01444 233454
Your questions answered

Help and Advice

Here are some of the more common questions that we are asked. If your question is not covered here please contact us and we’ll be very happy to help.


How do I book an appointment?

Dentist appointment date on calendar.Please ring (01444 233454) email (info@burgesshilldental.co.uk), or call in at the practice, and we will book an appointment at a time convenient for you. We will send you a reminder by text or ring you the day before your appointment. If you need to cancel or change an appointment please give us as much notice as possible, this allows us to offer the time reserved for you to someone else. We require 48 hours notice.


Do you charge if I miss or cancel an appointment?

1-depositphotos_80765774_originalThere are no fees charged for any appointments cancelled or changed with at least 2 working days notice. When appointments are cancelled with less notice we will do our very best to reschedule the time reserved for you with another patient. If we are unable to do this there may be a cancellation fee. A fee will be payable should you miss your appointment.


Do you do NHS Treatment?

2Over the years changes have been introduced to the NHS dental system which we felt made it increasingly difficult to provide a standard of care we were comfortable with and which we knew our patients deserved. We have progressively reduced our commitment to the NHS, and currently we offer NHS care for children only, when we have availability, but will always endeavour to provide this to children of our adult patients. If you have an urgent problem and are not registered with a dentist elsewhere, we will always provide you with advice and, if we have availability, see you to provide emergency treatment.


Do you do Orthodontics (Tooth straightening)?

Teeth with bracesOrthodontics is a specialised branch or dentistry carried out by orthodontists with many years of extra training. They are very experienced at solving problems when situations are not totally straight forward and can often provide NHS treatment for children. We are very lucky to have a branch of Total Orthodontics very close to us in Haywards Heath who we will often refer patients to.

Many treatments are now able to be carried out with Invisalign (Clear Aligners) and Henry will be able to provide a free consultation for anyone that would like to investigate whether they are suitable.


Why do I need to come to the dentist if I am not in any pain?

woman tooth acheThis is a very good question! Tooth decay and gum disease need to be well advanced before they cause pain. By the time they cause pain treatment becomes more difficult, more expensive and time-consuming, and the outcomes are less predictable. So finding issues early could save you problems later on and be easier and cheaper to treat.


How do you make sure all your equipment is properly clean and safe?

Medical autoclave for sterilising surgical and other instrumentsWe adhere to all the latest government regulations advice and guidelines regarding equipment, cross infection and decontamination. All our equipment is properly serviced and maintained and our staff receive regular training to make sure we are completely up to speed. We take your safety and ours very seriously!


What do I do if I have a dental emergency and need urgent help?

Tooth and Medicine chestPlease telephone the practice on 01444 233454 as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to help you. The earlier in the day that you ring, the more likely you are to be seen that same day and at a time that suits you best. If the practice is closed and you cannot wait till opening time, please telephone and listen to the answer phone message which will give you instructions on accessing our out of hours emergency service.


What guarantees do you offer on treatment?

new documentWe offer a 12-month standard guarantee on all our fillings, crowns, bridges and dentures.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee root fillings (as even perfect technique does not 100% guarantee a successful outcome).

I’m really scared of the dentist. Can you help me ?

Scared patient at dentist officeMany people feel a bit nervous at the thought of seeing the dentist, particularly a new dentist. Sometimes this fear or phobia is so severe it will stop people coming to see us, unless they are in really severe pain. It could be you’ve had bad experiences as a child and the smells and sounds in the surgery bring those memories back, or your fear is very specific and you are really scared of injections or the slow drill. Whatever your problem is we can help!

The first thing to do is make an appointment and tell us you are nervous. You will find us empathetic and friendly. We are nice and never tell people off! We will listen to you and will do everything we can to help.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, you may be really worried about how much treatment you need. Most of the time it is nowhere near as bad as you imagine. The biggest thing is picking up the phone and making the appointment!


