The GDPUK.com Blog

All that's new in the world of dentistry
MAR
13

Making decisions to make progress - Tim Bradstock-Smith

Making decisions to make progress - Tim Bradstock-Smith

The most responsible elements of a dental professional’s remit is making effectual clinical decisions and planning appropriate dental care. Most often patients seek treatment to address comfort function and aesthetics but this can be compromised by fear, cost, time and access.

Practitioners are able to base clinical decisions on their professional knowledge, scientific evidence and experience. However, in order to preserve the trust and to serve patients well, dental professionals must take time to understand their expectations and limitations before any treatment begins.

Patients favour a personally active approach to dental treatment. A collaborative decision, with patient and dentist equally sharing responsibility for decision-making, is increasingly popular.[1]  As well as examination, diagnosis, determining aetiology and formulating appropriate treatment options, individual preferences and requirements should be tailored into the treatment plan. Additionally, well-informed, engaged patients are placed in a stronger position when deciding between treatment options and are more likely to take ownership of the final treatment decision and outcome.

Patient expectations should be considered carefully and practitioners need to recognise that the focus of the general population has shifted from ensuring teeth are healthy and pain free to an ever-stronger desire that they should also be aesthetically pleasing.[2] As a result, the demand for higher standards of treatment and cosmetic procedures are on the increase, but when both the practitioner and patient bring value and information to the treatment plan they can build an agreement together, which is more likely to result in patient satisfaction.

There will, of course, always be occasions when things happen that are beyond our control but by covering every eventuality, both patients and professionals can be aware of any factors or risks that could compromise the treatment outcome. When shared decision-making takes place, patient acceptance of any less desirable consequences increases and the likelihood of complaints and claims arising from clinical decision-making are also reduced.

Planning well is an attribute that all professionals aspire to achieve. It is particularly important in the dental practice because a detailed treatment plan is beneficial not only for the patient and practitioner but the dental team and laboratory. With forward thinking, realistic scheduling and organisation, the skills, services, materials and time can be communicated and allocated efficiently to ensure the most effective results.

At times, cases present that are beyond the technological parameters or skill set of the practice. This could be due to the complexity of the treatment or due to the patient needs and enhanced imaging, sedation or specialist clinical skills may be required. Whatever the circumstances, dental professionals need to recognise any limitations and make a decision to refer.

Calling upon the additional assistance will ensure the success and accuracy of treatment. Furthermore, it extends the professionalism of the referring dentist and practice. However, these professionals must be able to trust the people and services they chose to work with and have confidence in their expertise.

London Smile Clinic is able to provide a referral service that can be integrated into any treatment plan. Referring dentists can rest assured that they will remain informed throughout the treatment and feel confident that their patients will receive first class treatment to achieve the most successful results possible.

 

For more information, please contact 020 7255 2559 or
visit www.londonsmile.co.uk/refer

 

 



[1] H Chapple, S Shah, A-L Caress & E J Kay. Exploring dental patients' preferred roles in treatment decision-making – a novel approach. British Dental Journal 194, 321 – 327.  Published online: 22 March 2003 | doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.4809946. http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v194/n6/abs/4809946a.html

[2] House of Commons Health Committee Dental Services Fifth report of Session 2007-08 HC 289-I 2 July 2008.

 

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2367 Hits
MAR
01

Why stress can lead to tooth loss…

Why stress can lead to tooth loss…

Almost half of British adults say they feel stressed every day – that’s according to the Mental Health Foundation. It is generally well known that stress can contribute to health problems such as depression and heart disease. What is less well known – but imperative to address for emotional and physical well-being – is that it can also damage your teeth.
 

This is what happens – one of the more common signs of stress is tooth grinding but there’s a good chance you don’t even know you’re doing it, as it often happens in your sleep. However, its effects cannot be underestimated, often resulting in physical symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, gum problems, difficulty chewing, headaches and neck ache, as well as the possibility of ultimately losing teeth, which can have a devastating emotional effect.
 

If a dentist examined your mouth, they might find teeth that are:

• Sharp or chipped

• Broken

• Shortened

• Loose

• Wearing flat and looking shiny and pitted.

 

The good news is that making a few simple lifestyle changes can be a big help, such as:

• Doing something relaxing before bed, such as yoga, reading or having a bath

• Learning to brush effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste that is low in abrasivity (ask your dentist for advice on this if you’re not sure).
 

In addition, if you’re suffering from sensitivity (which should be diagnosed by a dentist to ensure there is no underlying condition that needs treatment), using a fluoridated mouthrinse every day at a different time to toothbrushing is an effective first line of defence. A desensitising toothpaste used when brushing or applied directly onto a sensitive tooth can also be helpful to calm any sensitivity.
 

Commenting on this growing problem, Professor Andrew Eder, an expert in tooth wear and Clinical Director of the London Tooth Wear Centre®, said: If you’re worried that your teeth may be wearing, tell your dentist. They are, after all, there to help and will be able to make a diagnosis, provide guidance or refer you, if appropriate.
 

‘Possible treatment options include the provision of a suitable mouthguard to be worn at night to relieve pressure on the teeth and jaw, prescribing muscle relaxants or recommending care from a physiotherapist or osteopath with specialist knowledge of the muscles involved.
 

