesy of Dental Assistant Julie Truong, A snapshot of the corporate style evening attended by the Greenacre Dental  staff.  

A TIMELINE OF TEETH

Baby Teeth /Primary Teeth

Tooth development begins from before a baby is born. Primary teeth are almost completely formed at birth and remain buried under the gums. Usually their eruption occurs after six months old and is an uncomfortable process.

Parents should begin brushing their children’s teeth from after 18 months old. Primary teeth help hold the spaces for permanent teeth. Early brushing develop good oral hygiene practices and routine.

Baby teeth are usually lost after 6 years old and all permanent teeth have erupted by 12. Losing teeth is a right of passage usually performed at home by “wiggling” it out. However some children will need dental expertise to remove a tooth.

 

Baby Teeth Basics

  • Prevent early childhood caries by stopping bottle feeding (including milk, sugary liquids like juice) after 1 year old.
  • Stop or avoid pacifier use as soon as possible
  • Start brushing baby teeth after 18 months
  • Wean your child off thumb sucking after the age of two (otherwise crowding occurs)
  • Take your child to the dentist by age 2 for their first visit.

baby teethBaby Teeth and When They Likely Fall Out.

Permanent Teeth  

  • Loose, sore or missing teeth are a concern for people – if affected, its time to consult with a dentist. It may be signs of trauma, gum disease, decay or failed dental work, and may possibly lead to everlasting tooth loss. Implants or dentures may be your only possible alternative for gappy spaces.
  • Primary tooth eruption begins once baby teeth are lost, after the age of 6. Permanent molars come in from behind where primary teeth were. Wisdom teeth usually eruption after all permanent teeth have come up, usually after 17 years old.
  • Permanent teeth are meant to last with us for life following their eruption. Once decayed or removed, teeth will not regrow.

 

May 2016

Caffeine

Caffeine is considered completely safe to consume. However large amounts of the substance can cause damage to the appearance and health of teeth. Caffeine containing drinks like sodas, energy drinks, coffee and tea can cause staining, enamel damage and clenching

Staining

  • Caffeine leaves staining on teeth in a yellowish-brown colour
  • Cutting down caffeine consumption prevents or eliminates staining
  • Drinking from a straw can minimise staining
  • Drinking or rinsing with water can also reduce staining.
  • Scale and cleans performed by dentists (as well as the upmost oral care at home) can improve staining.

 

Enamel Damage

  • As enamel wears off, the tooth becomes expose and vulnerable
  • Large caffeine consumption can lead to enamel degradation – degradation can weaken teeth to accelerate decay and form cavities.
  • Limiting caffeine consumption prevent enamel damage.
  • There is no way to grow back your tooth enamel

 

Clenching

  • Caffeine can reduce sleep and increase stress levels.
  • With increased stress and disruptive sleep patterns, clenching or bruxism increases.
  • Clenching leads to jaw and ear pain, cracking or breaking of teeth and difficulty chewing or opening the mouth.
  • When clenching becomes unbearable or severe, it impacts on other aspects of daily life and mouth devices may be necessary. Dentist can assess bruxism and make the appropriate devices.

 

How does coffee stain teeth?

Tooth enamel contains microscopic pits and ridges in the tooth that hold onto food and drink we consume. Dark coloured drinks, usually drinks with caffeine, become embedded into the cracks begin to stain the surface. Eventually the staining becomes permanent.

What about milk in coffee?

Lighter coloured coffee i.e. containing milk can cause less staining than black coffee however it won’t make your teeth any whiter either.

Strategies to avoid complications?

Giving up caffeine drinks may not be suitable for some people however drinks containing large amounts of additional sugar such as soft drinks or energy drinks are strongly recommended to not be consumed. Nevertheless, consuming coffee or tea at break times and then rinsing with water is more suitable than sipping continuously throughout the day. Also using a strong whitening tooth paste and maintain excellent oral care i.e. brushing and flossing can improve caffeine’s detriments. Regular visits to the dentist will eliminate staining.

 

April 2016

We wish our patients a very happy Easter! Don’t splurge too much on the chocolate though!

 

Receding Gums

Receding gums occur when the gum and bones in the mouth begin to move away from the teeth. Gums do naturally recede with age but other factors may aggregate or accelerate recession.

Factors include forceful brushing, inadequate or infrequent brushing, bruxism and gum disease.

If left untreated gum recession can expose tooth roots leading to sensitivity, pain and tooth decay. It can even cause tooth loss.

 

Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages
  • Food getting easily stuck between teeth and gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Redness or puffiness on the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Exposed tooth roots (brownish in colour).

receeding gums

There is no cure for receding gums only steps to take to prevent it. For example:

Reduce plaque build up

    • Receding gums are often caused by gum disease which begins with dental plaque sticking to teeth and surrounding gum tissue. Good oral hygiene habits will combat this.

Brushing properly

    • Brushing too hard or with the wrong brush can cause recession. Use a soft brush, a gentle technique and circular motion for right brushing.

Consider a night guard

    • Bruxism or grinding can cause gums to recede. Wearing a night guard will combat this.

Biyearly dental checkups

See your dentist every six months to prevent recession and monitor your gums.

 

Treatment

    • Customising treatment to prevent further recession (to affect underlying bone)
    • Scaling and root planning to remove dental bacteria
    • Fighting disease and further bone loss
    • In some instances gum grafting and surgery is required, as is treatment or consultation by a periodontist (gum specialist).

 

March 2016

This month our team headed Practical Infection Control and Dental Sterilisation Course in Petersham. The team brushed up their infection control knowledge and viewed some new sterilisation procedures. It was an interesting day all round! The 2016 NRL season has kicked off: Dr Chris Papastavros has proudly sponsored player 15, one of the interchange players, from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs! Dr Chris attended the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Pre Season launch at  Flemington Markets.   Stay tuned for more !

2016 Greenacre Dental Bulldogs Corporate

Sleep Apnoea & Snoring

Sleep apnoea is when people stop breathing in their sleep for up to a minute at a time. It is caused by a blockage in the airways that occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses and closes.

 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea include constant fatigue, choking or gasping when waking up suddenly, insomnia, dry mouth and sore throat.

Risk Factors of Sleep Apnoea include snoring, being overweight, history of heart disease, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, family history of snoring or sleep apnoea, high blood pressure.

apnea

Treatment

Some dental treatments can help cure sleep apnoea.

Most people don’t realise they have sleep apnoea but often the diagnosis of other conditions prompts its identification. Simple changes such as shifting sleep positions, setting up a bed routine, losing weight or quitting smoking can help control sleep apnoea.

