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4 Ways Your Dental Care is More Affordable Than You Think

When was the last time you visited the dentist for a regular dental health check and hygiene appointment? You’re probably busy worrying about your family, work, finances, and array of other concerns and stresses. You might consider a trip to the dentist as more of a luxury, or something you’ll get to when your life (and your finances) settle down a bit. Does this sound familiar?

Unfortunately, good dental health isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. A recent UK survey found that 54% of adults over the age of 16 had moderate signs of periodontal (gum) disease, the leading cause of tooth loss. The only available treatment (which believe it or not, reduces the need for more costly procedures later down the line) is regular trips to your dentist/hygienist. Like most people, you may know these things, but you still hesitate to pick up the phone to book an appointment. Why? You expect those dental visits to be costlier than you can afford.

At Eccleshill Dental, your dental health could be more affordable than you think. We’ve compiled a list of important things to consider:

How much do you value your smile?

When it comes to your health and appearance, the value you place upon them is a very personal decision. Most of us take these things for granted, and what we don’t stop to consider is how we will feel in the longer-term, when our health and appearance start to deteriorate. It is quite often at this late stage (where procedures are much more expensive), that people choose to take action.

What is the cost?

Consider that the average British household spends 6.5% of their annual income on coffee, 3.7% on clothes, and 1.4% on alcohol. The cost of your routine dental care (based on two dental health checks and two hygiene appointments per year) is only 0.6% of an average household budget. That’s less than 1%!

Find out if you have insurance

Surprising as it might seem, there are many of us that don’t realise we have access to dental insurance, perhaps through an employer or through a policy we have taken out in the past. If you have dental insurance that is not being used, then you will be missing out on an array of benefits. Many insurance companies allow you to claim back 50-100% of the cost of your dental bill (dependent on the treatment type). Many insurance policies cover routine dental care and treatment, which allow you to plan for your future dental needs. Policies which offer emergency and worldwide cover allow you to plan for any unexpected dental accidents at home or abroad. If you don’t yet have dental insurance, take some time to shop around online. There are many different insurance schemes available, each with different benefits.

No insurance? We’ve got you covered!

At Eccleshill Dental, we offer a variety of different payment methods to suit your needs, from 0% finance, to tailored payment plans. Many of our patients opt to join one of our affordable membership plans, which for a small monthly fee, offer a range of fantastic benefits.

We believe that everyone should be able to afford excellent dental care, which is why we pride ourselves on delivering fantastic services at affordable prices. If you would like any further information on our practice, services, fees, or payment methods, why not give us a call on 01274 633406.

 

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The Real Cost of NOT Replacing a Missing Tooth

Most people are aware that missing teeth make us appear older, but have you ever wondered about the health implications of not replacing a missing tooth? According to a study conducted by the University College London and Harvard University, the average Briton is missing 6.97 teeth, and an enormous 74% of adults in the UK have had a dental extraction. Tooth loss occurs for a variety of different reasons, including decay, infection, wear, trauma, and gum disease. Whatever the reason for tooth loss, the impact on your life is often significant.

In addition to the common concerns about appearance, there are other real issues and dangers present if you decide not to replace a missing tooth. We’ve compiled a list of potential risks to help you better understand the importance of replacing your missing tooth:

  1. Bone Loss

One of the most significant risks related to not replacing a missing tooth is bone loss (bone resorption). Bone loss occurs after a tooth is lost or removed because the roots of the tooth are no longer embedded into the jawbone, leaving a void. Over time, resorption will occur and the jawbone will begin to deteriorate. If the missing tooth is not replaced, as your jawbone begins to be affected, you will notice that your face shape will gradually change, and your lips may appear asymmetrical and sunken. Unfortunately, bone resorption doesn’t only impact the tooth that’s missing, but puts you at risk of losing neighboring teeth as well. By not immediately replacing a missing tooth, the ability to provide a successful denture, bridge, or implant is often compromised due to the loss of bone.

