14th November 2014
We were shocked to hear reports this week of an investigation in to a major cross-infection control incident at a dental practice in Nottingham. The incident has resulted in the recall of more than 22,000 patients and is believed to be the biggest in UK medical history.
News stories have reported that footage has emerged which shows a clear breech of infection control standards leaving patients to be deemed at risk of blood-borne viruses. The reports have also claimed that medical equipment at the practice was stored in the staff toilet and that the dentist involved failed to wash his hands and change gloves between patients.
In light of this we wanted to reassure our patients about our clinic standards at Queensway Dental Clinic and how we comply with all cross-infection regulations. Infection control is of prime importance in our practice. Every clinical member of staff receives training in all aspects of infection control, including the decontamination of equipment, as part of their induction programme and through regular update training.
At Queensway we also have:
- A dedicated decontamination room and a sterilisation team that are responsible for the decontamination of instruments and equipment
- An infection control audit that is carried out every 6 months
- A hand hygiene procedure that is followed before and after each patient visit
- Single use disposable items wherever possible
- Procedures in place to ensure all of our instruments are inspected for cleanliness before and other sterilisation
Evidence that Queensway meets the required standards for patient safety is highlighted through obtaining accreditations including BDA good practice and Denplan Excel. Following their most recent inspection at Queensway the Care Quality Commission (CQC) stated that we successfully met the national standards for quality and safety, with no action necessary.
We hope that this puts our patients minds at rest, however if there are any questions you would like to ask, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.
11th November 2014
Taking place throughout November, Mouth Cancer Action Month is about saving lives and educating the public about the early stages of the disease.
The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has significantly increased over the last decade, with the latest figures showing 6,767 new cases in a year and cancer experts predicting it is one of the very few forms of cancer that will rise within the next 10 years.
To show our support, on the 19th November it is going to be blue Wednesday at Queensway Dental Clinic. Our team will be getting involved on the day by painting their lips blue to raise awareness about the risk factors associated with the disease and what to look out for.
We will be posting our #bluelipselfies throughout the day on Facebook.
Regular check-ups with your dentist are the best way to detect mouth cancer, but it’s also important that people know what to look out for in between appointments. We want to encourage patients to become aware of the signs and symptoms that will help towards early detection:
- Ulcers that do not heal within 3 weeks
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Any unusual lumps or swelling
Mouth cancer can affect anyone, but risk is increased from tobacco use, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Making the right lifestyle choices can help minimise risk and prevention is key.
All patients at Queensway Dental Clinic can be reassured that at every check-up their dentists will perform a mouth cancer check and will be informed if they find any abnormalities. There are 6 areas that the dentist will investigate and they include:
- Head and neck
- Roof of mouth
- Floor of mouth
For more information about the campaign – please visit the website: www.mouthcancer.org.
15th October 2014
There has been a lot of talk about tooth decay in the news recently with the shock report from Public Health England earlier this month revealing that 1 in 8 of all British three year old’s suffer from tooth decay.
We have produced this useful short guide to children’s tooth decay so you know the facts.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is a common problem that occurs when acids in the mouth dissolve the outer layers of the teeth. It is caused by consuming too many sugary foods and drinks too frequently. It is important to address these lifestyle issues at a young age to reduce the risk of further tooth decay happening in permanent adult teeth.
What are the symptoms?
Often tooth decay does not cause any symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. As the problem develops symptoms will appear including:
- Tooth sensitivity when eating something hot, cold or sweet
- Black spots appearing on the teeth
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the result of 2 factors: High frequency of sugary foods and drinks combined with bacteria in the mouth.
Here’s an overview of what happens: Bacteria combined with small food particles and saliva form a sticky film known a plaque. Every time you eat or drink anything containing sugars or carbohydrates, the bacteria react and form acid. The acid attacks the teeth and starts to dissolve the tooth enamel. The attack can last for an hour after eating or drinking, before the natural salts in your saliva cause the enamel to ‘remineralise’ and harden again. Over time if the plaque is allowed to build up, the acid will break down the outer surface of the tooth and will reach the soft part at the centre of the tooth. This process will cause a hole in the tooth, known as a cavity which may result in requiring a filling, or worse the removal of the tooth.
Can baby teeth be treated for tooth decay?
Yes but treatment of decay in toddlers is difficult because of their limited understanding and attention span – it is far better to prevent it rather than treat it.
The main misconception we find is that parents are not aware of the importance of baby teeth thinking that these teeth are only temporary. It is not uncommon for us to hear of fizzy pop such as Coca-Cola being put into baby bottles.
