If you’re involved in an accident resulting in any type of serious injury, calling 999 or taking a trip to your local A&E department is the first thing that many people think of. While in many cases, this is the correct course of action, if you have suffered an injury to your teeth you may find that A&E is not the best place for you.

At CK Dental Practice we know that the issue with patients seeking emergency departments at hospitals is that they are unlikely to have doctors who are qualified in dentistry, so are therefore not necessarily the best practitioners to be dealing with the issue.

Dr Chet Trivedy who is the chair of a newly formed group set up to tackle this issue, comments “thousands of people go to A&E each year with a dental problem, however, the issue is that many doctors aren’t trained in dentistry and are likely to have limited experience and resources to help these patients.”

The group has a more memorable acronym than many, “D.R.E.A.M.S” – the Dental Review of Emergency Attendances Multi Stakeholder group. Its aim is to identify and find solutions for the way that dental problems are dealt with in A&E departments.

The new committee comprises representatives of a number of high profile medical groups, including the Faculty of Dental Surgery, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, the Royal College of Nursing, the British Association of Dental Nurses and NHS Islington Clinical Commissioning Group.

Seeking dental treatments at A&E can be costly

The other problem for struggling hospital budgets is that if people use A&E departments for issues where they should be seeing their dentist, the cost to the system is significant. It is estimated that each year, patients seeking dental treatments at A&E costs the health service £18million.

Many dental practices are not in a position to offer out of hours services that are able to step in and help when a dental emergency occurs, leaving patients with no choice other than to attend A&E.

One of the aims of the D.R.E.A.M.S group is to help ensure that A&E doctors are sufficiently trained in dealing with some of the most common dental concerns, including a lost tooth, broken tooth or excess bleeding following a tooth extraction.

The group recognises that it will face the age-old problems of time and money, but is hoping to work collaboratively with all dental stakeholders to try and find a suitable resolution to help patients, the health services and dental practitioners.

mouth cancer symptomsThanks to awareness-building advertising campaigns over the years, many of us now feel sufficiently informed to know about the warning signs of cancer in different parts of the body.

From checking for lumps and bumps, to persistent headaches and changes with moles and freckles, cancers such as breast, prostate, testicular, brain and skin are well known, and there is a reasonably good awareness of how to perform ‘bodily MOTs’ – checking for changes that could signal a problem.

But we are as clued in when it comes to mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer is one of the lesser known cancers, although according to Cancer Research UK, the incidence of mouth cancer in the UK is on the increase. “Oral cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 33% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 20 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.”

What this means in real terms is that the number of people each year in the UK who are diagnosed with oral cancer is now in excess of 7,500.

Although it is becoming more prevalent, it is believed that the vast majority of mouth cancers are linked with lifestyle choices. What this means is that with greater opportunities to educate people about the causes of mouth cancer, there are things that people can be doing on a day to day basis that can help reduce their risk.

How to mitigate your risk of developing mouth cancer

Here at CK Dental we always advocate oral hygiene and good oral health, and this is the first important starting point. A regular brushing routine and a good awareness of the state of your teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums is essential in being able to spot if anything looks or feels different.

There is a proven link between excessive alcohol consumption and mouth cancer, so ensuring you are keeping alcohol intake with the recommended weekly units is a good starting point to ensure that you’re not putting your mouth at risk. There is also an increased risk for smokers, as tobacco usage has also been linked with higher incidences of mouth cancer – in fact three quarters of those diagnosed with mouth cancer are reportedly smokers.

Signs to look out for

Mouth cancer can start out as a mouth ulcer that does not cause discomfort or irritation, but that fails to heal.  It is also important to keep tabs on any red or white patches that form within the mouth and that do not seem to be healing or clearing up. The same is true for any unexpected lumps, bumps or rough areas within the mouth.

As with many cancers, the sooner it is detected, the greater the chance that it can be treated effectively, so if you have any areas of concern within (or around) your mouth, book an appointment to come and see a dentist for an expert assessment as soon as you can.

At CK Dental, our routine exams always include an examination of the teeth, gums and tissues of the mouth for any signs of a serious health condition that needs further examination.

To arrange an appointment at our Bristol dental clinic, call us on 0117 906 4868.

holiday dental routineIf you’re planning on jetting off for some out of season sunshine, or you’re considering hitting the slopes for some fun in the snow, your teeth are probably not high up on your checklist. Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we believe your teeth should definitely earn their place on your pre-holiday checklist, to ensure that they don’t give you any cause for concern while you’re away

Find time for that last-minute dental check up

It is sensible to arrange a dental check-up before you leave. This way your teeth can have a quick inspection before your holiday and you can have the peace of mind that they are in good health and shouldn’t cause you any unexpected troubles. It is a good idea to have this check-up a couple of weeks before you are due to go, just in case a filling or any other treatment is required that may need a follow-up appointment.

