back to the dentist

Now that lockdown restrictions are easing, the dental sector is starting to re-open for appointments. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), patients should delay routine appointments for the time being. Many dentists don’t agree with these guidelines, particularly due to the concern over serious oral health issues going unnoticed.

So, should you follow the WHO guidelines, or is it safe to go back to the dentist now? Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know to help you decide whether or not to book an appointment.

Is it risky to visit the dentist now?

The truth is it is risky going anywhere right now. Until the virus can be controlled, everywhere can be a potential risk. However, with the right precautions, visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be an overly risky venture.

Visiting the dentist is actually riskier for the dentist than it is for you. This is because a lot of dental procedures produce aerosols which could infect the dental worker. Most dentists will be keeping a very clean practice, following essential guidelines to keep themselves and patients safer. So, yes it is risky, but it isn’t as risky as going to the supermarket for your weekly shop.

Should I only visit the dentist if it’s an emergency?

The WHO has recommended patients should only visit the dentist if it is an emergency. However, dentists have argued that all dental work is essential. This is because without routine care, it could result in serious oral health issues later on.

Poor gum health has been shown to contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Gum health has also been linked to Diabetes and it can help dentists to diagnose a variety of serious health conditions, including oral cancer.

You don’t need to wait for it to be an emergency before you visit the dentist. You just need to make sure the clinic is safe.

Look at your dentist’s safety precautions

Before you decide whether or not to visit the dentist, take a look at your clinic’s safety precautions. How are they addressing the pandemic and keeping their patients safe?

Dentists have introduced a wide range of safety precautions. These include pre-screening questionnaires, temperature checking, the use of PPE and staggered appointment times.

Patients are commonly asked to fill out a questionnaire which primarily looks at identifying if they have any symptoms of the coronavirus. Temperature checking before patients are seen by the dentist are also available at some clinics.

Ideally, your dentist should be using adequate PPE too, reducing your risk of catching the virus from them. So, ask about the safety precautions in place to ensure your appointment will run as safely as possible.

Visiting your dentist is safe providing they are following the right guidelines. So, if you’ve been putting off heading to the dentist, book an appointment today to avoid any issues later. Call CK Dental in Bristol today on 0117 905 9866.

Invisalign Go

Looking for a discreet teeth aligner treatment? Traditionally, braces have been the go-to treatment for correcting teeth alignment. However, thanks to improvements in technology, patients now have a multitude of options including Invisalign Go.

Here, you’ll discover more about this exclusive teeth aligner system, currently offered at 20% off until the end of December…

What is an Invisalign teeth aligner?

Based on the original Invisalign system, Invisalign Go is a revolutionary clear aligner for teeth straightening. Invisalign has helped millions of people transform their smiles.

The clear aligners are practically invisible, making them a preferred option for those looking to hide their dental work. Like traditional options, Invisalign is designed to be worn for a set period of time, allowing it to gradually straighten the teeth.

You will typically need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours each day, removing them to eat, floss and brush. They will also need to be replaced every 1-2 weeks depending upon your treatment plan.

The benefits of Invisalign Go

There are a lot of benefits of choosing Invisalign Go besides the fact that they are practically invisible. They are both cheaper and take less time to work than other options.

You should find them comfortable to wear too, with most patients forgetting they even have them in. You also won’t need to attend as many dental appointments when you’re using the Invisalign Go system.

As the aligners are custom made to fit your mouth, there is less risk they will fall out accidentally. You will be able to talk, sleep and laugh without worrying about them falling out.

What happens during the procedure?

In order to benefit from Invisalign Go, you will first need to book a consultation. Here, you will be assessed for your suitability for the procedure.

If you are deemed to be an ideal candidate, records of your current teeth will be taken. You will then be provided with a treatment plan within a couple of weeks. Once the plan has been approved, your treatment will start within 2-3 weeks.

You will be monitored every 6-8 weeks to see how the system is working for you. This will last for as long as the treatment plan is running.

Will it affect my speech?

When you first begin to wear the aligners, you may find it difficult to pronounce certain letters. However, you should find you get used to them within a few days and your speech will return to normal.

