640px-Wisdom_teeth_1Wisdom teeth tend to form during the late teens and early twenties. A throwback to an earlier era of human development, wisdom teeth are now superfluous at best and a very painful complication at worst.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

As always, your dentist knows best. That moment will always occur before pain from wisdom teeth growth becomes an issue – but if you’re not getting your teeth checked regularly, they can come in without warning, causing tenderness, redness, swelling and pain.

Will I have to go to hospital?

In most cases, the work can be done in-house: in rare cases, your dentist will recommend a hospital visit. Don’t panic: this only means that the hospital is better equipped to deal with the problem, and you will be in and out on the same day.

How is the wisdom tooth removed?

As always, there’ll be a local anaesthetic injection to numb the tooth and surrounding area. If the tooth hasn’t broken through, there’ll be a small cut in the gum to get to it.

In some cases, the tooth will need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. In others, the tooth will need to be rocked back and forth to widen the socket before taking it out.

Dissolving stitches can be used on areas of the gum that have been opened. In some cases, you’ll be asked to bite on gauze in order to help a blood clot form in the empty socket, and you may be prescribed a course of antibiotics.

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we understand the fears surrounding wisdom teeth removal. After all, for most patients, it will be their first adult experience with tooth extraction. But we always see the procedure as an essential preventative measure that can prevent future complications with the wisdom tooth itself and adjacent teeth.

TePe_Interdental_Brushes_originalInterdental brushes do exactly what it says on the tin: they’re designed to work between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque that ordinary toothbrushes can’t get to.

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we tend to think of them as a more precise (and reusable) upgrade of dental floss, and one that can significantly improve gum health. We offer the following advice;

Check the wire

There are cheaper versions on the market, but we recommend brushes with plastic-coated wire, particularly if you have implants. An uncoated brush could scratch the implant and give bacteria somewhere to hide.

One size doesn’t fit all

Just like each tooth is unique, so are the gaps between them. Your first experiences with interdental brushes will take time, as you need to work out which brushes provide the perfect fit for each individual gap.

Don’t push too hard

The ideal brush size is one that provides a snug fit in each gap. If you experience resistance or discomfort when using an interdental brush, stop immediately and try approaching the gap from another angle – and if that’s not working, step down and try a smaller brush that fits.

Mind the gap

Over time, you may find that the brush you’re using in a certain gap doesn’t provide a snug fit any more. No need to panic: this is most likely a good thing. In most cases, it means that the inflammation of the gum is receding. Swap in a brush that fits and carry on.

It’s a supplement, not a replacement

In other words, you’ll still have to use an ordinary toothbrush as part of your daily oral hygiene regime. Also, using interdental brushes should be a daily routine – once or twice a week isn’t good enough.

children-961685_960_720Although dental care is very low on the list when it comes to your child’s health issues, it won’t be too long before they’ll need to be registered for treatment – and the importance of getting them into the routine can’t be overstated.

A lot of adults with dentalphobia can point to a bad experience in their childhood which explains their fear of the dentist, which can lead to all manner of problems in later life.

CK Dental of Bristol has put together the following guide for parents:

Start them early

Dentists recommend that your children’s first visit to the dentist should commence around their first birthday. Two reasons for this: it’s essential that your children get their teeth checked out as soon as possible in order to keep on top of any potential problems, and it gets your kids used to the idea that regular dental check-ups are nothing to be scared of.

Don’t tell them about your early experiences

…even if they were positive ones, and especially if they weren’t. It’s unfair on your child to be told that things are better now than in your day – they’ll only pick up on the negative experiences.

Let them play at dentists

They’re probably already playing Doctors and Nurses, so make sure to add dental treatment into their routine. Use their toothbrush to count their teeth, and let them do likewise to you. And keep it simple: no drill sounds or extractions.

Let them see you get checked out

This always helps. Kids are endlessly fascinated in what their parents get up to, so letting them get used to the environment (whilst not having anything done to them) is a great introduction to dental care.

Schedule appointments as early as possible

As with adults who fear the dentist, the earlier in the day appointment is set, the less time your child will have to fret about the visit.

vapingYou can’t fail to notice that thousands of regular smokers are switching from cigarettes to vaping. According to a government review in 2015, the current best estimate is that vaping is 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking, and the use of e-cigarettes is a proven aid to help smokers quit for good.

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we’re getting a lot of enquiries from clients who have either already made the switch from smoking to vaping, or are giving it serious thought. So what are the implications for your dental health?

Does vaping stain the teeth?

Whilst being completely aware that the study of vaping and its health implications are still in their infancy, we know that the majority of staining from cigarette smoking is caused by tar.

Vape ‘smoke’ consists of a mixture of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, flavouring and optional nicotine. Therefore, switching to vaping is far kinder to the colour of your teeth.

