Covid-19 Lockdown

Due to the recent announcement with New Zealand soon to be entering alert Level 4 lock down, Victoria Street Dental will be closed from 24/03 – 27/04.

Please stay safe throughout this tough time and remember to be ALERT but not ANXIOUS. We will get through this! 💪😷

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Wisdom Teeth Facts: All The Truth About Your Wisdom Teeth

Some important wisdom teeth facts to know before you go to the dentist!

What are wisdom teeth and how did they get their name? Wisdom teeth are basically your third-row molars. They were dubbed “wisdom teeth” because they generally show up between ages 17-25. A good majority of people will have to deal with their wisdom teeth at some point or another, so let’s take a look at these interesting and sometimes troublesome-teeth.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth were necessary for earlier humans to chew and eat. Our ancestors had a much tougher diet than we currently enjoy today like leaves, roots, and meat, that may have worn down teeth faster, so they needed that third row of molars. Over time, the types of food we eat have changed, so they are no longer necessary. As a result of evolution over time, some people never develop them at all. Some do develop them but have no problems. However, in most cases around 85% of people with wisdom teeth will have to have them removed.

As science progresses, our wisdom teeth are being researched. In fact, some researchers have found they can be used to produce stem cells. So you may want to hold on to those teeth after they are pulled. On the other hand, researchers are also looking into ways to prevent wisdom teeth from growing at all.

Why Do They Cause Problems?

Over time, due to the change in diet humans have developed smaller jaws than our ancestors. Because of this, we simply don’t have room in our mouths to accommodate extra teeth. One of the problems that may occur due to wisdom teeth is that they crowd our other teeth, causing cosmetic issues, such as crooked teeth, and can result in jaw pain, swollen gums and other irritations of the mouth.

Another common problem is that wisdom teeth can be impacted. This can result in a wisdom tooth growing at the wrong angle leading to pain or potentially causing damage to the adjacent tooth.

Finally, wisdom teeth can be so far back it becomes difficult to clean. This poses a risk for infection and tooth decay. For these reasons, the dentist often recommends removing them.

How do you know if your wisdom teeth are causing problems? This is normally discovered during a routine dental examination. However, if you are experiencing jaw pain, swollen or painful gums or even a “weird” taste in the back of your mouth, you should make an appointment to find out what’s going on as this could be related to your wisdom tooth.

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Pulled?

Only your dentist can answer that question. X-rays will show if they have developed, how they are coming in and if there is enough room for them. Sometimes, the dentist may just recommend having some of them pulled.

About 35% of the population do not develop wisdom teeth at all. This is possibly a result of evolution since they are no longer necessary. For those who do develop them, not all will develop problems. Some dentists may recommend that they are pulled anyway, as a preventative measure.

Getting them pulled: What You Need To Know

Getting a wisdom tooth pulled is no fun, and getting them all pulled even less so. However, if your teeth are potential problems, it is best to get the matter addressed as soon as possible. Many dentists advise having them pulled early on. Teenagers or early adults are good candidates for the procedure, because the roots of the teeth are often not fully formed yet, and recovery time is quicker and easier.

This is an outpatient procedure, but it is considered surgery. You will receive either a local or general anesthetic. After the procedure, you will be given care instructions to help speed healing and avoid infection.

You will experience some discomfort including jaw soreness and pain at the site of the surgery. You may be prescribed pain medication for this. You will experience bleeding on and off for a few days, and it should taper off and then stop.

One of the most notable side effects of this procedure is swelling. You may look like a chipmunk for a few days! There may also be some bruising. All of these symptoms should disappear after a few days, and you should be checking in with your dentist.

You will probably want to stick to liquids and soft foods for a few days. If you love ice cream and pudding, here’s your chance to indulge yourself. Avoid smoking or chewing hard foods, gum or using straws. You will most likely be scheduled for a follow-up visit to make sure that your mouth is healing.

As always, taking care of your teeth is a good step towards overall health. Regular dental check-ups can help prevent tooth decay or catch other problems before they progress. Remember to brush and floss every day, and to avoid sugary drinks and foods that cause tooth decay.

For more information talk to the team here at Victoria Street Dental or Book an appointment online. The best course of action is to let the professionals take a look at your circumstances – after all, every set of teeth is different!

Maintenance & After Care Of Dental Implants

When you choose a Dental Implant to replace a missing tooth you often neglect to think about the maintenance and care that follows to ensure long term success.