‘If there was one piece of advice above all others I’d offer, it would be this – don’t delay in seeking help. If damage resulting from tooth wear is diagnosed and addressed in its early stages, you can avoid extensive and expensive dental treatment that might otherwise be necessary to correct the situation. The bottom line is that you needn’t suffer alone or long-term.’
 

If you have any concerns about your oral health or would simply like some preventive advice, please contact your dentist. If you prefer, the team at the London Tooth Wear Centre® is happy to help. For further information, please visit www.toothwear.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7486 7180.

 

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4329 Hits
JAN
12

You’re never too old to wear a brace - Tim Bradstock-Smith

You’re never too old to wear a brace

With near-invisible options available, plus faster treatment times, it is no surprise that more adults than ever before are embarking on orthodontic treatment.
 

With the means to afford it, they know that improving their teeth will benefit them professionally as well as personally, particularly if they add an adjunctive treatment like whitening. Orthodontics are now much more stable than they were in the past; correcting work they had done as a child is also highly appealing.
 

It is far easier to practice a successful oral care routine and keep the mouth clean if teeth are aligned properly and gaps closed up. Correct a patient’s bite and you can reduce toothwear too. A course of orthodontics may also prevent problems with the gingiva getting worse.
 

However, it might be the case that not only do you not currently offer orthodontic treatment, but that you have no plans to do so either. The cutting-edge OPG machines and 3D scanners on the market are exciting, yet out of the reach for many, particularly if you are only seeing a couple of potential cases a month. The technology is moving fast and staff need to be trained and retrained.
 

Referrals are not something to be feared - you will not ‘lose’ your patient. Instead, referring out can enhance and expand your treatment provision. It can also be a conduit to building and consolidating loyalty. By referring people out to a trusted partner, you are saying that, although you do not have the resources to provide the required orthodontics yourself, you want to give your patient a successful route through the (expensive) minefield. Especially if their previous experience of this kind of treatment was not a positive one, you will be supporting patients to improve their smile and oral health with the help of a clinician that you trust.
 

Adult orthodontic patients have high expectations of aesthetically pleasing and stable results.  They are aware of the choice out there and will use the internet to look at practitioner reviews and compare pricing. They will know what they want to achieve, including a reassurance that they are in safe hands. Choose your referral partner wisely – you want to feel confident about a successful outcome every time. For example, The London Smile Clinic has world-class specialists, plus has the latest technology already in place to guarantee fantastic results for even the most complex problems.
 

Investing time and money in developing new services can be daunting and, for many practices, an impossible notion. Referrals can be an easy solution to the rise in demand for adult orthodontics. The right referring clinic will work with you to allay your patients’ fears and promote the benefits of the latest ethical and minimally invasive techniques. It is therefore crucial to find the best referring partner for you, to make life easier for your patients as well as guaranteeing excellent results.  

 

For more information, please contact The London Smile Clinic on 020 7255 2559 or visit www.londonsmile.co.uk.

 

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4264 Hits
NOV
24

Scanning solutions for elderly patients - London Smile Clinic

Scanning solutions for elderly patients - London Smile Clinic

Orthopantograms, or OPGs, have many benefits and a huge number of uses. They are especially useful in the treatment and care of elderly patients, who will be a huge proportion of your caseload if not now, but in the future.
 

OPGs are a powerful tool to have at your disposal. They can give you information on periodontal bone loss, help find the source of pain, assist with the correct placement of implants and much more. Digital OPGs mean fewer repeat scans are needed, so less time and cost required, and also less exposure to radiation. Patients can usually understand a panoramic image more easily and they can be emailed to colleagues effortlessly.

These images are also invaluable when dealing with challenging cases, such as elderly patients. The number of older patients you will be treating in the future is growing – and fast. In 2012, the BDA published a review of its 2003 Oral Healthcare for Older People report[1] which concluded that the ageing population was growing faster than had been originally predicted.

OPG scans are quick and comfortable. The detail means that you will be able to anticipate future complications.  Caries, periodontal disease and recession of the gingiva can have devastating consequences as a patient gets older and can lead to life-threatening complications, such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Type-2 diabetes generally affects people over the age of 40, and oral health is a key component of diabetes management, so it’s a two-way relationship. If a patient has type-2 diabetes, they are also more likely to develop gingivitis, caries and xerostomia, too.[2]

Setting up an OPG scan is quick, and OPGs can be used comfortably for elderly people who cannot open their mouths wide. Patients are usually asked to bite down on a spatula for about a minute while the machine moves around the head. A detailed, informative scan that won’t have to repeated and is easily explained will help you move forward with implementing an effective treatment plan with confidence.

If you do not have OPG technology, look carefully for the right referral partner. Work with a practice that not only has the latest OPG equipment in place, but that employs clinicians who can be trusted to work sensitively with older people and other vulnerable groups. The London Smile Clinic takes referrals, for example, and will meet all of these needs with ease and professionalism.

OPGs will help you deal with the enormous challenges ahead as you treat more elderly and vulnerable people. With a saturated market, and expensive technology that is developing fast, you don’t have to invest in new equipment. Referring out can be the perfect solution to provide the highest-quality care for these patient groups now, and in the future.
 