However, this doesn’t mean that vaping is completely off the hook when it comes to dental health. Although ex-smokers will experience cosmetic benefits after making the switch, there’s still a chance that they risk long-term gum damage.

Nicotine and oral health

Even though the delivery of nicotine via vaping is much safer than from traditional smoking, that nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor – meaning it reduces the flow of blood around the gum area, denying your gums the oxygen and nutrients they need and destroying tissue.

Nicotine also prevents the mouth from producing sufficient saliva (causing bad breath) and in some cases causes teeth-grinding.

The solution for new vapers is simple: start stepping down on the nicotine intake as soon as possible, with a view to vaping 0% nicotine e-juice as soon as possible.

pregnantIt goes without saying that pregnancy is one of the most stressful times of a woman’s life, with all manner of changes and accommodations occurring to her body.

And while dental treatment is obviously going to be lower on your list of priorities than usual, the team from CK Dental Practice in Bristol feel there are a few things you’ll need to know while you’re expecting.

Keep tabs on your gums

The hormonal charge running through your body is going to impact on a lot of things, and in certain cases, your gums are more likely to bleed.

This isn’t necessarily a danger sign for you (and certainly not for your baby), but it does create a greater chance of gum inflammation and open you up to gum infection, which could cause you dental problems in the long run. It could also mean your health isn’t as good as it could be, so don’t ignore the warning signs.

Keep on top of your dental hygiene

Another by-product of hormonal change in the gums is an accelerated build-up of dental plaque, meaning that you may have to step up your dental regime.

Can I have local anaesthetic during pregnancy?

While you’re probably not going to want to indulge in extensive dental work during this phase of your life, you (and your baby) have nothing to worry about should you need a correction or two.

For starters, local anaesthetic is precisely that: a procedure that focuses on the desired area, and not an injection into the bloodstream, so your baby won’t be affected at all.

What treatment should I avoid?

The only treatment that dentists stay away from during pregnancy is the use of mercury amalgam fillings – although there’s no evidence that they’re a health risk, they’re still not recommended, just to be on the safe side.

Banane-A-05_croppedWe’re all more concerned about keeping our teeth as gleaming as possible these days; like most practitioners, CK Dental practice in Bristol provides a teeth-whitening service.

And there are an ever-increasing range of products available over the counter. But is it possible to bypass all that and create a homemade solution?

You’d certainly think that was the case after a cursory glance at the internet, which now contains a welter of articles promoting the use of a bewildering range of recipes and quick-fixes designed to knock the stains from your smile.

So let’s take a look at the ingredients in these ‘hacks’ and see if any of them actually work – and if there are any hidden dangers in using them.

Baking Soda

Certain normal toothpastes use it as an ingredient, so a concentrated dollop of it mixed into a paste has got to be more effective, right? Well, not exactly: high levels of baking soda are highly abrasive when brushed against the teeth, and can play havoc with their enamel coating.

Lemon juice

Great for getting nicotine stains out of your fingers – but an absolute no-no for teeth, due to the high levels of acidity. And combined with baking soda, it’s the worse-case scenario for tooth enamel.


Be it olive, sesame or sunflower, the practice of oil-pulling (swishing a teaspoon or two in the mouth for 20 minutes) isn’t going to hurt your teeth. But it’s not going to remove the stains, either.

Banana skins

Some people are hugely excited about the properties of banana skins, packed as they are with teeth-whitening potassium, magnesium and manganese, but rubbing them onto the teeth over a period of time doesn’t really do much.

If you’re looking to un-stain your teeth, your first port of call should always be your dentist. The team at the CK Dental practice in Bristol are well-versed in the dos and don’ts of teeth whitening, and can recommend a proper and manageable regime as well as treatment that works.

child at beachThe school holidays are here, and those with kids probably have enough on their plate already. But with the possible exception of December, this time of year can be the most problematic for your children’s’ dental health, with more snacking, lax dental care and cold, fizzy distractions. Bristol’s CK Dental Practice offers the following tips to help keep the plaque away this summer…

The most important meal of the day

With no school to go to, the lie-ins get longer this time of year. So if your kids are getting up later and sorting out their own breakfasts, make sure you’re not driving them towards quick fixes that could bring on tooth decay.

Sugary cereals are an obvious no-no, but white breads are also notorious for raising acidity levels in the mouth – wholegrain bread is better. The best options are yoghurt (not only low in sugar, but also contains healthy bacteria), dairy produce (for the obvious calcium boost), and non-citrus fruits.

Avoid fizzy drinks

It’s the time of year when fluid intake rockets up – so be prepared and steer your kids towards tooth-friendly drinks like ice water and milk.

Fruit juice can be an absolute nightmare for your child’s teeth and should be restricted to meals. The same goes for cordials: keep them to the low-sugar variety. Remember, eating fruit is far better for your child’s teeth than drinking it.

