Fantastic new restoration technique!!

Bioclear ‘Shrink wrap’ restorations

The Bioclear matrix system is the latest and most advanced method to restore and rebuild teeth. From replacing old fillings, while saving as much of your tooth as possible, to rebuilding teeth, to creating tooth veneers without removing any of your tooth structure!

Bioclear: What is it?

Bioclear matrix is an innovative new approach to the traditional ‘white filling’ technique. The Bioclear method is a minimally invasive, strong and natural looking restoration to enhance and strengthen worn, broken and unsightly teeth. It is NOT bonding even though they both use composite because Bioclear uses a specially designed clear matrix and warm injection moulding technique that makes it monolithic and not layered. It ‘shrink wraps’ to your tooth. Monolithic means it is three times stronger than bonding and nearly as strong as porcelain fillings and veneer.

Bioclear is designed to fix many problems.

It can strengthen teeth, fix dark triangles, repair broken or chipped teeth and rejuvenate front teeth edges. All is of this is done without damaging your tooth structure.

Many patients are opting for this new technique for restoration as it is minimally invasive, strong and provides excellent results.

The cost may be slightly higher than the regular bonding, but considering they are 3 times stronger than the traditional bonding, it is well worth the additional cost. But the real advantage to having the Bioclear method done versus traditional veneers is saving your natural tooth from having to be trimmed down. When you consider tooth structure is priceless, Bioclear is provided at a great price.

It is essential to weigh all the factors in determining which treatment option is best for you.

Our team will go over the options available at our office, which could include porcelain, bonding, or Bioclear to help restore broken or decayed teeth and eliminate imperfections in your smile. While the price of each varies, it is worth considering the longevity, final results, and ultimately which one will do the job needed.

Call or email us today: 09-372-7422 or info@waihekedental.co.nz

“The life of an Oral Health Therapist on Waiheke Island”

Melanie Mitchell-interview from NZDHA Newsletter May 2019


NZDHA: Thank you, Melanie, for agreeing to take part in this interview. I can see from your work biography that you have an impressive history with winning many awards during your university years. You have also been in dentistry for a long time, starting out as a dental surgery assistant to then being the Practice Manager at the same office at Waiheke Dental Team. What was the driving force that made you decide to further your studies and become an oral health therapist? And where did you study? Please explain what life was like for you at university.

MM: Whilst assisting, I thought I would really like to work in the mouth. Dr Mike Stevens, my boss and other dentists Dr Bridget Heer and Dr Ko Vaasan who worked with us for a while were very inspiring. They gave me the insight and understanding of how to care for patients and sparked my life-long interest and passion for oral health. I knew that I wanted to do more than dental assisting and reception work. Mike encouraged me to apply to Akoranga AUT to do dental hygiene and therapy training. Mike didn’t have a dental hygienist at the time and he was the contracting dentist on the Island for the adolescent oral health scheme so he said once I was qualified I could come back to work at Waiheke Dental Centre as their sole dental hygienist and dental therapist. The thought of going to university really scared me. I hated schooling as a teen and I was not an academic but I had gone on to teachers college at the age of 19 to become an early childhood teacher. I enjoyed working with children which led me to move to Waiheke Island. I was a single mum in my second year at teachers college and finished that diploma part-time. I applied to AUT and was only accepted into Health Science which I did the first 6 months then continued with oral health elective papers for the rest of the year. I still worked part-time at Waiheke Dental Centre over this time. I was then accepted into the Oral Health program at AUT. I decided that I would make university similar to a workday. I would catch the same ferry each morning at 7.15am and back at night 5.30/6pm or sometimes later. And if I didn’t have a class, I would study in the library. On days that I had clinics and placements, I would catch the later boat back or stay over at Teena’s as we were mostly at the same placements. Occasionally I would take my car over on the car-ferry and drive to south Auckland and stay with family in Half Moon Bay. I really enjoyed studying and I worked hard. I felt that since I was a ‘mature student’ (haha) and the eldest in Class A, I could not let anyone down so it really consumed my life. I had to be dedicated and was so worried I would fail. Fortunately, I had a great group of fellow students that I studied with. Teena Olsen Smith, Erin Greene, Cindy Ryder and I supported each other. The girls gave me the nickname ‘Nana Mel’ and they still call me that. I remember thinking OMG some people in my class are close to my kids’ age. But I thoroughly enjoyed the class. The lecturers and clinical educators were so friendly and approachable and I felt at ease with asking questions and for advice. I was really interested in the topics and especially loved the practical sessions. I was fortunate that my children were older and could look after themselves. My eldest stepdaughter started university the same time as I did but she was in Christchurch and the other 3 boys were in senior high school which made it easier for me as they were quite independent. My husband was also very supportive.

