dental treatment under general anaesthetic

One unique thing about CK Dental is that it is able to offer patients dental treatment under conscious sedation, as well as general anaesthetic (GA). This is because it is located in a hospital setting, at the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital in Clifton.

Having the option to be sedated, coupled with it being a very relaxing and calm environment, allows many nervous patients to be immediately put at ease. But it is also the highly experienced dental team who deliver the treatments that make a trip to the dentist far easier to bear.

Dr Neil Rasburn has been CK Dental’s consultant anaesthetist for the past five years. He works closely with principal dentist Dr Cornelius Krause, as well as an anaesthetic assistant. They are in fact a very ‘well-oiled’ team! And this is uncommon, as in most practices, the dentist carries out a treatment whilst also monitoring a patient’s sedation. But at CK Dental, Neil and his assistant can keep a close eye on the patient and ensure they are as safe as possible. This allows Cornelius to focus solely on the dental treatment.

We asked Neil about dental work under general anaesthetic, as well as conscious sedation.

What can a patient expect from a dental treatment under general anaesthetic?

“The patient always has a full pre-op assessment to ensure that they are safe to have general anaesthetic. If they are coming from quite far away, this can be done over the phone. The procedure is always fully explained beforehand during the initial consultation.

“Any dental surgery where general anaesthetic is used takes place in the theatre at the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital. I will meet with the patient on the ward and explain what is involved, and how they will feel. Then, when they are prepared, the GA will be administered via one of the veins on the back of the hand. It doesn’t take long for them to become unconscious. So all they know is waking up in the recovery room after the treatment.”

And for those patients with a fear of needles, there is also an option to have gas through a mask to fall asleep.

“We ensure that you are comfortable on waking, and you will be supplied with painkillers to keep you comfortable after the treatment.”

Is there any risk of waking up?

A big concern that many patients have is the possibility of waking up during treatment. Neil said that this was extremely rare. And it is very unlikely at CK Dental because of the undivided attention he and his assistant give the patient. Not to mention all the different monitoring equipment throughout the procedure.

How is this different to conscious sedation?

“Similarly to GA, there will be a pre-op assessment to ensure safety. And similarly to GA, the medication is administered via a drip in the hand. However, with conscious sedation, the level of sedative is very slowly increased over time to ensure it is just right. So they are still awake and conscious. This might take ten minutes or so and allows the patient to be compliant with whatever Cornelius needs them to do. Whilst making sure that they are comfortably numb.

“Once the dental treatment is underway, the local anaesthetic can then be reduced. This is to a level that means they are alert and awake as soon as the procedure is over. They are still observed after the treatment, until they are fully alert and ready to be taken home.

“There are very few side-effects from conscious sedation as there is very little medication. However, 80% – 90% of patients cannot even remember the treatment!”

And what about those with a real fear of the dentist?

Neil explained that because of the number of people with dental phobia, the treatments that conscious sedation is used can be varied. These can range from a basic check, or a clean, to a two hour procedure. And sometimes, it is only during the check that Cornelius can see what extra work is needed.

He said that before the procedure takes place, his role is mainly to reassure patients that they will be in a comfortable place. A place where they will be able to open their mouth for the treatment.

“Many patients have built up fear over a long time. But they have such a good treatment experience using conscious sedation, that they choose not to have it again when they come back for a follow-up treatment.”

Are you still waiting for dental treatment?

Neil spoke about the growing waiting lists for dental work under general anaesthetic – because of the pandemic. So treatments such as root canals and cosmetic dental work with general anesthesia, are hard to find outside CK Dental.

If you need to see a dentist, or if you are a nervous patient and want to feel confident about your dental treatment, please get in touch. And if you have any questions about dental treatment under general anaesthetic or conscious sedation, contact the team.

Oral health problems

A new study has found that two out of five athletes suffer with oral health problems that have negatively impacted their lives. While a lot of focus goes into injury prevention, oral health is something that is often forgotten about.

Here, we’ll look at what the study found and the importance of getting oral issues sorted out quickly.

Understanding the latest study

The study, carried out by Sunstar, included 302 athletes. They were asked questions regarding their health, and 40% revealed they were concerned about their oral health.

Around 55% of athletes stated they had dental cavities, 76% had periodontal disease, and 45% suffered with dental erosion. Interestingly, the study also revealed the impact oral health issues can have on athletes. As well as impacting overall health and wellness, oral troubles can impact performance. Those with a tooth infection were more likely to perform badly or have to pull out of sporting competitions completely.

The cause of oral health problems in athletes is said to be linked to their high-sugar diets. They consume a lot of sugary snacks and energy drinks which can be detrimental for the teeth.

Why treat oral health problems quickly

Due to the impact oral health issues can have on performance, as well as your health, getting them sorted quickly is crucial. This is especially true in the case of infections.