Mistreating baby teeth has a detrimental effect on long-term oral health. Baby teeth are important for providing a place for permanent teeth to erupt into, for chewing and for speaking clearly.
If tooth decay is detected at the early stages, fluoride varnish can be applied to stop further decay. If tooth decay is severe, sadly it may result in the tooth or teeth being extracted which can be a traumatic experience for any child and parent.
Know how and when to brush – Brush teeth, twice a day once in the morning and once before bedtime with a toothpaste containing fluoride:
- Up to the age of three: use a smear of toothpaste containing 1000ppm fluoride
- Age three and over: Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste containing 1450ppm fluoride
There are also things that a dentist, dental therapist or hygienist can do to further protect children’s teeth from decay:
- Fluoride varnish application
Fluoride varnish can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth. The process involves painting a varnish containing high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every six months to prevent decay. This works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
- Fissure sealants
Fissure sealants can be done once a child’s permanent back teeth have started to come through (usually at the age of about six or seven) to protect them from decay. This is where the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are covered with a special thin plastic coating to keep germs and food particles out of the grooves. The sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.
Please speak to your dentist about the options.
How can I prevent tooth decay?
The good news is that tooth decay is entirely preventable hence the importance of educating children at an early age of the importance of both a healthy diet and of tooth brushing.
To keep children’s teeth healthy, Public Health England is encouraging parents and carers of young children to:
- Reduce the frequency and amount of sugary foods and drinks consumed.
- Sugar should not be added to the weaning foods or drinks.
- Aim to introduce drinking from a free-flow cup from 6 months of age and stop feeding from a bottle from 12 months of age.
- Start brushing children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears and supervise their tooth brushing until they are 7 or 8 years old. Brush children’s teeth twice a day, including just before bed using fluoride toothpaste.
- From the age of 3, use only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, for younger children a smear.
- Use only sugar free medicines.
4th October 2014
As part of their registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) dentists and dental care professionals are required to participate in continuing professional development (CPD) activities. At Queensway Dental Clinic we are committed to furthering our training and education through our regular involvement in CPD activities, and want to share this with our patients.
Here is out third monthly CPD calendar detailing all of the activities our team members have taken part in to further their professional development. Find out where our team where and what they were doing in September: CPD Calendar September
3rd October 2014
Shock Report from Public Health England reveals that 12% of three year olds are suffering from tooth decay
A report released this month from Public Health England revealed that 1 in 8 of all British three year olds suffer from tooth decay. The statistics in the report come from the first national survey of the oral health of three year olds. In total during 2012/13 50,000 youngsters were examined at their nursery, children centre or playgroup and it was found 12% of children had evidence of tooth decay, with an average of three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled. At Queensway Dental Clinic we take our responsibility to try and prevent tooth decay in young children very seriously. In response to this shocking report we would like to share with you the work we are doing to promote preventative dentistry and educate children and their parents in our community on the risks of hidden sugars in food and drinks that are damaging teeth at such an early age.
- Longer appointments for children with our dental therapists We have a team of 5 dental therapists who have an important role in working with child patients to promote dental health and instigate an appropriate preventative regime including the application of fluoride varnish if required, to provide extra protection against tooth decay.
- We have a purpose-built preventative dentistry unit run by a dedicated Oral Health Nurse Every day we deliver important advice to children and their parents on brushing, tooth friendly diet and how to improve oral health. This is a free service available to all patients.
- We run an educational program for the community fronted by Tilly and Toby the Tooth Troopers We have so far visited and delivered an interactive presentation to over 800 pupils in the North East and plan to carry on this important oral health project throughout 2015 by working with the Greggs Foundation and visiting breakfast clubs throughout the region.
Tooth decay is a disease that is completely preventable. By following these top tips it will greatly lower your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and improve their overall oral health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste once in the morning and once before bedtime (for children under 3 use a smear of toothpaste containing at least 1000ppm fluoride and for children aged 3 and over use a pea-size amount of toothpaste containing at least 1450ppm fluoride.)
- Remember to supervise your children’s brushing at least until the age of 7.
- Spit out the toothpaste after brushing but do not rinse your mouth.
- Restrict treats to meal times and avoid snacks and sweet tasting drinks in between meals or before bedtime.
- Be aware of hidden sugars – always read the labels on packaging as terms such as ‘no added sugar’ can be deceiving.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
If you would like the Tooth Troopers to pay a visit you your child’s nursery or school, please contact Coral Milner on 01642 554667 ext 283 to find out more information.