When should I use an emergency dentist?

Our teeth are such a vital, everyday part of our lives and bodies that we often take them for granted. However, when things go wrong, be it in the form of infections, broken or lost teeth, or abscesses forming, we can find ourselves suddenly needing access to a dentist. Any dentist accredited with the General Dentistry Council can serve as an emergency dentist, but if you are concerned with a severe problem it can be best to take the time to search for the best specialist for the job.

emergency dentist

How do dental emergencies happen?

Dental emergencies can have a variety of causes. Tooth loss or broken teeth can be caused by falls or injuries during physical activity, most especially during contact sports such as boxing, rugby and hockey.

Failing to brush your teeth twice every day can lead to a dangerous build-up of plaque and bacteria, which coat the teeth, and other bacteria which can lead to inflamed gums and infection. If this is combined with an unhealthy high sugar lifestyle it is possible for an abscess to form, leading to the need to remove the tooth.

Bacteria build-up can also contribute to spreading ulceration and developing bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. If your gums bleed when you clean your teeth it is possible you are brushing too fiercely, although it is more likely that the gums have become inflamed and unhealthy due to poor oral health. If you find you have bleeding gums which persist it can be wise to discuss it with your dentist, even if you do not think it is an emergency.

How do I find an emergency dentist?

If you see any of these warning signs, it is worth getting in touch with your dentist or, if your problem is severe, looking for a specialist clinic. Clinics are equipped to deal with rapidly developing dental problems can be found across the country. If you live in the capital and need an emergency dentist in London, there are many award-winning surgeries such as Ten Dental offering their expertise. These specialist clinics can sometimes be referred to by other dentists in the local area who know that they offer these and other specialisms. Whatever the best clinic is for you, if there is an emergency you should get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible.

Emergency dentists will analyse each case individually on its own merits. In the case of broken or lost teeth a composite filling may be an option, or alternatively an artificial tooth can be placed in the space left behind, so that no one will notice the tooth is missing. In the case of an infection taking hold it may be necessary for the dentist to perform a root canal treatment to ensure the problem is dealt with. You will only go to the emergency dentist’s when something has gone wrong, but wherever you go you can rest assured they will give their all to fixing the problem.

One way to avoid letting these issues build up until you need to go to an emergency dentist is to make sure you have regular appointments with your dentist. Normally taking place every six months, you can regularly bring up any concerns you have experienced with your dentist .This will also help to identify any potential long-term problems before they become troublesome, and lower the chance you will need an emergency dentist any time soon.

 

Image source: pixabay

How to beat dental anxiety

The anxiety that comes with a dental appointment is often worse than anything that actually happens during the procedure. From a simple check-up to the infamous root canal, all kinds of dental procedures can make us all very nervous. But most of our fears are created in our own minds, and can be overcome with a few simple tips.

 

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Know What’s Going On

Anxiety can be rooted in the fear of the unknown, or it can develop because your expectations aren’t based in reality. Just because you think something is going to be painful doesn’t mean it will be. Take the time to have a frank discussion with your dentist about what will be going on during your procedure.

 

And while you’re getting the details on your appointment, explain that you are still anxious about the procedure. The dentist can’t know how you’re feeling unless you tell them. Having an stronger dose of numbing agent, additional sedative or even just taking the process slower than usual can all help you get through the appointment with less anxiety.

 

Keep Distracted

Taking your mind off your mouth can be tough during a dental appointment, but being able to choose your favorite music can be a potent distraction. Just make arrangements before your appointment so that your dentist knows what’s happening. Wearing your own headphones may be out because they can get tangled in the equipment so be prepared to have a mobile device with speakers you can just set up on the counter. Make up a playlist of your favorites, and concentrate on your tunes instead of the dentist.

 

If music doesn’t hold your attention, you can convince a friend to come along and just have a chat with you. Granted, the conversation will be a little one-sided since there will be hands or equipment in your mouth for most of the time.

 

Hypnosis

Don’t laugh, hypnosis is an excellent way to deal with all kinds of anxiety, including those nervous trips to the dentist. You can try self-hypnosis products, or even a session or two with a therapist. Once the suggestion is set in your sub-conscious, you can find yourself far less anxious about going to the dentist.

