Tips for managing dental phobia in Sutton

No matter what age you are, going to the dentist can still be quite a nerve-wracking experience. Having a fear or feelings of anxiety about going to a practice is pretty common and there are a number of ways we can help you with your dental phobia in Sutton.

Dental Phobia in SuttonHere’s a few things you can try to keep yourself calm.

Listen to music

One good tip we can provide to help with dental phobia in Sutton is to listen to some music while you’re going through your treatments. Having your favourite track bumping away in your ears is a sure-fire way to distract yourself from what’s going on around you.

Although, if you’re making a playlist, we recommend that you try to limit it to calming music, sadly thumping bass lines and roaring metal can make your heart rate rise, which is not what you’re after.

Talk to our team

We really can’t stress it enough that you have to communicate with us whilst you’re in the practice. If you are a little shy to speak up, then we are happy to suggest a visual way of communicating when things are getting a little too much for you.

One of the biggest fears of patients suffering with dental phobia in Sutton, is having things go out of their control when they’re having a treatment performed. That’s why you need to signal that you need a break when things are a little too much or you just need a breather for a while.

At Benhill Dental Practice, our team will strive to provide you with a gentle, calming and relaxing atmosphere, as we help you improve your smile.

Bring in a bear

It may sound a little odd, but bringing in something from home is a great way to distract yourself during procedures. Having that familiar texture and smell of something, from a place where you feel safe, can help create a little calming focus for patients that might start to feel the anxiety kick in.

Practice calming breathing techniques

One of the main causes of feelings of anxiety is a spike in your Adrenaline levels. This is because in a stressful situation your bodies natural ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in and your system floods with Adrenaline. This manifests in shaking, sweating, high heart rate, tightness in the chest and a general feeling of anxiety.

To counteract this, the general recommendation is to slowly inhale through your nose and then exhale back out through your mouth. Repeating this a few times will increase your body’s oxygen intake, which in turn, allows it to break down the Adrenaline much quicker. As this is broken down, you should start to feel calmer and more relaxed.

There are a number of techniques to try and each one has its own unique benefits and levels of complexity.

So, as you can see there’s plenty of simple ways to keep yourself calm during your appointments. For further advice on how you can stay relaxed, just ask our team on your next visit.

Silver to white fillings in Sutton

Have you got several fillings that you’ve had for a number of years? The chances are that these fillings are probably the old amalgam or metal fillings. These fillings did the job well, they are long lasting and strong but perhaps now you feel self-conscious when you open your mouth or smile, because there is a distinct glint of silver in your mouth. But don’t worry, there is a solution!

White Fillings in SuttonWhat’s the alternative?

Now, with modern dental techniques, you can say goodbye to those old-fashioned metal fillings and have white (also known as tooth coloured or composite) fillings instead. Here at the Benhill Dental Practice we are experienced in cosmetic dentistry and know that silver to white fillings in Sutton are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to improve their smile. These fillings are designed to match the tooth so that the filling is virtually invisible. As a result you will have a much more natural smile and can feel more confident.

How is it done?

First of all, your dentist will discuss the options of changing from silver to white fillings in Sutton with you. When the treatment is being done, the dentist will first of all remove the old amalgam (metal) fillings and any decaying parts of the tooth to leave a clear space for the new filling. Then he will put in the new white filling. The material used to make the filling is extremely strong and durable and is designed to withstand the many years of biting and chewing that are ahead. You can feel confident that the filling won’t break or drop out if you’re eating something crunchy!

Will it hurt?

No, absolutely not. Your dentist will make sure that the area being treated is fully numbed with a local anaesthetic before treatment begins. Once you are sure that you can’t feel anything the dentist will begin the silver to white filling procedure. All you need to do is relax and look forward to an improved, whiter smile! If you are nervous about the treatment please speak to us in advance. At the Benhill Dental Practice we have a lot of experience in helping nervous or anxious patients and will do our best to put you at ease so that the treatment is as stress free as possible for you.

What are fillings made from?

