Happy New Year to you all!
WE CAN NOW SEE YOU FOR ALL ROUTINE CARE.. please read on for further details
We just wanted to fill you in on some of the new changes that have been in motion toward the end of 2020. In short, we have finally been given the go ahead from NHS England to fully resume all routine and preventative care! This means we are able to see you for that ever important Check-up and complete treatments such as permanent fillings, root canal fillings, crowns and bridges and everything in between! The way we have to work is of course still a little different but this is to protect the health of our patients and staff during the continuing Pandemic.
Below are some points you should know before coming along to your appointment:
- Sadly, our waiting room is still out of use so we do ask you to wait on our front car park until your appointment is due. (or in your car if you've let us know this is where you'll be)
- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do let us know you have arrived for your appointment (without you knocking the door or ringing the bell we do not know youve arrived)
- The toilet is out of use (simply because we dont have enough man power to repeatedly clean it down after every patient)
- We have a one way system from Rececption to the back of the practice so we ask you to pay any dental fee's before you go through to surgery
- All treatment appointments involving dental handpieces (drills/ultrasonic scalers) require an elongated appointment so extensive cleaning can be do after you leave the practice
- We still have to "Fallow" the dental surgery after any aerosol generating procedure which means our capacity isnt quite where it was before Covid 19
We ask our all patients to please have patience on your visit to us. We are incredibly busy and inundated with emergency treatment alongside catching up on postponed treatments so waiting times might be slightly longer. We aim to book appointments precisely to include extensive cleaning but on the odd occasion we can run behind. Reception should keep you in the loop with waiting times if we have kept you waiting over your allocated time but do feel free to knock the door and inquire should it be 15 mins after your appointment time.
We are now able to start using our dental drills- which means we can help in more ways to relieve painful symptoms of toothache. We can also offer a larger range of emergency treatments. Please feel reassured that we are following NHS England and guidelines from the Chief dental Officer for England in keeping patients and staff alike as safe as possible. We are not offering walk-in appointments at the moment so please telephone reception who will then triage you to talk to one of our experienced dentists- we can then get you booked in for a specific time. The way in which we operate is still very different but you will be properly filled in over the phone before you attend the practice.
We aren't completing any routine dental work at the moment, but rest assured all back dated treatment that needs to be completed will be done as soon as we can and we will be in touch with you. Thanking you for your continued patience and support.
Oak Tree Dental team
We are now operating a face to face service for Urgent/Emergency patients.
Unfortunately, we are not currently able to use our drills or ultrasonic scaler, which means we cannot see or book appointments for treatments such as permanent Fillings, Root Canal Fillings, Crowns or bridges, Hygienist scaling (these put you and us at more risk as there is an generated aerosol). It may also mean that we can only see patients face to face if we are able to provide a beneficial solution E.g to extract teeth that are considered simple and safe to do so, to place a more permanent filling material (although still considered temporary in nature), or to smooth sharp edges)
We are however working incredibly hard to purchase a stock of the correct PPE which we need to start providing these treatments. Please keep checking this page for updates as we should very soon be able to provide the above treatments in a safe environment. Our team have put in place new procedural systems to keep both patients and staff as safe as possible. This may mean your visit to the dentist is very different to how it was before, but they are certainly necessary during these times.
Things to expect during a visit to the practice:
- The team will be wearing more PPE, even in non clinical areas such as the waiting room/Reception (masks/visors/aprons)
- You will be asked to make use of our hand sanitisation products upon arrival and before leaving the practice.
- Our bathroom facilities are only for absolute emergencies, otherwise it is out of use to patients.
- You will be asked to attend your appointment on your own (unless you are bringing a child/ or you have a carer)
- Payment will be taken before treatment wherever possible via 'Contactless' at the practice or over the phone payment before you arrive.
- Bring minimal belongings with you (you will be asked to leave things in pockets/bags/ coats in a tub outside surgery) which is guarded by a nurse at all times.
