Further advice for AJ Dental Group patients whilst we are closed due to Covid-19
In our last blog, we offered advice to our Woking patients about what to do to help keep their teeth and gums healthy during this current ‘lockdown’. Hopefully, this advice will mean fewer dental problems will arise during this period.
As the current UK advice on social distancing now looks likely to be extended for possibly a few more weeks, it is almost inevitable that some dental issues will arise for at least a few of our patients.
Hopefully these will not fall into the ‘urgent emergency’ category but could, nonetheless, be uncomfortable until treatment becomes possible again.
Unfortunately we cannot carry out any ‘face to face’ treatments at the moment, but you can still call us for dental advice. We will possibly be able to refer you to an emergency regional dental centre but this will only be for true emergencies.
Although we generally advise against home treatment for dental problems and encourage patients to see us as soon as they can if they have a toothache etc, this is currently not possible. So to help those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to avoid problems during this time, we offer some helpful ‘treatment’ advice below.
Toothaches and sensitive teeth
Even a relatively minor toothache can be uncomfortable and will make this period feel longer that it is. There are a number of practical things that you can do to relieve it though.
Anti inflammatory tablets
These tablets can help to relieve some of the discomfort associated with a toothache and also help to reduce swellings. Most of us will have some of these at home in the form of paracetamol or ibuprofen but please be certain that they are suitable for you before taking them.
Toothpastes for sensitive teeth
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Advice from our Woking dentists about keeping your teeth healthy whilst ‘isolating’.
Hopefully, all of our patients are following government instructions and staying at home wherever possible. These are challenging times for everybody and boredom and anxiety are likely to be problems for a lot of people.
Whilst the key health issue here is obviously the Covid-19 virus and hopefully avoiding it, we also urge patients of the Synergy Parkside dental practice practice to continue to look after their teeth as well as possible during this extended period at home.
There are some potential pitfalls for our oral health in the weeks and months ahead, but with a little thought and care, most of us will be able to keep our teeth healthy for when this difficult period is behind us.
Make sure that you have the essentials available. This includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. You should be able to get most of these from the shop when you do your other essential shopping. If not, with a bit of searching, you should be able to find these online. If possible, try to keep a spare toothbrush or make sure that you have replacement heads for an electric brush. If you suspect that you have any symptoms, you should throw away your old toothbrush or change the head of the electric one when the infection has passed. This will help to avoid re-infection if that is possible and also helps avoid infecting others who use the bathroom with you.
Many of us will have drastically changed routines for the next several weeks. This can cause us to forget to do things that we usually do. For example, brushing our teeth might be the last thing we do in the morning before leaving for work. If you are now working from home or are temporarily out of work, try to write down a routine that works for you and creates one where you brush your teeth after doing something else, such as shaving or after you walk the dog in the morning. There are no hard and fast rules and you should use whatever works for you. But please try to keep the discipline.
Avoid too many comfort foods
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An occasional look at the roles of our Woking dental team
Most of our blogs have been either about general dental care or specific treatments that we offer. These will continue, but we thought that it might be interesting for our patients to have a look at some of the specific roles carried out by individual dentists at our clinic.
In today’s blog, we will take a look at the role of Dr Andrew Gough who has been with us since the late 1980’s.
He is therefore one of our longest standing dentists and many of our patients will be familiar with him and his approach.
Making it fun
Can dentistry be fun? Most patients would probably disagree, but Andrew believes that it can be so and prides himself on his work with both children and older patients who are anxious about receiving dental treatment. With care, patience and the ability to explain clinical procedures clearly, many patients of a nervous disposition now find that they can see the dentist, if not actually looking forward to it, at least then with greatly reduced anxiety levels.
Andrew takes special interest in providing smile makeovers for his patients. Each patient is assessed individually to determine what treatments they need. This can range from something relatively straightforward such as a teeth whitening procedure, to more extensive treatment like dental veneers. All procedures are discussed and of course no pressure is placed on them to have any particular cosmetic procedure.
In addition to smile makeovers, Andrew is fully trained to provide wrinkle-reduction and dermal fillers for patients who wish to help roll-back the signs of facial aging.
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Looking at the difference between a clean by the hygienist and this more complex treatment.
At the AJ Dental Group, our focus is on preventative care as far as is possible. Although we have every confidence in the procedures that we use to restore damaged teeth, there is no disputing that it is far better not to need the treatments in the first place by improving our cleaning and general oral care regime.
One of the ways that we do this is to encourage our Woking patients to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis. This not only allows them to learn about what they can do to keep their teeth and gums healthy but to also have a thorough cleaning known as a ‘scale and polish’.