Amalgam fillings consist of metals such as silver, tin, copper and mercury. They are perfectly safe as the mercury is bound in with other metals, making it much more stable and therefore 100% safe. White or composite fillings are made from ceramic and plastic. They are still durable and will last as long as amalgam fillings, so once they are done you won’t need to keep having them replaced every few years.

Is tooth decay a big problem?

Yes it is. Even though modern dentistry has improved over the years, particularly in educating the public about dental health and how they can prevent decay and tooth loss, it’s a fact that 92% of adults aged between 20 and 64 have fillings. This is quite a shocking statistic. And children are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. If you are worried, then speak to a dentist about it.

Why do I have sensitive teeth and how can I stop it?

Do hot or cold beverages cause you to hold your mouth in pain? It sounds like you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth are a result of weakened enamel, worn down and scraped away over the years, that leaves your tooth roots exposed and unprotected. The unpleasant sensation, which can vary from a slight twinge to extreme pain, could also be signs of gum disease or a broken tooth that has cracked to your gumline.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonIf your sensitivity issues are an ongoing struggle, come to our clinic, Benhill Dental Practice, so that we can find the source of your troubles.

What is enamel and what role does it play in my mouth?

Teeth are healthy when the enamel, the protective outer layer, is strong and safeguards the mouth from the onslaught of germs.

What could potentially damage this enamel?

However, daily exposure to highly acidic and sugary food and drinks wears down enamel, weakening and eventually eroding the layer altogether, leaving the inside of a tooth vulnerable to the elements. When this happens, you are likely to experience varying levels of discomfort, dependent on the extent of the damage. If you decide to consume these beverages on the odd occasion, our advice is to drink them in one sitting and through a straw; the less contact your teeth have with these sugary substances, the better.

People also incorrectly assume that vigorously brushing your teeth is the only way to remove germs. Your actions might be effective in getting rid of bacteria, but you are also slowly scraping away vital enamel. We recommend that you gently brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush. This method of cleaning prioritises oral health without damaging your teeth’s outer layer.

Conversely, some of our patients do not spend enough time cleaning their teeth, and as a result, plaque builds up, eventually calcifies into tartar which can lead to the development of the gum disease called Gingivitis. A visible symptom of the disease is deep pockets forming between your teeth and gums. This happens because your gums are receding, and as your gums recede bit-by-bit, more of your tooth is left exposed and vulnerable to harmful germs. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss frequently to avoid this illness.

What treatments can reverse the adverse effects of sensitive teeth?

Not knowing what could trigger your pain and consequently avoiding certain food and drink prevents you from enjoying all of the good things in life.

Regain your old life back, minus a few sweets and takeout meals, by undergoing these treatment options:

  • Desensitising toothpaste can help to block pain. Our dentist can recommend an over-the-counter brand that works quickly and effectively.
  • We can apply Flouride to the affected area. Not only does Flouride help to reduce pain but can strengthen your damaged enamel.
  • We can cover and protect your exposed tooth roots with fillings. Please note that you will need anaesthesia for this treatment.
  • You might need a root canal treatment as a worst-case scenario if the decay or damage extends below the gumline and infects the pulp of a tooth. Infected pulp has dire consequences if not removed, where you might even have to extract your tooth.

Are you suffering from sensitive teeth? It sounds like you require urgent dental care. Allow us to tend to your issue calmly and professionally.

Dental pain when eating ice cream? Benhill Dental’s guide for managing sensitive teeth in Sutton

On a warm summer’s day, you should not have to feel worried about biting into a cool, refreshing ice lolly. On a cold winter’s day, you should not wince at the thought of ordering a hot chocolate at your regular coffee shop either.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonIf you have a sensitive tooth or teeth, then these concerns are all too real for you and can be a serious pain (no pun intended).

What causes sensitive teeth?

A leading cause of sensitive teeth in Sutton is a loss of enamel on the tooth or teeth; this can be caused by a diet full of highly acidic foods and drinks like orange juice.

There are also other reasons for enamel loss such as nocturnal grinding, a cracked tooth or decay around a damaged filling.

What can I do?

If you suspect you have sensitive teeth in Sutton, the first thing to do is to check with a dental surgery that has experience in treating patients who suffer from sensitive teeth. It may be that you have a cracked filling or tooth, which can easily be repaired and immediately stop the sensitivity.

At Benhill Dental Surgery, our dental team are experienced in helping patients who have sensitive teeth and will work to identify the cause and provide you with a personalised plan to minimise and stop the pain caused by sensitive teeth.

Home based options

Our dental team will provide you with advice on how you can minimise pain caused by sensitive teeth in Sutton and how you can prevent it recurring.

As many of our patients’ sensitivity is due to a wearing away of enamel, there are many options to choose from to strengthen your enamel at home.

Fluoride Toothpaste

We can advise you on which toothpaste we think will be the most beneficial for you.

Toothpaste that is high in fluoride will help strengthen and rebuild any enamel that you have lost whilst also keeping your teeth clean. To gain the most benefit, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste twice a day until the sensitivity subsides.


If you and your dentist suspect that your dental sensitivity is due to nocturnal grinding while asleep, then it is time to invest in a mouthguard.

Although many pharmacists can give you over-the-counter mouthguards to help prevent grinding, it is best to seek out a dentist to provide a custom fitted one, shaped specifically to your mouth. That way, you can ensure the most comfort when asleep, as well as the best prevention.

Chew Gum

Chewing a sugar free gum creates large amounts of saliva in your mouth which helps harden tooth enamel.

Just make sure you have purchased a sugar free option; if you are chewing away on a sugary gum, your sensitivity will probably get worse.

It is important to establish what is causing your tooth sensitivity before attempting to treat it. It is a symptom, so call Benhill Dental today for preventative dental care.

Why do I have sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth can occur for a multitude of reasons. Erosion can be caused by poor diet, frequent consumption of highly sugary or acidic foods or drinks as well as eating disorders, severe brushing and other medical conditions. Over time poor levels brushing can lead to the build up of dental plaque which can consequently lead to gum disease, this can cause the gum line to recede, which exposes the dentine tubules of the root which are extremely sensitive, this sensitivity can be made worse by extreme warm or cold temperatures. These dentine tubules lead directly to the nerve of the tooth, which can cause the tooth to become sensitive to everyday activities such as eating and brushing. One of our dentists at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton may recommend a paste which can help reduce the level of discomfort experienced due to the sensitivity. This paste aims to seal the ends of these tubules, we offer this service in order to aim to reduce the discomfort for our patients who may have sensitive teeth in Sutton.

Sensitive Teeth in SuttonHow can we help your sensitive teeth at Benhill Dental Practice?

At our practice we offer an initial consultation to decipher the best individual plan for our patients. We offer top tips to reduce sensitivity and ensure further prevention. We may advise a certain type of toothpaste for example, or ways in which you can build up enamel, and reduce plaque in order to help eliminate further sensitivity.

How can I reduce sensitivity?

Some simple steps can help reduce sensitivity, and help to prevent its initial occurrence.

Brushing with a soft bristled brush can help reduce abrasion, despite your teeth feeling better it is important to brush gently to try and reduce the further wearing down of the gum tissue. Further prevention can be aided with a selective diet, avoidance of highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits can help to lower sensitive teeth in Sutton. Highly acidic foods can wear down enamel which leads to dentin exposure, which in turn causes pain. Maintaining dental hygiene is key, flossing and brushing correctly as well as adding a mouthwash into your regime can help to maintain this.

Why choose us at Benhill Dental Practice?

At our practice we pride ourselves in the care of our patients, we welcome all ages and offer NHS and private services. We have treated generations of families, and pride ourselves on our community reputation. We offer a variety of treatments including preventative dental care, treatment that aims to restore, as well as cosmetic dental services such as tooth whitening and veneers.

What if I am nervous about visiting the dentist?

Individuals may refrain from visiting their local dentistry surgery due to inconvenience, or due to the surrounding anxiety around dentists some patients feel. Anxiety may be caused by previous negative experiences, or simply an irrational fear. a multitude of members of our team have had experience with working with nervous patients. We refrain from using sedative treatment at our surgery, as we believe our modern treatments as well as reassurance at every stage are enough to relieve our patients nerves and discomfort.