Be mindful of what you eat and drink

Holidays are often a time when we let our hair down and eat and drink things that we wouldn’t always indulge in at home. On holidays, there is probably a tendency to treat ourselves to fizzy and surgery drinks, so make sure that you’re giving your teeth a really thorough brush in the mornings and evenings to wash away all these holiday naughties.

Don’t forget your dental routine

Even if your usual routine is completely thrown by the wayside, ensure that your dental routine doesn’t suffer. As well as remembering to brush your teeth in the morning and evening, why not treat yourself to a post-siesta brush as well?

Don’t forget your toothbrush!

Finally, remember your toothbrush! In fact, we’d recommend taking two. Anyone who has been delayed on a flight can relate to that feeling of needing something that you have packed that is tucked away in the suitcase and unobtainable if you’re hanging around the airport for longer than envisaged. Packing an extra toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste (under 100ml due to liquid restrictions) can make all the difference when you want to freshen up.

[From The Guardian] Twice as many children under the age of 10 receive hospital treatment for tooth decay as those treated for broken arms, figures for England show.

There were 34,205 cases of patients under 10 needing hospital treatment for dental caries in the year to March, the youngest less than a year old, according to the faculty of dental surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Over the same period there were 17,043 broken arms, as well as 19,584 cases of asthma, 10,397 cases of epilepsy and 3,805 cases of appendicitis needing hospital treatment in the age group, according to analysis of NHS Digital data.

Read the full article in the Guardian… 

Good dental habits HalloweenWith Halloween comes all kinds of fun and excitement, ranging from pumpkin carving and dressing up, to spooky stories and trick-or-treating. But, even once Halloween has been and gone, the legacy of the ‘treats’ from trick-or-treating live on. Whether your children have come home with hoards of sweets they have procured from the neighbours or if you stocked up for trick-or-treaters and have got lots left over, the chances are your house might be looking a lot like a sweet shop at the moment.

Here’s some ideas from CK Dental in Bristol on how to keep Halloween fun while keeping your teeth a bit more healthy….

Make fun substitutions

Instead of a bag of sweets, think more creatively about what ‘treats’ might look like. Stickers are a great alternative, cheap, fun and a big hit on the playground. Especially if they happen to be sticker packs that your little ones can swap with their friends.

Bubbles and balloons are another good party bag offering that would substitute for sweets nicely. Children love blowing bubbles, especially younger ones. At this time of year, it’s very easy to pick up some ghoulish-themed bottles of bubbles or some black and orange balloons which will keep them entertained for ages.

This can extend to other Halloween dress-up items, like some witches fingers, a set of vampire teeth, a (pretend) spider, a plastic eyeball or two….these items can be picked up very cheaply at supermarkets and discount stores and kids will have great fun customising their outfits with them.

Make sure you’re still encouraging good dental habits

Although these spooky substitutions will help reduce sugar intake, they won’t evade the problem entirely, so be prepared to embrace the fun of trick-or-treating and make sure you reiterate the importance of a thorough teeth brushing session once the sweets have been consumed. Also, bear in mind that if your children have acquired a lot of sweets these may need to be consumed over a number of nights. If this is the case then make sure to explain that this is all part of the Halloween hangover, and that having sweets after tea is not to become a habit, otherwise you may find it is hard to break!

tooth decay in childrenAll parents out there will understand, relate to or remember the transition from milk to solid foods. The weaning process. This can be an exciting time or this can be stressful, and everyone crosses their fingers that their baby will not turn out to be a fussy eater.

For some parents whose little darlings are picky with what they eat, they may fall into the trap of giving them food/snacks that they like, just because they are pleased that they are eating something. It’s worth remembering though that bad habits can start young, and if you want your child’s teeth to remain healthy for as long as possible, here are some snacks that you may wish to avoid.