 

Practice Good Dental Care

If you are anxious about the dentist, the best thing you can do is to take such great care of your teeth that nothing causes you problems. This includes the usual tips on regular brushing with a good toothbrush at least twice a day, as well as flossing. Even with this great daily maintenance, you need to have at least one check-up each year. Finding a problem while it is still small means you won’t have serious dental surgery later on. More frequent (and less invasive) appointments will help create a more positive experience in your mind too.

 

The Consequences

It is only fair to mention the inevitable consequences of letting your anxiety get the best of you. If you choose to ignore dental health and simply avoid the dentist altogether, you run the risk of very serious health complications. A simple sore tooth can develop a more serious infection that can (and will) spread through your gums and deeper into the jaw bone.

Top Ways To Keep Your Teeth Looking Fabulous!

Smile because you want to
Image credit: Rory MacLeod – https://flic.kr/p/9y6tHL

 

Our teeth are one of the first things people notice about us. It’s hard not to smile without showing off our pearly whites. It can instantly put people off you if they see bad teeth.  Therefore, you should keep on top of your dental health. Here are the top ways to keep your teeth looking fabulous.

 

Eat more healthy foods

Sugary treats are so delicious, but are not great for our waistline, or our teeth! Treats such as chocolate, cakes and biscuits can cause tooth decay. You will end up with cavities and then will need to go dentist for a filling. A mouth full of fillings is not attractive. To keep your teeth looking fantastic, you should cut back on these treats to help protect your teeth in the long run. As we have said previously, when we eat bad treats our teeth can become yellow which is a sign of enamel loss. It doesn’t look nice and can make you self-conscious. Therefore, you should review your diet and make changes.

 

Visit dentist regularly

The best way to protect your teeth is to go to see the dentist regularly. They will be able to spot any issues and let you know if there is decay or any wonky teeth which will need to be fixed. A lot of people avoid the dentist at all costs. For starters, there is the cost which puts people off. If you don’t have insurance, a lot of people have to pay for seeing the Dentist. It can become more expensive if you require treatment.  You should check the different plans that they offer. A lot of them advertise them on their website such as www.MonroviaFamilyDentistry.net so you know what kind of costs that you can expect. Another thing that puts them off is the fear of going. You should be reassured that they can stop at any time if you are feeling nervous. The longer you leave it, the more nervous you can become. Bite the bullet and go, and tell them you are feeling nervous. To keep your teeth looking fabulous, you should make sure you go to the Dentist as early in life as possible. A lot of people decide they will go when they are older but problems occur because people don’t look after them when they are young. And remember, if you don’t like your Dentist, change them, and go somewhere you feel comfortable!

 

Brush your teeth twice a day

Another top way to make sure your teeth are in an excellent condition is to clean them twice a day. It can be easy to forget to do it when we are busy with our daily life and are rushing to bed at night. But it’s so important to brush them to protect your teeth from decay. Otherwise, you may notice them going a yellow color and you will have to head to the dentist. Make sure you are cleaning them properly with a decent toothpaste for the right amount of time. It’s not sufficient to do it for a couple of seconds as you won’t reach any plaque at the back of your teeth. As this article says, an electric toothpaste can be a attractive choice as it will ensure your teeth are thoroughly cleaned.

 

Stop drinking fizzy drinks

If you want to keep your teeth looking fabulous you need to cut down on drinking fizzy drinks. The sugar in the drinks can rot your teeth, and you will end up with cavities. Reduce your intake of fizzy drinks and choose water instead. People don’t realize that fruit juices are full of sugar which can wear away the enamel. Even pure fruit juice can have natural sugars so it should be drunk in moderation to avoid cavities. A lot of people water down their juice to help prevent tooth damage.

 

Cut down on caffeine

The top way to keep your teeth looking fabulous, is to cut down on caffeine. If you regularly drink coffee, you may notice your teeth going yellow, and brown stains can start appearing. And it’s not just coffee that can cause this; you should be wary of other foods that cause caffeine. Try and cut down on your daily amount of caffeine to ensure they are looking great.

 

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Reduce smoking

If you’re a regular smoker, staining can also occur to your teeth. Smoking too much will mean the appearance of your teeth will suffer as nicotine can cause stains on your teeth. Not only can it affect your teeth, but you will notice your gums may start bleeding. As this feature explains, you are seven times more likely to get gum disease if you’re a smoker. Also, if you smoke, it can often lead to bad breath.

