22 May 2018
Patients may find themselves requiring emergency dentistry in the Port Kennedy Area. The Port Kennedy Dental Group tries hard to reserve time each day to provide urgent treatment. If possible contact us (preferably by phone) as early as possible during the day. Although we try to provide treatment on the day, this is not always possible especially if only certain times/days suit the patient.
After-hours emergencies, a contact number for Emergency Dental Treatment is always on our answering service. The after-hours dental service we use is located in Perth, close to the Perth train station. Messages may also be left for our attention. Online booking services allow booking of an appointment. However with dental emergencies speaking to us is preferable. Not all available appointments will show with online bookings. We can also offer advice on help with your emergency.
Subsidised emergency dental treatment may also be available for Concession card holders. Adults may be able to obtain subsidised public adult emergency dental care through public dental clinics (Rockingham Public Dental Clinic). Details can be found at Emergency Dental Care for Adults.
School aged children can usually obtain emergency dental treatment on weekdays (Monday to Friday, business hours) at your closest School Dental Therapy Centre, which is usually attached to a school. Details are available at Emergency Dental Care for School Age Children. Subsidised emergency dental treatment for children under school age may be available at the Perth Children's Hospital.
15 May 2018
Patients expect booking a dental appointment online.
This has been available at Port Kennedy Dental Group for a couple of years now. Patients find it convenient, easy and accessible at any hour of the day. Our web site has convenient online booking links to access this service. Following a few questions, an appointment can be booked. Do not forget to use the code sent (usually SMS) to complete and confirm the booking.
For even more convenience, the Port Kennedy Dental Group added HealthEngine bookings a year ago. A mobile app (or at the HealthEngine Website) makes it easy and always available right on your phone. Patients report very favourably using HealthEngine.
Using a HealthEngine account or App, person details will automatically be added saving time and effort completing questions. The Port Kennedy Dental Group can be added to your favourite lists, for easy future reference.
Bookings can still be made by telephone or in person. Our receptionist will make complex, multiple bookings a much simpler task.
11 May 2018
The Federal Budget has been delivered and may impact dentistry in a few small areas.
The Child Dental Benefits Scheme is by Port Kennedy Dental Group to provide free dentistry to eligible children. The Scheme is not being fully utilised and the government expects to spend 7% less than last year. The existing limits and rules are to remain unchanged. The children that use the scheme should not be disadvantaged.
The Veterans' Dental Scheme is used by Port Kennedy Dental Group provides dentistry to provide dentistry for eligible Gold Veteran Card Holders. The scheme will be streamlined to achieve savings (for the Federal Government). The impact (if any) to dentistry being provided is unknown. It is likely that no changes to dental treatment will occur.
Public Dental Services are to be cut by around $45 million each year. This will impact on the oral health of disadvantaged Australians.
5 May 2018
Recently a patient at the Port Kennedy Dental Group asked what is in toothpaste?
Toothpaste is a paste/gel used to assist in cleaning teeth and keeping the mouth healthy. But what is in it? There are many standard toothpastes (and special toothpastes) on the market. It is very difficult even for me a dentist at Port Kennedy, to know what is what inside toothpaste. The answer is long and somewhat boring.
After researching ingredients, I created a list of the main ingredients. While each brand has different composition, most usually have some of the ingredients listed in the classifications below. The type of toothpaste will also determine which of the ingredients are present. Many of the ingredients have multiple actions (listed by main action).
ABRASIVES assist in plaque and food removal when brushing. Abrasives used vary but may include calcium carbonate, calcium hydrogen phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, dicalcium phosphate dehydrate, silica or hydrated silica and sodium chloride. Toothpastes should be formulated to clean the tooth surface without harsh scratching or damage to tooth surfaces.
WATER usually makes up 20-40% of toothpaste.
HUMECTANTS minimise drying out and hardening of toothpaste. Sorbitol, polyethylene glycols (PEG-8) and glycerol may present.
THICKENERS or BINDERS help keep toothpaste as a paste. Gums such as arabic, tragacanth, xanthan, carrageenan, Carbomer and Carmellose Sodium are common.
SURFACTANTS are foaming agents that assist in the loosening, removing of plaque and food. Sodium lauryl sulphate is the most common surfactant. Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) or Sodium methyl cocoyl taurate (Tauranol), Polaxamer, may be used as an alternative.
FLAVOURINGS - Mint is the most common flavour and peppermint oil may be present. Other non-mint flavours are also used.