The Invisalign Go system has revolutionised the dental sector. Phone us on 0117 905 9866 and book a consultation today and take advantage of our 20% money off deal throughout December!

Teeth Whitening

Trying to achieve that perfect smile? Over time, the teeth can become stained due to exposure to things like caffeine, alcohol and smoking. This can lead to a loss of confidence, especially when you are smiling for photos or talking to others.

Having your teeth whitened can really help to boost your confidence. However, there are a few things you should know before you decide whether or not to undergo the procedure.

Here, you’ll discover all you need to know about having your teeth whitened.

What does having your teeth whitened involve?

At CK Dental, we use the Enlighten system to help patients achieve a whiter smile. It is suitable for up to 95% of patients and it works over a two-week period. In around 98% of cases, it helps patients get to a B1 grade. This is the lightest natural shade you can achieve.

It is provided in the form of a home whitening kit. You’ll take the kit home and use it every night for two weeks. After this, you will revisit the dentist to assess the results.

Can you do it yourself?

The Enlighten system is designed to be used by you, enabling you to do it at home. However, you can’t just purchase the kit, instead you need to visit a dentist. They will prescribe you the kit if you are deemed eligible for the treatment. Before you can use it, they need to take moulds to create customised whitening trays.

Always visit your dentist before following any whitening procedure yourself.

What results can you expect?

When using the Enlighten system, most patients will achieve the lightest natural colour. The current shade, diet and age doesn’t appear to alter the effectiveness of the system. However, not all patients will achieve a B1 shade.

This is because each of us has a saturation point. This means a point where the teeth won’t go any brighter. It is different in each person, which is why a B1 shade cannot be guaranteed.

It’s also worth noting that only your natural teeth will change colour. So, if you have any fillings or crowns for example, these may be more visible after the treatment. You could choose to have your crowns or fillings blended to match the new colour of the teeth.

Is it safe, and will it hurt?

The good news is the Enlighten system is safe to use for most patients. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should wait until you have the procedure done. It may hurt, though this will mostly be down to sensitivity of the teeth. Only around 2% of patients experience intense sensitivity during the treatment.

As you can see, the Enlighten system can be an effective way to whiten the teeth. You can do the treatment at home, so it’s a lot more convenient than some other dental whitening systems out there.

Book a consultation with your dentist today to learn more about this exclusive and effective teeth whitening solution. You can call CK Dental on 0117 905 9866 to find out more.

Mouth Cancer Action

A new report compiled by the Oral Health Foundation has shown that mouth cancer rates are at a record high. In 2019, there were 8,722 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK. This is a staggering 97% increase since the year 2000.

This is the eleventh year in a row that mouth cancer cases have risen. Here, we’ll look at the findings in light of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Understanding the findings

The latest study was carried out by the dental charity as part of its State of Mouth Cancer UK report for 2020/21. Governing health body statistics were used to compile the report, which reveals that 67% of mouth cancers occur in men. Also, 78% of mouth cancer patients are aged over 55.

However, the good news is that seeking early treatment boosts survival chances by 50% to 90%, making it important for people to understand the symptoms to watch out for.

What is mouth cancer?

Also known as oral cancer, mouth cancer causes a tumour to grow within the mouth. It is most commonly found on the tongue, but it can also develop on the roof of the mouth, the inside of the cheeks or at the back of the mouth.

The main symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Painful mouth ulcers that don’t heal
  • Unexplained loose teeth
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained persistent lumps in the neck or mouth
  • Speech changes

These are the most common symptoms to be aware of. If they don’t go away within three weeks, you should consult your GP. There are different types of mouth cancer and it is categorised by the cell the cancer grows in.

Around 9 out of 10 mouth cancers are squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. However, you could also suffer with lesser common forms such as sarcoma, adenocarcinoma and oral malignant melanoma.

What causes the disease?

There are a number of risk factors associated with the likelihood of developing mouth cancer. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and excessive levels of alcohol, are known to contribute to mouth cancer.

Most recently, it has been linked to HIV, or the Human Papillomavirus. An unhealthy diet can also contribute, alongside poor dental hygiene.

The purpose of Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth Cancer Action Month aims to raise awareness of the condition. It also gives charities the chance to fundraise to try and combat mouth cancer through research. This year, you can get involved by joining the Blue Ribbon Campaign or organising a fundraiser of your own.