NZDHA: You have lived and worked on Waiheke Island for many years. Please tell us what life is like on the island and what a typical day at work in the dental practice looks like? Do you treat both children and adults? And what sort of care and treatment do you provide for them?

MM: This June (2019) I would have worked for Waiheke Dental Centre for 20 years. I have always worked full-time including two late nights. As an Oral Health Therapist, I am so fortunate to be able to work with both adults and children. I do all treatments under the Oral Health Therapist scope of practice. I also see primary aged children under the SDS scheme when the school dental clinic is closed but this is only for emergency treatments. I like the diversity of patients. I especially love dental hygiene and periodontal treatments. My appointment book always has a mixture of treatments day to day which keeps it interesting. I also run two free dental hygiene clinics a year for Waiheke pregnant women which my boss kindly supports. I love being able to give something back to our Waiheke community.

NZDHA: I know you are very passionate about and have a special interest in adolescent oral health and you offer free teenage exams and treatment. Please tell us more about that.

MM: As part of the Adolescent Oral Health Scheme this service is free to our teenagers. I feel that adolescents need time and encouragement with their oral health. These children are our future and if we get them started on the correct road to healthy mouths and body then they will have a lifetime of good habits. I want them to have a positive experience and understand the importance of good oral health. I spend half an hour for their annual examinations, emphasising diet, brushing, flossing and explaining the dental caries process. I love seeing them from year to year and the progress they make. I always thank them for coming in and for being great patients.

NZDHA: You have worked at the same dental office at Waiheke Dental Team since before you were an Oral Health Therapist. Please tell us what it is about that practice, dentist and dental team that makes you such a loyal employee?

MM: Dr Mike Stevens bought the Waiheke Dental Centre in June 1999 and I applied for the position as dental surgery assistant after completing a dental assisting course the previous year. Prior to this, I was an early childhood teacher and I coincidentally had taught Mike’s kids. I have known his family for a really long time. Working with Mike is great. The practice was originally in Oneroa where it was a tiny area with two surgeries. It was just the two of us for several years. I have seen the practice grow and develop with part-time dentists and staff joining the team. Mike has always been supportive and we have a great team and a fun working environment. The practice moved and has been in Ostend for over 12 years or so now and Mike and I are the clinicians,  and he employs part-time dental assistants and reception. The dental assistants Dee, Nina and Shaela job-share and we back each other up. I don’t have an assistant but they often process my instruments and turn my room over which is a great help. These girls are amazing and work really hard. The practice is like a family, our receptionist Erica, who we call ‘mumzie’ helps make the place run smoothly and we all respect and care for each other. Mike and I discuss our patients’ treatment plans each day and I value and respect his expertise. The practice is a Family Dental Practice and we see generations of families. It’s a great feeling and we really get to know the patients well, they also get to know us and our own families.

NZDHA: In your final year of university at AUT, you were chosen to travel to Cambodia for children’s and adult’s dental treatment. Please tell us more about that.

MM: Oh that was a while ago now and was an experience of a lifetime!
It was hard work but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We were part of The One to One Dental Charitable Trust and we worked with dental students from Melbourne. We visited the dental university in Phnom Penh (capital of Cambodia) and helped the dental students there. We treated children in clinics where they came from surrounding schools. We provided basic treatments using glass ionomer cement. I cannot remember if X-rays were available. We visited an HIV orphanage and spent time playing with the kids. We also went to the slums and helped in the English classes. We visited a women’s prison but they would not let us treat their children so we got to assist some dentists treating these women. We travelled out to the villages with mobile equipment treating children from the schools. We had to take everything with us. We had limited gear and no electricity, we did hand excavations and hand mixed glass ionomer cement. It was very hot with over 40 degrees Celsius heat. We spent about 5 days at a blind and deaf school in Sean Reap, again we took all our supplies. We were lucky to have electricity so some chairs had hand-pieces which we had to rotate between us, students. We used a pressure steamer on gas to sterilise our equipment. The Cambodian people were so lovely and really appreciative. They always smiled and thanked us immensely. It was such a humbling and rewarding experience. On days off we did get to visit the temples of Angkor Wat, the Killing Fields and S21 prison. One day I would love to go back and volunteer there again.

