1. Check out the new additions to our website…

    31st March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    We have recently added six new pages to our website, highlighting some new treatments  we offer, but also improving the visibility of several services we already offer…such as treatments for children and children who are nervous about dental treatment, and a page all about  ‘Special Occasion’ dentistry..have a look and see what you think….!

  2. Dry Mouth

    29th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    Dry mouth is also known as Xerostomia.

    Not until we suffer from a dry mouth, do we appreciate the role of saliva.

    People may suffer from low saliva production for many reasons.

    The most common ones are:

    • Taking medication such as antidepressants, antihistamines and medication for treating high blood pressure.
    • After receiving radiation therapy in the head-neck area. This can damage the salivary cells and limit the production of saliva.
    • Suffering from other systemic diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes.
    • Surgery to the neck area where the salivary glands are affected.
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol

    As we age some of us will experience lower saliva production and hence a drier mouth.

    The role of saliva:

    • Lubricates the mouth.
    • Protects the teeth from decay and gum disease.
    • Enzymes in the saliva soften and break down the food to make it easier to swallow and taste.
    • Protects the tongue, lips and the inside of the cheeks from drying up and cracking.
    • Facilitates speech.

    What should I do if I have a dry mouth?

    • If dry mouth is caused by a specific medication, ask your doctor for alternative medicine if possible.
    • If the cause of your dry mouth is lower salivary gland function, try to stimulate it by chewing sugar free gums.
    • There are also medicines that could be prescribed by your dentist or doctor to stimulate the salivary glands.
    • If your saliva production is extremely low, you could use saliva replacing products.

    Other tips that may help:

    • Visit your dentist regularly to monitor your oral health…this can mean 4 or 5 monthly check ups.
    • Use mouth lubricators to protect lips and tongue from cracking and to facilitate speech.
    • Drink sugar free fluids with food to facilitate chewing and swallowing and even for better digestion.
    • Brush your teeth and gums gently and meticulously to prevent decay and gum disease.
    • Rinse with mouth washes rich in Fluoride. Fluoride neutralises early decay and strengthens the surface of the tooth.
    • Avoid alcohol as it dehydrates the mouth.

    Posted by Dr. Yasmin George.

  3. Painless CEREC Crown in Chertsey, Surrey

    24th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

  4. Now…… National Orthodontic Week 22nd-28th March 2010

    23rd March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    NOW you can have the smile you have always wanted

    NOW stands for National Orthodontic Week and the first NOW will be celebrated during the week of 22 – 28 March 2010.

    Orthodontics is a special kind of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face.  Nearly one million people of all ages started having orthodontic treatment last year in the UK.  Orthodontic treatment is about making the best of your teeth; it’s about improving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily.  Orthodontics is all about creating a natural, healthy smile. 


    NOW is the brainchild of the British Orthodontic Society (BOS), a charity which promotes the very best in education, research and care of patients. The campaign has been created to focus attention on the ways the look and function of your teeth can be improved; providing you with clear, trustworthy and impartial information about orthodontic treatment and encouraging you to find out more … NOW.   

    A new website www.nowsmile.org has been created and you can log on to NOW

    To discover the National Orthodontic Week events taking place;

    find a dentist who provides orthodontic treatment in your area;

    read 12 information leaflets produced by the BOS about different aspects of orthodontic treatment and enter a competition to win a digital photograph frame (on which perhaps to display your beautiful new smiles!).

    On the site you will find the results of a BOS survey conducted by ‘You Gov’ to discover consumer attitudes towards their mouths, smiles and appearances.  You will also read some inspiring stories about how orthodontics has changed lives; how people have overcome bullying and depression thanks to their orthodontist and how one woman had treatment in her late 70’s, who shows you it is never too late to get the natural healthy smile you have always wanted.

    You can also view a short film all about orthodontics, – viewing it could be the best three minutes you ever spend – you never know it could change your life!

  5. Bleeding Gums and Pregnancy

    19th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    Many pregnant women experience increasing bleeding from the gums, this is due to the change of  hormone balance in the body. The gums get swollen and red and bleed when brushing and flossing as they are more sensitive to the effects of plaque and bacteria.

