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.