Stoptober – How Are You Doing So Far?

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Just 4 days in, we look at why you should keep going with your quit smoking campaign.

Stoptober is a yearly initiative by Public Health England, to encourage people to stop smoking, or at the very least, to significantly cut down the amount of cigarettes that they smoke.

During this month, you are likely to see more anti smoking promotions in the media, and an increased awareness of where to access help and information for those who want to quit.

Like many things that we are determined to do, we often start out with an unbridled enthusiasm, only to find that reality hits us as we get a few days into it. The addictive nature of nicotine means that many people who try to stop smoking, will find it difficult to stop after the initial enthusiasm has waned. Our advice is not to let your addiction beat you! Remember, millions of people have already succeeded in giving up, and there is no reason why you should not be successful in doing so too.

Why stop smoking?

We can probably keep this section short as most of the health issues associated with smoking are fairly well known. From a dentist’s view point though, some patients may still not be aware of the link between smoking and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. These, in turn, have been linked with other medical issues such as heart disease and an increased risk of a stroke.

One of the most serious oral health issues that is strongly linked to smoking is mouth cancer. This can be very serious and can even prove to be fatal, especially if it remains undetected for too long. We check for signs of this during your regular check ups at our Surbiton practice, so please make sure that you have one at least every six months.

From a purely cosmetic viewpoint, smoking will also stain your teeth, often quite badly.

Anti smoking resources

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What Happens To Your Teeth When You Become Ill?

sensitive teeth

With Winter now on the horizon, dentist Reena Jasani looks what happens to our teeth when viruses strike.

It probably seems a bit premature to talk about winter, with the nice hot summer not so far behind us. It won’t be too long though before we are all donning our hats and coats before going outside.

Although the colder weather does have its fans, it is also usually the start of a season of sniffles and sneezes and reaching for the honey and lemon. Colds and flus can make us feel terrible, but our teeth can also suffer when we become ill. Dr Jasani takes a look at the potential problems in our blog:


When we are laid on the sofa with our box of tissues and favourite box set on the TV, it may seem too much effort to get up to have a drink. However, staying well hydrated is helpful for our teeth and gums and drinking water especially, will not only help to remove food debris from between our teeth, but also keep our mouths moist and help to reduce the spread of potentially gum disease causing bacteria. Some of the medications that we take for colds and flus may also dehydrate us, so do try to drink more water at this time.

Comfort foods and drinks

The idea of eating a healthy salad will almost certainly not occur to us when we are ill. On the menu are often foods that offer comfort, but potentially little nutritional value. High sugar drinks, cakes and packets of biscuits may well be not too far out of our reach, but try to keep this to a minimum to avoid an overload of sugar which is obviously harmful to your teeth.


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Extracting A Tooth – When And How We Do It

Dr Minesh Patel of Confidental Surbiton

Dentist, Dr Minesh Patel, explains the reasons and methods for this common procedure

With modern dental methods and an increasing range of procedures at our disposal, any dentist will, quite naturally, want to preserve a natural tooth wherever this is possible. Even where a tooth has become badly decayed or broken, there are other options besides the common filling we can employ. Crowns, inlays, onlays and other methods can all be used to restore a tooth, depending on the type of work required.

Sometimes though, it simply may not be possible to save a tooth, or the prognosis for a damaged or infected one may be so poor that extracting it is the most sensible option available. When an extraction is needed, you can be sure that you will be in very capable hands at the Confidental Clinic here in Surbiton.

No gas?

Older patients who haven’t had any teeth removed for many years are sometimes surprised to hear that we no longer administer ‘knockout’ gas, as it was often known. It has been illegal for dentists to administer this since January 2002 (1) , and anyone who has medical needs that require this, will have to have their teeth removed in hospital, where a qualified anaesthetist is present. A good example of this is where a young child needs a tooth extraction. Whilst adults may be expected to work with the dentist using a local anaesthetic, a small child would be unable to do this and may present some danger to themselves during the treatment.

Instead of using nitrous oxide, modern dental practices use a very powerful local anaesthetic which works to prevent the patient from feeling any significant discomfort. This may appear to be little consolation to patients who are very nervous about invasive treatments; so to help them, we are pleased to provide IV sedation. This does not put the patient to sleep, but will leave them in a deeply relaxed state and able to undergo treatment without the stress.

