AJ Dental Group
Parkside Dental Centre
Parkside Dental Centre Goldsworth Park Health Centre Woking GU21 3LQ
Appointments/Enquiries: reception.parkside@gmail.com
Waterside Dental Centre
Waterside Dental Centre Devonshire Avenue, Woking GU21 5QJ
Appointments/Enquiries: dental.waterside@googlemail.com

Don’t Try DIY Dentistry!

Why professional dental care is the only sensible solution.

Dental treatmentThere was a time when we would not have dreamed of attempting to do anything to our own teeth, other than perhaps pull out a wobbly first tooth (something we don’t recommend by the way).

In these internet savvy days though, many of us take it upon ourselves to try to find cheaper ‘shortcuts’ in many areas of our lives.

Whilst some of these can be useful, such as decorating tips, when it comes to medical and dental advice, this can be foolhardy and even dangerous.

In today’s AJ Dental Group blog, we will take a look at some of the more common examples of DIY dentistry that you are likely to come across if you search for these shortcuts. But please don’t try them!

Teeth whitening

By far the most common DIY dentistry tips surround teeth whitening. This is perhaps not surprising as many people believe that most discolouration simply occurs on the enamel of our teeth and can therefore simply be cleaned off. This is not completely correct as discolouration also occurs internally. As we will see in a moment, going the DIY route can lead to many potentially serious pitfalls along the way.

Let us start by looking at the commercial avenues that a lot of people follow in the form of tooth whitening toothpastes. There is a presumption that because these are commercially available, they must be safe. Even this ‘safe option’ can cause damage to our teeth though.

It is first of all worth noting that these toothpastes aim to whiten teeth by including similar active bleaching ingredients to those found in a professional teeth whitening treatment. The key difference though is in the quantity in each case. A professional whitening treatment is carried out and supervised by a dentist and the amount of active ingredient allowed is relatively large. The same is not the case for toothpastes, which can be misused or even eaten by young children and for this reason, there are strict limits on the amount of bleaching agents allowed. This means that they are largely ineffective and when it comes to whitening your teeth, you shouldn’t expect to see great results.

Where some of these toothpastes cross into dangerous territory is that they might include additional abrasive materials in order to remove surface staining. Although this may improve the whiteness of your teeth, there is also a real risk that damage can be caused to the enamel, particularly if you brush too hard. Once this becomes damaged, not only are your teeth likely to become sensitive, but the risk of cavities is much greater.

Lemon juice ‘solution’

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Looking After Our Teeth And Gums In Later Life

Don’t tolerate poor oral health just because you’re getting older!

Middle aged couple with good teethIf you take notice of advertisements on TV, in the press or on social media, you can’t help but have noticed that most of those for the dental industry are geared largely towards younger people. Various methods of teeth whitening and achieving straight even teeth are two of the most popular.

It is good that young people are now interested in both the appearance and health of their teeth and gums, but it is also important to remember that we will all (hopefully) grow old, and that good oral health care should not stop in our fifties or sixties and beyond.

Although we may be less focussed on the appearance of our teeth when we are older, it is still important that they remain as healthy as possible.

A strong set of teeth can have a positive effect on our quality of life; indeed, in our old age, it can also make a significant difference to the quality of our diet and subsequent health.

At the AJ Dental Group in Woking, we aim to help patients of all ages, young and old, to have healthy teeth and gums, both through preventative care and through restoration where it becomes necessary.

Prevention

Diligent home care is important as well as seeing one of our dental team for regular check ups. We also strongly recommend that both young and old attend hygienist appointments on a regular basis. These are usually every six months, but older patients may benefit from having them more frequently as they are in a higher risk group for gum disease. One of the things that happens when we get older is that saliva production is reduced and this has a negative effect in two ways. The reduced quantity of saliva means that it is less likely to flush away food residue and bacteria from our mouth and dryness also creates the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

Seeing the hygienist and dentist, whilst maintaining a sensible diet and a good cleaning routine at home, are the best ways to keep your oral health on track.

Restoration

Although anyone can have poor quality teeth, the reality is that the longer we live, the more damage is likely to have been done to them. Whether this is through poor oral care or simple wear and tear, it does mean that, as we get older, we may need more restorative treatment to help keep our teeth healthy and functioning. Whilst treatments, such as fillings and crowns are commonplace for patients of all ages, there are a few treatments which may be particularly useful for the dental problems we experience in later life.