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)  a mask and headgear that works by blowing pressurised room air into the airway in order to keep it open.
  • Oral appliances – which push the lower jaw forward and prevent the tongue from falling back
  • Surgery – removing the cause of the blockage to open the airway.Snoring can easily become a habit for some people but it should not be accepted. Chronic snoring can lead to serious health problems.

 

Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and uvula (back of throat) during sleep when the airway is obstructed. Obstruction may arise from allergies, alcohol, adenoids, enlarged tonsils, nose polyps or when sick or tired.

Treatments/Management  for Snoring

  • Oral appliances
  • Nasal strips
  • Oral surgery (to remove adenoids, tonsils or nasal polyps)
  • Losing weight
  • Sleeping on your side (instead of back or stomach)
  • Avoid sleeping tablets.

What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnoea? Studies have shown more sufferers are fatigued, decreasing their ability to concentrate whilst driving, working or operating machinery. Research shows it can also lead to a heart attack or stroke during sleep.

How can my dentist help?  A dentist can usually spot the oral signs of sleep apnoea or snoring. They may refer you to a sleep physician who can observe your heart rate and sleep interruptions. Opposed to many other conditions which require medication, sleep apnoea (and snoring) require prescribed physical and mental therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Why should I worry about sleep apnoea? Sleep apnoea stops a person’s breathing for more than 10 seconds, 60 -100 times a night. Snoring is usually punctuated by breathing whereas sleep apnoea features gasping, choking or silence.

 

February 2016

Benefits to Braces

Many parents often pose the question “Why does my child need braces?”

Crooked teeth or improper jaw alignment lead to more serious problems including difficult chewing, advanced tooth decay, wearing of tooth surfaces, insufficient chewing function or stress to gums and bones. It can even further misalign your jaw leading to chronic headaches and neck pain.

braces

We will explain some of the advantages to orthodontic treatment.

TEETH PROTECTION

  • Improved force distribution to teeth (decreased wear)
  • Correct improper jaw relationship
  • Reduces stress on oral condition e.g. jaw, facial muscles, bones
  • Decreases likelihood of premature dental problems e.g. replacing or creating fillings
  • Optimises other dental treatment e.g. fillings, crown

 

IMPROVED FUNCTION

  • Increased ability to clean teeth
  • Symmetrical face profile
  • Long term improved oral health
  • Reduce risk of protruding teeth

 

IMPROVED EATING

  • Maintenance of proper chewing, digestion and speech
  • Increase nutritional control e.g. certain foods can’t be eaten during braces

 

SOCIAL BENEFITS

  • Attractive smile
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Teaches responsibility for young people to care for their appliances

 

January 2016

We’d like to wish all our patients and staff at Greenacre Dental a very prosperous and happy New Year! To conclude 2015, the Greenacre Dental team celebrated a beautiful traditional Christmas dinner at the Lantern Club, Roselands (below left). It was a wonderful occasion for all working members of our surgery to unite and reflect on the last 12 months of a successful year! Bulldogs Captain and loyal Greenacre Dental patient, James Graham, presented Dr Chris Papastavros with his framed jersey including a personal message of thanks (below right).

1915267_10156254339210262_842996980287840663_n1459664_10156254339105262_7994437428216544059_n James Graham

10 MYTHS ABOUT CAVITITES

Over Christmas and New years the consumption of ‘bad’ foods rises; particularly, children come to our surgery with many new holes needing lots of restorative work including FILLINGS! Truth is, too many MYTHS about cavities still exist!

  1. Sugar is the prime cause of cavities. In truth, the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth causes the cavities, but bacteria thrive on carbohydrate consumption, and sugar (like potatoes, bread and fruits) contain carbs.
  2. Children are a lot more likely to get decay on adult teeth than baby teeth.This is not true, since children have low standard of oral hygiene and poor brushing technique. To prevent decay in children, they should have low sugary diets, improve brushing and use fluoride toothpastes.
  3. Aspirin placed next to a tooth treats a toothache. Swallowing aspirin can relieve tooth pain but placing aspirin next to a tooth will burn the gumline.
  4. All fillings need to be replaced. Amalgam or composite fillings need to be replaced when it has broken down or another cavity has formed. If these problems do not occur, the filling can be kept for life.
  5. If you have a cavity, you’ll feel it. Tooth decay causes no symptoms. The pain associated to tooth decay comes in the later stages of the cavity’s development i.e. when the decay has reached the nerve. Waiting to experience pain or other symptoms means more extensive dental work is needed than a regular filling. Cavities are also not self-repairing and require immediate attention.
  6. If I brush better, the hole will go away. Unfortunately for that cavity in insolation, the rejuvenation of improved oral hygiene will not treat the hole. A filling is needed to stay decay from growing.
  7. Sensitive teeth equals decaying teeth. Tooth hypersensitivity can be caused by root exposure, gum recession, abrasive brushing or no specific reason at all. Decay does not cause sensitivity.
  8. Cavities result in root canal treatment (RCT). Root canal treatment is needed when the nerve inside the tooth is damaged. Untreated cavities may lead to nerve damage but it is unlikely for a dentist to form a RCT on a brand, new hole.
  9. Clenching accelerates decay formation. Clenching does do destructive things to your teeth such as stresses the jaw and causes tooth fracture or weaken dentin, but does not accelerate bacteria activity to cause hole formation.
  10. Cavities in baby teeth shouldn’t be fixed because they’ll fall out.Untreated decayed baby teeth can cause severe pain, traumatise the permanent tooth or develop into an abscess if left untreated. It can also result in infection that spreads to the rest of the body. So it is best that they are treated or fixed.

 

December 2015

Over the last month, the team has been very busy! The entire Greenacre Dental team attended a First Aid conference in St Leonards, with a specifically tailored  medical and dental first aid information. We can proudly announce the majority of our staff are first aid equipped!

IMG_2607Our receptionist Anastasia and dental assistant Sevi practising their compressions.

 

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last teeth to break through the gums. They are located in the far back of the mouth, on the top and bottom.

They usually form late teenage years to early 20’s. Proper positioning is a valuable asset to the mouth, if they are not positioned well, they can become a painful hassle.

Some wisdom teeth can break through the come, some may show only a crown of the tooth, while others remain completely un-impacted.

wisdom

Symptoms

The symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth can vary from mild to severe.

  • Pain and tenderness close to the gums in the back of the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Redness over the area where the tooth surfaces
  • Headaches
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums
  • Unpleasant breath odor

The impacted wisdom tooth can be the source of the pain, while other times an infection can be to blame. Bacteria in the mouth (which cannot be remedied by brushing) will find its way under gum tissue and can cause pain around the crown of the tooth, even though the tooth is not visible. There are many risks with leaving wisdom teeth in the mouth including pain, adjacent tooth decay or the development of infection and cysts.