SWEETENERS help improve flavour of toothpaste. Sorbitol, glycerin, xylitol , stevia and sodium saccharin may be present.
PRESERVATIVES minimise bacterial contamination of toothpaste. Hydroxyl-benzoates, methyl-paraben, or benzyl alcohol are common.
COLOUR - Titanium Oxide (white), Chlorophyll (green) and Cl42090 (blue) may be used to give the tooth paste a colour.
ANTI-DECAY - Fluoride in the form of Sodium Fluoride, Stannous Fluoride or Sodium Monofluorophosphate is the main anti-decay agent. Triclosan and Xylitol may also be able to reduce tooth decay(but to a lesser degree).
ANTI-GINGIVITIS - Triclosan may be present to reduce gingivitis. Zinc Citrate may reduce plaque build-up.
ANTI-CALCULUS - Tetrasodium or tetrasodiumpotassium pyrophosphate may used for anti-calculus or tartar control. Zinc Oxide may also be used to reduce tatar build-up.
STAIN REMOVAL - Limonene may be used as a stain remover. While most toothpastes rely on abrasives to "whiten teeth" a peroxide may present for this effect.
SENSITIVE TOOTHPASTE may contain various ingredients such as Potassium Nitrate, Novamin, Strontium Acetate, Oxalates or Arginine.
25 April 2018
On Anzac day, we remember all those who served during wars or armed conflicts. Dentists were not part of the Armed Forces at the beginning of World War 1. The Australian Forces experienced a considerable number of front line evacuations due to dental problems. Most commonly a condition called trench mouth (named after the trenches of World War 1) caused pain, and an inability to eat. With relatively simple dental treatment these troops could be returned to the front line.
As the war progressed dentistry became part of the war effort. From 1915 Dentists began to be enlisted as dentists rather than as soldiers. Australia Forces adopted the principle “If you can’t bite, you can’t fight.”
The British army was much slower to see the need for dentists. It was thought that the British regarded the lifespan of a soldier too short to need dental care. Australian dentists earned the nickname Fang Farriers which still persists today.
Prior to 1943 Dentists were part of the Medical Corps. In April 1943, The Royal Australia Army Dental Corps formed.
Dentists have been part of most wars. In recent years all troops are made dentally fit prior to being posted. Dentists mainly perform emergency. In recent years a noticeable difference is that the private section is making dentally fit.
History of Dentistry in the Armed Forces has been recorded in Fang Farriers - Australian Army Dentistry in War and Peace by Lieutenant Colonel Klusk, Sven RFD.
U.K. Sugar Tax
20 April 2018
The United Kingdom Sugar Tax recently came into Effect, April 2018. This tax increases the purchase cost of a sugar-sweetened drink. Hopefully, increased price will reduce intake of sugar-sweetened drinks. Short term studies have shown that a tax on sugar sweetened drinks does reduce consumption (in the short term). The long term results are not yet available.
As a result of sugar taxes, some soft drink manufacturers are reducing the sugar content. The British tax hopes to reduce escalating rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom. Hopefully future improvements in the heath of British children will result.
In Australia, significant increase in obesity,” type 2” diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tooth decay and bone density problems are being observed. The Australian Medical Association is very concerned and is lobbying for an Australian sugar tax.
Twenty eight countries have adopted the tax in some form. England joined this list in April. Jamie Oliver is well known to have lobbied the UK government tirelessly to help achieve this.
In Australia while the AMA supports such a tax, the main political parties do not. The Greens support such a tax. The Beverage Support Groups claim that a tax will not reduce obesity, cost jobs and will be difficult to administer.
The World Health Organisation recommends adults consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, but the average Australian consumes more than double that. A 375ml can of Cola contains ten teaspoons of sugar.
It may be argued that evidence doesn't exist to conclusively show that a sugar tax will fix these medical problems. By itself it probably cannot. These medical problems need many forms of management. A reduction in sugar loaded drinks is one way to begin.
From a dental perspective improved general health would be wonderful. A reduction in sugar intake should also reduce tooth decay even further. Twenty Seven per cent of Australian children aged 5-10 years have untreated tooth decay. The biggest cause appears to be sugars. Reduction in consumption of sugary drinks containing excessive free sugars levels should help lower rates of decay.
