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7 December 2018

A little fun for Confidental Clinic patients to see how good your memory is!

In June 2015, we published the very first dental blog on our website. Since then, hopefully, we have provided our local Surbiton patients with a wide range of information, helping them to become more aware of dental issues and how to prevent them.

In the spirit and tradition of the end of year quiz, we thought we would see if our patients could remember some key facts that have been mentioned several times whilst writing these blogs.

Questions follow, with answers towards the bottom of the page. How well will you do?

  1. Name 2 types of gum disease
  2. How often should you change your toothbrush?
  3. What is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK?
  4. Are you actually asleep during dental sedation?
  5. Name the two available options if you have an infection in the root canals of your teeth
  6. How often should you see a dentist for a check up?
  7. Why do we examine your cheeks and tongue during your checkups?
  8. Can dentists diagnose mouth cancer?
  9. Should you brush your teeth immediately after eating?
  10. What are sometimes described as ‘false fingernails for the teeth’?
  11. What is ‘bruxism’?
  12. (Well, there are 12 days of Christmas!) Name the process where the bone and titanium implant fuse, following a dental implant placement?

We hope that you enjoyed our little quiz and that it acted as a refresher in your quest for the best oral health possible. We are always happy to cover any topic that you are interested in, within the dental realm, and you can contact us via our website if you have any questions you would like us to cover in our dental blog.

There will probably be one more blog before our Christmas break, but allow us to wish all of our patients a Merry Christmas from all the team at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.

(Please note that we will be closed during public holidays. If you do have a dental emergency during this time, please contact us in the usual way on 020 8399 1291 where further information about emergency dental care will be available).


  1. Gingivitis and Periodontitis. There is also peri-implantitis that specifically threatens those who have had dental implants placed.
  2. The general advice is to change your toothbrush, or head of an electric toothbrush every three months or so. Bristles soften over time and become less effective. You should also replace both following a viral illness to avoid reinfection.
  3. Though most people think that tooth decay is the answer, it is actually gum disease. Periodontitis not only affects the gums, but also damages the supporting bone, causing teeth to become loose or even fall out.
  4. In the days when ‘gas’ was routinely given for a dental procedure, you were ‘put to sleep’. This is not used in dental practices now, but IV sedation is in some practices, including the Confidental Clinic. Although sometimes called ‘sleep dentistry’, you are in fact awake but in a deeply relaxed state.
  5. The name of the area affected is a bit of a giveaway here. It is indeed a root canal procedure that can be used to restore it. The other ‘alternative’ is to have the tooth extracted, a route we prefer to avoid taking where possible.
  6. This one should be easy. The answer is every six months. There are exceptions to this, such as for patients with diabetes and some other illnesses that can cause immune suppression, where we may recommend more frequent checks.
  7. Because of the nature of our profession, we are in a prime position to detect possible signs of oral cancer. Doing this every six months means that, where it exists, it can be treated in its early stages.
  8. The answer to this is ‘no’. In relation to the above, we would like to reiterate that if we see something that we feel deserves further investigation, we will refer you to your GP who can examine you. There may be other causes of problems that we have noted, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  9. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is ‘no’. Although it may seem logical to do so, the enamel on your teeth softens immediately after eating, and brushing them at this point may lead to enamel erosion. Leaving them for half an hour before brushing should be sufficient to give them time to remineralise sufficiently.
  10. The answer is dental veneers. Unlike false fingernails though, these are not simply glued to the front of the teeth, but require an equivalent thickness to be ‘shaved’ from the front surface of the teeth before being attached very precisely. Porcelain veneers are generally used to restore badly stained or chipped and cracked teeth.
  11. Bruxism is another term for teeth grinding, a very damaging habit for your teeth that can cause wearing down of the teeth and even breakages.
  12. We’ll forgive any spelling errors on this one. The answer is ‘osseointegration’. Accidentally discovered in the 1950s, this naturally occurring process has led to a revolution in teeth replacement procedures.

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