For more information, please contact The London Smile Clinic on 020 7255 2559 or visit www.londonsmile.co.uk.

 



[1] BDA. Oral healthcare for older people 2020 vision. Check-up January 2012. Found at https://www.bda.org/dentists/policy-campaigns/research/patient-care/Documents/older_adults_2012_checkup.pdf (accessed 7 July 2015)

 

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2661 Hits
NOV
23

The Power of Personalities - Tim Bradstock-Smith

The Power of Personalities - Tim Bradstock-Smith

Our personalities show individual differences in behaviour, feeling and thinking. We are all unique and some of us are extrovert and some introvert, but a mix of personalities can be very useful in the dental practice.

 

A blend of both social and analytical skills is required for a successful dental team. For example some dental professionals may feel shy around patients but excel in clinical tasks or organisation. Others may have a warm chair-side manner and are able to put patients at ease instantly, but may struggle with elements such as keeping records or ordering supplies. There are many elements that go into team chemistry and performance, which frequently fluctuate and coexist at varying levels.

 

The diversity of patients that visit the practice is also an eclectic mix of personalities that may act very differently at the dental surgery. Some enjoy meeting people, having a chat and telling the dental team about many facets of their lives. Others prefer to remain quiet and simply want to get in and out. Some patients are able to cope with all types of treatments without worry while others can become very anxious. Indeed, national surveys reveal that around 36% of patients experience moderate dental anxiety and 12% of adults are classified as having extreme dental anxiety.[1] It is the role of the dental professional to evaluate how patients feel and behave and to conduct their service accordingly.

 

Of course it is impossible to understand all personalities but it is important to remember that everyone is different. Even the most shy or fearful patients attend dental check ups while battling with a whole host of anxieties. In all cases empathy is needed with a non-judgemental, kind and gentle approach, the dental team need to be able to assess the reactions of their patients and adapt in order to provide the most appropriate care.

 

Sometimes in order to achieve the best results and to keep the interests of a patient at the forefront, it may be necessary to refer them to a specialist practice. However, the referral practice needs to work well alongside your practice to ensure good communication and successful results. With patient care a priority, when you choose a referral practice you need to feel confident that their team have the ability and skills to treat your patients whilst also fitting in well with the personalities and characteristics of you and your dental team.

 

London Smile Clinic is a referral practice with a team of specialist dental practitioners that are experienced in liaising successfully with dental professionals on all levels. They understand the variances of personality and provide open communication, trust and confidence to both practitioners and their patients. As a centre of excellence with exceptionally high standards of clinical dentistry, London Smile Clinic can offer a range of specialist orthodontics, implants and periodontal treatments and can consistently extend a professional and considerate approach to all patients.

 

You may not always be able to work with perfect people but recognising their strengths is a valuable step to building a well-rounded team of people that will not only streamline operations but also help you to achieve the most favourable results for your patients.

 

For more information, please contact the London Smile Clinic on 020 7255 2559 or visit www.londonsmile.co.uk.



[1] Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/adultdentalhealthsurvey_2009_firstrelease.
pdf [Accessed 25th February 2015]

 

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2638 Hits
NOV
05

Periodontal disease: more than an oral health concern

Periodontal disease: more than an oral health concern

Described as a global burden, severe periodontitis has been reported to be the sixth most prevalent medical condition in the world.[1]

 

In the UK, periodontitis affects about half of all adults with up to 15% estimated to have the condition severely.[2] These shocking statistics echo the findings of the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey, which reported that, although this generation has a better outlook than their predecessors, there are still many people whose oral health and function does not meet the best possible standards.[3]

 

Periodontal disease is a particular area of concern because it can cause serious oral health problems and when left untreated, and can result in tooth loss as well as deterioration of both gingiva and bone. Ominously the potential effects and implications of periodontal disease may also extend beyond oral health and recent research has established that periodontal infection is a probable risk factor for various systemic diseases, including pulmonary disease.[4]

 

Furthermore, periodontal disease has the capability of changing the chemical composition of the blood and glucose levels as well as interfering with the body's inflammatory system and thereby increasing the risk of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis,[5] respiratory[6] and cardiovascular diseases.[7],[8]

 

As we know, tobacco use, stress and obesity may be significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. However people with other general health conditions also have an increased risk of developing the condition. Evidence has consistently revealed that diabetes is a risk factor for the prevalence of gingivitis and periodontitis[9] and a five-year follow-up, population-based study in Taiwan[10] has also indicated that patients with osteoporosis might have an increased chance of developing periodontitis.

 

Over the last few decades the concept of a genetic vulnerability to periodontal disease has also been investigated.[1] Since the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP)[2], researchers have found evidence to suggest that a key element of whether individuals develop periodontitis appears to be controlled by the way they interact with environmental agents including biofilm. These researchers also believe that periodontal disease could be categorised more effectively using pathobiology-based grouping as well as the clinical presentation of the disease, rather than the current clinical only classifications of ‘chronic’ and ‘aggressive’.[3]

 

A new system for categorising periodontitis based on the molecular profiling of gingival tissues has therefore been devised, which could enable earlier diagnosis and more personalised treatment. It is hoped that patients found to be highly susceptible to severe periodontitis may be considered for assertive therapy even if that person only show indicators. This would then prevent aggressive progression, bone and tooth loss.

