Dental Care Is Not Expensive When Compared To The Cost Of Neglecting Your Teeth

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Affordable tooth care at our Wickford dental practice

Many of our blogs focus on damage and potential harm to your teeth, often associating it with the pain and discomfort that can be experienced. This is obviously the main reason why our Cygnet Dental Practice patients should try to keep their teeth as strong and healthy as possible. But there is another factor – cost.

It isn’t unusual for people to tell us that treatment is expensive. We actually don’t think that it is for the value that people get, but we do understand that it can have an impact on your personal budget. The fact is though, that in most cases and accidents aside, much of the treatment needed is down to patients not looking after their teeth as well as they could have.

Preventative vs Restorative

Using our prices at the date of this blog, if we take a look at the comparative costs, we can see that a private examination is around £45 and an NHS one £22.50. Add to this, the cost of seeing a hygienist every six months for a scale and polish and you will be spending somewhere in the region of between £100 and £200 per year on preventative dental care. All in all, we think that this is a small price to pay for healthy teeth and gums.

If we take for example, someone who perhaps doesn’t look after their teeth quite as well as they should, and has say two fillings done during the year, on top of check ups and hygienist appointments you could be adding an extra £125 to £150 to your dental costs. Remember that these are for relatively minor treatments and there is no guarantee that if you neglect your teeth, this is all you will need. More significant treatment such as a root canal procedure and say a single tooth extraction, could add in the region of £300 upwards, on top of examinations and hygiene cleans.

The point we are making is not that having dental treatment at our Wickford dental surgery is expensive, but that this type of cost is largely avoidable if you take a conscious decision to take better care of your teeth.

Taking personal responsibility

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White Spots On The Teeth – What Does This Mean?

Dr Suky Ghuman

Dr Suky Ghuman explains what causes this and how to treat it.

Tooth discolouration is common, especially in those who eat or drink teeth staining foods and drinks, and also in older patients as the teeth start to yellow with age.

Understandably, many patients who suffer from this will come to the Cygnet Dental Practice to have their teeth whitened to alleviate the problem.

There is also another condition which causes patients to feel unhappy about the appearance of their teeth, and that is when the surface enamel appears to have a number of ‘white spots’ on them. This can be caused by a number of things, which we will take a look at now.

Causes of white spots on your teeth

Some of the causes of this particular problem are preventable, while others are not. Some are specific to young children, whilst others can happen at any time in our lives. Below are some of the most common causes of this problem.


This specifically occurs in young children whose teeth are developing. It is not harmful to the teeth but it does leave them looking an uneven colour. By and large, this is preventable and reversible as it is caused by exposure to too much fluoride when they brush their teeth. Whilst using a toothpaste that contains fluoride is a good thing, it is important that they don’t use too much of it as this can lead to uneven discolouration of the tooth enamel.

For babies and toddlers, you only need to use the smallest smear on the toothbrush. For young children, an amount roughly equivalent to the size of a pea is ideal.


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Your Local Wickford And Rayleigh NHS Dentists

Big family of people

Essential dental care from the Cygnet Dental Practice.

Although more and more people are focussed on cosmetic dental procedures to improve their smile, it is important not to forget that even the nicest looking teeth should be healthy teeth too.

Whilst a wider range of treatments are available for private patients, we still believe that good quality dental care should be available for all, and not dependent on their financial situation. With this in mind, we are pleased to be able to take on new NHS patients at our Wickford practice.

Due to budgetary restrictions for NHS patients, the procedures that are available fall predominantly into the ‘essential’ category. All cosmetic treatments, with the occasional exception of dental implants in certain, but rare, circumstances, are not included in the NHS treatments and will have to be paid for privately. Where patients wish to have treatments such as veneers or teeth whitening, we are able to offer payment plans to help you to spread the cost.

Essential family dental care

NHS dental treatments are designed to enable all family members to have dental treatments that are designed to keep their teeth and gums in good health. It also includes regular check ups which are an important part of everyone’s regular oral care regimen.

The main categories of treatments available are:


NHS fillings are of the darker amalgam variety. Anyone wishing to have a tooth coloured filling will be required to pay for this privately.


All necessary extractions are available on the NHS.


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The Electric Toothbrush – A Winner

Dentist doing examination

New study finds that electric toothbrushes are better for your teeth and gums than a manual one.

An eleven year long study has concluded that those who use an electric toothbrush are less likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, and are likely to keep most of their teeth for longer.

This has been considered to be likely for some time by many dentists, but this study now provides evidence that this is the case.

We know that there are still many of our Cygnet Dental Practice patients who currently use a manual toothbrush, probably simply out of habit, so we thought that we would take a look in today’s blog, at why you might now consider changing.

