How do you cope with dental anxiety?19 May 2017 Categories: Dental Anxiety Uncategorized
By Dr. Geoff Baggaley
BChD DGDP(U.K.) RCS Dip.Con.Sed(Newc)
Anxiety is one of the body’s most powerful emotions. Anxiety in itself is a condition in which the body is preparing for something unpleasant to happen.
This ‘preparation’ is accompanied by both physiological and psychological responses. The psychological responses are often tension and a feeling of impending danger and lack of control. The physiological responses are perspiring, increased heart rate and a liability to faint.
A significant percentage of the population feel this level of anxiety in response to visiting the dentist or having dental treatment. In reality, this means that people who suffer from dental anxiety will often limit their dental visits to emergencies only. The strength of this emotion dissuades them from going to the dentist for regular and essential dental check ups.
Further to this, dentally anxious patients often carry a feeling of guilt – compounded by feeling that they are the most anxious patient who has ever walked the planet or that they have the worst teeth of anyone. The truth is very different. Over 60 % of the adult population suffers from some level of dental anxiety, which demonstrates that they are not alone – in fact, quite the opposite.
At The Raglan Suite we successfully treat people with higher than average levels of dental anxiety every day. The thing is – teeth and gums, like the rest of our bodies, need to be looked after and any issues treated promptly. The main problem for dentally anxious patients isn’t just the possibility (or reality) of unsightly, stained or missing teeth, but the wider implications and substantial risk of undetected dental disease and oral cancer.
If a patient hasn’t visited a dentist in a number of years, it’s important to get support. The first step is to talk to their dentist about it – if a dentist is sympathetic, they will understand and make a special effort to help their patient feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. This can take time. However, if the dentist has genuine empathy, they will be capable of building a strong relationship with their patient built on trust. Overcoming dental anxiety is primarily about finding the right dentist, one who they feel listens to them and understands their fears, one who they are comfortable with and trust 100%.
However, more often than not, patients have been let down by an unpleasant or painful experience, or by a dentist who may appear more interested in working quickly and with little understanding of the patient’s anxiety.
At The Raglan Suite, we use a range of different methods of care to create a safe atmosphere in which the patient feels confident enough to accept advice and treatment. The aim is to facilitate positive dental experiences. We start with behavioural management techniques, which alone can be successful. Often the anxious patient needs to be allowed the time to “tell their story” of why they are anxious. If this is received with empathy, it may be enough to begin a relationship of trust, enabling simple dental checks and procedures to take place. If this is effective, more complex care may be provided. It needs to be accepted that a significant number of anxious patients may need more than simple dentistry in order to regain good oral health.
However, if following such techniques, a patient still feels a high level of anxiety, we can also provide different forms of sedation to help them relax. If a patient is sedated, they will still be awake and able to respond throughout the procedure, but they won’t be aware of what is happening and may not be able to remember it. There are different ways to be sedated:
- ‘Gas and air’ (inhalation sedation) – this is simply a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen which is breathed in through a nasal mask and provides a level of sedation and analgesia (pain relief).
- Intravenous Sedation – this is the use of sedation drugs which are delivered through a small plastic tube placed carefully in a vein, usually in the arm. This drug has a very useful side effect, in that the patient usually remembers very little of the dental visit. This form of sedation can only be performed by a dentist or doctor that is specially trained.
At The Raglan Suite, I work exclusively with people who suffer from dental anxiety. In my experience, even people who have extreme fear about the simplest dental procedures can learn to receive treatment in a manner that feels safe and calm. Our approach here at The Raglan Suite is to encourage small, yet conquerable steps. The first step is simply having a chat with me, in a non-clinical environment, to discuss their feelings and concerns.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that if a patient suffers from dental anxiety or phobia, they are not alone. There are many, many people who share their anxieties and equally there are many ways that we can help them towards achieving a happy, healthy smile.
Dr. Geoff Baggaley
Dr. Geoff Baggaley is a professional in the management of dental anxiety and teaches dentists across the UK on how to deliver his techniques to their own anxious patients.
