Brucegate Dental Practice | Brucegate | Berwick upon Tweed | TD15 1LP | Tel: 01289 306084 | Email:

Routine Treatments

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The following routine treatments can be provided by one of our dentists, therapists and hygienists.

Root Canal Therapy

When bacteria find there way into the centre of the tooth (because of decay, leaking filling, tooth fracture or trauma etc.) an inflammatory reaction occurs which can result in toothache and ultimately an abscess. Sometimes no pain is experienced and the nerve dies quietly resulting in a slowly progressing infection.

At any stage root canal treatment can be carried out to prevent spread of infection and in order to save the tooth. As the cause of the problem is bacterial infection, successful root canal treatment is effective disinfection of the inside of the tooth. The tooth is isolated under a rubber dam and after the inside of the tooth is accessed it is soaked in a disinfectant. Small nickel titanium and stainless steel instruments are used to gently clean and shape the inside of the tooth down to the tip of the roots, allowing disinfectant to work effectively.

Once completed a plastic filling material is used to fill the root canal space and prevent reinfection. Often after a root treatment is completed, the tooth will require a crown.

Treating Gum Disease

Gum disease ( or periodontal disease) is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. The dentist will check your mouth for signs of gum disease at your routine examination. However, there are certain things you may notice yourself:

Signs of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding gums that may be tender
  • Gums that appear swollen or red
  • Bad breath

This may progress onto periodontal disease if left untreated. This is a more serious disease that can lead to tooth loss.
Signs of periodontal disease include

  • Bleeding tender gums that may have puss forming between the teeth
  • Pain on biting
  • Bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that look red and swollen and teeth that may look longer as the gums shrink

How do I prevent gum disease?

You can prevent gum disease by removing the soft creamy plaque from your teeth and gums. Regular tooth brushing, flossing and using other hygiene aids and mouthwash can reduce the bacteria which cause gum disease.

A healthy diet and stopping smoking can also help as smoking can cause the bone and tissue in the mouth to shrink, leading to tooth loss.

What is a dental hygienist and what do they do?

Dental hygienists work as  providers of dental healthcare . They work as part of a dental team, mainly concerned with preventing dental disease  and treating gum disease.

This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar (usually called a ‘scale and polish’ or a prophylaxis). However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a soft sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. Hygienists also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay. The hygienist will work with your dental team to give you care that is tailored to your needs.

Can a hygienist help prevent dental disease?

Yes. They will carefully remove the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teach you how to prevent them coming back. This will do a lot to slow the progress of gum disease.

By talking to you about your diet, and recommending other preventive measures, the hygienist can help you keep to a routine that will slow down tooth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.

Another very important part of the hygienist’s work is showing you and telling you how to look after your mouth at home. The hygienist may also suggest giving up smoking, as this will reduce staining and improve your general health. Research has also shown that smokers have more gum disease and lose more teeth than non-smokers. Your hygienist will be able to advise you on various ways of giving up smoking. They can also give you special advice for home care if you have dental implants or orthodontic appliances.

Can I have my teeth cleaned without seeing the dentist?


Since 2013 the General Dental Council has permitted patients to access the services of dental hygienists. Previously, a dentist had to see a patient prior to prescribing hygiene treatment. This is no longer the case, meaning that if you want a “scale and polish” with the hygienist you can simply give us a call to make an appointment directly with the hygienist of your choice.

Visits to a hygienist can help prevent gum disease and improve the appearance of your teeth. However, they are not a substitute for dental check ups with a dentist.

We have 2 hygienists,  Ruth Cooper and Lorraine Glasgow.For more information about them goto

What if you want to stay with your current dentist?

If you are already registered with a  dentist whether private or NHS, you can stay with them and just visit for hygiene appointments. This will not affect your place at another surgery.

What to expect at your first visit ?

If you would like a clean with the hygienist she will need to see you for at least 30 minutes initially to check your medical history, dental history and carry out an assessment of your gum health. She will then be able to clean your teeth and recommend how often this should be done.

To make an appointment ring us on 01289 306084

Will the treatment hurt?

Scaling and polishing is usually pain free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams, or give you some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your pain.

How much will it cost?

The cost will depend on the length of your appointment.  The receptionist will be able to tell you the for a price when you make your appointment


Crowns are a porcelain cover for damaged or unsightly teeth. They are carefully crafted to look natural and blend in with surrounding teeth. All porcelain crowns alleviate the black outline sometimes showing on older crowns.


When teeth are missing and those either side of the space are healthy with well supported foundation the replacement of the missing tooth is possible with bridgework.

It is a similar procedure as to providing a crown with an “extension” to replace the missing tooth.

Partial and Full Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic and sometimes metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth.
Complete dentures replace all of the teeth, while partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting position. Complete dentures are “immediate” or “conventional.” An immediate denture is a complete denture or partial denture that is inserted on the same day, immediately following the removal of the natural teeth. The immediate denture acts as protection to the tissues and reduces bleeding after tooth extraction. The conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. However, some dentists may recommend more time before placing a conventional denture as this healing period will vary from patient to patient.

Who needs a denture?

A partial denture is for people who still have some of their natural teeth. Dentures are not just for elderly patients. Patients of any age may lose some or all of their teeth and may require a dentureof some sort. Because teeth are a permanent part of the body, tooth loss can have an emotional impact on some people. It is important to talk to your dentist about any fears, anxiety, or other emotions you are feeling about tooth loss.

