Our Greenwich dentists look at some of the things that may cause dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety is very real and it is a fact that many people suffer from this. Whilst some may simply be able to acknowledge their anxieties but still see their dentist when required, others may well miss many appointments until a painful toothache forces them to receive treatment.
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the things that might trigger anxiety in patients and what can be done to alleviate it.
One of the biggest anxieties we encounter at the Confidental Clinic is that of the ‘needle’. This is used to administer a local anaesthetic when an invasive procedure is needed. Despite what many people think, it is not the needle entering the gum which causes the discomfort, but more when the anaesthetic enters the bloodstream. We always take care to administer this as gently as possible in order to minimise any discomfort.
If you asked people what sound they most associated with the dentist, they would almost certainly say the drill. Once a patient starts to hear the sound of the drill, some start to anticipate pain (see next section). However, the modern dental drill is a very sophisticated piece of equipment which allows us to perform a procedure as efficiently and quickly as possible. The high pitched ‘whirring’ sound is caused by its fast rotating speed and without this, your procedure would take longer; something few patients would want.
The pain factor
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With a few lifestyle changes and regular checks, the risk and consequences of oral cancer can be decreased.
When you visit the Confidental Clinic for your regular check up, you probably spend most of the time crossing your fingers that there is no dental decay. Some patients may be surprised to know that not only do we check your teeth and gums for any problems, including tooth decay, but the oral cavity in general too.
The reason for this is that we are in an excellent position to notice any unusual signs that might give cause for concern. Some of these, such as red patches or lesions of the soft tissue could indicate the possible presence of mouth cancer.
Reducing the risks
Before we get onto discussing cancer itself, it is worth reminding our Greenwich patients of some simple ways to reduce the risks. The most obvious of these is to stop smoking, if you haven’t already. Smoking is perhaps the greatest threat to your oral cavity and you should make every attempt to stop. Whilst the occasional alcoholic drink should do little harm; if you are a regular or heavy drinker, the risk of oral cancer is also significantly increased. Excess alcohol consumption is also harmful to your general health so ask your GP to advise about how you can live a healthier lifestyle.
Another increasing contributor to oral cancer is the HPV virus. This is largely transmitted orally during sex; so if you are sexually active, and especially with a number of partners, it is advisable to talk to your GP about a possible vaccination.
What if we find potential symptoms?
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Educating children about having healthy teeth doesn’t have to be boring!
Any parent will want the best for their children, and that includes having great looking and healthy teeth. No parent wants to see their child suffer with toothache, and, in most cases, this can be fairly easily avoided.
Whilst we need to supervise our kids whilst they brush their teeth, it is also a good idea to get them thinking about their own teeth from an early stage, encouraging them to take at least some responsibility for their care.
Of course, a key part of their oral health care will be to see the children’s dentist at our Greenwich practice on a regular basis. Ongoing monitoring of growing teeth is especially important and can determine a number of factors as they develop from children into adults.
Education – don’t make them yawn!
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Looking after the extraction area following tooth removal in Greenwich.
At the Confidental Clinic, one of our main roles is to help our Greenwich patients keep their natural teeth for as long as possible.
There are many restorative procedures that can help us to do this, including fillings and crowns, but in some situations though, this may not be possible and the tooth may need to be extracted.
Once your tooth has been removed, it is important that you take good care of the area where the tooth has been extracted. Immediately following the procedure, we will stem any blood flow from the wound using a piece of sterile gauze. Once we are happy that a blood clot has formed, and the healing process is under way, the care of this area falls largely to the patient. We are, of course, always available should you have any concerns in the days following your treatment.
Below, we offer some simple tips to help you keep the wound clean and healthy, and speed up the healing time.
Leave the clot alone
Once a blood clot has formed, this will heal and protect the area of the extraction. It is important that this stays in place and you should not poke it with your finger, tongue or any implement, including a toothbrush. If the clot does become dislodged, please discuss this with your local Greenwich dentist. This can lead to a problem known as a ‘dry socket’ which can be very uncomfortable.
Keep it clean
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Using a standard teeth whitening product might not produce the results you expect
At the Confidental Clinic in Greenwich, our teeth whitening treatments are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that we provide. Many of our patients have received this treatment with some periodocally opting to have the whiteness topped up. By using a custom home whitening kit, our patients can feel confident that they will receive the results that they are hoping for and in complete safety.
Sometimes we are asked how our treatment differs from that found in ‘off the shelf’ whitening kits that can be bought at most chemists on the high street. There are a number of differences, including the important fact that dentists are allowed to use more of the whitening ingredient in our treatments. This is not the only reason though, and below, we look at some of the reasons why you should certainly think twice before using a shop bought whitening kit.
For safety reasons, as the treatment carried out using one of these kits is unsupervised, the quantity of the bleaching agent allowed is less than when treated by a dentist. This will inevitably mean that it is less effective and, although some improvement in the whiteness can be expected, it is likely to be less than you hoped for.
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Help us help you to have a successful implant placement!
The success rate of dental implant placement is already very high.
