Practice News

Birmimngham Dental Hospital News

30th July, 2015

No More “Walk-In” service at Birmingham Dental Hospital

 

From 10th August 2015 the Birmingham Dental Hospital will no longer see patients who queue at the hospital for opening time, or attend the emergency clinic without an appointment.

Instead patients must book an emergency appointment via the NHS by telephoning 111.  If no appointments are available 111 will be able to advise patients on how their dental needs can be accommodated.

Only limited numbers of appointments are available and may include supervised treatment by dental students as The Birmingham Dental Hospital is primarily to support dental student teaching.

 

Xylitol Sweets

5th November, 2013

Can sweets really be good for your teeth?

Tooth decay happens when bacteria in your mouth consume the sugars we eat.  When we eat food containing ordinary sugar, it gives bacteria on our teeth energy, allowing them to multiply and start making acids that can eat away at the enamel on the teeth.  This “acid attack” causes tooth decay and cavities to begin to form.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener.  Its name comes from “Xylon” the Greek for wood and Xylitol is an extract from trees; and 40% lower in calories than sugar!

Dentists suggest you eat at least 5g of Xylitol a day, split over several servings – why?  Because Xylitol has the OPPOSITE effect of sugar and it actually SLOWS bacterial growth, reducing the bacteria’s ability to stick to the tooth surface thus making plaque easier to remove.

Hilltop Dental Spa stocks Xylitol sweets which are tasty and come in two flavours, strawberry and vanilla and orange and mandarin.  We also stock Xylitol peppermints.

Latest News From Hilltop Dental Spa

17th July, 2013

Care Quality Commission give Hilltop Dental Spa a glowing report


Since 2012 dental surgeries have joined hospitals and nursing homes in being inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that patients are being given quality treatment in a clean, well maintained premises by qualified staff who continue their professional education throughout their career.

Hilltop Dental Spa had its first inspection on Tuesday 14th May.  We won’t lie, it was quite a nerve wracking experience!  Two CQC inspectors spent the morning at the practice asking questions, looking through drawers, inspecting paperwork, running fingers along picture rails!

We are delighted (but not surprised) to announce that we passed the inspection with flying colours and would like to take this opportunity to thank any patients who were contacted by the CQC at home, or questioned at the practice for saying such lovely things about us.

 National Smile Month 2013

If you visited the practice between May 20th and June 20th you will have seen National Smile Month posters around the practice.

Hilltop Dental Spa was proud to join forces with National Smile Month for the 3rd year.

 In one of her first roles as Patient Care Manager Nerissa took to the phones and got industry giants like Colgate and Sensodyne to donate products for our goody bags.

She then went about putting together over 500 goody bags to give away to patients during the month! 

The goody bags were a great way to try new products and see what you think . . . and they’re great for holidays and weekends away!

If you have any ideas of what we could do for National Smile Month next year, please speak to Nerissa.

Frequently Asked Auestions

 “Why do you give me all these different treatment options and prices, it can be confusing”

Well firstly we are obliged under the NHS contract to tell you the different treatment options available whenever more than one treatment is suitable.

Secondly we want you to actively participate in putting together a treatment plan that not only achieves dental health, but satisfies you aesthetically, emotionally and financially.

Let’s look at fillings as an example.  If you need a simple filling because of decay, broken tooth or lost filling we will usually give you 2 options.

The first is the NHS amalgam, a perfectly good solution which should be serviceable for many years to come and many of our patients choose this option.

We will also tell you the price of a private white filling.

The white composite filling material is as strong as amalgam and should last as long as amalgam. 

The benefit to you if that the filling will be natural looking, blending in with your own teeth.

The most common reason we hear for choosing the white filling is that the patient dislikes the way amalgam fillings can be seen in the mouth when they smile or laugh.

Sometimes there is only one suitable treatment, and you won’t have options to choose from, but we will explain why this is the case if it happens to you.

If you do have treatment options to consider you will find leaflets on various treatments in both waiting rooms to help you and of course your dentist, nurse, reception team or practice manager are always happy talk through your options with you and answer any questions you have.

“Why do you give me the same forms to fill in every time I come!”

We understand that this must seem really frustrating and time consuming however there are very good reasons for us asking you this information every 6 months.

Firstly, it is again a condition of providing NHS dentistry that we update this information regularly, but more importantly we want to ensure that we are offering you the very best treatment and service by having the most up to date information.