  1. Drifting Teeth

If lost teeth are not immediately replaced, this can have a detrimental effect on surrounding teeth.  The opposing teeth are most likely to be affected, and will continue to drift or move until there is an equal and opposing force.  They might even drift and touch the opposing gums where the extracted teeth once were. Drifting teeth may cause your bite to change, leading to muscle soreness and Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (issues with your jaw joint).

  1. Tooth Wear

In an attempt to avoid biting and chewing in the area where a tooth or teeth are missing, you will most likely begin overusing other teeth when eating. For example, if a tooth or teeth were extracted on the right side of your mouth, you would begin eating on the left side of your mouth. Uneven chewing forces cause excessive wear, and can lead to further tooth loss.

  1. Reduced Ability to Speak Clearly and Eat Certain Foods

A serious risk of not replacing a missing tooth, is a reduced ability to speak clearly and eat certain food types. Depending on which tooth or teeth are missing, it may become difficult to bite and chew certain foods. Eventually, this can lead to diminished health and poor nutrition. If certain teeth are missing (such as the ones at the front) it can also impact your ability to speak properly. Pronouncing certain words can be difficult, and you may develop a lisp.

  1. Reduced Self-Esteem

Whilst the examples above are all tangible effects of a missing tooth, there are intangible effects of a missing tooth which are present, and can impact your life in severe ways. If a missing tooth can be seen when you smile, speak, or eat, you may start to avoid doing any of these activities in public. This can have a detrimental effect on your social life, your job, and relationships. Depending on your age, career path, and relationship status, the cost of a missing tooth throughout your lifetime can really add up if you’re not confident to smile, speak, or eat in front of other people.

Options and Solutions

Whilst the potential risks of not replacing a missing tooth or teeth are great, we are fortunate enough to live in a society where options for replacements are readily available. There are several options to consider, including dentures, dental bridges, and the most popular and durable option – dental implants.

At Eccleshill Dental, we are proud to have helped many patients replace missing teeth, and regain their confidence. If you would like some friendly, confidential advice on the options and costs involved, telephone the practice on 01274 633406 to book a complimentary consultation with our patient care coordinator.

Together, let’s find your smile.

 

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NHS Vs. Private Dentistry: Which One Is Right For Me?

Most patients looking to find a new dental practice are searching for NHS dental services. Inevitably, people have reservations about paying for a private dentist when the NHS offers dental care, usually at a lower cost.

Certainly, there are some excellent NHS dentists in the UK, many of whom now offer a mix of NHS and private dental services. However, the demand for private dental care continues to rise. We have looked at some of the many reasons why people are turning to private dental care:

  1. ‘No Room at The Inn’

Prior to joining a private dental practice, the chances are that many patients have spent a great deal of time ringing around NHS practices in the area to see if they are accepting new patients. With such a reduction in the availability of NHS places, the majority of practices in the West Yorkshire area are at full capacity. Patients lucky enough to be accepted on to a waiting list could still face lengthy delays before they are offered an appointment. Private practices operate very differently, and you are likely to be offered an appointment within the coming days, and at a convenient time for you.

  1. Better Treatment Options

The NHS offer a range of core treatment options, from fillings and dentures, to crowns and bridges. All treatments are offered within three fixed price brackets. However, there are limitations to the types of treatments that are offered. Fillings and crowns are often available in a silver material only (unless they are being placed on a front tooth). Cosmetic treatment options such as short-term orthodontics, veneers, whitening, and implants are often unavailable on the NHS. Attending a private practice ensures that you are offered all treatment options, and you are delivered a treatment plan which is better tailored to your individual needs.

  1. A Relaxed Patient Journey

With such a high volume of patients, many NHS dental practices do not have long periods of time to spend with their patients. For anxious patients, time can be invaluable. Feeling rushed or having inadequate time to discuss your treatment plan and prepare, can be extremely off-putting for anyone phobic of visiting the dentist.

