Our Story

Man has to go to the dentist continually to keep his teeth in good condition when the chief reason he wants his teeth in good condition is so that he won't have to go to the dentist
- Ogden Nash

The First Timer's Guide to Epsom Dentalcare

Welcome to our office. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you on a continuing basis in a programme designed to assure you of the best possible dental health. We hope you will take a few minutes to read this page so that you will have a better understanding of what you can expect from us.

A LITTLE PHILOSOPHY Dentistry has changed a lot in recent years, both in technology and attitude. We asked ourselves "what do people look for in a dental office?" and started from there. We decided that patients want an office that combines efficiency with friendliness, that is modern and up-to-date in every way, and where the dentist and support staff understand patients' concerns and anxieties. We work hard to live up to these goals, and we welcome your thoughts and comments.

THE INITIAL EXAMINATION Your first visit is designed to give you and us a complete picture of your present condition and needs. The visit includes a medical and dental history, necessary xrays, and an oral examination. During this exam we will take a close look at your teeth and oral tissues and record treatment required. When the exam is completed, we discuss our findings with you. In some cases there will be several treatment options and we will explain the choices, their advantages, and the approximate costs. Always the final decision is yours and we don't want you to feel pressured into making hasty decisions.

BASIC AND ADVANCED CARE Following your initial visit, we will perform the basic work necessary to maintain your existing teeth and oral tissues. This includes fillings, extractions where required, and treatment of gum diseases. There are different types of anaesthetics and sedation available and we are happy to discuss the best type for your needs. After the basic work is done, we can discuss advanced dental care to improve your appearance and chewing ability. This includes such areas as crowns, dentures, orthodontic treatment, and TMJ (jaw joint) therapy. Please tell us how you feel about the way your teeth look.

ABOUT APPOINTMENTS We know your time is valuable, so we try to complete your work in as few appointments as possible. Since overhead costs continue even when there is no patient in the chair, if for any reason you cannot keep an appointment, we request 24 hours notice so we can arrange for another patient to fill your reservation. We try hard to stay on time. However, regardless of how well we schedule, we sometimes fall behind during the day. The major reason for this is because dental emergencies such as an abscessing tooth or a child falling and breaking a tooth often require immediate attention: so we have too much to do in too little time. If we fall far behind, our receptionist will try to phone you prior to your arrival so that you have the option of rescheduling your appointment or arriving later. In spite of these precautions, there will still be times when you will have to wait, and we appreciate your understanding.

EMERGENCIES If you or a member of your family has a dental emergency, contact us right away. Explain the problem in as much detail as possible, including the degree of pain, and we will try to see you that day

PERMANENT DENTISTRY Unfortunately, permanent fillings or crowns or dentures don't exist. The only permanent thing in dentistry is the daily formation of plaque and the necessity of removing it with proper flossing and brushing techniques. All restorations have a limited life span.

Depending on the dental procedure we generally use one of four dental materials:

1. Composites. Tooth coloured fillings, also known as resin or plastic materials, used in front teeth and, in selected cases, in back teeth as well.
2. Gold. Used for crowns, bridges, and inlays.
3. Porcelain [including CEREC]. Used as a tooth coloured crown or veneer in front or back teeth. Porcelain is also used in bridges and as a tooth coloured inlay, instead of amalgam, in back teeth.

None of these materials will last forever. However, if you are effective with your brushing and flossing, you should get ten to twenty years of service from a well made restoration. If you are not effective with your home care, then the material will start to deteriorate within days of placing in the mouth. Your jaws are very powerful and the constant forces of biting and grinding cause your teeth and fillings to wear. Eventually a filling will break down to a point where the oral bacteria attack the tooth around or under the restoration. This is recurrent tooth decay. The problem is that this process is usually silent (i.e. no toothache) and that every time the filling is replaced, more natural tooth structure is lost. Gold and porcelain have a lower rate of breakdown than do amalgam and composite, so we may recommend the replacement of deteriorating fillings with these longer lasting materials, once the skill of effective brushing and flossing has been mastered. Always the final decision on treatment options and materials is for you to make.

TYPES OF TREATMENT AVAILABLE There are eight divisions within the traditional range of family dentistry. They are:

1. Conservative dentistry. This includes all the different types of fillings with the different types of materials. Teeth are restored after damage from decay, accident, or wear and tear.
2. Crown and bridge dentistry. This field is more complicated, more successful in restoring badly damaged teeth, and more expensive than ordinary fillings.
3. Prosthodontics. The art of making full or partial dentures. Partial dentures may have a plastic or metal frame and could have special attachments to existing teeth to hold them firmly in the mouth.
4. Oral surgery. Tooth extractions ranging through to surgical extractions of impacted teeth.
5. Periodontics. The treatment of diseases of the gums and other tissues that support the teeth. This includes scaling and polishing teeth.
6. Paedodontics. Dentistry for children's teeth.
7. Orthodontics. The straightening of teeth to achieve an attractive full face, a broad complete smile, a functional bite, and a healthy jaw joint.
8. Endodontics. The treatment of diseases of the nerve of the tooth. It commonly involves removing the nerve from the root canal of a damaged tooth.

As well, there are four exciting new divisions in modern dentistry. They are:

1. Preventive dentistry. Procedures designed to prevent either tooth or gum disease. This includes tooth cleaning and oral hygiene instruction, fluoride treatment, and the sealing of fissures (cracks) in posterior teeth.
2. Cosmetic dentistry. The art of enhancing a smile by changing the shape and appearance of teeth with porcelain or composite veneers or crowns, or by bleaching the teeth to a whiter shade
3. Implants. Posts and crowns are inserted in the jaw bone to replace missing teeth
3. TMJ (jaw joint) dysfunction treatment. Many pains of the head, neck, and upper body can be related to problems of the jaw joint. We have a special interest in this field. If you suffer from a clicking jaw, ear pains or noises, regular headaches, or painful or limited jaw movements, please tell us.
4. Snoring prevention appliances. Dental appliances are becoming increasingly recognised as effective non-invasive treatments for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. Talk to us about this

All these fields of dentistry are treated in this office. Sometimes a patient has a condition which causes us to suggest that it would be in the patients best interest to obtain a second opinion from another health professional. This does not happen often, but everyone, including a dentist, has limitations, and we believe that success is dependant in knowing what we do best, and passing on some problems to others with greater expertise in a particular field.

RECALL EXAMINATIONS The office has a patient recall programme. Some patients return every six months, but we find that most adults require only an annual recall appointment.

FEES AND PAYMENTS The days of relating your dental bill to the number of fillings you receive are long gone. Now your fee can be for a variety of treatments - including xrays, tooth cleaning, fluoride treatment, or orthodontics - with not a filling in sight. Dentists prefer to charge for preventing problems, rather than correcting them. We imagine you will feel the same. To keep our costs, and therefore our fees, to a minimum, we request payment at the time of treatment. When your work is long term or complex, you may wish to discuss payment procedures with our office staff. They will be happy to assist you.

AND FINALLY Thank you for reading this page. Our office is dedicated to helping you reach and maintain the best oral health possible. Please contact us to talk about your concerns and how you feel about the appearance of your teeth. Dentistry is going through a period of dramatic developments. There are new techniques and new ideas appearing all the time and we are happy to talk about these - please ask!!