By making sure we know any changes to your medication we can be aware of any potential problems.

By making sure we have your contact details we can make sure you don’t make an unnecessary trip if for example the dentist is off ill or there is a problem with any of the equipment.

In conclusion, we are sorry but it those couple of minutes are really well spent and we very much appreciate you filling the forms in.

 

Dental Checkups, Birmingham Dental Surgery

25th April, 2013

Why is it important to keep your dental appointment?

Your regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.  Not every oral health problem is visible or results in pain or discomfort.  You may see any changes or have any symptoms such as pain or bleeding gums – but this does not mean that you have a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.

Your dentist will assess your teeth and gum health, your diet and lifestyle choices and your previous dental history and then recommend how often you should have a dental check up – this can range from every 6 months to every 2 years.

During a check up your dentist will examine your teeth, your gums as well as the other tissues of your mouth.  The dentist will ask you questions about your diet (to establish how much sugar you eat and whether you have acidic food and drink such as fruit juices or cola).  The dentist will talk to you about your dental home care and will offer advice on the best care at home.

If you need dental treatment it is important to have that treatment done.  A small cavity now may turn into a large cavity or even a root filling if left and untreated gum disease can result in teeth being lost.

During pregnancy your gums are more likely to become inflamed.  Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing.  The mouth produces more saliva during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes and increased blood flow throughout the body can cause swelling, sensitivity and tenderness of the gums.

If you are pregnant and you have not seen a dentist for a while, make an appointment.

A common misconception is that people who wear full dentures do not need to see the dentist.  This is FALSE.  It is important for everyone to see a dentist.  Patients with full dentures should have their gums and mouth examined regularly.  Wearing dentures can cause irritations such as thrush and early detection and treatment will help a speedy, controlled treatment plan and recovery.

We all have busy lives, and it’s easy to forget appointments.  This practice saw 200 hours of missed appointments in 2012.  That’s 25 days!  How many patients could we have helped in that time?  How many new patients who are struggling to find NHS care could we have invited to join the practice?

If you can’t make your appointment then please cancel it so we can offer it to someone else.

Because of the demand for appointments, and the time wasted on missed appointments this practice operates a system whereby fail to attends are recorded and a patient who fails to attend multiple appointments will no longer be seen.

So remember – dental checkups are important, especially if you’re pregnant and if you book an appointment and something comes up, that’s ok we understand – just let us know and we will book you a different appointment and offer your old slot to someone else.

Health Gums, Birmingham Dentist

18th March, 2013

Blackberries could help prevent gum disease

  According to research blackberries contain an antibacterial property that could help to prevent and even aid the treatment of gum disease.

 Blackberries have more antioxidant capacity than blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and have been previously linked with blocking the spread of cancer cells.

 Blackberries have now joined the growing list of foods which could help prevent oral health problems.  Strawberries and green vegetables have already been linked to reducing the development of oral cancer, whilst other studies have found fish and fish oil can fight gum disease.

 Remember –  the first line of defence against tooth decay and gum disease which can lead to tooth loss is brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and using an interdental cleaning aid such as dental floss or Tepe brushes.  Diet alone will not offer protection against these diseases.

 We have always known that having a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fresh food to provide antioxidants is something we should all strive for and it seems the benefit to not only our oral health, but our general health cannot be underestimated.

 So what are antioxidants?

 They are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables – especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. To get the biggest benefits of antioxidants, eat these foods raw or lightly steamed; don’t overcook or boil.

 Minerals and other nutrients include;

Zinc: Found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products

Selenium: Found in Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products

How do antioxidants work?

They protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Many experts believe this damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. So, fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong, making you better able to ward off colds, flu, and other infections.

So, the next time you fancy a sweet treat, try reaching for the blackberries instead of the Black Magic!

 

 

Whitening Toothpastes, birmingham dental practice

6th March, 2013

Whitening Toothpastes – Do they really work?

 

Everyone wants white teeth.  Subconsciously we associate a nice white smile with health, youth and vitality.  A nice smile is appealing, friendly and confident.

But how do we achieve and maintain a healthy white smile when genetics, food and drink play such a part in spoiling our efforts.

Many people turn to whitening toothpastes; they are advertised heavily on TV and are often on promotion at supermarkets with buy one get one free campaigns tempting the buyer to try.