Baby Teeth: Where a lifetime of good oral health starts2 May 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Elnaz Aliakbari
Registered Specialist in Paediatrics
(DDS MFDS RCS MClinDent (Paeds) MPaedDent RCS)
Your child’s first set of primary teeth – sometimes called baby or ‘milk’ teeth – are extremely important. Strong, healthy primary teeth help your child chew food easily and learn to speak clearly, as well as look good. Also, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased and broken primary teeth are not treated early. Primary teeth also have an important role to play in holding the spaces for the second, permanent teeth to descend into good positions. However, because the enamel is thin, primary teeth are more likely to be affected by decay and erosion if exposed to too much sugar or acidic drinks.
Your baby will have 20 primary teeth, which usually come through from the age of about 6 months. Occasionally teeth can be present at birth (natal teeth) or shortly after birth (neonatal teeth). These are seen in less than 1% of babies and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
When should a baby first see a Dentist?
It is important that a child’s first visit to the dentist is a pleasant and calm experience, so not when they first have pain or problems. Ideally, it is best to take your child to the dentist when he or she is between 6 to 12 months of age. This allows the dentist to anticipate and prevent problems, rather than treat them. In addition, the dentist will assess your child’s risk of tooth decay, evaluate adverse habits and customise an oral health program specific for your child.
If you bring your child to the dentist at an early age, it also means that they will become familiar and comfortable with procedures such as examinations and tooth cleaning, and learn that a dental visit is not something to fear.
How to Clean Baby Teeth
Good oral hygiene begins at birth, so it’s wise to get in the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums even before any primary teeth come in. Gently clean your baby’s gums after every feeding using a clean, damp washcloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head made just for babies.
As soon as the first primary tooth arrives, you can start brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Brush the front and back of your baby’s tooth and lift your baby’s lips to make sure you get the gum line. You should brush your baby’s teeth and gums twice a day.
Don’t forget to lead by example and show your baby or young child how you brush your teeth too. It will greatly influence their desire to brush their teeth like you do.
Early childhood decay
Unfortunately Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a common and severe form of cavities found in very young children from 0-4 years of age. Without treatment for ECC, decay can spread deeper into the tooth causing pain and infection and possibly damage the underlying adult tooth. The primary tooth or teeth may need to be removed. If your child’s tooth is badly decayed, infected or broken, then your dentist may feel that your child would benefit from receiving advanced treatment from a paediatric dentist (a specialist children’s dentist).
At The Raglan Suite we do our utmost to provide a positive and comfortable experience for all our young patients and strive to ensure the best outcome for their future oral health. Your child does not have to be referred by your regular dentist to have treatment at The Raglan Suite – you are always welcome to book a private consultation with me, just simply click here or call 01423 565432.
Dr Elnaz Aliakbari (DDS MFDS RCS MClinDent (Paeds) MPaedDent RCS) is a Registered Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry. Elnaz currently works as the Senior Speciality Registrar at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and also provides high quality dental treatment for children at The Raglan Suite Harrogate in a Saturday clinic.
What is ‘Reconstructive Dentistry’?28 March 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Steve Byfield
BDS(lond) MFGDP RCS (UK)
Reconstructive Dentistry is the term used for the treatment of patients who have experienced advanced dental disease.
Symptoms range from loose, missing or decayed teeth, increasing tooth spacing (especially in the front of the mouth), to very worn teeth and the inability to chew food properly. Reconstructive Dentistry is the treatment used to return the patient back to dental heath and restore tooth function and aesthetics.
Due to the complexity of this treatment, it normally involves what is called a “multidisciplinary approach”. This means that a team of highly skilled clinicians, who work exclusively within their chosen field of practice, are brought together to provide treatment and ultimately the best clinical result for the patient.
What to expect from the treatment process
Treatment of advanced cases is rather like a staircase – patients start at the bottom step and progress through treatment one a step at a time:
Step One: Examination & Diagnosis
The first step is to receive a full dental examination. This may be carried out over one or more visits with the lead clinician who may bring in other clinicians in their respected fields to provide their opinion.
Each patient is also assigned a dedicated treatment co-ordinator to support them throughout their journey with us. The treatment co-ordinator provides a direct point of contact and administrative liaison from diagnosis though to completion.