 

Use mouthwash

As well as brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s important to use mouthwash to help protect your teeth. Rinsing at least once a day with fluoride can stop cavities from happening as it makes enamel stronger. It can also catch anything you missed when brushing so that it doesn’t get stuck to your teeth and cause decay. It can also make your breath nice and fresh.

 

Floss regularly

To ensure your teeth keep looking fabulous, you should floss every day. It helps to make sure that any food which may be stuck in your teeth is removed before it turns to bacteria and causes your teeth to rot. It can be hard to catch everything when you brush, so flossing ensures everything is gone from your mouth.

 

Get them whitened

Often our teeth can become discolored due to decay and cavities which makes us feel insecure about how they look. To keep them looking fabulous, why not get them whitened. You can try a whitening toothpaste which can help to turn your teeth more white. Otherwise, you may want to get them professionally whitened at a clinic. It can be costly, but you will see results quickly.

 

Remember that our teeth are just as important as the rest of your health so look after them to ensure you have a beautiful smile.

Unhappy With Your Teeth? Here’s What You Can Do…

Many of us weren’t born with perfect teeth. Sometimes imperfections can be endearing – sometimes they add character and personality to a face. However, if you’re not happy with them then that’s what matters. You don’t need to live with teeth you’re unhappy with. You can try one of the following methods to make them look better, whatever your problem may be:

Whiten Them

If your teeth are a little discolored, you can always whiten them. Your dentist can do this for you or you can buy a home kit. It’ll be a case of cutting down on food and drink that makes your teeth discolored too. If you drink tea, coffee, red wine, and similar things then having a little discoloration is normal. There are even foods you can eat that are good for your teeth and gums! Whitening them doesn’t take long and is very effective. You can buy strips that you leave on for half an hour while you get on with something else.

Get Braces

If your teeth are wonky, you should see your dentist to discuss your options. One option is braces, and with the technology available these days you can barely notice them. You won’t look like a teenager, so don’t worry! The sooner you get braces, the sooner you can reveal your new straight smile. You’ll need a little maintenance afterwards, but it’ll be worth it!

Have Veneers

If you feel your teeth are too far gone to get fixed, then you have the option to get veneers too. A cosmetic dentist can discuss your options with you. They’ll tell you what you will and won’t be able to achieve and listen to your needs. It can be expensive, but it’s worth it if you want a perfect smile! Look at celebrity before and after pictures to see what a difference new teeth can make.

016 - Funky Oral Fixation
Image by Brandon Heyer – https://flic.kr/p/5eK7Nz

 

Always Brush Properly

If you’re not brushing properly at the moment, you can’t expect to have lovely looking teeth. You need to get into a routine where you do the following things at least twice a day:

  • Brush with an electric toothbrush. Don’t brush too hard or you’ll take away enamel.
  • Keep your toothbrush charged and the head new when you need one.
  • Floss your teeth to get rid of debris in between the teeth. Debris is usually responsible for bad breath.
  • Use mouthwash to further get rid of bacteria and freshen your breath!
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools to open bottled or pick things – this can lead to chips.
  • Use a toothpaste designed for your tooth type.

If you’re just brushing with a manual toothbrush and missing days, then you can’t expect to have nice teeth.

There you have it; there are a few things you can do yourself at home, and others you’ll need to visit the dentist for. There are usually payment plans you can get involved in if you’re worried about not being able to afford your treatment straight away. Leave a comment if you have any good tips on looking after your teeth!

Plaque and Tartar: Ways To Know The Difference

Dental hygiene practices should be more than just a practice, they should be part of your routine. By using the proper brushing techniques, flossing daily after a meal, and selecting high-quality toothpaste, you can kill the bacteria in the mouth that leads to plaque build-up and later stubborn tartar. Many individuals believe that plaque and tartar are the same thing, and is some ways they are correct. The main difference between plaque and tartar is that plaque will turn into tartar over time if it is not targeted. Read on, and learn how you can identify plaque and tartar.

 

How Does It Look?

Plaque is a sticky white substance that is soft and will typically build up around your gum line. This filmy substance is actually a combination of both saliva and particles that are left behind after a meal and will collect on and around the teeth on a daily basis. While plaque itself is not harmful, failing to clean it away at least twice daily can lead to dental problems.