    This condition is called Gingivitis (gum inflammation). This is a reversible process, which means that if you clean away the bacteria and the plaque, the gums will return to their original healthy structure.

    Some women stop brushing and flossing as they worry about making things worse when actually, the right thing is to brush and floss thoroughly and more regularly. Getting rid of the plaque is the best way to treat the gums until the hormone balance is restored after the pregnancy.

    Neglecting the gums can turn into a more serious condition called periodontitis. This condition can cause tooth loss later in life.

    Another reason for maintaining healthy gums during pregnancy is the risk of having a premature delivery.

    Some studies have shown that women suffering from Periodontitis are more likely to have a premature delivery. See the article on http://www.perio.org/consumer/women_risk.htm/

    Ask your dentist for advice if you notice increasing bleeding from your gums.

    Some products used in the treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis:

    • Corsodyl Mouthwash
    • Eludril Mouthwash, mouth spray
    • Dentomycin
    • Perio chip

  6. Cold Sores

    18th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    A cold sore is a viral infection that affects the skin around the mouth and especially the lips. The first warning signs are the tingling and itching sensation of the affected area. Soon after, the skin starts to swell and redden with a build up of liquid-filled blisters. The blister bursts when mature and the skin dries out. The ulcer caused by the process heals soon after. Normally the symptoms last up to two weeks until full recovery.

    What causes a cold sore?

    The virus Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV 1) is responsible for the infection. Even Herpes simplex type 2, which is usually linked with the genital herpes infection, has been found in this oral infection.Infection usually occurs during childhood and remains dormant in the nerve cells in the skin.

    The virus’s activity may vary from being dormant and not causing any symptoms for a long time, to recurrent and causing numerous eruptions in a single year.

    What triggers the virus?

    • Stress
    • Exposure to sunlight or cold
    • Menstruation
    • Local trauma
    • Weakened immune system

    How to deal with a cold sore?

    • Apply topical Aciclovir such as Zovirax® cream on the sore as soon as you feel the first typical sensations.
    • Take Acyclovir elixir or tablets prescribed by your dentist or doctor.
    • Use an antiseptic mouth wash to reduce the secondary bacterial infection.
    • Try not to touch the affected area to reduce the spreading of the infection.
    • Drink plenty of fluid.

    Remember that cold sores are highly contagious. Avoid contact with newborn babies and with people with immunodeficiency.

  7. Invisible braces

    16th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    What are invisible braces?

    One type of Invisible braces use a method of straightening teeth gradually with a series of clear plastic trays or ‘aligners’ instead of conventional metal braces.

    The distinctive feature of this treatment is that the plastic trays are virtually invisible, making them less noticeable to others.

    How does it work?

     The treatment starts with:

    • Your dentist taking impressions, x-rays and pictures of your teeth.A model of your teeth is cast and then scanned by a specialised scanner.
    • Computer software is used to design custom made trays for you to wear for each step of the treatment.
    • Each tray is designed to gradually move the teeth and therefore has to be worn in a specific order to achieve the desired effect. 
    • Trays are usually worn for two weeks before being replaced by the next ones in the series.
    • Trays are worn at all times including night time. The only time they are taken out is when eating or cleaning the teeth.
    • Treatment time may vary depending on the complexity of the individual case and can take between six and eighteen months.
    • This method is not suitable for every case. Ask your dentist whether you are a candidate.

    Why Invisible braces?

    Compared to conventional metal braces:


    • Cosmetically more appealing.
    • Easier to clean the teeth during the treatment period. 
    • More comfortable to wear.


    • The treatment is dependent on the patient’s consistency of wearing the trays. 
    • The trays have to be removed when eating. 
    • The treatment is not suitable if the patient suffers from bruxism.

    If your teeth are not suitable for the clear ‘aligners’then metal braces on the insides of the teeth are another ‘invisible’ option….this can be on all the teeth or just the front teeth.

    Check out our orthodontic page for more information.

