Team Blog

We've come along way...
by Simon Jones, 4th April 2016

At Dove Holistic Dental Centre-Minimal Intervention Dental Practice we pride ourselves as being on the crest of modern dental techniques. But not so very long ago things were a lot different.

In fact, I thought it would be interesting to take a glimpse into the past when a visit to “the Dentist” meant taking your life in your (or maybe the dentist's) hands!

So here are some facts from the good old days:

  • As far back as 5000 BC text describes “tooth worms” as the cause of dental decay. This idea was held true up until the 1700's. It's now thought people mistook the dental nerves for worms!
  • In 500 AD, medical text in China mentions the use of “silver paste,” a type of amalgam.
  • From the 1300's barbers would start carrying out extractions and “dental care”
    Famously the Barbers sign, a red and white spiral, was because poles outside the shop were used to dry their bloody bandages!
  • In Elizabethan times, dentures were often made from wood. More expensive dentures used real teeth! Unfortunately, these teeth often came from “ladies of the night”…. meaning the spread of some rather nasty diseases to their wealthy clients.
  • In 1746, the first “Gold Crown” is described. Soon after the first dental drill is developed from a Spinning Wheel.
  • 17th century French Physician, Pierre Fauchard is called “The Father of Modern Dentistry” and he was the brains behind many of the procedures still used today.
    He devised the first dental filling and also helped to explain that acids from sugar were (and still are!) a major source of tooth decay.
  • The beginning of the 20th century sees toothpaste sold in tubes, the use of local dental anaesthetic and the first dental xray
  • The first toothbrushes were made with bristles from hogs horses and badgers. But the first commercial toothbrush was made in 1938.

Then things really speed up...

  • The 1950's sees the first introduction of water fluoridation, bonded white fillings, the high speed drill and the first dental implants.
  • The late twentieth century sees advancements in tooth-coloured fillings and tooth whitening...

Bonding fillings to teeth and the use of fluoride are the first steps in Minimal Intervention and Preventative Dentistry.

It's good to see how far we have come and the speed of progress quickens relentlessly

At Dove Holistic Dental Centre we believe your teeth and gums are precious. Modern techniques that we have introduced, like the Aquacut tooth preparation system, mean that if we have to make your teeth decay free, we can now leave as much healthy tooth tissue as possible. Along with modern materials that bond better and last longer, in many cases we are able to “build up your tooth” rather than “cut down your tooth” which removes precious tooth tissue that can never be replaced.

Using our Velscope Oral Cancer Screening means we can check your mouth for disease with more accurately than ever before.

Use of fluoride, improving your oral hygiene and above all education is the key your teeth and mouth staying healthy.

We have come along way. But we also realise that there is a long way ahead of us.
We will continue to pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of dentistry.
And long may the progress continue...


Hints and Tips on How to Take Care of your Mouth during Chemotherapy
by Cheryl Boyle Dental Hygienist, 21st January 2016

From July until October 2013 I had chemotherapy for breast cancer, having given advice to my patients in the past I was now about to try and follow it!

My journey during chemotherapy is divided in to 3 sections-

  • Before chemo starts
  • During chemo
  • Post chemo

Macmillan Cancer Support has published an invaluable advice sheet entitled Mouth care during chemotherapy. The information was concise and simple to follow; you are given so much paperwork at the start of treatment it helps to have an easy guide to follow.

Chemotherapy is a powerful way to destroy cancer cells but it also affects healthy cell growth hence hair loss and changes to the lining of the mouth. Which is why it is important to try and minimise any mouth issues before treatment starts.

Before chemo starts

It is normally a few weeks before you start chemo, so do try to see your dentist to assess how healthy your teeth and gums are. The dentist or hygienist can show you suitable tooth brushing and flossing techniques to help improve your oral hygiene in preparation for the active stages of chemo.

As a hygienist you are very aware of disease prevention and I make sure that I brush twice a day and floss once a day. This routine stayed the same during chemo with the addition of a fluoride mouthwash. Being prepared for side effects is helpful but we all respond to chemo differently, thankfully my journey was bearable.

