Time To Get Your Teeth Checked

A reminder to our Burton patients following the easing of the lockdown period.

As dental practices slowly open their doors again following the lockdown period, there will be a concerted initial effort to treat those patients most in need of prompt dental care, especially those in significant pain or discomfort. As soon as this backlog is cleared, we will do our best to see other patients as soon as we can.

Whilst we ask patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton to bear with us whilst we see the most urgent cases, we also ask you to remember the importance of seeing us for a routine check up once this is possible.

However well you have looked after your teeth and even if you are one of the relatively few people who hasn’t resorted to the off bit of comfort eating at various points of lockdown, you still need to see a dentist to be sure that your oral health is still on track after the enforced break.

Tooth decay

One of the most common problems that may have arisen during lockdown is the onset or advance of tooth decay. As we have mentioned in previous blogs, it is very likely that some of you may have eaten less healthily than normal, possibly out of sheer boredom but also possibly worsened by stress. Tooth decay always starts off small and is often unnoticeable for a while. Eventually though, it will become worse and start to form cavities which will need repair.

The sooner decay is detected, the sooner our Burton dental team can treat it. We will always do our best to save as much of the natural tooth as possible and detecting it early plays an important part in this. Delaying treatment for too long will almost certainly lead to a larger filling or potentially the need for a tooth crown if the damage is too far advanced.

Our filling options include tooth coloured fillings that are made to match the colour of your natural teeth, making them much more discrete than amalgam versions.

Gum disease

Although most of you will brush your teeth well twice a day, and hopefully use dental floss too, it is still possible that your gum health may have suffered during lockdown. Even though we brush our teeth, some of us still don’t clean our gums sufficiently well. Unfortunately, periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease can also cause tooth loss by damaging the underlying jaw bone structure. We can certainly improve our home care with better brushing and flossing, but especially after a period where our oral health care may have taken a bit of a ‘dip’, we would advise you to have your gum health checked by our dental hygienist.

In addition to checking your gums and discussing ways of improving your future gum care, they will perform a ‘scale and polish’ procedure which removes tartar, a buildup of bacteria and mineral deposits that form on the teeth and gum line. The rough surface that is caused by this attracts yet more bacteria and can soon become a real problem for your mouth health.

By having a scale and polish, not only is the risk of this reduced but you will also probably notice that your teeth look a little whiter due to some surface staining being removed. Your mouth will also feel much fresher too.

Temporary fillings

For those of you who lost a filling during lockdown, you may have attempted to refill this yourself using an over the counter temporary filling kit. Although this may have seemed successful, if a little tricky, and enabled you to eat in comfort again, you should remember that the word ‘temporary’ is there for a reason. It is virtually impossible to fill a tooth correctly by yourself. Although, when done by a dentist, adding the filling itself may seem like the ‘easy’ part once the drilling has been done, it requires knowledge and skill to be able to add the filling so that no spaces are left. If you have done this yourself, there will almost certainly be tiny spaces where bacteria can collect and which will lead to tooth decay. You may also have filled over the top of new decay which will only make matters worse.

If you have placed a temporary filling, please call us to arrange an appointment so that one of our dentists can remove it and complete the job professionally.

Once again, we ask you to please be patient whilst we establish new appointment and treatment systems. We are doing all that we can to see you as soon as possible and as always, you can contact us via the ‘contact’ page of the website or telephone Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345. We look forward to seeing you again soon.