How does smoking affect my mouth?

detail of cigaretteThe nicotine and tar in smoke will stain your teeth, it will cause and accelerate gum disease which may lead to tooth loss, you may get bad breath and it also increases you risk of developing mouth and throat (and obviously lung) cancers. Smoking reduces the blood and oxygen supply to the gums. Quite often this will mean that if you smoke your gums don’t bleed (the first warning sign of gum disease), even though they are very unhealthy. If you are thinking about quitting please go to http://smokefree.nhs.uk where you should find lots of information support and advice to help you.

For more information, visit NHS Smokefree.


What are the signs of mouth cancer?

Patient mouth open and dentist examining with angled mirror in dental clinicMouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. It can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. If you ever have a mouth ulcer which does not heal after 3 weeks, please come to see us so we can check it out. We do a thorough inspection for mouth cancer at every check up. We can see parts of your mouth that are difficult for you to see yourself.

Mouth cancer is most common in patients over 40 who smoke cigarettes or a pipe and drink alcohol. Mouth cancer kills over 1,700 people in the UK every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer is caught early enough.


Why do I need to see the hygienist?

Closeup on young woman brushing teethHygienists are specially trained to help you look after your gum health. Gum health is important, not only to reduce the chance of getting gum disease, but also there are links to other health problems such as heart disease. Hygienists will advise you and help you to improve your cleaning, as well as carrying out thorough cleaning to get any gum disease under control.

Find out more about our hygiene services.


Can I still go to the dentist if I have a cold sore?

Lip infection with the herpes virusCold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. They are very infectious, particularly when blistering. Antiviral creams such as Acyclovir which you can buy ‘over the counter’ should be applied as soon as first signs appear and often.

We will not be able to see you for routine dental treatment if you have an open cold sore due to the potential of our staff becoming infected BUT we can help treat the cold sore using our Elexxion Laser! Please see laser cold sore therapy information and give us a ring on 01444 233454 



Do I need to wear a mouth guard ?

1-depositphotos_6573961_originalA mouth guard is a specially made rubber like cover which fits exactly over your teeth and gums protecting them, and cushioning them from damage. It also can help protect against damage to the jaw and neck and even the brain, helping prevent a concussion from a heavy blow. It is really important to wear one whenever you play a sport that involves physical contact or a moving ball. Cricket, Hockey, Football, American Football, Boxing and Rugby are the most obvious sports. We can make one for you which will fit exactly and protect your teeth and gums properly. Mouth guards need replacing as teeth change position. Children who haven’t got all their second teeth will need new mouth guards more frequently to accommodate the new shape of their mouths and teeth. You can buy a kit to make your own mouth guard which are cheaper. Unfortunately, these don’t always fit well and don’t provide the best protection. The biggest problem is they are more uncomfortable so tend to stay in your kit bag, not in your mouth!

We can make some really great looking mouth guards in every conceivable colour and even in your team colours.


What do I do if I knock a tooth out?

  • Find the tooth…if it is clean push it gently back into the socket yourself .. Make sure it is the facing the right way! Come and see us ASAP.
  • If it isn’t clean or you are not confident about pushing it back yourself. Put the tooth in either a container of milk or your mouth. Do not swallow it.
  • Get to see us as soon as you can, ideally within 60 minutes. If you can’t get to us try another dentist or hospital. If you belong to Denplan ring them for help.
  • Take painkillers if you need to. Avoid aspirin as it may encourage further bleeding.
  • Don’t handle the tooth by the root. It has fragile ligaments which need to be kept intact if it is to be successfully replaced.
  • Don’t try to clean it with disinfectant or water. Don’t let it dry out. Just put it in a container of milk.
  • Don’t panic! Teeth can and are successfully put back in! We may need to splint the tooth in position and you will almost certainly need further work on it later on.

Baby teeth do get knocked out also but we don’t try to re-implant them.


So what’s the problem with fizzy drinks? I drink diet coke… no sugar… surely that’s ok?

