Everyone loves a bright while smile. So I sit down with local dentist Dr Tocca of the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Suffolk, to discuss the importance of good dental health and how to choose a great local dentist that offers treatment tailored to your needs.
Tell me more about Lighthouse Dental Practice
There has been a dental practice at 34 High Street in Ipswich for over 70 years. In 2007, I joined the local dental community as one of the dentists in Ipswich. I completed my dental degree at the Karolinska Institute, School of Dentistry, Stockholm, Sweden in 1994. Since then I have worked in general practice in both England and Sweden. I strongly believe in high quality dentistry; a personalised, respectful and gentle approach; as well as dental prevention. I am committed to the ongoing development of my professional skills. Consequently, I have regularly attended postgraduate courses in clinical subjects in both in the UK and abroad. My special interests are in Aesthetic and Minimally Invasive Adhesive Dentistry, Periodontology and Implantology. One of my favourite aspects of the job is getting to know my patients. I also enjoy showing them that dentistry can be gentle, aesthetic and constitutes an integral part of the body’s general health.
What is your aim?
We aim to provide the highest level of treatment and service to our patients. We pride ourselves on delivering optimal dentistry, rather than maximal dentistry. Furthermore, we always try to suggest treatments that suit our patients. Each patient is an individual, with individual needs; therefore we assess and treat each patient on an individual basis. One particular aspect that we are proud of is our patient and staff retention. Most of our staff have been with us long-term, and have delivered safety and comfort for many patients over the years. Currently we have several families of four generations amongst our patients. We believe we are an excellent choice for anyone in Ipswich looking for a local dentist.
What’s of particular importance to you as a team?
Confidence and trust in our team (dentists, dental hygienist, dental therapist, dental nurses and receptionist) is paramount. As a local dentist, we need to ensure that our patients are satisfied at all times during their treatment journey with us. All of our team members receive ongoing training to ensure they follow best practice and deliver high standards of care. We continually update our skills and techniques so that every visit to our practice is as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
What is your practice philosophy?
Our practice philosophy is simple: to help our patients to reach and enjoy long-term dental health. In order to achieve these goals, we emphasise the importance of prevention. After all, it is well known that prevention is always better than cure! By following our advice, we are confident that our patients will be able to reduce the need for future treatment. However, if treatment is necessary, we always endeavour to perform it with the utmost care and to the highest standards. We actively encourage our patients to communicate freely with us about any aspect of their care. This allows us to adapt our ways of working to accommodate each individual’s needs. To sum up, we emphasise patient comfort by having a calm, reassuring and professional approach to dental treatment.
Are there any particular treatments that you specialise in?
Firstly, despite the fact we are a local dentist, we also provide a wide range of treatments from general and cosmetic dentistry to more complex restorative procedures. That said, Lighthouse Dental Practice is well known for its experience and success with patients who suffer with dental anxiety. Our gentle approach goes a long way in treating most patients. However some need extra help to receive dental treatment in a relaxed manner.
We can offer dental sedation for patients who suffer from dental fear, dental anxiety or dental phobia. Our dedicated website Dental Anxiety Services explains more about dental anxiety and the sedation services we offer.
Which other treatments do you offer?
As a local dentist, Lighthouse Dental Practice also offers the highest standards of patient care in Ipswich to restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile. We offer personalised and painless restorative and cosmetic treatments. We also offer facial aesthetic treatments for those who wish to have smoother and younger looking skin.
Tell me more about the new facial aesthetics procedure you’ve added to your portfolio?
We are pleased to announce a revolutionary new facial aesthetics procedure using the remarkable technology PRGF®-Endoret® technique. It is ‘Plasma Rich in Growth Factors’, which can be used to help reverse the signs of ageing.
PRGF can help with:
- Skin rejuvenation
- Hair growth
- Nerve pain
It also promotes painless healing and bone regeneration.
What are your goals as a dental practice?
To provide the perfect combination of durable, gentle, natural-looking and safe dentistry at a reasonable price. Our direct composite veneers, which are bonded on strong enamel, exemplify this approach. This technique preserves the tooth. There is no unnecessary/damaging removal of enamel, as is the case with ceramic veneers or crowns. In addition to being gentler, it is also cheaper: approximately one-third of the cost of a ceramic veneer. The other advantage is that it can easily be repaired. Our website features several examples of this technique. While it might seem simple enough, it requires a high level of experience to be performed to an acceptable standard.