    Companies providing invisible braces:

    • Invisalign®

  8. Nervous patients..? We can help…..

    15th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    Last weekend, Yasmin, Sue and Melanie spent 2 days at Queen Mary College, University of London updating their sedation training with SAAD.

    SAAD (Society for Advancement of Anaesthetics in Dentistry) is recognised as one of the leading authorities in this area and demand for places on this course was high. It was attended by  160 dentists and their nurses from all over the UK. The latest techniques and recommendations were discussed, so now we feel even more confident that we can offer our more nervous patients the very best care to help them have the treatment they need.

    We would like to invite anyone who finds going to the dentist difficult or stressful to give us a ring and find out more about how we can help.

  9. Gumshield

    5th March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic
    A gumshield is also known as a sportsguard or a mouthguard.

    It is an appliance you wear if you run a risk of getting hit on the mouth while engaging in sports such as boxing,  football, rugby, martial arts, hockey etc.

    It is designed to protect the teeth and the surrounding tissue from trauma. The rubbery plastic material absorbs the pressure and distributes it evenly over the whole jaw, minimising the risk of injury.

    There are different types and makes of gumshields, but there are three main categories:

    • Custom-made gumshields.
    • Off-the-shelf gumshields.
    • Boil-to-fit gumshields.

    Custom-made gumshields

    These are made with the help of your dentist. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a dental technician to be made. The technician laminates the sportstguard which make it more effective in protecting the teeth.

    The dentist then makes sure it fits the patient’s teeth properly and comfortably. The procedure takes two visits. Out of the three categories, these gumshields provide the best protection.

    Off-the-shelf gumshields


    • Ready to use.
    • A temporary solution while waiting for a custom-made gumshield.
    • Affordable prices


    • May not fit the teeth properly due to the standard sizes available.
    • Reduced protection compared with a custom made one.

    Boil-to-fit gumshields

    Made of thermoplastic material, these gumshields can be softened in boiling water and then put in the mouth to be shaped. These gumshields are  better than the standard off-the-shelf ones due to their better fit. Although custom-made gumshields are more expensive than the others, the benefit is invaluable when it comes to adequate protection during sports.

    Repairing damaged teeth after a sports injury can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, so the cost of the best sportsguard you can afford is well worth the investment.

    Ask your dentist for the best advice.

  10. Tooth Decay

    3rd March 2010 by thecourtyardclinic

    Tooth decay is also known as Dental Caries.

    It is the dissolving of the tooth surface in a slow process.

    Our teeth are covered with PLAQUE.  Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria, its products and food debris. When we eat and drink sugary products, the bacteria in the plaque convert the sugar into harmful acid and other by-products.

    The longer the plaque stays on our teeth and the more frquwnt the sugary products are that we consume, the quicker the decay progresses.

    Tooth decay is usually first found in the deep fissures (the deepest part of the chewing surface on the tooth) and between the teeth.

    It is easy for plaque to build up there and it is more difficult to clean it with the toothbrush.


    Symptoms vary from person to person. Some people start feeling sensitivity as soon as the decay has broken the first and the hardest layer of the tooth, the enamel. Others will not feel anything even if the second and the thickest layer of the tooth, the dentine is damaged and the pulp with all the nerves and the blood vessels is infected.

    How do I know that I have tooth decay?

    The best way of knowing is to be examined by your dentist. The dentist takes radiographs (X-rays) of your teeth and he or she will be able to tell whether you have an established decay or early decay.


    • Good oral hygiene, regular visits to your dentist and controlled sugar intake prevents decay from developing
    • Fluoride based toothpastes and mouthwashes are recommended.
    • Flossing or cleaning between the teeth is also important.


    The most common treatment for tooth decay is fillings. Under local anaesthetic the dentist or the therapist removes the decay and fills the cavity (hole) that arises after the cleaning with a choice of different materials. White composite (tooth coloured fillings) are now available. Amalgam (the silver filling) was predominantly used before the tooth coloured fillings were developed.

    Your dentist may advise to repair the damage caused by the decay with an porcelain onlay (CEREC) or a crown.

    Cerec treatment can be completed in one visit.

    Depending on the size of the damage and the location on the tooth, a filling is not always suitable.

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