Step Two: Stabilisation
Once a diagnosis is made and the patient has a full understanding of what the issues are, we move onto the next step – ‘stabilisation’. This stage is essential to restore the patient’s mouth to a healthy and stable state. It involves the removal of any dental disease and the restoration of tooth and gum function and aesthetics. This could feature a range of treatments including gum therapy, tooth extractions, root fillings, provisional bridges or dentures, or cosmetic veneers.
Step Three: Reassessment and Advanced Treatment Planning
Just like assessing a failing wall, at times it’s obvious it has to come down and be rebuilt, but other times all that is required is re-pointing. Some of the time underpinning is considered to avoid removing the wall, however, the long-term success may then be unknown. Advanced treatment is similar because as clinicians we do not want to over treat – i.e. carry out unnecessary, aggressive treatment – nor under treat and thereby not achieve a long-term result.
At the reassessment stage, the team of clinicians will closely examine the situation after stabilization and from there develop a plan for the next step – advanced restorative treatment. The patient will then have the opportunity to consider their options. If they would prefer to spread the financial investment or the amount of active treatment, advanced care can normally be carried out in phased appointments. However, some patients prefer to address all advanced treatment at the same time. The decision is always down to personal choice.
Step Four: Advanced Care Appointment/s
The Raglan Suite philosophy is to provide the highest level of treatment with the least intervention to meet the patient’s expectations. Wherever we can, we prefer to keep the natural teeth and avoid invasive, irreversible tooth loss with aggressive crowns. Within advanced care, we will normally replace teeth with implants or dentures to avoid bridges that are very destructive.
If aesthetic treatment is required, we prefer teeth whitening and direct composite veneers that need little or no preparation of the tooth. Any invasive preparation has a high risk of damaging the nerves and weakening the teeth. Although we want people to be happy with their smile, our priority as dentists is for teeth to be healthy and remain healthy long-term.
During the advanced restorative stage we may recommend that patients undergo a period of ‘provisionalisation’. This is where the “final” treatment is actually provisional, in order to re-evaluate the patients aesthetics, function and feel of the new teeth.
Step Five: Final Restoration
Once both the clinicians and patient are happy, then the final restorations are placed that mirror the approved provisional stage.
Step Six: Maintenance
The last step to the top of the staircase is high level maintenance of the patient’s reconstruction. At The Raglan Suite we have an experienced team that show patients how to look after their new smile and, in conjunction with daily home care, will help ensure that your mouth remains healthy and stable long term.
The long term
We are frequently asked, “will advanced treatment last me a lifetime?” The true answer is that it depends on a number of factors – your age at the time of treatment, how well you look after your mouth on a daily basis, the execution and planning of the treatment – and I have to say – also a little luck in your gene make up.
Natural teeth in general do not always last a lifetime. So if we consider that any form of Dental treatment is second best to natural teeth, then it is likely that there will be a form of re-treatment required at some point, albeit localised. It is important that patients understand this possibility before consenting to advanced therapy.
As a dental surgeon, seeing the huge difference that reconstructive dentistry can make to a patient’s life is what makes me get out of bed in the morning. I see patients who are withdrawn and self-conscious, grow into smiling, happy, confident people, who boldly hold their heads up in the world around them. To be part of that incredible journey is very satisfying for all concerned – myself, the team here at The Raglan Suite and of course, the patient.
Dr SDE Byfield
Dr Steve Byfield has over twenty years experience in implant and restorative dentistry. Our clinicians are dedicated to finding the best solution for you and are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to restorative dentistry. Call 01423 565432 to book your complimentary consultation or contact us through our online enquiry form.
What are ‘Invisalign’ braces and how do they work?16 February 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By specialist Orthodontist, Megan Hatfield (BChD MDentSci FDS MOrth RCS (Eng))
Many adults ask me how I can help improve their smile. Either they never had braces when they were younger or their teeth may have changed position over time.