Why should we visit our dentist regularly?
Our local dental practice is only as good as our team. We have highly qualified staff that fit our dental practice culture, provide excellent customer service, and complete the highest-quality work possible. So visit us regularly, as often as we recommend (a big advantage of having a local dentist). Maintenance visits are vital to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Prevention is always better than cure. Maintenance check-ups at your local dentist allow dentists to spot the early warning signs of potential problems before they get serious. They also provide a great opportunity to give guidance and advice and recommend the right treatment solutions.
Our friendly, expert staff, and the extensive range of treatments on offer, are just two great reasons to choose the Lighthouse Dental Practice as your regular Ipswich dentist.
Why is a great smile so important?
A great smile is important for many different reasons. Your teeth play a key role in your lives, so it’s vital you take good care of them. Without them, you can’t chew and digest your food, or even speak clearly. Then there’s the aesthetic aspect. A great smile can transform how you look. It can also have an impact on the way you feel. When you’re confident about your appearance, your self-esteem soars. So keeping that smile bright helps keep your mind-set positive too. But don’t despair if your pearly whites aren’t as radiant as you’d like them to be. There are lots of easy ways to improve your oral health, and achieve and maintain a healthy smile, from basic dental care to teeth whitening.
How would you describe the basics of brushing?
Bright, healthy teeth are clean teeth, so regular and individually adapted tooth-brushing is important. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush gently but thoroughly for as long as necessary to clean your teeth, without causing any damage. This helps to stop the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, bacterial film like a carpet of bacteria on our teeth surfaces. It forms constantly. If it’s not kept in check, it causes cavities and gum disease, and can harden into tartar. None of which is conducive to a healthy smile! So keep your plaque under control with regular brushing – and don’t forget to change your toothbrush regularly. A fresh brush will clean your teeth effectively without causing damage to the surrounding tissues. Applying the correct amount of pressure is also important. Too much pressure will simply wear off your tooth enamel and damage your gums.
Why should you watch what (and when) you eat?
Too much sugar is the enemy of strong, healthy teeth. Constant snacking isn’t helpful, either.
Give your teeth a 3-4 hour break between meals and avoid large or frequent amounts of fruit. Eat vegetables instead! They aren’t as acidic as fruit, so they won’t attack your enamel. They also contain less sugar, which will benefit both your teeth and your general health. Less than 5% of our energy should come from sugar, so try hard to avoid it, even in drinks or smoothies. In our opinion, fruit smoothies are far from innocent, since they are high in both acids and sugars. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, we would suggest eating four portions of vegetables per day, and only one of fruit.
How much calcium do we need for our teeth?
Contrary to popular belief, teeth do not need any extra calcium to stay strong once they have grown through the gums. They only need the correct amount of calcium while they are growing as tooth buds inside your jaw when you’re a child. To keep your teeth and body healthy, simply follow the NHS governmental advice on recommended daily intakes of calcium and minerals. Usually this doesn’t involve taking any extra supplements. Just try to consume a balanced diet, packed with plenty of fresh (preferably organic) vegetables. Leafy greens, nuts, fish and dairy products are all great choices. Good vegan options include soya beans, tofu and pulses. Making time for proper meals is another way to help to protect your teeth. Day-long grazing on cakes, biscuits and sweets has the opposite effect. That’s because every single time we eat something, bacteria reacts with food to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel. Your local dentist should be able to give you all the information you need.
Can pregnancy affect calcium retention?
Pregnancy does not remove calcium from your teeth and does not weaken them. Pregnancy may temporarily influence the calcium levels in your bones, but teeth usually remain unaffected by pregnancy itself. What can affect your teeth during pregnancy is a diet rich in sugars and acids. So sticking to a healthy diet during pregnancy will help you and your growing baby, as well as everyone’s teeth.
What are your thoughts on snacking?
Just say no to snacking if you want a bright, healthy smile! Drinking plenty of water can help to neutralise acid attacks, as can chewing sugar-free gum after eating. If you must indulge, try to avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain and discolour your teeth. Popular culprits include tea, coffee, red wine, beetroot and curry.