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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions from our customers that may very well give you the answer you are looking for.


Do I need to arrive early for my first appointment?

We advise for you to come at least 10 to 15 minutes before your appointment, as you will need to fill out our new patient form, a medical history form, GDPR and other consent forms.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

It would be helpful if you could bring a list of all the medication you are taking.

If I am an NHS patient and am exempt from NHS charges what do I need to bring along to all the appointments?

If you are exempt from NHS charges, we will need to see evidence of the exemption, hence in order to claim an exemption please bring along any exemption certificates or proof of benefits you are entitled to. We cannot provide an exemption from charges without sight of the evidence. Please note that the NHS will charge a penalty directly to you on all incorrect exemptions claimed.


Why do we need to fill in the same forms every time we come for an appointment?

You will usually be asked to update your medical history once a year. This is to ensure your safety because there is chance a change in health could affect your dental treatment options, or vice versa.

If you are an NHS patient, it is a requirement for you to sign the FP17 form at the beginning of each check-up appointment. If you are exempt from NHS charges please bring evidence with you to every appointment.

Why do the appointments often run late?

As with many other health services, the dentist doesn’t know what conditions will be presented until the patient arrives. Sometimes this means that we must spend considerably longer relieving pain and carrying out the treatment plan than we had envisaged.

Also, we do give priority for emergency treatment to children, we always try to squeeze them in, promptly, even if we don’t have any appointment slots in our diary.

No patient wants to be asked to vacate the chair “after their allocated time is up” with the treatment incomplete. However, we will try to keep you informed, as best we can, if there is a delay.

Why don’t you do a polish as part of the NHS examination?

Over the past 20 years dentistry like every other health industry has changed. NHS dental care is dramatically changing, focusing on prevention of decay over simply drilling and filling. Put simply, the NHS is there for health, and anything aesthetic is completed privately. Unfortunately, stain removal is not associated with health.


I knocked out a tooth, can it be saved?

Oral injuries are often painful and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. If you have knocked out a tooth, these tips may be able to save it:

  • Rinse, do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum or under your tongue
  • Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket as this could cause further damage
  • Get to the dentist. Successful re-implantation is possible only when treatment is performed promptly
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk.
I need an emergency appointment; how quickly can I be seen?

A dental emergency includes tooth or gum pain, facial swelling, loose crown (or bridge) or a lost filling which is causing pain. We have emergency appointments available between 12.30 and 1pm; Monday to Friday. These appointment slots are usually given on the day. Please call the surgery after 9.00 am and we will make every effort for you to be seen on the day by the dentist on call.


What tooth paste should I use?

It's important to use a toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride. Check the packaging to find out how much fluoride each brand contains.

Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.

What toothpaste should my children use?

Children don't need to use special children's toothpaste. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride. Children aged 6 and under who don't have tooth decay can use a lower strength children's toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride. Children under the age of 3 should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged 3 to 6 years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Make sure children don't lick or eat toothpaste from the tube.

Your dentist may advise you or your child to use a toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride, if you need it.

How often should I floss?

We recommend flossing at least once a day. Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Are electric toothbrushes better than manual brushes?

Consumer Reports has said electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective as long as you brush your teeth thoroughly for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. An electric toothbrush may help, however, if you have arthritis or a dexterity problem that makes thorough brushing difficult.

What causes bad breath?

Certain foods, health conditions and habits (especially smoking) are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. If simple self-care techniques don't solve the problem, see your dentist or doctor to be sure a more serious condition isn't causing your bad breath.

How many times a year should I have my teeth cleaned?

If you have good oral hygiene habits and a healthy mouth, your dentist and dental hygienist will probably suggest professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year.

When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?

It is recommended that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. The baby teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age. The child’s first visit isn't for doing any real work. It's really about introducing your child to the dentist's office, allowing him to explore various instruments and even take a ride in the chair.

What are dental sealants, who should get them and how long do they last?

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth -- usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) -- to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for many years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wear at regular dental check-ups.


My dentist says I have a cavity and that I need a filling. But why doesn’t my tooth hurt?

