What to expect when attending an appointment at St. Paul’s Dental Practice during COVID-19

If you have phoned with a dental problem and been asked to attend the Practice, this is what to expect:

* You will be contacted the day before your appointment where possible and asked a series of questions relating to any medical conditions you have and to screen for any signs and symptoms of COVID 19. This is to avoid using paper forms within the surgery.
* You will be asked to come alone, if at all possible. To limit the number of people in the Practice.
* You will be asked not to bring any personal belongings if possible as bags and coats are difficult items to sanitise.
* We will ask for payment for your appointment over the phone, to reduce the need for handling cash or the card machine at the Practice.
*The front door will be closed.
* You will be asked to either remain outside until we phone you to let you know we are ready for you or you will have been given a number to phone to let us know you have arrived. If you do not have a phone, please arrive at your appointment time and knock on the front door.
* The door will be opened by a member of our team, who will be dressed in full Personal Protective Equipment. This is for us to keep the Practice as clean an environment as possible, whilst also ensuring you experience a safe journey throughout your visit.
* Before entering the building, you will be asked to use a hand sanitiser provided for you.                                                                                                                                        * Social distancing will be maintained at all times within the Practice, please keep
a distance of 2 metres from any other visitors.
* Access to other areas of the building such as the waiting room and toilet will be restricted, to maintain our strict infection control measures.
* You will be escorted directly to and from the surgery for your dental treatment.

If any of the following apply:

  • you are in the extremely vulnerable category
  • have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or are self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms or live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms
  • unable to attend the Practice

We will refer you to an appropriate service for your treatment needs.

We continue to take the safety of our patients and staff very seriously and adhere to current best practice professional guidelines. These additional measures outlined above, have been put in place to maintain our high standard of cross infection control and to ensure the safety of everyone attending the Practice.

For further advice or if you have a dental problem, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Tel: 01626 365896                                                                                                                Email: info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk                                                                            Web: www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

Dear valued patient

 

Dear valued patient,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We have all been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable.

We follow infection control recommendations made by the Department of Health; Public Health England; The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; NHS and other professional bodies, so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We have made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • The practice front door will remain closed.
  • Your team will be wearing additional personal protective equipment.
  • Our team will communicate with you before your appointment to ask some screening questions.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice. You will also find it in other places in the practice for you to use as needed.
  • Access to the waiting area will be avoided. We request that you remain outside of the building until we are ready to start your appointment, at which point you will be informed by phone and met at the front door by a member of the team.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment or your appointment may be scheduled outside of our normal working hours.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the practice at any one time.

How you can help:

  • With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone.
  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if other people are present in the practice.
  • We would prefer to restrict access to the toilet on site, in view of the additional cleaning that would be required by our staff to maintain our enhanced standard of infection prevention during this time.
  • Where possible, all necessary forms will be emailed to you in advance and returned before your appointment, via email.
  • Payments will be taken over the phone after your appointment or can be made by bank transfer in some circumstances.
  • Please attend your appointment with minimal and only essential personal belongings, since personal items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Please do not arrive without an appointment.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

To make an appointment, please call us on 01626 365896 or email info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk or use the ‘Contact us’ form on our website at www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back.

Sincerely,

St. Paul’s Dental Team

Have you heard on the Grapevine?

And now for the good news.

Dentistry in general practice can recommence from Monday 8th June.

So we will be working really intensively this week to make this possible, whilst continuing to put the safety of our patients and staff first and adhering to all government guidelines.

It cannot be business as usual but a start to a slow but steady recovery.
For the foreseeable future all routine appointments will remain cancelled, while we prioritise patients in pain and with current dental issues.

There are many things we will need to do differently, like all organisations returning to business during an ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and you will see necessary variations from your usual dental experience.

We need to limit patient contact outside of the treatment room to a minimum and will endeavour where possible to utilise other methods such as email and telephone for forms and payments.

Watch this space for further details.