 

Removal

Removal involves light or general anesthetic for extraction. If the teeth are impacted, a surgical extraction under GA is required. If the tooth is extracted in the late teens-early twenties, the roots are able to be removed easier, as they have not fully formed.

Surgical techniques and sedative medication allow comfortable and efficient tooth removal. Once determined that the tooth or teeth have become impacted, they need to be removed. This is assessed in the dental surgery using examination tools and x-rays.

wisdom removal

 

 

November 2015

This month we farewelled three of our long-term staff members, Sabah, Olivia and Vanessa. The staff celebrated their time at Greenacre Dental with a farewell luncheon. We wish these young ladies all the best in their future! On that note we welcome three new staff members to our team: Julie, Sevi and Lydia.

We send our congratulations to former employee Rhonda who welcomed her second child, Savva, at 8.41am on the 14th of September. Mum and baby are doing well!

Savva Sept 14

Dr Chris Papastavros finished up his year of sponsorship with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at their end of season function at Le Montage, Lilyfield. Many of the players often receive treatment at the surgery including post-game emergency restorative procedures. Dr Chris snapped a great photo with his jersey sponsored player, Josh Jackson (below).

IMG_3987

 

Pacifiers

Pacifiers (aka dummies) have been used since the 1600’s to sedate the child in period of non-feeding, till they fell asleep. The sucking reflex is very soothing to small children and allows them to remain quiet or fall asleep when in use. They are also preferred to thumb sucking, because being a removable object you can train a child to discontinue use.

dummy

Pros & Cons
Pros

  • Soothes a fussy baby
  • Offers temporary distraction (e.g. during shots or blood tests)
  • Helps the baby fall asleep
  • Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Easier to break the habit than thumb-sucking/disposable

Cons

  • Interferes with feeding (particularly recognition of breast feeding)
  • Dependence on pacifier
  • Increases risk of middle ear infections

Prolonged use causes dental problems.Prolonged use does cause dental problems, particularly affecting the slant and direction of teeth. This leads to other issues in later years including tooth formation, decay acceleration and speech impairment.

Discontinuing Use Physiologists recommend explaining to the child the negatives of pacifier use and set a day in advance to cease use. Once this day arrives, remove all pacifiers or bottles from the house and re-explain to the child the negatives of pacifier use. By giving notice, your child feels in control of the situation and can distinguish the consequences of using dummies. Allow the infant to participate in throwing the dummies away; allow them to even decorate a box or tin that the pacifiers can be thrown away in. Reward good behaviour and tell them they that are now a big boy or girl.

 

Tips In Discontinuing Use of Pacifiers

The Journal of Paediatric Nursing recommends removing pacifiers at 3 years old (this also includes bottle feeding or breast feeding). This prevents any issues from occurring orally in later years.

Avoid negative reinforcement when weening your child from dummy use.

Never dip the dummy into anything sweet as a way of soothing the child.

Try trading the pacifier for a stuffed animal before bed.

Never replace feeding with pacifier use.

 

October 2015

This month our Greenacre Dental dentists Dr Chris Papastavros and Dr Huy Dinh, and our hygienist Ari Kontominas, attended the yearly Meriden Golf Day. Our hygienist Ari also attended the Colgate Oral Health seminar in Sydney, representing the surgery. He was informed on up-to-date on the oral health benefits of Colgate toothpastes. Feel free to ask him any questions about good oral hygiene at your next dental appointment!

ORAL THRUSH

Thrush is an infection caused by candida – a fungus – also known as yeast. Candida infections are not limited to the mouth; they can occur in other parts of the body and anyone (of all ages) can be exposed to it.

 

Symptoms of oral thrush include:

  • Sudden onset, which persists over a long period of time.
  • White creamy, raised lesions over the tongue and cheeks
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • A feeling that food gets stuck in the throat or mid-chest region
  • Tenderness and redness when brushing
  • Fever (due to the spreading of the yeast infection)
  • In severe or untreated cases, lesions may spread to throat and esophagus.

 

Candida fungus is always present in the mouth, the digestive tract and the skin. It usually is kept maintained by the work of other bacteria and microorganisms. However certain illnesses, stress or medications disturb this balance and cause the candida to grow out of control. Diabetics, HIV infected people or sufferers of cancer are more likely to experience oral thrush. People taking corticosteroids or antibiotics are also at higher risk.

nystainNystatin Drops are one form of treatment for oral thrush.

 

September 2015

MONEY SAVING DENTAL TIPS

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Unfortunately, there are costs associated to dental visits and maintaining your teeth, particularly with restorative or dental work. Fortunately though, individuals can take proactive action to minimise dental problems caused by lifestyle activities and reduce dental costs.

Stop drinking sodas  Smoking is a harmful habit that can also be very expensive for individuals and households. Smoking masks gum disease whilst simultaneously accelerating it. It also increases the risk of oral cancer, tooth staining and other illnesses. Not only will you save money by quitting, but improve your physiological and oral wellbeing.

Cancel gym memberships  Limiting sweet and acid-prone foods will reduce your tooth decay. Unhealthy foods i.e. foods packed in sugar, carbohydrates and fat are not good for your body or mouth, accelerating tooth decay and costing your expensive charges to repair. Instead of snacking on sweets or fast foods, munch of many fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and brush after breakfast and before bed daily.

Prevention is better than a cure – oral health is linked to overall health so oral diseases can affect your general wellbeing. Prevent dental deterioration by managing your oral condition.

 

August 2015

With July featuring a block of school holidays, we have decided to provide some information and insight onto DECAY. Considering 20% of children under 5 and 90% of teenagers in Australia have decay, requiring tooth extraction or repair/restoration. Decay starts at home and is also prevented at home by parental instruction, healthy and sugar-free diets and good oral hygiene.

 

Decay

What is decay and why is it so bad? 

Decay is the state or process of rotting decomposition where bacteria has infested a previously healthy area. It can compromise other areas and result in severe health risks.

 decay 2

Signs & symptoms:

  • Toothache & Pain
  • Tooth sensitivity to cold and hot
  • Mild/sharp pain when eating or drinking
  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  • You may not even be aware that a cavity is forming. It is important to maintain regular check-ups to spot these problems early, even when your mouth is feeling fine. If you do experience mouth pain, seek dental health.

 

When to see a dentist:

You may not even be aware that a cavity is forming. It is important to maintain regular check-ups to spot these problems early, even when your mouth is feeling fine. If you do experience mouth pain, seek dental health.

