Usually, with good ongoing oral care, you will only need preventive and restorative dental services to keep your teeth healthy and strong. However, there may be occasions when you require more specialised services, and it’s nice to know that you can receive them from a dental team you already know and trust to look after you. Our specialised services include:
• Laser dentistry
• Oral devices for snoring and sleep apnoea
Laser dentistry offers a more comfortable and effective treatment process, and we can use our laser during several different procedures. The laser produces a highly focused narrow beam of energy, that when it hits tissue results in a reaction so we can remove or reshape the tissues.
Smile Inn is equipped with an advanced dental laser that can treat soft tissues such as your gums, as well as hard tissues like your teeth and the bone around them. Our laser is meticulously maintained, and our dentist is thoroughly trained in using it safely and effectively.
We can use our dental laser to remove decay from within a tooth and prepare it for a filling by carefully shaping the cavity while preserving healthy tooth structure. Our laser is extremely useful when treating gum issues. We can reshape your gums if you have what is called a ‘gummy’ smile, and where you show too much gum when smiling or talking. If you break a tooth right near the gum line, we can use a laser to expose more of the tooth and if necessary, to reshape the bone around it. Exposing more of the tooth allows us to then restore it successfully with a dental crown.
We can treat gum disease with a dental laser, removing damaged gum tissue precisely while leaving the healthy tissues intact. The laser energy also helps to sterilise the areas treated, eliminating the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease so you can fight this infection more easily. If we need to take a small sample of the tissue inside your mouth, we can use the laser to remove the tissue more comfortably, so we can send it off for analysis.
A dental laser is quieter than a traditional dental drill, and we may not need to use a local anaesthetic, or you could need less anaesthesia. There are fewer side effects such as swelling and bleeding during and after treatment, as the laser energy automatically cauterises areas that are cut and stitches are unnecessary. Consequently, healing is faster and more comfortable for our patients. The laser is also very accurate, so we need only remove diseased areas leaving more healthy tissues intact.
Snoring may seem like an annoying yet harmless issue, but it can be a sign of a more serious problem called sleep apnoea. There are several types of sleep apnoea, but the most common is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or OSA.
People with OSA will snore loudly, but snoring is frequently interrupted when breathing stops for several seconds. Breathing pauses because the muscles that support the throat relax during sleep, allowing the throat to collapse inwards and obstructing the airway. As oxygen levels drop, the body is prompted to restart breathing which often occurs with a loud gasp or snort. OSA may not awaken the sufferer, so they may be unaware they have this issue, but it does prevent them from achieving a deeper and more restful state of sleep.
Without enough high-quality sleep, people with sleep apnoea often awaken feeling ill rested and feel sleepy throughout the day. A lack of sleep affects their ability to function at work or school and can increase the risk of accidents, and the condition also affects general health. People with OSA can have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke and may be more likely to suffer from depression.
You are more likely to develop OSA as you get older, with middle-aged men most at risk, and women entering menopause because the hormonal changes can affect their throat muscles during sleep. People who smoke, use alcohol to excess or are overweight are also more at risk of developing OSA.
If you suspect you may have snoring or sleep apnoea problems, you may need to have a sleep study. Usually, you need to spend a night at a sleep clinic where your sleep is monitored carefully, and the data is used to make a firm diagnosis. The sleep study can tell you the type of sleep apnoea affecting you and its severity.
Smile Inn can provide custom-made devices for people with mild to moderate OSA, fabricating a nightguard that generally fits over your lower and upper teeth.
The nightguard is carefully designed to place your lower jaw into a slightly forwards position. By holding your lower jaw slightly forwards, your airway is held open more easily, and your tongue is less able to fall backwards and obstruct your airway. We take a lot of care when designing these devices to make sure they are comfortable to wear overnight, and they are made from a hard-wearing, long-lasting material.
Suppose you have been diagnosed with severe OSA. In that case, you may be advised to use a continuous positive airway pressure machine or CPAP. It consists of a small mask that you wear during sleep, which pumps a continuous flow of pressurised air into your throat, holding it open. Some people do very well with this type of machine, but others find it difficult to tolerate. If you have tried to use a CPAP machine and find it tricky, an alternative is to use a custom-made nightguard. While it might not be quite as effective for severe OSA, it can be a preferable option than leaving this condition untreated.