 

Helping patients to understand the threat of periodontal disease not only with regard to oral health but also in relation to other potential health risks is vital. Of course treatment for periodontal disease depends upon each individual case, but every patient must appreciate the importance of practicing good oral hygiene. Employing an improved oral health care regime may be enough to kerb further development of the disease in some patients, although professional scaling and debridement is commonly required to remove plaque, calculus and biofilm from the teeth and roots.

 

For some patients it is necessary to include on-going periodontal therapy with medication to keep infection under control and to heal periodontal pockets. Nevertheless, in aggressive cases it may be necessary to perform flap surgery to clean the area thoroughly and suture periodontal pockets. Some of these patients may also require bone grafting to promote new growth or tissue regeneration to cover any exposed tooth roots.

 

In many cases a general dentist, therapist or hygienist can treat patients with periodontal disease successfully. However, in complex or unresponsive cases the skills of a specialist periodontist may be needed. By creating a good working relationship with a reliable referral practice, such as London Smile Clinic, your patients can benefit from specialist clinical skills in a wide spectrum of dentistry. With a wealth of experience in oral and maxillo-facial surgery, Dr. Hatem Algraffee, specialist periodontist at London Smile Clinic

 


[1] N.J. Kassebaum, E. Bernabé, M. Dahiya, B. Bhandari, C.J.L. Murray, W. Marcenes.  Global Burden of Untreated Caries: A Systematic Review and Metaregression J DENT RES, May 2015; vol. 94, 5: pp. 650-658, first published on March 4, 2015

[3] 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS) http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB01086/adul-dent-heal-surv-summ-them-exec-2009-rep2.pdf

[4] Scannapieco FA, Papandonatos GD, Dunford RG. Associations between oral conditions and respiratory disease in a national sample survey population. Ann Periodontol 1998;3:251-256.

[5] American Academy of Periodontology. http://www.perio.org/consumer/risk-factors

[6] Association between respiratory disease in hospitalized patients and periodontal disease: a cross-sectional study. Sharma, N., Shamsuddin, H. J. Periodontol. August 2011. pp1155-1160. Available at: http://www.pharmaden.net/pdf/articles/2.pdf

[7] Machado AC, Quirino MR, Nascimento LF. Relation between chronic periodontal disease and plasmatic levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and fractions. Brazilian oral research, 2005, 19(4):284–9.

[8] Genco RJ et al. Overview of risk factors for periodontal disease and implications for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Compendium of continuing education in dentistry, 2001, 22(2 Spec. No.):21–3.

[9] Mealey BL, Oates TW. Diabetes mellitus and periodontal diseases. J Periodontol. 2006;77:1289-1303.

[10] Population-Based 5-Year Follow-Up Study in Taiwan of Osteoporosis and Risk of Periodontitis
Wei-Pin Chang, Wei-Chiao Chang, Mei-Shin Wu, Jei-Tsung Pai, Yuh-Cherng Guo Ku-Chung Chen, Mu-En Liu, Wen-Ta Chiu, and Kuo-Sheng Hung

4 Research, Science and Therapy Committee of the American Academy of Periodontology. Informational paper: implications of genetic technology for the management of periodontal diseases. J Periodontol. 2005 May;76(5):850-7.   

5 Schafer AS, Jepsen S, Loos BG. Periodontal genetics: a decade of genetic association studies mandates better study designs. J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Feb;38(2):103-7.

[2] National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institute of Health US. www.genome.gov

[3] Gingival Tissue Transcriptomes Identify Phenotypically Distinct Classes of Periodontitis. Panos N, Papapanou M, Kebschull R.T, Demmer B, Grün  P, Guarnieri P, Pavlidis P (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada) March 2014. http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/17/0022034514527288  [Accessed 25th March 2015] 

 

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3565 Hits
JUL
13
0

Make Your Aspirations Your Reality!

Make Your Aspirations Your Reality!

 

Becoming a successful dentist can unlock many benefits, such as financial freedom and more spare time to share with family and friends. At Tipton Training dentists have to opportunity to learn more and become more experienced in different fields of their dentistry career.

Tipton Training has been sharing its wisdom with dentists for over 25 years now, during this time many dentists have taken the opportunity to take on The Restorative Course. One of the recent delegates to take this course was award-winning Anna Stokes, who believes doing so was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“I qualified with BDS (hons) in 1999 from Sheffield Dental School and have worked as an associate in NHS general practices for 16 years. I have friends who have completed Tipton Training courses and they were all excelling in their careers, so last year I decided to register for the Restorative Course,” explains Anna.

“Over the years, I have noticed an increased interest in cosmetic work. Patients are also very keen to keep their teeth - and frequently presented worn and broken teeth that had no obvious cause. I was finding managing these heavily restored, ageing dentitions more and more challenging.

“Also, I was wanting to offer a wider range of treatments to my patients by means of private options - but I was wanting to ensure that I had the necessary skill set to plan and provide an excellent standard of work.”

Anna goes on to say that The Restorative Course has increased her confidence and reinforced her ambition to go into private practice. She has particular praise for the training academy’s founder, Professor Paul Tipton.

