Dr. Leighton Phu

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new dentist to our practice , Dr Leighton Phu. Leighton will be available for consultation on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will continue to provide the highest possible standard of care to every patient that walks through the door of our practice.


Dr Leighton Phu completed his Bachelor of Dental Science with Honours at the University of Melbourne and has gained vast experience working in rural and metropolitan dental surgeries as well as holding a position as consultant dentist at St Vincent’s Public hospital.
Leighton is a very gentle and compassionate dentist who finds it particularly rewarding when he is able to help patients overcome anxiety with dental treatment. He remains abreast of modern and conservative approaches to the full scope of dentistry, with particular interest in cosmetic rehabilitation, CAD-CAM technology, oral surgery and endodontics.
In addition to his clinical roles, Leighton has previously been appointed as preclinical supervisor for undergraduate dental students at the University of Melbourne. He also provided volunteer dental care for remote communities in Vietnam and closer to home in Alice Springs and serves on several committees of the Australian Dental Association.
Outside of dentistry, Leighton enjoys spending time with his pet dog Cholo, perfecting his pork crackling technique as well as discovering new music

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In April 13-15th, both Dr Zee Yap and Andrew Chio had the opportunity to attend the International Dental Exhibition and Meeting Singapore (IDEM) held at the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore.

IDEM represents the foremost dental trade and knowledge sharing platform in the Asia Pacific region and both dentists from our practice who attended were able to access both equipment and materials that are the state of the art in today’s dental treatment options. Attendance to the scientific program also allowed us to continually expand our horizons in our goal of providing the best for every patient that walks through the doors our practice.


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In addition, Dr Chio was also involved in the training the local dental leaders of South East Asia in contemporary restorative techniques utilising direct composites through the “Train the Trainer Program” sponsored by GC, one of the world leaders in dental material manufacturing.

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“Train the Trainer Program”-1


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Alcohol containing mouthwash and risk of Oral Cancer and tooth enamel loss


At Arrawatta Dental Centre we have never been big proponents of over the counter mouthwashes since they contain alcohol as their main ingredient. There is as much as 26% alcohol content which equates to a 52 proof alcoholic drink.  Most people drink wine and beer as their alcoholic drink of choice and they rarely reach alcohol content of 14% and no one keeps their drink in their mouth for 1 minute or more before swallowing it.  Herein lays the problem with mouthwashes with high alcohol content that are in contact with the mouth for long periods of time before spitting them out.  In a recent finding that was published in the Dental Journal of Australia they showed that these mouthwashes can be dangerous and poses a risk factor linked to the development of oral cancer. Long term use has shown microscopic and macroscopic changes to the tissues.  If you’re a smoker the effects are magnified because studies have shown that alcohol enhances the penetration of tobacco associated carcinogens.  Most people use these products to eliminate bad breath and with smokers this can be deadly.

In another study researchers found that these mouthwashes are quite acidic anywhere from 4.3 to 5.0 and cause erosion of dental enamel and can eventually cause sensitivity of the teeth.  Neutral ph is 7.0 similar to the ph of saliva.  This means these mouthrinses are quite acidic.  If your enamel is thin or thinning chance of getting tooth sensitivity increases with the use of these mouthwashes.

People tend to assume if a product appears in the supermarket shelves it must be safe. Time and again that assumption has proven incorrect.

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Straight teeth with Invisalign Invisible Braces

Our smile is a huge part of what you give the world every single day, and that’s the reason why using a nice smile is really essential. If you’re such as many, you most likely possess a tooth or even many of your own teeth are not completely straight.

You require to obtain them straighten out, but don’t wish to have to handle the steel brace that has to remain on for multiple years.
Although it was once which normal metal group braces for your teeth had been the only solution for styling teeth, these days, there is something called Invisalign that has gained prevalent recognition for its benefits to the customer.

Invisalign is really a program that’s getting used to exchange the actual aggravations of steel braces for your teeth with a plastic material that invisibly lines up one’s teeth. Which means that aside from doing all of the comprehensive straightening that regular braces for your teeth used to for any patient’s tooth, Invisalign braces braces additionally do it in a way that is in fact practically invisible towards the eye?