There is no age limit on orthodontics, providing there is good dental health. Our adult patients range from 16 to over 60. However, most adults looking for orthodontic treatment need it to fit in with their work and lifestyle, as well as be comfortable, so traditional ‘train-track’ braces are not ideal.
This is why we offer Invisalign® as one of our treatment options. Invisalign® is a removable aligner. It is made of a series of clear trays that fit tightly over the teeth and gradually push the teeth into the correct position. It is almost invisible, hence the name, as well as comfortable to wear and easy to adapt to. Temporary discomfort and speech disturbance only lasts a few days, and more significantly – most people will not notice that you are wearing a brace!
How does it work?
Each Invisalign® tray is worn for between 20 – 22 hours per day and changed for the next one every 14 days. They are removed for eating and cleaning, so you don’t need to radically change your diet or your teeth cleaning routine. Your personalised orthodontic treatment is planned to my prescription using a digital system called ClinCheck, which shows you how many trays you will need, how long the treatment will take and what the teeth should look like at the end. ClinCheck is a fantastic tool which helps to demonstrate how much difference your treatment will make, as well as help me to effectively monitor your treatment.
How long does it take?
I provide patients with 3 or 4 trays at a time and they visit the clinic every 6 to 8 weeks for me to check their progress. Typical treatment time is about a year, but can be as little as three months or up to two years.
Why the ‘Invisalign’ brand in preference to any other?
Invisalign® was developed in the USA and was the first type of brace of its kind. Now, over 4 million patients have been treated worldwide. Over the 10 years I’ve been using it, new developments have made it a real alternative to fixed braces, which means I can confidently recommend it to my patients. I only use Invisalign® branded aligners – in my opinion it’s the best system of its kind.
Invisalign® is ideal for adults of all ages or older teenagers who don’t want visible, fixed braces. Excellent for realigning teeth which have moved over time or closing small spaces, recent developments have made Invisalign treatment possible for a wider range of problems. However, there are some cases for which Invisalign is not the ideal solution and a different type of brace might give a quicker or better result. The first step is to come and see me for a free consultation so that I can accurately assess your dental requirements.
To find out if Invisalign® is suitable for you, book a complimentary consultation with Dr. Megan Hatfield on 01423 565432 or contact us through our website.
Dr. Megan Hatfield has won numerous UK awards for her orthodontic work and was voted the prestigious title of ‘Aesthetic Dentist of the Year’ at the 2014 UK Smile Awards. She also won the category for ‘Orthodontic case – Invisalign’ in the same year.
Are Immediate Dentures a solution?27 January 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By Clinical Dental Technician, Chris Egan (RDT Dip Lds, CDT Dip Rcs Eng)
In order to answer this, let’s first explain what “immediate” dentures are. Immediate Dentures are those that are put in ‘immediately’ after having a tooth extraction. They can replace one tooth or a number of teeth. Immediate Dentures are constructed before the teeth have been removed and inserted immediately after the removal of the teeth.
If the prognosis is very poor for all your remaining teeth, as commonly happens with severe gum disease, an ‘immediate complete denture’ or dentures (top and bottom) may be made and fitted. An ‘immediate partial denture’ could also be made as a temporary solution during a course of treatment to allow the gums to heal.
However, there are several other advantages of Immediate Dentures:
- Your gums heal better and faster – An Immediate Denture helps keep the blood clots in place and therefore helps the gums to heal better and faster.
- There’s no gap – You can carry on your day-to-day life without embarrassment from a gap in your smile due to a missing tooth or teeth.
- You can eat well and chew well – Missing teeth can often cause a problem when you are speaking or chewing food. At this stage, an Immediate Denture can help you to eat and enjoy food properly.
- They are adjustable – As gums heal they shrink and become healthy again. As they shrink, a small space may appear between the gum and the denture. The dentures can be easily relined to fit appropriately to ensure optimal comfort.
Are there any disadvantages of Immediate Dentures?
It’s advisable to bear in mind that Immediate Dentures are a work in progress or temporary solution, so that the mouth can heal. This means that biting and speech may be affected to begin with and adjustments need to be made. However this is all part of the process with the changes that occur to your jawbone as it heals.
