Dental advice during Coronavirus – and Lambourn Dental remains open during Lockdown 2

Lambourn Dental remains open during Lockdown 2

We watched and listened, as did many in our profession, to the Prime Minister’s latest announcement regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, wondering whether dentists would be able to stay open for face-to-face appointments during what was already being termed Lockdown 2.0 from 5 November 2020. (This was not permitted for four months in Lockdown 1.0)

On 3 November, to our great relief, the Chief Dental Officer for England confirmed that dental practices could remain open.

At Lambourn Dental we were delighted by this and also feel confident that we are well-prepared. Since reopening in July we have become confident with our new cross-infection control measures and have been able to source PPE reliably. That is our situation, however: there are vast differences amongst practices. While some have been able to get back to offering their full range of treatments (though with varying waiting times and backlogs), others are only dealing with emergencies and there are some which haven’t re-opened at all. One thing, however, we all share: there is not a single dental practice will be the same as it was pre-Covid.

We have worked hard as a team and are able to offer our full range of treatments with a few adjustments and a lot of new equipment and ventilation. We felt it was important to ensure we made time for routine exams and hygiene sessions so we can monitor our patients’ dental health and avoid emergencies or unnecessary treatment as much as possible.

Like many practices we have a long waiting list but always aim to see emergencies on the same day. We also appreciate that not everyone wants to venture to us at the moment and will always give advice over the phone when necessary. There are ways of managing some dental issues at home (see below).

We would also like to ask our patients to bear in mind the following:

  • Please only visit us if you have an appointment (we can be contacted via phone, email and our Facebook/Instagram pages – see the foot of this post).
  • Please do not visit us if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have been told to self isolate.
  • Please arrive at the time of your appointment so we can manage social distancing in our reception.
  • Please wear a face covering inside the building (except, obviously, when having your exam/treatment…).
  • Please continue to be patient with us as we manage the new procedures and modify these in the light of further regulations or advice from the government and our professional body.

Emergency dental advice

Even though we’re open (though may surgeries are not – see above) we’ve retained this section, first published in April 2020, a useful guide to preventative dental measures and also some ways you can deal with dental problems before you can get to see us. 

The best thing you can do is continue to look after your dental health at home to avoid problems.

  • Brushing thoroughly for two minutes twice a day
  • Cleaning in between your teeth with floss, tepes or an air flosser once a day
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Avoiding sugary/acidic snacks and drinks
  • Keeping your immune system healthy by eating well, sleeping well, taking multivitamins and stopping smoking.

Here are a few tips for managing dental problems until you can come into the surgery:

Chipped or broken tooth/lost filling

You can buy temporary filling kits online or from pharmacies which can give some relief or use dental wax or even red cheese wax (including Babybel) placed on the sharp edges. Both of these will need reapplying regularly. Avoid eating on the broken tooth as much as possible and clean well to avoid food traps and gum inflammation.

TMJ pain

When the jaw joint gets painful and the muscles around the joint and towards the ear may be sore or aching. This happens due to grinding or clenching: you may be aware of it but it’s impossible to stop yourself if you are doing it subconsciously, such as at night. To help the joint recover avoid sticky or chewy or hard crunchy foods, limit speech and avoid opening wide. Place cold compresses on the outside of the joint for the first 24 hours and warm compresses thereafter.

Tooth pain

Tooth pain can usually be managed with regular painkillers. Ibuprofen is particularly effective for dental pain as it reduces inflammation. Only take painkillers that you know are safe for you to take and never exceed the recommended dose. If swelling occurs, then follow the suggestions below. Most acute tooth pain peaks for about 24 hours and then subsides. The underlying condition usually doesn’t disappear though so you will need to see a dentist as soon as it’s safe to do so.

NOTE: if you have been diagnosed with COVID19 it is advised NOT to use ibuprofen. This is from gov.uk website: Patients who have confirmed COVID-19, or believe they have COVID-19, should take paracetamol in preference to ibuprofen. Those currently advised to use ibuprofen by their healthcare professional should not stop using them.

Gum bleeding

This is usually caused by bacteria around the teeth and the inside gum pockets. Use an electric toothbrush, floss, tepes or air flosser. You can use a non-alcohol mouthwash if you wish but brushing is the main treatment – don’t rely on a mouthwash. You will need to clean well twice a day for about three days before you start to see an improvement and continue this routine daily to avoid gum problems coming back.

Gum swelling

Usually caused by gum infection but can arise when the inside of a tooth (the root canal) becomes infected. If it’s a gum infection rinse with a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water three times per day and follow the advice for Bleeding Gums. If you have an infected tooth you will need to seek advice and may require emergency treatment to manage the swelling/pain.

Cold sensitivity

Avoid foods with cold temperatures, and eat on the opposite side as much as possible. Use a desensitizing toothpaste which you can also rub onto any sensitive teeth and avoid rinsing it off. Acidic foods and drinks can make teeth more sensitive so try reducing the frequency of them can help in the long term as well.

Loose crown or bridge

Sometimes, cleaning out the inside of the crown or bridge with a toothpick allows the appliance to be replaced on the tooth. The best idea is to use a thin coat of Vaseline inside the appliance and reseat it on the teeth. In some cases, this will be enough to keep it in place. If it loosens quickly, do not leave it in your mouth at night to avoid aspiration or swallowing. If it is very loose, the pharmacy can supply a temporary cement. Be careful not to use too thick a layer, because that will cause the appliance to be reseated at an angle and cause tooth or jaw pain when chewing. If this happens, remove the crown, clean it out and reseat it with a thinner layer of temporary cement. Try to have you dentist recement it properly as soon as you can.

Broken denture

Some broken dentures are not safe to leave in the mouth since they can be swallowed. If the denture is large enough, and the break is small enough, smooth any sharp areas with an emery board, so they don’t irritate your tongue. Denture-repair kits are available online if you are able to seat the denture together nicely. Sometimes the break is too large, and the appliance can’t be reseated. In this case you will need to wait until you can see a dentist.

Contacting Lambourn Dental

Call us: 01488 670117
Email us: info@lambourndental.co.uk
Visit our website for more information: lambourndental.co.uk
Follow us on Instagram@lambourn_dental 
Like our Facebook page for offers, advice and news

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