If you have an urgent dental problem, phone the Practice on 01626 365896
For routine enquiries, please initially try to contact us by email info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk or via the ‘contact us’ form on our website www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

Your ongoing patience and consideration to the current COVID 19 situation is much appreciated, thank you.

Updated news during COVID-19

Hello to our valued patients,

We wanted to update you on our current situation during this stage of the Coronavirus pandemic.

We do not yet have a confirmed date for when we can reopen the Practice. Dentistry remains high risk because of the close contact required and because most treatments create an aerosol, releasing particles into the atmosphere.

In order to keep our patients and staff safe from Covid-19, we are strictly adhering to government guidelines.

When we are permitted to resume seeing patients face to face, it will not be back to normal but towards a new normal, a term you will have no doubt heard used recently, where additional measures will be in place to continue to ensure everyone’s safety.

We will have a back log of patients in need of urgent dental care and anticipate a dramatic reduction in the number of appointments we will be able to get through in a day, in implementing these additional measures including more stringent infection control, utilising additional equipment and ensuring social distancing.

We want you to know that the entire team at St. Paul’s are committed to the task ahead of us and continuing to provide excellent dental care to you all.

Meanwhile our Dentists, Nick, Neil and Rachel are continuing to share the responsibility of our telephone triage service and during our normal working hours are available to help you with any dental problems you have.

We know your dental history and have access to your individual records, so we are well placed to be able to help. We will do everything we can to save teeth where we can and if all else fails we can refer on to the local Urgent Dental Care Centre.

Phone 07716 192815 to speak to one of our Dentists.

Outside of normal working hours the emergency dental service provided can be accessed via NHS 111 or by phoning 03330 063 300

How you can help us.
If you have a dental problem or something you are even just a bit concerned about, let us know.
We can add you to our priority list and make sure you are seen at the earliest opportunity when we return to work. We will also be prioritising those of you whose appointments for dental treatment were cancelled at the beginning of lockdown.
If you are lucky enough to have got through this early part of the pandemic without any dental problems, please continue to be patient until such time as we can resume more routine dental care appointments.
For routine matters you can continue to contact us via email at info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

Kindest regards

Your dedicated dental professionals
St. Paul’s Dental Practice Ltd.

Current status!

 

 A message to reassure you all.

We are taking this current Coronavirus epidemic very seriously and doing everything we can to follow government guidelines and keep all our patients and staff as safe as we can.

As we know, guidance is changing daily and we are monitoring things closely.

For now, we are remaining operational and the Practice is open for all your dental needs. As a dental service we already adhere to strict cross infection control measures and have a high standard of working conditions. At the same time we are putting additional control measures in place, in our public spaces.

We appreciate your co-operation in assisting us with these additional measures and ask you all to follow the national guidelines and not put anyone else at risk.

If you feel it would be wiser for you not to attend the Practice, we will happily postpone your appointment. Please let us know if you are not intending to attend any appointments.

If you are self isolating and have any dental health concerns during this time, then please feel free to contact us in the usual ways and we will be able to advise you.

Telephone: 01626 365896     or     Email: info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

For further information on the current guidelines for tackling Coronavirus visit http://www.nhs.uk

 

Which Toothpaste should I use?

Read on for our top tips on toothpaste essentials.

If you brush your teeth well, you don’t need any extra ingredients other than Fluoride. Fluoride helps control tooth decay by reducing the effect of acid erosion.

Look back at our previous Blog on Fluoride for all you need to know. 1st Feb 2018

However adding toothpaste to your brush does enhance the experience, if only by adding moisture and breath freshening agents.

There are other ingredients beside Fluoride with proven oral health benefits.

  • Triclosan is antibacterial
  • Arginine neutralises plaque acids
  • Silica is abrasive, so can remove surface stains
  • PVM/MA Copolymer is a binder, when added to ingredients such as Triclosan, helps it stay on your teeth and gums
  • SLS Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a foaming detergent which dissolves dirt and grease

Toothpaste manufacture is a competitive industry and all sorts of claims are made. Big name brands can be more expensive but don’t be too misled, you need to compare prices per 100ml.

