Synergy Parkside Dental Centre
Goldsworth Park Health Centre
Woking GU21 3LQ

2021 – A Year For Optimism And A Brand New Smile?

We’re all hoping for a better year ahead. Why not start yours with a smile makeover from our Woking dentists?

Dentist examines patientWithout a doubt, for many of us 2020 will have been the worst year in our memory. Much has been written about the Covid-19 pandemic and little of it has been positive. Some, tragically, have lost their lives and this will have affected those around them. For others, jobs may have been lost and our mental health may have been put under pressure like never before.

It is important though, that we continue to look to the future and imagine our lives post Covid. Things may never return fully to what we considered ‘normal’ before, but hopefully, by the middle of next year, we will start to be able to do some of those things that we previously took for granted such as holidays abroad and even simply meeting up with friends.

For many of us 2020 has been, at best, a ‘holding’ year, so perhaps it now makes sense to start to look to the new year with a sense of renewal?

Image improvements

It almost feels like being a bear coming out of winter hibernation and many of us won’t have bothered buying new winter clothes as we are spending so much time indoors. However, some of us have probably started to think about what we might buy for the spring and summer. These things can be decided on closer to the time, but other self improvements may take a little more time to achieve and pre-planning them now is a good idea.

This is particularly relevant for those of our Synergy dentist Woking patients who may be considering a smile makeover. Whilst some cosmetic dental treatments produce almost immediate improvements, others might take a little longer to achieve the desired results.

Getting the basics right

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Will The Second Lockdown Affect Our Woking Patients?

Dental care availability at our Surrey practice

Dentist Jaymish PatelA week ago today, the country entered its second lockdown to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We all hoped that it wouldn’t come to this but it became clear that something quite drastic needed to be done as numbers started to rise exponentially. This will be a worrying time for many businesses, despite financial help from the government. Whilst some business closures might be frustrating for their customers, the first lockdown showed that it could have even more serious consequences.

During the first lockdown, all practices were made to close, including our own Synergy Woking dentist. Across the country, some people struggled to get emergency dental treatment and many had to manage by using painkillers for a few months. It is fair to say that the oral health of the nation probably deteriorated during this time as routine check ups were not allowed and minor problems were unable to be treated. Inevitably some problems would have worsened over time.

Second lockdown

Thankfully, there are differences this time around and a number of essential businesses are being allowed to open. This includes dental practices such as ours. This will come as a relief to both dentists and their patients across the country.

Most dentists are still working through a backlog of cancelled appointments from the first lockdown and are having to prioritise emergency cases over routine appointments. This will inevitably mean that some oral issues go undetected until they cause discomfort. We are all doing our best to reduce the backlog in these difficult times and we ask our patients to please bear with us whilst we do.

What services are available?

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Four Reasons To Opt For Invisalign ‘Dental Braces’

Dr Jaymish Patel, Woking dentist, looks at this popular tooth straightening system.

Invisalign Straight TeethThere is a common perception that dental braces are cumbersome things that can also be uncomfortable to wear and, in some cases, may also attract a certain amount of ridicule, especially for teenagers and young adults. It is certainly true that braces have not always been discreet and it would be easy to spot anyone who was wearing them.

These factors, put together, may well have deterred some patients who needed, or wanted, to have straighter teeth from having them done.

Modern cosmetic dentistry has come a long way though since the highly visible metal braces which were the only way to achieve a set of nice, even teeth. Our Woking cosmetic dentists are now able to help you achieve this in a much more discreet, convenient and comfortable manner through the use of the Invisalign orthodontic system.

Traditional versus modern braces

Traditionally, dental braces have been made from metal wiring and brackets.  These needed to be fitted by the dentist and would be tightened according to how the teeth needed adjusting. This is a successful method but it does have some drawbacks as we shall see. This method is still used for some straightening corrections, albeit using more refined and tooth coloured materials.

Invisalign does not use wires and brackets at all and instead uses a series of transparent trays which fit over the patient’s teeth. You will receive several of these with each designed to be worn for a few weeks before being replaced by the next in the series. Over time, these will gradually and gently encourage your teeth towards the desired position to leave you with a straight and even smile.

