Questions and Answers

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Why should I have check-ups?
Check-ups allow us to diagnose and therefore fix problems before they cause pain. In general, teeth (or gums) that cause pain are much more difficult to fix, and therefore more expensive than catching the problem before discomfort arises.
Isn't it easier to have a tooth extracted when it has an abscess, and isn't it cheaper?
Yes and No. It is often easier to have a tooth extracted than to save it, but equally often, extractions can be difficult and unpleasant - and you lose the tooth. More often we recommend root treatment -where the tooth is treated over one or two visits, to ultimately cure the infection and keep a healthy tooth.
What if I am a nervous patient?
In many ways, the more nervous a patient is - the more rewarding it is to treat them. There are few greater satisfactions in dentistry than helping a fearful patient with toothache to overcome their fears and become at ease with dental treatment. Often, all that is needed is sympathetic, high quality, painless treatment.
Do we take N. H. S. patients?
Yes but we do offer private alternatives
Hygiene and Sterility - How do we ensure against cross infection ?
Cross infection control is medical jargon for techniques to ensure that germs (bacteria and viruses) are not spread from patient to patient, staff to patient, or indeed patient to staff. Effectively this is about making sure everything we use in your mouth is clean - either by sterilization or by the use of simple disposable equipment.The following will give an indication of the provisions we take.
We ensure the sterility of materials
By individually mixing for each patient, any surplus is thrown away. No materials (i.e.) fillings, impressions, temporary crowns, local anaesthetic etc. are re-used.
We ensure the sterility of needles
By use of pre-sterilized disposable needles.
We ensure the sterility of instruments

By autoclaving (i.e.) processing in superheated steam, any instruments with any possibility of being contaminated by blood or saliva. This includes all our hand instruments, all burs (the things that shape fillings) and even the high speed handpieces and scalers that may be contaminated by water splash.

We ensure the sterility of cotton wool, tissues and saliva ejectors
By using disposable products.
We ensure the sterility of our hands
By using disposable gloves.
Is this not all very difficult and expensive?
Yes. A faulty autoclave would mean we would have to close the surgery - to ensure that every instruments is sterile, every cycle is checked with a chemical marking strip.

Yes. The delicate turbine bearings in handpieces are damaged by autoclaving-this has cost a great deal over the years. We have recently invested in the very latest handpieces with fibre-optic light making it easier for the dentist to see what he is working on .

Yes. British made stainless steel burs rust and are rendered useless by autoclaving-we buy very expensive West German tungsten burs. Yes. All this requires extra time in cleaning and sterilizing. We have taken on an extra member of staff to cope.
And what about the environment?
We are unfortunately using ever-increasing numbers of disposable plastic materials, non of which are recyclable due to contamination. These are incinerated by a commercial concern. We use recycled paper products whenever possible and do not use bibs routinely- simply to cut down on the use of paper products. The use of autoclaves and disposables minimises the use of chemical cleaning and subsequent disposal problems.