 

Causes:

Cavities are formed by tooth decay (a problem which happens over time, not overnight).

Decay develops by

Plaque formation

The mouth naturally contains bacteria. Foods with excess sugar or carbohydrates can linger in the mouth and if brushing isn’t performed bacteria produces acid which attacks the tooth.

Plaque attack

The acids in plaque (a sticky white film) remove minerals in your tooth’s hard, outer enamel causing erosion. Erosion with plaque causes tiny holes to form in the enamel. Once areas are worn away, bacteria enters the next layer of the tooth called the dentin.

Destruction

Bacteria and acid now form a “home” in the dentin, moving to the next layer of the tooth (the pulp or nerve). This irritates the body’s immune system and signs of decay begin to show such as toothache, sensitivity and pain. You may also experience an infection or abscess since the nerve is connected to the body’s immune system and blood stream.

 

An abscess is a pocket of pus that is caused by bacterial infection.

decay

Risk factors:

  • Tooth location (molars and premolars particularly wisdom teeth are at highest risk)
  • Diet (sugary drinks and foods increase bacteria)
  • Frequent sipping or snacking
  • Bedtime feeding (particularly with infants and toddlers using bottles)
  • Inadequate brushing technique
  • Not getting enough fluoride
  • Dry mouth (limited saliva in the mouth)
  • Medical conditions e.g. heart disease, diabetes, GORD or eating disorders particularly Complications: Worst case scenario is an infection or abscess needing hospitalisation which isn’t as rare as people think. Decay may cause tooth loss but usually results in expensive restorative work (filling) with future maintenance.

If you’re undergoing a filling (to treat decay) – stay calm , composed, take medication as prescribed and follow dentist orders.

To prevent decay, eat a moderate and healthy diet, brush regularly and maintain regular dental visits.

Awaiting your filling appointment – take over the counter medications to ease pain, perform salt water rinses to limit infection and avoid sweet, cold or hot foods.

 

May & June 2015

In May, some of the Greenacre Dental staff attended the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Women’s in League Night at the Canterbury Leagues Club with Bulldog’s CEO Raelene Castle (below right). It was an excellent opportunity to learn how the club operates corporately in which the surgery’s sponsorship is under. In June, our hygienist Ari attended a hygiene and oral health talk at Mickey’s Preschool, Greenacre with dental assistant Olivia (below left).

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Halitosis or Bad Breath

Cause:

  • The main cause is the sulphur-producing bacteria- living on tongue and in throat.
  • Smoking – starves the mouth of oxygen
  • Dry mouth – caused by alcohol, stress, certain medication or medical conditions.
  • Dental infections – periodontal disease (gum disease)
  • Nasal or sinus infections – e.g. chronic sinusitis
  • Stomach problems – acid or bile reflux causes bad odour from the mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene – lack of brushing,
  • Certain foods – onions, garlic and cauliflower to name a few

bad breath

Symptoms of Halitosis include:

  • A white coating on the tongue
  • Dry mouth
  • Thick saliva
  • Foul taste in the mouth and upon the breath

 

Treatment:

Treatment needs to solve the problem – whatever the problem may be!

Avoiding dehydration, maintaining good oral hygiene including brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, quitting smoking, abstaining from smelly foods, using breath mints when needed and even using gentle scrapers on the tongue to clear sulphur bacteria are all effect treatment for halitosis.

 

For chronic sinusitis, a saline nasal spray may be useful, though antibiotics may be needed to reduce the growth of oral bacteria. Speaking to a dentist can confirm this treatment or diagnose the issue altogether.

 

Further reading and information can be found at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Halitosis_or_bad_breath

 

April 2015

The previous month the Greenacre Dental attended the Canterbury Bulldogs Annual Golf Day. Principal Dentist, Dr Chris Papastavros sponsored a hole at the course. Also, hygienist Ari Kontominas, gave a talk to the young pupils at Chullora Public School, informing them about optimal dental hygiene and brushing technique. Students thoroughly enjoyed the talk and the audio-visual presentation Ari presented.

We’d like to wish our patients a very happy Easter holiday. We hope you don’t eat too much chocolate and care for those pearly whites.

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Six Special Ways to Celebrate Loosing Baby Teeth – A Guide for Parents

Losing a tooth is a big moment in a child’s life, particularly their first tooth. It is a pleasant idea to celebrate and commemorate this event. With school holidays approaching, and we’re guessing some loose teeth around, let’s suggest some ideas to celebrate your children’s tooth loss!

Simple ideas:

  • The tooth fairy
    • Use a tooth case or a miniature pillow to place the tooth
    • Write a letter to her
  • Snap a picture of the gap between the child’s teeth
    • Note the date the tooth fell out
    • Stick it up somewhere special
  • Make a scrapbook with your child’s teeth experiences
    • Include losing their first tooth
    • Add pictures
    • Let him or her write an entry about losing their tooth
    • Add in entries from other dental milestones – first trip to the dentist and other baby teeth loss
  • Make “tooth cupcakes” and hold a family party
    • Decorate the cakes with little teeth figures
  • Set up arts and crafts
    • Use white felt and glue on buttons to create your own tooth figurine
    • Personalise a frame (perhaps the photograph taken of your child’s new gappy smile) with sparkles and dental stickers.
  • Take your child out somewhere special to mark the occasion e.g. a favourite restaurant or the cinema

 

March 2015

This month Dr Chris Papastavros and hygienist Mr Ari Kontominas attending a periodontal conference in Waterloo, updating and developing their knowledge on oral hygiene and its effects. Also Dr Chris also drew his jersey for the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 2015 sponsored player by Greenacre Dental at the club’s launch at Curzon Hall. Greenacre Dental will be sponsoring player 11.

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Crossbite, Overbite, Underbite

Crossbite

Crossbite is the condition that arises due to irregularities of the occlusal surface of the tooth. One or more teeth may be titled towards the cheek (the buccal) or towards the tongue (lingual) compared to the tooth above it. It can happen on one or both sides of the jaw. This condition can cause stress on the jaw. It is usually heredity due to the shape of the jaw (governed by genes). It can also happen when there is a delayed loss of baby teeth or careless thumb sucking.

 

Overbite

Overbite is the overlapping of upper teeth over the tops of lower teeth. Usually the gap should be 3-5mm but overlaps greater than 5mm is classified as abnormal. It is the most common form of incorrect bite and is related to genetics. It can be worsened by other factors like pacifiers, thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. It is very obvious in looks. It can also cause headaches due to temporomandibular joint stress when chewing.

