danger of DIY braces

These days, you can find information and tutorials online for practically anything you want to learn. Unsurprisingly, DIY beauty tutorials and videos are particularly popular. The trouble is, while some DIY tips can prove invaluable, others are downright dangerous.

One beauty trend which dentists are warning against is DIY braces. Teens across social media have been uploading videos on how to create and use DIY braces. Little do they know the harmful effects it could have, not just on the teeth, but on overall oral health.

Here, we’ll look at why we’re warning against DIY braces and the potential damage they can cause.

What exactly are DIY braces?

The current DIY brace trend sees kids using household items to secure the teeth into position. Common items used include dental floss, paper clips, rubber bands and even fishing line.

The items are fastened onto the teeth and worn for a period of time to attempt to alter their position. While logically it could potentially work, using DIY braces unfortunately poses a lot of risks.

Why are DIY braces bad for the teeth?

The difficulty with DIY braces is that they only look at altering the position of the teeth. With professional braces on the other hand, a dentist will also factor in the position of the upper and lower jaw. This is because braces can pull on the jaw, putting excessive pressure onto it. So, if you use DIY methods, you could potentially end up damaging the jaw.

Another issue some young people have had with DIY braces is the items used to secure the teeth have vanished overnight. While they believe they have simply lost them in bed, the truth is the items have become lodged underneath the gum. This in itself poses a big risk for oral health, not to mention the potential for swallowing items if they do become dislodged in the night.

Another concern with DIY braces is that they could also lead to tooth loss. This is because the braces can cause the ligaments which hold the teeth into position, to break. So, while DIY braces may seem like a good idea, they can do a lot more harm than good.

The benefits of professional teeth straightening

Having braces professionally fitted isn’t just safer, it also delivers a lot more benefits than DIY braces. When fitted correctly, braces can:

  • Improve your chewing ability
  • Help you regain your confidence
  • Eliminate speech impairments
  • Reduces the risk of grinding the teeth
  • Reduces the risk of gum disease

As well as traditional braces, we also offer Invisalign, which uses clear plastic aligners to gently move teeth into position.

These are just some of the benefits you can expect from professionally fitted braces. So, while it may be tempting to try out DIY braces, the potential risks shouldn’t be ignored. It may be cheaper initially, but the damage it could cause to the teeth and gums could see you paying a lot more in the long-term than you would if you’d have had them professionally fitted.

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, call CK Dental on 0117 905 9866 to arrange an appointment.

New Dental Nurse at Bristol Dental Practice

We are delighted to welcome a new dental nurse at CK Dental. Adelaide Errett has recently joined our team at CK Dental after gaining four years’ experience as a dental nurse.

She particularly enjoys cosmetic dental work and giving patients the smile they desire. She also enjoys assisting the team with oral surgery cases. At CK Dental, we have become renowned for treating patients experiencing sometimes very severe dental phobias and offer dental treatment under sedation and general anaesthetic if required. Adelaide is very calm and great at reassuring our nervous patients when they are in need of a hand to squeeze.

To arrange a consultation at our Bristol dental practice, call 0117 905 9866.

dental anxiety treatment Bristol

At CK Dental, patients can benefit from the latest technology, combined with Cornelius’ calm and gentle approach and vast experience in treating dental phobic patients. Here Cornelius discusses how he deals with dental anxiety.

How do you approach dental phobia?

Cornelius: Every patient at CK Dental is treated as an individual and we try to find a solution to their dental anxiety that allows them to have what can often be very necessary dental treatment.

Many patients have very neglected teeth. The first step is obviously to eradicate any problems that could have serious implications for their health in the future.

Then you have to look into what they want to achieve going forward, which will be a balance between their health and any cosmetic concerns. Are they satisfied with something less invasive or do they want permanent solutions? If the latter, what fixed restorations are they happy to have? Also, their physical health and wellbeing are taken into account.

All of this is discussed in the planning stage. Careful pre-planning also means you can ensure their time in the chair is as minimal as possible.

How often is General Anaesthetic Dentistry appropriate for dental phobic patients?

Cornelius: Every patient that comes to us with a dental phobia is assessed as an individual. We always try to establish whether they are able to undergo Dental Treatment Under Sedation as opposed to General Anaesthetic Dentistry as most patients don’t realise that the form of sedation we use at CK Dental is typically not the same as what they’ve been offered before at other clinics.

What makes CK Dental’s sedation treatment different?

Cornelius: We see many patients that say that sedation has never worked for them before, but that is because most dental practices will only be offering oral sedation in the form of Diazepam, also known as Valium, whereas our Dental Treatment Under Sedation is actually conscious sedation. It is delivered by our Consultant Anaesthetist and it is calibrated exactly to the patient. They are still awake and breathing normally, but deeply sedated, so the experience is very different.