Some snacks to be mindful of

  • Dried raisins – these are a handy, convenient snack that appear healthy (they’re fruit right, so must be good for infants?). Although they do contain vitamins and are great for helping babies develop their fine motor skills, the ‘pincer’ motion, they are very sticky and can become attached to milk teeth. The natural sugars within the raisins then can damage the teeth unless they are brushed thoroughly.
  • Fruit juices – although they are definitely a healthier alternative to sugary, carbonated drinks, fresh fruit juice contains natural acid which can wear away the delicate enamel of new teeth.
  • Flavoured milk – although most babies will continue having milk before bed for several years, try to keep this natural and unsweetened. Adding flavours to milk undoubtedly means adding sugar, and unless you’re planning on brushing their teeth again before they go to sleep, this means that overnight their teeth are at risk of decay. Even if these are marketed as suitable for babies, that does not mean that they are necessarily good for their teeth.

The best kind of snacks you can give your children are raw vegetables such as carrot sticks and cucumber, or fresh fruit such as orange segments and bananas. Snacks such as rice cakes and toast are also good for plugging the gaps between meals.

Getting into good habits early

Just remember, even if your little one doesn’t have a full set of milk teeth yet, you should be brushing their teeth twice a day for up to two minutes per clean. This will be hard for the very youngest babies, so don’t worry if it’s only a short brush before they aren’t willing to cooperate any longer. Regular brushing helps babies and toddlers associate this as part of their regular daily routine.

And also make regular trips to your dentist part of your routine. In shocking figures released earlier this year, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons pointed to a 24% rise in the number of tooth extractions on children under four over the last decade.

Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), said: “When you see the numbers tallied up like this it becomes abundantly clear that the sweet habits of our children are having a devastating effect on the state of their teeth. That children as young as one or two need to have teeth extracted is shocking.  It’s almost certain that the majority of these extractions will be down to tooth decay caused by too much sugar in diets.”

Many people have anxieties about things in life, some of which are perfectly rational and others are more about fears of the unknown or unexpected. These fears can range from things like spiders and creepy crawlies, to visiting health practitioners like doctors or dentists.

Here at CK Dental Practice in Bristol we understand that some people are particularly nervous about visiting the dentist, for reasons such as:

  • Uncertainty about what might be required as treatment for my teeth
  • Extractions – will I be told I need a tooth removed?
  • What will the dentist think of my teeth? Will I be judged?
  • Has it been too long since my last visit – what will the dentist find?
  • Will treatment require an injection in my mouth?

Do any of these concerns sound familiar? If any resonate with you, then you’re not alone, but nor should you really worry too much about a trip to see the dentist. Dentists are not here to judge, they’re here to help. Treatments are also wide ranging, and even though tooth extraction may be a course of action recommended for some oral issues, this is not often as scary as it sounds.

Treatments here are as safe as if you were in hospital, but in the comfort of your local practice

CK Dental offers General Anaesthetic Services particularly aimed at nervous dental patients, so if you need treatment that requires an anaesthetic, then just put yourself in the hands of the experts. Your procedure will be performed in a relaxed setting, with a practitioner who will be able to put you at ease during the treatment.

Faster access to treatment

Not only that, if you’re suffering from toothache from a tooth that needs to be removed, the NHS waiting times are quite lengthy – currently, patients are waiting between 22 and 52 weeks for an NHS appointment. This is a long time to wait with a painful tooth. CK Dental can offer a much faster solution – patients can expect to be seen in their clinic within one week and treatment can usually be arranged for between two to four weeks. This includes those requiring a general anaesthetic.

tooth extraction under general anaestheticPatients understandably want to avoid having a tooth extracted and dentists, too, will do everything possible to save a biological tooth, but sometimes a tooth extraction is the best option and, in many cases, is unavoidable. Removing a significantly damaged or decaying tooth will be required to save the surrounding teeth and ensure optimal dental health.

  1. Severe damage or decay: Whether it’s the result of injury or trauma to the tooth or because of severe decay and infection in the gums, a tooth may need to be removed to prevent further damage. At CK Dental we always adopt a conservative approach and it may be possible to restore the natural tooth, utilising a crown or a filling. If these options are not suitable, then removal of the damaged tooth will take place and a dental implant used to replace the missing molar.
  2. Smile alignment: Some patients will have a very crowded jawline and the teeth fail to align properly. Orthodontics is the dental practice of correcting tooth alignment, typically with braces, but sometimes teeth need to be removed to allow the remaining teeth to become properly aligned. Often, more than one tooth will need to be removed – one from both sides of the mouth – to maintain symmetry and balance of the bite. In this instance, dental extraction will take place first and then we can begin the process of aligning the teeth.
  3. Abnormal development: Sometimes teeth fail to erupt through the gums or become impacted and this is most often seen with the wisdom teeth.