 

Underbite

Underbite is a condition of the lower teeth landing in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is closed. Ideally the front teeth are supposed to lie behind the upper teeth. Underbite affects the molars and incisor teeth. Underbite sufferers have a prominent lower jaw. This occurs due to genetic reasons though thumb-sucking and bas chewing habits can worsen the condition. Adenoids or allergies cause children to breathe through their mouth and may cause the condition to develop. Underbite patients may experience difficulty chewing.

Any questions concerning the above conditions call 97502080 and book to see our hygienist Ari. Though we do not offer orthodontic treatment at our surgery, we have a team of highly qualified and professional orthodontics we refer to.

 

February 2015

Soft Drink & Oral Health

Tooth decay is a very serious problem affecting millions of people world-wide. Moreover, it remains a global issue since poor diet is preventable. Most people drink 600mL of soft drink per day (approximately 13 teaspoons of sugar). Sports drinks and energy drinks similarly contain large quantities of sugar. These drinks have high acid levels which potentially damage teeth. Soft drink is converted to acid in the mouth by bacteria. Acid leads to tooth decay and dental erosion. Soft drink also contains fermentable carbohydrates (sugar and starch) which accelerate tooth decay. Excessive soft drink consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, increased gastric problems and vitamin deficiencies. Recent research has shown excessive soft drink consumption particularly with Coca Cola leads to osteoporosis and depression.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT! If you choose to drink soft drink, rinsing your mouth out with water or drinking water afterwards improves decay risk. Chewing sugar-free gum may also help since saliva is replenished and neutralises the mouth.   FAQ Sugar-free soft drink is okay to consume like diet coke?

soda impacting the body

In brief, no. sugar-free soft drinks may not cause an increase in decay but they still contain acid which increases dental erosion.   If there a way I can consume soft drink safely? It is best to limit soft drink, but if you chose to drink it make sure to:

    • Only have it during meal times
    • Drink it through a straw
    • Do not brush your teeth straight after consumption
    • Drink water or chew sugar-free gum afterwards
    • CHECK OUT THIS LINK FOR FURTEHR INFORMATION!   http://www.sharecare.com/health/non-alcoholic-drinking/is-diet-soda-healthier-regular

 

 

 

 

January 2015

After a busy year, the Greenacre Dental team enjoyed their Christmas Party, hosted at Macini’s Restaurant in Belfield. IMG_1416Our team has also earned a well- deserved break over Christmas; during which, our surgery was painted and refreshed for another year of successful business.

Before Christmas, Canterbury-Bulldogs halfback and NSW Blues star Trent Hodgkinson paid Greenacre Dental a visit. Trent and dental assistant Cassandra snapped a “selfie” whilst undergoing his treatment (left).

Here are our 5 New Year Dental Resolutions for 2015:

  • Eat dental friendly foods (avoid the 3 S’s – sugars, sodas and sticky carbohydrates)
  • Brush twice a day and floss regularly
  • Get on top of gum disease
  • Maintain good dental habits and routine, especially for children
  • Stop smoking

Therefore, our team has proposed a brief segment on oral health and smoking to inspire smokers to quit for good, to salvage their dental condition.   Oral Health & Smoking Smoking is a major risk to your health, including oral health. Nicotine, found in tobacco, is a vaso-constrictor, meaning it contracts blood vessels to reduce blood flow. This directly stops blood to the gums in the mouth and bone which disguises signs of gum disease and decreases the body’s efficiency to combat oral infection.   smoking and oral health Dental Problems Associated to Smoking

  • Gum disease
    • Disguises signs of gum disease e.g. bleeding gums
  • Decreases body’s efficiency to combat oral infection.
  • Impaired healing
  • Thicker mucous saliva formation increases
    • Accelerates decay
  • Oral cancer risk increases
    • Non-smokers are 3x more likely to survive oral cancer than smokers.
  • Decreases or loss of oral sensation and taste
  • Increases likelihood of tooth loss or extraction
  • Tooth staining
  • Decreased success of cosmetic work including implants
  • Bad breath

Caring for Teeth and Gums as a Smoker Increased oral hygiene can slow down oral deterioration but the effects of smoking are inevitable.

  • Quit smoking
  • Brush twice a day and floss
  • Use fluoride
  • Avoid having a dry mouth e.g. regularly drink water and chew sugar-free gum
  • Limit alcohol intake

Quitting Tips Quitting smoking can take several attempts and often involves relapse. Quit courses, counselling over the telephone or in person and nicotine replacement therapy can provide support for smoking-quitters. The great news about quitting smoking is that immediate benefits occur after refraining including better breathing, increased blood flow, improved immune system and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Life expectancy can also increase by 10 years. Ring Quitline on 137 848 for free advice and support or see your pharmacist, doctor or dentist for strategy or further information. Remember to set yourself short-term achievable goals.

 

December 2014

This month our Principal Dentist Dr Chris Papastavros and hygienist Ari Kontominas attended the All In Four Dental Implant Seminar hosted by the St George Dental Association, continuing the teams education on implant surgery success.

The surgery also received Dale Finucane’s jersey – The Greenacre Dental sponsored Canterbury Bulldogs Player for 2014. We think it looks spectacular in our surgery’s hallway.

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Dental Fissures or Sealants

  • Sealants are plastic coatings which over the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of the permanent back teeth known as molars.
  • Occlusal surfaces feature grooves (or fissure) on them which are vulnerable to decay.
  • Fissures are deep pits and hard to reach so decay easily sits on the grooves.
  • Sealants prevent decay by covering the groovy surfaces.
  • It is best to get sealants on the molar teeth when they first erupt through (11-13 years old)
  • Sealants prevent decay acceleration and the need for a filling.
  • Sealants are clear, white or slightly see-through.
  • They last 3-5 years.
  • The sealant administration procedure is safe, painless and effective for decay control.
  • Brushing, flossing and fluoride use should still be of the highest standard to maintain oral hygiene.

The procedure for sealant application is simple and quick: first the tooth surface is scaled and cleaned by the dentist and washed and dried. Then an acidic solution is placed on the area in preparation before being rinsed off. A liquid sealant is placed on the tooth and hardened. A special UV light hardens the material so it becomes a varnish plastic coat. The tooth can now be used again as normal .

fissure

November 2014

It has been a very busy month for the Greenacre Dental Team. Dr Chris Papastavros celebrated a well earned year with the Bankstown-Canterbury Bulldogs at their end of season function at Le Montage (seen below). Greenacre Dental also sponsored and attended the annual Meriden School Golf Day (seen below) and the 50th Anniversary of All Saint’s Greek Orthodox Church Ball. We wish all well and congratulations.