NZDHA: Are there any key points that you might have learnt along the way compared to when you got started as an Oral Health Therapist, and where you are in your career right now?

MM: OMG, I felt like when I first started it was like hitting the ground running. And sometimes it still feels that way! Every day I learn something new. This may be from patients and just how we do treatments. Every day, every person and every mouth is different and I feel that we can always learn from this. I think the university gave us the backbone and foundations but from then on we are always learning and progressing. After graduation, being on Waiheke Island and working in private practice at first, I felt quite isolated and missed the peer contact. So I attend courses and conferences as much as I can. I am very interested in the whole body and oral health. I especially enjoyed last year’s conference in Christchurch listening to and meeting Dr Steven Lin. I have read his book and I follow his posts/articles/webinars etc. I would like to continue on this pathway both personally and professionally. I also truly believe in patient-centred care and outcomes. I am a member of NZIMID and attend the annual conferences as well. There are always new research topics, materials and treatment choices to learn about. I find these very inspiring and enjoy the guest speakers.

NZDHA: What is the best part of your job?

MM: Everything! But mainly my patients. I can’t pinpoint the best part of my job. I love it all and have immense job satisfaction.

NZDHA: What are your favourite pieces of dental equipment you use and what treatment procedures do you enjoy doing the most?

MM: I love my intra-oral camera and prophy jet using EMS Airflow Classic or Perio Plus powder. I like to take before and after photos for my dental hygiene patients and they are so amazed at the difference. The intra-oral camera is a great educational tool. Using the prophy jet prior to scaling has made work so much easier. I attended one of  Dr Helen English’s hands-on course which totally changed my techniques. I enjoy mostly dental hygiene and periodontal treatments and love seeing the results and talking to my patients about these results. I love explaining to patients the connection between oral health and systemic health.

NZDHA: Are there some parts about being an Oral Health Therapist you would like to see get improved?

MM: I would like to see the age restriction removed for Oral Health Therapists. Waiheke Island has a diverse community and if we could treat young adults who otherwise could not possibly afford dentistry then we could prevent them early on from having ongoing oral health and systemic problems later on in life.

NZDHA: What are your hobbies or other passions you have outside of oral health therapy?

MM: Can I say Waiheke Wine? I enjoy spending time with our friends and family. Our family/extended family are extremely important to us. We have a son and daughter in law in Wellington and a daughter and son in law in Christchurch so we travel a bit to see them. We have two other sons and their partners on the Island so it’s great to go out to dinner and catch up with them too. My husband Alby and I enjoy going to concerts so we try to see some of the oldies. We also like going to rugby games together and support the Auckland Blues. I go to the gym 3 mornings a week at 6 am and go to yoga once a week which I really enjoy. I enjoy travelling as I never got to do this when I was younger. I went back to Cambodia for a holiday with my Dad and we also went to Vietnam. My husband and I like travelling to Fiji for total relaxation, nothing better than a book, a sun umbrella, cocktails and a pool. And I also have started going on walking tours with my friend. My first was 4 years ago and we walked the Amalfi Coast in Italy. That was a great experience and I loved seeing the country and culture this way. Last year we walked part of the Northern Camino from San Sebastian to Bilbao in Spain.  When time permits, I like to do the annual Onetangi Wharf to Wharf walk here on Waiheke Island. I’m involved with Waiheke Rotary and am the Treasurer for the club. It is very satisfying being involved with community projects.

NZDHA: And finally, what are the best parts about living and working where you do, on beautiful Waiheke Island?

MM: I am so lucky and love my life here on Waiheke. I cannot imagine living and working anywhere else. I have the best commute; it only takes me two minutes to walk to work. I love my surgery and many patients say what a lovely outlook there is from my room. It’s great to be part of a small community and yet so close to the city. You feel like you have an identity and wherever you are people know your connection to the community. Waiheke Island is relaxed. We don’t have the hustle and bustle like the big city of Auckland. Wherever you go on Waiheke there are beautiful beaches to see. The vineyards are amazing and I love some of the restaurants. Walking on the beaches is so relaxing and tranquil too.

