The importance of a check-up: it’s not just your smile to think about…

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, it’s currently the 2013 National Smile Month and the message coming out from the organisers underlines the importance of a regular check-up to ensure your dental health and function are in tip top condition.

How often do you attend the dentist for a check-up?

The British Dental Health Foundation which runs National Smile month emphasises the links between bad oral health and many other health issues.

The campaign organisers write…

“Poor oral health doesn’t just cause problems inside the mouth. A smile is hugely important to our personalities, self-confidence, relationships and success.

GENERAL HEALTH AT RISK TOO

“General health is also at risk too as studies continue to associate poor oral health to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, pneumonia, premature babies and other major conditions. With a good oral health routine, most of these conditions are preventable.”

Aside from committing the time and intention to visit your dentist there can be other reasons such as dental phobia that will lead to someone putting off that important check-up appointment.

According to the National Smile Month 2013 website, 15 per cent of adults who have been to a dentist suffer from extreme dental anxiety.

The site also reveals how visiting the dentist is ranked number one (22%) for making people nervous, closely followed by heights (19%). Nearly 10 times as many people (22%) are nervous of visiting their dentists, compared to their doctor (2%).

Our team here at our Glasgow dental clinic is experienced in supporting people who suffer from varying degrees of dental phobia. From the moment a patient arrives at our reception, the team will be on hand to extend a warm welcome and give any advice and support you require.

We also have a team focused on helping those phobic patients undergoing treatment via sedation techniques. Our hygienist team is also well experienced in caring from any phobic patients attending the clinic.

Should you have any questions about the points raised in this blog post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here by phoning 0141 339 7579. We look forward to hearing from you.

The French connection: one of my dental implant articles goes international

The cover of the French issue of Dental Tribune International

The cover of the French issue of Dental Tribune International

From time to time I’m asked to contribute to magazines and publications focused on the dental world.

I just received an email the other day informing me that the team at Dental Tribune International had translated one of my articles for their French issue which was just published.

The article focused on dental implant surgery and the immediate fitting of implants post surgery. As well as the words, I’d provided a series of photos to chart the progress of the dental work in our Glasgow dental clinic.

This is the first time I’ve had an article translated into another language for publication and so am delighted to learn the an even more international audience is reading about my work.

You can see the full article – and practise your French at the same time – by clicking this link.

If you have any questions about this blog please contact our clinic on 0141 339 7579 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

If you’d like more information – in English – about dental implants please click here.

National Smile Month – dental data revealed

Some interesting facts and figures,

Some interesting facts and figures,

We’re in National Smile Month 2013 and the organisers have released more survey findings to mark the occasion.

As you’ll see from the above the survey unveils some fascinating results about our attitude to dental health and more importantly how our dental health can impact on the overall body health. Makes interesting reading…

The most important message coming from the organisers of this month long campaign is the importance of having your dental health checked out on a regular basis.

Their number crunchers have also revealed some interesting facts about the nations approach to visiting the dentist. According to the British Dental Health Foundation –

50 per cent of adults say they visit their dentist every 6 months

21 per cent of adults say they visit their dentist annually

Visiting the dentist annually reduces the risk of tooth decay by 60 per cent

Nearly one in ten people in the UK aren’t registered with a dentist

90% OF DENTIST VISITS ARE FOR CHECK UP

And on the topic of the reasons why the nation does decide to visit the dentist the findings reveal the followng -

27 per cent of adults only visit their dentist when they have a problem

9 per cent of adults visit their dentist with pain

90 per cent of visits to the dentist are for check-ups

The UK is one of the most likely nations in Europe to visit their dentist for a check-up – ranked second (72%), after the Netherlands (79%).

Teeth/Smiles are rated the second most important attraction feature, after personality, and the most important body feature surveyed (including body shape, height, hair, face and eyes).

The National Smile Month is organised and run by the British Dental Health Foundation. This is an independent charity that is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public by providing free and impartial dental advice, educational materials and national campaigns, such as National Smile Month 2013!

For more information about the Foundation and the work it does please see their website by clicking here.

Should you have any questions about the above blog post or if you’d like to make an appointment for a consultation at our Glasgow dental clinic please contact us by email via our contact page or by calling 0141 339 7579 and our reception team will be ready to handle your enquiry.

Dentist Liz attends ceremony for new qualification

New qualification for dentist Liz

New qualification for dentist Liz

It’s always exciting when one of the clinical team achieves a new milestone in their career and professional development.

Several of our team are usually attending some sort of course or study programme and recently we told of how dentist colleague Jillian Clare had embarked on a course in cosmetic dentistry techniques in London.

This time it was the turn of our colleague Elizabeth – know as Liz – Glass who recently underwent the studies and subsequent examination to become a Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery. The course took a year and Liz passed with flying colours – no surprise as she put in a great deal of commitment to and studying for the exams.

On Wednesday of last week she and her family attended the formal admissions ceremony for those new MFDS ‘graduates’ at the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall.

After the ceremony a dinner was held at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

You can read more about Liz’s qualifications and experience by clicking here.

Should you have any questions about this blog or need to contact our team please call 0141 339 7579.

Glasgow Dental Hospital presentation: great networking opportunity

From time to time I’m invited to address seminars or groups of students and it’s something I not only enjoy doing but also value as a key part of my personal development.

This week I had an invitation to give a short presentation to the TGSA, the training grade staff association at Glasgow Dental Hospital.

The presentation focus for the occasion was on ‘my career and role’ so I was able to speak about my own early training and then my particular focus on cosmetic dentistry and in particular dental implant work..

Turned out to be a very good night with presentations from both practice and hospital based clinicians. I always see such evens as great networking opportunities too and the chance to establish new contacts within the dental profession.

I received an email from one of the organisers thanking me for attending and also saying he had received positive feedback about the occasion – so am delighted to hear that!

Dental implants success – “I can now eat apples and corn on the cob without any worry!”

Dental issues can compromise good dental function as well as affecting the appearance of a smile.

Confidence can also be affected if the person has issues with their teeth.

Read this poignant story of a 46-year-old patient who’d had many decades of dental issues – now solved with dental implant work.

IMPROVED DENTAL FUNCTION

She talks of recurring issues – but the success of her implant surgery has improved her dental function, so much so that she can now eat apples and corn on the cob without any problems!

Here are her own words…

“Just a short email to say how pleased I am with all the treatment I received from you and Kasia over the past two years and would like to write a small review.

I DECIDED TO LOOK INTO DENTAL IMPLANTS

For over 30 years I had been having problems with recurring abscesses in my front tow lover teeth. I have had root treatment and 3 apiceptomies but nothing seemed to solve the problem. Eventially I decided to look into dental implants.

After seeing and speaking with Philip I decided to go ahead.

artwork shown in our Glasgow clinic where dental implants are offered

Implants can make significant difference in function and appearance.

The treatment over nearly two years was excellent and I always felt confident and at ease at each session as everything was explained and there was actually no pain which I was surprised at! Everything was successful which after 30 years of problems was quite a relief. I would like to also say thanks to Kasia who always made me feel at ease and was lovely.

I can now eat apples and corn on the cob without any worry!!! I would highly recommend implants to anyone.

The reception staff were always very nice and helpful and and all in all this was a good experience.”

Should you have any questions arising from this blog or would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implant work please contact our reception team in the first instance on 0141 339 7579.

Snoring spoil your night’s sleep? Help is at hand at our Glasgow dental clinic

It’s one of those topics few like to discuss!

Snoring can make people’s lives a misery. It’s a well-known fact.

But help could be at hand with our expertise and knowledge here at our Glasgow dental clinic.

We work with a great product range called Somnowell.

There’s more information here in our snoring section which gives you an insight to the treatment we can offer.

We work with Somnowell products invented by Dr Simon Ash.

Dr Ash began specialising in sleep related breathing disorders 15 years ago, after being encouraged to get involved in the area by Professor Michael Roberts.

Dr Ash quickly began working to try to overcome the problems with the many different plastic mandibular advancement devices that he tried. Notably the bulkiness leading to low patient compliance,
and the fact that the plastic devices were short term answers for long term problems. Typically patients suffering from problematic snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea tend to get worse as they get older. Dr Ash drew up a list of ideals for mandibular advancement devices and has been working to try to achieve them all.

Dr Ash’s first breakthrough came when he invented the predecessor to the Somnowell, it was a mandibular advancement device with a chrome cobalt framework and an acrylic twin block design. He published two peer-reviewed papers on this first device.

Dr Ash then invented the Somnowell for which a number of patents are currently applied for. The Somnowell frameworks are made entirely from chrome cobalt (nickel and beryllium free), attached by Herbst stainless steel piston rods. The Somnowell is a huge leap forward in mandibular advancement design. It is the Rolls Royce of mandibular advancement appliances, being extremely comfortable, discreet, and long lasting.

Somnowell.com gives an insight to how this treatment works…

The Somnowell gently holds the lower jaw forward and maintains an open airway whilst the patient sleeps. It has a titratable Herbst device on the left and right hand side of the chrome cobalt framework. The Herbst device provides a fixed linkage between the maxillary and mandibular chrome cobalt frameworks. This can be adjusted for maximum patient comfort and effectiveness.

Typically when a snorer sleeps, the muscles around the throat relax, and the jaw and tongue drop backwards. This causes the airway to narrow. The lungs need the same amount of air, so the air has to travel faster through the narrower airway. This increased velocity causes the soft tissues to vibrate, resulting in the snoring sound.

Almost every sufferer of obstructive sleep apnoea is also a heavy snorer. Being a heavy snorer and overweight is highly predictive of obstructive sleep apnoea risk. In obstructive sleep apnoea the narrowed airway collapses, often due to fatty tissue around the throat. The person stops breathing and has an apnoea.

The oxygen levels drop, the blood pressure rises, and eventually the person’s emergency system gets them breathing again with a gasp or a choking sound.
Mandibular advancement devices can offer a well-proven mechanical solution for these mechanical problems. There is a significant amount of research from around the world that demonstrates the effectiveness of mandibular advancement devices in treating problematic snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. The issue is in how this technology is applied.

Thanks to the people at Somnowell here are some details on the success of the treatment….

Dr Ash follows up his patients using a standard follow up questionnaire.

Analyses of the completed follow up questionnaires reveals the following successes as reported by Dr Ash’s patients:
93% report successful treatment.
A further 1.4% report a partial success.
A typical example would be that the sleep apnoea is resolved 100%, and the snoring 75%.
83% report improved quality sleep.
51% report improved energy levels.
40% report improved concentration.

Should you wish any more information on how we can help sleep-related problems such as snoring, please contact the team on 0141 339 7579.

Smile makeover for patient in early 60s: self conscious about her teeth since childhood accident.

We received this lovely testimonial from a lady in early 60s who’d been self conscious about her teeth since a childhood accident. She wanted a smile makeover at our Glasgow dental clinic.

This patient wished to improve her smile together with her confidence in her smile.

There was a combination of a missing central incisor tooth, worn, ageing restorations and a shift in the centreline.

Many and varied treatment options were discussed together with the feasibility of each. The patient wished lower arch orthodontics (treatment ongoing) together with new ceramic work on the upper arch to camouflage the alignment issues of the smile. This also enhanced her smile’s aesthetic appearance, improving the shade and harmony.

Here’s her note to us…and the photo montage shows the before/after…

“To Dr Friel and his team…After many years of feeling self conscious about my teeth following a childhood accident, I finally decided to seek advice from Dr Friel. After a consultation a treatment plan was drawn up to enable me to decide which treatment I would prefer.

EXPERTISE AND SKILL

Thanks to the expertise and skill of Dr Friel fitting Zirconia Crowns I now have the confidence to smile when speaking to people.

I would highly recommend a visit to Dr Friel’s Dentistry Practice to anyone who like me put off having work done to their teeth through the fear of the dentist.

Zirconia crowns and orthodontic work helped achieve great result

The before (top) and after of this lady’s smile makeover

FRIENDLY AND PROFESSIONAL

Phil and his excellent team immediately put you at ease, by being so friendly and professional the minute you walk through the door. They have the patience to explain the details of the treatment, and also help to alleviate any fears during the procedures.

I can’t thank Phil and his team enough for all their care and assistance, if only I’d known the final outcome I would have done it years ago.”

We’re always grateful when a patient takes the time to write to us about the experiences in the clinic. If you have any questions arising from this blog post of would like to find out more about smile makeovers please contact us on 0141 339 7579.

How dirty is your toothbrush? Perhaps not as bad as you think…

A visit to your dental hygienist at least twice a year is a must and of course daily brushing twice a day is also recommended.

But what about your toothbrush?

How often should it be replaced? And how dirty does your toothbrush get from use.

We recommend changing your brush at least every 3-4 months to maximise its efficiency.

A new study in America suggest that perhaps our concerns about how dirty it gets aren’t as necessary as we once believed.

See this link for an article about the study.

We thank the Academy of Osseointegration for bringing to our attention the article.

Should you have any questions about this blog or would like to make an appointment see our hygienist team then please call us on 0141 339 7579.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Campaign – May guest blog. If in doubt…check it out!

Our clinic is running a mouth cancer awareness campaign in a bid to raise the awareness of this particular cancer and ensure people are aware of the potential warning signs.
Previous blog posts have included information on the potential warning signs.

Throughout the year ahead we’ll work with members of the Ben Walton Trust, a charity which was set up after the death of student Ben Walton.

This guest blog has been written by Ben’s father Michael Walton – and we thank him for his input…

“Recently I was in Glasgow for two events, firstly a visit to Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry to discuss their first ever Mouth Cancer Campaign which will run from April until November 2013.

The second was to speak the following day to the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists (BSDHT) on the topic of Early Detection and Rapid Referral of Oral Lesions.

Now why may you ask, as I am not a dentist or a medic of any sort, was I speaking to such a group? Well. my son Ben died of mouth cancer when he was 22 years old, an otherwise fit and healthy young man with excellent oral hygiene but in retrospect he had had a bout of glandular fever and had a mouth ulcer that was large enough for his GP to measure – it disappeared entirely, but when he developed mouth cancer it was in the same place. So a lesson there, although I must point out that most mouth conditions are not cancerous.

I set up the Trust and spent a great deal of time reading around the subject and realised that there was very little public and even professional awareness of the disease.

AFFECTING MORE YOUNGER MEN AND WOMEN

I was also aware that there was little research done on the subject. Yet it was apparent to me, at least, that something was happening. What had traditionally been a late to middle age disease of older men who had drunk and smoked to excess and was largely preventable, it was affecting more younger men and women for no apparent reason.

BEN WALTON TRUST'S MICHAEL WALTON

Michael Walton – author of our guest blog

At that time, 16 years ago, the annual incidence in the UK was given as between 1,800 -2,400 new cases ( 400 in Scotland) with only a 50% survival rate. In 2010 the figures had risen to 6,200 new cases ( 770) in Scotland but the mortality was around 2,000, so a large increase but better survival rates, down ,I believe, to increased public and professional awareness, leading to more rapid detection. Survival rates can improve from a low of less than 50 % to over 90% by rapid detection and treatment.

One of the first things we implemented was a research project in collaboration with King’s College dental school London where we helped to fund a three year study on patients under the age of 45 years. Remarkably this showed, for the first time, that in 25% of these cases, alcohol and tobacco were not implicated in causing the disease.

I do not have the space here to speculate what it was but if you go to our website you will see more information as well as the key signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.

After the results of the King’s study were published, Professor Saman Warnakulasuriya made the following statement”

‘WE CANNOT STEREOTYPE WHO MAY MAY BE AT RISK’

“It is clear from this study that we cannot stereotype who may be at risk from mouth cancer. Young and old, smokers and non-smokers, drinkers and non-drinkers and any social class may be affected. This is important information for dentists and physicians (and pharmacists) so as not to overlook signs and symptoms in the absence of stereotype to avoid misdiagnosis”.

So what is Phil Friel doing in his campaign? – well, he will be offering free mouth cancer screening during a couple of specific periods later this year. If the patient wishes to say thank you a donation can be made to The Ben Walton Trust via our Justgiving page at www.benwaltontrust.org

I personally believe that early detection is probably the single most important factor. However ‘gold standard’ the treatment plans are and however good the ‘centres of excellence’ become, the fact remains that until the patient presents, the pathway of detection, diagnosis and treatment cannot begin and precious time is lost.

I applaud Phil Friel and his practice for taking this initiative, as not only may it save distress and indeed potentially lives , it will also underpin an awareness massage that is so important.

Don’t have sleepless nights but if you notice anything unusual in your mouth or a condition which is not clearing within two weeks……..Check it Out

With Best Wishes Mike Walton.”

Should you have any questions or concerns arising from the above blog please feel free to contact our clinic on 0141 339 7579.