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November is oral cancer awareness month so we have provided some brief information below for your reading. Oral Cancer Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells that causes damage via invasion to surrounding tissues. Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore that does not go away for a prolonged period of time. Oral cancer includes cancer of the lip, tongue, cheek, mouth floor, hard/soft palate, sinuses and throat.   Symptoms

  • Swelling/thickening of lips, gums or internal stoma area
  • Prominent rough lumps in the mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness of the mouth or face
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed easily
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Chronic sore throat

Risks of Oral Cancer

  • Men face 2x the risk of developing oral cancer opposed to women.
  • Smokers are 6x more likely to develop oral cancer opposed to non-smokers.
  • Smokeless tobacco users (dipping, snuffing or chewing tobacco) are 50x more likely to develop cancer of the cheek or gums.
  • Excessive consumers of alcohol are 6x more likely to develop oral cancer than non-drinkers.
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure, especially to the face.

It’s important to note that people experiencing none of the above risks can still be diagnosed with oral cancer.   Diagnosis Oral cancer is diagnosed during routine dental exams. Your dentist may notice something usual in your mouth (one of the above symptoms) or a prominent growth. They will feel for any irregular tissue masses, discolouration or sores. They refer off for a biopsy to surgically determine diagnosis. Biopsies are painless procedures where a small sample of suspicious tissue is taken and analysed for abnormalities. It is a vital tool in detecting oral cancer and preventing its spread.

October 2014

Child Dental Benefit Scheme (CDBS) The Child Dental Benefit Scheme was initiated in 2014 by Medicare from the Department of Human Services. It provides $1000 for dental services depending on family access per child for two consecutive calendar years. The $1000 is granted from the government with fixed pricing as allowed by Medicare bulk billing. Funds roll into the second year if balance remains. Eligibility – Children and teenagers aged between 2-17 are eligible for dental services over two calendar consecutive years. The child must be a Medicare recipient and part of a family who receives Tax Benefit Part A or government payable services. A letter regarding child eligibility for the scheme is sent to the familial address. Parents can check eligibility by contacting human services at Medicare by the following link: www.humanservices.gov.au/childdental or by calling 132 011. Services covered by the CDBS –  Examinations, x-rays, cleans, fissure sealants, fillings, root canals and extractions.  Orthodontic services and other cosmetic work or hospital work is not covered by the scheme. Accessing the CDBS – Once determining eligibility, book an appointment for your dentist at a private or public dental surgery. At this appointment, please bring your eligibility letter and Medicare card. The dentist will discuss the proposed treatment for the child and the bulk-billed costs. They will get you to sign a consent form, agree to the treatment and accept your paperwork. Paying for CDBS – The dentist will bulk-bill your child’s treatment to Medicare by submitting a claim with the services completed on the day. This requires your Medicare card. Prices are set by the government and you will receive all processes receipts for the services. We ask you to please file away in a secure place all receipts from your child’s treatment in case for future reference. If you have exceeded the available CDBS funds, the dentist will not be paid from the scheme any further. They may ask you to pay the outstanding difference and will warn you the money was been reached. Out of pocket costs cannot be claimed by Medicare since they have exceeded your threshold. For more information visit www.humanservices.gov.au/childdental or call 132 011. Flyers or pamphlets are available in Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Greek or Vietnamese from Medicare. Ari, our hygienist, specialises with children and teenage dental care and is handles majority of our CDBS patients. Feel free to call us at Greenacre Dental to either ask inquiries regarding the CDBS or book an appointment.

September 2014

IMG_0793Dr Chris Papastavros treating James Graham, a first grade player of the Canterbury-Bulldogs NRL team.

Dr Chris has been proudly sponsoring and treating players for 4 years. This year he also sponsored player number 15. With the NRL sponsorship season coming to a close, the Greenacre Dental team attended the final home game in the Corporate lounge.

  TMJ The temporomandibular joint is a hinge on the lower jaw (mandible) that is connected to the skull and either side of the ears, made of flexible muscle and aid chewing, talking and yawning movements. TMJ is a disorder of the TMJ (jaw and facial muscles) which inhibit facial activity e.g. chewing, talking and opening the mouth.   Causes?

  • Neck or head injury e.g. whiplash
  • Grinding or clenching teeth – subconscious squeezing of the jaw
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in TMJ bone
  • Stress (accompanied with clenching + grinding)

Diagnosis? A dentist or hygienist can diagnose TMJ following a dental examination. Symptoms?

  • Pain/tenderness in the face, jaw, neck and ears during speaking or chewing.
  • Limited ability to open the mouth
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds when jaw is opened
  • Tired feeling around the face
  • Difficulty or discomfort during chewing or biting
  • Jaw becomes locked when opened
  • Headache/ earache/ toothache/ neckache

Treatment Possibilities?

  • Wearing a night guard/splint – a plastic mouthpiece that stops the teeth meeting, and prevents clenching and grinding.
  • Applying heat/cold packs – apply to temple/neck region for 10 minutes 3x a day
  • Medications – anti-inflammatory medicines (e.g. Neurofen)
  • Relaxation techniques e.g. massaging, stretching.

brux massageMassaging or stretching are both suitable relaxation techniques to relieve jaw pain and tension.

August 2014

1st Time Denture Problems Dentures

  1. Steaming or boiling food

Avoid crunchy foods (e.g. apples, potato chips) and melt, blend or boil food for a softer consistency. Also cut up smaller portion bites to avoid extra chewing.

  1. Talking difficulties

Talk slowly and loudly to notice talking abnormalities or to correct mispronunciation.

  1. Sore gums

Take the denture out at night. Massage and squeeze the gums to promote circulation.

  1. Mouth feels dry

Staying hydrated is the main way to relieve dry mouth.

  1. Excess saliva in the mouth

Frequently sipping water can ease the feeling of excess saliva in the mouth.

  1. The denture keeps slipping/teeth not meeting properly.

A denture adjustment is the best bet for eliminating a slipping denture. Do not put creams or adhesives as the layers will build up and cause the gum to shrink over time.

  1. My gums are sore or bleeding since I got my denture.

A dental prosthodontist may need to adjust or examine the denture to accommodate its shape and size, because it is impacting on the gums.   Though we do not make new dentures at our surgery, we are happy to perform an exam and consult, or refer you to a prosthodontist.

July 2014

Formal 60004Watch out for Greenacre Bowling and Recreation Club scoring cards which feature our surgery on the back.

