Scared of the Dentist?

19 Mar

ImageIt’s a Wednesday night and you’re having dinner.  As you chew you hear an odd noise and realise you are chewing on something other than the forkful of spinach you just put in your mouth.  You realise that your tooth has broken.  Do you (a.) calmly call your dentist (who if you’re lucky enough has a 24 hour service) and make an appointment for the next day or do you (b.) start clamming up and pretend that you are fine and hope that the tooth will either fall out all together or magically grow back.  Both options are fine with you, just as long as you don’t have to go to the dreaded dentist?Image

Now if you answered with option a, I’ll be honest this post probably isn’t for you.  You are one of the very lucky people who has a dentist you can trust and you have little to no fear about getting in the chair and having your tooth fixed.  In fact the scariest part is having to tell your boss that you need to nip out and get your tooth fixed!

If you answered with option b then this is just for you.  This post is all about dental phobias and anxiety.  Hopefully as you read through this you may come across an example that is reminiscent of your own situation and maybe will even help you to start alleviating your fear.

There are many reasons that you might be scared of the dentist.  For some it is that a bad experience in the past has caused anxiety.  For some it is a fear of needles or drilling.  Many people find that their phobia lies in feeling like they have a lack of control whilst in the chair.  Combined with those and many other reasons are also anxiety ‘triggers’.  These triggers can widely vary; for some the smells associated with the dentist are enough to send them into a hot flap.  Another common trigger is the sounds that some of the treatments carry with them.  For some it can even be the taste of toothpaste or even an advert for mouthwash that will send them into a frenzy.

Are any of these sounding familiar?

If so the first thing you need to remember is that you are not alone in your fear.  Many people in your position are embarrassed about their dental anxieties and feel alone and won’t talk about it.  You only need to do a couple of minutes of searching online to find some great support sites and stories of how people just like you went from sweaty palms at the mere thought of the dentist to being regular attenders with healthy smiles.

Now everyone has their own journey and story about how they got to where they are but the most common factor in each story is that they found a dentist who understands.  Dentists who are truly passionate about what they do got into dentistry for one main reason….to help people.  These professionals understand that you may carry anxiety from past experiences and are dedicated to finding a solution that you are comfortable with.

Not only that but in their spare time they study new techniques and gadgets to ensure that your visits are pain free and eventually anxiety free.  And it’s not just the dentist themselves, more often than not the passion from a dentist like this rubs off on the rest of their team and they work together to make you more comfortable.  Some have a Smile Advisor or a coordinator who is with you through each step of your treatment and will often meet with you before you even go near that dreaded chair to start looking at tactics and methods to help reduce your stress and anxiety levels whilst having treatment.

ImageOnly you will know what works for you, for some it’s music others relaxation can be achieved through smells and the use of scented candles or essential oils.  For some it is just the knowledge that their dentist will listen to them.  Not just listen about their toothache but about their fears, about their family, about their lives.  Often the fact that you are seen as a person and not a ‘patient’ or number in a system really helps.

If you want to find out more about anxiety free dentistry then sites like  and are really helpful.

Alternatively if you feel ready to take the plunge and come and speak to someone call Claire the Smile Advisor here at Southport Road Dental and book in for a Free Smile Analysis, she makes a great cappuccino and wants to help you overcome your fear. You can reach her on 01257 754595.

Maybe you have a question about this post?  Please feel free to leave a comment here or email us at


Let Them Have Straight Teeth?

25 Jan

Thanks to the likes of Tom Cruise, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell possessing a straight smile is highly sought after.

With incredible treatments like the Inman Aligner and the revolutionary Six Month Smiles a new, more confident, straight smile can now become a reality.  Here at Southport Road Dental we are always looking at the newest and most effective straightening treatments in order to give you the best end result (without having to put up with ‘train tracks’ for 18-24 months!).  In fact we love straight smiles so much that we developed the Buy A Smile Give A Goat campaign last year (for more on this follow this link ).