Dental Implants require constant maintenance and monitoring, which further involves assessment of the patient’s general and oral health, professional implant maintenance, and diligent patient home care as critical factors that will ensure the long-term success of implants and a predictable replacement for natural teeth. Victoria Street Dental advise that a comprehensive maintenance protocol should be followed to ensure the longevity of the Dental Implant.

How to care for Dental Implants?

It is recommended you clean your Dental Implants twice daily to remove bacterial plaque accumulations by using a soft toothbrush and dental floss. People should also have regular check-ups and cleans at the dentist. Routine x-rays are taken to assess the bone support around the Dental Implant and if there are problems detected with the Dental Implant early intervention can be carried out to minimise the issue.

Other lifestyle factors can also affect the long term success of Dental Implants for example smoking and bruxism. Smoking reduces blood supply around the mouth which in term leads to poor quality bone. This can lead to poor integration of the Dental Implant to the bone and hence affect the long term success of the Implant. Therefore it is recommended patients who smoke to quit prior to pursuing a Dental Implant. People who grind can also lead to unnecessary stress to the Implant which can ultimately lead to fracture of the Implant crown or damaging parts of the Dental Implant. A bite splint is sometimes prescribed for the patient as aftercare in patients who grind.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone beneath your gum to replicate the root of the missing tooth. Once the implant has integrated and healed it can then provide a strong foundation for a dental crown to be placed onto the dental implant to mimic the missing tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or even a whole arch of teeth.

The benefit of a Dental Implant

There are many advantages to dental implants, including improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth, and are designed to fuse with the bone so they are a permanent solution that does not require removal. Other advantages include improved speech and easier eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat with stability and confidence. You will also have improved self-esteem, as dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

Implants are very durable and will generally last many years providing that you take good care of them. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant, and they also must be committed to a lifelong of good oral hygiene which includes good home care routine and regular dental visits.

For more information talk to the team here at Victoria Street Dental or book an appointment online. The best course of action is to let the professionals take a look at your circumstances – after all, every set of teeth is different!

What are the Risks and Danger of Dental Tourism?

Dental tourism, also called dental holidays in Thailand, is a subset of the sector known as medical tourism. It involves individuals seeking dental care outside their local healthcare systems and may be accompanied by a holiday. Dental tourism is growing worldwide. As the world becomes ever more interdependent and competitive, technique, material, and technological advances spread rapidly, allowing providers in developing countries to provide dental care at significant cost savings when compared to their peers in the developed world.

Why Dental Tourism?

While dental tourists may travel for a variety of reasons, their choices are usually driven by price considerations, and while medical tourism is often generalized to travel from high-income countries to low-cost developing economies, other factors can influence a decision to travel, including differences between the funding of public healthcare or general access to healthcare.

Dental tourists travel chiefly to take advantage of lower prices. Reasons for
lower prices are many. Dentists outside the “developed world” are able to take advantage of much lower fixed costs, lower labour costs, less government intervention, lower education fees and expenses, and lower insurance costs. Much of the bureaucratic red-tape that engulfs businesses in the developed world is eliminated abroad, and dentists are free to focus on their trade, dentistry.

Risk of Dental Tourism?

The flip-side of this is the lack of follow up after complex treatment, and
less legal recourse for patients when something goes wrong, but the result is that procedure, such as Dental Implants and Porcelain Veneers, which are simply financially out of reach for many people in the developed world, are made affordable overseas.

Consideration for Dental Tourism?

Similarly, since procedures often require multiple steps or subsequent checkups, the patient may have to return to the same doctor for those reasons. Typically, a patient takes two trips to have Dental Implants. The first trip is to set the base and the provisional crown. The second trip is typically four to six months later after the Dental Implant has stabilised in the bone. One Day Dental Implants are not recommended for dental tourists due to the higher failure rate of the system, so to find out more about dental implants,

So before you decide to get dental work done overseas please seek advice from your local dentist beforehand to ensure things aren’t going to be a problem. To BOOK in for a cosultation please click here!

What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implant is an artificial replacement for the root of a tooth. The benefit of using Implants is that they don’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support like a dental bridge and unlike a denture, they are permanent and stable. Dental Implants are made from titanium and are similar in shape to a screw. The implant is surgically placed in your jaw bone and left for several months for healing where they make a bond with your natural bone. After that, a Dental Crown is attached to the top of the implant to replace the missing tooth. It will match your natural teeth seamlessly.

How is the Implant fitted?