The Invention of the Dental Chair In 1790, American dentist Josiah Flagg created a special dental chair, by adding a mobile head rest onto a wooden chair.The arm extension was suitable for dental equipment to sit. 42 years later, James Snell from London, England, created the first fully reclinable chair. In 1867 the first modern chair was developed thanks to Dr James Beal lMorrison. He introduced additional features such as a footrest, ball-and-socket beneath the chair, foot pedal and vertical adjustment. He also invented a variety of dental accessories and instruments which were both attachable and non-attachable to the chair. The chair’s were either made of fabric or leather. Just like other aspects of dentistry, chair technology continues to advance. Today’s chairs do not feature wood, but steel, plastic and aluminium. It runs both electronically or hydraulically. They feature plenty of electrical sockets for equipment and are stored within the machine to minimise dangerous occurrences. Nowadays the chairs are made of comfortable heavy and padded plastic to make seating more hygienic. Modern seats extend to 6 feet and 330 pounds (~150Kg) for all sized and shaped patients.

June 2014

During May, Greenacre Dental attended two corporate Canterbury Bulldogs events: Night with the Coaches & The Marketing Bulldogs Breakfast.

The team also attended TePe Dental Conference in Sydney’s CBD. TePe is a Swedish dental manufacturer, who supplies to Australia and specialises with up-to-date and efficient oral health equipment (such as toothbrushes, interdental brushes and hygiene products). IMG_0572

Tooth whitening Not everyone’s teeth require whitening. Our team is happy to perform an assessment to find your suitability. A proper assessment to find suitability checks: enamel thickness, receding gums, sensitivity, tooth decay, restorative work e.g. fillings, crowns, veneers, and current oral diseases e.g. gum disease.

What can go wrong? The following side effects can occur during tooth whitening: reduction of hardness and strength of enamel, inflamed gums, blistering, heightened tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, possible gum bleeding and discolouration of cosmetic work like fillings.

Naturally whitening teeth – There are easier and more cost effective ways to keep your teeth brighter, naturally. They are:

  1. Brushing 2x a day with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Flossing
  3. Chewing sugar free gum
  4. Drinking water and consuming a sensible diet
  5. Avoid staining agents – cigarettes, tea, coffee, spicy or curry based foods.

Expectations Depending discolouration causes, results can range from impressive to disappointing. One must understand what can reasonably be achieved during whitening.

Still in Doubt? Check out this information guide to see if you’re eligible for whitening: http://www.toothwhiteningfacts.com.au/static/Downloads/Teeth-whitening-should-I-whiten-my-teeth.pdf

May 2014

We like to congratulate our hygienist Ari and his wife Amelia on the birth of their beautiful baby daughter, Myla. Myla arrived on the 16th of April 2014. We wish the new parents and baby well.

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Diastema – Gaps Between Teeth

What is it? It is a significant size gap between two teeth.

Reasons for diastema? A mismatch between the size of the jaw and the size of teeth exists, teeth are too small for the jaw bone, absent teeth, thumb sucking or periodontal disease. Orthodontic correction is usually required.

Symptoms?  Other than the visual, cosmetic signs, the tongue may often thrust into the gaps. Swallowing may feel uncomfortable. Teeth may feel loose. Prevention? Not all spaces can be prevented, but maintaining good oral health is necessary.

Treatment? Orthodontic treatment is the best way to treat diastema. Braces or Invisalign cause the teeth to move, to close the gaps. Dentists sometimes suggest crowns or veneers to enlarge tooth size. More extensive repair may be needed for very large gaps e.g. implants or dentures. If the tissue is too large, a frectonomy may be done i.e. to remove the tissue.

diastema makeover  Diastema is featured on two different patients (left). Two cosmetic solutions  show options to straightening diastema (right).

 

 April 2014

This month our principal dentist – Dr Chris Papastavros – and our hygenist – Ari Kontominas – gave an oral hygiene and emergency instruction lecture at the club’s offices in Sydney Olympic Park to the Western Sydney Giants. The pair enjoyed educating the players on protocol to follow with an on-field dental emergency. MCA81FC99CA18OJ33CAHZS259CADGPL2UCAP5YZIJCALA9S3OCA328HEWCAF2YYAACAZWNQ1BCAN6CSM4CAACA8R7CA97RZSZCAQGAAKWCA9KIG0FCA2M1QGYCAI5XWIPCA15VVX8CAV0OHEPCABCATCJ

 

This month, learn what foods are good and bad for teeth:

Good   Bad  
Water- A  great rinsing agent, neutralises the mouth. Carbonated drinks e.g.   Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite – Contain large doses   of sugar, enamel eroding acids.
Green and Black Tea – Slows the   growth of bacteria, fights bad breath. Energy drinks e.g.   Mother, V, Red Bull – Contain   large doses of sugar and eroding enamel acids.
Sultanas – Contains   phytochemicals, destroys bacteria Starchy foods e.g.   potato chips, white bread, pasta – Can become   lodged between teeth and turn into sugar.
Carrots and cucumbers – Cleans the teeth,   stimulates saliva flow. Caramel, hard candies   and lollipops – Clingy sugars which   stick to the teeth.
Almonds – Keeps tooth   enamel strong. Alcohol – Full of   sugar, reduces saliva flow and dehydrates the body.
Sugarless gum – Stimulates   saliva to clear bacteria. Citrus fruits – Strips the enamel   off the tooth, may stain tooth.
Milk – Neutralises mouth   acid, contains calcium Picked veggies – Vinegar   causes lesions to form on tooth
Cranberries – Lower risk of cavities due to polyphenols Popcorn – Lodges itself between teeth, difficult to floss out, resulting in bacteria growth. Kernels   also break tooth surfaces.
Cheese-Lower acid levels in   the mouth, destroy bacteria. Ice – Chips or   break teeth.
Curry and red sauce – Causes   cosmetic staining to match sauce colour.

Frequently Asked Questions

I drink diet sodas. Why am I getting in trouble for this? Diet sodas contain high levels of acid and can produce the same effects of non-diet, sugary soft drinks.

I thought brushing after meals is the right thing to do. Why have I been informed otherwise? Brushing after eating actually removes weakened enamel, wearing it away. Alternatively, rinsing your mouth with water after eating or chewing free sugar stimulates saliva flow, and is more productive for enamel.

What are some healthy, “good” snacks I can make ?

  • Cheese on low GI crackers
  • Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit
  • Raw veggies with dip  or cottage cheese
  • Watermelon, pineapple and pear skewers

Swap  sugary breakfasts foods like “Cocoa Pops”, “Froot Loops” and“Frosties” for “Oats”, “Weet-Bix” or “Oat-Bran”. Swap sweet desert puddings, chocolate and cake for fruit salad, dried apricots, home-made smoothies and sugar-free ice cream.