Occasionally, we may have to advise a patient with poor gum health that they need to have a ‘deep clean’. Much as they might wish it was so, this procedure is not the same as a clean by the dental hygienist and is something very different as we shall see below.
Scale and polish
Let us first look at this procedure and what it entails and its purpose.
However well we brush our teeth, and even if we floss as well, there are always areas of our teeth that are next to impossible to keep entirely clean. It is in these areas that we tend to get a buildup of both bacteria and mineral deposits that form a rough surface. This surface will then collect even more bacteria, along with staining, and over time, this can lead to problems such as decay and gum disease. As we have mentioned before, gum disease can be quite uncomfortable, causing gums to become inflamed and sore and can also lead to problems like bad breath. Having a scale and polish procedure is an excellent way to help avoid it.
The procedure itself is relatively straightforward, non invasive and there is usually no need for a local anaesthetic in order for it to be carried out.
The first stage is to manually remove the excess tartar before ‘shattering’ and removing the rest using a sonic implement. Finally, the patient’s teeth are cleaned using a high speed brush to remove any final remnants and to leave the teeth and gum line as clean as possible. This procedure is usually carried out at six monthly intervals, or more frequently for those at higher risk of gum disease such as smokers and diabetics.
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Lower priced dental implants may not be all that they seem!
With dental implants increasingly becoming the number one option to replace lost teeth, it isn’t really surprising that many people look around for a bargain. Whilst this makes sense, from a financial point of view, it is also important to look at other factors as well.
As anyone who has bought a lookalike counterfeit product because it was cheaper will know, it may look the same, but the quality definitely won’t be.
Although when this is applied to clothes or bags, it is annoying when they deteriorate prematurely, when it comes to something like a dental implant, things can be much more serious.
Who supplies cheaper dental implants?
Though it might be possible to find a dental practice that is offering a time limited offer on implants, you are likely to find that prices for placing dental implants are not dissimilar across the UK. Where the real savings are to be made, these are usually at clinics overseas. This throws up an instant problem in that it means that you will have to travel to have the procedure done, potentially at a significant cost as flying will often be necessary. There have been cases where clinics have included the price of a flight and a hotel room in the price. To be able to place an implant and provide a flight and accommodation cheaper than a dental implant alone in the UK, should really set alarm bells ringing!
How can they be cheaper abroad?
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Eliminating this harmful habit will significantly benefit your teeth and gums.
Now the initial few weeks of the new year have passed, it’s maybe a good time to look at what we hope to change without the pressure of a ‘new year resolution’. Changes in your lifestyle can be made at any time and are often more successful when we make them at a time most appropriate to ourselves.
One of the most popular resolutions that gets made is to stop smoking. Now that all the parties and events where you might have been tempted to smoke have passed, why not make an attempt to kick this habit now?
Why stop smoking?
Where do we start? As any hygienist or dentist at Synergy Parkside in Woking will tell you, smoking can cause any number of oral health issues. Your general health can obviously be threatened too. Although on a team level, our prime role is to help you to look after your teeth and gums, we don’t want to see any of our patients suffering from illnesses such as lung or heart disease, and especially when it is largely preventable by stopping smoking.
How does it affect oral health?
Smoking can affect our teeth, gums and oral cavity in general in many different ways. Most tobacco products contain chemicals and some of these are known to be carcinogenic (potentially cancer causing). Especially if our gums are already unhealthy or where we have small lacerations, the irritation of smoke in our mouth may well lead to infections and can also lead to a slowing down of healing following a dental procedure.
There are two specific issues that are more likely to arise in smokers than in non smokers from a dental perspective though, and we look at these now.
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Have you considered starting the new year and decade with a great new smile?
2020 is now truly upon us and what better time than this, the start of a new decade to make some decisions about improving our smile. A great looking smile not only looks good but has also been shown to regularly boost self confidence, giving benefits in certain fields, such as employment and attracting a partner.
The reality is that our smile is one of the first things that people notice about us, so why not make sure it is an attractive one?
At Synergy Parkside in Woking, we offer a number of treatments that can transform your smile into something probably beyond your own expectations.
Everyone will require a different combination of treatments, or perhaps just a single one. Through a consultation with one of our experienced cosmetic dentists, we can put a treatment plan into place that will give you a smile that you can really be proud of.
Let’s take a look at some of the key treatments that we are able to offer our patients.
Dentures have long been used to replace missing teeth. Modern dentures offer a reasonable aesthetic substitute but have some practical limitations. A number of patients find that they are restricted to eating certain foods because of their dentures whilst others may find them a little unstable at times. By using dental implants instead of dentures, you will find that you are able to eat a wide variety of foods of your choice. In fact, anything that you can eat with your natural teeth should be no problem at all for your dental implants. They are also stable and secure and can be cleaned the same way as your own natural teeth.
Orthodontics (dental braces)
Crooked teeth can spoil an otherwise nice smile. They can also cause a problem for your teeth as food becomes trapped more easily, potentially leading to more incidences of tooth decay and gum disease. Modern orthodontics can straighten your teeth more discreetly than in the past when highly visible braces were used. Where more complex correction is needed, Invisalign orthodontics offer a great and new way of doing so. Instead of using a series of wires and brackets to straighten your teeth, they use transparent trays that fit over your teeth. These are almost undetectable and can also be removed when eating or during your oral cleaning routine.
For more cosmetic straightening, faster acting methods such as the Inman Aligner may be a more appropriate treatment. Details of both of these orthodontic treatments can be discussed during your consultation at our Woking dental clinic.
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Some seasonal oral care advice from the dentists at Synergy Parkside Dental.
As we come towards the end of the year, it is time to write our very last blog of 2019. We hope that you have enjoyed the ones we have written so far and we are always happy to hear suggestions of topics you would like us to cover in the future.
Seeing as we are approaching Christmas and the New Year festivities, we thought that this would be a good time to offer some advice that is very appropriate for this time of the year. We want all of our patients to have a great Christmas and one that is trouble free as far as your teeth and gums are concerned. With this in mind, we offer some festive dental advice below.
Don’t overdo the booze
Most of us will drink more at Christmas than we do the rest of the year. Although this is understandable, it also means that the effects can happen much faster and to a greater degree. What for some people might be a feeling of ‘merriness’ could, for usually lighter drinkers, mean more difficulty in walking straight. Anyone who has been drunk will know how difficult it can be to coordinate when you have drunk too much alcohol and accidents are much more likely. Tripping over a kerb or walking into a door could very easily lead to significant damage to your teeth which would need urgent restorative treatment.
By all means drink if you wish to do so, but please try to do so sensibly. Alternate your alcoholic drinks with soft ones, especially water as it is sugar free and will also help to keep you hydrated and rinse residual food particles from between your teeth.
Keep the sugar levels down
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If you are considering facial aesthetics treatment but have concerns, please read on.
We are coming towards the end of 2019 and some of our Woking patients will no doubt already be looking ahead to the new year, making resolutions and determinations for 2020.
Personal improvement is likely to be high on the list and it is no coincidence that this time of year sees a surge in gym memberships and related activities.
We also often see an increase in cosmetic dental and facial aesthetic treatments at Synergy Parkside around this time of the year too. We have covered, and will continue to do so, a lot of dental topics recently, but today, we take a look at a popular anti wrinkle treatment which sometimes receives somewhat negative publicity; namely Botox.
What is Botox?
Botox is one of the most widely used wrinkle reduction treatments currently available. It is a purified ‘toxin’ that is used in small enough doses to render it perfectly safe if used correctly. It acts on the facial muscles, stopping them from contracting and thereby reducing the wrinkles of the face.
The Botox serum is injected just under the skin using a fine needle and should cause no significant discomfort. Patients may just feel a small pricking sensation in the treatment area.
Results can usually be seen within a week or so of the treatment and last for several months. This period will depend on individual circumstances and our Woking facial aesthetic team will be able to advise the expected length of the results.
Avoiding ‘extreme’ results
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Advice for our Woking patients regarding when to seek an emergency dental appointment.
What constitutes a dental emergency? It is a very good question and one that may be misunderstood to some degree. The word ‘emergency’ probably gets us thinking of flashing blue lights and a very serious situation indeed.
For patients who have very severe pain, such as that caused by a bad toothache or an abscess, it probably seems blindingly obvious that they need an emergency appointment. In other situations though, appointments may be delayed when really they should be treated as quickly as possible.
At the Synergy Parkside in Woking, we will of course, prioritise appointments for people who are suffering from a painful tooth, and we will also offer advice on how to stay as comfortable as possible until such a time that we can see you.
Given that being in pain constitutes a dental emergency, what other situations might also be classed in this way?
Chipped or fractured tooth
A tooth can chip or fracture for a number of reasons. You may have bitten down harder than you intended to and caused a small piece of tooth to break away. This may be negligible in size but it shouldn’t be ignored. Any tooth damaged in this way will probably have been weakened, and not getting it restored quickly could easily lead to further damage and the need for more extensive treatment to the tooth.
Where enamel has become compromised, it becomes easier for bacteria to enter the inner part of the tooth. When this happens, tooth decay, and possibly root canal infections may not be too far away. So whilst the degree of urgency may vary depending on the damage, please don’t wait too long before seeing us!
Knocked out tooth
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