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Crescent Dental Health

WHY choose Crescent Dental Health?

At Crescent Dental Health we provide the best possible personalised treatment for each patient to ensure their long term oral health.

At the practice we offer Comprehensive Care for our patients; we believe in Minimum Intervention, that is, patients in control of their health so they need the minimum of dental intervention. We want Independently Healthy, Empowered Patients.

We offer a DenplanEssentials Programme for adults and especially children, which provides long term preventative care, early detection of potential problems, insurance coverage and 10% discount on any future treatment at our dental practice in the university area of Belfast

Use of the dental drill is always the last resort. Using specialised equipment and minimally invasive procedures we are able to preserve tooth structure and provide stronger fillings reducing the chances of bacterial attack.

We invest heavily in equipment and staff education to keep us at the forefront of dentistry and have an interest in minimally invasive cosmetic restorative work to improve your well being and health.

We empower our patients to make the best choices for their oral health as we offer, Comprehensive Care; That is Prevention and Treatment Comprehensive Care: Preventative Care and Treatment.

Preventative Dentistry

  1. Identifies the active disease within your mouth.
  2. Identifies the risk factors and imbalances causing the disease.
  3. Educate the patient on these factors and work with the patient to eradicate these factors, or at least compensate for the imbalances to prevent future disease.
  4. Develop prevention.

Treatment

  1. iThis is minimally invasive to preserve healthy tooth structure
  2. Biomimetric, we use the best possible materials to copy what was originally there and allow the tooth to function as nature intended

Click here to find out about minimally invasive work

Dentists always talk about restoring a tooth, but this is not true. If I get an old car and have it restored I expect to have rusted metal panels replaced by new metal panels, the engine restored by a better or equivalent engine. However in dentistry once tooth substance is lost, it is gone for good and cannot be replaced. In modern dentistry we have amazing new materials, even so they are a poor substitute for the natural tooth, that is why prevention and minimal intervention are the most valuable forms of dentistry. Tooth substance is like gold dust, taking a drill to a tooth is one of the most damaging things we can do to your oral health and should always be the last resort. It would be like going to the doctor with a broken arm, only to have it amputated! You no longer have a broken arm but the outcome isn’t exactly great.

The best filling or crown ever fitted, is a poor substitute for the natural tooth. Within the mouth, teeth are subjected to extremes of temperature, acidic and alkaline conditions, as well as varying multi-directional forces. Teeth are engineering marvels that have evolved over millions of years and have remained unchanged over the last 10,000 years – that is the sign of good design!

If the conditions have existed in your mouth to allow decay to develop in a tooth, any subsequent filling or crown will fail unless the conditions change to be more favourable.

There is nothing a dentist can do in the chair that will withstand the effect of poor diet and poor brushing, dental disease arises as a result of poor lifestyle choices and only a positive change in your lifestyle will protect your teeth.

A lifestyle and diet that will protect your teeth will also protect your general health or as the US Surgeon General put it “ A person cannot have good general health without good oral health”

Operative Dental Treatment

This is repairing the teeth not restoring them. All treatment is minimally invasive, the remaining tooth substance is extremely valuable as it is solely responsible for the strength and ongoing success of the filling. We follow biomimetric principles; I try to copy what was originally there, using the best materials available, so the tooth can act as originally intended.

Biological Cost: filling material is pretty worthless; I can replace it easily and dental companies are always coming up with new, better materials. Tooth substance is irreplaceable, once tooth is lost it is gone for good. Scientists are working hard to allow us to grow new teeth but that is a long way off.

In evolutionary terms, humans are very primitive, sharks for example have existed for over 500 million years as a species, their design is much more effective than ours and so when a shark or crocodile looses a tooth they simply grow a new one, and I can only marvel and envy that. So if I place a filling in your mouth and simply stick it onto the remaining tooth, that filling has been provided at a low biological cost to you. If however I drill away masses of healthy tooth to provide say a crown it then has a high biological cost. The biological cost is always much more painful than any financial cost. At the practice we will always strive to keep your biological cost to a minimum As dentists we are taught throughout our university and hospital career to consider the mouth as a stand-alone entity separated from the patient. Dentistry was aways taught as treating dental disease, mainly tooth decay or gum disease. Our expectation, and the public expectation of a dentist working, is the use of a drill. Any time a dentist lifts a drill, it should be the last line of treatment, and especially where children are concerned, represents an abject failure of our profession.