Advantages of Invisalign

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Fixing A Broken Tooth

When a tooth is significantly damaged, you may need more than a simple filling

Dental check upThere are many reasons why a tooth might break and also a number of ways in which they can be restored. The method used by our dentists will depend on a number of factors including the degree of damage, the location of the tooth in the mouth and also the prognosis for the tooth in question.

Small breakages to a tooth can occur following decay or through cracks in the enamel which have weakened it.

Teeth grinding can also cause a tooth to break, although more often it will cause enamel wear. Finally, there are accidents. A fall or a blow to the mouth can cause significant damage to a tooth, leaving it requiring dental treatment at our Woking practice.

Before a broken tooth can be restored, it will need to be examined by one of the dentists at Synergy Parkside who will discuss the treatment options with you and advise you of the most appropriate one for your own situation.

The following treatments are some of the typical ones used in the restoration of a  broken tooth.

Minor chips

Occasionally, we might chip a tooth, perhaps from biting something that was much harder than expected. All chipped teeth should be examined to determine if it has exposed the inner part of the tooth or not and there are a number of options available for treatment. If it is very small and a surface chip only, cosmetic bonding can be used to ‘fill’ the chip and smooth any surface that might otherwise cause abrasions to the soft tissues of the mouth such as the lips or cheek.

If the chip is more significant, it might be preferable to fill it in order to protect the tooth. As it is often the front teeth that become chipped, we may suggest the use of tooth coloured fillings to make the repair more discreet when you smile.

Decay

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Synergy Parkside – NHS Dentistry in Woking

Although well known as a cosmetic dental practice, we also offer NHS dentistry for essential oral health care

Children with parentsThe NHS has been in the news a lot recently, predominantly connected to the Covid-19 situation. Many of us will have stood at our doors clapping those working under great duress, putting themselves at risk in some cases, to save lives.  The NHS has been around for just under 70 years now and has found a special place in a lot of people’s hearts, especially those whose lives have been saved by it.

Although it may not hit the same headlines as those working in hospitals, NHS dental care has also been very important for us all; providing essential oral care in an affordable manner to everyone. We are pleased to say that we are able to provide NHS dentistry at Synergy Parkside as part of our belief that everyone should have access to this service.

What does NHS dentistry cover?

It might seem that a lot of emphasis is put on advanced cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth implants or even teeth whitening. These offer some very significant benefits to those who have these procedures. Although NHS dental treatments aren’t likely to provide the same cosmetic improvements to your smile, they do help everyone to have a healthy and functioning set of teeth and gums. This not only helps to maintain a good quality of life, but, as studies are increasingly showing, helps to protect other aspects of our general health as well.

The most fundamental basic of NHS care is the 6 monthly check up. This means that everyone can have their oral health monitored on a regular basis. Not only does this mean that common problems such as decay can be detected and treated at an early stage, but more serious and complex issues such as mouth cancer can also be spotted early on, allowing for early treatment which provides a better chance of recovery.

Should I go NHS or Private?

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Brushing Your Teeth Twice A Day Is Essential

So, why are only 1 in 8 of us doing so since lockdown?

Dentist in surgeryA recent study has indicated that during and following the easing of lockdown, only one in eight of us have been brushing our teeth twice a day.

Perhaps equally worrying are the findings that nearly half of those asked admitted that they only brushed their teeth once a day at most and nearly 20% admitted to not brushing their teeth regularly on a daily basis at all!

Although we appreciate that lockdown disrupted our lives in many ways, it appears that some of this may have lingered on for longer afterwards, and probably into the future as well unless we change our habits.

As dental professionals, we find these results a little staggering. It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth is the single most important thing that you can do to protect your teeth on a daily basis. It appears though, that there are still some significant misunderstandings about how important this is. For the benefit of the Woking patients of Synergy Parkside, we attempt to address some of the likely issues below.

The ‘once a day is enough’ myth

It seems that some people believe that you only need to brush your teeth at night and that the mornings are much less important. The logic for this, we presume, is that this follows a day of eating, whereas, in the morning, you haven’t eaten anything since you went to bed so there is no need to brush. Whilst this might seem logical, it is a big mistake.

Although it may be true that you haven’t eaten whilst you slept, this is a time when potentially harmful bacteria can build up in the mouth, and in significant numbers, especially if you have a dry mouth. This can lead to both gum disease and tooth decay.  It is thought that over 3/4 of millennials have undetected tooth decay, and this could be one of the reasons why.

Not only will these bacteria accumulate overnight but, if you don’t brush your teeth in the morning they will stay with you for the rest of the day. This lengthy period means that a lot of damage can occur before you eventually brush your teeth at night.

Changing your habits

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The Consequences Of Leaving Gaps In Your Teeth

Why our Woking dentists believe you should always choose a tooth replacement treatment

Two dental implantsPerhaps as we enter our final years, we may not be too concerned about missing teeth, either from an aesthetic or general viewpoint. Even in our 70s and beyond though, many of us now live an active life, socialising with others. If we lose our teeth even earlier, this is particularly an issue as missing teeth can also have an ageing effect on our facial appearance.

With the wide range of modern techniques available at Synergy Parkside to replace any teeth that have been lost, we take a look at the reasons why leaving a gap in your teeth isn’t a good idea and how we can help you resolve this.

Front teeth vs rear teeth

You may think that there is a difference between losing a front tooth and a rear one. In some ways this is true. The loss of one or more teeth at the front of the mouth affects the way that we look in a quite obvious manner. It is very likely that nearly all of us will look at the various available tooth replacement options if we lose a front tooth.

If we lose a rear tooth though, it can be very tempting to just ignore it. Sure, it might be a bit inconvenient but it isn’t a major issue surely? The fact is though, that any tooth loss, wherever it occurs in the mouth, can have an ongoing impact on the rest of our teeth.

Bone loss and tooth drift

We tend to think of the loss of a tooth as affecting the tooth alone. Unfortunately, when we lose a tooth, it also has an impact on the underlying jawbone. The role once performed by this, in securing the tooth in place, is no longer necessary and our body will then start to reabsorb the minerals that make up the bone in this area for use elsewhere in the body.

This loss of bone can have two effects. Firstly, and especially where several teeth are lost, it can cause a ‘sunken’ appearance of the face in that area. This can make us appear older than our years. It also means that it becomes easier for the teeth around the gap to start to ‘drift’ into the space vacated by the tooth.  As one tooth moves, it also leaves a space for others to encroach into. Over time, it is quite possible that our teeth will start to become uneven and crooked.

Additional strain and wear

Another issue when we lose a tooth is that we can transfer its role onto other teeth. If we lose a couple of rear teeth, for example, their prime role is in the grinding and breaking down of food. As they are no longer available for this we are likely to use other teeth that are not designed for this purpose. This can easily lead to premature wearing or even breakage of these teeth.

Replacement options

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Time To Get The Whiteness Back!

Has the ‘lockdown’ lifestyle left your teeth looking duller than usual?

White smileWith dental practices, including our own, now up and running, it is worth looking at some of the things that may have happened to your teeth and gums whilst we were closed.

We covered some of the clinical problems that could have occurred and how we could help in recent blogs, but today we are going to take a look at the aesthetic aspect of your smile and how it may have suffered over the last few months.

Aesthetic consequences of lockdown

There are a number of potential reasons why our teeth may have become duller whilst we were all in lockdown and under the various restrictions enforced. The following is not an exhaustive list but suggests some of the most likely ways that our Woking patients may have ended up with darker looking teeth than they’d ideally like.

Diet – Most of us will probably admit to a change of diet during lockdown. Especially in the earlier stages where we were more confined to our homes, many of us would probably have found ourselves at a loose end (despite our good intentions of learning new skills etc). One thing that a lot of us will do when we are bored is eat, and very often foods that offer little nutritional value and which may also affect the surface enamel of our teeth. The additional tea and coffee drunk during this time will also have played a role.

Lack of care – Although most of us will probably have managed to keep to our usual oral health regimen of regular brushing and flossing, for some folk, this time will have been especially stressful and usual norms may not have applied. When we are feeling anxious or depressed, we may neglect ourselves a little and this may include failing to clean our teeth as often or as well as we should. It is quite possible that some of us may even have started smoking again which is especially likely to turn our teeth yellow.

No hygienist – Anyone who sees the hygienist at Synergy Parkside in Woking on a regular basis for a scale and polish will know that, in addition to helping to protect our oral health, it also removes much of the surface staining from our teeth. Although it requires a teeth whitening procedure to lighten teeth where the inner part has darkened over time, this surface stain removal is certainly a benefit worth having. With our practice closed for a few months, some of you will have missed out on this and you may have noticed more discolouration in your teeth than normal.

Time to shine?

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The Challenges Presented To Teenager’s Teeth

Synergy Parkside dentist, Dr Dani Sharma, offers advice for those difficult teenage years

Group of smiling young peopleAs parents, it can be hard to let go, but let go of our children we will inevitably do at some stage. As our children start to grow up and gain more and more independence, they will almost certainly make a number of decisions that we are not entirely happy about.  This is all a part of the process of growing up of course, but some of the decisions that they take may affect them for many years to come.

This is often particularly true when it comes to how they look after their teeth and gums. It may have been a long time since we were able to stand in the bathroom singing ‘row your boat’ whilst they cleaned their teeth under our supervision, but that doesn’t mean that we care any less about how they look after them.

Teenage years

As our children grow older, they naturally want less interference from their parents, especially in those day to day things like cleaning their teeth. As we know though, teenagers are not generally great at organising their life to do the more mundane things, instead always looking forward to going to see friends or playing the latest games on their X Box. In addition to perhaps neglecting to clean their teeth as well as they should, a teenager’s diet is likely to be high in sugars as they eat snacks that give them quick energy, or alternatively, tasty, but often unhealthy, ‘junk’ foods. A combination of these factors means that their teeth, which we had managed to help them keep healthy for so long, are now at risk.

Rotting teeth and sore and bleeding gums are a real possibility if care is not taken. Add in the possible addition of smoking, alcohol and even, regretfully, drugs, as they reach their later teenage years and there could be a lot of problems in store that could potentially leave them with poor quality teeth throughout their adult life.

How can you help?

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Straighter Teeth For A More Attractive Smile!

Orthodontic treatments offer a great way to a beautiful, even smile.

Invisalign Straight TeethWith the additional time that many of us have involuntarily had over the last few months, we may have idled some of it away by dreaming, or looking in a mirror and thinking that there are some things we would like to do to improve our appearance.

The first step towards this for many, will likely have been a trip to the newly opened hairdressers for a long overdue haircut. Others though, will possibly be looking at longer term goals as well.

One problem that we may have noticed about our appearance, and especially when we smile,  is something that happens over time and which cannot be corrected overnight. We are talking about uneven or crooked teeth of course.

As teeth start to leave gaps or to overlap, they not only spoil an otherwise attractive smile, but can also make cleaning more difficult and potentially lead to oral health issues such as decay and gum disease.

So if you have been considering doing something about your crooked teeth, the Synergy Parkside Dental Centre can help!

Invisalign

One of the most popular orthodontic systems available at our Woking practice to correct uneven teeth is Invisalign. This system uses an entirely different method to traditional braces. Whilst older style braces use a series of wires and brackets that exert pressure on your teeth to reposition them, Invisalign uses a series of plastic trays to the produce the same effect. These trays are made from impressions that we take of your own teeth and use a high quality medical grade transparent plastic. This customised method means that any discomfort is minimised, with each tray applying a small amount of pressure to gradually coax your teeth into the correct position.

The trays are transparent and are fairly discreet when wearing, indeed they are barely visible to those around you. They are also removable and should be taken from the mouth when you are eating and when you brush and floss your teeth in the morning and evening. It is important to make sure that both your teeth and the trays are cleaned well before you return them to your mouth. Failing to do so could mean that sugars, acids and bacteria are trapped between the tooth enamel and the trays.

We are currently offering a free consultation and free scan for potential Invisalign patients. Why not contact us on 01483 766355 to find out more?

Inman Aligner

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