Flexible Valplast Dentures

Valplast flexible dentures are a lightweight, flexible denture, which are free of metal so are also highly aesthetic. The pink part of the denture comes with a lifetimes guarantee against fracture and breakages, giving you comfort in knowing that your dental restoration is built to last. The warranty will go into effect when you register the serial number that you receive with your denture. This is done at The warranty covers the pink part of the denture but not wear of the teeth. It also requires you to clean with Valplast cleaning products only. These are available at the practice or through the Valplast website.

What happens when you get a denture?

A dentist can make a full conventional denture when all teeth have been lost or all extraction sites have healed (up to eight weeks or longer.) The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” is placed to assure proper colour, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.
New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth,” because even the best-fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow or minor irritation or discomfort.

How do you care for a denture?

* Denture adhesives may be recommended, especially for the first-time denture wearer. Adhesives may improve the retention and stability of dentures for those with minimal bone support or small ridges. Stability of the denture will help the wearer’s confidence.

* Remove and brush the denture daily with a denture cleanser and a brush (one specifically designed for cleaning dentures or a soft toothbrush).

* Avoid using boiling water to sterilise the denture, because hot water can cause the denture to lose its shape.

* If you wear a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth.

* When you’re not wearing the denture, soak it in denture cleanser or water.

* To avoid misplacing your denture, store it in the same place after removal.

While you may be advised to wear your denture almost constantly during the first two weeks – even while you sleep – under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove it at night and soak the denture in cleansing solution or water. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of the gums.
Dental implants are a possible alternative to dentures. Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Implants and bridges may resemble the “feel” of real teeth, but they may be more expensive than dentures. Not all patients are good candidates for implants, so be sure to talk to your dentist about which treatment option is best for you.


Oral Cancer Checks

The UK’s fastest growing cancer

Latest figures show more than 6,500 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer – that’s 18 people every day. It is one of the few cancer variations on the rise – cases have increased by almost 50 per cent over the last decade – and it still claims more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

Here’s our FAQ on everything you need to know about mouth cancer:

What is mouth cancer?

Most people have heard of cancer affecting parts of the body such as the lungs or breasts.
However, cancer can occur in the mouth, where the disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

Who can be affected by mouth cancer?

Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men. However, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women. There are, on average, almost 6,000 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year. The number of new cases of mouth cancer is on the increase.

Do people die from mouth cancer?

Yes. Over 1,800 people in the UK die from mouth cancer every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer was caught early enough.
As it is, people with mouth cancer are more likely to die than those having cervical cancer or melanoma skin cancer.

What can cause mouth cancer?

Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK.
However, the traditional ethnic habits of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous.
Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.
Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body.
HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.
Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.

What are the signs of mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips.
Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.

How can mouth cancer be detected early?
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination.
If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late.

What is involved in a full check-up of the mouth?

The dentist examines the inside of your mouth and your tongue with the help of a small mirror.
Remember, your dentist is able to see parts of your mouth that you cannot see easily yourself.

What happens if my dentist finds a problem?

If your dentist finds something unusual they will refer you to a consultant at the local hospital, who will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and throat.
A small sample of the cells may be gathered from the area (a biopsy), and these cells will be examined under the microscope to see what is wrong.

What happens next?

If the cells are cancerous, more tests will be carried out. These may include overall health checks, blood tests, x-rays or scans.
These tests will decide what course of treatment is needed.

Can mouth cancer be cured?

If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure.
However, too many people come forward too late, because they do not visit their dentist for regular examinations.

How can I make sure that my mouth stays healthy?

It is important to visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, even if you wear dentures. This is especially important if you smoke and drink alcohol.

When brushing your teeth, look out for any changes in your mouth, and report any red or white patches, or ulcers, that have not cleared up within three weeks.

When exposed to the sun, be sure to use a good protective sun cream, and put the correct type of barrier cream on your lips.
A good diet, rich in vitamins A, C and E, provides protection against the development of mouth cancer. Plenty of fruit and vegetables help the body to protect itself, in general, from most cancers.

Cut down on your smoking and drinking!!!

The UK’s fastest growing cancer

The Self Examination

Mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheek. Given early detection is so crucial with mouth cancer, it’s vital important everyone knows the signs and symptoms. These include:

• Ulcers which do not heal three weeks
• Red and white patches in the mouth
• Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth.

By following these seven steps to safety, early detection is made all the more possible:

1. Head and Neck Look at your face and neck. Do both sides look the same? Look for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face.

2. Neck Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck. Can you feel any tenderness or lumps?

3. Lips Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or change in colour. Next, use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.

4. Cheek Use your finger to pull out the cheek so that you can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches. Put your index finger inside your cheek and your thumb on the outside. Gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers. Repeat on the other cheek.

5. Roof of the Mouth Tilt back your head and open your mouth wide to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour. Run your finger on the roof of the mouth to feel for any lumps.

6. Tongue Stick out your tongue and look at the surface for any changes in colour or texture. Gently pull out the tongue and look at one side first, then the other side. Look for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers. Examine the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of the mouth.

7. Floor of the mouth Look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal. Gently press your finger along the floor of their mouth and underside of the tongue to feel for any lumps, swellings or ulcers.

Need more help?

Help with giving up smoking can be obtained from your dental practice, health centre or NHS stop smoking services 0800 0224332 or at

Help with alcohol concerns can be obtained from your dental practice, health centre or drinkline 0800 9178282 or