Plaque removal

The key to keeping teeth healthy is to control the amount of plaque that collects on the teeth and the gum line. This plaque causes damage to the enamel on the teeth, making them considerably more vulnerable to tooth decay than those with strong and healthy enamel. The bacteria can also contribute to gum infections like gingivitis and periodontitis, the latter potentially leading to eventual tooth loss.

Whilst a manual toothbrush can remove much of the plaque, it has been shown that electric toothbrushes are much better at this, especially those with oscillating heads which rotate in both directions.

Gum recession

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Should Children Floss Their Teeth?

teeth and gum cleaning

Encouraging the next generation towards a healthier mouth.

The number of adults using dental floss on their own teeth is only around 20%. Unfortunately this is far too low and means that around 80% of us are exposing ourselves to a higher risk of dental issues, including periodontal diseases. It is never too late to start flossing though, and even though some damage may have already been done, it will help to reduce the future risk.

We have also been asked a few times about children, and whether they should use dental floss. The straightforward answer to this is ‘yes’ they should. That is a simple position perhaps, but food and bacteria that gets stuck will damage young teeth just as much as older ones. In addition to this, we believe that  our younger Wickford dental patients will benefit greatly from starting this early and will hopefully continue to do so throughout their adult life.

Be a good role model

The first thing that we would say to anyone who asks this question is to be a good role model for your child. The vast majority of us are aware of this in our daily lives, perhaps making sure to hold doors open, say ‘thank you’ and generally being pleasant to people, partially in the hope that these habits will be picked up by our children.

The same thing should apply when it comes to your own oral care. If, for example, your young child hears you say that you can’t be bothered to clean your teeth because you are too tired, there is every chance that they will use this excuse too. Similarly, they will often pick up on the way that you clean your teeth. If they never see you use dental floss, then they are unlikely to do so themselves.

Especially when children are very young, it is a good idea to brush your teeth at the same time as them. By doing so, they will be able to observe the correct way to do it. If you are not sure about this yourself, you might find it useful to have a chat with our friendly hygienist who can offer advice on the best way to do this.

But what about flossing?

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Getting Married? Here’s How We Can Help Make Your Special Day, Extra Special!

Invisalign braces

Wickford dentist, Dr Krupa Thakrar looks at how a smile makeover can help provide long lasting memories.

Getting married is a major event for most people. It can be incredibly stressful for those doing the planning and also an expensive event too, with even a relatively simple wedding costing several thousands of pounds.

In the middle of being very busy and probably quite anxious about getting things right, some things sometimes get put aside that could actually make a real difference to your wedding day.

We may sometimes spend a lot of time paying attention to small details such as the seating name labels, but often forget ourselves in the middle of all this.

Memories will be important

Although your wedding may seem to fly by on the day, you will almost certainly be looking at photographs of the big day for many years to come. You will probably have spent a small fortune on your dress, makeup and hairstyle etc, but will you have forgotten how important a fantastic smile is on your wedding photos, especially as they are likely to be widely shared on social media platforms?

If your smile has ‘flaws’ such as crookedness or discolouration, this will be immortalised forever when you look back at your photographs and wedding videos. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and the Cygnet Dental Practice can offer you a selection of cosmetic dental procedures that can really give you a wedding ready smile.

For the purposes of this blog, we will presume that all of your visible teeth, when you smile, are present. If they are not, please talk to us about replacement options including dentures and dental implants. Both of these will successfully cosmetically and functionally replace missing teeth, though dental implants do offer a more secure solution.

Unsightly Crooked teeth

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How You Can Minimise Your Risk Of Oral Cancer

Wickford Principal Dentist Dr Pabari

A Wickford Dentist looks at this serious and growing problem.

We occasionally get asked by patients to give guidance and advice on the subject of oral cancer. In particular, how to minimise the risk of being diagnosed with it.

Oral cancer is defined as including cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, bottom of the mouth, both soft and hard palates, sinuses, and throat – and it can be life-threatening if not identified and treated early.

According to Cancer Research, one in 55 males and one in 108 females in the UK will be diagnosed in their lifetime, although the charity also highlights that 46% of cases in the UK are preventable.

The leading dentists at our practice have put together hints and tips, to ensure that patients and blog readers are better informed about the main risks and how to minimise them in everyday life.

What are the main causes of oral cancer?

According to the NHS, the main causes in the UK are alcohol and tobacco. This is due to the carcinogenic impact of both substances, which means that they contain certain chemicals that damage the DNA in cells, increasing the risk.

How common is oral cancer in the UK?