If you are having an Immediate Denture, i.e. your teeth are removed and the denture put straight in, you do not have the luxury of a prior ‘try-in’. This means that we have to estimate the shape of the jaw after the teeth have been removed due to the ‘straight to fit’ procedure. With a single tooth this generally isn’t an issue, but with a full denture where the extension of the base is so crucial to the stability of the denture, some adjustment and the use of fixative may be required in between adjustments or ‘relines’.
Are there any alternatives to an Immediate Denture?
- Do nothing
If it is a single tooth, you can of course do nothing and leave the space if you are happy to do so.
- Temporary bridge
A temporary bridge may be made, but this cannot be added to and so can become unsightly and need replacing when the gum heals and shrinks. No matter how well they are made, a temporary bridge is not easy to clean and tends not to be the best for gum health as they collect a lot of plaque. Immediate Dentures on the other hand can be removed, which makes cleaning much easier and more efficient.
So do Immediate Dentures mean I can walk out of The Raglan Suite with all my teeth again straight after an extraction?
Yes! We can complete the treatment in a single day by having you come in early in the morning and then again later that same afternoon. During the afternoon appointment, it is literally out with the tooth, in with the denture!
If you still have any questions about Immediate Dentures, please call us on 01423 565432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
What does ‘minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry’ mean?12 January 2017 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Kim Taylor (BDS MSc (AES Dent)
To be able to smile with confidence is a joy that cannot be underestimated. As more treatment options become available and the ways in which this can be achieved become more accessible, increasing numbers of people are realising their dream and vision of the perfect smile.
But how is the way we approach this changing and what does minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry actually mean?
The two pillars of this concept in dentistry are –
Minimally invasive: is a modern dental technique designed around the principal aim of preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible. (i.e. the teeth and supporting tissue).
Aesthetic: Relating to the enhancing and appreciation of beauty.
The two concepts combined therefore –
Minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry: Enhances both the function and appearance of teeth, though minimal intervention and preserving as much of the tooth tissue as possible, in order to achieve the individuals perception of beauty.
The aim is to create beautiful, individual smiles with little or no detriment to the original tissue. This is achieved via:
- Thorough consultation – to ensure that we fully understand what your vision and perception of a ‘perfect’ smile is, so that we know how we might best achieve it for you.
- Careful assessment – of the health and status of your teeth to establish exactly what treatment is required to help you to achieve your vision.
- Application of the latest techniques – if your teeth and gums are healthy, we use the most modern techniques to correct your dental concerns and enable you to walk out of The Raglan Suite with your new smile.
The benefits of this minimally invasive approach cannot be underestimated. By preserving as much tooth tissue as possible (and ideally not affecting it at all), the risks associated with treatment are dramatically reduced.
For example, if tooth tissue is removed (or teeth are cut back) there is a risk that the nerve that sits at its centre will become irritated. This may result in anything from a slight sensitivity to irreversible damage to the tooth which requires root canal treatment or even the tooth extracted. Therefore, if no tooth tissue is removed and the tooth remains wholly intact, this risk is significantly reduced.
Not only is this process less damaging to your teeth than conventional methods, it is also easier on the wallet! So to realise your dream of the perfect smile, consider requesting a minimally invasive approach. Of course we all want a beautiful smile – but not at any cost, and most certainly not at the expense of the health of your teeth.
Dr. Kim Taylor
The team at The Raglan Suite are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to minimally invasive aesthetic dentistry. Call 01423 565432 to book your complimentary consultation. They look forward to helping you realise your vision.
How long do dental implants last?2 December 2016 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Tim Doswell (BChD Dip.Imp.Dent.RCS(Eng) (Adv.Cert))
Perhaps the most commonly asked question after “how much do implants cost?”, is “how long do implants last?” Fortunately, in the majority of cases, implants can last a lifetime.
There are hundreds of research papers spanning 5 decades that look at implant success rates and the commonly accepted success rate is at least 95%. With modern day implant technology and techniques, this figure is actually even higher.