A dentist or dental specialist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth which includes x-rays and or 3D images to see whether you are suitable for implants. It is important to ensure you have enough healthy bone structure. Even if your bone is diseased or missing, there is still a possibility of a bone graft in order to make an Implant viable.

Then the titanium Implant is surgically anchored in the bone of your jaw where a tooth is missed. It is then left for between two and six months so the bone can grow around the implant. Once the Implant is securely bonded to the bone a permanent crown is either cemented or screwed into place.

What are the advantages of an Implant?

Implants feel, look, fit and function totally like natural teeth. There is no need to remove them for cleaning, you can brush and floss them just like your own teeth. The result is virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. It looks good and feels good.

Other possible solutions for replacing missing teeth – either a bridge or dentures – are not as reliable or natural-looking. Also, Dental Implants don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth to place bridges or attach partial dentures. Implants allow you to eat, communicate and smile as if you had never lost a tooth in the first place.

Am I a suitable candidate for Implants?

To be considered for implants your overall mouth health must be in good condition. If Implants are fitted in the presence of active periodontal disease, there is a danger that an infection will develop around the implant, which will lead to its failure and loss.

The success rate of Dental Implants is very high is you meet all the health-related criteria.

An important factor that can influence success is your lifestyle habits. Smoking needs to be stopped before treatment and ideally after the implants are fitted. Smoking reduces healing capacity and can cause complications at the integration point of the implant, not to mention its other effects on general health.

Some health conditions and the medication required to treat them can also have an adverse effect on implants. these include diabetes, cancer, and gastric reflux.

It’s very important to discuss your medical history with your dentist in the initial stages of the Implant procedure.

Maintaining Dental Implants

One of the greatest advantages of Dental Implants is that they require no special after-care; simply brush, floss and visit your dentist as normal. Good oral hygiene, healthy gums, and twice-yearly dentist visits are all your implant need to last. Though to maximize the lifespan of implants it is strongly recommended to avoid smoking.

Book in now for a free Dental Implant consultation by clicking Book now!

How a Root Canal Treatment Works

The root canal treatment is probably one of the better-known dental procedures out there. Chances are you’ve heard of it before – but how does it work and what does it entail? Today, we’re looking at the ins and outs of the root canal treatment, and why your dentist may recommend the treatment.

What is a root canal?

A root canal treatment belongs to a group of procedures grouped together under the term ‘endodontic’. This word is derived from two Greek terms; ‘endo’ for ‘inside’, and ‘odont’ for ‘tooth’. It follows that an ‘endodontic’ treatment involves working on the ‘inside of a tooth’. So, what does a root canal treatment have to do with the inside of your tooth? Well, to explain, we need to cover some basics about the construction of your teeth.

Teeth are made up of a number of layers. The first – enamel – is what you see on the outside, and what you need to keep clean. Beneath it is a soft layer called dentin, and then beneath that there is a soft layer of tissue referred to as pulp. This pulp contains all the blood vessels and nerves, and forms the connection that the exterior layers have with your body.

The pulp exists in the crown of the tooth, but also extends right down into the roots that secure the tooth to your jaw. This helps the pulp supply the tooth with nutrients while it’s growing.

If a tooth sustains damage – such as a deep cavity or a crack – bacteria can enter the tooth and infect the pulp, even if the tooth is no longer using the pulp to grow.

A root canal treatment removes the inflamed or infected pulp from inside the tooth, and replaces it with a synthetic filling, keeping the tooth intact.

How does a root canal treatment work?

Often, pulp can repair itself. If infected, however, it’s common for pulp to lose its ability to self-repair. Once this has happened, it begins to die, and must be removed.

Leaving the pulp as is can cause pain or make the tooth very sensitive to temperature. This can begin to cause problems with neighboring teeth, and cause the mouth to become irritated and the gums to swell up.

A root canal treatment acts to save a tooth from complete removal. The first step is to use a special tool to enter the tooth through the top, and take out the unneeded pulp. To do this, your dentist will use local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything.

After the anesthesia kicks in, the dentist will remove the pulp through a small hole. Then, all that’s left to do is to fill the tooth with a root filling, and seal the hole with adhesive tooth cement.

Do you need a root canal treatment?

If you’ve damaged your tooth, or suspect you have a cavity, there’s a chance that bacteria have been able to compromise your tooth pulp. Come in for a professional check, and the team at Victoria Street Dental will be able to let you know if you need a root canal or not. If you catch damage early enough, a root canal can save you from the much costlier process of extraction and replacement of a tooth.