NHS statistics indicate that around 6,800 people are diagnosed with some kind of oral cancer annually in the UK, which is roughly 2% of all the cancers officially diagnosed. Furthermore, most of these cases in the UK occur in older adults aged between 50-74, according to research and figures from the NHS.

What are the risk factors that can increase the chances?

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Helping Patients With Dental Anxiety

fear of the dentist

How our Wickford dental team encourages nervous dental patients.

When someone attends our practice with dental anxiety, they may well think that they are alone and that no one else feels as nervous as they do.

However, we can assure them that this is the case with most if not all practices across the country and that it is a very common issue.

For most people, the best thing that happens when they see a dentist is when they are given a clean bill of health and need no treatment. For these patients, they can breathe a sigh of relief and put their anxiety on hold for another six months. For those of a nervous disposition who do need treatment though, it can open the floodgates to a whole new level of anxiety.

The need for dental care

Whether you are a nervous patient or not, if you have tooth decay, to take one example, it does need to be treated. Failing to do so because of your anxiety will only result in further decay and you will probably eventually end up in a lot of pain, AND still need to have the treatment done. In most cases this will be in a more extensive manner than if you had acted when it was initially diagnosed.

So, what do we do to assist nervous dental patients?

The first, and most obvious thing that we do, at the Cygnet Dental Practice, is to make sure that all of our patients are treated well. Our staff are trained to be pleasant and friendly and to help patients relax as much as they possibly can. This applies to receptionists as well as dentists and dental nurses as we all have a role to play in supporting nervous patients. The decor and facilities at our practice are also designed to help engender a calm and relaxing environment.

This may seem very obvious, but any dentist will tell you that if the patient is not treated with respect and their anxiety levels are too high, they simply won’t return for future treatment, or even examinations. Over time, this patient will almost certainly suffer from some serious oral health issues, and a likely subsequent decline in their quality of life.

Strategies employed

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How Important Are Baby Teeth?

Dentist Harminder Sehmi

Just because we will lose our first teeth doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look after them, says Wickford dentist Dr Harminder Sehmi.

Baby teeth, milk teeth or even first teeth, call them what you will, but we will all have them and we will all lose them.

Because our first set of teeth are temporary, some parents may not be too worried about their children not looking after them as well as they should do. This is bad news all round, and, whilst it is true that we will all lose our first teeth, some of them can last us well into our teens and even beyond.

Baby teeth also have a purpose and, like the teeth that will follow, should be looked after correctly for a number of different reasons.

Ability to eat

As children switch from soft foods to eating harder foods, it is obvious that they will need their first teeth for eating. If these teeth are not looked after well and cause discomfort when eating, a child may be reluctant to eat some foods and this could result in a somewhat restricted diet. This could potentially even affect their growth and development.

Tooth decay

Yes, children will lose their first teeth but surely no parent wants to see their children in severe pain because their teeth have extensive decay. In fact, the number one reason for children to have hospital treatment is to have teeth extracted because of this problem. Because you couldn’t expect a young child, say of toddler age, to sit still to have a tooth extracted using a local anaesthetic, they have to be anaesthetised for this procedure and this can only be done in hospital. Although small, there are also additional risks when any medical procedure is performed using general anaesthesia. Making sure that they have regular six monthly examinations at the Cygnet Dental Practice will help to minimise the risk of decay, alongside good care at home.

Speech development

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Versatile Dental Crowns

Dentist doing examination

This restorative treatment offers many benefits for our Wickford and Rayleigh patients.

After the use of a filling, a dental crown is one of the more common procedures used to restore a decaying or damaged tooth.

They offer an excellent means of providing strength to a tooth, where no other procedure can. They are also often used to complete both a root canal procedure and a dental implant placement.

Although our teeth are generally quite strong, providing that they are healthy, there are still many ways in which they can become damaged.

These include:

  • Excess force being used to bite on hard foods
  • Damage to a tooth weakened by cavities
  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding
  • General wear and tear caused by age
  • Teeth that have been weakened through chips and cracks

Whilst, at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we will always try to treat a patient using the least invasive procedure possible, this has to be balanced with the likely outcome. Although a filling may be a minor procedure, and is an excellent option in its own right, it is not always suitable for more significant damage to the teeth.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown, also sometimes known as a ‘cap’, is a tooth shaped object which is used to replace the damaged or decaying part of a tooth where a filing would not provide sufficient strength. They are also usually used to strengthen the tooth following root canal treatment. To fit a crown, the tooth will need to be shaped so that the crown can be attached in a way that offers maximum security and strength. Both the shape and the colour of the rest of your natural teeth will be taken into consideration so that your new crown appears as natural looking as possible.

How are crowns produced and fitted?

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