Tooth infections can spread to other areas if they are left untreated. They can also cause significant pain that can be difficult to treat with standard pain medication. Ignoring an infection or abscess could:

  • Cause infection within the surrounding bone
  • Lead to tooth loss
  • Cause an infection of the sinuses and soft tissue
  • Lead to an abscess on the brain
  • Cause septicaemia

Each of the issues above can be serious, with some proving to be life threatening. So, how can you tell if you have a tooth infection that is spreading to other areas of the body?

Symptoms of a tooth infection to watch out for

If you want to catch a tooth infection quickly, it’s important to know what symptoms to look out for. Pain in the mouth or tongue, swelling in the face, cheeks, and neck, and nausea can all point towards an infection.

You may also experience double vision, a fever, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty breathing. At the first sign of any infection, you should seek treatment as quickly as possible.

How are tooth infections treated?

Tooth infections can be treated in a number of ways. It depends upon the severity of the infection and how early it has been caught. Antibiotics alone may be effective for mild infections. However, if the infection is severe, a root canal treatment may be required.

Root canal treatments are very successful in removing tooth infection. And they are done using a local anaesthetic, so should feel no different to having a regular filling. There are other options available at CK Dental for very nervous patients.

If you suspect you have a tooth or gum infection, book a consultation with CK Dental today. The earlier you catch an infection, the easier it will be to treat. By having regular check-ups, we can help you to identify any potential oral health issues quickly.

Dental implants

Dental implants are commonly used to correct missing or severely damaged teeth. Providing a long-lasting solution, they can last a lifetime when properly looked after. However, before deciding whether or not this treatment is right for you, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

A question we often get asked is whether dental implants are painful. Here, you’ll discover what to expect from this popular procedure.

What are dental implants and how do they work?

Dental implants are used to support false teeth. Aiming to replace the tooth’s root, they are titanium screws which are inserted into the jawbone. For two to four months, a temporary restoration will be provided, and the bone will begin to grow around the implant.

A custom-made restoration is fitted to complete the treatment. An abutment will be fitted into the implant with a screw, before dentures, crowns or bridges are fitted.

Are dental implants painful?

During the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic. This should eliminate any pain, ensuring you only feel a slight pressure when the implants are inserted. Work isn’t carried out until the area is numbed.

After the procedure, you may feel some pain and discomfort for a few days. This can be managed with over the counter painkillers. So, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure itself, and minimal pain afterwards.

Of course, everyone’s pain tolerance is different. Therefore, some patients may experience more pain or discomfort than others. You can always speak to the surgeon if you are in pain to see whether prescribed painkillers can be provided.

Tips to help you relax prior to the procedure

For many patients, undergoing dental surgery can be a really anxious and stressful time. If you want to have the best experience, it’s worth following a few tips to help you relax. These include:

  • Consider oral sedation if you suffer with extreme anxiety
  • Bring a distraction
  • Focus on soft foods after the procedure
  • Make sure you schedule time out to recover

Although it is always best to undergo dental implants under local anaesthetic, patients with dental anxiety may be able to opt for general anaesthetic instead. However, it’s best to speak through the pros and cons with your surgeon before deciding whether general anaesthetic is best.

You’ll also find it useful to take a distraction. Dental implants can take a long time to fit. So, consider bringing your favourite music along, or an audiobook. To keep discomfort to a minimum after the procedure, you’ll also want to focus on eating soft foods such as soup.

Finally, making sure you take enough time out to recover is important. You’ll only need a day to rest and fully relax.

Overall, dental implants can help to replace missing teeth and help you regain a beautiful smile. While you may feel some discomfort after the procedure, they aren’t as painful as you might think. There are also several ways to reduce the discomfort and pain levels.

Why not book a consultation today to see whether dental implants are right for you by phoning CK Dental on 0117 905 9866.

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.

how do I choose a dentist in BristolIf you’re not registered with a dentist then you risk neglecting your teeth and storing up big problems for future of your mouth, teeth and gums.

We book our cars in for regular MOTs, and the same principle applies for our teeth – they need to be regularly checked to ensure they are healthy, clean and strong.

Most oral problems can be fixed easier and more effectively if caught earlier. So don’t delay – if you haven’t joined a dental practice, start looking at your options now.

So how do I know how to pick a good dentist?

These simple steps will give you an opportunity to learn more about the dental practices that are available in your area and how to make an informed choice.

Do your research

Use the internet to your advantage and read around what is available locally, how long the practice has been established and what services they offer. There are often reviews available online too, which will show you whether others would recommend the practice and how they rate their experience.

Listen to what others say

Speak to existing patients as this will give you a flavour for how others view the services and care offered. It’s also worth checking that the practice is properly regulated. Here at CK Dental Practice in Bristol we are proud to meet all Care Quality Commission (CQC) national standards.

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. The CQC monitors, inspects and regulates dental practices and other health care providers, so their stamp of approval will give the reassurances that the practice is operating to a suitable standard.