If you pay more, do you get a more effective product for your money?

Generally bigger companies can afford more extensive or better quality research for evidence of effectiveness.

Your oral health comes down to your own daily hygiene regime alongside regular visits to your Dentist and Hygienist and tooth brushing is an important part of this but we are all individuals and our teeth and gums can be affected differently by common factors such as our general health, environmental influences or lifestyle.

Because of this toothpaste manufacturers create products to target specific needs.

Sensitivity – the key ingredient is potassium nitrate but there is little evidence that specific toothpastes targeted at reducing sensitivity are any better than reducing acidic foods and drinks in your diet or avoiding brushing after eating.

Wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush.

Tooth enamel is a protective layer for your teeth. Acids created by the breakdown of food can wear away that protective enamel. During meals, the acid level is raised and your teeth are at their weakest state.

Saliva works to restore the proper pH level and wash away acidic food particles, giving your enamel the balance it needs to continue its protective work.

Even soft-bristled toothbrushes can be highly abrasive when enamel is weakened by high acid levels. It’s best to let saliva do its job first after you eat.

Another common cause of sensitivity is over-brushing or being too enthusiastic with your toothbrush. Ask your Hygienist to show you the best way to brush.

Avoid toothpastes that contain abrasive ingredients, often those claiming to whiten teeth or remove stains.

Whitening – there is limited evidence of whitening toothpastes having an advantage over standard fluoride toothpaste and in no way can they compete with the effectiveness of professional whitening.

How do they whiten? Colgate adds optical brighteners, a blue pigment that leaves a sheen on your teeth temporarily. Other types contain abrasives such as silica. Beware fads such as charcoal based toothpastes, these can be strongly abrasive but often don’t contain fluoride, so fail to protect your teeth from decay. There is no substantiated evidence for the benefits of charcoal.

Enamel erosion protection – claims like strengthens, restores enamel or prevents erosion are backed up by limited evidence that there is a significant advantage over standard toothpaste.

Again take note of dietary and brushing advice above for effective enamel protection.

So when it comes to choosing a toothpaste look at what is in it and don’t be swayed by the hype that goes with it! Make a good choice based on Fluoride content, antibacterial properties and taste and ask your Dentist for their recommendation.

Don’t forget your empty toothpaste tubes are recyclable through the Colgate/Terracycle initiative, for which we are a collection point.

And hot off the press! Colgate have also just started manufacturing recyclable toothpaste tubes.

 

Periodontitis (or gum disease to you or me).

You may be surprised when you visit the Dentist to hear terms like gingivitis or periodontitis, but basically we are talking about gum disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) now recognises severe periodontitis as the 6th most prevalent disease of mankind.

Shocking when it can be so preventable!

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by bacteria, that affects the supporting tissues around the teeth.

In the early stages of periodontitis, some people are not aware of any problems. However, as the disease progresses, they may notice bleeding gums, a bad taste in their mouth and later on, become aware of loose teeth. If periodontitis is not treated, it will end up with both loss of teeth and eating function, which will negatively affect your quality of life.

As many as 37% of the adult population suffer from moderate levels of chronic periodontitis.

Various risk factors for periodontal disease have been identified by the British Society of Periodontology,  including poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, diabetes, genetics, poor nutrition and stress.

https://www.bsperio.org.uk/patients/index.html

Your Dentist has a crucial role in recognising the early signs and diagnosing gum disease and every dental examination you attend will include careful assessment of your gums and oral hygiene.

Gingivitis is a reversible plaque-induced inflammation of the gingival tissues. Plaque is the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth.

If it is not removed regularly by tooth brushing and flossing, it hardens to create calculus (also known as tartar). Calculus cannot be removed with a toothbrush; only a dental professional can remove it during oral cleaning.

The gingival tissue is the clinical term for gums, the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and jaw bone.