How is technology used to help dental phobic patients?

Cornelius: We have just introduced the new iTero intraoral scanner in the clinic, an important tool in alleviating dental anxiety. The scanner is a replacement for manually taking dental impressions which many patients are uncomfortable with. It is super precise which aids in the planning process – we can even print 3D models for patients – so it cuts down on the length of time the patient has to be in the chair.

Good communication is key in treating patients with dental anxiety and the scanner means we can look at images on the big screen to discuss their treatment in detail. It can also help to track their treatment or compare wear and tear over time. Patients are then empowered to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Do you treat children that are scared of the dentist?

Cornelius: We do not treat any under 18s as that’s always done in an NHS dental hospital. Children are more prone to adverse reactions to sedation, so their procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.

Does CK Dental’s hospital setting give patients confidence?

Cornelius: For some patients, our location in the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital definitely helps. We have never had an issue, but there is an emergency button located in the clinic and there is always an on-call doctor and crash team on hand in the hospital.

Is it possible to cure dental phobia?

Cornelius: Some patients have very deep-rooted phobias that they are never fully able to eradicate, but many of our patients are able, after undergoing successful and pain-free dental treatment, to get over that fear and adopt an oral healthcare routine, that includes regular check-ups and treatments.

Call us on 0117 905 9866 to discuss our treatment options for dealing with dental anxiety.

Looking after teeth in lockdown

Although dental practices are now able to start seeing patients, the restrictions in place mean that many of you may still have to wait to see a dentist.

So, while you’re hanging on in there until your next hygiene appointment, here are just some of the ways you can look after your teeth during lockdown:

Do eat high-alkaline foods, such as tofu, almonds or avocado, as they will help to neutralise acidic food and drink that can erode tooth enamel

Do brush your teeth at least twice a day and start flossing if you don’t already – a recent YouGov poll found that 30% of Brits brushed their teeth either just once a day or less.

Do wait an hour after eating before brushing your teeth as it helps to avoid damage to your tooth enamel

Don’t crunch ice as it can cause microscopic cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could develop into more serious problems over time.

Don’t consume too many fizzy drinks as they are highly damaging

Don’t eat sticky, chewy sweets such as caramels or toffees as they can loosen fillings or brace wires

If you’ve had any dental concerns during quarantine, call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange your appointment – we open on Monday 13th July.

Associate Dentist at Bristol Dental Practice

We are delighted to welcome Dr Emma Langridge as our new Associate Dentist at our Bristol dental practice.

Emma has a great passion for ethically-based, minimally invasive dentistry, providing bespoke treatment plans to suit each individual patient. She is a big believer that all her patients should be able to smile with confidence and will work with patients until these aims are achieved. This may be simply optimising dental health for some, or for others, this could be changing the appearance of teeth for a smile to be proud of.

Whatever your concern, she will be able to help. In a calm and relaxed setting, she will provide you with a first-class experience at CK Dental.

Since graduating from Cardiff University in 2014, Emma has undertaken a number of hospital posts, allowing her to obtain more advanced skills in the areas of Restorative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. She has since gone on to optimise these skills within the general practice setting, now providing a wide range of dental treatments from oral surgery through to cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics.

Emma is committed to providing the highest standards of treatment for all her patients, regularly attending a multitude of courses. Dentistry is an ever-changing world and Emma is looking forward to making use of the newer concepts of digital dentistry to enhance your patient experience.

Outside of work, Emma lives locally in Bristol. She is a self-confessed foodie and enjoys sampling the wide range of restaurants Bristol has to offer. Alongside this, she enjoys travel, fitness and Pilates.

Invisalign FAQs

When many of us think of teeth straightening our minds probably cast back to the train track braces that we were given at school. There were functional – they did the job, but they would never win any awards for beauty or subtlety. So, what happens if you didn’t opt for teeth straightening as a child and you now wish you had? Or your teeth have moved as you have got older and are now looking overcrowded or protruding? As an adult, the idea of steel braces doesn’t necessarily sound very appealing – however, there is a much more discrete option which has proven to be extremely popular.

Invisalign uses a series of aligners that are created to fit over your teeth. They are not attached in the same way traditional braces used to be, they slide in and out as you wish. If this sounds like the kind of thing you have been looking for, here at CK Dental we outline answers to some of the most common questions.

Invisalign FAQs: How are they made?

These clever aligners are made using 3D computer modelling, which scans your mouth and produces a bespoke fit.

Invisalign FAQs: How long do you need to wear them for?

Typically, you should expect to wear Invisalign braces for between nine and 18 months, although depending on the complexity of the work they need to do, in some rare cases they could be needed for up to three years. The time it takes Invisalign to work is very similar to traditional braces as the theory is essentially the same.