At Eccleshill Dental, we are able to offer you the gift of time. Taking time with our patients allows us to get to know you, and better understand your treatment needs. We believe in bringing kindness and dentistry together, and we place great importance on making our patients as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We believe your patient journey should be an enjoyable one. Longer and less rushed appointments allow us to take our time, and ensure you are at ease and happy at your dental visits.

  1. Priority Appointments

In an NHS dental practice, access to appointments can be restrictive. Appointments are often available through working hours only, and treatment may be spaced out over longer time periods because appointments are simply unavailable.

At Eccleshill Dental, our private patients receive priority appointments. We are open 8.00-18.00 Monday to Friday, giving you easy access to appointment times outside of working hours.

  1. Additional Support

We like to provide support at each stage of your patient journey. For our private patients, our patient care coordinator is available throughout your treatment to provide support and guidance, and ensure you are comfortable. Our care coordinator will discuss your treatment plan with you in detail, so you can understand your treatment options, what to expect from your appointments, and your different payment options.

  1. Affordable Options

Many patients that join us privately are surprised at the range of affordable payment options. At Eccleshill Dental, we offer membership plans for as little as £12.99 a month, which allow you to plan for your future dental needs. For larger treatment plans, we offer tailored plan agreements and 0% finance options, which allow you to spread the cost of treatment for up to 60 months. With so many affordable payment options, your finances need not be a barrier to receiving the dental care you desire.

  1. Do Your Research

When selecting your private dental practice, it is important that you do your research, and find the right practice for you. Take the time to look at the practice Google reviews, and ask members of the community about their experiences. At Eccleshill Dental, we offer complimentary consultations with our patient care coordinator. This is a very relaxed appointment where we get to know you over a cup of tea. It is an excellent opportunity to look around the practice, meet the team, and see if we are a fit for you. This appointment is completely free, and there is no obligation to book in again.

Key questions to ask a dental practice you are thinking of joining:

  • Do you offer weekend or evening appointments?
  • What can you do to help nervous patients?
  • Do you treat children?
  • What additional services do you offer?
  • Do you offer any dental payment plans?
  • Do you have a dental membership scheme?
  • Can you send me a welcome pack with a price list?
  • Do you offer complimentary consultations?
  • Do you provide a printed copy of my proposed treatment plan?

People have different approaches to their dental care, and what is right for one patient may not be for the next. It is important to remember that you have a choice. Many patients are perfectly satisfied with their NHS dental care. For other patients, the benefits of private dentistry vastly outweigh the services available on the NHS.

If you would like any further information on joining our practice, or you would like to book your complimentary consultation with our patient care coordinator, telephone Eccleshill Dental on 01274 633406.

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A Practical Guide To Overcoming Dental Anxiety

‘Dentophobia’, or a fear of the dentist, is extremely common. Statistics suggest that around 12% of us suffer from extreme dental anxiety. The British Dental Association says that 25% of the UK population suffer from some sort of anxiety before visiting the dentist. We suspect that number is a lot higher.

The most common thing we encounter in our nervous patients is shame and embarrassment. Your phobia is nothing to feel ashamed and embarrassed about. It is a very rational reaction to fear, pain, or a previous bad experience, and it much more common than you think.

Nonetheless, this can have a very damaging effect on your long-term health. Dental phobics tend to live with toothache, infections, bleeding gums, and bad breath. Many people are so embarrassed about the appearance of their teeth, that they go several years without smiling. Only when the pain/appearance of the teeth becomes unbearable, do they realise that a trip to the dentist is unavoidable.

Across dentistry as a whole, phobias are now being treated as a manageable condition. There are structured methods in place to help you get through your dental appointment with minimal discomfort, both physically and emotionally. At Eccleshill Dental, we take this very seriously. Here are the practical steps we encourage you to take, to make your visits more manageable:

  1. Talk to us

As with any phobia, the most important step to overcoming your fear is to identify the source of the problem. It may have been a bad experience at the school dentist, an uncomfortable injection, or even a horror story that you heard elsewhere. Whatever the reason, the most important step is to identify this. At Eccleshill Dental, we encourage you to talk to us about your fears and feelings. All new patients are invited to meet with our patient care coordinator, who will have a relaxed discussion with you in a comfortable setting. We take the time to get to know you and understand your fears. We will take whatever steps we need to help you overcome your anxieties, and our patient coordinator is available to support you through each of your appointments.