If you decide to try (are are currently using) a whitening toothpaste then considering the following information may help you.

All toothpastes contain abrasives; they provide the cleaning power needed to keep the teeth clean and help prevent gum disease by removing plaque, stains and debris.  If the abrasive content is too high however the teeth and gums and attack the enamel.

If you are using toothpaste that is too abrasive what actually happens is that the enamel begins to wear and the dentine beneath the enamel becomes more visible which makes the teeth appear more yellow in colour.

Some whitening toothpastes are particularly abrasive and can damage your teeth.  So if your whitening toothpaste leaves your gums a little sore or your teeth feeling dull or “scratched” then stop and change brands.

It’s also worth considering only using a whitening toothpaste once a week rather than twice daily. 

There are good brands on the market however, a recent study showed that the range of Beverly Hills Formula whitening toothpastes remove up to 90% of stains and are not so abrasive as to damage enamel.  It’s not as easy to get hold of as other leading brands but you can usually get it at Superdrug.  (this report was sponsored by the manufacturer).

Bear in mind if you do see toothpastes advertising what percentage of stains they will remove, that water alone will remove 48% of staining!

So in conclusion, yes some whitening toothpastes can remove stains without damaging your teeth.  But we would also remind you that these toothpastes are designed to remove stains – they will not make your teeth “whiter” than their own natural colour.

In order to achieve a whiter shade than your natural tooth colour you need to see a dental professional.

The law in this country states that only dental professionals can perform tooth whitening and there are strict limits as to the strength the whitening product can be.

Home whitening can give very satisfying results.  Custom trays are worn for 2 to 4 hours a day for up to 2 weeks.  “Top up” treatments can be applied every 2 to 3 years to keep your smile bright.

The downside of tooth whitening is that the teeth can become sensitive during the whitening treatment.  This can usually be alleviated by using Sensodyne toothpaste.  The sensitivity should pass once the treatment is concluded.

For any questions on tooth whitening or oral hygiene speak to your dentist or ask at reception.

Dental Practice, Birmingham, What are Cavities

22nd January, 2013

Hilltop Dental Practice in Birmingham provides NHS and Private fillings, white fillings and cosmetic fillings.  But why do you need fillings?

 What are Cavities?

“Cavities” is another way of saying tooth decay. Tooth decay is heavily influenced by lifestyle – what we eat, how well we take care of our teeth, the presence of fluoride in our water and toothpaste and of course our home care and and how effective we are at cleaning our teeth.  Heredity also plays a role in how susceptible your teeth may be to decay.

While cavities are generally more common among children, adults are also at risk. The types of cavities include

  • Coronal cavities – the most common type occurring in both children and adults, these cavities usually are located on chewing surfaces or between the teeth
  • Root cavities – as we age, gums can recede, leaving parts of the tooth root exposed. Since there is no enamel covering tooth roots, these exposed areas easily decay.
  • Recurrent decay – decay can form around existing fillings and crowns. This is because these areas may have a tendency to accumulate plaque, which can ultimately lead to decay.

Adults are especially at risk for cavities if they suffer from dry mouth, a condition due to a lack of saliva. Dry mouth may be caused by illness, medications, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, or if you become repeatedly dehydrated (athletes for example) and may be either temporary (days to months) or permanent, depending on its cause.

Cavities are very serious. Left untreated, a cavity can destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its center, which may result in an abscess, an area of infection at the root tip. Once an abscess forms, it can only be treated with a root canal treatment, surgery or by extracting the tooth.

How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?

Only your dentist can tell for sure whether you have a cavity. That’s because cavities develop below the tooth’s surface, where you can’t see them. When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars and starches), these carbohydrates are eaten by the bacteria in plaque, producing acids that dissolve the tooth. Over time, the tooth enamel begins to break down beneath the surface while the surface remains intact. When enough of the sub-surface enamel is eaten away, the surface collapses, forming a cavity.

Cavities are most likely to develop in pits on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, in between teeth, and near the gumline. But regardless of where they occur, the best way to spot them and treat them before they become serious is by visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.

Some people have symptoms like sensitivity to hot or cold, pain when they bite their teeth together or a bad taste or smell.  If you have any of these symptoms you should see your dentist.

How Can I Help Prevent Cavities?