Mouth cancer is a devastating disease that is proving to be on the rise. It is important to detect the condition as early as possible for successful treatment and undergoing regular dental check-ups can help to identify any issues with your oral health quickly. Call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange an appointment at CK Dental.

missed dental appointments

Today, a leading British dental charity has warned BBC News that millions of dental treatments have been missed due to COVID. In fact, dentists have provided around 19 million fewer treatments in England since March this year compared to the same period last year.

Practices are operating at a fraction of their capacity during the pandemic as new Coronavirus regulations mean dentists have had to significantly reduce the numbers they treat, in order to clean the surgery between patients.

The BDA has warned the Government that the reduction in the number of patients seen, and the knock-on effect of dental practices being forced to close, could have a dramatic impact on the patients’ oral health and the country risks “an oral health crisis”.

At CK Dental, we have been invested in our dental clinic to make sure it is as safe as possible for patients. Recently, we installed a new special air filtering system to improve safety. Not only does it have the recommended HEPA filter but the filters are very easy to change and the purifier also has the capacity to filter out 99.97% of pathogens as small as 0.3 microns.

We are also accepting new patients at this time and offer budget payment plans with Denplan Essentials to make treatment more affordable, including two check-ups, two hygienist appointments, and a 10% discount on necessary treatment and insurance.

Call us on 0117 905 9866 to register as a new patient or to find out more about our payment plans.

tooth decay in children

During the COVID pandemic, millions of people have seen their health appointments cancelled. While media focus has understandably been placed upon the effect the lockdown has had on cancer patients, other sectors are also experiencing huge backlogs.

The number of missed check-ups in the dental field is also starting to have serious repercussions. With many dentists claiming they will be unable to catch up until 2021, this could mean an onslaught of tooth decay in children is set to come.

Here, we’ll look at the current situation dentists are facing and the potential issues that could arise.

Why are so many children missing their dental appointments?

There are a couple of reasons why so many children have been missing their dental appointments. Firstly, the lockdown caused dental surgeries to close for months, which meant nobody could attend their regular check-ups. The British Dental Association estimates that there is a 10 million appointment backlog caused by the industry shutdown earlier this year. While emergency work has still been carried out, regular check-ups for all ages have had to be delayed.

Now that practices are re-opening, dentists are finding it difficult to catch up on the significant backlog. With fewer staff working in clinics to maintain social distancing, and treatments taking more time due to stringent cleaning measures, catching up on appointments is a difficult task.

Even now that the lockdown has been mostly lifted, parents are still reluctant to take their children to the dentist until the pandemic has eased. So, there are a few factors affecting the rate of missed appointments. The question is, what could this be doing to our children’s oral health?

The worry over minor issues

The main concern is that children with minor oral health issues aren’t getting the treatment they need. With so many problems being missed, they could eventually lead to more serious complications.

In some cases, children could end up with irreparable damage to their teeth. Fillings could worsen, while gum disease could be left to cause havoc over the coming months. So, while they may not have any serious dental issues right now, it is likely we will see a surge in appointments next year which could have been prevented.

The dental sector is facing huge challenges right now. With months of no income, many dental practices are facing the threat of closure. This would leave thousands of patients without a dentist at all.

Parents are urged to take extra care of their children’s teeth while they await their routine appointments. Making sure they brush twice a day, choosing the right toothpaste and brush, and cutting down on sugary foods will all help to prevent tooth decay.

Overall, the backlog of routine appointments is causing huge concern, with dentists struggling to keep up. The effect it is having on our children’s oral health needs to be addressed, particularly if there are talks of another national lockdown.

cracked teeth

Since reopening their doors, dentists have started to see a rise in cracked teeth. This is being put down to the stress caused by COVID. It is one of several physical ailments thought to be caused by the stress of the pandemic.

Here, we’ll look at the rise in cracked teeth and how patients can prevent this potentially costly side effect.

Understanding the rise in cracked teeth

In America, some dentists are seeing anything from 2 to 5 cases of fractured teeth each day. Prior to the pandemic, it would have been one case, sometimes every other day. So, there has been a clear rise in cases during COVID, but why?

