New Year Dental Resolutions

The New Year is traditionally a good time to make life changes. Why not aim for healthier teeth and gums too?

FlossingMost of you are probably at that pre Christmas stage where a lot of things are put on the backburner. The priority right now is to complete any workload before the big day and make sure that you have presents bought and enough food and drink stocked to make it a celebration to remember.

Now is generally not the best time to make huge life changes, but that changes considerably when New Year arrives.

Whether people actually make new year resolutions or not these days, most of us would probably accept that we use January 1st (or 2nd if we have celebrated a little too hard the night before!) to take stock and make a few changes in our lives. Traditionally these have been things like giving up smoking or drinking less, but it is also a good opportunity to look at how much care and attention you pay to your teeth and gums.

To help you with this, the team at the Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre have a few suggestions to help you along.

Refresh your tooth cleaning equipment

You may have been given a new electric toothbrush for Christmas, but if not, the New Year is probably a good time to invest in one. You are likely to find a few good bargains in the January sale and an electric toothbrush is a good investment for better oral health. Dentists generally agree that these are more efficient than a manual toothbrush at removing food particles and bacteria from the teeth and gum line.

While you are out shopping, we recommend that you pop a packet of floss in your basket. Don’t worry if you think you don’t know how to use it; you can always look it up online and the hygienist at our Epsom dentist will always be happy to demonstrate how to use it correctly during your next appointment. Just adding this cheap and simple step to your teeth cleaning regime can make a big difference to your oral health.

Check your chocolates!

There is every chance that you will, over Christmas, accumulate a lot of chocolates and other sweets. These may have been presents or you may have simply bought far more than you actually ate. The problem is what to do with them all. Whilst the odd chocolate won’t do too much harm, the fact is that if we eat too much sugar, tooth decay and other dental issues are likely to arise. You could donate excess to a charity or the homeless, but whatever you decide, it’s never the best idea to simply munch through them all. Your waistline will thank you too!

Make this a new start too. If you are in the habit of buying sweets, chocolates or even biscuits, ask yourself, when you are about to pop them in your shopping basket, if you really need them. The chances are that you often buy them out of habit. Try to put them back and opt for a healthier option such as fruit, or even a cheese selection as this will help to neutralise excess acidity of your mouth. It also brings calcium and other vitamins and minerals that help to build strong and healthy teeth.

Stop smoking

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Clocktower Aesthetics – Part Two

Continuing our look at the rejuvenating facial aesthetic treatments we offer at our Epsom clinic

Excellent skin on womanIn our last blog, we took a look at some of our wide selection of facial aesthetic treatments which can be of great benefit to patients who are looking to improve the condition and appearance of their skin. In today’s blog, we conclude this with more information on the rest of our excellent treatments.

Remember, if you become aware of a treatment through a magazine or similar that you don’t see offered here, there is very likely a similar treatment that will achieve the same, or even better results.

The clinicians at the Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre have a wealth of experience and will be pleased to suggest alternatives to help you achieve your aim.


Perhaps not as well known as some other facial treatments, Profhilo is an injectable hyaluronic acid that can be used for remodelling of skin tissue. It can improve texture and general appearance as well as promoting healthier looking skin. Whilst largely used on the facial area, it can also be used for the neck, arms, hands and knees. Anyone suitable for dermal fillers should be able to take advantage of this treatment.

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are widely used by our clinicians to help patients attain a younger looking appearance. They are injected beneath the skin and are used to replace lost collagen that can make areas thin or sag. They are especially useful for restoring the plumpness of your lips when they start to thin, as well as by improving skin elasticity and softening creases and wrinkles that can give you an ageing appearance.

Wrinkle relaxing

One of the most widely used treatments for improving ageing skin, wrinkle relaxants are a safe and effective way of smoothing out lines and wrinkles on the face. Whilst our clinical team can do little about our patients becoming older, we can certainly help you to have smoother and younger looking skin and help to defy the effects of ageing on your appearance.

Lip augmentation

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Clocktower Aesthetics – Part One

Our Epsom patients can now benefit from a wider range of the latest facial aesthetic treatments

Dr Deepi Murphy dentist at Clocktower Dental in EpsomFor many years now, we have become well known in the Epsom area for providing cosmetic dentistry, and indeed many of our patients have seen a great improvement not only in the appearance of their teeth, but their health too.

This is something that we fully intend to continue, but with an eye on the future we are now pleased to introduce you to some of the latest facial aesthetic treatments offered at our clinic.

These excellent treatments can be completed in conjunction with a smile makeover or independently if preferred.

As there are a number of new treatments, we will briefly discuss each of them over two blogs. We hope that this brief description will offer a taste of the benefits of each, but as always, the team at Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre is here for further advice on either our dental or facial aesthetic treatments.

Skin Boosters

Skin boosters do what their name suggests and help to rejuvenate your skin. They are applied in the form of small injections underneath the surface of the skin and work to improve appearance and texture. They are not only suitable for improving tired or finely wrinkled skin, but can be used to improve areas affected by damage or skin conditions such as acne.


Aquagold is a micro infusion facial device that supplies the skin with a range of selective ingredients to improve its quality. Our clinician will select the most appropriate ingredients for your own skin to ensure that you attain the best results possible. It can help to smooth skin, reduce pores and improve the appearance of your skin where scarring or other damage has occurred. Aquagold is an ideal treatment for those who want to give their skin a real boost.


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The Dangers Of DIY Teeth Whitening Methods

Don’t try to save money by putting your teeth at risk!

Clocktower Dental Implant and Facial CentreBack in ‘ye olde days’, if we wanted to discover something we didn’t already know, we would have had to make a trip to the local library to find out any information that wasn’t widely available.

These days of course, we simply turn to the internet and will be able to find almost anything that we want. On the face of it, this is great, but it can sometimes also be difficult to discern what is genuine and what is fake information. This can create problems in many areas but is of special concern to those working in the dental profession.

There has, unfortunately, been an increase in the number of people seeking information on how to do some dental procedures by looking it up online and watching instructional videos. While few people will attempt to fill their own teeth though, certain cosmetic treatments are more popular to try. One of the most common of these is tooth whitening.

Cosmetic dentistry

The word ‘cosmetic’ is sometimes taken to mean ‘surface’ or ‘superficial’ and has been used in dentistry to define treatments that predominantly improve the appearance of your teeth, rather than their function (although some, such as orthodontics can do both). This may have led some people to believe that there was no harm in trying something that seems as basic as having whiter teeth and in the process, saving a little money.

The problem here is that a tooth is a living thing and can be damaged if not looked after correctly. In today’s blog, the team at the Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre offer their thoughts on the risks you take by using some of the more widespread methods and why having the treatment done professionally at your Epsom dentist is a much better and safer idea.

DIY risks

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Beating Your Fear Of The Dentist

Our Epsom dental team offers tips to help you keep your appointments

Nervous dental patientMost of us have probably experienced at least some discomfort and anxiety as our dental appointment approaches. Some of us might be worried as we have a treatment scheduled, but even going for a checkup, whilst painless, can raise the ‘what if they find something wrong’ feel of dread.

If this sounds familiar to you, it is probably because it is experienced so widely. Despite knowing that all dentists in the UK are highly trained and qualified, a visit to the dentist seems to raise more concerns than seeing a GP, for example.

There are many possible reasons for this. A bad experience in the past won’t help of course, but there is also a school of thought which claims that our dental phobia is largely due to the treatment taking place so close to our senses .. i.e. sight, sound, smell etc.  Whatever the reason though, dental phobia can be a real problem and whilst, for some it simply means a slightly unpleasant experience; for others it may mean a missed appointment which can lead to more problems later on.

Tackling the fear……

Most of you will probably have heard of the book ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. This encourages us to acknowledge our fear but then do whatever it is that is making us anxious. Naturally, some people will allow their fear to prevent them from doing things. Where this is, for example, a fear of flying, it means missing out on a holiday. Where there is a fear of dental treatment, it can result in some serious oral health issues, especially if you continue to miss appointments.

And here is the ‘catch 22’. If you go to the dentist, then yes, there is a chance that you may need to have a tooth filled or extracted. Our Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre team will always make sure that we do all we can to make you as comfortable as possible, but there is no getting away from the fact that very few people would describe an invasive procedure as enjoyable. The flipside of this is that if you decide not to keep your appointment, especially when treatment is needed, the problem won’t go away and in nearly all cases, may quickly deteriorate.

What might have been a small filling that required a straightforward and quick procedure, can  quickly become a larger cavity, quite possibly causing a very painful toothache. The infection could also spread to the roots of the tooth, leaving you needing a root canal treatment. Worse still, the tooth, now in a weakened state, could simply break and the prognosis be so poor that it needs to be extracted. The reality is that if you decline early stage treatment, you are very likely to suffer much more later on.

This is a fact that you should bear in mind and simply ignoring the issue doesn’t mean that you have escaped your fear. Unfortunately it is very likely that this will intensify and the treatment you eventually need will be more significant. It really does pay to get any problems sorted out early on.