 

March 2014

This month Greenacre Dental sponsored a hole at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Annual Golf Day and the number 15 jersey for the 2014 NRL season. IMG_0103IMG_0112   Gum Disease Gum disease is the inflammation of the soft gingival tissue and abnormal bone loss that surrounds the teeth and holds them in place, typically caused by accumulated bacterial plaque along the gum line. It occurs in two stages:  1. Gingivitis and, 2. Periodontitis Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease where dental plaque builds up along the line between gum and tooth. Signs include bleeding, redness of the gum and swelling of the gum. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis goes untreated. The gum margin is weakened and begins to form space between the tooth and the gum. This is known as a “pocket”. Bacteria easily becomes trapped in these pockets causing inflammation. As periodontitis progresses the bone is lost, pocket space magnifies in size and signs become more obvious e.g. gum swelling and receding gumline, bad breath, bad taste in mouth, excessive bleeding and loosening of teeth. Smoking is a common risk factor of periodontal disease (6x more likely to experience gum disease if you smoke) and smokers suffering this should consider smoking cessation programs. A dentist can perform an charting examination with a periodontal probe to measure pockets, acting as a reference point for follow up appointments. gum disease progression Frequently Asked Questions

Can gum disease be reversed? Gum disease can be reversed with often professional dental cleaning followed by consistent and thorough brushing and flossing.

Why must I be referred to a Periodontist? A periodontist specialises in treating gum disease. This treatment involves careful, deep cleaning of teeth to remove the bacterial infuriation to the gums which stabilises gum disease.

How can I manage flared on gum disease in my pregnancy? During pregnancy, women are at higher risk of developing gingivitis due to increased hormone production. The gum tissues become more susceptible to bacterial and pathogenic attack, increasing gum swelling and bleeding (even if oral hygiene has been good).

 

February 2014

Brushing Technique In order to prevent dental calamities such as decay, fillings, extractions and more, we must perfect our brushing technique. Brushing teeth should be incorporated into a child’s routine after the age of 2 with a parent’s assistance. Precise technique is essential for maintenance of healthy teeth and gums as well as constant removal of plaque.

How to Brush Correctly

Proper brushing takes 2 minutes (minimum) – using a stopwatch helps little ones know when 2 mins is up! Proper brushing involves short, horizontal, gentle strokes, in a circular motion – not scrubbing! Proper brushing requires special attention to the gumline and those back teeth.  Aim the toothbrush at 45 degree angle towards the gum in an upwards direction. Hold the toothbrush like you would a pencil to avoid aggressive scrubbing. Brush twice a day: first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. For our patients with braces or retainers, brushing after the three main meals of the day is preferable for maintenance of appliances.

Order of cleaning:

  1. Outer surface of the upper teeth                             2. Outer surface of the lower teeth

3. Inner surfaces of the upper and lower  teeth          4.Chewing surfaces i.e. the tops of the  back teeth (upper and lower) 5.Tongue surface Tooth Brushing What type of toothbrush should I use? A soft bristled brush is recommended for removing plaque and debris from teeth, preferably with a small head. For many people, an electric toothbrush is a good alternative to the soft manual toothbrush. However both are suitable, as long as they are being used twice a day. For people with manual dexterity problems or those who struggle mastering the brushing technique, a powered toothbrush is a suitable option.

No more nastiesHow Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush? Usually a toothbrush should be replaced seasonally i.e. every three months.

Extra Information for Children: Useful videos on brushing technique  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dveErj1Z0b8 Excellent tooth brushing chart  (printable link)           http://www.colgateprofessional.dk/patienteducation/Kids-Brushing-Chart/article

 

January 2014

Following a busy yet productive year, the Greenacre Dental team celebrated with a glorious Christmas dinner at the Olive Restaurant Harris Park. IMG_2665 IMG_2675IMG_2660 imagesCAM0PHWEWater Fluoridation – a brief chemical history In 199, Dr McKay and Dr Vardiman of Colorado, USA began an investigation into why locals were experiencing brown staining on their teeth. At that moment, the stains weren’t recorded in dental literature. By 1915, two major discoveries were established by the dentists: that mottled enamel resulted from imperfections during infanthood and that teeth with the stains were resistant to decay. McKay then suggested there was something in the water supply which mottled teeth. Upon travelling to Idaho, USA in 1923, McKay discovered children there were experiencing similar situations. Residents informed the staining occurred after a communal pipeline delivering water was constructed and connected to the town. A chief chemist, Churchill, in the area,  took over the case, using photosensitive analysis of samples and himself as the guinea pig! The discovery came that the town had excessive levels of fluoride in the water from the pipping. McKay concluded fluoride caused enamel discolouration. Australia took 30 years to join the water fluoridation scheme after America. Fluoridation decreased filling and extraction frequency in the 60’s and 70’s. Nowadays, toothpaste incorporates fluoride in it, but dentists strongly recommend drinking fluorinated water as well for preventative oral care. Fluoridation is not harmful to human health; surplus fluoride might result in enamel mottling or flecking- however it does not damage the tooth like decay does. Sources of fluoride include toothpaste, mouthwashes, water supplies, foods processes or washed with fluoridated water or fluoride supplements. Questions and Answers Is fluoride good for teeth? Yes, but excessive amount can also cause damage. However , too much fluoride can lead to health complications and tooth damage including fluorosis, metabolic syndrome, skin  rashes and impaired glucose intolerance. It does decrease your chance of decay and  oral complications. What is fluorosis? The discolouration of teeth by ingesting too much fluoride during childhood.

 

December 2013

“All I want for Christmas is to keep my two front teeth” Here are a few tips from us this Christmas season to protect your teeth over the season: 1. Eat at regular meal times (breakfast, lunch and dinner) opposed to constantly munching throughout the day. Reducing the frequency of eating and constant snacking will stop acid attack. 2. Brush your teeth twice a day, particularly before bedtime. 3. Do not brush your teeth directly after eating, because teeth will become soft with the action of scrubbing and the post-eating acid attack. 4. Rinse your mouth with water after your regular meal times. 5. Munch on sugar-free chewing gum after regular meal times. Chewing on sugar free gum eliminates acid in the mouth by making more saliva. 6. Remember to pack your toothbrush, floss and toothpaste when heading away on your holidays! christmas tooth From all of us here at Greenacre Dental we wish you a very Merry Christmas, a happy new year and wonderful holiday season!

 

November 2013

Congratulations to Dr Chris Papastavros, Dr Huy Dinh and Ari Kontominas for placing 1st overall at the 2013 Meriden Golf Day. Additional congratulations to our hygienist Ari who performed the longest drive on competition day.

The winners