 

tartar
tartar build up by by Bugmore – commons. wikimedia.org

 

Tartar does not resemble plaque because it is hard, crusty, yellow and extremely porous. While plaque is not completely preventable, tartar is if plaque build up cleaned away in a timely manner. According to Dr Bryan Murray, an experienced Brooks dentist, plaque removal is imperative if you want to avoid tartar that can lead to cavities, gingivitis and also periodontal disease

 

What Does It Smell Like?

Plaque is a filmy white coating that has no smell in itself. While plaque itself does not smell, when it builds up the bacteria mixed with saliva is what will lead to halitosis. If you would like to avoid having bad breath, you should focus on targeting the places where plaque easily builds up and bacteria thrives.

Tartar turns your teeth yellow, and also becomes extremely smelly because the bacteria continues to feed. As the bacteria in the mouth thrives in the crevices of the gumline that is difficult to reach, the smell will become worse.

 

How Does It Feel?

If you were to run your tongue along teeth with plaque build-up, you may feel a filmy substance that would rub off the surface of the tooth easily. This is because plaque can be wiped or brushed away.

Tartar cannot be wiped or brushed away. It is very hard and has the texture of a rough seashell. Because it adheres to tooth enamel, it will require professional removal.

 

How Long Does it Take For Plaque to Transform Into Tartar?

It takes about 48 hours for plaque to begin hardening. It takes about 12 days for plaque to become yellow, porous and impossible to remove with brushing. This is when plaque is classified as tartar. If you have had plaque for more than two weeks, chances are it is now tartar.

 

Plaque and tartar are both types of bacteria that live in the mouth. Remember that the mouth is the gateway to the body and good hygiene habits are key. Make oral care your routine and never overlook the importance of visiting a dentist regularly.

 

How to Prepare for your Root Canal Treatment

Lots of people associate a trip to the dentist’s chair with pain and discomfort, and let’s not forget the embarrassment of attempting to hold a conversation with your mouth wide open. This can be enough to put it off until you have a stack of reminder cards piled sky high or until the pain gets too much to bear anymore. The problem with not attending your regular dental check-ups is that bigger problems can set in and treatments such as root canal may be the only option left. Even for those who keep good dental hygiene and who regularly attend their appointments may need to get root canal, and there are a few things that you can do to ensure the actual experience isn’t as terrifying as the idea of it.

 

 

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Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory can dramatically reduce the swelling and the pain caused by root canal and most dentists will advise that you begin taking it a few days before root canal and continue to take it for a few days after. Naproxen and Ibuprofen are the most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available and they can often be taken with other pain medication prescribed by your dentist. However, it is always important to discuss the medicine you plan to take before, during and after root canal with your dentist as existing medical conditions can affect which drugs you are permitted to take.

 

Enquire about Antibiotics 

Root canal is often needed when an infection is present around the root of the tooth or the tooth itself, and antibiotics can help to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. They can also decrease any swelling caused by the infection, which will help to speed up the recovery time and improve the healing process in the wake of root canal treatment.

 

Sleep Well

Before any major dental treatment, it is important to get a good night’s rest the night before. Whether you plan to get a dental implant in Kent down the road from where you live or you plan to travel three hours to a dentist for some root canal, it is imperative that you sleep well the night before.

The most practical reason behind the need to get a good night’s rest prior to surgery is to reduce anxiety levels. Dentists can also prescribe medicine to lessen the stress associated with root canal treatment including:

  • Laughing gas/Nitrous oxide
  • Conscious sedation (a combination of medicines such as a sedative and an anaesthetic)
  • IV sedation

Most patients will find that nitrous oxide will be enough to relax them while in the dentist’s chair and it is important to discuss your anxiety with your dentist, so that they can decide on the most appropriate course of action.

 

Eat Well Before your Root Canal

Root canal can take a few hours, depending on the infection. It is likely that you won’t want to eat directly after your treatment as your mouth will initially be numb and then it will feel sore for a few days after. Having an upset or rumbling stomach during the procedure will make your root canal even more uncomfortable, so it is a good idea to eat a meal an hour or two before your appointment.

Fretting and worrying about the concept of having root canal is often far worse than having the procedure done. In the long term, enduring a few hours of root canal to save your teeth is a far more appealing option than living with pain or having to have teeth removed.

 

 

Image credit: By Original version by Jeremy Kemp; SVG conversion by Jellocube27. [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons