Sedation: key facts about a solution for patients attending the clinic.

There have been some reports in the media recently regarding the greater numbers of people receiving dental care with various sedation techniques in Scotland.

Now you may think that this is due to more and more people feeling nervous and anxious of receiving dental treatment, but I am not too sure this is the case.

I think more and more people are aware of the benefits of receiving dental care, and this includes the various sedation techniques such as “twilight sleep”.

In today’s world, people are aware of the importance of having a nice smile in their working and personal lives. Many of us are no longer willing to compromise on our appearance or our ability to chew and enjoy food in comfort, and people who are anxious of dental care are no different.

Some people may be nervous about undergoing dental care; this is perfectly normal. Often these anxieties can be dispelled with a caring attitude and good communication from your dentist, as well as gentle use of effective numbing techniques.

Websites for dental anxiety support, e.g www.dentalfearcentral.org, are wonderful resources where anxious patients can receive support from fellow patients and caring dentists, helping them on their journey to achieve optimal dental health.

Modern dental conscious sedation is a technique whereby different drugs are used to relax and sedate the anxious or phobic patient, and is carried out by dentists who have undergone additional postgraduate supervision and training.

It is an invaluable technique used to help those people whose anxiety may be such that a form of sedation is required to allow them to achieve their dental goals. Conscious sedation is also preferred to a general anaesthetic for potentially difficult surgical procedures e.g. removal of lower wisdom teeth or multiple implant placements; due to the exceptional safety record of conscious sedation, a more pleasant experience, and significantly lower costs compared with general anaesthesia.

Prospective candidates for conscious sedation are first assessed by the sedating dentist, to ensure that sedation is appropriate.

This will involve taking a detailed medical history, as well as assessing the patient’s medical fitness. If it is deemed that conscious sedation is appropriate, a full explanation of the procedure is provided, and an appointment arranged for treatment. On the day of the procedure, the patient will arrive with an escort who will accompany them home and look after them for the rest of the day.

The sedation drug will make the patient relaxed and a little drowsy, and for many, they will have no memory of the treatment.

After a short rest in the clinic to ensure that it is safe for the patient to go home with their escort, the patient is discharged, a step further along their road to optimal dental health and the smile that they have dreamed about.

The team here at our Glasgow dental clinic can offer patients advice and information on sedation techniques as well as in-clinic sedation. Please feel free to contact us via the website or by telephoning the team on 0141 339 7579.

Clinic back in full swing…

We’ve had a busy start to the new year – always a good sign.

After the holiday break the Glasgow clinic dental team returned full of renewed enthusiasm and motivation – and spurred on by our success as recipients of the Best Team Award (Scotland) in the UK Dentistry Awards in December.

Team work is vital in a clinic and we’re fortunate to work with a group of focused, experienced and well trained dental care professionals who know what team work is all about.

I’ve had some focus also on my role as president-elect of the ADI UK (the Association of Dental Implantology UK). The organisation exists not only to inform the public about the ins and outs of dental implant surgery but also to help dentists involved in this work. I’ve found membership a huge advantage as we get to find out a huge amount of information about the latest and newest advances in the dental implant world.

If you’d like more information about the ADI and its work you can click here.

More questions about dental issues

Last week in one of our blogs I spoke about the questions and answers column I am often asked to contribute to for The Clinic feature in the Daily Record newspaper.
When I’ve written about certain topics I often find that people will email me with other questions on these topics or indeed other issues which concern them about their dental health.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us here at our Glasgow dental clinic or via the contact page on our website or on Facebook or via Twitter @dentistglasgow.
We’re only too happy to assist you on any issues that worry you.
Here are more examples of the questions and answers that have appeared in The Clinic section.

Q
My 34-year-old partner is phobic about needles so a visit to the dentist is off the cards. Is there any help for him?

A
He’s not the only person who suffers in this way. We see many patients who are uncomfortable about a visit. A clinic offering various forms of dental sedation can provide a solution. Sedation techniques can allow patients to access first-class, advanced dental treatment without them being aware of the treatment being carried out. There are a number of techniques that can be used – acclimatization, hypnosis, de-sensitisation, or a form of sedation that avoids the need to use any injection. Indeed, in many cases a combination of these techniques can be used.

Q
I’m a 37-year-old bride to be and hating prospect of wedding photos because I’ve so many old, metal fillings. Is it advisable to have them replaced?

A
White fillings are a first-class way to return both the stability, colour and shape to the teeth. By bonding composite resin restorations, we can match shades, translucency and texture of your own teeth. The end result far surpasses the old amalgam fillings which can be unsightly and unnatural when you smile.
Make it a white wedding in all aspects – even your smile!

Caring for your teeth if you have fixed orthodontic appliances

For patients with Fixed Orthodontic Appliances it’s vital to ensure your teeth are well cared for during treatment.

We’ve asked the clinic’s specialist orthodontist Andrew McGregor to give us some guidance on how best to achieve maximum dental hygiene when you’re wearing a fixed appliance.

These are general guidelines for patients being treated with fixed orthodontics treatments.

If you have any queries please ask, Andrew and our team here at our Glasgow dental clinic are on hand to help with any questions.

Fixed appliances consist of metal or ceramic brackets glued to the front or back of teeth. These components are connected by a horseshoe-shaped archwire.

The brackets and bands are not removed until the end of treatment, however, certain components of the appliance (such as the archwire) may be changed during treatment.

You may experience a small amount of discomfort when the appliance is first fitted and after each adjustment appointment. This will normally settle after a few days, but mild pain killers such as paracetamol may be helpful.

The metal attachments themselves can irritate the inside of the lips and cheeks and are particularly noticeable when first fitted. You may need to apply some soft wax over the surface of the brackets or bands to prevent discomfort. Please don’t hesitate to ask any of the team for a supply of this soft wax – in case it’s required.

It is essential that you keep your appliance and teeth clean. If plaque and food debris are allowed to collect around the appliance staining and discolouration of the enamel and tooth decay can occur. A diet high in sugar is likely to make this worse, therefore sweets and sugary drinks (such as cola and lemonade) should be avoided as much as possible.

Your appliance is very delicate and easily damaged. Hard or sticky food such as toffees and chewing gum must be avoided altogether. Any other foods which are part of your normal diet but which would require hard chewing should be cut into small, manageable pieces.

Breakages are less likely to happen if you follow the instructions above. If you break your appliance please telephone us during normal working hours so that arrangements can be made to repair it. When you attend for routine appointments, please tell us immediately if you suspect that part of your appliance has become loose or damaged.

In the later stages of treatment elastic bands may be placed on your appliances (usually connecting the upper and lower braces) to help move your teeth into the correct position. You will be shown how to place these yourself.

Elastics are an essential part of treatment and must be worn as instructed. Normally this should be full time, although they must be taken off when cleaning your teeth. Once you have been given elastics to wear, assume that you will need to wear them until the end of treatment, or until you are instructed otherwise.

Normal sports mouthguards cannot be worn with fixed appliances, however, special mouthguards can be provided if you need them. Please ask for further details of cost.

Thinking about braces? Key information about orthodontic work at our Glasgow dental clinic

Here at our clinic in Glasgow we’re fortunate to have a team of well qualified and experienced dental care professionals on hand for our patients.

Among the team is Andrew McGregor (pictured) who is our orthodontic specialist who has trained specifically in the field of orthodontic work.

Here Andrew writes about the treatments involved in orthodontics work and hopefully answers some questions you may have. Should you require any other information we’re happy to take your questions via the website, by phone or in person if you pop into the clinic.

Specialist orthodontist Andrew McGregor based at our Glasgow dental clinic

Our specialist orthodontist Andrew McGregor

There are many reasons people seek orthodontic (brace) treatment which range from personal concerns about the appearance of teeth to the family dentist observing problems with a bite or facial profile.

Corrections of crowded, squint or spaced teeth to improve smile appearance are perhaps the most common motivators for people to enquire about braces in my experience. There are a range of appliances available that can do this depending on the severity of the problem and the patient’s wishes. Although the principal goal is to correct the dental aesthetics in such cases, every effort is made to maintain or enhance facial appearance in conjunction.

Dentists tend to send patients to orthodontists for more complex reasons such as; concerns about poor biting relationships of the teeth and jaws, situations where there is an increased risk of trauma to teeth, treatment of impacted, missing and displaced teeth and reversal of the drifting of teeth seen in adults who have previously experienced gum disease. Dentists carrying out advanced procedures such as implants, crowns or bridges also find orthodontic ‘preparation’ of teeth invaluable in allowing them to achieve the best result possible.

This requires high levels of communication between the advanced dentist and orthodontist to be successful which is why having an orthodontist based at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry helps to deliver optimal care.

However big or small the perceived problem, a consultation with an orthodontic specialist is a good place to start exploring the options.

The assessment is usually divided into two visits. The first involves a bit of ‘getting to know you’, where, following discussion about what the patient is looking to gain from orthodontics, a full assessment and necessary records (X-rays, photos, moulds of teeth) are taken.

The follow-up appointment will be to discuss, in detail, the treatment options available and also gives the opportunity to ask any questions. If a treatment plan is agreed at this stage then arrangements can then be made to get started!

Overall, orthodontics represents a range of relatively low-risk treatments that can help many people improve their dental health and appearance for life if they are willing to make the commitment.

This blog was written by Andrew McGregor
Specialist Orthodontist
GDC No. 80505

“Makes a visit to the dentist one to look forward to rather than one to dread” – a patient gives us feedback.

We appreciated this feedback sent in by an implant patient at our dental clinic in Glasgow

In particular we liked his line that coming here “makes a visit to the dentist one to look forward to rather than one to dread”.

We’re aware many patients may have issues about coming to see a dentist – indeed many have a phobia and we can work with them to help overcome this. Our team includes a professional with a particular focus on dental sedation – should this be required.

Meanwhile back to the patient who’d send us in feedback via a testimonial…

“I have been attending Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry for the past 18 months.

“The surgery itself is palatial and this is only complemented further by the staff that work so diligently in this pleasant environment.

“On arrival you are met by either Siobhan or Karen, and if you are fortunate you may get to meet them both. I was always met with a warm welcoming smile. They both have a fantastic way of making you feel rather important and were at all times so well spoken and informative.

“I have had experience in the past of doctors’ waiting rooms or other dental waiting areas and generally no conversation takes place and the process is all rather cold, not here both girls were chatty and friendly and again made the visit so pleasant.

“Moving on, I was fortunate enough to have the well educated expert, Philip as my dentist, along with Kasia his assistant. They worked like clockwork. They acted in such a professional manner at all times, however this professionalism was promoted in such a pleasant manner. At no time did I feel uneasy, I was made to feel totally reassured that I was being cared for by very competent professional people. This became more evident when I underwent implant surgery and was cared for expertly.

“I had occasion to visit the practice in Philip’s absence and was cared for by Glen Frew and on another occasion by Elizabeth Glass, both who approached their work with the same attitude that was evident in all of the other staff.

“To summarise, my impression of my dentist and his staff is that it works so well as everyone involved work together as a team helping each other where necessary. They genuinely appear to enjoy working in this practice and everyone seems so exuberant and enthusiastic.

“A dental Practice that has got it right, and makes a visit to the dentist one to look forward to rather than one to dread.”

As you can imagine we were particularly pleased to receive this feedback and we were interested in the way he mentioned everyone involved in our team from the reception team through to the dental nurses and others.

Answering key dental questions: topics from dentures to flossing and more

From time to time I’m asked to provide answers to questions for readers in the Daily Record’s features section of the paper.
The particular feature is called The Clinic and in it there’s a chance we can cover any topics from dentures to dental implants and from flossing to fillings.
I looked out some of the questions and answers which we’d worked on previously and thought by sharing them you’ll perhaps find them of interest.
We’re always happy to answer any questions via the website, our Facebook page or on Twitter @dentistglasgow

Q
My 65-year-old mum has worn dentures for 25 years but is now fixated on having dental implants. Is she right to change?

A

She’s correct to consider changing if she requires an improvement in the function she has at the moment. Implants can be used to improve denture anchorage so that the dentures are still removable but are held more firmly in function. Alternatively, depending upon many aspects of the case, implants can be used to provide a fixed solution without the need for dentures. Implant supported replacement teeth are anchored securely to the jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.

Q
My teenage son wants an electric toothbrush. Should I buy him one?

A
The fact he wants one means he’s more likely to use it and that should be encouraged. A good electric tooth brush will improve plaque removal and keep your son on top of a positive dental hygiene regime. However, a word of caution, while the battery in the brush moves the head of the brush, care must be taken to ensure that the oscillating head reaches all areas of all teeth for maximum effect.

Q
My dentist is recommending four new crowns and has suggested zirconia, metal-free ones. Are they good?

A
These crowns represent some of the best available both in terms of materials and technology. The cores of these crowns are constructed using computer technology to produce a white zirconia substructure which is extremely close fitting and very strong. Porcelain is built up onto this structure and fused to complete the final crown that’s then cemented into the mouth. These crowns are among some of the most aesthetic crowns available as they contain no metal and over time are far less likely to show any tell tale dark lines at the gum margin. They should boost your smile factor!

Q
We’ve got an ongoing debate in the office. To floss or not to floss? Your view?

A

In addition to cleaning with toothpaste, daily flossing and brushing the tiny spaces between your teeth – the interdental areas – are recommended as part of your ongoing dental maintenance and hygiene programme. There are now electronic flossers available too – check out the Philips Air Flosser which is easy to use. In addition, there is some evidence now that ultrasonic brushes can remove some interdental plaque/debris but should not substitute floss use.

Happy 2013! Keeping in touch with all our patients of our Glasgow dental clinic.

May we wish you all a very healthy 2013!

We hope the year ahead will be a safe, prosperous and good one.

The team here at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry likes to keep in touch with our patients.

We enjoy communicating with them via our blog here and we also use other social media platforms to keep in touch.

You can follow Philip on Twitter @dentistglasgow.

There’s also a Facebook page dedicated to the work of the clinic, its team and the activities we get involved in during the year.

The Facebook page can be accessed by clicking here.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about smile makeover work, treatments or services. We’re happy if you use any of the above methods to get in touch. We’re also delighted to answer questions via telephone!

The clinic telephone number is 0141 339 7579.

Festive best wishes to patients, associate dentists + clinic friends

May we take this opportunity to wish you all the compliment of the festive season.

Whatever you’ll be doing and however you’re planning to mark the date may you have a peaceful, healthy and happy time with your family and friends.

Happy Christmas from all here at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry here in Glasgow.

Winner of our festive competition

We ran a festive compeition on our Facebook page.

Entrants had to guess how many tubes of toothpaste were contained in a glass bowl photographed in our Glasgow dental clinic.

Our receptionist Karyn is seen here revealing the winning number – 133. Click here to see the video WINNINGNUMBER

No-one guessed it exactly – the closest (and the winner of the Philips Sonicare toothbrush and air flosser) was 132 and was submitted by Craig Alexander.

Congratulations Craig!

We hope you enjoy using your new toothbrush and flosser.

Many thanks to all those who took the time to enter the competition. We appreciate your interest.