We will also make sure that we are up to date with your current medical information. It is important that you do tell us any changes in medication as some of these may impact upon the treatment.

Removal of a damaged or decaying tooth

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Are You In A High Risk Group For Gum Disease?

Janice Andrews, our dental hygienist asks if patients are aware of their own risk of gum problems.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are a risk to all of us. There are always “bad” bacteria present in our mouth which can lead to gum problems if we do not keep them under control. A combination of eating the wrong diet, along with failing to keep our teeth and gums clean, makes it highly likely that we will start to notice some of the symptoms of gum disease, including sore or bleeding gums.

Whilst this applies to all of us, there are certain groups for whom gum disease might be a particular problem.


It is a well known fact that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of gingivitis and periodontitis than those who are not. People with poor blood sugar control are likely to suffer from this problem more regularly, and sometimes more severely too. There is also some current thinking that having gum disease may also increase the risks of having diabetes.

To help to counteract this, it is important to make sure that you take care to keep your mouth in the best condition possible. Whilst we recommend that all patients have a scale and polish at our Surbiton practice at least twice a year, this is especially important for diabetics, and we usually recommend that these are carried out more frequently to help to combat this potential problem.


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Looking For The Latest Dental Braces?

Our specialist orthodontist, Dr Cleopatra Darwish, offers some advice.

For many people, the idea of wearing dental braces is likely to evoke memories of the metal braces that they were familiar with in their childhood. The good news for those who need them, is that the latest teeth braces, or orthodontics, to give them their correct title, are now more advanced and are both more discreet and comfortable to wear.

Looking for the ‘best braces’ is not a straightforward issue. Most UK dental practices will provide you with good quality orthodontics and the real question is which of these is the most suitable for your own situation.

It starts with a consultation

When patients come to the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton because they are unhappy with their crooked teeth, the first thing we will do is to discuss this with them and see what they would like to achieve. We will then look at the various types of orthodontics which might help them to have straighter teeth. Some systems, such as the Inman Aligner, are designed for smaller corrections on the visible front teeth, whilst other systems like Invisalign can be used where more extensive correction is needed.

Once your treatment has been chosen, you will need to undergo a thorough general examination so that we can treat any outstanding issues, such as gum disease or decay, before we move onto fitting your dental braces.

Comfort is an important factor

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Dispelling The Myths About Anti-Wrinkle Injections

Why this popular facial aesthetics treatment is both safe and effective.

For a while now, we have been seeing an increasing number of patients come to the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton to receive facial aesthetics treatment. This perhaps, in spite of some of the ‘procedures that go wrong’ kind of TV programmes and magazine articles that seem to be popular these days. Whilst sensationalism is a great way to sell programmes, it rarely reflects the realities involved!

We should just say that, yes, some facial aesthetic procedures have gone wrong, sometimes producing significant unwanted facial changes. However, providing that you use a reputable practitioner, such as the members of our Surbiton facial aesthetics team, you should have nothing to worry about at all.

At our practice, we use Azzalure in our anti wrinkle treatments. The active ingredient in this is Botulinum A, commonly known as Botox. It is this ingredient that has received most of the negative publicity over the years, but in today’s blog, we look at the truth surrounding some of the scare stories about it.

It’s dangerous

It is true that Botox is a ‘toxin’, and, if used in excessive doses, could potentially be dangerous. However, the quantities used during anti wrinkle treatments are very small and should present no danger to our patients. Our team are fully trained and highly experienced, adding an extra layers of safety to this treatment. We will always discuss your general health and check to make sure that there are no circumstances why Botox would not be suitable at that time.

The effects of facial aesthetics can be extreme

Again, if used incorrectly, this is true, with the ‘trout pout’ being one of the most well known problems for patients seeking to have thinning lips plumped up, in this case using collagen fillers. It is probably notable that it seems to be celebrities who suffer from this, quite possibly due to requesting a more exaggerated outcome. Our team will offer full advice about the expected outcome of your treatment and reserve the right to refuse any treatment that we feel may be unsafe or result in too extreme an outcome.

The Botox stare

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The Rise Of ‘Fake News’ And Implications For Your Teeth

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Choosing to follow dental advice from unregulated resources may result in significant damage.