Easing anxiety

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Sensitive Teeth – Prevention And Care

Overly sensitive teeth can cause a lot of discomfort, but there are solutions

tooth painIt doesn’t seem long ago since we were enjoying, or avoiding, the extreme heat that we had for a few days in the UK. Each morning and evening now though, there are tell tale signs that the colder months are just around the corner. While some people might welcome this relief from the heat, others will be dreading it and, of course, the increasing cost of electricity and gas that comes too!

There is another group of people who will also be dreading colder weather because they have teeth that are very sensitive to the cold, often leaving them in some significant discomfort.

There are a number of reasons why some of our Epsom patients might experience problems with their teeth in cold weather, fortunately much of which is avoidable. We will look at this more closely in today’s blog, together with advice on what to do if you already have the condition.

What causes sensitive teeth?

The main causes of sensitive teeth are eroded tooth enamel, cracks or chips that expose the more sensitive dentin, and gum recession which exposes the part of the tooth that should be below the gum line.

Most of these issues can be avoided if you look after your teeth well. There may be exceptions such as those having certain medical treatments which might cause generally poorer oral health, but most of us can prevent all of the above by being more diligent about how we take care of our teeth.

Good brushing and flossing are essential, as are regular checkups by the dentist and seeing the hygienist for a regular scale and polish. If you follow this and don’t smoke, you will minimise the likelihood of experiencing this painful problem. With regards to chips and cracks in the teeth, this can happen to anyone due to an accident. The key here is to make sure to see a dentist to have your teeth checked if you have banged your mouth in a fall or similar. Please don’t leave it until your next check up appointment and make sure to have any potential issues checked as soon as you can.

Resolving eroded enamel

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Management Of Gum Disease In Epsom

Gingivitis and periodontitis are common oral health issues, and ones that need continual care and monitoring

FlossingYou may have seen the advertisements on TV where the model spits into the sink after brushing their teeth and discovers blood in their saliva? This is a typical TV advert often used to sell specific toothpastes. Whilst it has helped to highlight the problem of gum disease, it may also have given people a false sense of security if this hasn’t happened to them. In fact, bleeding gums after brushing is just one of the many symptoms that you might have if you have gum disease.

If your gums are sore or inflamed, your teeth are a little wobbly, or even if you have persistent smelly breath, these are all potential symptoms of gum disease and it is also possible to be almost symptom free whilst the infected gums cause damage to your oral health. For this reason, the Clocktower Dental Implant & Facial Centre stresses the importance of ongoing care and maintenance of your overall oral health.

Not just a one off

Unlike some illnesses, gum disease is not something that you have and then, once treated, never get again. The fact is that both gingivitis and periodontitis occur when the relevant bacteria in the oral cavity gets out of control and multiply faster than we can get rid of it. As it does so, it will start to attack the teeth of our Epsom patients, often leaving them with unpleasant side effects and an increased risk of tooth loss if not treated in time.

Although this might seem like yet one more thing for us to worry about on top of other issues such as how to pay our bills etc, the good news is that it is a battle that is relatively easy to win for many of us. Some patients, such as those with diabetes and other illnesses that affect the immune system may have to be more diligent, but even then, gum disease can be effectively managed with improved home care and the help of our friendly local hygienist.

Get a head start

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Does Losing A Single Tooth Matter?

All too often, we accept the loss of a single tooth without much concern, but here’s why it’s likely a mistake

Single dental implantFew of us will be lucky enough to go through life without having to have at least one tooth extracted or perhaps lost due to a youthful accident. Assuming that the lost tooth is an adult one, there will be no replacement tooth to come through afterwards, unlike our childhood teeth. This presents a dilemma. What do we do, leave the gap or replace it with a denture or dental implant?

This dilemma is often resolved if the tooth that has been lost is one of the more visible teeth at the front of the mouth. Few people are likely to be happy leaving a gap there and are almost certain to take steps to complete their teeth in order to avoid that gappy smile. The same cannot always be said if the tooth is one that others won’t see, such as towards the rear of the mouth. On one level, this is understandable as it doesn’t at least immediately change your appearance, but there are other possible consequences as we will now see.

Single tooth loss and possible problems

Having ruled out the possibility of losing a tooth changing the way that we look, what other reasons might there be for us to encourage our Epsom patients to replace a missing tooth that is not visible? Actually, there are a few good reasons.

Crooked teeth

One consequence of losing a tooth that may not occur to some of our Clocktower Dental Implant & Facial Centre patients is that it can cause the rest of your teeth to start to move. This is because, with a full set of teeth, there is nowhere for your teeth to go as other teeth around them prevent their movement. Once a tooth has been lost though, this inevitably creates a space and the teeth on either side of the gap can start to move gradually, leaning towards that space.