Advantages of Invisalign braces

There are a diversity of compensation to selecting Invisalign braces in order to straighten your own teeth-no matter your age or even how much function your own teeth need. Below, all of us review the most compelling reasons people select Invisalign braces:


  1. Appearance: The initial cause people use Invisalign braces should come as no surprise. The device consists of a skinny obvious plastic material which inserts over the teeth- they’re practically unseen therefore nobody knows you’re putting them on. Compare this using the cumbersome metal braces for your teeth of days gone by that were unattractive and awkward.


  1. Detachable: Another large in addition in order to Invisalign braces for your teeth is that they are removable- you don’t need to wait 2-3 many years to possess your own orthodontist remove them; you just get them out at what time you eat, brush, start flossing, and so on. and can consequently, handle as if you didn’t ask them to. This also eliminates any difficulty with obtaining meals stuck in your braces.


  1. Effective: Research has shown which using Invisalign braces are simply as effective as regular braces for your teeth at correcting and styling wayward teeth, in the event that utilized because recommended by the dental professional. The many of hours per day is it necessary to wear Invisalign braces, you might question?


  1. Length of Make use of: Lastly, lots of people choose Invisalign simply because rather than needing to wear them for many years like metal braces, on average, most patients just wear them for a little over a year.


Making the decision to straighten up your teeth isn’t an easy. However invisalign makes issues easy. Since Invisalign braces is clear, many people won’t even discover you’re styling your own teeth. And also the convenience of it can make it easy to remove your own aligners whenever you’re consuming or for an occasion.

Call or email us for an information pack or to schedule an appointment to see if Invisalign can be an option to give you the smile that you always desired.

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Merry Christmas 2014

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Merry Christmas from all of at Arawatta Dental Centre.
We will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing day to reopen on the 27th till 30th of December 2014 and will be accepting all emergencies that may occur during this period.
We will then be closed again to usher in the New Year to commence again on the 3rd of January 2015.

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Interview: “A bite inflicted by a human can have serious health implications”


by Daniel Zimmermann, DTI

Republished courtesy of dental tribune online


Urugayan football player Luis Suárez bit an Italian defender during a World Cup match in Brazil. (Photograph: AGIF/Shutterstock)

In Brazil, 32 football teams from around the globe are competing for the World Cup trophy this year. Dental Tribune ONLINE had the opportunity to speak with Dr Dietrich Fischer-Brooks from Germany, a former FIFA-appointed dentist who also provides dental care to the players in German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, about the oral health of football players and why the bite inflicted by Uruguay superstar Luis Suárez during his team’s match against Italy could have rather serious implications for his opponent.

Dental Tribune ONLINE: Dr Fischer-Brooks, the biting incident involving Luis Suárez has made headlines during this year’s World Cup tournament. In addition to a long-term ban, could this incident have any implications for his oral health?
Dr Dieter Fischer-Brooks: Only for his Italian opponent, Giorgio Chiellini. A wide variety of harmful bacteria live in the oral cavity and a bite inflicted by a human can have serious health implications. I know of some severe infections that have resulted from such bites.

Suárez appeared to have suffered from pain directly after the incident. Was this real or just an act?
I believe that this was just an act. Upon realising that he had been bitten, the Italian would likely have struck out at Suárez, but whether he really hit Suárez is subject to speculation.

Would you have recommended that Suárez visit a dentist after the game?
Only if he had really been struck on the mouth. Shortly afterwards, I saw him giving an interview, however, which indicates that it could not have been that bad.

Are elbow impacts a frequent cause of dental injuries in football?
Definitely. Many of the players I treat here in Frankfurt on a regular basis have sustained injuries to their anterior teeth at some time in their career. Therefore, many players wear mouth guards while playing. One often sees them during post-match interviews.

Do players have to undergo dental check-ups during a tournament like the World Cup or is oral health considered their personal responsibility?
This really depends on the professionalism of the staff. As a principle, players should be checked in advance of the tournament for any signs of infections in the mouth, or in the jaw and face area.

Cases of players suffering sudden cardiac death on the pitch are not uncommon. In many of these cases, the cause was a serious infection, which may have resulted from dental problems, including infected third molars, severe periodontitis or infections in endodontically treated teeth, to name a few.

What impact can these problems have on the health or the performance of players?
Bacteria migration from anywhere in the human body can affect the heart valves. Moreover, it can lead to inflammation in joints like the knee. I remember a case here in Frankfurt in which a player, who also played for the Czech national team, was unable to wear football shoes for months owing to a fistula on his small toe. We were finally able to attribute this to an infected third molar. When we removed the molar, the fistula disappeared within days, allowing the player to resume training.