Invisalign FAQs: How long do you wear them each day?

Although you can take them in and out, it is recommended that you keep your aligners in for as much of the day as possible. They will work most effectively if they are kept in for as much of the day and night as you can manage. You need to take them out when eating and drinking, but if you can keep them in for 22 out of each 24-hour period, you’re doing well.

Invisalign FAQs: How much does Invisalign cost?

The cost is largely comparable to the traditional braces that are also still available – and are in fact more discrete than they used to be. Costs range from around £2,500 to £5,500, depending on what needs doing.

Invisalign FAQs: How can I be sure that I can trust Invisalign?

The concept has been in development for over two decades, and it has been growing in popularity over that time. It is reported that over 8 million people globally have benefited from this treatment, so it is definitely not in its infancy.

Invisalign FAQs: Can I make an appointment to learn more?

Yes of course! Come and talk to the team here at CK Dental in Bristol and we can help get you started on your Invisalign journey. Call 0117 905 9866 to arrange your Invisalign appointment.

dental treatment under general anaesthesia

Dental anxiety means more than just being a bit nervous about visiting the dentist. It can have a profound impact on your oral health and overall wellbeing. Recently, a leading UK dental law firm conducted a large-scale survey into the problem of dental anxiety.

Ninety-one per cent of those surveyed found they had experienced some of the following signs of anxiety – almost half experienced feelings of dread, a quarter suffered from a dry mouth, sweating or feeling sick and 15% had heart palpitations.

They were also asked what they specifically disliked about going to the dentist. Fear of pain, cost of treatment, needles and sound of drilling were all listed. People from Wales and the South West were particularly bothered by bad memories of a previous experience.

These bad experiences can be the result of experiencing pain or discomfort either during or after a dental procedure. Twenty-nine per cent stated that the dentist didn’t put them at ease.

Here at CK Dental, we are highly experienced at treating nervous patients and our practice is unique in offering both dental treatments both under sedation and general anaesthetic.

Dental treatment under general anaesthesia

Treatment can only be performed under a general anaesthetic in a hospital environment. CK Dental is located with the Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, The Chesterfield in Clifton, making it one of the few dental practices in the UK that are able to offer dental treatment under general anaesthesia.

For severely dental phobic patients, this option represents the difference between being wholly incapable of visiting the dentist and being able to have a much-needed dental procedure. It is ideal for patients that have not found they are able to relax enough under conscious sedation to undergo treatment.

By providing this care in a hospital environment, you will be looked after by our anaesthetist, our lead dentist and a specially trained dental nurse and you will be further supported by the medical team available at the hospital.

For more information on the treatment options we offer dental phobic patients, including dental treatment under general anaesthesia, call 0117 905 9866.

dental anxiety treatments

If you have reservations about visiting the dentist then you are not alone, this is more common than you might think. Many of us are nervous about visiting a dental environment, which can present itself as fear, stress or general anxiety. For some, this nervousness can mean that we put off visiting or find excuses to delay routine check-ups. This can lead to long-term problems with your oral health, so it is important to try and find a way of getting past these fears.

The fact that you are here reading this piece is a positive sign – it indicates that despite your concerns you are looking for a way to overcome this in order to ensure you are giving your teeth, mouth and gums the specialist attention they require.

Depending on the severity of your dental anxiety, the symptoms may present themselves in a psychological or physical way – many will have a combination of these. Aside from the worry that is causing the problem in the first place, those with dental anxiety may demonstrate some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Sweating more than usual
  • Feeling faint (maybe even actually fainting)
  • Faster than normal heartbeat
  • Chest palpitations (brought on by the fast heartbeat)
  • Overt distress and unease
  •  Feeling or acting snappy/irritable/agitated

Here at CK Dental, we understand that even one of these symptoms is extremely unpleasant, and two or more can feel debilitating. With that in mind, it is no wonder that people’s anxiety can make them feel unable to attend their appointments.

How to address the problem of dental anxiety

The first thing to understand is the implications of allowing dental anxiety to stand in the way of your appointments. Your oral health will begin to suffer over time without regular check-ups. If you develop a problem with your teeth, mouth or gums, then if it is addressed quickly there is a greater chance that it will not develop into something more serious.

Not only that, if you allow your anxiety to keep you away from the dentist then it becomes a ‘vicious cycle’ – once you miss one appointment is it easier to miss another and another. The longer you stay away the harder it will be when you really need to see a dentist.

