Emergency Dental Care

Our Wickford dentists will endeavour to see you as soon as possible when pain strikes

Teeth painIn today’s blog, we are going to take a look at dental emergencies; what they are and what you should do if you find yourself in that unfortunate situation. There are certainly quite a number of people who think that dental emergencies are only those where you are in very severe pain.

In fact, you may not even be in any discomfort at all for it to qualify as an ’emergency’, as we will explain a little later on.

At the Cygnet Dental Practice, we encourage our patients to attend their six monthly check ups. This will help to reduce the likelihood of urgent oral care being needed, but it won’t eliminate it altogether. Let us take a look then at what dental emergencies are and what you should do about them.

Painful emergencies

The most obvious type of emergency is when you are in a lot of pain. This could be from a toothache, a root canal infection or even an abscess. Equally you could have suffered a blow to the face, perhaps due to a fall, and damaged some teeth quite significantly. Naturally, if this should happen, you will want to see a dentist as soon as possible, and also, we want to see you as soon as we possibly can. Remember too that if you have received a blow to the head, you should have this checked at the A&E in case of any head injuries.

The most important thing that you should do is not delay contacting us. We ask that you call us as soon as you can, end especially as soon in the morning as you can during opening hours, and we will do our utmost to see you the same day. Where possible, we will give priority to emergencies of this sort and where this is not possible, we will be able to provide advice to help you keep as comfortable as you possibly can until we can see you for treatment.

Non painful emergencies

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Dental Empathy – Helping Nervous Patients

Contrary to what some might think, dentists do understand dental anxiety!

fear of the dentistSeeing nervous dental patients is part of our job. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the majority of patients that enter our Wickford dental practice, as with other practices in the country, have some level of anxiety about their visit.

This should be no surprise really. No-one is likely to claim that seeing a dentist, especially for a procedure, is great fun and it is not the reason that we exist. We are here to help you maintain a healthy mouth and teeth that allow you to eat comfortably, and increasingly, to help improve a patient’s smile.

It is quite possible that some patients think that dentists are ‘above it all’ and feel no empathy with the patient that is about to undergo a procedure. We can assure you that this is not true and at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we strongly believe in making our patients as comfortable as possible, both physically, and mentally.

The fact is that, although as fully trained dentists we understand the treatments in more depth than the patient, it is far from unusual to find a dentist that doesn’t have some level of anxiety about having treatment themselves.

Why are people scared of the dentist?

Some people are naturally more anxious than others, but even the calmest person might find their heart rate increasing and their palms becoming a little sweaty as they sit in the dental chair. There has been much research done into why this might be the case. It can only be generalised as everyone is different but there is a strong feeling that the main reason for this lies in the area of the body that is being treated.

For example, although you might not be overjoyed about it, the likelihood is that you wouldn’t have the same level of anxiety if it was your ankle that was being treated. The theory is that as this is nowhere near the part of your body where the main senses are located, you will be less aware of what is going on. Contrast that with even a straightforward dental filling and you can see that all the senses are likely to ‘kick in’ given how close they are to the procedure. You can hear the drill at close range, you can smell the aerosol spray from the drill, see the dentist at very close quarters and of course, your brain detects any discomfort or even unusual sensations that you might experience.

How can we help?

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Planning For Dental Implants In 2022

Could the new year be the time for you to discover a confident new smile?

Dental implant in placeAs we approach the end of this year with a degree of uncertainty, still hoping that we can get together as families for the Christmas festivities; some of us might be thinking further ahead into the new year; a time when we often look at ways of ‘renewing’ our lives.

In many cases, this will mean things like stopping smoking (a very good idea incidentally), losing a few pounds or just living a healthier life.

It is also a time when some people decide that enough is enough and are determined to do something to improve their smile.

Whilst, for some people, this might just mean having a straightforward teeth whitening procedure, for others who have missing teeth or who currently wear dentures that they find uncomfortable and inconvenient, it can be a time when they finally decide to choose to have teeth implants instead. This is a sure way to have stronger teeth that not only look natural, but greatly widen the range of foods that you can comfortably eat without difficulty.