Yellow teeth

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Top Tips For Home Dental Care Which Works!

AJ Dental Group resident dentist, Dr Andrew Gough, offers his professional advice.

Dentist in surgeryAs experienced dentists, and with the range of treatments available to us at our Woking dental practice, we can now go a long way to restoring teeth that have become decayed or have broken. This is good news for anyone who has a dental problem, but many of these can often be avoided in the first case.

Although accidents can and do happen, and we can, to a large degree, reduce the number of problems that we have by being careful about what we eat and drink, a large part of preventative care still revolves around how our patients look after their teeth at home.

The truth is that keeping your teeth clean and healthy is not difficult and doesn’t take much time at all. Despite this, some people take less than ideal care when doing this. Below, we offer a brief and simple, yet important guide to looking after your teeth at home.

Brushing

This is the very foundation of good home oral care. There really is no excuse not to brush your teeth twice a day, for a couple of minutes each time. Even if you do this though, there are a number of things that you should check that you are doing.

  • Are you using a worn out toothbrush? If so, this will be less effective at removing bacteria and food. Make sure to change your brush every three months or even before if you notice the bristles becoming worn. The same applies to the head of an electric toothbrush.
  • Angle the bristles towards the gums, both top and bottom. This helps them to reach into the gum pockets where bacteria and food can collect.
  • Always use a fluoride toothpaste. Whilst most toothpastes contain this, some may not. Please check the label.
  • Brush gently in a circular motion. There is no need to ’scrub’ your teeth hard and doing so is likely to lead to enamel wear and sensitive teeth.
  • Check that you really are spending two minutes brushing. Set a timer and we suspect you may be surprised to find that you are actually falling short of this, even with the best of intentions.
  • When you have finished, spit but don’t rinse with water. This enables the fluoride to have more effect.
  • Never eat or drink anything but water after you have brushed your teeth at night.

Flossing

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What Should You Expect During A Routine Dental Appointment?

Dental check up

Woking dentist, Dr Dani Sharma, explains what happens during a regular check up.

Routine dental appointments typically do not involve treatment, and even if you are slightly nervous when it comes to dentistry in general, you should not be concerned. Check ups are essential to ensure a healthy mouth and to diagnose minor issues before they get worse.

Patients of the AJ Dental Group should not underestimate the importance of these appointments as, without seeing a dentist regularly, problems will accumulate and worsen, potentially leading to tooth loss and/or pain. The chances of more invasive treatment becoming necessary is much more likely if you regularly skip your check-up appointments.

If you haven’t had a dental examination for some time, you may be building up a false picture in your mind of what happens during them. So to help with this, we have put together a simple guide as to what happens at a routine check up appointment.

Choosing your dentist

If you haven’t seen a dentist for a while, or are new to the Woking area, it can be difficult to choose which dentist to see. Some of your decision may be based on location, but you may also wish to factor in the treatments that they can provide. Whilst your immediate oral health might be the prime reason, you may decide later on for example, to have a missing tooth replaced with a dental implant or even have your teeth straightened for a more attractive smile.

We are pleased to offer these and many other services, as well as a friendly team of dentists and support staff here at the AJ Dental Group!

Your appointment

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Things You Shouldn’t Do Before And During Your Dental Appointment

Nervous of the dentist

Help us to help you by following these basic guidelines

Going to see the dentist isn’t high on many people’s list of favourite things to do. Most patients however, recognise the importance of doing so and will, even if slightly reluctantly, make sure that they have regular appointments booked at the AJ Dental Group in Woking so that their teeth and gums can be monitored on an ongoing basis.

For some patients, the anxiety levels can be quite high, causing them to do certain things both before and during the appointment which can add to their anxiety and also make the job of examining or treating their teeth more difficult for the dentist!

In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the things that you should avoid doing, so making our job and your experience, that much more satisfactory.

Don’t cancel your appointment

There may be occasions that cancelling an appointment is unavoidable, such as illness or needing to collect a sick child from school. Where this is unavoidable, all that we ask is that you let us know as soon as you can and make sure  to rearrange your appointment too. Patients who are nervous about seeing a dentist may also be tempted to cancel, perhaps with some kind of an excuse. This may particularly be the case where they are due to receive treatment for a problem that isn’t causing any pain at that particular time.