Team physicians often struggle with these symptoms because they are not able or trained to recognise such associations. This example demonstrates clearly that bacteria in the mouth can migrate to distant parts of the body. In most cases, the heart primarily is affected.

Football players have celebrity status and pay significant attention to their body image. How important are good teeth in this regard?
Straight and attractive teeth have become a symbol of success. I have to say, however, that some players have developed a downright tooth fetish, as they visit me every two or three months to have their teeth checked. In many foreign players, particularly those from Eastern Europe, it is evident that they did not receive adequate dental care while they were children. Consequently, I usually have to perform extensive dental treatment on such players.

During the 2006 tournament in Germany, you were responsible for dental treatment for the teams from England and Saudi Arabia. Did you observe any differences with regard to their oral health?
There are significant inequalities internationally. Dental care (similar to general health care) in England, for example, is not the best. This is evident in the poor state of dentition, including defective fillings and other signs of second-rate dentistry. High-quality oral health care as practised in Germany or Switzerland, for example, is not common.

Owing to your work, do you pay more attention to the teeth of footballers, and are there any players whose teeth have impressed you lately?
I am really fascinated by James Rodríguez from Columbia. This young player has very attractive teeth. At the moment, I have also been paying attention to the teeth clenching that one commonly sees in players during interviews. Aesthetics is one thing, but there are also medical aspects to this.

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Increased incidence of decay among children

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Many of us are used to routinely taking our children to the dentist and not being overly concerned about the dentist finding rampant cavities. The trend of decreasing tooth decay among children and young adults has been with us since the late 1960s.
Now, however, this trend seems to be coming to an end and is creating new cause for concern. According to the largest study on dental health in the last 25 years, tooth decay is on the increase in babies and children age 6 months to 5 years of age. The proportion of children with cavities has risen from 24 percent 20 years ago to 33 percent.
Rotten baby teeth cause the child discomfort and need to be filled. If the decay is extensive, a crown or extraction becomes necessary. Decayed primary teeth lead to higher rates of decay in permanent teeth. The early loss or destruction of baby teeth may lead to crowding of adult teeth.
Experts are concerned and agree that diet is a significant component of the marked increase. The same factors contributing to the obesity epidemic can also contribute to tooth decay.

Parents are giving their children more processed snack foods than in the past, as well as juice boxes and other sweetened drinks. Some health-conscious parents give their children bottled water, not realizing that tap water is fluoridated and serves to preserve the integrity of dental enamel.
Another reason for the increase in incidence of decay may be inadequate dental care. Young children cannot manage brushing their teeth properly, especially the back teeth.
What can you do? Good care begins in pregnancy. Your baby’s dentition starts developing in the 12th week of pregnancy. Observe the basic rules of healthy eating: fruits, vegetables, healthy oils, adequate fiber.
Once your baby is born, do not put your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth, as the sugars from the juice or milk remain on the teeth for hours and damage the enamel.
Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent build-up of damaging bacteria.
Young children need their teeth brushed, especially their back teeth, until they can tie their own shoes. Take your child to see the dentist at around age 3. The dentist can perform a modified exam while your child sits in your lap. Such visits can help in the early detection of decay and also help kids become accustomed to visiting the dentist and have no anxiety associated with these visits as they grow older.
At around this age, when all of your child’s teeth have come in, your dentist may start applying topical fluoride. Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel and helps in preventing the quickly progressing tooth decay.
Although dental research has resulted in increasingly sophisticated preventive techniques, a dentist’s care is only part of the equation. The other components of a healthy mouth are good oral health habits (brushing and flossing) and what goes on the teeth — also known as nutritional habits. Limit the number of times during the day that your child has juice or soda. It is the repeated “sugar bath” that attacks the enamel and makes the teeth prone to decay. Increase the proportion of tap water, which contains fluoride (in most communities), in your child’s diet.
Many parents give their children nutrition bars and “power” bars as a quick and convenient energy booster. Unfortunately, these contain high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar which stick to the teeth and help dissolve the protective enamel of the teeth. Instead, aim for natural snacks such as nuts, carrots, fresh fruit, popcorn, whole-grain pretzels, cheese and such.
You will find your child fit and healthy, and seeing your child smile showing his healthy pearly whites will sweeten your day.

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The Medicare Child Dental Benefit Schedule

Human services logo medicareThe Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a new Government funded Medicare program which commenced on the 1st of January 2014.  The Schedule will provide eligible children, aged 2-17 years, with up to $1000 in benefits for basic dental services with the funded amount being capped over two consecutive years.


Your child may be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule if they are aged between 2 to 17 years for at least one day in the calendar year and receives a relevant Australian Government payment such as Family Tax Benefit Part A.

If your child is eligible to receive the benefit, a letter will be sent to you from the Government at the beginning of each calendar year.  You should receive your first letter early in 2014. A child’s eligibility will be assessed annually and once a child has been assessed as eligible, they are eligible for that entire calendar year.

Parents can also check their child’s eligibility by telephoning the Medicare General Enquiries no. – 132 011

Dental Services

At Arawatta Dental Centre, we are pleased to offer an extensive range of dental services under the Scheme such as examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. In almost all cases, these services are bulk billed with no out of pocket costs to parents.

For more information about the scheme you can contact our knowledgable front desk team, otherwise you can contact Medicare for eligibility and information.

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One of the most frequently asked question in our practice relates to the question of silver amalgam as a restorative material. Should it still be used? Should all my existing amalgam restorations be replaced? Are my existing filling safe and is it affecting my general health?

Personally, Silver Amalgam restorations have very limited use in our practice.  Not only do traditional silver amalgam restorations appear unaesthetic, they also eventually damage teeth that they are supposed to protect. Metal fillings expands and contracts with temperature changes. These movements, combined with the wedging action of the unbonded metal restoration places internal pressure to the remaining tooth structure eventually resulting in cracks and breakages.

I believe it is simply an inferior material to a well-placed bonded tooth coloured restorations in the form of direct composite or indirect ceramic restorations. Not only are these modern materials as durable (if not more durable) than the traditional metal amalgam fillings, but they are also more natural in appearance.



Silver amalgam starts off as a fine metal powder composed of silver, copper, and other metals which is mixed with a droplet of mercury. This forms a sort of paste which quickly hardens into a solid amalgam. Once hardened, the components are chemically locked together.

The concern is about the possibility of mercury release from those fillings in your mouth over time. There has been a LOT of controversy about this over literally 150 years. To date, no recognized scientific entity has determined that there are any negative health issues with amalgam fillings. And, I am inclined (so far) to believe that there are no real health issues with the mercury that is locked up in amalgam fillings. However, I am open to REAL scientific evidence to the contrary.

A far bigger source of mercury in our environment is from coal-burning electric plants that put tons of mercury in the atmosphere. That mercury ends up in the ground and water. You’ve probably heard about mercury concerns when it comes to eating fish.

Oddly enough, the government or regulatory bodies have deemed scrap amalgam as a hazardous waste. Meanwhile, some other government entities assure us it is safe for use in dentistry. So, it’s against the law to put it in the garbage or landfills in some places. But, it’s safe to put in your mouth?

Another thing that will make you go, “Hmmmm” is that the goverment in the U.S. is banning incandescent (traditional) light bulbs in favor of the so-called “green” compact fluorescent bulbs. Those are the “curly-cue” bulbs. And, they contain mercury. The EPA protocol, should one of these bulbs break, is extensive due to the mercury content within the bulb.This is a clear illustration of the contradictory agendas we see, and it should definitely make one question the “lines” presented by differing bodies.

Some countries around the world have restricted the use of amalgam. And, every so often, the notion of banning it in comes up. And, so here we are again. I believe it will be banned eventually – possibly for the wrong reasons – But, it will be banned some day.

Although there are biomechanics advantages in electively replacing metal amalgam restorations to prevent fractures of the supporting tooth structure, I do not advocate the wholesale replacement of amalgams in order to prevent or treat any medical condition. And, I won’t until credible scientific evidence supports the notion. However, I do understand that some patients do not want them in their mouths for a variety of reasons, including cosmetic concerns. “Silver” fillings are really BLACK fillings.  And, who wants that? 

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – from our family to yours

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During this Christmas and New Year period, we will remain open to attend to any dental needs or treatment that may be required.

We will however be closed on Sundays, Christmas,, Boxing and New Years day.

Have a happy and safe holiday season.

From all of us at Arawatta Dental Centre 2013.

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