Here are Victoria Street Dental, we’re proud to be able to help relieve pain and save teeth every day. Our top of the line equipment allows us to complete procedures with none of the stereotypical dental pain of decades gone by. These days, we’re about to put your comfort first.

Booking a checkup online is easy and convenient. Book now!

Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction: Which Is Better?

As a leading dentist in Wellington, the team here at Victoria Street Dental often helps patients find the best course of action for their issues. A question we help answer often is whether to opt for a tooth extraction or try to save the damaged tooth with a root canal treatment.

When you’re put in a position where you need to choose one of these procedures, the best possible thing you can do is find out as much as you can about them. Making a good decision depends on how much information you have, so today we’re looking at the differences between these options. Read on to find out more!

What is a root canal?

First, let’s cover the basics. A root canal is a dental procedure designed to extract the nerve endings from inside a tooth. This becomes necessary when a nerve is infected or damaged, which can happen through trauma after suffering an injury to the mouth or gradual tooth decay. Gradual and untreated decay can lead to cavities, and if a cavity worsens to the point where it reaches a nerve, the nerve ending can become compromised and infected.

In either case, a nerve exposed by either a crack or cavity can be painful, may hurt in response to pressure or temperature, and at its worse, causes terrible headaches and discomfort. Exposed nerves can swell too, which may be noticeable as swelling on your face.

Why choose a root canal?

Natural teeth are so good at their job that it’s generally considered a good idea to keep them whenever possible. Even if the nerve must be removed, there’s a chance the tooth can still do what it needs to do. Furthermore, keeping teeth in their place is ideal as this prevents neighbouring teeth from moving into the gap left by an extraction.

Medical conditions can also invalidate extractions. If you are taking blood thinners or your bone structure is undergoing treatment, extraction may be deemed unsafe.

All these benefits listed above make canal treatments very attractive, but they only suit specific circumstances. For example, root canals work best on easy to access teeth, like those you can see when you smile. It’s also important to have proper bone and gum support around the teeth. If the trauma which damaged the tooth has also loosened it, a root canal may not be your best option.

What can I expect from a root canal?

Many patients expect root canals to be long and painful. Frankly, this is because when root canals first became an option, they were long and painful.

These days things are much different. The name of the operation has become associated with the way things used to be, but we’re happy to inform patients that dentistry has advanced to the point where a root canal treatment is much faster and much less difficult than it used to be. Local anaesthetic is applied to the area, so you won’t feel much of anything beyond the first few seconds of the procedure.

When is extraction the better option?

If you have a tooth that’s been damaged too much to be saved, extraction is likely the better option. Root canals are also not suitable for teeth that are further back in the mouth.

Some patients ask whether or not extraction involves fewer appointments, as a root canal sometimes needs to be carried out over multiple visits. The answer depends on your teeth – there are so many variables involved that there’s no single best option. After all, tooth extraction may also need to be carried out over two or three appointments, especially if the patient wants to replace the tooth with a dental implant.

What is an extraction like?

Extraction has also come a long way in dentistry. With modern anaesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any pain at all. Throughout the procedure, dentists check to make sure you are comfortable multiple times.

There are some guidelines for post-operation care, including eating on the opposite side of your mouth, making sure you don’t eat foods that are too hot and too hard, and resting as much as possible.

Still need help deciding?

If you’re still unsure which option is best for you, talk to the team here at Victoria Street Dental or book an appointment online. The best course of action is to let the professionals take a look at your circumstances – after all, every set of teeth is different!

Fillings, Crowns, Bridges: What’s the Difference?

Tooth crowns, dental bridges, and fillings are all dental treatment options that allow our teeth to heal from damage and trauma. Each available option serves its own purpose, and has its own value depending on the patient’s teeth requirements. Today, we discuss what these are and the specific cases or situations each treatment is most suitable for.

What are Tooth Crowns?

A tooth crown or a dental crown is a ceramic or porcelain prosthetic tooth that is made to fit directly over an existing tooth. It acts as a cover and is used mainly for patients with a decaying or damaged tooth. The crown acts as a “cap” to protect it from further deteriorating.

Crowns are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory, and generally require at least two appointments. They can usually be made to match the colour of your natural teeth, but aside from ceramic and porcelain, other materials can be used to create crowns, such as gold and metal alloys. These are generally stronger than porcelain, and are the recommended material to use for molars, which can’t be seen as easily.