“I must praise the whole Tipton Training team because the teaching, advice and support you receive is excellent. In particular, Paul’s passion for dentistry is infectious and his ability to communicate his extensive knowledge on occlusion and practical dentistry is invaluable. He gives you lots of tips that are transferable to both NHS and private dentistry,” adds Anna.

“Since completing the course my confidence, standards, diagnostic skills, communication skills and practical skills have improved immensely.”

“I have become interested in TMD diagnosis and management, a condition that is common and frequently misdiagnosed and I am wanting to expand my knowledge further in this area. I enjoyed The Restorative Course so much that I decided to enrol on The Phantom Head Course, as I felt they complemented each other. So far, I have certainly found it extremely useful.”

In Anna’s opinion, dentistry can be a stressful and isolating job, but also satisfying and rewarding if held to high standards. She believes Tipton Training courses help dentists do this.

“We are under more pressure to provide care to an extremely high standard, so we have to invest in ourselves to improve our skills and knowledge. This is why I cannot recommend Tipton Training courses enough, I believe they should be a prerequisite for every dentist. I certainly wish that I had done them years ago.”

The Restorative Course is a is a step-by-step programme in the form of practical sessions, lectures and demonstrations - delivering the foundation for private dentistry. The course will take delegates through the theoretical, scientific and engineering principles behind restorative dentistry - a perfect balance of 60% theoretical and 40% practical.

This course is available in London and Manchester. The course starts in October 2015, to register for The Restorative Course, please visit www.tiptontraining.co.uk or call +44 (0)161 348 7848 to book a place.

 

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3422 Hits
JUN
15

Post-holiday blues and bruxism - London Tooth Wear Centre

Post-holiday blues and bruxism

It won’t be news to you that stress can damage the dentition in the form of attrition, but did you know that statistics indicate that one in three workers experience post-holiday blues? It makes sense that this can then exacerbate bruxism.

If a patient presents with pain and/or tooth wear that can be attributed to bruxism and they tell you that they are stressed, it is a good idea to let them know that making a few simple lifestyle changes can be of significant benefit, including:

• Doing something relaxing before bed, such as yoga, reading or having a bath

• Learning to brush effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste low in abrasivity.

Further, prescribing muscle relaxants and the use of a suitable mouthguard, such as a Michigan splint, may prove useful. Such splints help to protect the teeth against bruxism and reduce TMJ pain by encouraging the patient’s mandible to assume the most comfortable and reproducible position. The overall aim with such a guard is to protect against any damage that may be caused by a habitual grinding pattern and to break the cyclical habit, if at all possible.

In addition, recommending care from a physiotherapist or osteopath with specialist knowledge of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) might be appropriate to prevent further damage.

The London Tooth Wear Centre® offers an evidence-based and comprehensive approach to managing tooth wear.

 

To request advice, make a referral or for further information on the work of the London Tooth Wear Centre®, please visit www.toothwear.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7486 7180.

  2737 Hits
2737 Hits
AUG
12
0

High Five

A surprise visit by PM David Cameron was made with little fuss in the Olympic village.
One of the first ports of call was the vast catering facilities for the Athletes, where dishes are prepared by chefs from around the World, so every Olympian has food they are familiar with, even if thousands of miles away from home.
Of course having done the rounds to all the different food zones, DC settled on 'The Best of British' area to sample it's delights. He then said hello to various atheletes before leaving the venue then posing for some photographs with team GB members, then walking-off at a fast pace, as it happens towards me.
Indeed he was coming straight at me - what does one do, jump out of the way, stay firm, is there a protocol for a PM coming towards you?
Well he kept coming and I stayed fast then different thoughts rushed through my mind - should I say something deeply philosophical or intellectual and if so what, in this fleeting few seconds?
I can't explain it, I don't know why, but on this occasion we just eyeballed each other and instinctively gave each other a 'high-five' as he passed.
Some things, like the Olympic spirit, just transcend words - I can't imagine such a thing happening again and it feeling so instinctively natural.
Just one of my many unique experiences here at the Olympics I will never forget.
 

  5432 Hits
5432 Hits
AUG
11
1

Jolly Hockey?

Team GB Hockey team leave the village to prepare for their crucial Hockey match against New Zealand. Having had to deal with broken hearts not getting into the final, as well as broken jaws, can anyone doubt their serious intention to win their next match today from this picture, which will determine whether they get at least a bronze medal, or nothing at this historic Olympics on home ground. As I head towards the Olympic stadium in the Olympic park, I can still observe and hear the jubilation as GB Hockey team score their first goal. By the time you read this, you will already know the final result, but really, hasn't GB hockey showed us the most important result is, whatever the set-backs, never give up, keep doing your best. For true grit lessons, this Olympic example is pure gold!

 

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Recent comment in this post
Deborah Maudsley
Really appreciated your comments re Team GB hockey, Tony, as a player myself for more years than I care to say. Dentists & hockey ... Read More
Sunday, 12 August 2012 22:03
5635 Hits
AUG
10
0

Tip Off!