Gingivitis is recognised by redness, swelling and bleeding on brushing. It is common, affecting 55% of adults. Persistent gingivitis can lead to irreversible periodontitis.

Both the prevention of periodontal diseases and the maintenance of the periodontal tissues following oral hygiene treatment rely on the ability and willingness of the individual (you) to perform and maintain effective plaque removal. This may require a change in behaviour in terms of brushing, interdental cleaning and other oral hygiene techniques as well as lifestyle behaviours such as tobacco use and diet.

From a professional viewpoint it is vital that we can demonstrate from patient’s records and x-rays that any periodontal disease present has been identified, recorded and monitored appropriately. In addition, the records should show clearly that the patient has been informed of the nature and extent of their periodontal problems and how to manage it.

https://www.bsperio.org.uk/publications/downloads/95_105645_bsperio-patient-information.pdf

So don’t be surprised when we see you and ask what your daily oral care routine is, it’s not a test or trick question to catch you out!

We need to know that you have all the tools and knowledge required to take care of your gums and prevent this disease that could cost you your teeth!

Too much plastic!

As concerned dental professionals and responsible people, we have been aware for some time of a conflict of interests.

Ultimately our goal is good oral health for all our patients and one of the things we advocate to help you achieve this is brushing your teeth, twice a day with a recommended tooth brush, preferably an electric tooth brush.

But here’s the thing, we also recommend replacing your tooth brush every 3 months and starting to brush your teeth as soon as they erupt.

It’s not rocket science to work out how many tooth brushes or electric tooth brush heads we are going to throw away in our lifetime!

Unfortunately nearly every single piece of plastic we have used in our life still exists somewhere on the planet, including our toothbrushes.

But now we are really excited to see new innovation tackling this issue and we are getting behind two really important initiatives that will benefit our environment and still maintain your oral health effectively.

Firstly, there is the environmental tooth brush and several companies have made great progress finding alternative materials to plastic to manufacture tooth brushes, such as bamboo. We particularly like TePe’s GOOD tooth brush, made from 96% bio-based plastics.

This is what they have to say –

“GOOD for you. GOOD for the environment.
Thanks to the use of the renewable raw materials, sugar cane and castor oil, we now manage to recirculate up to 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions during its life cycle”.

https://www.tepe.com/uk/about-tepe/sustainability/good/

Secondly, while momentum gathers in the population to address plastic waste and purchase a more sustainable solution like the GOOD tooth brush, we are joining the ‘Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme’ in collaboration with Terracycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste.

https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/colgate

What this means is that St Paul’s Dental Practice is now a public collection point for all oral care products and packaging.

See the poster below for what we can accept.

Please help us in being more responsible and reducing or recycling plastic waste. Look for the alternatives when buying your tooth brushes and support us in recycling your dental care products and packaging.

For more information, contact us 01626 365896 or  info@stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk

What you need to know about tooth whitening.

In a recent survey, 64% of the population asked, said they were unhappy with the colour of their teeth.

So where does this dissatisfaction come from and why do our teeth discolour with time? 

Your smile is so important. Smiling is good for your health, makes an important first impression, exudes confidence and paves the way for your success in your career and personal life.

Smiling can lift your spirits, have a positive effect on other people and improve any situation.

Being conscious that your teeth may not be as bright as they could be will make you far less likely to smile and this will have a negative effect on your own well being as well as impacting those around you.

 

Over the course of our lives teeth can darken as a natural effect of ageing. The outer hard tissue covering our teeth called enamel, wears away and exposes the darker dentine beneath it.

Also repeated exposure to some things will stain our teeth, such as tea, coffee, wine, smoking, certain medications, even trauma like knocking a tooth during a fall.

How can I make sure my teeth look white?