Whilst researching some straight teeth systems I stumbled across a very interesting story about one of the first ever braces, and the proud owner of a new, straight smile.

Pierre Fauchard was a dentist in the early 1700’s and is now known as the ‘Father of Modern Dentistry’.  I came across him whilst researching straight smiles as he introduced braces.  This is a simple diagram of the horseshoe shaped device that was tied to the teeth with gold wire to move them into a more uniform shape.  This brace, known as Fauchards Bandeau was used in one of the earliest ‘celebrity’ makeovers…the first lady of straight smiles was Marie Antoinette.

A dentist named Pierre Laveran was employed by her mother to help undertake the overhaul of Marie’s looks to prepare her to become the Queen of France.

Luckily the world of cosmetic dentistry and braces has come a long way since 1770 but it would still seem that smile straightening is still popular in royal circles.  As the article in this link suggests that Kate Middleton has also undertaken some dental treatment to perfect her smile .

Straightening doesn’t just have to be for the royal, rich and famous though and if you would like to know more about how to get a straight smile then give us a call on 01257 754595 and book a free ‘Am I Suitable For Straight Teeth?’ Smile Analysis.

What are Dental Implants?

12 Jan

Dental implants are the new big thing in the world of smiles, everyone seems to be talking about them.  You see them on makeover programmes and in the Sunday Supplements and you know that they are wonderful…everyone says so.  But what are they exactly?

By definition a dental implant is an artificial replacement for your tooth root.  The implant itself is made of titanium and is a bit like a ‘high tech’ screw which is placed into your jaw bone.   

Implants are used to fill gaps in smiles or multiple implants can be used to fix bridges or dentures into place.  Not only are implants a great long term solution for gappy grins but they also give you the look and functionality of natural teeth, meaning that you can smile, eat and laugh with confidence.

Another big benefit to having a dental implant fitted is that no damage is done to the surrounding teeth in order to support the restoration as that is attached to the implant. This means that the chances of you having problems with the teeth next to the gap are far less likely to become problematic in the future.

 I you would like to know more about implants or think that they could be the perfect solution to your sad smile then call us on 01257 754595.  Or you can visit us at

What is TMJ?

21 Dec

Since joining the team here at Southport Road Dental I have been asking a lot of questions and learning huge amounts as all things dental are still fairly new to me.

The plus side of this is that I am trying to learn about all things dental in the least medically sounding way possible.  As a Smile Advisor it is my job to explain things to our clients, funnily enough 99.9% of the people that I speak to who come to see us are not dentists themselves and, like me, want things to be explained in terms that are fairly simple and easy to understand.

 There are always new things to learn in the world of teeth so I want to share with you the things I’m learning, in nice easy to understand terms.

This week I heard a lot of the term TMJ, now while I had gathered that it was something to do with your jaw didn’t know masses about it and so have put this guide together to help better understand it.

TMJ stands for Temporomandiloular Joint.  If you don’t mind I am going to keep referring to it as TMJ because I don’t know how you feel but it’s a bit much for me.  The TMJ is the joint that attaches your jaw (or mandiable) to your skull.

Often when people say that they have TMJ they mean that the have some form of disorder with their joint, this disorder is an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint and can cause a whole host of problems for you. Some of these include:

-biting or chewing difficulty

-a clicking, popping or grinding noise when opening and closing your mouth

-dull aching pain in your face

-earache, especially in the morning

-headaches and migraines, again more so in the mornings

-some hearing loss

-Jaw pain or tenderness

-reduced ability to open and close your mouth

-neck and shoulder pain


-tinnitus (occasionally referred to as ‘Phantom Sounds’ most commonly a ringing sound in the ears)

The pain that can come when suffering with TMJ disorder can often be confused with earache as the two are in such close proximity.


There are a number or reasons that you may be suffering with inflamed TMJ, in some cases you may not even realise that you are doing something that aggravates it.  The most common causes are:

-Bruxism (repetitive grinding or clenching of teeth, mostly at night)


-Jaw Thrusting

-Chewing Gum

-Biting finger nails and pens

-Taking excessively large bites when eating

-Degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis

-Lack of overbite (the top teeth don’t sit over the lower ones)

-The inability to close the upper and lower teeth together at the back of your mouth

So how can your dentist help with this?