When do I need a Crown?

• When you need to replace a large filling
• When you have a weak tooth and you need to protect it from fractures
• When you have a fractured tooth that needs to be restored
• When you have discoloured or poorly shaped teeth that needs to be covered
• When you’ve just undergone a root canal treatment, and need to cover the tooth

What are Dental Bridges?

Just like a dental crown, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device cemented onto existing teeth. A bridge is recommended by dentists in cases wherein you’re missing one or more teeth. Missing teeth that leave gaps will eventually cause the nearby teeth to rotate or shift, and try to fill in the empty space. This results in the formation of uneven teeth, and a bad bite. In more serious cases, it can also lead to gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. With a dental bridge, we can replace these missing teeth, and these replacements, called abutments, will serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.

When do I need a Bridge?

•  When you need to replace one or more missing teeth
•  When you have missing teeth and need to prevent the rest from moving to gaps

What are Dental Fillings?

While crowns are used in more serious cases of teeth decay, dental fillings will restore teeth that have lesser amounts of damage. Unlike crowns that only sit over you existing tooth, dental fillings require the removal of material. When treating a cavity, dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with another substance. There are different types of material available to be used in fillings; Gold, porcelain, composite, and amalgam (silver fillings).

When do I need Fillings?

The amount of decay from a patient’s tooth can only be determined by dentists during a check-up. If your dentist can see you have a cavity, they will let you know.

Things to consider

It is important to have a trusted dentist that will guide you throughout the process of finding the most suitable treatment plan. Your dentist should be able to clearly explain your current oral situation. and what will work best for you and your teeth.

The dentist will determine whether you need a crown, bridge or a filling depending on:

• The severity of decay or tooth damage
• Your budget
• Your desired results
• Your heath

Ready for your check-up?

One sure way to find out whether you will be needing a crown, bridge, or a filling, is to set up an appointment with a trusted dentist, such as at Victoria Street Dental. Having a regular check-up with us will help you feel at ease, as we can guide you toward achieving your best possible smile. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Achieve the Perfect Smile with Cosmetic Dental Treatment

As a busy dentist in Wellington, we here at Victoria Street Dental see patients who are self-conscious about their smile all the time. If that sounds like you, don’t worry! You’re not alone, and even better, it’s not permanent! There’s always a solution for tooth-related problems – whether they are stained, chipped, or misaligned, your best bet is modern cosmetic dentistry.

Depending on your needs and your situation, there are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments suited for your teeth’s specific requirements. Today, we’re going over the various types of cosmetic dental procedures that can help you achieve that perfect smile.

Dental Implants

When you have a missing tooth that keeps you from giving your best smile, having dental implants is one option you can turn to. Dental implants are made of titanium, and are used to replicate the root of your tooth, inserted into the bone socket. When the jawbone starts to heal, it will then surround the implanted metal, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The best thing about dental implants is that they look and feel just like your own teeth. They are designed to fuse with the bone, so they are a permanent solution that does not require replacements.

Crowns and Bridges

It’s understandable that having gaps between your teeth can become a concern. Inserting dental crowns and bridges can help bond those gaps for a better smile. A dental crown or bridge is a tooth-shaped cover placed over an existing tooth – it’s used to keep a weak tooth from further breakage, and can also be used cosmetically to cover severely discoloured teeth. This procedure is also done for clients that need to restore a fractured tooth, cover a poorly shaped tooth, or prevent loose teeth from moving.

Clear Aligners

Traditional braces are a good way to align teeth, but clear aligners are a great alternative, and draw less attention. Clear aligners – such as Invisalign – act as clear braces that allow you to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. They use a series of virtually invisible and removable plastic aligners that fit comfortably over your teeth, in order to gradually shift them into place over time, with each new set of aligners.

Professional Cleaning

When you don’t practice good oral hygiene, your teeth can suffer from tooth decay, plaque build-up, gum disease, and more. All of these things can greatly affect the way your teeth feel, and how they look. Proper brushing and flossing is a great way to keep your smile looking great, but it’s also advisable to have regular teeth cleanings with your dentist, to remove plaque you can’t see at home, and prevent early stages of gum disease.

Ready to Achieve a Perfect Smile?

If you are keen on achieving the perfect smile and improving your oral health, you should choose the most trusted dentist Wellington offers. The team here at Victoria St. Dental can help you choose the most suitable treatment for your teeth. Book your consultation with our friendly dentists today, and greet the day with a perfect smile.