  1. Headphones

Plenty of patients report that their biggest fear is the sound of the dental drill. Many people choose to bring in some music and their headphones, which they listen to throughout their treatment. This is a simple and easy method to reduce your anxiety, and get you through your dental appointment.

  1. Topical anaesthetic gel

For those of you who are scared of the dental needle, did you know we offer topical anaesthetic gel? Topical gel is applied to the gum before your injection is administered, making it much more comfortable.

  1. Stagger your treatment

We understand for many phobic patients, a bigger treatment plan can be quite overwhelming (if not downright off-putting). We encourage patients to stage their treatment in a way that best suits their needs. Starting out with easier, simpler treatments and working your way up to more comprehensive treatment can be a great way to ease yourself into your dental care.

  1. Sedation

Sedation treatment is an option for patients who are simply unable to cope with treatment, or may be struggling with the idea of something such as an extraction. Speak to your dentist about your sedation options. This may be available at your practice, or your dentist may be able to facilitate your referral to a sedation dentist for treatment.

  1. Trust us

We will do the hard work. All you need to focus on is getting yourself through the door. This is the hardest step. Once you have done that, we will take care of the rest.  We pride ourselves on taking every step we can to ensure your visit is as comfortable as possible.

At Eccleshill Dental, patients are encouraged to relax and feel a part of the family from the moment they step through the door. We are proud to have helped many of our patients overcome a life-long dental phobia, and we hope to help many more people on that journey. Don’t let your anxiety be a barrier to a happier, healthier smile – let us help you today.

To book your complimentary consultation with our patient care coordinator (or for some free, friendly advice) email rachel@eccleshilldental.com.

 

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How To Find The Right Dental Practice For You

Bradford and Leeds are fortunate enough to have many dental practices. But with so many dentists and options, how do you know which Bradford and Leeds dental practice is right for you?

There is no definitive answer to this question, and as individuals, we all have different needs. A cosmetic dental practice might be a great option for someone looking for a Hollywood smile, but is this dental practice suitable for an anxious patient who is concerned about a broken tooth?

We have put together a list of useful tips on how to find the best dentist for you. Whilst there is no magic solution to this question, these tools will help you narrow the list and make an informed decision.

Tips for choosing the best Bradford and Leeds dentist for you:

  1. Set Priorities

Before selecting your dentist, think about what you want out of the experience, and what matters most to you. What is an absolute priority to one patient, is not necessarily to the next. Things you might want to consider might be proximity, opening times and appointment availability. Consider what treatments you are interested in: are you looking for cosmetic treatment, or a family friendly practice for you and your children? Many practices combine a variety of services, but working out exactly what you want to gain from your dental experience is an excellent starting point.

  1. Cost and Payment Options

For many people, the deciding factor in selecting a dental practice is affordability. With limited access to NHS dental places, and an ever increasing number of people turning to private dentistry, a large majority us opt for the most affordable option. What many patients don’t realise, is both the affordability and value available in private dentistry. Some practices offer membership plans which create huge savings, and allow you to plan for your future dental needs. At Eccleshill Dental, we offer membership plans for as little as £12.99 per month. Our plans give you access to 17-point dental health checks, plaque control, prevention and hygiene appointments, priority appointments, and worldwide dental emergency assistance (along with an additional 20% discount from any required treatment). 0% finance options, and tailored payment plans are also available for patients wishing to undertake larger treatment plans, but wanting to spread the cost of their treatment into more affordable monthly repayments.