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss or use an interproximal brush every dai to remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline.
  • Have regular dental checkups. Preventative care can help stop problems from occurring and keep minor problems from becoming major ones.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods. When you do eat these foods, try to eat them with your meal instead of as a snack to minimise the number of times that your teeth are exposed to acid.

Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste and fluoride mouthwashes. 

Hilltop Dental Practice in Birmingham provides NHS and Private fillings, white fillings and cosmetic fillings.  But why do you need fillings?

 

What are Cavities?

“Cavities” is another way of saying tooth decay. Tooth decay is heavily influenced by lifestyle – what we eat, how well we take care of our teeth, the presence of fluoride in our water and toothpaste and of course our home care and and how effective we are at cleaning our teeth.  Heredity also plays a role in how susceptible your teeth may be to decay.

While cavities are generally more common among children, adults are also at risk. The types of cavities include

  • Coronal cavities – the most common type occurring in both children and adults, these cavities usually are located on chewing surfaces or between the teeth
  • Root cavities – as we age, gums can recede, leaving parts of the tooth root exposed. Since there is no enamel covering tooth roots, these exposed areas easily decay.
  • Recurrent decay – decay can form around existing fillings and crowns. This is because these areas may have a tendency to accumulate plaque, which can ultimately lead to decay.

Adults are especially at risk for cavities if they suffer from dry mouth, a condition due to a lack of saliva. Dry mouth may be caused by illness, medications, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, or if you become repeatedly dehydrated (athletes for example) and may be either temporary (days to months) or permanent, depending on its cause.

Cavities are very serious. Left untreated, a cavity can destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its center, which may result in an abscess, an area of infection at the root tip. Once an abscess forms, it can only be treated with a root canal treatment, surgery or by extracting the tooth.

How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?

Only your dentist can tell for sure whether you have a cavity. That’s because cavities develop below the tooth’s surface, where you can’t see them. When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars and starches), these carbohydrates are eaten by the bacteria in plaque, producing acids that dissolve the tooth. Over time, the tooth enamel begins to break down beneath the surface while the surface remains intact. When enough of the sub-surface enamel is eaten away, the surface collapses, forming a cavity.

Cavities are most likely to develop in pits on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, in between teeth, and near the gumline. But regardless of where they occur, the best way to spot them and treat them before they become serious is by visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.

Some people have symptoms like sensitivity to hot or cold, pain when they bite their teeth together or a bad taste or smell.  If you have any of these symptoms you should see your dentist.

How Can I Help Prevent Cavities?

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss or use an interproximal brush every dai to remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline.
  • Have regular dental checkups. Preventative care can help stop problems from occurring and keep minor problems from becoming major ones.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods. When you do eat these foods, try to eat them with your meal instead of as a snack to minimise the number of times that your teeth are exposed to acid.

Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste and fluoride mouthwashes.

Minimal Intervention, Birmingham Dentist

17th December, 2012

Minimal Intervention . . what does it mean to you?

In the dental press there has been a lot of hype and buzz about “minimal intervention”.  But what is it . . . and what will it mean for you, the patient.

At Hilltop we are excited about the focus on minimal intervention, because it’s something that our dentists have been championing for many years.

Basically, the idea behind minimal intervention is to provide you with the tools you need to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

For example, if you have the very early signs of dental decay starting in a tooth rather than drill out the decay and place a filling, why not try to halt the spread of the decay?

Good home cleaning alone will help, but that’s not the whole story, minimal intervention is about prescribing fluoride enhanced and re-mineralising toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Diet also plays a key role, do you have a sweet tooth, if you do chances are the decay is going to spread, but what if you swapped your usual sweets for sugar free?

There’s also a lot of talk about Xylitol, a sugar replacement that has been found to have properties that stop bacteria from growing in the mouth.  Xylitol can be found in most sugar free sweets and sugar free gum such as Wrigley’s Extra Ice so something as easy as chewing gum can help protect your teeth.

If you have a tooth that is being treated “minimally” then a “watch” would be placed on the tooth and any progress, or indeed remission of tooth decay would be carefully monitored.

With the correct care there is no reason why an early detected tooth can’t remain symptom and filling free for many years.

Cosmetic Dental Surgeons, Birmingham

13th December, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry in Birmingham

Did you know that Hilltop is your one stop dental spa for all you dental and cosmetic needs?