Occasionally one gets to view various competitons and on this occasion the Basketball was more exciting than I expected. It is of course good to see something different once in a while, so going to watch Women's basketball seemed like a good idea at the time but I really had NO idea whether I would really like it or not.
Well it didn't disappoint, the teams came on to rapturous applause then warmed up with practice shot routines, then it was literally end to end action with teams neck and neck at about half-time, with scores being 30 all.
The Audience were loving it, cheering every basket scored or the counter-play going from defence to attack very rapidly.
There were breaks and time-outs and even then various entertainments were put on for the audience, making the whole evening an enjoyable affair.
Overall it was really enjoyable, a great atmosphere and I can see exposure of sports not commonly seen here in the UK, are going to be a LOT more popular thanks to the Olympics, from Basketball to Handball to BMX etc, these are the Legacies for our younger generation too.
 

 

  5490 Hits
5490 Hits
AUG
09
0

Greenwich Stars

Michael Phelps makes a brief appearance to be interviewed by NBC and says hello to the gathering crowd, where he explains his decision to retire having won 22 Olympic records and his thoughts on these Olympics in London.

As usual the star NBC presenters (Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Al Roker ) were chatting freely to the gathering crowd between takes and seemed to have a relaxed approach between the seriousness of interviews and reporting live from the Olympic park.

There were also interviews with Jessica Ennis and she was happy to sign autographs for those watching and even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver came over to say Hi, just before he filmed making a healthy breakfast feast for USA TV, to try and debunk the idea that all the British have very boring food!
Just as much to interest one outside of the Stadiums as within, some might say!

  4967 Hits
4967 Hits
AUG
08
2

NBC vs BBC

My big tip for visiting the Olympic village is to seek out NBC news broadcasting site from American.
They are the most open, most interactive with the crowd and at times the most accessible too. They have a semi-circular studio just to the right of the Velodrome + Basketball in the Olympic park, next to the pedestrian walkway.
Their very well known (super-star status) presenters were in the news recently when one of the anchor women was ousted in a multi-million$$$ deal, but that aside, they were still very engaging of the audience there, extremely pleasant and friendly and approachable, whilst putting on all kinds of entertainment between interviewing various Olympic stars and celebrities, which made for a most engaging experience.
Although it sticks in my throat to say it, much more engaging than BBC1, who were mainly screened-off behind smoked glass perched high on a pile of cargo containers!

  16801 Hits
Recent Comments
Barry Rosenbloom
According to various sources its a pity that their actual coverage of the games is cr#p , c'mon not broadcasting the 100m final li... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:20
Anthony Kilcoyne
Nobody beats the BBC at these Olympics - their coverage of events is amazing. The broadcasting centre set up here for all journali... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:37
16801 Hits
AUG
06
0

Ottawa Ankle?

Ottawa ankle rules may seem a strange thing to be posting for a dental blog, but one of the advantages of working in a Polyclinic is that one gets to see how other aspects of Sports Medicine works and the common problems and challenges that they face too.
They also run workshops during the day that provide education for all the polyclinic teams that have a theoretical and practical application also, thus I can get a bit of CPD even when I am here working in the Olympic Village too ;)
In this particular session, attended by many different Country Team Physios/Polyclinic staff and given by acknowledged experts in their fields, we are learning the latest in when to Xray and how to treat those who present with various ankle injury signs & symptoms, an every-day occurrence here as I'm sure you'll appreciate.
I personally found it very interesting and practical and if you want to know more about this, then have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_ankle_rules
From teeth to toes, this Olympic Polyclinic provides the latest care for all Athletes and helps update their support teams too.

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Games Maker

The Olympics simply couldn't run without 'Gamesmakers' who are a wide variety of volunteers mainly, some 200,000 spread over many venues undertaking many roles, keeping everything running smoothly and fixing all kinds of problems as they occur. This does get recognised in a number of ways and occasionally certain publications like Village News , a daily publication to tell everyone in the Olympic village what is going on where, features interviews with the Olympians from around the World and they highlight one Gamemaker of the day, for each day of the Olympics duration and write a small feature about them.
Well as someone who is used to writing/reporting/blogging it was a strange feeling to be instead written about, as one of the Olympic Gamesmakers featured recently, which I have attached for your amusement. Of course much is done by the many and often goes unpublicised, however I would like to think this feature recognises and reminds others the contribution our dental clinic here makes to the overall quality of the Olympic games - I can't help but think we REALLY need some similar initiatives to recognise Dentistry's wider contribution to the overall Quality of Life to our Nations' benefit too!

 

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Recent comment in this post
Ian Auckland
Congratulations on your "Gamesmaker of the day" award. Having visited you at the polyclinic the other day, you are obviously work... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 01:43
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Golden Saturday

Well by now you probably cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV without being told about Golden Saturday where team GB got 6 golds in just one day.
If you thought the atmosphere was very positive here before that, you should feel it now!
The crowds are massive and getting in the mood ,the transport seems to be coping well, the food is palatable if a little pricy and the odd rainy shower simply cannot supress the sunshine above and shining out from everyone you see.
Anyone here today was in for a treat, from the rowing and velodrome at one end of the Olympic Park, to the Olympic Stadium at the other end, 3 golds in the morning and 3 golds in the evening - a golden Saturday indeed.

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Don't Panic!