  • Take good, daily care of your oral hygiene as well as regularly visiting a Hygienist
  • Pay attention to what you eat, look out for things that could stain your teeth
  • Remember to brush your teeth after a meal, particularly if you have consumed something likely to stain
  • Drink plenty of water during your meal to rinse your mouth of staining agents
  • Schedule follow up treatments. Regularly attend your Dentist and Hygienist. A scale and polish or air polish treatment will really help remove stains and restore your teeth colour to its natural form but you can’t expect it to stay that way, lifestyle factors will have an ongoing influence
  • For maximum effect have your teeth professionally whitened 

Tooth whitening treatment.

Your Dentist is the ‘go to’ professional for tooth whitening treatment and the General Dental Council has clear advice for the public about the process. 

“Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry. By law, dentistry must only be carried out by dental professionals who are registered with us”.

Visit their website and search for tooth whitening: https://www.gdc-uk.org/patients/what-is-dentistry

The NHS, British Dental Association and Oral Health Foundation websites also have good information available.

 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/teeth-whitening/

https://www.dentalhealth.org/tooth-whitening

https://bda.org/public/whitening

  

Be cautious of anyone offering treatment who isn’t a dental professional!

What about whitening toothpastes?

Whitening toothpastes are very popular but our Dentists would offer a word of warning. These toothpastes remove stains because they contain abrasive ingredients, such as silica, which scrub the surface of the teeth.  In our experience, frequent or daily use of abrasive agents can cause pain and sensitivity. 

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/selecting-dental-products/teeth-whitening-toothpaste-does-it-work-0214

Professional whitening treatment from your Dentist is a safe and effective way to lighten the colour of your teeth, restore your smile and confidence and enhance your appearance.

It may be that only one tooth is concerning you, discoloured through trauma or a tooth dying off. Single teeth can be effectively treated individually through internal bleaching.

https://www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk/case-studies.html 

Have a look at our website to see what our tooth whitening treatment involves and check out some of our before and after examples of what can be achieved.  

https://www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk/teeth-whitening-devon.html

We are currently running a special offer price on whitening treatment.

https://www.stpaulsdentalpractice.co.uk/dental-special-offers.html

 

 

What are you giving up for STOPTOBER?

Stoptober is a 28 day long event run each October during which participants are encouraged to stop smoking. Public Health England (PHE) created the annual campaign in 2012. The idea is that participants pledge themselves to not smoke during the 28 day period, with a mind to giving up altogether.

Stoptober has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay ‘smokefree’ for good.

PHE offers a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, people can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services. Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/be-healthier/quit-smoking/stoptober

Whilst Stoptober is a campaign in its own right, it is now part of the wider One You programme. One You is the PHE programme that helps adults across the country make small changes to their lifestyles that can have a big impact on their future health.

In addition to encouraging people to stop smoking, One You also tackles other everyday habits and behaviours such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended and not being active enough.

So it’s not just about quitting smoking. This October is a great opportunity to join together with other people, with the common goal of a healthier lifestyle and give up something detrimental to your health and well being.

The biggest lifestyle risks are

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity

and each one can have a huge impact on your quality of life and life expectancy.

The One You website supported by Public Health England, claims that these poor lifestyle choices are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

The good news is, it’s never too late to improve your health.

Making small positive lifestyle changes such as eating well, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking or being more active can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond.

As dental professionals dealing with diagnosing mouth cancers and dental decay on a daily basis, we obviously wholeheartedly support healthy lifestyle choices. It doesn’t always mean quitting, but even something like reducing your sugar intake is a great step forwards.

There is a downloadable Eatwell Guide open to all from the NHS or GOV.UK websites:

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Documents/The-Eatwell-Guide-2016.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-eatwell-guide

If you need a little bit more of a push to change, join an organised campaign or increase the incentive by raising money for charity.

One such good cause is the ‘Go Sober for October’ campaign raising vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

https://www.gosober.org.uk/

And there are many organisations out there to help with your fitness levels:

At St Paul’s Dental Practice, we are totally committed to helping you make the right lifestyle choices and can offer useful, knowledgeable advice.