Holbrook Dental Practice

Frequently Asked Questions (What To Do If …)


What should I do if I lose a crown?

Basically the crown needs to be cemented back in place (if viable) as soon as possible so we recommend you contact the Practice immediately to obtain further advice and an appointment. Short term, if you can, place the crown back in place but be careful you do not take any risks either with swallowing or inhaling it.When a crown is loose or comes out several things may take place all to the detriment of the tooth and owner so the sooner the status quo is re-established the better:

  • the teeth either side or opposing the crown may move making it difficult or impossible to re-seat the crown
  • the tooth may be sensitive and feel painful without it’s covering.
  • the tooth may look unsightly making you less willing to smile.
  • the gum may overgrow meaning the crown wont seat without having to adjust the gum margins around the tooth.
  • a loose crown may get decay under it making the problem worse.

Some crowns come off cleanly and are really simple to clean up and re-cement.
Some crowns are placed with an adhesive and these crowns need to be cleaned first sometimes by a laboratory.
Some crowns have cores and/or posts to anchor the crowns and these can be intact or broken too!
So the sooner we see you the better.

What should I do if my gum(s) is swollen?

If your gum(s) is swollen, we recommend rinsing with Corsodyl mouthwash or hot salt mouthwashes, and contact the Practice for further advice.Gums can be swollen for various reasons:

  • Gum disease which will cause the gums to bleed readily and feels sore. Cleaning them thoroughly along the gum margins and between the teeth can often make them feel better. They will probably bleed as the gums are telling you they have been exposed to too many bacteria for too long.
  • Infections can present as a swollen gum and can sometimes just be localised or sometimes affect your cheek, lips or face. If infection is present the cause needs to be determined and attended to. Infections can be caused by partially grown teeth like wisdom teeth, gum disease, infected roots or trauma. Sometimes antibiotics are needed initially to control the problem.

Why do you recommend the Hygienist?

Our Hygienist, Jacqueline Taylor is a specially trained member of the team who helps our patients in all aspects of gum disease and oral health.Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the cause of more tooth loss than any other dental problem and is a ‘silent killer’. Only meticulous checking for the problem at your examination and then careful cleaning of the teeth will prevent you from losing teeth.

The bacteria which form in the mouth and stick tenaciously to the teeth like ‘ivy to a wall’ cause both tooth decay and gum disease and only by keeping your mouth scrupulously clean will you avoid these problems. Jacqueline’s major contribution to the health of our patients is down to regular, personal advice and removal of the bacteria and their waste products.

Your visits with Jacqueline are adjusted to serve your needs and most of our patients see her every 4-6 months once a healthy base line has been established. During your visit Jacqueline will:

  • check your medical history
  • check how your gums are: bleeding or build up of deposits of bacteria
  • remove any hard or soft deposits
  • adjust your cleaning regime for home if needed and give advice on which products to use.

We allocate 30min per patient to allow time for your treatment, to write up your notes
and to get the surgery and instruments ready for our next patient.

What should I do if my tooth breaks?

We recommend you contact the Practice immediately to obtain further advice and an appointment. In the meantime, avoid eating where the broken tooth is and avoid hard, chewy or sticky foods which may break the tooth further.Broken teeth can sometimes just be tiny enamel fragments or at the other end of the scale whole corners of the teeth. Depending on how much and where the break is will determine how much discomfort you are in, how un-aesthetic the tooth looks and how quickly you will need to be seen. The more information you can give us over the phone the better the chance we can attempt to repair your tooth when you come in.

What should I do if my denture breaks?

We recommend you contact the Practice immediately to obtain further advice, and if required, an appointment with the Dentist.

What should I do if my child loses a front tooth?

If a child (or adult) has an adult front tooth knocked out, we recommend you contact the Practice as soon as possible as TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE when a tooth has been knocked out. A tooth that has been knocked out has the best prognosis for survival if it is replaced back into the socket a soon as possible and within the first hour. If you cannot get the child to a dentist please pop it back in yourself. Immediately after the trauma the area feels quite numb and you can fairly comfortably push the tooth back in… remember it is better to be firm and gentle and save the tooth than not to attempt to put it back in!