For most patients, tooth extraction can be performed in a dental clinic without any need for anything more than local anaesthetic injections to numb the area. However, for severely impacted teeth or for patients that are suffering from extreme dental anxiety, then a general anaesthetic can be the best option and many dental surgeries are not able to offer this option. At CK Dental in central Bristol, we can carry out dental procedures under general anaesthetic, safely and effectively, in a hospital environment.

Current NHS waiting list times for teeth extractions are growing and, in some areas, patients can be waiting for 22 weeks and up to a year, often suffering discomfort and pain in the meantime. At CK Dental, we can usually see a patient in clinic within a week and, from there, arrange an appointment for a tooth extraction under general anaesthetic within two to four weeks.

brushing children's teethAny parents out there will know that getting children to brush their teeth can sometimes be challenging. Parents are encouraged to brush their children’s teeth from the minute the tiny milk teeth arrive, and anyone who has tried to inset a toothbrush into an unwilling baby’s mouth while it is clamped firmly shut will agree that juggling with jelly is probably easier.

The importance of establishing good dental health routines is crucial, though, as new research shows. A recent study from the University of Cardiff has found that one in seven toddlers has tooth decay. The researchers analysed 1,400 parents and 25% failed to start brushing their children’s teeth from a young age. The author of the study, Maria Morgan, said: “People don’t realise that you should start that early. We are having some children at five, six or seven who are having five, six, seven, eight, nine teeth removed in one go.”

Although we understand it’s not easy to start this routine, as babies grow into toddlers and then into small children, things should improve. If you’re still finding resistance, here are some helpful hints and tips to help your children establish a good oral routine from an early age.

Make it a shared activity

Brushing your teeth at the same time your child is brushing their teeth is a great idea. Children love to mimic their parents, so if they can watch you doing it, they are more likely to want to have a go themselves. A lot of young children also like looking at themselves in the mirror, so why not sit with them in front of a mirror while they’re brushing too.

It doesn’t have to be serious

Dance around, hum while you’re brushing, have a race to see who can brush the fastest for 20 seconds… anything you can do to make the tooth brushing fun and entertaining will certainly appeal more to your little ones than standing over them in the bathroom nagging them to clean their teeth.

A little treat every now and again can help

Although we wouldn’t recommend bribing children to brush their teeth, setting up a rewards-based plan for slightly older children could work nicely. If they get a full week’s worth of tooth brushing points then maybe this could be rewarded with a weekend treat to celebrate how well they have done.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we want all parents to be aware that children’s dental hygiene is no different from adults, they should be brushing their teeth at least twice per day for around two minutes per go. If you can get a routine established with your children nice and early this should help ensure that tooth brushing is something they regard as a normal and necessary part of their daily routine.

under bite treatmentIf you’re one of the lucky ones, you may have been born with a perfectly straight set of teeth that fit together seamlessly. If, like many people, you may feel like your adult teeth were thrown into your mouth at random, then this may be because of issues with how your ‘bite’ is working.

In orthodontic terms, your ‘bite’ is the term for how your teeth sit together when the top and bottom teeth are shut together. If your bite is not aligned correctly then this can mean that your teeth don’t look neat and tidy, they might stick out or may become worn down by unnatural contact with other teeth in your mouth. The three main issues with a person’s bite are as follows:

  • Under bite
  • Over bite
  • Cross bite

Under bites

This is where the teeth in the lower jaw sit in front of the upper jaw. Under bites are often hereditary and they can be caused by overdevelopment of the lower jaw or underdevelopment of the upper jaw. They can affect people’s confidence and also cause speech problems.

Over bites

When people have forward, protruding teeth, this is often due to an overbite. This is where the top teeth are pushed out in front of the teeth below, meaning that they meet at an unusual angle or in some cases the top and bottom front teeth don’t meet at all. People can feel very self-conscious of an overbite, as teeth can look extremely prominent. Overbites can also result in wear and tear on the lower teeth and sometimes discomfort in the jaw bone.

Cross bites

This is where one tooth (or several teeth) slots behind or in front of other teeth when most of the others are aligned correctly. This can be unsightly if it occurs at the front of the mouth, and it can also cause unnatural wear on the teeth that are misaligned. More often than not, a cross bite occurs with a top tooth slotting behind a tooth on the bottom row.

Here at CK Dental Practice in Bristol, we can effectively treat under bites, over bites and cross bites. There are many different treatments ranging from braces to full jaw operations, so if you are worried about your bite, or the bite of your child, get in touch to discuss what options are available for us to help you.

Get In Touch

Get In Touch

Email: info@ckdental.co.uk

Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN