Returning to dental visits after lockdown

One of the many knock-on effects caused by COVID-19 has been the impact on oral health. Specifically, visiting the dentist.

On 24 March, the coronavirus pandemic forced all dental practices in the UK to close, except for a number of emergency treatment stations or dental Hubs.  This had a big impact on how our patients could access their dental care.

We’re here to make you smile

We were oncall everyday however, so although we could not necessarily do the same things we would have been able to, we were there for advice, pain relief , prescriptions and of course emergency care via our local Hub.

This changed on 8 June, when we were able to start opening our doors again- at our current location of Peasholm Dental Practice.

Just like everyone else, we have needed to adapt our previously ‘normal’ day-to-day routine.  We have been keeping up to date with all the guidance, and following all the advice, to make sure we keep our patients and staff happy and healthy.

Here’s a summary of what you might expect at your next visit:

Changes on arrival

Before you visit, we will be contacting you to check whether you feel well.  We will be asking you a few questions about your health and the health of the people you live with.  Nobody with any signs of COVID-19 will be able to visit the dental practice.

Appointments can only be made by telephone and we ask that you do not visit us without an appointment.  As a precaution, you will find our doors will be locked.  Reception are looking out for you though, so don’t worry!

It is best to arrive alone and on time (rather than early).  This will minimise your time waiting. Try not to bring too many things with you too.

While you are waiting

When you arrive at reception, a few things will be different.  The first might be that a member of staff­ is waiting for you to check you in.  They will be wearing PPE that you might normally only see them in once in surgery.

The next noticeable change on arrival might be that you will be asked to sanitise your hands.  This will be provided for you.  There will also be a protective barrier at reception – much like what you now see when shopping.  

You may be asked to wear a protective face mask. This is for your safety.

When you enter the waiting room you will notice that it has been reorganised for social distancing.  Be reassured that it is cleaned frequently and anything that isn’t easy to disinfect has already been removed.

Changes to how dental teams work

The most important thing to know in the wake of coronavirus, is how dental teams are making sure you are safe during treatment.     

Firstly, the treatment room will be well ventilated.  This means creating an airflow which does not recirculate, and that old air can leave the room as quickly as possible.

You will see that the dental team is wearing extra protective equipment, even more than normal!  As always, their equipment is fully sterilised.

The little sink next to the chair is out of action.  This means no rinsing.  Instead, your mouth will be cleared with suction. 

Like all dentists, we will be using equipment and techniques with a lower risk of spray.  Emergency procedures, which produce high levels of spray, will be done in different manner, but will still be as efficient and effective.

Non-urgent procedures may be delayed, and we are allowing more time between patients.  This allows for socisl distancing.

The surgeries are of course cleaned between patients, but this has always been the case- we have always had pride in our cleanliness.

When you are leaving

The final changes during your experience, is when you leave.

Firstly, it is safer to pay with a contactless card if you can, and use your own pen to sign any paperwork.  We will ask if it is ok for us to sign on your behalf, if you would prefer, this means you do not have to touch anything.

Usually, you might be handed a piece of paper or leaflet with advice or instructions about your treatment.  In the short term, this will no longer happen.  Instead, this information will be provided verbally, at a social distance.

Finally, if you need any further visits, these will be made over the phone for you, once you have returned home.

In summary

It’s important that you, as a patient, are comforted by the measures that are being taken.  All changes that have been made for the safety of staff and patients alike.

If in doubt, give the practice a call on 01723 500 340, and  ask to speak to Emma. She will ensure everything is explained to you, and help put your mind at ease.

We’re here to make you smile, even during these unprecedented times! We look forward to welcoming you all back soon.

Seven tips to tip the balance….staying cheerful in testing times

It’s challenging times for all. With the lockdown restrictions in the UK continuing for at least another three weeks, we thought now might be the time to think about what we can all do to keep our spirits up!

Have some sort of plan for the day which you’ll try to keep to each day. Regular sleep. Regular meals. Gentle goals to set and try to keep. One of course is good oral hygiene regimen. If you don’t usually spend a great deal of time cleaning in between the teeth with floss or interproximal brushes, why not start now, get it into your routine and keep it there for life. Add them to your shopping list.

Clean and pleasant surroundings and clothing. Wash up.  Tidy up. Declutter! Why not bag up those things you just no longer need, and leave them ready to take to a charity shop when they re-open. Charities will have taken a hit during the lockdown too.