If you fall into this category, now is a good time to call the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford. We can book you in for an initial consultation where we can discuss this in more detail with you. In the meantime, it is worth taking a few minutes to read some general dental implant information and key benefits below.


The benefits of dental implants are now well known. These natural looking and feeling teeth are a great way to replace missing teeth and provide a secure tooth replacement, allowing people to eat whatever they like without having to worry about their instability, as can be the case with dentures in some patients. They are also easier to keep clean and can be brushed and flossed as you hopefully already do with your natural teeth.


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Christmas Gift Suggestions For The Smile Conscious

Looking for last minute present ideas for friends and family? We offer some tooth friendly suggestions

Smiling couple with great teethIn what has been another difficult year for many, Christmas may have seemed to come almost out of the blue, leaving some of us scrambling around for ideas of what presents to buy for friends and family.

There is still time of course, and buying last minute presents doesn’t always mean a trip to the overcrowded shops anymore. With more and more people buying online, the options available are also wider and more varied.

But what to buy? There can sometimes be the temptation to go for obvious ‘treats’ such as boxes of chocolates and other sweet things. Inevitably, the vast majority of us will eat some of these over the festive period, but equally, some of us will find that we have been given far more chocolates and biscuits etc than we really want. All of this excess sugar is certainly not good for our teeth and gums.

With this in mind, the Cygnet Dental Practice team offers a few Christmas gift suggestions below that won’t damage your teeth, and in many cases, can benefit them.

Electric toothbrush

If you know anyone who still uses a manual toothbrush, why not ‘upgrade’ them to an electric one. We know that many people have certain habits and they may be unlikely to change unless you buy one for them. Whilst it is certainly possible to brush your teeth efficiently with a manual toothbrush, it is largely believed that an electric one is more efficient as the high speed rotation of the brush helps to remove plaque from your teeth and gum line. These are also an excellent present for older relatives who may suffer from arthritis and other mobility problems and find it difficult to brush their teeth well.

Herbal tea selection

Most of us drink either tea or coffee, but there is a world of very tasty herbal teas now available for people to drink as an alternative. Some claim to offer health benefits, but whilst we can’t really comment on that, what we do know is that most of these teas are less likely to stain your teeth than drinking large amounts of tea and coffee. These herbal teas are often attractively presented and friends and relatives of our Wickford patients might find them a refreshing change after the overindulgence of the festive period.

Cheese selection

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Teeth Whitening For The New Year

Helping Wickford patients with a brighter smile for 2022!

A beautiful smile using orthodontic treatment.Some of you may have only just realised how close Christmas is? As the shops fill up with tinsel and potential presents, there is no hiding from the fact that before long, it will be time for family and friends to get together in a Christmas that, for many, will be very different from last year. This can be a busy and sometimes stressful time of the year for some people. Even for those who enjoy it, it can also be quite nice to relax amd unwind once it is all over.

One way to cope with the additional stresses is to think ahead to the new year, especially planning a treat for yourself. Some people, for example,  book early holidays to unwind. Whilst you wouldn’t want members of our team flying your plane, there is something that we are very good at which is providing you with a much whiter and brighter smile using our teeth whitening treatments. A nice little treat just in time for the new year ahead!

New year blues

Whether you simply want something to kickstart your new year or if you are one of those people who finds January a bit depressing after the excitement of the festive season, giving yourself and your self confidence a boost is a great way to start the new year. Having your teeth whitened will really improve your smile and many also say, your self confidence too. Teeth whitening is a straightforward and non-invasive treatment that can make a real difference. It is also one of the most affordable cosmetic treatments that we have available at the Cygnet Dental Practice so you might even be able to persuade your other half to treat you to your new smile for Christmas!

Book your consultation now….

There is no time like the present and you will need to see us for a consultation before we provide the treatment. This is partially to discuss what you hope to achieve, but it also allows us to examine your teeth and gums beforehand. There is little point in having white teeth if you have tooth decay etc, so it makes sense to have any necessary treatment before the whitening procedure starts.

How does tooth whitening work?

