Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I see the dentist for a check-up and cleaning?
Most children and adults should see their dentist and hygienist for a regular cleaning and check-up every 6 months. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check-up. People at a greater risk of oral diseases should have dental check-ups more often.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
We protect our patients in many ways, starting with state-of-the-art sterilization equipment and the use of facemasks and gloves. We always take our patients' current health histories.
Is it important to replace missing teeth?
A confident smile and a healthy mouth are important assets but it is important to replace missing teeth for health reasons as well. Once teeth have gone it results in bone loss. This not only shortens your face and ages it, but can cause other teeth to become loose which are then at risk of falling out. Your features droop and generally appear distorted.
Missing teeth also provide fertile breeding ground for tooth decay. If you have one missing tooth the surrounding teeth become increasingly susceptible to decay, which can result in them being lost as well.
Is my treatment going to hurt?
We can provide anaesthetics for any treatment that is likely to hurt you. The injection can be uncomfortable but will only take a few seconds. For children, we use a topical anaesthetic on the skin in the mouth which dulls the pin prick feeling of the needle.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Exposure to all sources of radiation – including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays – can damage the body's tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.
Advances in dentistry over the years have led to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays. Some of the improvements are new digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure).
How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they?
All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth. None of the home use whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist′s surgery.
Which is the best toothpaste to use?
Any toothpaste containing fluoride that you like the flavour of is fine. Fluoride is important because it helps to strengthen tooth enamel, inhibiting tooth decay. Don′t waste money on expensive products that make impressive claims – there′s little evidence to support most of them.
Do I need to use a mouthwash?
It is up to you whether you choose to use a mouth rinse or not. However it is important to remember that it should not be used instead of a toothbrush, as it won′t clean your teeth for you. Apart from giving you a pleasant taste for a few minutes, most mouthwashes offer no benefits and in fact many are highly acidic, which could gradually erode your tooth enamel.
Is an electric toothbrush more effective than a manual one?
It′s possible to clean your teeth just as well with a manual toothbrush as an electric one. If you choose to use an electric toothbrush, you should still spend four to five minutes each time. It doesn′t clean any quicker – it′s just doing the movement for you. Those who have limited strength or movement in their hands or arms may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush.
What makes you different from any other dental practice I can visit?
We have staff that will make you feel special from the moment you have first spoken to us over the phone right through to the end of your course of treatment. You are welcome to discuss any issues that may arise at any time during the treatment. Your satisfaction is of paramount concern to us.
Do you accept referrals?
Our practice has always grown by word of mouth recommendation so we are delighted when you pass on your positive opinions about us to friends and relations. We also accept referrals from other dentists.
How do I get more information about dentistry and the profession?
The General Dental Council (GDC) is the organisation which regulates dental professionals in the United Kingdom. They do this by:
For more information visit their website at www.gdc-uk.org
What is your complaint procedure?
We take any complaints very seriously and will always listen and try and resolve any concerns directly with you. Please feel free to contact the practice manager on 01202 382418