However you do it it’s important to switch off and amuse yourself and cheer yourself up. Entertainment is vital.

Even if you’re really limited in what you can do just opening the door or window and taking some deep breaths makes a difference. The simplest of exercises indoors or a brief walk outdoors makes a difference. 

However you do it keep in touch with others in your life. Make that call. Type that text. Write that email or letter or note. FaceTime. Message. 
Skype. WhatsApp. Telemeetings and Zoom Meetings. Share the good stuff and the funny. 
Connect connect connect!

Limit the intake of bad news coming at you from the Media. Keep in touch with what’s going on but don’t binge watch the news.

There are ALWAYS things and people to be thankful for. Always. It’s hard at times but being grateful and looking for the good in life and seeing the funny side of life and having a laugh at times will always do us good and keep us sane (more or less!)

#Stay home, save lives, protect our NHS. Stay safe everyone. Team Newby.

Managing toothache during self-isolation

Top Tips for Managing Toothache During Self Isolation

In light of recent government advice, as we have all been advised to stay at home where possible, then the last thing you want is to develop toothache. We are here to provide advice and care for severe emergencies but we recommend everyone, especially those over 70 or at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 follow stringent social distancing measures.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus (new persistent cough and/or fever) you should not attend the practice. Please call 111 for the most up to date advice.

As it is not safe at the moment to see us, in most cases, there are a few things you can try to manage the pain until you can. It is unclear at this point when normal service will resume. If you have a swelling on your face or difficulty swallowing, this requires urgent professional attention so don’t be afraid to contact us for advice.

Email for advice and where possible we will provide emergency care.


Decay is a bacterial breakdown in a tooth which causes a cavity. If the bacteria gets close to the nerve in a tooth, it can cause the tooth to be acutely sensitive. As the cavity causing inflammation of the nerve gets worse, the ligaments holding the tooth in position can also get inflamed which causes pain on biting.

If the tooth is acutely sensitive to temperature, antibiotics will not fix this. The decay needs to be removed to allow the tooth to heal. If the bacteria has caused irreversible damage to the nerve in the tooth then a root filling is required or the tooth needs to be extracted.

To help manage toothache until you can visit us, there are a few things that may help reduce the pain:

  • If there is a cavity in the tooth, a temporary filling material can be packed in to this space. These temporary filling kits are widely available from supermarkets or pharmacies.
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs) can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both – however, there are some possible reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms. Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dosage!
  • Don’t stop taking the anti-inflammatory when the pain stops (or it will come back again!) You are wanting to reduce the inflammation of the nerve in the tooth which is causing the pain.
  • Desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne repair and protect or Colgate sensitive pro relief can help.
  • Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain.
  • Keep your head elevated at night time- When you lie down to go to sleep, the pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain. An extra pillow at night time can help
  • Keep the area cold– reducing blood flow to an area will reduce the inflammation and pain. Do not apply ice directly to a tooth as this can increase the pain as toothaches are quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.


(a swelling next to the tooth or pus discharging)

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salty mouthwash to try and draw out the infection into your mouth. Dissolve a spoonful of sea salt in warm water and rinse around your mouth/ hold it in your mouth next to the infected area. Repeat several times until the pain subsides.
  • Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings.


  • If there is bacteria or food debris trapped between the gum and the tooth, this can cause pain.
  • Thoroughly clean the area with floss or a te-pe interdental brush. You could put corsodyl gel onto the brush to help clean the area.
  • Rinsing thoroughly with Corsodyl mouthwash can help (but Corsodyl will stain your teeth so we don’t recommend this for long term use).


Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn’t be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn’t heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist.

  • To reduce the discomfort, you can try a topical ansesthetic gel such as Orajel
  • To help with healing of ulcers, Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain.
  • You can also rinse with warm salty mouthwash


If a tooth or filling has chipped or cracked, this can cause sensitivity from the tooth being exposed or pain to your tongue from sharp edges.

  • The sensitivity can be reduced by rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth or placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed.

Our thoughts go out to all affected by this pandemic. We hope it is not too long before we will be able to return to the Practice and continue to do what we love – treating our amazing patients. It is times like these which really make you evaluate how lucky we are to have such an incredible team, amazing patients and lovely Practice.

Stay safe. Stay home.