There are many ways in which we can help you overcome your concerns about visiting the dentist, so why not pop in for a relaxed and informal chat with staff ahead of your appointment to help put you at ease. Staff will be able to talk you through some of the techniques we use here at CK Dental to help patients feel at ease. Not only that, we really listen to our patients to understand what their concerns are. If we understand what is troubling you then we can work hard to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

We also offer dental treatment under sedation and dental treatment under general anaesthetic. General anaesthesia can only be administered in a hospital environment and CK Dental, which is located within Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, is one of the few dental clinics in the UK that are able to offer this procedure.

Call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange a consultation to discuss treatment options for dental phobic patients.

dental phobia options

Feeling nervous about visiting the dentist is something that can affect children or adults and it can stem from a wide variety of factors. Depending on the root cause of the problem and the age of the patient, different tools and techniques can be tried out in order to try and offer the necessary reassurance to overcome this.

If a child has had a bad dental experience while young (for example having a tooth knocked out and needing treatment, having an oral injection that caused pain) then the memory of this may remain with them into adulthood.

For adults, the cause of dental phobia may be due to a number of reasons:

  • A very common reason for these feelings is due to the perceived lack of control in the situation, some patients report feeling vulnerable in the dentist’s chair which leaves them feeling agitated and anxious
  • Some struggle to trust dentists (and possibly other medical practitioners too)
  • Some may also have had a negative experience in the past which has left them ill at ease with dentistry in general,
  • Others may have suffered from a head or neck injury which has left them feeling uncomfortable with the positioning required for the dentist to access their mouth, or just generally concerned with having more treatment in that area,
  • If there is another condition that patients are suffering with (such as acrophobia or claustrophobia) then this can compound the issue.

Encouragingly, many adults who have suffered from dental anxiety in the past report that finding a dentist who is understanding and sympathetic to their feelings helps enormously in terms of finding a way to overcome how they feel. Here at CK Dental our team appreciates the challenges that anxiety can cause patients and we are here to help in any way we can.

Looking at dental phobia coping methods

There are many tips and techniques that can be utilised to try and mitigate these feelings. Taking deep, rhythmic breaths can help slow down your heartbeat and help you feel more in control. This will also help reduce sweating and the feeling of palpitations caused by a racing heartbeat. Distractions are also an effective technique. Trying to focus the mind on something completely different can really help take your mind off your worries. Many patients suggest listing to music, audiobooks or podcasts; all of which are a good source of distraction in this situation.

If all else fails, then speaking to your GP about a referral to a psychologist can really help. Techniques such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can help you understand more about what it is that is causing you so much concern, and experts can help with bespoke coping techniques.

Another option is dental treatment under sedation. Referred to sometimes as ‘twilight sedation’, conscious sedation involves putting the patient into a semi-conscious state that allows them to be comfortable throughout their treatment, whether it be a simple cleaning or a more invasive, lengthy dental procedure.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we are also one of the very few dental practices in the UK to offer dental treatment under general anaesthetic. General anaesthesia can only be administered in a hospital environment, which is why CK Dental, which is located within Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, The Chesterfield in Clifton, is perfectly placed to offer this service.

Call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange a consultation to discuss treatment options for dental phobic patients.

Bristol dental implants

Having a missing tooth, or more than one missing tooth, can be problematic in many ways. Not only can it affect confidence and leave people feeling unable or unwilling to smile properly, but it can also affect how people eat and speak as well.

If you are embarrassed by missing, broken or crooked teeth then you may be considering dental implants. Many of us have implants, in fact, they are so discrete that you would probably struggle to notice an implant nesting within someone’s smile.  As such, they are a popular, effective way of fixing some of the unsightly oral issues that some of us are grappling with.

An implant is inserted in place of a missing tooth. The tooth may have fallen out or you may agree with your dentist that it is best to remove a tooth and replace it with an implant. The ‘root’ of the implant is a screw which is fitted directly into the jaw bone and then the implant itself is attached to the screw. It is typically made of titanium, which is one of the strongest, non-corrosive metals. Over time the jaw bone will also grow around the screw, which holds it in place even more firmly. As such, within reason and with the correct care, this is a permanent solution to the problem.

There is plenty of advice that patients will be given by your dentist to help the implants bed in as effectively as possible in the hours following the surgery. There is a special antiseptic mouthwash that patients would need to use initially (morning and night) to ensure that the area remains free from infection. Also, they would be advised to wash with an oral salt bath after meals for the first week or so. Never the nicest thing to do, but salt is extremely effective at

Strong patient satisfaction

Overwhelmingly patients are delighted with implants. They address the aesthetic issue and offer a long-term fix that blends in very effectively with the natural teeth.

If this sounds like the kind of procedure that could help you achieve a more satisfying smile, then get in touch with the team here at CK Dental to talk through the options available to you. Call 0117 905 9866 to arrange a consultation.