Understand the ethos of the practice

Most dental surgeries have a website that will give you an indication of the ‘personality’ of the practice.

CK Dental Practice in Bristol believes in patient-led care. We do not believe in treatments for the sake of treatments, we take pride in our approach of listening carefully to each and every patient and designing the best care plan for your individual needs.

Is your child ready for an electric toothbrush?They used to be perceived as luxury items, but time and technology has reduced the price of electric toothbrushes.

Nowadays, an estimated 40% of all toothbrushes sold are of the electric variety – be they rechargeable or battery-powered – and a lot of them are aimed at kids. But are they the right choice for your child?

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we get a lot of enquiries from concerned parents on the subject, so here are our thoughts on the subject…

Electric v manual

First things first: yes, in a like-for-like comparison, electric toothbrushes beat the traditional version hands-down. Multiple studies have confirmed that, when used properly, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than their manual counterparts.

All the original fears about electric toothbrushes – that they contribute more to gum recession, tooth abrasion and gingivitis – have been dispelled.

Are electric toothbrushes safe for kids?

In almost every case, yes. The Oral Health Foundation approved them for one simple reason – that they make a regular chore more fun for children. As long as they meet the basic requirements of an adequate child’s toothbrush – small head, soft nylon bristles, and a handle suitable for the age of the child – there’s nothing to worry about.

However, there are provisos. Firstly, just because the brush is up to the job, it doesn’t necessarily mean the brusher is too.

Dentists recommend that you supervise your child’s brushing regime until the age of 7, but some parents assume that the electric toothbrush will do the job. Obviously, it won’t, if it’s not being used on every tooth for an adequate amount of time.

Secondly, there is a chance that an electric toothbrush will aggravate loose baby teeth. Most children will start to lose theirs between five and seven, but it can happen earlier – and when that happens, it’s wise to switch to a manual one for a while.

girl-1208307_960_720The vast majority of people undergo routine dental treatment without the need for sedation of any kind, but here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we are aware that for some people going to the dentist is not just a routine event.

We have all heard of the concept of being afraid of the dentist, but for people with dental phobia that fear is very real, and that’s why we decided to offer dental treatment under sedation here at our Bristol dentist clinic.

For some patients, however, they have other anxiety-related conditions which mean they have built up a tolerance to the drugs used for conscious sedation. For others, the fear of the dentist is so deep-rooted that any level of consciousness during the procedure is too much to cope with.

For those patients, general anaesthesia is a fantastic option, allowing them to undergo any necessary dental work without the trauma of seeing it happening.

Don’t you have to be in a hospital to have a general anaesthetic?

Yes, and that is why CK Dental is so well placed to offer this service. Our dental practice is located within the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, The Chesterfield in Clifton, which means our dental phobic patients can undergo dentistry under general anaesthesia, without having to enter an unfamiliar environment.

Do you do anything else to put dentalphobic patients at ease?

The whole team at CK Dental is trained and experienced in dealing with patients who are more than usually nervous about visiting the dentist.

This means that we are able to recognise when a patient is feeling anxious and work to remedy the situation. We do this by creating a very calm, warm and welcoming environment, by explaining all procedures in full before any dental work is undertaken and by helping you to talk through your fears.

If you are nervous or anxious about visiting the dentist, why not give the CK Dental team a call to find out how we can help you to get your teeth back on track.

sharkNew research from a team at the University of Sheffield has shown that humans possess the same gene network that is present in sharks, allowing them to regrow several sets of teeth throughout their lives.

Currently, of course, humans only grow two sets of teeth – milk teeth and adult teeth – but the Sheffield scientists think that this gene, which usually dies off or lies dormant once our adult teeth have grown, could potentially be “switched on” allowing us to grow further sets of teeth.

Tooth decay

So, what does this mean in terms of our oral health? Well, here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we see a lot of patients with advanced tooth decay, who end up losing teeth and having implants or dentures fitted in their place.

Sharks, on the other hand, have no problem with tooth decay, as they are able to grow new teeth as soon as one set is lost.

Is this the end of tooth brushing?

Well, as exciting as this discovery is, there is still no known way to activate this tooth regeneration gene, so it might be a long while yet before humans are able to regrow teeth once our adult teeth are fully developed.

And of course good oral health is not just about keeping your teeth – it is important to look after your teeth and gums for many reasons, including health concerns like mouth cancer and gum disease, as well as halitosis, teeth staining and other more aesthetic worries.

What should we do now?

Until we find a way to help humans regenerate their teeth, the best plan is to stick with your current oral health regime: brush twice a day, floss whenever possible, avoid sugary foods or those that are likely to stain your teeth like tea, coffee and red wine, and visit the dentist regularly.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we recommend that patients come in for a check up once every six months, to ensure that their teeth and gums are in good shape and to catch any potential problems early.