dental terms

Recently, the Dental Defence Union (DDU) advised dental professionals to use plain English rather than dental ‘jargon’ that could confuse patients. As the UK’s leading professional indemnity organisation, the DDU’s aim was to avoid potential misunderstandings that could result in a complaint or claim made against the dental professional.

However, as experts in dealing with patients suffering from dental anxiety, at CK Dental we believe that good communication is one of the hallmarks of calming nerves and ensuring a positive dental experience.

Leo Briggs, the deputy head of the DDU, commented in the article in the latest edition of the DDU journal that: “Jargon, acronyms and technical language are commonly used in dentistry. Because we are using the words day in day out, it can be difficult to distinguish what is and isn’t jargon.”

DENTAL TERMS THAT COULD BE CONFUSING TO PATIENTS

The DDU provided a list of dental terms that we dental professionals use commonly, but which might be confusing to patients:

Amalgam – dental amalgam is a material used to fill cavities in the teeth and which has been used in dentistry for over 150 years. It is often called ‘silver amalgam’ and is silver-coloured but actually consists of a combination of metals.

Composite – a composite tooth filling is an alternative filling material to amalgam. It has a number of advantages over amalgam but is mainly preferred because it is tooth coloured, making it much less visible.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) – the temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw to the temporal bones of the skull and TMD is a condition where the joint isn’t working correctly, often resulting in a number of problems. These include pain in the face or jaw, headaches, tenderness and swelling of the lower face, clicking or popping of the joint or a sensation where the jaw locks or becomes ‘stuck’.

Endodontic treatment – this refers to root canal treatment. This may be necessary to repair or even save a tooth that has become decayed. The root canal of the tooth refers to the nerve and pulp within the tooth which can become infected, leading to abscesses. During treatment, the nerve and pulp are removed and the tooth sealed, after which patients should experience no more pain or further problems from the affected tooth.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD DENTAL COMMUNICATION

Leo Briggs went onto say in the article that by communicating clearly, patients gain “a greater sense of involvement in their own care” and that is at the heart of what we do at CK Dental in Bristol. Dental anxiety can be managed in a number of ways, but the first step is always to ensure that patients have a clear understanding of any treatment we recommend and what it entails.

Many of us have embarked on our New Year’s Resolutions to get into shape or lose weight this January, but if you’re a parent then ensure your new healthy eating habits extend to the whole family. At CK Dental in Bristol, we welcome the new initiative from Public Health England to combat the high sugar intake of the UK’s children.

According to the PHE, children as young as ten will have already consumed 18 years’ worth of sugar, resulting in a steep growth in childhood tooth extractions. This is why they launched their Change4Life campaign.

Oral health campaigners are welcoming the launch of the new Change4Life campaign, which aims to combat the high sugar intake of children across the UK. Often this can seem an overwhelming problem for parents to tackle, which is why the initiative advises simple, everyday swaps that will effectively reduce the amount of sugar your children are consuming. As well as oral health problems, we know that childhood sugar intake results in early onset obesity and the development of conditions such as diabetes in later life.

To help parents make smart but simple sugar swaps, the campaign identified four key ‘sugar occasions’ throughout the day and how best to tackle them:

  1. The Breakfast Swap: children get 8% of their daily sugar intake from sugary cereals so swap to a wholewheat biscuit cereal instead
  2. The Drink Swap: a staggering 17% of a kid’s sugar intake comes from the soft drinks they consume through the day, so try and buy sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks, as well as swapping out some of those soft drinks for plain water if you can.
  3. The After School Swap: after a tiring day at school, many children come to rely on the sugar boost they get from the after school snack, whether it be a biscuit, cake or piece of confectionary. Fresh fruit and veg are best but you could also try dried fruit or nuts or low sugar packaged snacks.
  4. The Pudding Swap: offer fresh fruit or a low-fat, low-sugar yoghurt rather than ice cream or cake.

But remember, regular dental check-ups are also essential for preventing tooth decay as we monitor and care for your teeth as well as providing advice and help if you’re struggling to know how best to implement a good oral hygiene routine for you or your children.


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Email: info@ckdental.co.uk

Telephone: 0117 9059 866

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