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So, will this be a problem?

  • Thread starter Menopausal Magpie
  • Start date
M

Menopausal Magpie

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2009
Messages
44
Hi all, long time no see! Hope you're al staying safe and well! What strange, strange times we're living in...

So, to cut a long story short, earlier this year, I wasn't satisfied with the (very brief) checkups I'd been getting from my NHS dentist here in the UK. I had a recommendation from a friend for a private dentist, so I went and booked an initial appointment.

I was SUPER nervous, but she was VERY nice, very gentle and reassuring with the exam and Xrays. (I took the checklist of dental fears from this site, and she said she'd look at it and keep it on my file. 🙂). She said she'd look at the Xrays and get me back in a couple of weeks to discuss a treatment plan (I have a loose upper second incisor that the NHS dentist had treated an abscess on and said it would need removing, but the private dentist said a bridge would be a possibility.)

...And then this virus happened. I ended up having the discussion over the phone rather than in person, and she sent me a treatment plan in the mail. Two sessions of deep cleaning (which I hadn't had on the NHS in several YEARS!), extraction of the tooth, then (as discussed, a few months later when the gum's had time to settle) the bridge fitting.

That was in late March, just before the surgery temporarily closed its doors...

Cut to this week, and I look up the surgery and find they're opening again. I called them, and the receptionist said that the hygienist might not be able to do a sonic clean, because aerosols, but a manual clean might be possible. She said the dentist herself would be in on Wednesday, and she'd call me back.

Well, I got a call today and it seems NO hygienist cleaning will be possible at the moment, since they can't get the appropriate PPE and don't have enough treatment rooms to clean them between patients, basically logistical stuff which I totally understand, they need to keep safe. She said they COULD book me in for the extraction and then, later, the bridge.

I'm now wondering what to do. They don't know when the deep clean will be possible, and it sounds like she thinks I need it, but they just can't take the risk. But they can do they extraction? I'm confused as to why one but not the other. Any thoughts, anyone?
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,618
Hi Menopausal Magpie,

sorry to read about the troubles, it's a very uncertain time and if you are in need of treatment, even more.

If I got you right, you are wondering how come they can do an extraction, but not a deep cleaning, right? Usually the deep cleaning would certainly be the first thing to do to stabilise your gums, however in this situation it seems to me they simply took a look at what treatment is possible in the current conditions and found out that they could do the extraction. There are no aerosols produced during an extraction, it's purely taking the tooth out and suction so I get how this kind of treatment would be possible, while a sonic clean would not. What I was wondering is whether they would be able to fit your bridge any soon as that - in my layman opinion - would produce aerosols too. It sounds like it's a front tooth, but you didn't mention any replacement for the time between the extraction and the bridge? Also, deep clean usually goes before any crowns or bridges are fitted, but if the logistic stuff is the only reason they can't schedule your cleaning, then maybe they are expecting it to get solved.

Rereading it I might have asked more questions than have given answers.. to put it together, I see how confusing this is. Maybe another chat with the practice might help?

All the best wishes
 
M

Menopausal Magpie

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2009
Messages
44
Hi Enarete,

Well, I actually decided to take the plunge and have the tooth out yesterday! It was very quick, and the surgery appears to be taking great care with hygiene, social distancing, PPE etc. I've got to the stage where the advice sheet said to gently rinse with warm salt water, and the socket looks OK to my untrained eye. Some slight pain but not much. I'm eating carefully, semi-soft foods and sticking to the other side of my mouth, and it seems to be going OK.

So, when I spoke to my dentist initially, she said they could fit a temporary bridge immediately, but that after a few months, the gum would have shrunk and 'settled', so they'd then fit the permanent bridge. I decided I was OK with cutting to the chase and just waiting, with a gap, until my gums were ready for the permanent bridge. I'm not a great grinner, and right now I'm wearing a mask most of the time when I'm out of the house, so nobody's seeing the gap anyway! My dentist was absolutely fine with that.

But, re the deep cleaning, there are still issues with PPE and aerosols. The hygienist CAN do hand cleaning, but not the 'mechanical' kind, using the electrical device, if you get my meaning. The DENTIST could do the mechanical clean, but it would cost me twice as much! She's not pushing me to have that, and says the hand clean might well be absolutely fine (so I think there are genuine logistical reasons for this, and I don't for one moment think she's trying to weasel more money out of me). I asked if she could write down the options and costs and mail them to me, and she says I can take it from there with my decision.

So that's how it stands at present...
 
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