Healthy teeth need healthy gums

Your teeth are set into the jawbone, where they are held in place by fleshy ligaments. The bone is covered with flesh known as the gums and this comes down over the teeth, offering protection over the site where bone meets tooth.

Healthy Gums in SuttonGums are a bit like the seal you find around places that get wet. Around your shower head, for example. If you don’t take care of the seals around things, bacteria can get in underneath and start to pull the seal out of place. It’s the same with gums, only when the gums start to pull away, it’s your teeth and jawbone that are affected.

That’s why, when you think about your oral hygiene, you need to have healthy gums as well as healthy teeth. Here at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, you will find that our dentists and hygienists are just as interested in the health of your gums as they are in that of your teeth.

Check-ups and healthy gums

When you come for a check-up at Benhill Dental Practice, the dentist won’t only be looking at your teeth for decay. They will also be on the lookout for gum disease.

The early signs of gum disease are red, inflamed gums that bleed easily. If we see signs of gingivitis, we will talk to you about your oral health routine and what you can do to improve it.

If the dentist sees signs of the gums pulling away from the sockets, then you are already in a more advanced state of gum disease. When the gums are pulling away from the sockets, it means that plaque and bacteria can get underneath and start attacking your tooth roots (which have no enamel over them) and the bone surrounding your teeth. This later stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. Treatment for this is more invasive. We may have to plane away any infected or corroded areas under your gums. We may have to sew your gums back in place to tighten them up around your teeth.

If you want to know more about ways to have healthy gums, please ask either the dentist or the hygienist next time you come in.

We can help you be less scared of the dentist

If you think you are weird to be scared of the dentist at your age, you will be relieved to know that you are not alone. In fact, about 13% of the world’s population suffers from dental phobia. Phobia is more than being a bit nervous that you might have to have a filling. It’s the extreme end of nervousness, with trembling and sweats and even full-blown panic attacks.

Nervous Patients in SuttonIf 13% of people worldwide suffer from feelings that extreme, you are totally entitled to be scared. In the dental world, we like to lump the spectrum of fear of the dentist into one umbrella term of nervous patients. We recognise that you exist in great numbers and that your fears are to be taken seriously. It’s not just in your mind, it’s in your body too.

The trouble is that when you are scared of the dentist, it can be all too easy to put off your check-up appointments. Finding excuses not to go is simple and before you know it, it’s been 6, 9, 12 months, maybe even years since your last check-up.

The trouble with avoiding check-ups is that problems that would have been quick and easy to fix become more serious and require more invasive treatment. That tiny filling turns into root canal therapy. Plaque become tartar becomes gum disease becomes root planing and gum grafts.

It’s important to realise that dentistry has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades and we now have much gentler techniques and lots of local anaesthetic, so you never have to feel a thing when we treat you.

Dental clinics are also much nicer environments to be in. Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton is designed to make you feel welcome and relaxed. The staff too have been trained to help you feel at home as soon as you step in through the door.

We will take time to listen to your fears and work out strategies to deal with them. We also have sedation if you think you are not going to be able to go through treatment without feeling very anxious.

Come on back to the dentist and feel great about your smile again.

Cover ups for your teeth

When teeth get damaged in one way or another, it’s great to know that there are various treatments that can be used to make them look great again.

One of the most popular treatments for making teeth look good again is veneers. Here at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we find veneers to be incredibly versatile and able to deal with all sorts of problems.

Veneers in SuttonWhat are veneers?

Veneers are tiny sheaths of composite porcelain that are sized, shaped and coloured to blend in with your own teeth. They are fixed onto the fronts of the teeth to cover over imperfections and damage and can be used to mask a variety of issues.

Lots of people’s teeth get damaged as they go through life. It’s pretty common to pick up a chip or two playing sports or mucking about at school. Some people damage their teeth doing silly things like using them to open bottles.

