Frequently Asked Questions
How can I become a patient?
We are always taking on Private patients and have a Denplan scheme to make treatments more affordable. Occasionally we can take on new NHS patients but are not doing so currently. The best thing to do is to call every so often just to see if we are taking on. You can also view our facebook page for regular updates on when we are taking on. When we are taking on NHS patients call us on our contact number 01724 868099 and we should be able to register you as a patient and book your first appointment.
When can I start taking my child to the Dentist?
Your child's first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child's teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future.
How do I make sure I'm cleaning my childs teeth properly?
Parents typically provide oral hygiene care until the child is old enough to take personal responsibility for the daily dental health routine of brushing. A proper regime of preventive home care is important from the day your child is born.
- Clean your infant's gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
- As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste before your child's second birthday, ask your dentist first.
- To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.
- Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.
- The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene.
How do I spot Gum Disease?
Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. If detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed - so see your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
How do I prevent Gum Disease?
The early stages of gum disease can often be reversed with proper brushing and flossing. Good oral health will help keep plaque from building up. A professional cleaning by your dental professional is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. Your dental professional will clean or "scale" your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.
How do I spot Oral cancer?
- Ulcers that do not heal - Mouth ulcers that don't heal are one of the two most common symptoms of mouth cancer. 80 out of every 100 people with mouth cancer (80%) have a mouth ulcer that does not heal.
- Persistent discomfort or pain in the mouth - Ongoing pain or discomfort in the mouth is the other most common symptom of mouth cancer.
- White or red patches in the mouth or throat - An abnormal looking patch in the mouth could be a sign of cancer or precancerous changes. Areas of abnormal cells may look red or white. White patches are called leukoplakia (pronounced loo-ko-play-kee-a), and the red patches are called erythroplakia (pronounced air-ith-row-play-kee-a). These patches are not cancer, but if left untreated they may lead to cancer. A white or red patch in the mouth or throat does not necessarily mean cancer. A fungal infection called thrush can cause them. The white patches of thrush usually rub off, leaving a sore, red patch underneath. If you have anti fungal treatment and the patches go away, they are not related to cancer.
- Difficulty in swallowing - Mouth cancer can cause pain or a burning sensation when chewing and swallowing food. Or you may feel that your food is sticking in your throat. Difficulty swallowing can also be caused by other conditions such as a harmless narrowing of the food pipe (oesophagus). If you have this symptom it is important to see your doctor and get some treatment.
- Speech problems - Cancer in your mouth or throat can affect your voice. Your voice may sound different. It may be quieter, husky, or sound as if you have a cold all the time. Or you may slur some of your words or have trouble pronouncing some sounds.
- A lump in the neck - You may have a lump in your neck caused by an enlarged lymph node. Swelling of one or more lymph nodes in the neck is a common symptom of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers.A hot, red, painful lump usually means an infection, rather than a cancer. Lumps that come and go are not usually due to cancer either. Cancer usually forms a lump that slowly gets bigger.
- Weight loss - Weight loss is a common symptom of many cancers. With mouth or oropharyngeal cancer you may eat less due to mouth pain or difficulty in swallowing. Extreme weight loss may be a sign of advanced cancer. See your doctor if you have lost 10lbs or more in a short time and you are not dieting.
- Bad breath (halitosis)Most people have bad breath at some time in their life and it is not a sign of cancer. But if you have cancer bad breath may be worse and happen more often because of your illness. There is more information about bad breath in the section on coping physically with cancer of CancerHelp UK.
Other symptoms of mouth cancer might include one or more of the following:
- A lump or thickening on the lip
- A lump in the mouth or throat
- Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
- Loose teeth for no apparent reason
- Difficulty moving the jaw
Less serious conditions than cancer may cause many of these symptoms. But if you have any of them it is important to see your doctor or dentist. UK GPs have guidelines that advise them about when they should refer people to a mouth cancer specialist.
What happens if I can no longer visit the Dentist?
Scunthorpe community dental services provide home visits and sedation for patients who can no longer access our Practice.
What is Classed as a Dental Emergency?
If you have any of the following we aim to give you an on the day appointment if you ring at 9am:
- Facial Trauma
- Facial Swelling
- Pain is preventing sleep
- Pain is not subsiding with pain relief
If you have any of these problems out of our working hours, please follow instructions on our answer machine.
What is the aftercare for an Extraction?
The following steps will help prevent bleeding and relieve soreness
- Rest for a few hours, but you do not have to lie down
- Strenuous exercise is best avoided for a few hours
- Do NOT rinse the mouth or at least 24 hours
- Avoid HOT fluids, ALCOHOL, ASPRIN, SMOKING, HARD or CHEWY foods on the day
- Should the wound start to bleed, apply a small compress. This can be made from some cotton wool in a clean handkerchief. Place this on the bleeding point and bite firmly on it for at least 10 minutes, longer if necessary
- Any pain or discomfort can be relieved by taking pain killers such as those you would normally take for a headache and placing a cold pack on the outside of your face
- The socket may feel lumpy and small pieces of bone can work their way out over time
- If prolonged discomfort or bleeding occurs contact your dentist
- A 'dry socket' may form after 2-3 days, this is extremely painful can make you feel unwell, if this occurs contact your dentist
- AFTER 24 HOURS RINSE YOUR MOUTH THOROUGHLY WITH WARM SALTY WATER AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING 2-3 DAYS