Even if you feel that this isn’t too big of a problem as these teeth are also hidden, remember that, like a set of falling dominoes, once those teeth start to move, they also create spaces for others to move. Although this won’t happen quickly, you may well eventually end up with a mouthful of crooked teeth that would require orthodontics like Invisalign to correct the problem.

Teeth cleaning difficulties

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Extractions – Immediate Aftercare

What to do directly after a problematic tooth has been removed

Dr Andrew MurphyExtracting a tooth is nearly always a last resort. This procedure can be used where a tooth has badly decayed or is broken to the point where a filling or crown would not be practical and wouldn’t offer any significant benefit if carried out.

There is no getting away with the fact that extracting a tooth requires invasive dental treatment. Some teeth come out relatively easily whilst others, such as impacted wisdom teeth are often more problematic and may even require hospitalisation in order to extract them.

Whatever the nature of the treatment though, it is important for patients of the Clocktower Dental, Implant & Facial Centre to remember that once the tooth has been removed, care needs to be taken in the area where it has been extracted.

Initial care

As you would imagine, once a tooth has been removed, the area will bleed slightly. The first step is to stop this. This is done by placing a piece of clean gauze over the area and asking you to bite on it for a short time. Not only will this absorb the initial blood but will encourage a blood clot to form which will fill the cavity that has been left. This is an important part in the recovery process as this blood clot protects the cavity and will eventually allow it to heal fully.

Care at home

One of the most important things to do at home is to take care not to dislodge the blood clot. If this happens very soon after leaving our Epsom dental clinic, the likelihood is that it will bleed again and, using either the spare piece of sterile gauze we provide you with or, if not to hand, a clean handkerchief or similar, start to repeat the process. If the clot is dislodged and is not bleeding, you may well be left with a ‘dry socket’. Although this may eventually heal on its own, it can be painful and feel quite similar to a toothache. Even if the pain is not too bad, we do recommend that you contact us. In many cases we can help to resolve the problem by replacing the missing clot using a special type of dressing.

Because a blood clot is not very strong it can be dislodged if we simply return to our usual routine. There are a number of things that we can, and should, do in order to make sure that it remains in place.

First of all, do not use a toothbrush in this area. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to keep it clean though and we recommend that you use a warm (but not hot) saline solution which you gently tip over the area and allow it to fall from your mouth. You should neither ‘swill’ the solution or spit afterwards as these violent actions could cause the clot to fall out.

As time goes on and the clot becomes more established, you will be able to start bruising the area, albeit very gently and with a toothbrush that has soft bristles.

Eating and drinking

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Your Options For Mercury-Free Dental Fillings At Our Epsom Clinic

People are increasingly avoiding amalgam teeth fillings for both aesthetic and health reasons

white teeth smilesFor a very long time, anyone attending a dental practice with tooth decay would probably be given a standard filling to restore the tooth. For a long time, these fillings have been made of a substance known as amalgam.

This is made from a combination of metals including silver, copper, tin, zinc, and most controversially, mercury.

Why is mercury a ‘controversial’ ingredient? Well, the fact is that mercury is a toxin that can lead to quite serious health problems. It is used as part of an amalgam filling to bind the other alloys together to form a solid mass. Despite some people having concerns about their safety though, amalgam fillings have been deemed to be safe to use in this form by the General Dental Council.

Although deemed safe, there are still drawbacks to the use of this material in fillings. Despite its strength, which you would expect with it being made from metal, amalgam is certainly not an aesthetically pleasing solution as it is a dark colour which is easily seen when people with these fillings either laugh or yawn. The visibility is even more so when a fillings is used on one of the more visible front teeth.

While there has been an agreement to phase out the use of amalgam, largely due to concerns about the leaking of mercury into the environment, many patients of Clocktower Dental Implant & Facial Centre have already taken the opportunity not to use this material to restore their teeth and choosing instead,  more aesthetic alternatives that we will take a look at now.

Aesthetic tooth restorations

Many tooth restorations have long been produced in a colour to match the natural teeth. These include crowns, veneers etc. Fillings have perhaps been slower in being produced but there are now a number of ways to restore a tooth more discreetly than if amalgam were used.

Before we look at the type of available fillings, it is important to remember that you should take your dentist’s advice where tooth restoration is concerned. You may have set your heart on a white filling, for example, but too much damage to the tooth may mean that a crown will be needed instead.

Types of aesthetic dental fillings

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