The reality is that cancelling an appointment at our Woking dental clinic for this reason is simply storing up trouble for the future and will almost certainly mean that your future treatment will be more extensive.

Please don’t be late!

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Dental Veneers – Their Origins And Use Today

Dental veneers

A long lasting technique for restoring your smile.

Dental veneers have been around for a long time now and were first used in 1928, when a dentist, Charles Pincus of California, invented them to be used in a film shoot in order to change the appearance of an actor’s teeth.

This idea soon caught on amongst the actors and actresses of Hollywood, many of whom smoked at that time and whose teeth would probably not look too great in a close up shot. This is why they are sometimes referred to when discussing a Hollywood Smile.

The early versions were simply stuck on top of the natural teeth and were easily removed, but modern versions are usually bonded more securely and also replace the damaged tooth surface. They are designed to be much more permanent and patients can generally expect them to last in the region of around ten years or so, with good care.

Who needs veneers?

At the AJ Dental Group in Woking, we generally see two types of patients who are candidates for this cosmetic dental procedure. They tend to fall into the categories of those people who simply want their teeth to look nicer, and those who have suffered enamel erosion and perhaps are experiencing uncomfortable tooth sensitivity.

Whilst a teeth whitening procedure is the most common step to improving the appearance of teeth that have become discoloured or are yellowing from age, the success of this depends largely on the degree to which the teeth have been affected. It is an excellent and non invasive method that is affordable and produces great results. It does have its limits though, and where teeth have become badly stained, say through years of smoking, it is unlikely that a teeth whitening procedure would produce the result that patients would hope for.

Where teeth have suffered small chips and cracks, insufficient to harm the teeth, but sufficient to detract from an otherwise attractive smile, a whitening treatment would do nothing for this and would probably only highlight the problem even more.

Where our Woking patients have suffered from surface enamel wear, whether from wear from overlapping teeth, brushing too hard or consumption of too many acidic foods and drinks, they are likely to notice an increased sensitivity in their teeth. This can make drinking and eating hot and cold foods quite uncomfortable or even painful. In addition to this, eroded enamel will increase not only the risk of staining due to an uneven surface, but also tooth decay due to the lack of protection on the teeth.

Fitting dental veneers

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Root Canal Therapy In Woking

Dental treatment

When the insides of a tooth become infected, root therapy can potentially save it

Mention the words ‘root canal’ to most patients and you can often see the concern in their eyes. For much too long, this particular treatment has been deemed to be the ‘worst’ dental treatment that there is, but really there is nothing to fear.

Today we will take a look at why these concerns may have arisen and explain the procedure in a little more detail so that our Woking patients understand more about it.

As always, the AJ Dental Group in Woking believes that preventative care is the best approach and we encourage patients to not only look after their teeth well at home, but make sure that they are seen regularly by both a dentist and a dental hygienist. Even with the best will in the world though, problems can and do still occur.

Why you might need a root canal procedure

This procedure is only necessary when the ‘pulp’ in the root canals of the teeth become infected. These canals are stored at the very heart of the tooth, beneath both the enamel and the dentin layer. There are many opportunities to prevent infections before it reaches this stage and is one of the many reasons to make sure that you see a dentist regularly.

Infections of this area can occur when decay starts to advance, but could also occur following a blow to the tooth if a crack develops. This could allow bacteria into the area which then infects the pulp. Included in the pulp are tiny blood vessels and nerves and this is the reason that a root canal infection is likely to cause you significant pain.

Why you shouldn’t fear the treatment

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A Whiter Smile For Our Woking Patients!

Teeth whitening before and after

Dr Mani Rohela, dentist at A J Dental, explains why we don’t need to put up with unattractive teeth.

One of the more common ‘specialist’ toothpastes that we see advertised on TV these days is for teeth whitening. We will come back to this product a little later on, but for now it is safe to say that the reason they are so widely advertised is that this is something that many people want to achieve.

Tooth discolouration can happen for a number of reasons. External factors that contribute to staining the teeth include smoking, red wine and tea consumption (due to the tannin in them), and many other products that we regularly eat also have a discolouring effect.

Even without these food and drink products though, our teeth will gradually darken as we get older. This is largely due to the dentin layer, the one beneath the enamel, growing darker as we age. Anyone who has thinner enamel on their teeth will also find that this shows through more.

Do teeth whitening toothpastes work?