Teeth can also sometimes get badly stained with the kind of intrinsic discolouration that normal whitening treatments can’t fix. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that discolours teeth, for example. Veneers can be used to cover over this kind of discolouration.

Sometimes one or two of the teeth are not the right size. Veneers can be placed over them to make them look the same as the other teeth.

Sometimes one or two teeth may not be quite in alignment with the rest of the teeth and instead of having braces, a veneer can be placed over them to make them look in line.

The treatment process

It only takes a couple of appointments to get veneers fitted. We start by taking impressions of your teeth and working out what colour the veneer needs to be. This goes off to a technician to make. When we fit the veneers, we need to remove the outer layer of enamel so that the veneers will lie flush with the rest of the teeth, and also to give the adhesive something to bond to. Then we put the veneers on and you are good to go.

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last for at least 10 years.

A different kind of smile upgrade

The trouble with fillings is that we get most of our tooth decay when we are kids. This is because we have not yet mastered the art of toothbrushing and getting into all those corners round the back teeth. It’s also because we haven’t mastered the discipline to stand at the bathroom sink for 2 minutes twice a day.

White Fillings in SuttonGoodness knows, it’s hard enough as an adult, let alone as a 6-year-old in a world of far more exciting things to do.

So, it’s not unusual to need a filling almost every time we go to the dentist, especially if we can’t resist a sugary snack, and which child can?

This means that by the time we are adults, most of us have quite a collection of dark, glinting amalgam fillings in our mouths, and every time we laugh or yawn, there they are, for everyone to see.

Do you really want everyone to know how many fillings you’ve got? You don’t have to, if you get white fillings instead.

Replace amalgam fillings

One way people upgrade their smile is to have all their old amalgam fillings removed and replaced with white fillings. At Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we do this with a great deal of care, so that you don’t accidentally swallow any of the old fillings. Amalgam contains mercury, which is toxic, so we are very careful to remove every last bit before we refill the cavity with white fillings made of composite resin.

This is mixture of glass and plastic. White fillings have got stronger and stronger in the decades since they first became available and are now as strong, if not stronger than amalgam.

They also have the advantage of being able to be sculpted. This means that when you have a white filling put in, we can shape it so that you get the chewing surface of your tooth back. This is not possible with amalgam, which lies flat within the walls of the tooth.

We can replace all your fillings in a few appointments, or we can do them one at a time as each amalgam filling wears out.

Come in and have a chat about it.

Versatile teeth whitening treatments

As you go about your daily business, it’s worth looking at other people’s smiles and getting an idea of what are the accepted norms for smiles these days. You will notice that amongst people under the age of about 40, it’s very important to have straight, well proportioned, white teeth. People are spending more on their smiles than ever before, and the most popular treatment of all is teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening in SuttonHere at Benhill Dental Practice in Sutton, we see more and more people coming in for teeth whitening treatment. It’s a great way of giving your smile a lift without having to go through lengthy and costly treatments. So, if you know you need to have a great smile for an upcoming event, you may well choose to get your teeth whitened, and there are 2 ways in which you can do this with us at Benhill Dental Practice.

How does teeth whitening work?

The treatment aims to gently lift out traces of pigments from various foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine and dark chocolate. These get trapped in the pore of your tooth enamel and brushing can’t dislodge them, neither can a good clean with the hygienist.

Teeth whitening gel contains hydrogen peroxide, a tried and trusted whitener and disinfectant that has been around for a couple of hundred years. It comes in different strengths, depending on what it’s being used for.

We also use it in different strengths at the dental practice.

Power whitening

We use a stronger concentration of hydrogen peroxide for whitening treatments that we can oversee in the clinic. Power whitening gel is painted onto your teeth and takes about an hour to whiten your teeth by several shades.

At-home whitening

Using bespoke gel trays and a weaker gel, you whiten your teeth at home over a couple of weeks. You put the gel in the bespoke trays and wear them every day for a short period.

Both methods have their advantages. One is quick and can be done in your lunch hour. The second gives you trays that you can use every time you need to top up your treatment.