The coronavirus doesn’t cause the teeth to become more fragile. However, it does cause a lot more anxiety. A side effect of anxiety is teeth grinding, or bruxism. Patients don’t always know when they are suffering with bruxism as it often presents itself overnight. If you wake up and your teeth or jaw feels sore, it is a good indicator you are grinding or gnashing your teeth during the night.

What is teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding occurs when the jaws clench together. It is usually caused by stress and anxiety and occurs more during the night. However, it can also be caused by health issues or lifestyle factors. The condition is said to affect around six million people in the UK and it can result in the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stiffness of the neck and shoulders
  • Earache

As many patients are finding out, teeth grinding can also seriously damage the teeth. Over time, the condition causes the teeth to weaken. This can result in chipped teeth, as well as wear down the enamel causing sensitivity.

Can you prevent it?

As anxiety tends to cause most cases of teeth grinding, managing it could be key to prevention. Patients are advised to focus on reducing their anxiety levels through activities such as meditation, yoga and massage.

While it isn’t easy to relax during a pandemic, doing so could be essential for your teeth. Focus on taking time out each day to relax. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s time to visit your dentist to determine the cause.

If you have only just started grinding your teeth, you could also prevent a crack by wearing a mouth guard at night. Your dentist will be able to prescribe one of these for you.

Treating cracked teeth

If the teeth do become cracked due to teeth grinding, treatment will be needed. The treatment method provided will depend upon the severity of the crack. If it hasn’t reached the inner core of the teeth (known as the pulp), a root canal can typically treat it.  However, if it has gone all the way through the tooth, it may need to be removed.

The rise in cracked teeth due to the stress of COVID is concerning for dentists. The above is just a brief overview of the symptoms to watch out for and the potential ways to prevent the teeth from cracking.

Teeth whitening

It seems that many of us have been trying to do it ourselves when it comes to cosmetic dental treatments through lockdown – after writing about the dangers of DIY braces, there is now worrying evidence of TikTok users turning to what could be an extremely dangerous beauty trend.

One trend in particular which is taking off thanks to the platform is DIY teeth whitening. TikTok users are applying bleach onto the teeth in a bid to achieve the perfect smile. The videos, which have generated over 284 million views, could lead to potentially disastrous consequences.

Here, we’ll look at this worrying new trend and why patients need to avoid it.

Understanding the new trend

The new TikTok trend sees users recommending applying bleach to whiten the teeth. They claim it can help to avoid more expensive teeth whitening kits. While the videos show the method appears to work, what many people don’t realise is just how dangerous it is.

The majority of users recommending the technique are applying high-strength hydrogen peroxide. Under UK law, companies cannot sell teeth whitening products which contain more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. So, why is this new trend so dangerous and why is bleaching the teeth by yourself a bad idea?

The dangers of DIY bleaching

The trouble with DIY bleaching, is that it can seriously damage the teeth and gums. It can lead to permanent damage if applied incorrectly.

Household bleach, as well as hydrogen peroxide sold online, contains a much higher concentration than what dentists use. Not only is it going to be really uncomfortable and potentially painful if you do it yourself, but it’s also going to potentially damage the enamel of the teeth.

Just some of the risks of using the methods being advertised on TikTok include burns in the mouth, inflamed gums and damage to the teeth and gums. It’s also important to remember that household bleach also contains other bleaching compounds which could be harmful for the teeth.

What is the best option for achieving a whiter, brighter smile?

The best way to achieve white, natural looking teeth is to undergo professional whitening. Dentists are trained in how to safely apply the bleach to the teeth, ensuring it is as painless and comfortable as possible.

With professional style whitening like Enlighten Teeth Whitening, you’ll also find that the results last far longer than home kits. More importantly, it produces more natural looking results. In the world of teeth whitening, you really do get what you pay for. While the DIY whitening methods may initially save you money, the damage they can cause could see you spending a lot more money in the dentist’s chair in the future.

Overall, teeth whitening can help you to regain your confidence and achieve that perfect smile. However, it does need to be applied correctly and safely by a professional dentist. The latest TikTok trend is extremely dangerous and patients need to be aware of the risks.

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.