Keep on top of the brushing regime

Your kids may be in the habit of brushing during school time, but can easily forget about it when they’re off school – and the more lax schedules of the summer holiday could lead them to drop their dental duties. Make sure they don’t.

Get them checked out at the dentist

This is a perfect time of the year to do this, because they won’t be missing any school time, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to correct any problems they’ve developed, and they’ll be getting a timely reminder of how important it is to take care of their teeth.

holidayHoliday season may be in full swing, but there’s no rest period for dental emergencies – and there nothing worse than developing one during your time off, especially when you’re abroad. Here are a few things the team from CK Dental Practice in Bristol believe you should be aware of…

Does your travel cover include dental treatment?

Almost all of us take out travel insurance without thinking about it these days, and for obvious reasons. But in a survey conducted a few years ago by the British Dental Health Foundation, a mere 12% of Brits surveyed knew for sure that their insurance covered emergency dental work, while 55% admitted they didn’t know.

While most travel insurance policies do include dental emergencies, some don’t – so make sure you check the fine print or ask in advance.

Are you having extensive work on your teeth?

If you’re midway through a prolonged course of treatment and your holiday is going to get in the way, always consult your practitioner – they may recommend you hold off from certain procedures until you get back, suggest certain ‘quick fixes’ that can be done in advance, and advise on dental dos and don’ts while you’re away.

Is your toiletries bag properly stocked?

If you’re worried about potential dental disasters flaring up while you’re away, it pays to be prepared. If you have problems with fillings, pick up a temporary filling kit from the chemists.

While you’re there, stock up on desensitising toothpaste, as chances are you’ll be consuming acidic fizzy drinks and wine than usual. And when you’ve arrived, look for some antiseptic mouthwash to counter any gum infections that might arise.

What if I have a dental problem while abroad?

If it’s a minor problem, like a missing crown or a lost filling, and you aren’t in discomfort, it’s perfectly fine to put off treatment until you get home. If that’s not an option and you need immediate treatment, make doubly sure you keep all receipts.

dentist-676421_960_720Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we have recently added dental treatment under general anaesthesia to our list of services. This is suited to patients who are extremely nervous of visiting the dentist – sometimes known as “dental phobic” patients.

One question that we get asked a lot at our Bristol dental practice is what sort of dental work can be performed under a general anaesthetic, so here we are going to attempt to answer that as comprehensively as possible.

Essential routine care

Because general anaesthesia does carry some risk, you are unlikely to be offered cosmetic or non-essential routine dental treatment under a general anaesthetic.

However, if you need a filling or extraction, or other routine dental care that the dentist feels it would be detrimental to your oral health to ignore, then this can be performed under a general anaesthetic – within the same building in which CK Dental is housed: Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, The Chesterfield – for your comfort.

More complex procedures

Often, when patients are severely dental phobic, they have avoided visiting the dentist for a prolonged period, and their dental health has suffered as a result. In this situation, more complex dental work may be required – root canal treatment, or even implant placement if the teeth have deteriorated too much to be saved.

General anaesthesia for dental treatment presents the perfect option for these patients, allowing the dentist to rectify these problems without any discomfort for the patient, who is unconscious throughout and just wakes up after surgery to find all their dental problems solved.

All the staff here at CK Dental practice in Bristol are trained to a high level in dealing with extremely nervous patients, so we take pains to put you at ease from the minute you set foot in our clinic and throughout the examination process.

If you are dental phobic and would like to know more about dental treatment under general anaesthetic, please contact us.

hand over mouthWithout seeing the patient in person and performing a thorough examination of the teeth, it is difficult to advise on the correct course of treatment. However, there are a few treatments offered here at our Bristol dental practice which can deal with one or both of these problems.

Teeth straightening

If by “uneven” you mean your teeth are crooked, then the Invisalign invisible braces system might present a good treatment option. Using a series of customised invisible aligners, each of which is worn for between two and three weeks, the Invisalign system effectively straightens your teeth without anyone needing to know you are wearing a brace.

Teeth whitening

For discolouration, the obvious choice is teeth whitening. Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we use an at-home whitening system, using a special customised tray that is created from an imprint of your mouth.

Carried out as a night time treatment over a period of around a fortnight, teeth whitening in Bristol can provide an even, predictable whitening of the teeth, which lasts for between one and two years. Results can be topped up to maximum whiteness in just one or two nights at minimal cost.

Dental veneers

“Uneven” does not always mean crooked – in some cases, the teeth are of uneven lengths, perhaps due to bruxism (teeth grinding), or because of chips or breakages of the teeth. If this is the case for you, then dental veneers might present the best treatment option – solving both your problems at once.

Dental veneers are made from very thin layers of porcelain, which are permanently bonded to the surface of the natural teeth using a special adhesive. This allows us to create a perfectly white, even smile, using minimally invasive techniques.

To book a consultation and find out which of these treatments is most suitable for you, please contact us.