Compared to other dental treatments that are aimed at filling a gap, dental implants come with a few key benefits:
- Dental implants are completely independent of the adjacent teeth and so, unlike a bridge which is supported by a tooth, there is no tooth preparation to do at all. Whenever we prepare or drill into a natural tooth, we damage it. This could mean that the tooth could require a root filling at some time in the future.
- Modern implant technology is now generated by computer assisted design and manufacture (CAD/CAM), so there is a high level of precision with fit. This makes implant dentistry more predictable.
- The only other alternative to fill a gap from a missing tooth is a denture. Dentures move during normal chewing function and are perhaps understandably not most patient’s first choice.
It is however important to be aware of a few factors which may influence the success of implant treatment:
- Smoking – This is top of the list – smoking essentially affects the healing process so the longevity of implant treatment in smokers is always at risk. Smokers are also at greater risk to a form of gum disease called “peri-implantitis”, which causes bone loss around the implant and eventually the loss of the implant.
- Patient’s general medical health – Patients who suffer from diabetes or from a condition that affects their immune system are more likely to have problems. Certain medications such as systemic steroids, immuno-suppressants or drugs like Alendronic acid for osteoporosis, all affect bones from healing and so may affect the stability of an implant.
- Dental health – The current state of a patients dental health plays a huge role in determining the likely success of dental implants. Patients with gum disease are far more likely to develop peri-impantitis. This is why it is essential that gums are healthy or stable before treatment with implants is considered. Tooth decay as such cannot directly affect an implant, but if implants are placed in a mouth where decay is prominent, as the decayed teeth break down, the implants can get overloaded and cause problems. For the same reason, we also have to take extreme care in patients who grind or clench their teeth. When we assess our patients for implants, we never just look at the gap we are aiming to fill, we assess the whole mouth as it is key to the success of treatment.
- Complexity of treatment – A simple case where we are placing a single tooth implant and there is already a lot of bone to place it, will obviously be more predictable than a case where we are placing multiple implants and there is little bone to begin with and so grafting is required.
- After care – The aftercare program is critical to the long term success of dental implant treatment. Implants should be checked at least annually and we would recommend visits to hygienist every 3-6 months after treatment is completed. Without this level of surveillance, you may be blissfully unaware there is a problem until you have pain, or something becomes loose, by which point it may be too late.
It is also important to understand that implant supported teeth are made up of several components. The “implant” is the artificial titanium root that the new teeth are anchored to. The worst case scenario is that the artificial root fails, but if this does happen – which is unlikely – it can usually be replaced. It is more common (although still unusual) that the teeth fixed to the implant chip or break, but this is no different to any other dental restoration. The good news is that implant supported teeth are designed to be repairable. They have to be – the mouth is a very harsh environment, so it is likely that some maintenance will be required. After all, you wouldn’t expect a new car to drive continuously day in, day out, year after year, and never need any repairs now and again.
When you come for your initial complimentary consultation at The Raglan Suite, we will assess all these issues so that we can give you a reasonable forecast of the success of your treatment. Dental implants do involve some surgery, so like any other elective procedure, you need to understand the benefits and risks, but this is where our expertise can help.
As a way to replace missing teeth, implants are without a doubt the gold standard. The good news is that in the vast majority of cases, we can predict very long lasting, successful and even life changing results.
Why should you visit a Dental Hygienist?17 November 2016 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Wendy Cole (BDS MSc (Clin Perio)
You might be wondering why your dentist recommends seeing a dental hygienist. We all know that poor dental hygiene is the main contributing factor in tooth decay and gum disease. We also know that effective tooth brushing and cleaning between helps teeth and gums to stay healthy. So why the additional time and expense? What do they offer that my dentist can’t?
Despite all our brushing, flossing and mouth washing, harmful plaque can still build in up in hard to reach areas. Most of the time we can’t tell it’s there, we can’t feel it or see it, it’s the same colour as our teeth. It takes less than a week for ‘secret plaque’ to cause early gum disease or gingivitis. No matter how well we think we’re removing the ‘germs’, we tend to miss the same bits every time. Without ‘professional removal’, bacteria will build up and can mineralize, becoming tartar (we call it calculus). Given time this build up can cause more serious irreversible damage called periodontitis. Unfortunately, this often goes by unnoticed, but sometime we get little warning signs -bleeding gums and bad breath (halitosis), or big warning signs of drifting and wobbly teeth or our teeth may even fall out.
So what does a Dental Hygienist do?
Dental Hygienists are professional guardian angels for our dental health. They are very highly qualified individuals and are trained to a very high level.
Not only do they provide active treatment for developed gum disease they can also identify the areas of your mouth that you’re not reaching effectively. They guide us how to clean our teeth and gums more efficiently, helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Why is this treatment important?
Professional cleaning will remove hidden plaque and tartar and help prevent long-term dental problems. This, combined with looking after your teeth and gums effectively at home, will help keep your mouth healthy. There is also the added advantage of improving the appearance of your teeth, making them look cleaner and whiter, as well as helping with fresh breath.
Good oral health is the foundation of everything we provide at The Raglan Suite and our hygienist works hand in hand with our clinicians, offering expert advice and support to all our patients.
How do they do it and will it hurt?
Each patient is treated as an individual, so your appointment will be tailored to your needs and concerns. For preventative maintenance care the hygienist uses special instruments to gently remove plaque deposits without harming the teeth. Commonly used first is an ultrasonic instrument that uses tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away the debris.
Once the larger pieces of tartar are gone, the hygienist will use to fine hand instruments, to check the tooth surface and remove any left over deposits.
Finally, once the hygienist is satisfied the surfaces are smooth; the hygienist will polish your teeth using a rotating polishing cup filled with a fine paste called prophylaxis paste. This helps to remove staining and leaves teeth shiny smooth.
We try our best to ensure that all treatment is pain free at The Raglan Suite. However sometimes due to exposed root surfaces or when you’re undergoing active gum treatment, it may be necessary to use a numbing gel or local anaesthetic to make sure you’re comfortable.
Do hygienists offer anything else?
Their priority is to keep your mouth healthy by monitoring and preventing disease. They will suggest and guide you on the best and most efficient ways to remove as much plaque as possible and reduce it build up. The can identify risk factors in your diet and lifestyle that may negatively impact on your teeth and gums. They can even provide support when you’ve taken that step to stop smoking.
If you’re lucky you are likely to spend a lot longer with your hygienist than your dentist. So whilst they are removing stain and tartar from your teeth, your dental hygienist will have more opportunity to notice anything that should be there, lesions that might be oral cancer. There are also health conditions that manifest themselves in the mouth and your hygienist can bring them to the attention of your dentist so you can receive early intervention and treatment if required.
So when your dentist next recommends booking an appointment with a Dental Hygienist, think of it as ‘preventative maintenance’. By seeing your hygienist you’ll be investing in the future of your smile!
For further information or to book an appointment, contact The Raglan Suite on 01423 565432 or fill in our online enquiry form.
Overcoming dental fear and anxiety – is it possible?27 October 2016 Categories: Dental Anxiety
By Dr. Geoff Baggaley
BChD DGDP(U.K.) RCS Dip.Con.Sed(Newc)
Anxiety is a very powerful emotion, in which the body prepares itself for something unpleasant to happen. Dental anxiety is equally as powerful and this intense emotion prevents a significant proportion of the general public from accessing dental care.
As well as missing out on dental checks and treatment of cavities, these patients are at significant risk from undetected and untreated dental disease. They also miss out on other important checks, such as for oral cancer, and being advised on the current risk factors in dental disease.
If you have dental anxiety, the first step is to talk to your dentist about it. If your dentist knows how you’re feeling, they can make a special effort to help you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. However, if your anxiety is beyond your control, there is help available. In my experience, even people who have extreme fear about dental procedures can learn to get over their fears and receive dental treatment in a manner that feels calm and safe.
Dental conscious sedation is a method by which dental care can be provided in a calm and controlled environment and the patient remains relaxed and comfortable. For adults, conscious sedation is usually delivered by the use of intravenous sedative agents administered through a tube that is gently placed into a vein in your arm or in the back of your hand. As well as remaining relaxed, the patient often has little or no memory of the procedure. Sedation also changes your perception of time, so even long procedures will feel like they have only taken a few minutes.