Fire Alarm goes off at the Polyclinic unexpectedly - we do have fire drills and before every session have a full briefing of any major events, visitors or issues we should be aware of, so whilst I may have been droopy-eyed at 6am in the morning, I'm still pretty sure we didn't have a fire drill scheduled today.
So what does one do, wait 20 seconds and hope it stops and appreciate it was a false alarm so carry on as normal? Well 30 seconds later it's still going full blast so one realises we have to get everyone out, patients, staff including dentists, hygienists, nurses, technicians, receptionists and anyone else like interpreters, cleaners, maintenance etc. Check all rooms and loos and join the queue exiting down the stairs, looking for any signs of smoke or flames, but none are seen.
So what turns up to rescue us from the flames and smoke, but a Mini-Cooper done out as a Fire Vehicle! OK it's the rapid response team who are quickly followed by the 'proper' fire-fighters and just as the gathering crowd were getting excited, we are told it's a false alarm and we can all enter again.
Unfortunately upon return several patients decided to not come back even though they had started some treatment...hmmm....I suspect there will be a few extra emergencies attending at the next early morning shift.

 

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Dental Team

There is a large team of dental professional volunteers here at the Olympic Polyclinic, so it is always nice to work with different people and also discover a GDPUK lurker in our midst too, which I threatened to post the picture of him working if he didn't make a GDPUK posting today :)
We are still seeing some unusual cases too - what do you say/do to someone who complains of pain and bleeding gums under their bridge, which in this case has metal abutments on an upper lateral and second premolar, with pontics replacing the canine and first premolar with a ridge-lapping design?

 

We are all mucking in together here and don't mind wondering in and out of each other's surgery, giving second opinions etc, because realistically some of these treatments can be completed before the Olympics finish, but in many mouths not all the care they ideally need.
With Ramadan we are also finding many patients attending for often complex treatments late in the evening, which when you've done a long shift already, having someone turn up for surgical extractions at 11pm at night isn't really the ideal, but we accomodate the Atheletes and team members needs as best we can.

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Recent comment in this post
Barry Rosenbloom
Nice picture Hitesh Not so sure whether the id badge hanging round your neck complies with cross infection control though !!!... Read More
Saturday, 04 August 2012 09:46
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Still Eating!

They say an army marches on it's stomach, well maybe similar can be said about an Olympic Army of Athletes who need to perform at their best, yet with over 200 countries and widely differing tastes and needs for stability and continuation before going for gold, how does one achieve that at a massive event like the Olympics involving 10,000+ athletes?

Well the answer is to have one of the largest catering facilities, divided up into different sections and with chefs provided from the main continents to provide a variety of dishes cooked to a high and nutritious standard, literally 24 hours a day. This is fortunate because of Ramadan too, so even the hours of darkness can be very busy.

Each 'foody' area is themed and colour coded, so the Americas and Europe are Green, Best of British is Blue, Caribbean and African is Yellow and Asian is Purple, with an additional Halal section too. Yes it may be sponsored by McDonalds and there is one in the corner, once inside the majority of choice of foods is more traditional and menus are varied every day.

The place is vast, much bigger than most shopping Mall food courts and one cannot really encompass it all in one photo, but at peak times this place is literally full of thousands of people all at one time, yet does seem to cope well too.

If it's one thing for sure, the Athletes will not falter because they do not have enough choice and availability of the fuel they need to perform their best.

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Daily Practicalities

 

Well after all the excitement of the Royal visit has died down, back to the everyday events at the dental dept. of the Polyclinic and the daily duties treating the Olympic teams.
We have an interesting set up where trolleys can be wheeled in and out as c required, everything is centrally sterilised on site and bagged, all the units are working quite well so far, being both left and right handed.
These games also have a sustainability and recycling emphasis and I really like the idea of the recycle bins we have in each Surgery as well as the clinical waste receptacles too :)

However judging by the thick cable bolted to the floor for the computer system, I'm guessing that is one item they don't want 'recycled' through the wrong hands too early!

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Royal Visit

Well today was another early start 6am and raining, hoping things would brighten up later and boy did they do that! Fortunately I was on a break and just happened to be near the main entrance when I noticed a flurry of activity outside and then literally from nowhere appeared Kate Middleton and William (and in the background Harry) with a relatively small group around them, but no press whatsoever.

They walked briskly through part of the village, being given a guided tour by the village Mayor, then they chatted to a small group of athletes where a larger crowd then gathered, before going to the Team GB block to meet others there. They were friendly, chatty, amiable and good humoured and seemed to be enjoying their brief visit without any pomp or ceremony - indeed I was very surprised at how close one could get to them without anyone getting stressed out about it. That though reflects the atmosphere in the whole village, easy going, relaxed and informal, whoever you are it seems :)

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Recent Comments
Jeremy Cooper
Tony...like you I was appointed as Olympic Dentist but for Manchester.... apparently there are about 8-900 athletes and Olympic Fa... Read More
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:45
Anthony Kilcoyne
Yes Jeremy I did! Regards as always, Tony.
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:17
Ian Auckland
Hi Tony, I am enjoying your posts, as field dentists in the Olympic park do not have access to the Athlete's Village and it is go... Read More
Thursday, 02 August 2012 08:13
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Olympic Polyclinic

The Medical and Dental Polyclinic we work in has a lovely design internally too - here is the view from the staircase looking back to the main entrance and it's atrium which reaches all the way up to the third floor with a vertical glass wall on the right allowing in much natural light.