9 April 2018
Mouthguards protect Teeth, Gums and Jaws
Winter Sports have commenced and this should be a reminder to wear mouthguards. Mouthguards should be worn in most if not all sports. These include stick and ball sports, all football codes, and contact martial arts.
The excitement of playing sport comes with the risk of injury. Injuries to the mouth occur and can be reduced with a mouthguard. Unfortunately, a large percentage of injuries to the teeth and mouth are sport related. Mouthguards are a protective device usually worn on the upper teeth to reduce injuries to the teeth, jaws and related soft tissues.
Unfortunately only a small percentage of people wear mouthguards while playing sport.
Mouthguards reduce Damage
The Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia recommend professional custom fitted mouthguards. They both support the concept of a strict “No Mouthguard, No Play” policy in sports. Many Sports have and are taking up this recommendation.
Contact sports such as AFL and rugby have a high risk of collision with the face. Collisions still occur in the non-contact sports (hockey, cricket, soccer, and basketball). Trauma to the face is sadly a risk of many sports. The mouthguard can absorb and distribute the force of this trauma. This will lessen the risk of trauma damaging your mouth.
Mouthguards should meet Australian guidelines (Standards Australia/ADA Inc. publication: HB 209–2003 Guidelines for the fabrication, use and maintenance of sports mouthguards). Professional fitted mouthguards will provide the best level of protection.
The mouthguard works by absorbing and spreading the impact of a damaging blow. It should cover all required areas, be a suitable even thickness, fitting closely to the teeth and jaw. It is recommended that the mouth guard be about 3mm thick and made of a suitable material (most commonly EVA flexible plastic). This creates comfort, ease in talking, and breathing while still giving optimal protection. Mouthguards supplied by Port Kennedy Dental Group meet these standards.
Mouthguards are available in many colours and colour combinations. Mouthguards can also have a level of protection for specific sport.
When to wear a Mouthguard
A mouthguard is only effective when it is in the mouth. This means wearing a mouthguard while playing sport and training. If the mouthguard is not in the mouth, it offers no protection.
Rinse your mouth (if possible) before wearing the mouthguard. After playing sport store the mouthguard in the supplied container. Wash the mouthguard after each wearing in cold water. Do not store the mouthguard in direct heat or sun.
3 April 2018
At Port Kennedy Dental, I regularly examine patients, discovering damage caused by incorrect tooth brushing. These patients typically have a healthy mouth, but have "worn away" gums and teeth. Often teeth are very sensitive to cold/heat/sweet/sour and to touch.
These patients tend to be very vigorous in cleaning, believing they are doing the best they can. Hard brushing, especially with harder brushes, and abrasive tooth pastes and brushing for extended periods will clean teeth but can also damage the teeth and gums. In essence the hard brushing polishes away the surface of tooth and cuts way the gum. In extreme cases the tooth can be almost cut right through to its other side.
Some 10-20% of patients have signs of this. Most commonly the front surface where tooth joins gum is damaged.
To minimise a safe brushing technique should be used. A quality soft or extra soft brush is a good start. At Port Kennedy Dental, I recommend the Sensodyne and Curaprox range of extra soft tooth brushes for these patients. The tooth paste I personally use is Sensodyne Complete Care or Daily Care, being low abrasive and containing ingredients to reduce sensitivity.
This must be combined with a correct brushing technique. Aggressive horizontal scrubbing with the brush jumping from tooth to tooth is to be avoided. The bristles are best directed into the join of gum and tooth. Move the toothbrush in small circular or vibratory motions with light pressure. If you press too hard the bristles will fray after a short period of time. About 2 minutes of time is all the time required.
If teeth become sensitive then medicated toothpastes are required. These usually have Potassium Nitrate, Novamin or Arginine as active ingredients. A tooth paste such as Sensodyne (complete care, daily care, repair and protect) or Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief can help control sensitivity.Other causes of sensitive teeth exist and may need different treatment.
28 March 2018
The Port Kennedy Dental Group will not be open over the Easter Holidays. We will reopen on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Appointments may still be made online on this website or at the Health Engine Website.
The Port Kennedy Dental Group wishes you a peaceful Easter Holiday.
Welcome To Our Blog
15 March 2018
At Port Kennedy Dental Group The heart of our practice is maintaining a healthy relationship between patients and their teeth. Located in Port Kennedy, Western Australia we have been providing family friendly dental care to the people of Warnbro Sound, Secret Harbour, Rockingham and adjacent areas since 1996.