You’ve been told you need a crown ……………. well maybe

It is common at a dental visit, either as part of an active maintenance check or a ‘chipped tooth’ emergency visit to be told the best option is a crown (or even in some practices you NEED a crown)

A crown is advised for a tooth in the following situations:                              1) a tooth has lost a large part of its natural above gum structure (the clinical crown)                                                          2) a tooth has a very large ‘filling’ in it with thin natural walls that are painfully springing apart under pressure or threatening to.                          

3) a tooth has a root canal filling.                                                               4) cosmetic changes

A ‘traditional conventional’ crown involves grinding off 1-2mm all around the side down to the gumline and over the bite surface. A mould is taken of the shaped tooth to be sent to the laboratory to be fabricated (usually milled or cast

ceramic), then once returned to the dentist cemented on. In the interim a temporary cover is placed. This technique means a lot of tooth is sacrificed to create the preparation even if it’s not ‘bad’.

Traditional crowns above left

A ‘modern crown’ involves removing less tooth a similar amount (1-1.5mm) across the bite but only extending down the sides a small amount to create a small wall. Sometimes it may be a partial crown not extending around the full circumference. These partial crowns are also called overlays. It is fabricated in the same way (usually milled or cast ceramic) then cemented or more commonly now, bonded to the tooth.

However there are other options these days which are more conservative of the tooth and are biomimetic – mimicking the tooth natural structure.

The first is a One Visit Crown in which a pre-prepared bite surface resin ceramic overlay with uncured white resin ceramic is placed on the prepared tooth, moulded to fit the sides then bonded to the tooth all in

a single visit. It is durable, wears like a natural tooth, and is more affordable.

  OVC on a premolar


  OVC on a molar

The second is a direct rebuild with light cured resin ceramic paste or composite. This is layered and frequently incorporates polyester fibre mesh to de-stress the restoration and strengthen it. It is generally layered with composites of different consistencies which mimic the different layers of a natural tooth structure. A new technique coming is the use of warmed composite injected into a shaped matrix which ‘shrink wraps’ the tooth on light curing.

Information brought to you by Waiheke Dental Centre 2 Putiki Rd Ostend

24 April 2019

Roadworks

There are Roadworks taking place on Putiki Road tomorrow and Thursday, so please park under our deck rather than on the roadside. Should you need any help or have any queries please don’t hesitate to call us on 372 7422

Gratitude

Dear Mike, Erica and team at Waiheke Dental

Letting you know that WINZ approved the $200 payment for my dental treatment today and apparently it is direct credited to your account.

I also just wanted to acknowledge your kindness, understanding and generosity in your dealings with one who, in the short term anyway, is not a ‘high value’ client. It is very sobering to find oneself in the position of needing government support to live – at an age theoretically nearing retirement. It adds to my own compassion for others in need but it also makes me extremely aware of the people who are non-judgmental and supportive – and the extremely rare cases of businesses that treat people in all circumstances with respect and care. That of course comes down to the people who make up that business and you seem to have a remarkable team of like-minded people who genuinely care for their community.

So – big ups to all of you and thanks again.

(name supplied but withheld for privacy reasons)

Latest Conference News

On the 20th July 2018 Melanie attended the Hygienist and Oral Health Therapist conference in Christchurch. This was a two day conference for both Hygienists and Oral Therapists
Topics Inculded:

  • Dental Disease and Diet
  • Integrating Oral Cancer screening into your Practice
  • Improving the quality and quantity of gingival tissue
  • Social responsibility in todays world.  What does it mean for NZDHA
  • From then to Now: 50 years on, the success and challenges
  • A work shop on practical applications for sugar reduction.
  • A hands on workshop on perfecting posterior restorations
  • Stainless steel crowns, what we already know and what are we investigating in NZ
  • Deep in the Pockets – Periodontal treatments
  • Maintenance and Prevention of Periodontal and Implant Disease
  • Waste free and reducing waste for a brighter future.

Melanie was very interested both personally and professionally with Nutrition and Dental Health.   She was very fortunate to meet and listen to Dr Steven Lin the author of The Dental Diet.  Mel now has his book.   Dr Lin believes that nutrition and dental health go hand and hand.  His program helps his patients solve the cause of dental disease.  It merges dental nutrition, breathing, airway, and functional orthodontics and sleep health.  The oral systemic link is clearer than ever.

