Sometimes toothache and other problems strike at inconvenient times.
We have covered, in other blogs, why we don’t advise our patients to travel abroad for procedures such as implants. Even if this advice is followed though, dental problems can still occur when we are abroad, even if we have taken good care of our teeth and kept regular appointments at Alexandra Dental Care before we went.
Depending on the type of problem, and when it occurs, there are a number of steps that you can take. Your decision to seek professional dental care may also depend on where you are and how soon it is before you return home.
If you are in Europe or another developed part of the world, there is every likelihood that there will be an experienced dentist in the vicinity. If you have travelled with an organised group, your reps should be able to advise you. If not, the hotel or other accommodation reception team will often have a list of reputable local dentists.
Less developed countries
Whilst you may feel relatively comfortable about seeing a dentist in Europe or the US; if you have travelled to a less developed country, you may be less comfortable about doing so. This may be a case where you try to mask the problem with painkillers until your return to the UK or potentially be prepared to travel a little way to see a dentist that reaches somewhere near the standards that we expect from a dentist in the UK. Try to do some research before you go, just in case.
Tooth repair kits
Recent statistics show that around one in three of us are not doing enough to avoid gum disease.
Do you see the dental hygienist at Alexandra Dental Care on a regular basis? If not, you may be one of the 33% (or thereabouts) who lack this important aspect of oral health care. Perhaps too often seen as an ‘add on’ when it comes to looking after your teeth, visiting the dental hygienist should be seen as an essential and regular part of your professional dental care.
Nearly all dental practices, including our own, will have at least one dental hygienist. Arranging an appointment is straightforward and a standard treatment appointment usually lasts approximately 20 minutes, although may be more should this be needed.
So, what happens when you see the hygienist
First of all, our hygienist will ask you a few simple questions about your home oral care to see if there are any immediate improvements that could be made. These may include questions such as how often and when you brush your teeth, what type of toothbrush you use i.e. manual or electric, what toothpaste, whether you floss and what, if any, mouthwash you use. You will also be asked about your medications and whether they have changed recently.
Your mouth will then be examined and any gum recession measured. This is not uncomfortable at all and is important to ascertain how healthy your mouth is … or isn’t.
This growing problem can be reduced with appropriate action.
Whilst we may know of either friends or relatives who have suffered from cancer, it is quite likely that few of them will have had mouth, or oral, cancer. Although not as prevalent as some other forms, mouth cancer is becoming increasingly common and should not be ignored. By and large, this particular type of cancer can be avoided with a sensible approach to our health care and a good oral health cleaning regime.
In today’s blog, we look at some of the facts about oral cancer and ways that our Ashby and Burton patients can help to reduce the risk of suffering from this dangerous disease.
Around seven thousand people each year, or around eighteen people a day, are diagnosed with mouth cancer. It is widely believed that this figure will continue to rise unless action is taken.
Although often considered to be less common than many other forms of cancer, oral cancer is still responsible for more loss of life each year than deaths caused by traffic accidents in the UK. It also claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancers combined.
If oral cancer is detected early, the survival rate is around 90%. If detected later, this can drop to around 50%. This indicates the importance of having regular oral health checks at Alexandra Dental Care so that we can monitor the health of your mouth.
Age is no barrier
A recent report has indicated that the rise in popularity of fruit teas may be harmful for our teeth.
The ‘British diet’ is constantly evolving, and whilst years ago may have consisted of meat and over boiled vegetables and a cup of tea, almost all of us now enjoy foods and flavours from around the world. Health consciousness has also started to become a determining factor in what we eat and drink. Largely, this is a positive thing, but even ‘healthy’ food and drinks can have drawbacks.
At Alexandra Dental Care, one problem that we notice periodically in patients is signs of enamel wear. This can be caused by a number of things, including over enthusiastic brushing of the teeth. What we eat and drink though, can also contribute to this, even if they are healthy products!
Taking fruit teas as an example, as they have recently been in the news. On the surface of it, these should be a healthy alternative to many drinks that we consume. The refreshing taste and any residual vitamins should also be beneficial. Unfortunately, there are three ways that they may not be as beneficial as we think.
Sugar – Especially with citric drinks, such as lemon tea, the sharp taste may encourage us to add more sugar than we would in regular tea. We probably don’t need to explain why that is not a good thing.
Acids – Fruit teas, and especially citric ones, are generally quite acidic. This can be damaging to the enamel of our teeth, causing enamel erosion, over a period of time, especially if we ……
Savour the drink – Because fruit teas have a refreshing and sometimes delicate flavour; rather than sip the tea and swallow it, it seems that many of us take a sip and allow it to remain in the mouth for a while to get the maximum flavour from it. Doing this allows the acids in the teeth to come into contact with our teeth enamel for longer, increasing the degree of damage done. Whilst the odd fruit tea drunk may not cause significant damage, if we drink it regularly, enamel erosion may soon follow.
Say goodbye to the snow and hello to whiter teeth.
With the snowy spell now hopefully behind us, we can start to look forward to the first rays of warm sun making their ways to the UK. This is a time of year when some of us will start to make changes, perhaps having a ‘spring clean’ not only in our homes but taking a look at ourselves too. With the warmer weather, we may be more inclined to get out the running shoes or bikes again. We may also take a new look at our appearance.
One of the fastest acting and most popular things that we can do to improve the way that we look is to undergo a teeth whitening procedure. This is a straightforward and painless treatment that can really give your smile a significant boost.
Stains and discolouration
At Alexandra Dental Care, we sometimes hear patients say that they regret not looking after their teeth better when they were younger. Whilst this is entirely understandable from those that have needed fillings or extractions due to neglect, it is also not uncommon from those people whose teeth are in generally good condition bar some discolouration. For many people, slightly yellow or darker teeth are the norm and a function of genetics rather than how they brush and floss. But is doesn’t have to stay that way and here at our surgery near Burton and Ashby, we have a range of treatments to help.
Scale and polish
Save money and take advantage of this long lasting teeth replacement method.
Patients from the Burton and Ashby area who missed out on our initial dental implant offer will be pleased to hear that we have now extended it! Not only can you receive 10% of the cost of implant treatment, but your initial assessment is also free (terms and conditions apply). An initial assessment usually costs £99 so this is a great way to learn more about the benefit of implants and to find out if you are a suitable candidate.
Whilst it is true that some people are perfectly happy wearing dentures, the reality is that many also find them to be unsatisfactory. Even with modern dentures, which are a great improvement on older ones, they can still move around in the mouth, and eating some foods can be quite tricky.
Because the titanium implants are placed into the jawbone and allowed to bond securely, there is never any risk of this happening with them, providing that you follow the given aftercare advice. Dental implants have been around for approximately fifty years now, and although relatively unfamiliar to some people, are increasingly seen as the best way to replace a missing tooth, or teeth.
Patients of Alexandra Dental Care who have had implants placed have commented on the difference that it has made to their lives, enabling them to eat and speak freely, without worrying that their replacement teeth may become loose.
In addition to these benefits, once placed, implants can largely be treated as you would your regular teeth, and, whilst care is important, keeping your implants clean requires none of the fiddly cleaning that dentures and even bridges can do.
Looking after our patients
If you haven’t visited your dentist for some time, now is the time to take action!
From time to time we see new patients from the Burton and Ashby area who come to us, having not seen a dentist for a number of years. There can be many reasons for this. For some, it may have been a fear of a procedure that they were due to have, whilst for others, raising a family or building a career provided sufficient excuse not to have time to see their dentist.
Having healthy teeth and gums takes regular, diligent care, and not seeing a dentist for a number of years will likely mean that work will be needed when you return. The likelihood of problems will only become greater, the longer you leave it, so contacting Alexandra Dental Care now is a good start to get you back on the road to a healthy mouth.
In addition to discussing any problems or symptoms that you may have noticed during your time away, we will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and oral soft tissue. We may also take x-rays to check for problems such as root canal infections and periodontitis. Once we have diagnosed any problems, we will then discuss a treatment plan to set you back on the road to good oral health.
Should we find any signs of decay, this will need to be removed to prevent its spread, and the tooth can then be filled. Depending on the size and location of the cavity, it may be possible to use a tooth coloured filling to preserve the natural appearance of your teeth. Where a larger filling is required, especially on the rear teeth that do much of the work of chewing and grinding, an inlay or onlay may be used to provide additional strength.
See how your smile will look with straight teeth, *before* you have the procedure!
Most people who have looked in a mirror and wished that they had straighter teeth may find it difficult to envisage what they would look like if that were to be achieved. There is, perhaps, some hesitation, to wear even the most discreet orthodontics if you can’t imagine what the end result would be.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we now have the ability to show you what your new smile would look like, using the latest simulation technology. If you really hurry, you can even have this done for FREE. From the 22nd to the 24th January 2018, we are offering our Burton and Ashby patients the opportunity to see a simulation of how their teeth would look, following the use of Invisalign orthodontics. If you like what you see, you can also take advantage of our special offer of £350 off the cost of this treatment until the 31st January (terms and conditions apply).
Are these visualisations accurate?
Naturally, even the best technology cannot ‘know’ the future and factors such as excessive removal of the orthodontics may cause the treatment time to be lengthened. Generally though, a great deal of research and investment has gone into these computerised technologies to ensure as accurate a representation as possible. If we felt that the visualisations shown were not accurate, we would not offer this. There is no benefit for a dentist to let his patients down and this is something that we certainly guard against.
We believe that this technology offers our patients an excellent opportunity to see what a difference a great looking smile can make to their appearance and it is free for a short period of time too.
Don’t suffer in silence (or make others suffer!)
Although other causes of halitosis exist, such as gastrointestinal problems; for the majority of sufferers, bad breath originates in the oral cavity. It is an issue that, whilst on its own is not medically serious, may indicate the existence of other problems and can certainly cause others to avoid standing too close to you when you speak.
The fact is that much bad breath is simply caused by poor oral hygiene, and, in today’s blog, we take a look at some causes, solutions and simple steps that you can take to reduce it.
Avoiding garlic and other foodstuffs
Although it is true that eating garlic, drinking coffee and some other food and drinks, can make your breath smell, halitosis is in a different category altogether. Short term bad breath can be masked with mouth fresheners etc and will soon go away as the effects dissipate. Halitosis, on the other hand, is often a deeply offensive smell that is also persistent.
Some patients may use a mouthwash to help to mask the smell of halitosis. Whilst this will do no harm, it does not address the cause of the problem. It is far better to treat the real underlying issue than to try to hide it, especially as the most likely cause has other serious consequences too.
Alexandra Dental Care are offering you straighter teeth at a lower price (terms and conditions apply)
Have you ever looked at your teeth and thought them to be unsightly due to their crookedness? If so, then now might be the right time to rectify this. Our Burton and Ashby patients can now save £350 through our current Invisalign special offer. This is a great opportunity to save money on one of the most popular modern orthodontic systems available. Hurry though, you will need to have undergone the ClinCheck© assessment before the 31st of January 2018, so please don’t delay in giving us a call.
This is a great opportunity to have your teeth straightened, at a reduced price, using a method that has proven to be not only successful, but also convenient, comfortable and almost entirely invisible.
The Invisalign system offers a benefit that most modern braces do not. It does not use the wires and brackets to reposition the teeth that most systems do, but, instead, a series of plastic trays which are placed directly over the teeth are used. These can be removed by the patient and are actually designed to do so when eating food or for cleaning the teeth. This convenience factor means that there is no need for awkward moments at the dinner table whilst you struggle to eat certain foods. It also makes it much easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and free of decay or gum infections.
Comfort for our patients