You won't notice any pain or sensitivity until decay goes through the enamel and into the deeper part of the tooth(dentine). Your dentist can detect the decay when it is still in the top layer of the tooth (enamel). This Earlier detection will result in a smaller filling being required, minimising the need for more complex dental procedures like root fillings or crowns.

What is in amalgam (silver) fillings, and are they safe?

Dental amalgam is made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Sometimes described as “silver” fillings.

Although dental amalgam is a safe, commonly used dental material, you may wonder about its mercury content. It’s important to know that when combined with the other metals, it forms a safe, stable material.

Is a root canal painful?

Most people associate having a root canal with a lot of pain and discomfort. However, while most people can expect some discomfort during and after a root canal procedure, excessive pain is not normal.


Can I apply for Dental Finance for any dental treatment?

You can apply for Interest Free or Low Finance options for any dental treatment plan over £1,000. You must be a UK resident over the age of 18 years and holder of a bank account.

What payment methods are used to repay the loan?

The payment terms are agreed and set up in advance once you have decided which finance option suits you best and have successfully applied. Your dental treatment will be paid off in affordable monthly installments and collected by direct debit.

How do I apply for dental finance?

Once you have agreed the cost of your treatment plan with your dentist, our administration team will make the credit application on your behalf. All we require is a completed application form with 2 proofs of ID including proof of signature and proof of address. As soon as your application has been approved and then processed, you’ll receive written confirmation directly from Dental Finance.


What causes teeth to decay?

Major causes of tooth decay are sugary, sticky foods and beverages and poor Oral Hygiene: Not brushing your teeth regularly allows plaque to build up and attack the tooth enamel. Plaque Formation: Plaque is caused when bacteria, acid, food particles, and saliva all combine in your mouth.

Why do my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums may be a sign of poor dental hygiene. Gums become swollen (inflamed) and bleed when there's a build-up of plaque along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that covers your teeth and gums. And if you don't brush or floss enough, the bacteria can spread and cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?

If eating ice cream and drinking cold drinks make your teeth hurt, you are probably suffering from cold-sensitive teeth. Cold-sensitive teeth are not uncommon, but it’s important to understand the difference between cold-sensitive teeth and tooth decay or gum disease. Cold-sensitive teeth occur when the nerves within the tooth are exposed due to receding gums or worn tooth enamel.

Teeth Sensitive to Cold Home Remedies

  • Avoid Cold and Acidic Foods: If you have teeth sensitive to cold, try to avoid biting into very cold foods—for example, lick your ice cream instead of biting into it.
  • Use a Soft Toothbrush: In addition, if you have teeth sensitive to cold, be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. A soft-bristled brush can help reduce the gum irritation that may make teeth sensitive. Try using soft dental floss, too.
  • Use a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: There are many toothpastes in the market today designed to reduce the cold sensitivity in teeth by occluding or covering up exposed dentinal tubules thereby preventing a cold stimulus from causing the fluid in the tubules to flow. The most common one in the market is Sensodyn.
What can I do if I have dry mouth?

The easiest remedy is to suck on sugar-free sweets or chew sugar-free gum, this can stimulate your salivary glands to produce more saliva. suck on ice cubes – the ice will melt slowly and moisten your mouth. You must avoid alcohol (including alcohol-based mouthwashes), caffeine and smoking as these can all make a dry mouth worse.


What are the closest transport links and is there parking available?

Croxley Underground Station on the metropolitan line is located 200 yards from the practice and the 352 bus service from Hemal Hempstead to Watford stops outside the surgery.

There is free parking for 1 hour at the carpark opposite the surgery.


I find it difficult to climb stairs, do you have ground floor facilities?

Our waiting rooms and three surgeries located on the ground floor. Please let our reception staff know about your needs and we will ensure you will be seen on the ground floor.

Do you have disabled toilet facilities?

We have a disabled toilet located at 144 Watford Road.

Do you have Wheelchair Access?

Our branch at 144 Watford Road has 2 surgeries which have wheelchair access.

I find it difficult to hear, facilities do you have in place?

The practice has a portable hard of hearing induction loop which we can used should the need warrant it.

Do you have baby changing facilities at the surgery?

Yes, this is located in the toilet at 144 Watford road.