The treatment for these problems can often be solved by your dentist.  Replacing old restorations that you have had done which effect how your teeth close together can be a huge help as can having a nightguard or splint made to help stop any grinding or clenching in the night.

Of course prevention is always preferable to a cure so by keeping in mind these tips you could save yourself a whole lot of pain:

-avoid chewing gum

-try not to chew on pen lids

-STOP biting your fingernails

-don’t eat very hard or chewy foods too often

-try supporting your jaw when you yawn

Always seek professional advice if you think you have a problem, the sooner it is identified the sooner you can be pain free!


So there you go, hopefully you’ve got something from this too and if you have any questions please feel free to give us a call on 01257 754595.

So What’s With The Goat?

24 Nov

Funnily enough ‘So what’s with the goat?’ wasn’t a question that I ever thought I would ever be asked, never mind answer on a daily basis.  Not only answer but enthuse about.

This all started back in June Tuesday 21st of June to be precise….

On Tuesday 21st June I wandered into the office like any other day.  I was greeted by ‘No Pain’ Dave, seemingly like any other day.  Until this sentence left his lips; “we’re going to start giving goats away!”.

It took a few moments just to process the words in this sentence and a few more to try and make sense of it.  When I couldn’t I asked what on earth he was on about, this is where the giving journey started to come together.

On the Monday evening  Dave had been to a seminar to see a man called Paul Dunn speak.  Paul is from Australia and for many years has been at the forefront of progressive marketing and business ideas.  He has travelled the world teaching people how to improve their businesses.  Back in 2007 a small group of people set out to try and do something new.  They wanted to create a giving system.  A world where we could look at Newton’s third law of motion (every action has an equal or opposite reaction) and use it in a different way.

This is where Buy1GIVE1 came to be.  The system in place allows business to link their products and services to different giving opportunities.  Imagine how wonderful it would be if you went to buy a new 3D flat screen TV and because of that transaction someone in Indonesia was able to have an operation to give them sight.  Your action is buying the TV, the reaction is another person seeing.

Dave had been amazed by the idea of habitual giving, so often in life we are guilted into giving to charity or do it as a one-off event.  Back to Tuesday 21st June, after I sat and listened to ‘No Pain’ Dave’s tails of his meeting with Paul Dunn the previous evening I threw myself into researching the project and Paul.  Having seen the impact that even a few pence could have on people’s lives we knew that this was something that we had to become a part of.  Here Buy a Smile, Give a Smile was born.

At Southport Road Dental practice we like to think that dentistry has the power  to change smiles but change lives.  The low confidence and embarrassment so many people suffer from their wonky or gappy grins can have a huge effect on their day-to-day lives.  The greatest feeling any of the team get here is to see our patients walking out of the door smiling.

A smile is a powerful asset to have.  Studies have shown that smiling increases the production of endorphins and serotonin making you naturally happier. So not only does smiling make you feel good but it has a similar effect to all of the people around you who see it.  More so if one of those people caused that smile.

We realised that through Buy1GIVE1 our clients could get the same wonderful feeling that we experienced seeing them smile.  Every time a treatment of any sort is carried out we give a smile to someone else on the patient’s behalf. With the 600+ projects that B1G1 work with this smile can be generated in many different ways.  It is something as simple as clean water for a child for a day in Malawi, bricks to build homeless families in India new houses or giving a family in Kenya a goat which gives them an income for a lifetime.

Since the Buy A Smile GIVE A Goat campaign has become a source of slight confusion and some great laughs ever since, and the happy, smiling goat our talisman. Whenever a client here straightens their teeth we give a goat.  Whiten your teeth and bricks towards a new home.

So that’s what the goat is all about, a loveable little creature who is bringing smiles to people all over the world!


Smiles All Round

23 Nov

Welcome to the world of a pain free dental practice.