  1. See What Other People Are Saying

Reviews matter. Nearly 90% of internet users say they use online reviews before choosing a business or service. The majority of us rarely book a holiday without first checking Trip Advisor. Dentistry is no different. Read Google reviews, and see what other people are saying about their experiences at a practice you are thinking of joining. Don’t limit your research to reviews alone, use social media to take a look at your potential new practice. This is a great way to see what exciting things are happening within the business, and see how the practice interacts with its patients online.

  1. Try It Out

The best way to assess whether or not a dental practice is right for you, is to try it out for yourself. Many practices offer free consultations, which is a great opportunity to see whether or not the practice is a fit for your needs. A good dental practice will respect your desire to make an informed decision, and there should be no obligation or pressure to come back. At Eccleshill Dental, we offer complimentary consultations with our patient care coordinator, Rachel. This is a relaxed appointment in a comfortable setting, where we learn more about what we can do to help you. You will have the opportunity to look around the practice and learn about the many services available at Eccleshill Dental.

Read Our Reviews

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To book your complimentary consultation, telephone the practice on 01274 633406.

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Braces: How Old Is Too Old?

A question that many patients ask is at what is the best age for braces? Commonly, people assume that the best results are achieved when braces are worn as children. The majority of children who have braces begin treatment between the ages of 10 and 14. At this stage, baby teeth have fallen out and the jaw is stable enough to support long-term orthodontic treatment.

Contrary to what you might think, you are never too old for braces! Many adults don’t have access to orthodontic treatment as children, or delay getting braces for other reasons. Many children are referred for orthodontic treatment, but don’t meet the strict criteria required for treatment on the NHS. Many of these children enter into adulthood feeling conscious of their teeth, but are reluctant to take action on the basis they were rejected for treatment when they were younger. This is a common misconception: no case is too small, and you are never too old to undergo orthodontic treatment. Think of teeth the way you would any other bone on your body. They do stop growing at the end of adolescence, but it’s still possible to correct them throughout your life. Teeth are no different.

As an adult, you likely already have an established routine that will need to modified to account for braces. You may need to alter your diet, your morning and evening schedules, or carry a toothbrush to work. No matter what changes you need to make, keep in mind that they are short-term sacrifices for long-term gains in confidence and dental health. Wearing braces for a few months can save you from more serious dental issues down the road.

For many people though, the cost of braces, or the expectation of long treatment times can be off-putting. Many adults with families and other financial commitments push aside the thought of orthodontic treatment. After all, if you were rejected for treatment as a child, and you have lived with your teeth for this long, what would be the point?

There are many advantages to undertaking orthodontic treatment in adulthood. As adults, we have more of an appreciation of the dramatic impact of orthodontic treatment on our daily lives. Many adults report that orthodontic treatment improved their confidence, happiness, success at work and in relationships. Short-term, cosmetic orthodontic treatment can be completed in as little as 3 months, and with a variety of payment options, you don’t need to worry about finding the money upfront. Tailored payment plans and finance options allow you to spread the cost of orthodontic treatment, and you could receive the straight smile you’ve dreamed of for as little as £27.20 per month (terms and conditions apply).

Free Orthodontic Consultation

The first step on your journey to a straight smile is to attend for an orthodontic consultation. At Eccleshill Dental, we offer complimentary orthodontic consultations with Rachel, our patient care coordinator. This is a relaxed appointment, where we learn more about what you would like to achieve. We provide information on your treatment options, methods of payment, what to expect from your orthodontic journey, and what your results might look like! This appointment is completely free, and there is no obligation to continue with treatment. Contact the practice on 01274 633406 to book your complimentary orthodontic consultation today.

Together, let’s see what your smile could be!

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The Magic In Your Smile: 10 Ways Smiling Benefits Your Health and Happiness

 

The Magic In Your Smile: 10 Ways Smiling Benefits Your Health and Happiness

 

They say that there is magic in a smile, and we can’t deny the warmth we feel when we’re on the receiving end of a glowing grin. Nonetheless, smiles haven’t always been considered fashionable. A US study reviewing smiles in photographs was carried out by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brown. The study showed that in the early 1900’s, smiling was anything but on-trend, with a preference for pensive, serious poses in front of the camera.