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Dental Hygienist Appointments – Make Them Part Of Your Routine

If you don’t currently see a hygienist at our Wickford dental practice, there are many good reasons to consider it

flossing teethWith an increasing awareness of the importance of good oral health care, most people now do see their dentist for check ups and any essential treatment that might be needed.

Of course, there are challenges for some patients, such as those who suffer from dental anxiety, but by and large, most people do now understand the need for regular oral care.

Whilst this is good news, there are still a sizeable number of patients who don’t extend this to seeing a hygienist, perhaps deciding that this is an optional extra and not that important for their teeth. This is unfortunate as seeing the hygienist is an excellent way of helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as we shall see in a moment.

First of all….

We would like to briefly introduce you to the dental hygienist at the Cygnet Dental Practice. Sadie Rudgley is an excellent hygienist and not only that, has a very calm and understanding manner which helps to put patients at ease. Although there is no invasive dentistry involved when you see a hygienist; for those who have not yet done so, there may still be some concerns. These will soon dissipate when you meet this very calm and helpful member of our team. You can read a little more about Sadie on our ‘meet the team’ page.

Benefits of seeing a dental hygienist

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Avoiding The Dental Horrors Of Halloween!

Can we stop our kids from compromising their teeth on October 31st?

Big family of peopleEven though many parents now do their best to manage the amount of sweets and other sugary food and drinks that their children eat, there is one day of the year where this can be really difficult to achieve.

We are talking, of course, about Halloween, a festival that has grown in popularity in the UK over a number of years. Although Halloween itself dates back to a Celtic festival from nearly 2000 years ago, the thing it is now best known for by adults is ‘horror’ and by kids ‘sweets .. and lots of them’!

So what can our Wickford patients who have children do to protect those vulnerable young teeth at this time of the year? The Cygnet Dental Practice team offers a few suggestions below.

Choose sweets wisely

You might have to accept that your kids are not going to be eating healthy foods and will be putting as much sweet candy in their mouths that they can possibly get away with. Although this is not ideal, some choices are better than others. One example of this may surprise you, and that is it is better to choose chocolate, rather than a hard boiled sweet. The reason for this is that although the chocolate may perhaps have more sugar in it, it generally melts in the mouth and is swallowed reasonably quickly. Saliva will then wash away some of the remaining sugars. Hard boiled sweets and toffees on the other hand, are kept in the mouth for longer periods of time and the sugars will stick to the teeth for a longer period of time and are potentially more damaging.

Limit their consumption

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Don’t Want Dentures? What Are Your Alternatives?

Although dentures are still widely used, not everybody sees them as a great solution

Implant stabilised denturesDentures have been around for centuries and have become an accepted standard for replacing missing teeth.

Over the years, these have gone from what were pretty basic, and often uncomfortable and unnatural looking replacement teeth, to modern versions which offer a much more acceptable appearance and are generally more comfortable too. So why are people increasingly looking for alternatives?

Today’s Cygnet Dental blog takes a look at why an increasing number of people are turning away from dentures and also looks at alternative solutions that we offer patients of our Wickford dental practice.

What’s ‘wrong’ with dentures?

Dentures aren’t a ‘bad’ thing and many people live quite comfortably with them every day. In many cases though, dentures do mean making compromises in the way that you conduct your daily life. Most of us will have seen cartoons where someone sneezes and their dentures fly across the room. This is obviously an exaggeration but they can be unstable to some degree and may have a tendency to move around in the mouth. Whilst this can be embarrassing on those relatively rare occasions where people notice them moving, more often than not, this instability causes discomfort due to friction against the gums making them sore, or means that wearers choose their foods carefully based more on how difficult they are to eat, than how they taste.

In addition to the above, dentures are also somewhat fiddly to clean and require their removal during sleep.

Can’t you just leave a gap?

Whether you want to leave a gap in your teeth may well depend on where the tooth was lost. Very few people will want to leave a gap where a very visible front tooth was, but it may be more tempting to leave a gap where it is more hidden. Although this might be understandable, the fact is that a gap in the teeth means that the adjacent teeth are likely to encroach into that area which then also creates a new gap that other teeth can move into. This ‘domino effect’ can eventually lead to crooked and uneven teeth.