Dentists still tend to focus on treating the tooth, but the problem doesn’t lie with the tooth, as decay and gum disease (the most common diseases of the mouth) are caused by changes in the oral environment, and these are dictated by our lifestyle choices. We need to consider a patient’s diet, saliva and oral hygiene, all these are equally important in having a healthy mouth and teeth, and without this all dental treatment will ultimately fail.

The Dental Team as one branch of Medical Care

The mouth is the start of the alimentary canal, your gastrointestinal tract (G.I. tract). It is unique in that it is the only part of the G.I tract that has a hard surface, the teeth, which are the hardest elements contained within the body.

As the opening portal to the G.I. tract it is vitally important to your overall health, disease in the mouth has wide-ranging effects elsewhere in the body. Gum disease is linked to several other major diseases, similarly, systemic illness will impact on the mouth.

Just as every other part of the G.I. tract has specialist doctors that work as a team to provide health a dentist should be considered as a specialist doctor treating the mouth, one part of the body, the start of the G.I tract.

The G.I tract is a 30 foot long tube (as long as a telephone pole) that starts at the mouth and ends in our pants. The lining of the G.I tract (which has the same surface area as 4 tennis courts) is our interface between the outside world and our inside world.

Everyone knows the maxim “you are what you eat”, this is not exactly true it would be more accurate to state “You are what you absorb” but it does underly the truth of what the G.I tract accomplishes, Whatever we eat, the G.I tract then breaks down to its constituent parts, decides what is needed to maintain, replenish and refuel our bodies, protects us from any toxins, allergens and disposes of the waste.

To do this the G.I tract is equipped with it’s own nervous system system, contains 70% of our immune system and is home to 3kg of bacteria, hopefully mostly friendly. The gut houses trillions of bacteria (500 different species) and 10 times the number of cells in our bodies, in some ways we are more bacteria than human. Fortunately these are friendly bacteria that help us break down the food and destroy and eliminate any toxins contained within our food. But like any good relationship, we need to look after our partners, protect them and keep a healthy gut that provides a safe shelter.

Bacteria can be our best friend or worst enemy, as a result of poor diet, the G.I tract will often suffer bacterial overgrowth, leading to imbalance within the gut and poor health. An example of this would be the bacteria type,Lactobacillus, it is very important in the stomach and seen as a sign of health, however, it’s presence in the mouth it is one of the main indicators/causes of active rampant decay.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal, and the vast number of common diseases are caused by lifestyle choices. A heart attack is an event caused by long term poor lifestyle choices, that have lead to coronary artery disease, similarly, a cavity in a tooth is an event caused by poor lifestyle choices and allowed the disease of dental caries to develop.

The lifestyle choices that would encourage oral health are exactly the same as those that would lead to better general health. We need to think of disease, not as something we acquire, but as an absence of vital health, caused by an imbalance in our life. We have evolved over millions of years to have a body that repairs itself and keeps itself healthy.

Food is medicine, your diet should provide all the raw materials to support the G.I tract and allow the body to fuel and repair itself. However it is wrong to think that we can eat any type of food and get above results. The modern processed diet is laden with sugars, salt , additives and devoid of fibre or the necessary micronutrients and vitamins, and so a fork combined with a poor diet becomes a weapon of destruction.

In trying to set up a preventative and minimally invasive practice it is necessary to look at all aspects of the diet as well as lifestyle of adequate sleep, exercise and relaxation, good oral health is closely linked to good general health and visa versa.

If any of this sounds new it’s not, unfortunately I was beaten to it by Hippocrates, who said

“Leave your medicines in the chemist’s pot if you can heal your patients with food”.

Modern medicine tends to be interventionist without giving patients the chance to return to health by altering their diet and lifestyle. Again from Hippocrates

“everyone has a doctor within him or her; we just have to help it in it’s work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”

All this originated from the 3rd century BC.

As dentists we know that decay within teeth can stop and the tooth re-harden, just by a favourable change in the oral environment. But instead of engaging the help of the patient and asking their co-operation in improving their health, we lift the drill and cut away the tooth and replace it with some poor filling material.

Click here to view an article on the Oral Environment

Our Mission

To treat every patient with honesty, respect and empathy

To be approachable and listen carefully to every patient

To provide the best possible treatment in the safest environment

Creating a happy, safe and inclusive environment allows our dental team to excel in all areas of preventative care, for the benefit of the staff and patients who make up this practice.

Our Dental team expects to be treated with respect, honesty and empathy by our patients.