Dental Health: June 14

18 October 2018

Alice asked: My dentist has advised that I need root canal, however I want to seek a second opinion. if I go to a different dentist, can the new dentist obtain the x-rays from my current dentist or do I have to get them done again? (and of course pay again!) Thanks

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Hello Alice . As a private patient the x-rays are yours and you can ask for them to take to another dentist for a 2nd opinion. On the NHS the x rays remain the property of the dental practice but you would be entitled to ask to borrow them to seek a 2nd opinion. You would need to pay for the 2nd opinion of course. Hope it goes well . regards Maureen

Anonymous357 asked: Is an electric toothbrush more beneficial than manual brushing? if so, is any one electric toothbrush better than another?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear 357. For a lot of people a manual tooth brush is easy to use and cleaning is thorough. Electric toothbrushes rotate at a higher speed than a manual tooth brush and can help give a "better " more efficient clean. It depends on technique. Regarding which electric tooth to buy they are all much the same. The small round headed tooth brush head is better as it cleans in the natural line of the gums. The expense of the electric toothbrush is due to the accessories only. Regards Maureen

Anonymous358 asked: Hi, Do whitening toothpastes work and if not which whitening process is quickest and safest on the enamel of the teeth?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear 358 . Whitening toothpastes on the whole only take off surface staining such as coffee and red wine. So it appears the teeth have been whitened. To change the actual colour of the teeth you would need to see your dentist for bleaching. They will discuss with you the process of wearing bleaching trays and supply the necessary gels. Please note it is now illegal for anyone other than a dental professional to provide dental bleaching, Regards Maureen

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Naomi asked: I have a 'silver' filling that I'd like to change to a white filling and my dentist said not to bother as it can cause more problems. It's best to leave it until there's an issue. Is this true? I thought the 'silver' filling would be better out than in? You hear mixed things about them causing health problems (not that I currently have any, thankfully).

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear Naomi. Your dentist is being very fair to you in saying to leave until the filling causes any problems, to remove a filling will mean treatment on a tooth that may ultimately "upset" the tooth. so if its not causing problems and there is no clinical reason to change the filling best left well alone. Your right there is a lot of discussion around silver fillings vs white fillings. At the moment most dentist are still using amalgam fillings quite safely. regards Maureen

Anonymous360 asked:  

Q1 - How much pressure should i be applying when cleaning my teeth with a conventional tooth brush or electric tooth brush. Q2 - when should i change my tooth brush
Q3 - What is best a) a conventional tooth brush, or b) electric tooth brush, or c) mix of both.
Q4 - How often should we be cleaning our teeth.
Q5 - My teeth are a natural bone colour, there seems to be the emphasis now to have gleaming white teeth, should i be bothered or how can I achieve this without capping them.
Q6 - do mouth washes work, if so when and how often should I apply.
Q7 - some dentists suggest leaving your teeth coated in toothpaste overnight, is there any benefit and can it cause harm if you swallow it.
Q8 - I have a denplan policy and recommends 6 monthly checkups and hygienist, is this enough.
Q9 - does the older you get affect your teeth and how can you ensure healthier stronger teeth.

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: dear 360 Wow in answer to your questions in order:
1 Many electric toothbrushes have a pressure indicator so this may be helpful. manual toothbrushes - use medium pressure. Holding a tooth brush between thumb and forefinger means you can't apply too much pressure
2 Toothbrushes should be changed approximately every 6-8 weeks
3 See previous reply re electric toothbrush
4 You should be cleaning teeth twice a day after breakfast and before bed. allow 20 minutes after breakfast for the saliva to naturally balance the ph levels
5 If you are happy with the colour of your teeth leave them. teeth need to tone with skin colour
6 Mouth washes work well at reducing cavities and plaque
7 Coating with tooth paste overnight . if you have sensitivity leaving a desensitising toothpaste on overnight helps .
8 Six monthly check ups are ideal unless your dentist suggests otherwise
9 As we get older the teeth do sometimes become more brittle so regular good oral hygiene is important.

If you missed our live chat and have any further questions relating to dental health, then why not ask our panel of experts a question?


AXA PPP healthcare asked: We have a question from Twitter: @AXAPPPhealth ooh, any advice for me being pregnant and dealing with bleeding gums?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Congratulations on the new baby. Due to the change in hormones bleeding gums can become an issue, also sickness can mean that oral hygiene is compromised. The best thing regarding bleeding gums is regular tooth brushing. Ask for an additional appointment with your dentist or hygienist to give the gums a thorough check and scaling to prevent further problems developing, I hope all goes well with the rest of the pregnancy, Regards Maureen

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Another one from Twitter: I always get toothache in one tooth whenever I have a cold :( My sinuses are killing today! It's a baby tooth too! Is that normal?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear member. toothache associated with a cold is quite common. The roof of your mouth is, in simplistic terms the floor of the sinus . If the roots of the tooth are close to or pierce through into the sinus the sinus infection will irritate the tooth. As this is a baby tooth this is unusual so it maybe there is an adult tooth behind it which is close to the sinus proximity and causing the toothache. You need to discuss this with your dentist to check if there are any issues that need to addressed. Regards Maureen

NGG asked: I am in the process of organising an implant on my front tooth and the dental care professional has suggested I also purchase the product PRGF®-Endoret® for improved healing - do you know much about this and whether this worth the additional cost?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear NGG Platelet Rich Growth Factor technology has been used for some time. It uses your own platelets and when mixed in the centrifuge in the surgery it separates out your platelets and plasma and when reintroduced into the implant area prior to implant placement can speed up healing. Website may prove helpful. Always feel free to discuss all elements of your treatment with your dentist if you are not sure. I hope all goes well, regards Maureen

Anonymous361 asked: When i was younger my dentist took too many teeth out, and now i have 2 gaps where my bottom molars used to be, i have just had braces and need to fill the gaps, im not sure whether implants or bridges would be better? implants i know are expensive.

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear Anon 361 . It is important you have a full discussion with your dentist as there are many factors to be included when deciding whether to have bridges or implants, Implants have a good longevity proven . The implant will only be placed into the space and the adjacent teeth will not need any treatment . Bridges are attached to the adjacent teeth by reshaping them to accept a crown over them which is fused to a dummy crown thus bridging the gap. If the adjacent teeth are sound virgin teeth a bridge may be something you would not want to consider under those circumstances. Your dentist will obviously be able to give you all the options. Often the cost of an implant is similar to an implant as only 1 tooth space affected where as a bridge spans over 3 or more teeth , Remember good oral hygiene is important whichever you choose and will enhance the longevity of whichever way you go. wishing you well Regards Maureen

Anonymous361 asked: I want my teeth whiter and I'm looking at teeth whitening laser packages. what do you think?

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: Dear Anon 361. All whitening treatments MUST BE CARRIED OUT BY A DENTIST BY LAW. Zoom whitening varies a great deal from patient to patient . It may need to be followed up by home whitening anyway. The laser treatment is done by painting a gel over the teeth enamel and shining a blue light to activate the bleach for approximately 40 minutes. Patient expectations vary so it is worth having a full discussion with the dentist prior to embarking on the treatment. Do consider that ultra white teeth can look unnatural against skin tones. Other whitening procedures are available under the direction of the dentist with home whitening gels worn overnight or at home . This is more gradual but patients can decide when teeth are white enough. I hope this helps. Maureen

AXA PPP healthcare asked: One more from Twitter: You know what no one could tell me though what is covered on my Mat Exempt card when it comes to emergency.

Maureen Chaseley, Senior Dental Advisor answered: All NHS dental treatment is covered on your MAT Exempt card