In addition to this, if it is a rear tooth that we use to grind food that has been lost, we are likely to transfer this action to other teeth that are less suitable for this purpose. This can cause premature wearing down of the tooth enamel and/or breaking of other teeth.

What’s the best alternative?

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Last Days Of Summer

Planning ahead for a healthy mouth this winter….

Dental repairsPerhaps we shouldn’t be too pessimistic and we might have an extended summer, but most of us will already have started to notice a general drop in temperature and will have a growing awareness that the colder months will soon be upon us.

Whether this year will also see significant changes to our lives due to Covid restrictions we will have to wait and see, but the dark nights and the cold can pose a challenge even without that.

Winter, and even cold autumns, can bring additional problems for our teeth and our oral health in general. However there are a number of things that we can do to minimise this and keep our teeth and gums as healthy as possible over the coming winter months.


First of all, if you haven’t had a dental check up in the last six months, make sure to book one soon. Ongoing monitoring of your teeth and gums by one of our Wickford dentists is an essential if you want to maintain healthy teeth. In addition to this, make sure to see the hygienist at the Cygnet Dental Practice to ensure that your gums are kept as healthy as possible.

Think, don’t drink

Although we often talk about eating sweets and chocolate being bad for your teeth, the fact is that many drinks can be highly destructive too. As we have discussed before, alcohol consumption often leads to a dry mouth which can be a precursor to gum disease. Alcohol comes only behind smoking when it comes to likely causes of oral cancers. This doesn’t  mean that you shouldn’t drink alcohol, but make sure to think about how much you are drinking and drink in moderation, making sure to stay well hydrated with plenty of water too.

This brings us on to soft drinks. Many of these are very high in sugar and are also quite acidic. As these pass over the teeth, they can erode the protective enamel on our teeth, leading to sensitive teeth and tooth decay. Try to avoid these as much as possible and opt for water or other sugar free drinks instead.

Sensitive teeth

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Six Month Smiles – Efficient And Effective Teeth Straightening

Improving the smile of our Wickford patients with modern orthodontic treatments

A beautiful smile using orthodontic treatment.Although the pandemic with its various lockdowns and restrictions has been hard on most of us; for some, there may also be a consolation prize in the form of money saved through not taking holidays abroad or eating out etc. This presents a great opportunity for some to invest in a new and improved smile by treating yourself to that cosmetic dental treatment that you have long desired.

Those who have not been so fortunate financially can also take advantage of the various payment plans that we have available at the Cygnet Dental Practice so that you don’t miss out on this opportunity.

For anyone who hasn’t read our previous blogs and is thinking that they would like to do something about their crooked teeth, but don’t want to wear unsightly braces, this blog will hopefully be useful for you. We offer our patients a number of discreet orthodontic treatments  that allow you to have your teeth straightened in a less conspicuous way than with conventional braces. Perhaps the most well known of these modern orthodontic treatments is Invisalign which we have discussed fairly recently. In today’s blog though, we are going to take a look at another popular tooth straightening system, namely Six Month Smiles.

What is the Six Month Smiles system?

Like all orthodontics, the Six Month Smiles system works by exerting gentle pressure on the teeth, ‘coaxing’ them slowly towards their end position. This gradual approach ensures that no damage is done to the teeth or the bone surrounding them. With some teeth straightening issues, treatment can take a number of years to complete. This is often when it is due to a poor bite and when the teeth at the rear and the sides of the mouth need correcting.

For many people, the desire to have their teeth straightened is largely in order to give them the confidence that an attractive smile, with an even set of teeth, brings. This is where the Six Month Smiles system comes into its own. Unlike many other orthodontic methods, this popular system is designed to correct the position of the teeth at the front of the mouth which people see when we smile, and not those at the side and rear of the mouth. These visible front teeth (also known as the ‘social six’) are more easily positioned than those at the rear and the treatment can therefore be completed in a much shorter period of time. Although the name suggests that this always takes six months, this is not the case and is just an indication of an average treatment time. For those with less significantly misaligned teeth, the treatment time can be less.

How discreet is Six Month Smiles?

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