This method is predictable, reliable, and extremely safe. Each patient is given a full assessment by our experienced sedation practitioners a week before the procedure to ensure that they are suitable. The procedure is discussed comprehensively in order for the patient to understand every step of the planned course of treatment. Once approval is given, the process of administrating the sedative is designed specifically for the individual being treated.
Due to the effects of the sedative medication used at The Raglan Suite – called midazolam – conscious sedation is particularly useful for the following clinical situations:
- If a patient is particularly anxious about any form of dental treatment
- Very effective in the provision of more invasive forms of treatment such as complicated dental extractions and other forms of surgery.
- Especially helpful in the provision of lengthy treatments such as root canal treatments and implant placements.
- Another effect of midazolam is assisting the suppression of the gag reflex, however this often makes it difficult to provide treatments to the back teeth and those that involve taking impressions.
We are also able to provide sedation for our anxious younger patients in the form of inhalation sedation. This is where a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide provides an acceptable degree of sedation to enable dental care to be provided. Again, each patient is individually assessed to ensure the planned treatment is appropriate.
So in answer to the question – can you overcome dental anxiety? The answer I believe, is yes! Having provided conscious sedation for over 25 years, I can personally endorse how even the most anxious patients can be treated successfully and long-term. Through positive dental experiences, we regularly convert an “anxious” patient to a “non-anxious” patient so that treatment using sedation no longer becomes necessary for them.
Dr. Geoff Baggaley
The team at The Raglan Suite are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to our sedation services. You can send us a message in complete confidentiality through our online contact form. If you would like to book a consultation with Geoff, please call 01423 565432.
Are dental implants better than natural teeth?6 October 2016 Categories: Uncategorized
By Dr. Antony Bellaries BDS MFDS RCS (Ed)
Dental implants were first introduced to help people who had lost all of their natural teeth, but had great difficulty with dentures (false teeth) because they had lost too much jawbone for the dentures to rest on securely.
Today, most dental implants are used to replace either a single tooth or multiple missing teeth. This means that modern implants have to come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit the different teeth that they replace. Their surfaces have been improved to enhance the integration process and their success (or more appropriately “survival”) rates are in the region of 94% at five years. Dental implants are widely accepted as a more successful and conservative option to fixed bridgework – but are they better than natural teeth?
The simple answer is no! Undoubtedly, implants provide a fantastic fixed long term alternative to a lost tooth, but keeping a natural tooth, if clinically possible, is usually the better option. Studies have shown that a natural, root filled tooth, that is appropriately restored and well maintained, has a comparable if not better long term survival rate over a dental implant. The consequence of a failed implant versus a failed tooth are usually much more complicated. Therefore if a tooth can be saved or “restored”, that is the option we would usually recommend at The Raglan Suite.
When a tooth has died or become infected, we often treat it with Root Canal Therapy or ‘RCT’. This involves gently cleaning and shaping the fine canals within the root of the tooth to eliminate the harmful bacteria. Once they are clean, the canals are sealed with a root filling to prevent reinfection. This treatment is carried out by a dentist who practices endodontics, which by its very definition means “inside the tooth”. Often root filled teeth require further protection from fracture with a crown or onlay.
In the past, Root Canal Therapy has received bad press with people recounting the horror of enduring hours of very painful treatment. These days, with modern anaesthetic techniques, there is no reason why treatment should not be completely painless. The Raglan Suite offers state of the art facilities to ensure your root canal therapy is performed to the highest standards. At the practice I use high spec equipment, including a powerful operating microscope to enhance vision and a CT Scanner, which help ensure root canal treatment is both painless and predictable.
Dr. Antony Bellaries is a long standing member of The Raglan Suite team. His practice is limited primarily to endodontics (Root Canal Therapy) and he has a close relationship with many dentists throughout Yorkshire who refer complex cases to The Raglan Suite. If you would like to book a consultation with Antony, please call 01423 565432.
The team at The Raglan Suite are always happy to answer any questions you may have in relation to Root Canal Therapy. You can send us a message in complete confidentiality through our online contact form.