30 year anniversary

Dr Bigg News: 30 year anniversary
Dentistry today is almost unrecognisable compared to 30 or 40 years ago. Back then we had no gloves and used boiling water to sterilise our instruments and carbolic soap and bathroom towels to clean our hands and prevent cross infection. Toothpaste didn't contain fluoride and sugar consumption was high leading to tooth decay and fillings, which were replaced much earlier than we would now. This extensive, and by modern standards unecessary, treatment has left patients needing more and more dental care as they and their teeth age.

Modern dentistry focuses on preserving as much of the tooth as possible as once the dentine and enamel are gone they cannot be replaced. New techniques mean that there is rarely any need for a destructive crown to restore the appearance of a front tooth, this can be achieved using composite filling materials to repair a broken tooth, or patch damaged or discoloured areas.

For some patients the shape of their teeth is less of an issue for them than the colour of their teeth. In these cases bleaching is a really good solution. Bleaching gel is put into a soft mouthguard and left on the teeth for 2 hours or even overnight. The shade of the teeth is gently lifted until whole smile is lighter and brighter. Research shows that after a fortnight of bleaching their teeth a 45 year old will look 10 years younger - it's a scalpel free face lift!

Post-graduate training is so important to allow dentists the chance to practice each new technique out of the mouth and to give them the opportunity to understand the science behind it. I have run post-graduate day courses for dentists here in the UK and abroad on bleaching and the best techniques for placing tooth coloured restorations in front and back teeth. Teaching other dentists is so beneficial for my practice as I have to keep up to date with the latest materials, equipment and procedures. There's no way you can teach your colleagues unless you can show your own work at a high standard!
Posted: 10 August 2012