Once upon a time, any advice given about medical issues was supplied by organisations such as the General Dental Council and distributed via dental practices and the national media.

These days, these reputable sources now have to compete with unregulated information which anybody can put online, often sensationalised for advertising revenue.

Whilst the ability by anybody to post information may (or may not) be good for democracy, it has led to some very worrying claims about ‘alternative’ methods of making your teeth look more attractive. Some of these claims may have some foundations in reality, sometimes even backed by businesses, whilst others, such as many found on individual YouTube channels, are popular because they purport to offer a cheap and easy way to have great looking teeth.

Facing reality

If we really were able to safely have ‘brilliant white teeth in five minutes’ or some other exaggerated claim, we would likely be offering it at the Confidental Clinic! Of course, this is not possible, and even if it were, patient safety would be a serious concern.

Below, we take a look at some of the more dangerous tips that have come to our attention.

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Am I Too Old To Have My Teeth Whitened?

How older generations can benefit from tooth whitening in Surbiton.

A beautiful white smile is often associated with younger people, and especially those with TV careers of one sort or another. But many young people these days have benefited from cosmetic dentistry to optimise their smiles and these types of treatments are no longer just for the rich and famous.

Although many older patients may wish that their teeth were whiter, they may not be aware of just how achievable this actually is. In many cases this is a treatment that they can carry out themselves, in their own home, with “at home” whitening kits from their local Surbiton dentist.

Why are older teeth more discoloured?

There are two types of tooth discolouration; surface staining and internal staining. Surface staining can accumulate over time and make the teeth look darker than before. This is generally avoidable if you look after your teeth well, with diligent, regular cleaning, supported by dental hygienist visits at our Surbiton practice. What is not preventable is the darkening of the inner part of our teeth and this is something that occurs naturally, the older we get. This doesn’t mean that we can’t do something to restore the whiteness though, and at the Confidental Clinic, we offer our older (as well as younger) patients, a way to do just that.

Easy teeth whitening

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Treating Persistent Headaches And Jaw Problems In Surbiton

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Could bruxism be responsible for these painful conditions?

When we have a headache, we are often aware what the cause is. It may be due to stress, a hangover or even a migraine.

We can usually manage these with painkiller medication in the knowledge that it is likely to be temporary. For some of our Surbiton patients though, headaches may be an almost daily occurrence.

If you suffer from a persistent headache, you should first see your doctor to make sure that there are no serious underlying medical issues. If you have been given the all clear, it is time to have your mouth examined by one of the dentists at the Confidental Clinic.


A surprising number of headaches stem from a habit which many of us may not even know we have, and that is teeth grinding, or bruxism. As much of this tends to occur at night, whilst we sleep, we may be completely unaware of it. As we usually grind our rear teeth, which are relatively strong when healthy, they will withstand the pressure for some time before any significant damage, such as a breakage, occurs. They will wear down though, and treatment should be sought if you are aware of having this habit.

Headaches and jaw problems

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Is Your Child Afraid Of The Dentist?

Our friendly Surbiton dentists offer some useful advice.

Do you have to placate your child, or even offer them a ‘bribe’ when it is time for their dental visit? If so, now is probably a good time to try to address this issue.

If they are afraid now, there is every chance that as soon as you no longer have full control over them, they will simply stop going, except for when they have a severe toothache perhaps.

There are a number of reasons why children don’t like going to the dentist and a very common one is when the parent themselves is afraid.

Your legacy

If you are afraid of seeing the dentist, there is every likelihood that your child will pick up on this. Children look to us to see what is safe and what is not. If they see you in a bit of a panic when your appointment is due, it makes sense that they will see this as something to be afraid of and avoided if at all possible.

Overcoming dental anxiety is not always easy, but with the help of our patient friendly dentists at the Confidental Clinic, we can help you to challenge this. In the case of extremely nervous patients we are also able to offer sedation to help you undergo your procedure. Knowing that this is available can help patients relax more about their appointment, and help their children to avoid the related anxiety they may feel about theirs.

Start young

If you have a very young child who has not yet seen the dentist, now is a good time to take them. Early exposure to the surroundings of a dental practice will help to familiarise them and help them to become accustomed to some of the unusual sounds and smells associated with the dentist. This should help them to feel comfortable during any future visits.


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