Please call us if you have a dental emergency/pain/swelling, and a dentist will triage you appropriately and let you know if it could be beneficial seeing you for a face to face appointment with the services we can currently offer.
16 /06 /2020
Hello to our wonderful patients!
Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak, the practice is currently closed for all face to face treatments. However, we are now taking the first steps towards reopening. We have many changes to implement before this can happen, but we hope to open our doors on Monday 15th June. Please be aware that our reopening will initially be for emergency appointments only. No non-essential or routine treatment at this stage (This is treatments that create aerosols such as Fillings, Root Canal Fillings, Scaling & Polishing, Crowns or Bridges). W
We will communicate up to date information with our registered patients as our guidelines change. If you feel that you need an urgent appointment, please contact us on 01384 372 525.
Oak Tree Dental
As you are aware, we have been informed by our chief dental officer and all dental governing bodies that we cannot see patients for appointments until further notice.
However, we want our valued patients to know that we have a team coming into the practice Monday-Friday 8.30 am-5.00 pm who are available to give advice over the phone and triage patients appropriately. We can also issue Prescriptions should your dentist think they are necessary, and we have a pharmacy opposite the practice for ease.
A Dental Emergency is defined as:
- Severe pain
- Facial swelling,
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Serious accident or trauma.
If you have any of the above symptoms, then please call Reception on 01384 372525 where a member of our team can provide advice.
However, if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 such as a persistent new cough and/or a fever, you should not leave your home /attend the practice.
As of April 20th 2020, there are now Urgent Dental Care Centres but you will need to phone our practice before you are eligible for assessment by other emergency teams.
We of course understand that this situation is inconvenient and it may mean that treatment times will be extended, however it is far safer and in line with all our guidance for patients to stay at home.
We would be extremely grateful if you could be patient in this very uncertain time and we look forward to welcoming you back into the practice when our guidance allows us to do so.
We would like to offer our best wishes to our patients and their families during this difficult time and we will keep you updated as we know more.
What if i have a Broken tooth?
Unfortunately during this time we cannot see patients to help with their broken teeth as this is classed as non essential and not an emergency. However if your broken tooth is causing severe pain because the nerve is exposed, please phone for advice and steps on how to potentially resolve this yourself with a shop-brought temporary filling pack, or to collect material from us if this is necessary. If you have a minor break or fracture in your tooth and it is sensitive to hot and cold stimuli,but not causing extreme pain or toothache, you can use a sensitive toothpaste such as 'Sensodyne Rapid Relief'- rub a small amount on the affected area 2-3 times a day and do not rinse.
What if my wisdom tooth flares up and it gets infected?
Most flare-up's of wisdom teeth can be managed at home and usually settle either within a few days or a week. It is common for flare-up's to cause pain in the jaw, often making it difficult to open wide. Should this be a symptom for you, try to rest the jaw and do not open it wide, take your usual over-the-counter pain relief and with good tooth brushing and the use of a mouth wash ('Corsodyl') these symptoms should subside. It is helpful if you stick to a soft-diet and do not chew anything too hard when you have severe symptoms. If it has been longer than a week, please ring us and we can give you some advice and make an assessment as to whether it needs intervention.
What if i have an Ulcer or numerous Ulcers that are not healing?
Although painful, most Ulcers resolve themselves within 7-10 days but there are things you can try at home to treat Ulcers and relieve painful symptoms. Maintaining excellent oral health, steering clear from acidic/spicy/ or sharp foods and using a warm salty rinse, especially after eating, can all really help. There are products on the market to alleviate pain caused by ulcers in the mouth such as 'Orajel'. If you wear a denture and it has rubbed your soft tissues causing ulcers, we suggest firstly leaving the denture out wherever possible. This will give the ulcer/s time to heal without being constantly disturbed by the denture going in and out. Using warm salty rinses frequently and some denture fixative can help secure the denture in place and provide a soft lining around the sore area.
Ulcers or oral lesions that are present for more than 3 weeks should be assessed by a doctor or dentist.