During chemo

From about day 5 of each cycle of chemo the texture of my mouth lining changed from smooth to rough a little like wet sandpaper and my taste buds started to react to flavours. I didn’t have any ulcers but a few tender spots Difflam mouth wash helped tackle this. My salivary flow reduced as well so as a safeguard I used Colgate Alcohol Free Fluoride Mouthwash to prevent new tooth decay.

Spicy and sweet foods were no longer appealing, I found raw salads and fruit finely chopped acceptable and homemade soups too. There are some foods that are off limits during treatment such as shellfish, unpasteurised cheeses and rare cooked meats. Exactly 1 month after chemo ended my reward was a plate of scallops followed by a little bit of stilton-HEAVEN!!

Even on the days I felt really poorly my oral hygiene routine stayed the same it helped me to feel fresh and able to face the day. Chemotherapy affects your ability to fend off infections and oral thrush is quite common, thankfully this didn’t happen to me.

Post chemo

As the drugs build up in the body, it takes a little longer to feel strong again. The dryness in my mouth increased which I found eased by sucking an ice cube, it was soothing and so simple. My final part of the journey ended with losing all my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. But I am delighted to say my mouth weathered the storm beautifully!

No matter how prepared you are to deal with cancer and chemotherapy side effects, each of us will have a different experience. By making a few plans to safeguard against issues with your mouth, hopefully you can come out the other side on a positive note.

I am now at the stage of yearly reviews and starting to get my strength back, and ready to tackle 2016!


A Close Shave
by Simon Jones, 4th December 2015

Well, I suppose I could have got a tattoo or bought a motorbike…. Instead….I grew a beard.

Okay, it's not THAT rock and roll and I'll be the first to admit, was born more out of idleness than rebellion (I forgot my razor on a camping holiday).
But hey, in a matter of weeks I accidentally became (sort of) trendy….ish.

Now, granted, on a chisel-jawed, photo-shopped hunk barely old enough to grow one, it may be a tad more desirable, giving them the sophisticated look of someone who is at least 25. On me, maybe not so.
It's a bit like 80's fashion. On a 20 year old it's cool and ironic. On me, it just looks a bit sad, like I haven't bought any new clothes for the last 30 years.
But my feeling is every man should face up to a proper beard at least once in his life.

Don't get me wrong, I have dabbled with the hirsute look before. At University I flirted with a “goatee” and I later briefly (and rather embarrassingly now) had an “Orlando Bloom / Pirate/ Robin Hood” moustache and chin-thing – and shamefully I've still got the photos to prove it.

At the moment, though, it is a full on cave man and I'm pruning it like a hedge with a big pair of scissors once a week.
The wife approves. The children are indifferent. And my lovely patients…..? Well, as a treat, I will share a few of the comments I have attracted over the last 3 months. They range from good – to, well, shall we say, honest comments.
I thank all of you. I am not offended in the slightest by the not so good. Just happy you noticed.
At the end of the day it's just a bit of hair on my face. So for your entertainment, here goes:

1. Oooo, very handsome.           (This one's getting a discount!)
2. You look very dignified.        (okay, I look old)
3. Very distinguished.                (I know. I look old)
4. You look smart.                      (thanks!)
5. It suits you.                            (thanks. I think)
6. Does your wife like it?          (Strangely, yes)
7. Oh!                                         (you didn't recognise me, did you)
8. It's different                            (okay, you probably don't like it)

Now it gets interesting:

  9. You look like a pirate.                      (as long as it's not Orlando Bloom)
10. Have you been to the arctic?            (I've been to the frozen food section in Morrisons)
11. You just like to stroke it, don't you.  (Err, No comment)
12. You look like Father Christmas. 
13. Do you have a hairnet?
14. You look scary!
15. Do you keep little animals in there?
16. No. No. You look 10 years older. Get rid of it!

Well the jury is out. Will the beard be gone???
You'll have to keep your appointment to find out !