  • The tooth is attached by tiny fibres between the root and bone so don’t clean or scrub the root as this will remove part of the attachment so the tooth won’t take.
  • Gently rinse the tooth, pick off any large debris or similar and quickly replace.
  • Gently keep the tooth in place by biting together or pushing gently on the tooth till a dentist can ‘splint’ the tooth in place.
  • If you cannot replace the tooth, store the tooth in saline (consider using eye wash solution) or store at body temperature inside the mouth (in the cheek).

Recent research sadly suggests that teeth which have been knocked out all have a poor long term prognosis, BUT replacing the tooth is still important as it allows us to plan how to manage the loss long term. If a child loses a front tooth early it is really difficult to manage the gap well while they are growing. It is better to have the tooth re-implanted and then the child, parent, dentist & specialist can plan carefully how to manage the problem.

If the front tooth is loosened it is equally important to get this checked out. Sometimes the tooth is simply shaken in its foundation and not much is needed. Other times the root has broken and various treatment options will need to be considered: Can the tooth be saved? Is the break in such a place the tooth will never recover? Splinting of the teeth may be needed and only an examination & x-rays of the individual will tell the patient and the Dentist what can be done.

If the tooth has chipped or broken the treatment will depend on how and where your tooth has broken. Small enamel chips can be smoothed over if necessary, bigger corners will probably need a temporary dressing initially until final treatment can be agreed and carried out. If the nerve is exposed urgent treatment is needed to avoid pain, often root canal treatment will be needed. Repeated broken fillings can be a sign of bite and teeth grinding problems.

Why do I need to tell the Dentist if I suffer from neck pain and headaches, especially in the morning?

These could be possible symptoms of clenching and grinding, and can be, in most cases, alleviated with treatment at the Practice.

Why do you only accept private patients?

We have chosen to operate as a predominantly private practice so that we have no outside constraints on how we provide your dentistry. We will advise what treatment is required and support you to decide how we provide it and when. All the costs associated with any treatment plan will be advised to you in advance as we fully appreciate this can sometimes be an important part of the decision making process in respect of any suggested treatment.

Why is private dentistry more expensive than the NHS?

Private charges are set by us and are greater than the cost of similar treatment (if available) on the NHS. The main reason is that no money is received from the Government towards the cost of the treatment. Prices are also affected by the level of experience we can offer. When thinking about our fees, it may be appropriate to consider those charged by other professionals such as solicitors or accountants.

Can I spread the cost of my treatment?

We can accept payment in instalments as your treatment progresses or you can choose to pay 50% at the beginning and the balance on completion.

What should I do if I am running late for my appointment?

Please ring us!
Please ring and speak to Reception so we can let your clinician know, often they would be grateful for the extra time! More seriously, your appointment has been tailored to the procedure you are having done and so depending on what that is and how late you are running will affect whether we can still see you and carry out something meaningful. Reception will be able to help you figure all this out so that hopefully we will still be able to see you.

If I am unable to keep my appointment, will I still be charged?

Please ring us!We ask that you give us 2 working days notice in order that we might reallocate the surgery time to another patient. If less than 2 working days notice is given and we are unable to fill the appointment space, you may still be charged the appointment fee.

Our policy is not to charge on the first occasion an appointment is missed or cancelled at short notice as we fully appreciate that sometimes the unexpected does happen to detract from even the best laid plans. If, however, further appointments are missed or cancelled late then our policy is to initially charge 50% of the planned appointment fee, increasing to 100% if 3 or more appointments are missed or cancelled in a 2 year period.

If you contact us as soon as you realise that you are going to, or have missed your appointment and you are able to reschedule your appointment for the same day, no fee will be levied.

Equally, should something happen in the Practice that results in us needing to reschedule your appointment with less than 2 working days notice, then you will be moved back one stage in the above process i.e. 100% fee to 50% fee or 50% fee to no fee due. We think this is a fair system for all concerned.

Can I park outside the surgery?

Parking immediately outside the Practice is restricted to 10 minutes on Howard Street or 1 hour on Fishergate.However there is unrestricted parking within a short walk of the Practice and a secure car park near by. Please refer to the Contact Us page for more details.