What if my Crown comes loose or falls out?
If your crown feels loose we recommend trying to leave it alone until it falls out itself. There is a risk of tooth fracture or the crown fracturing if you try to remove a partially cemented crown by force. If your crown has completely de-cemented then we recommend following these steps:
1) Look at the underside of the crown (the surface that fits against the tooth). If the crown is mostly hollow, you can attempt to re-cement the crown in yourself if you feel confident to do so.
2) You want to remove any remaining debris like old cement and you can do this with the tip of a paperclip or safety pin. Brush the crown and your tooth really well and floss before moving on to the next step.
3) Check that the crown fits on the tooth WITHOUT the cement in. You'll want to check that it feels right when you bite together or as it did before. If it doesn't feel right, there may still be debris inside the crown or the spaces between your natural tooth. We DO NOT recommend forcing a crown into place and suggest you ring us for advice and likely wait to see a dentist for a clinical assessment.
4) If the crown goes on with ease or does after numerous attempts of removing old debris/cement, you'll then want to use your dental cement. You should have some practice runs at placing the crown securely on the tooth without the cement in first. Fill the crown with cement once your happy it fits securely and place on the tooth pushing firmly and then bite together. You can buy these packs from pharmacies. Most of these packs will be classified as 'temporary filling kits' or 'dental repair kits' but check when buying the kit contains cement for crowns. These packs will have instructions for use and you should follow these also. DO NOT USE SUPER GLUE.
5) Wipe away the excess cement from all sides of the crown. It is important that you use the implement provided to remove excess cement, but you can also use a floss pick or floss once cement is set to remove hardened cement from in between teeth.
6) Only follow these steps if you feel confident enough to do so. If you are unsure about anything, please contact our team and we can answer questions over the phone.
It is important to understand that these kits are of a temporary nature and won't last as long as the cement we use in practice. If you have severe pain/toothache and have lost a crown, it is most likely because the natural tooth underneath the crown is decayed or severely fractured and therefore these emergency home kits sometimes do not solve the problem and you will need to access urgent care.
What if my denture is Broken?
Unfortunately, dental Laboratories are closed during the Covid-19 outbreak rendering the repair of dentures impossible. We completely understand that it would be incredibly distressing if your denture breaks of fractures and you aren't able to wear it- especially if it is for aesthetic purposes. We will be able to help you once we are able to see patients again and we can send your denture off for repair (Free on NHS)
Managing Toothache during Covid-19
Toothache is the last thing you want during such a difficult and uncertain time. Unfortunately, without being able to see you to treat toothache quickly and accurately at the practice, we have put together a helpful guide in order to hopefully answer your questions and offer some advice. The practice does remain open for telephone advice so be sure to contact us if this guide doesn't answer your question or you feel you need further intervention.
We can also refer you off to an Urgent dental care hub where further assessment can take place, but this can only be done once we have spoken to you and assessed your emergency situation and given you advice first.
If you have a facial swelling that is causing you to not swallow or breathe properly or affecting your vision, you must go straight to A & E.
It is key that you look after your oral health at home whilst we cannot maintain check-up and active treatment appointments at the practice. Remember, Prevention is better than a cure and most emergencies can be prevented!
Pain from teeth- How you can manage it from home
Combining Paracetamol and Ibuprofen is often the best way to relieve toothache. During the Covid-19 outbreak, it was advised to stay away from taking Ibuprofen as it could make Coronavirus symptoms worse/or cause unwanted effects, but since there has been no strong evidence or science behind this claim we still recommend taking Ibuprofen for its anti-inflammatory properties. If you currently have Covid-19 or have symptoms of it, we do recommend perhaps refraining from Ibuprofen until you recover. Please do remember taking more than the recommended dosage of both paracetamol and Ibuprofen won't help with your symptoms and can cause serious stomach and liver injury, which can be life threatening.