2-abcdDiet coke is better than ‘full fat’ coke because it has no sugar in it and therefore doesn’t cause tooth decay, however, all cokes and fizzy drinks contain carbonic acid which means you are essentially bathing your teeth in acid and this destroys enamel (dental erosion). This causes disfiguring tooth loss and pain and sensitivity. The odd can isn’t a problem but we know lots of people drink up to a litre a day! Use a straw and never ’swish’ drinks around your mouth. Alcopops and fruit juices can also be damaging. Water, milk are the best things to drink.


Are dental X-rays dangerous?

1-depositphotos_67907659_originalThe amount of radiation received from a dental Xray is extremely small. We have recently invested in new digital radiography technology which reduces the radiation exposure still further. Radiation is present all around us all the time. You get about the same amount of radiation from having two dental Xrays as you do travelling on a flight to Spain. We take your safety and ours very seriously.

We use x rays to take radiographs which give us much more information about your teeth and mouth than we can see just by looking. It can show us decay in between the teeth or under old fillings which if treated early is much easier and less expensive than waiting until the problem becomes obvious. They can show us the position of second teeth and what your wisdom teeth roots are doing. .


What are the dangers of mouth piercing?

woman show piercing

  • Local infection
  • Inflammation of tongue and mouth causing breathing problems
  • Blood infection
  • Chipping and breaking of teeth
  • Oral hygiene can be compromised

We wouldn’t recommend it but if you are going to have it done ask how they sterilise their instruments. You need to know they are autoclaved to clean them properly.


My teeth are really sensitive. What can I do to treat it?

Woman with hypersensitive teeth eating ice lollySensitive teeth are usually triggered with cold food (ice cream) or drinks, or touch (toothbrush or fingernail) or sweet foods (chocolate). The pain is severe but only lasts for a few seconds. If you get pain that lasts longer than this and is triggered more with hot things more than cold you have a toothache not sensitivity!

Sensitivity can be caused by exposing the more sensitive dentine on your teeth either by brushing too hard or drinking /eating too many acidic foods, fizzy drinks white wine, fruit juice (orange juice and yogurt for breakfast followed by aggressive brushing with a hard brush is guaranteed to give you pain!) The solution is to limit exposing your teeth to acid attack, cleaning with a Braun or Sonicare electric toothbrush and using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Use the toothpaste also as an ointment…rub it into the sensitive areas and leave it there and after brushing do not rinse out. Avoid brushing your teeth within 1 hour of eating/drinking acidic foods and drinks.


What can I do if I’m unhappy with my treatment either in or out of the surgery?

Unhappy womanWe are very proud of the care we provide, and we know that most of our patients most of the time are very happy, but sometimes despite our best efforts we do get it wrong. We promise we will always do whatever we can to put it right. While we won’t say we welcome complaints, we do genuinely believe a negative comment gives us an opportunity to improve not only our service, but also our relationship with you. So if you are unhappy please tell us. There are several things you can do. If it is something small, please write on one of the patient comment cards in the waiting rooms and put it in our suggestion box in reception. We look at these regularly and discuss your comments at every staff meeting.

If it is something clinical please do initially talk to your dentist. They will always do everything they can to resolve problems. If you are uncomfortable discussing things with your dentist for any reason, or if a non-clinical issue cannot be sorted out by our reception team, then please ask to speak to Alison Meredith, our Practice Manager. Alternatively, you could write or email or telephone. However, you communicate with us please be assured we take your feedback very seriously and it will be acted on … Quickly. Please note that we keep strictly to the rules of confidentiality. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we have to know that you have their permission to do so, unless they are a child under 16.

In the unlikely event, we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction and you would like to progress it further, please speak to our practice manager who will provide you with written comprehensive information to help you to do this effectively.

To view the practice’s Complaints Procedure please click here.

What is your Freedom of Information Policy?

Click here to view our Freedom of Information Policy

If you cannot find the answers to any of your questions here please email using the form below and we will do our very best to help you.

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Burgess Hill Dental Care, 75 Station Rd, Burgess Hill RH15 9DY, United Kingdom info@burgesshilldental.co.uk 01444 233454 Call us on: 01444 233454