It might seem that using a teeth whitening toothpaste is a sensible approach to achieving whiter teeth. The reality is a little more complicated though. If we have surface staining on the enamel, any toothpaste should remove at least some of this. This is largely done through the abrasive contact between the bristles of the brush and the tooth enamel.

Some toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth do so by including additional abrasive elements and an example of this is charcoal toothpaste. This may help to remove some of the surface staining on the teeth, but it also risks eroding the enamel much faster. When this happens, we might not only find that our teeth become more sensitive, but are also at a higher risk of tooth decay due to there being less protective enamel on our teeth.

Unfortunately, this ‘abrasive’ approach will do nothing to lighten the inner part of the tooth and this can only be achieved through a bleaching type process. The professional teeth whitening procedure that we offer here at our Woking practice will do just that, safely and effectively. Whilst teeth whitening toothpastes may claim to whiten teeth in a similar way, there is a very important distinction between them.

Peroxide

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Why We Use Invisalign ‘Braces’ To Straighten Teeth Here In Woking

Invisalign Straight Teeth

This comfortable and convenient orthodontic system may be just what you have been waiting for!

Are you unhappy with your crooked teeth? Perhaps you might have felt this way for some time but opted to do nothing about it because you didn’t want to have to wear metal braces? This is understandable and you are far from alone in this.

Whilst traditional wire and bracket style braces do straighten teeth effectively, some people find them a little uncomfortable and also, usually, very visible.

For many people, this visibility has been a barrier to having attractive teeth. It may have also put some off having other cosmetic dental procedures, such as teeth whitening.

At the end of the day, why would you want to highlight teeth that you consider to be unattractive because they are crooked and uneven?

If any of the above resonates with you, we have some good news. At the AJ Dental Group of Woking, we are now pleased to offer our patients a discreet and comfortable orthodontic system in the form of Invisalign.

What is Invisalign?

The Invisalign orthodontic system is very different from the type of dental braces that you already know. Using this system eradicates the need for the wires or brackets that are used in many other types of dental brace.

Instead of the wires and brackets, a series of trays are produced to fit over your teeth. Each of these trays is worn for a short period of time and will work to reposition your teeth a little, using gentle pressure. Once a tray has completed its role, it is then removed and replaced with the next tray in the series, which continues the process. This continues until your teeth are in the correct position.

Can I just buy them ‘off the shelf’?

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Are Dental Implants The Best Way To Replace A Missing Tooth?

Single dental implant

Woking dentist, Dr Andrew Gough, explains more about this excellent tooth replacement option

Nobody wants to lose a tooth, but for many of us, this will eventually happen. It is not always through neglecting our teeth either. Even the healthiest and strongest of teeth can be lost during an accident such as a fall or a collison, perhaps when taking part in a sporting event.

However a tooth is lost though, our first consideration will be whether to replace it or not. Few people will chose not to replace a missing front tooth, but may consider leaving a gap where the tooth is not visible. To do so is a mistake as if you don’t replace a missing tooth, a number of things can happen. Firstly, as there is now a vacant space in between your teeth, the adjacent teeth are likely to move towards this. This in turn creates spaces of its own, for yet more teeth to start to move. Over time, this can result in your teeth becoming crooked and uneven.

The other thing to consider is that, as the tooth is a hidden one, it is likely to be a tooth that is heavily used for chewing food. When the tooth is no longer there, you will almost certainly compensate for this by using a different tooth. This additional strain, especially if it is not a tooth designed for that role, could lead to premature wear or breakage.

Replacing your missing tooth

When you decide to replace the missing tooth, you are left with a choice of methods that we are pleased to offer at the AJ Dental Group in Woking. The most commonly used method is  dentures. Modern dentures do provide an acceptable aesthetic solution, but, as some wearers will attest, may sometimes move around in the mouth and can present challenges when eating certain foods. Although they are the cheapest option, their disadvantages mean that many will seek other options.

The next option you might consider is a bridge. This is where an artificial tooth is held in position, often by attaching crowns to the teeth on either side of the gap. This is a stronger and more stable solution than dentures, but is not without its own issues. Cleaning can be quite tricky, especially beneath the bridge. The biggest issue though is that, in order to attach the crowns, the teeth have to be prepared. Understandably, many patients are very reluctant to have this done to healthy teeth.

The third option, and one that is growing rapidly in popularity, are dental implants.

What are dental implants?

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