 

(image of smiles from the early 1900’s to 2010’s, taken from the Washington Post)

 

Luckily for us today, a smile is considered our most beautiful asset. Research today indicates that smiling is just plain good for you. And with many a good reason:

 

1. We all smile in the same language

Smiling is the universal symbol for happiness. Many gestures have different meanings across different societies. However, no matter where you are in the world, a smile is a symbol of warmth.

 

2. Smiling can extend your life

 A 2009 US study into major league baseball players in the 1950’s showed that players who smiled more, lived up to 7 years longer than players who did not. The study conducted by Ernest L. Abel and Michael L. Kruger indicated that people who smiled more, actually lived longer, happier, and more stable lives. Biochemist Sondra Barrett states that when we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can reduce the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development of certain cancers.

 

3. Smiling reduces stress and lowers blood pressure

 We are all familiar with the stress life throws at us, and the toll it takes on the human body. Studies have shown that the heart recovers more quickly from stress in subjects that smile, as opposed to subjects that are asked to hold a straight face. So the next time you are feeling your blood boil, remember that a simple smile might the help you were looking for.

 

4. Smiling can lift your spirits

 Many people think that smiling is just a result of being happy. What many of us don’t realise is that smiling can actually make us happier! Our facial expressions do not just communicate our mood, but influence it as well. Recent studies into facial expressions have shown that a person’s mood aligns strongly with the emotion his or her face is communicating. So think happy thoughts, smile, and your mood will smile too.

 

5. Your smile has the power to heal everyone – not just you!

 Smiles are contagious (and no, it’s not just a saying). Research conducted as part of a study in Sweden indicated that people had difficulty frowning when looking at other subjects who were smiling. Many of the subjects’ facial muscles involuntarily formed into a smile. So spread that joy and share a smile today.

 

 

6. You were doing it before you were born

 Many babies start smiling regularly at around 6 weeks old, but studies show that smiling begins in the womb. Smiling is in fact hard-wired into our genes, rather than an entirely learned behaviour.

 

7. Smiling can benefit your career

Facial expressions have a big impact on first and future impressions. This is particularly important in our professional lives. People who smile are more likely to be remembered. Furthermore, the smilers of the workplace are considered more approachable, and have better success in social and professional interactions. So a smile may just be the key to that long sought after promotion!

 

8. Smiling makes us look younger

 Smiling exercises anywhere between 5 and 53 muscles in the face. With all this muscular exertion, the skin stays firm and taut, aiding youthfulness and vitality. Who knew a face lift could be so easy.

 

9. Smiling makes you seem more approachable and trustworthy

Your smile communicates more than you may realise. An authentic smile goes a long way. A 2004 Penn University study found that authentic smiles shared by employees in the service industry influenced their impressions on customers in a positive way. The study also showed that we are much more likely to trust someone with a smile, than someone with a neutral expression, or worse still – a frowner!

 

10. Smiling heals the body and the soul

 Endorphins (the feel-good chemicals released by the brain) help us feel better when we are in pain. Studies show that people who smile and laugh experience less pain than those who do not. A further study indicated that people diagnosed with immune diseases showed signs of recovery more quickly when they spent more time laughing and smiling.

 

We have never felt more like smiling! Don’t let your teeth be a barrier to a happier, healthier life. Let us find your smile!

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Welcome To Our Blog!

At Eccleshill Dental, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best patient experience. We believe that patients should feel like a part of our family from the moment they step through the door. We champion open and honest communication, and want everyone to feel a part of practice achievements, changes, and decisions. Our weekly blog is another way we will be communicating with our patient family. Here you will find news about the practice, interesting articles about oral health and the latest in the dental field, the practice calendar and events, and fun things happening at Eccleshill Dental.

We will be updating our blog weekly, and welcome your interaction. Remember – we love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so get posting your comments!

Thanks everyone – and enjoy our blogs.

The Eccleshill Dental Team

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