As well as National Health dental treatments for you and your family you can consider additional, cosmetic treatments or smile makeovers such as

  • Tooth Whitening (power whitening or home whitening)
  • Bridges to fill gaps from missing teeth
  • Veneers to improve the appearance of teeth
  • Invisi-tips to re-shape individual teeth to give the overall appearance of straight teeth
  • Replace your old amalgam (silver) fillings with tooth coloured white fillings
  • Have stains removed with a scale and polish
  • Improve the health and appearance of unsightly red or bleeding gums with periodontal treatments

Or maybe you would prefer to look at our onsite spa menu for

  • Medical grade microdermabrasion
  • Facial thread vein removal
  • Facial fillers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Lip volumisers

 

We are accessible from all local areas including Kings Norton, Selly Oak, Bournville, Longbridge, Cotteridge, West Heath and are just 4 ½ miles from Birmingham City Centre.  Call 0121 475 2321 to join as a new patient, book a free no obligation facial consultation or request information.

Acid Erosion Birmingham Dental Surgery



ACID EROSION OF YOUR TEETH

We get a lot of questions about acid erosion at our dental practice, especially since there are a lot of products being advertised on TV to help with this problem.  So, we thought we would put together a small Q&A blog of our own which we hope you find useful.

What is acid erosion?

Tooth erosion is different from tooth decay in that the bacteria in the plaque are not involved.  Instead acids from some foods and many drinks attack the enamel on the surface of the tooth directly.  If this happens often or, over a long period of time, it can gradually wear tooth enamel down and can eventually cause shallow depressions to develop in the teeth.

 Although mild erosion may not give rise to any symptoms, in severe cases erosion can make the teeth more sensitive and cause pain after consuming hot or cold foods and drinks.  The teeth may also become unsightly.

Who is affected?

Erosion is becoming an increasing problem in both adults and children.  Baby teeth have thinner enamel and dentine layers than adult teeth and these are worn away more quickly by contact with acid.

The teeth may become smaller and have smooth “saucer” shaped depressions.  Frequent fizzy drinks, fruit juices and acidic food will cause tooth erosion.

Another cause of erosion is chronic vomiting, where gastric acid from the stomach comes into contact with the teeth.  This can occur in several medical conditions including eating disorders and even during pregnancy.

Erosion can also be seen in people suffering from a hiatus hernia who have frequent reflux of gastric acid into the mouth or indeed people who suffer from chronic indigestion or “heartburn”.

What types of food and drink contain acid?

    • Any type of fizzy drink for example cola or lemonade
    • Citrus fruit drinks such as orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit even if diluted
    • Any sour fruit such as lemons and plumbs
    • Vinegar
    • Pickles, such as onions and gherkins.
    • Yogurt
    • Cider, dry wine and some larger beers
    • Herbal teas
    • Vitamin C Supplements

How can acid erosion of the teeth be prevented?

Always limit acid foods or drinks to mealtimes only and finish the meal with a little cheese or milk (this will neutralise the acid more rapidly)

Avoid acid foods and drinks immediately before going to bed and during the night

Fruit juices and squashes should not be given to infants from a feeding bottle as a comforter

Do not “swish” fizzy drinks around the mouth before swallowing

 If acid enters the mouth, rinse with water and do not brush your teeth.  This will wear  away the softened tooth more quickly

Avoid tooth brushing after a meal including something acidic.  It is better either to clean your teeth before the meal or to delay tooth brushing until bedtime that day, or before breakfast the next morning

What will my dentist do about erosion?

Try to establish the cause by asking questions about your health and diet.

Fluoride mouth rinses and varnishes may be recommended by your dentist to help with sensitivity to hold and cold.  A desensitising toothpaste may also be advised.

The dentist will discuss the treatment options with you.

If this Q&A blog has left you with more questions, then give us a call.  If you are worried about your teeth because of acid erosion or any other dental problems, then call and arrange to have a dental examination.  If this blog has answered your questions and put your mind at ease . . . glad we could help.

Hilltop dental Spa; for all your dental needs including;

                       Emergency dentist

                        NHS dentist

                        Smile Makeover

                        Crowns, Bridges and Dentures

                        Male and Female Dentist

                        New Patients Welcome including Children

                        Dental implants

As you know we are based in Northfield (B31) but you can join our NHS practice from any location within Birmingham and we have patients from Longbridge, Selly Oak, Bournville, Weoley Castle, Kings Norton, Kings Heath, Barnt Green, Wythall, Rednal.  Everybody is welcome.