Advances in the understanding of how implants work, along with the use of high quality implants at our Greenwich practice means that the vast majority of patients have a successful procedure, and many years of a strong and stable replacement tooth.
Implants CAN fail though, and, although rare, is often due to neglect on the patient’s behalf. Anyone who is due to have an implant placement can do a few simple things that really make a difference to the survival chances of the implant, and to make the healing process much quicker. Our Confidental Clinic team discuss some of the things that the patient can do, below.
Stop smoking (and cut down the alcohol)
Smoking, and excessive drinking, is well known to be a leading cause of many oral problems, including cancer and gum disease. It is essential that you have healthy gums in preparation for your procedure. Periodontitis and peri-implantitis are threats to your newly placed implant when care is not taken.
Smoking will also narrow the small blood vessels that supply blood to the gums. As this is essential to fight off infections, it is important that you quit smoking, and watch how much you drink, for a period both before and after your implant placement.
Promote blood flow
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What to do if you lose a tooth in this dramatic manner?
Mostly, when we lose a tooth, it will have been a gradual process. Either problems have been happening, without our knowledge, for some time, resulting in the need for extraction, or, the tooth may have been repaired with fillings etc a number of times until it is no longer viable to save it.
Not all tooth loss occurs in this way though, and, although relatively rare, a tooth can be knocked clean out of the socket, usually through a heavy blow such as by a cricket ball or even a heavy fall.
Providing that the correct actions are taken, it may just be possible to replace the natural tooth into the socket, allowing it to heal. In today’s blog, our Greenwich dentists discuss what to do should this happen to you.
Pick up the tooth
Obviously, the first thing that you need to do is to pick up the tooth. This should be done as soon as possible. Time is a key factor in saving a tooth that has been knocked out in this way. You should pick the tooth up by the crown part of the tooth; that is the part that you would normally see above the gum line. Avoid touching the root part of the tooth at all.
Clean the tooth
If the tooth has collected any dust or dirt, you should clean this off. Do not wipe or scrub the tooth though, simply give it a quick rinse. Don’t wrap the tooth in cloth or paper of any kind.
Replace the tooth if possible
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A great smile can help you to gain more than just aesthetic benefits.
Although the main reason that most people have cosmetic dentistry is to achieve a nicer smile to improve their overall appearance; studies have also shown that people respond more positively to someone with an attractive smile. Improving your smile then, can not only improve your appearance but potentially also give you a real boost in areas of your life such as relationships and even in your chosen career.
At the Confidental Clinic in Greenwich, we offer a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures that can help you to have a great looking smile. We also offer facial aesthetic treatments for those who would also like to have younger looking skin too. The combination can work wonders!
If you are more or less happy with your smile as it currently is, but feel that it could be improved a little, our mini makeover might be just for you. Relatively minor treatments such as a teeth whitening procedure, or cosmetic bonding are commonly used as a part of this treatment although others may also be used depending on what needs to be achieved.
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How diet and lifestyle can discolour our teeth.
There can be a presumption that, as long as we brush our teeth well, not only will they remain free of problems like tooth decay, but that they will stay a nice white colour too.
Although effective brushing will certainly help with this, unfortunately, our teeth are faced with other challenges over our lifetime.
The ‘bad stuff’ first
Let’s start off by saying, quite frankly, that if you smoke, you are likely to significantly increase your risk of a number of dental issues. The most obvious of these is that your teeth will almost certainly become stained, eventually turning yellow or even brown. Other problems, such as gum disease and oral cancers are also more likely in smokers than non smokers. Hopefully, most of our Greenwich patients will have managed to break this health damaging habit.
A convenient diet
Perhaps the majority of patients at the Confidental Clinic fall into this category. They go about their daily lives, often being quite busy. Our diet, in this type of lifestyle, may include some home cooking, but more often than not, this may be relegated as takeaways and convenience microwave foods take precedence. Whilst these have undoubtedly improved in general quality over the years, many still contain high amounts of hidden sugars. These can lead to damage of the surface enamel, causing it to become pitted, thereby making it easier for staining products such as tea, to become trapped in the tiny pits.
The healthy diet
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Dentures are still a common way of replacing a missing tooth.
For some time, dentures were the only way that a missing tooth could be replaced.
These days there are now alternatives available, and we will discuss these later.
Many of our Greenwich patients do still opt for a partial denture, partially perhaps, due to the cost, but also the fact that usually no surgery is needed to provide them.
What is a partial denture
A partial denture is a replacement tooth, which will be made to match your natural teeth. This is attached to a ‘plate’ with clasps attached which are used to hold the denture in place. These are available in a number of different materials, from the cheapest acrylic dentures to the more advanced Valplast dentures which offer flexibility and movement, whilst still retaining their stability.
Dentures are relatively easy to care for, but do require cleaning to remove residual food deposits and bacteria. They should be removed at night to allow the gums to rest, and should be placed in water to prevent any cracking. Although affordable and easy to care for, dentures are not for everyone.
Alternatives to dentures
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