These measures may help your symptoms more manageable until you care can be addressed:
1) Firstly, excellent cleaning with a Fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar intake in your diet can help stop the spread of tooth decay
2) If there is a visible hole in a tooth, using an over-the-counter filling repair kit can help protect an exposed/partially exposed nerve, and help to smooth off any sharp fractured edges.
3) Sometimes extreme sensitivity can feel like the most horrendous toothache. This is called 'Dentinal Hypersensitivity'. It is important to use and continue the use of a sensitive toothpaste. We recommend any of the Sensodyne branded toothpastes, but have always had good reports and feedback from our patients that are using the 'Rapid Relief' Sensodyne. You can apply a small amount of neat toothpaste to the sensitive area and then do not rinse this away, just spit out any excess. This will in time help to build a protective layer on the tooth, blocking all the sensitive tubules relieving your sensitivity.
4) If you have severe toothache that has persisted for a week or more and is not starting to feel better and you have implemented all the advice from our 'managing toothache' section, please contact us at the practice. We can issue prescriptions for antibiotics should the dentist assessing your dental emergency feel it is necessary. We have a system in place where you can come and collect a prescription from us by knocking the practice door and waiting to be handed your prescription. More information on this system will be given to you when you speak to a dentist from our team. We can now refer you to an Urgent Dental Care facility should it be deemed necessary by our team of professionals.
Oak Tree Dental hopes that our patient base feels reassured during this difficult time and we want you to know that we are still here to help wherever we can.
Please phone our friendly and hardworking team on: 01384 372 525
Covid-19- Information & Advice
(NHS England information and advice)
(British Dental Association advice for Patients)
(British Dental Journal- Article on toothbrushing and Covid-19)
(Oral Health Foundation- Dental care and Coronavirus)
What you can do at home to keep your oral health at optimum level
This is an extremely difficult time for us all and we would really like to share some helpful tips to hopefully keep you out of trouble during this time.
There a number of ways in which you can prevent infections, specifically those of the periodontal (Gum) nature, and prevent decay in teeth. Prevention is always key!
Here a few helpful and important tips to encourage better oral health:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a Fluoride toothpaste, ensuring you brush before you go to bed - This is the most important time of the day because your saliva production is reduced and its natural antimicrobial properties are lessened. Take the time to brush with a system in mind, and remember, its technique over force! You can do damage to the gums and teeth by forceful brushing.
- Spit out toothpaste after brushing but DO NOT rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after. By not rinsing immediately after brushing, Fluoride stays on the teeth for longer and will therefore will have more effect. Toothpaste can be expensive, so don't rinse it all away after you've used it.
- Brushing alone will not remove plaque and food debris in between your teeth so it's really important to use an 'Interdental' aid. This can be a length of floss or floss on a stick, particularly if you have tight spaces between teeth. If you have larger spaces, you're going to need Interdental Brushes. We endorse the 'Tepe' Brand of brushes as they are good quality and last longer. These brushes come in different sizes so if you don't already use them, you might want to experiment with which size/colour is best for your spaces. The brush needs to be a nice snug fit but ensure it doesn't cause gum trauma, if this happens, your brush is too big. Similarly, if the brush goes through the space way too easily, it is too small and will not remove plaque efficiently.
- Using a mouthwash at a seperate time to brushing, perhaps in the middle of the day after eating a meal is a good thing to do because it is an extra application of Fluoride which helps protect against tooth decay. DO NOT use a mouthwash at the same time as brushing. An antiseptic mouthwash may also be important for limiting the transmission of Covid-19, and although research in this area is in its first stages, we have come to believe it may be an extra line of defence.
- Many people think that having a high sugar diet causes decay when in actual fact it is about how FREQUENTLY you consume sugar in your diet. It takes up to an hour to cancel out the acid caused by eating and drinking sugar. During this time, your teeth are under an 'acid attack' and therefore it is highly beneficial and preventative to only eat/drink sugar within meal times. Snacking or 'grazing' on sugary things during the day is bad for teeth and makes them more prone to decay. Chewing a sugar-free gum and drinking water after sugary things can help prevent decay also.