Melanie returned very inspired and said it was one of the best conferences she had attended.

Roadworks on Putiki Road

*UPDATE* we now have use of our parks on Putiki Road so all is back to normal!

ROADWORKS on Putiki Road start on 22 March 2018. We are unsure on a timeline for customer access/ parking restrictions etc. In the first instance please access the dental centre driveway and park under the decking. If these spaces are full or if you have difficulty using steps, please make use of the parking Richard from RAW has kindly offered us. Please see the photos below as a guide. Should you need any help or have any queries please don’t hesitate to call us on 372 7422.

 

 

Free Dental Care for under 18 Year olds!

Did you know that free dental treatment is available for students starting year 9 until their 18th birthday, under the government funded scheme?

We have a full-time Oral Health Specialist, Melanie Mitchell, who specialises in adolescent dental care and hygiene treatments. Melanie is here Monday to Friday.

All you need to do when moving from year 8 to year 9 is to contact us to register. Don’t worry, we will sort out the paperwork!

Maybe you know someone that goes to another school, or is already working (& under 18), that lives on the island, they are welcome to have their dental treatment here too as there are no ‘zones’ as to where you can attend.

Waiheke Dental Centre has been offering this service for over 20 years and we pride ourselves on our proactive, preventative approach to adolescent oral health.

We also do free fast braces assessments for those of you who want to straighten out a few wayward pearly whites!

If you would like to know more about Fast Braces give us a call and we can book an assessment where Dr. Mike can walk you through the options and discuss whether Fastbraces are the right option for your child (or even yourself!).

Free Fast Braces Assessments

If you or someone you know is looking at getting their teeth straightened FastBraces is a great option, with most cases taking 3 months to a year to achieve an acceptable result it is much faster than traditional orthodontic braces which typically take 2 years or more.

Are you are interested but not completely sold? That is okay and understandable so why not give us a call to book in a free, no obligation FastBraces consultation where Dr. Mike can go over the options and tell you whether FastBraces is the right option for you.

For more information visit our Fastbraces page or visit the Fastbraces website itself.

We look forward to hearing from you and achieving your dental dental aesthetic aspirations!

Xylitol – what is it? What are the implications of its use for me?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol (or polyol) that is used as an alternative to sugar. Xylitol is more commonly used than you think being found in honey, jam and chocolate as well as medications and oral care products. Xylitol also naturally occurs in small amounts in some fruits.

A general Health benefit of Xylitol is it has a lesser effect on blood sugar levels than sugar, due to its slow absorption rate. It can be useful as an alternative to reduce sugar consumption for people with diabetes as it does not raise blood glucose or insulin levels.

It has a reduced caloric value which can be helpful in weight control. One spoon of sugar contains 16 calories versus 10 calories from xylitol. It is however not recommended to consume more than 50 g xylitol per day, due to it reducing absorption leading to water retention and diarrhoea.

Benefits to Dentistry?

  • Xylitol is not metabolised by bacteria in the mouth and so it does not contribute to tooth decay.
  • It also helps remineralise tooth enamel.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the flow of saliva through the chewing action; stimulated saliva helps to reduce acidity in the mouth by washing away plaque acids and contributes to their neutralisation by providing an important buffer, bicarbonate.
  • Stimulation of saliva flow through the use of sugar-free gum results in a 10–12-fold increase over a resting saliva rate, which helps wash away debris of food particles and sugars from the mouth and restores optimum pH levels in the mouth faster than without sugar-free gum.
  • Saliva also has an important role in the maintenance of tooth mineralisation as it provides the calcium and phosphate ions used to repair damaged enamel and it encourages the remineralisation of early cavities.
  • Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol also helps reduce oral Streptococcus mutanslevels, a key pathogen responsible for cavities.

Xylitol is a useful alternative to sugar but moderation in the quantity consumed is important. Sugar-free chewing gums using xylitol are a convenient, simple and effective means of improving dental health through the stimulation of saliva when used regularly throughout the day.

This article has been altered from Gardner, E. British Dental Journal, 2017 Aug, Vol.223(3), pp.141-141. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.650