We are still seeing a number of traumas both current and past, with some atheletes desperate to still be allowed to compete and represent their country. As you can probably tell from this annonimised radiograph, on review of this poor fellow we still had to say NO, healing is not sufficient to be allowed to compete safely, even with a custom mouthguard made!

You do really feel sorry for some who have just seen 4 years worth of training and preparation be foiled by such events, maybe only months or a few weeks before the Olympics started, as well as more recently too.

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Recent Comments
Presh Mulay
Wow. Got to admire the commitment to represent their country. What sport was this sportsman (woman) competing in?
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:23
Anthony Kilcoyne
It was boxing Yours refusingly, Tony.... Read More
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:01
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Red Carpet

Here are a few of my favourite or unusual things at the Olympic Village.
A red carpet with different languages of welcome embedded in it, used for all the welcoming ceremonies of each country to the olympic village - no mean feat when you consider there are over 200 of them. Interestingly for some who have recently 'split' or changed names, the Olympic committee may not yet recognise them as a separate country, so they have to compete as 'independent' and should they win a medal, the 'olympic anthem' is played instead of any other.
However they are also all invited to sign the 'Peace Wall' which is a series of glass slabs which countries sign to signify the spirit of the Olympic games, bringing people and cultures together peacfully through sport.
On a less serious note, I have also found the perfect seating in which to view the Tennis and on this occasion I do believe it's fair to say my predictions so far have been 'on the ball' so to speak :)


Amongst several unique memorabilia opportunities here, my favourite is having your face officially printed on 1st class stamps that commemorate these Olympics and are actually LEGAL to use to post letters, which from the Olympic village also get a unique Olympic Village stamp on the letter/postcard too, for the duration of the games - yes I am sad and bought a set of first class stamps as well as the Worldwide postage stamp version too. So I shall be 'posting' more than this Blog during the games too!

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Village Life

When the Olympic village first opened the GB Team did not decorate or make obvious which 'block' was there's ,though now competitions have started perhaps they have become less concious and now proudly display flags and team markings high on the building as I relax in the Atheletes recreational area, as well as having specific 'team-emblemed' bikes which they use to get around the village quickly and easily.
The daily publication 'Village News' also reports a visit from the Queen and Prince Philip - such dignatory events tend to be without much notice and on this occasion the Queen met Team GB and then did a quick tour of the catering venue, meeting atheletes from all over the World.
I am reliably informed Philip was on good form as usual and nobody took offence, however it was a relatively short visit ;)
There is certainly a LOT of pressure and expectation upon the GB Team - not least because those that don't perform as expected, lose a load of funding for the coming years for the whole sport, whereas those that do well get more than their fair share, is the rough rule of thumb in these things it seems.
Let us hope that they can be both relaxed and focussed enough to do their best and get the rewards they deserve too, both during and after the Olympics!
 

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Opening Ceremony II

I was sitting in the Olympic Village canteen when I can see red, white and blue streaks across the sky out of the window at 12 minutes past eight (2012 hrs!) and realise it's the Red Arrows doing a fly-over, which I could see on the screen to my right too. It was surreal looking out the window and looking at the screen and seeing both happening live whilst actually sat there! Sadly I was so taken by this I never got a picture in time because 5 seconds later they had flown away :(
 
So back to work and soon it becomes dark - we can see the Olympic Stadium from the roof of our Polyclinic so when I had a spare 5 mins I had a look and could see the light show changing all the time.
Again a little surreal seeing the image of the stadium on TV, then looking up and seeing the stadium and actually hearing the music and crowd sounds just across the way. Then my shift was finally finished, I watched some highlights then rushed out to get photos of the firework display which really don't do justice to the loudness of the bangs or the brightness of the display, especially when they got the fireworks to mimic the Olympic rings over the village! There was quite a bit of smoke afterwards too, which just added effect to the light show.

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Opening Ceremony I

The athletes canteen was as busy as ever on the build up to the opening ceremony. I think appetites were building up in more ways than one in the village now :)
In the Village we could see many of the teams getting ready and the range of traditional dress was a colourful sight to see.
 
Well I'm sure by now you will have seen all the TV highlights of the Opening ceremony on TV. We just know it is going to be spectacular.
 
I am working in the clinic from 2-11.30pm that day so I will hopefully get glimpses from the roof during break times and from within the village too, especially for any fireworks display and of course get to see something on the many screens around televising the event.
 
Interestingly any athletes who are competing at the weekend are not allowed to go to the opening ceremony, all that standing around for some 2hrs+ beforehand isn't good for them and ironically they are tucked away in tunnels until they parade out so they don't actually get to see the 'ceremony' show before they march out in line. Thus I will still be busy until late as many of those not attending the ceremony still attend clinics to get themselves sorted out!

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Team GB

After working an early shift, starting at 6am in the dental clinic, it was good to finish in time to see the Team GB being welcomed formally into the village. There is a really good spirit about the place as always, but still it is something extra-special when the home team is here and fully taking part. After the formal ceremony the teams were very happy to mingle and chat and they are clearly keen now to just be getting on with it.
 

It's difficult to explain the combined tired and excited feelings and how surreal it is to just be stood in the middle of it all, inside looking out, so to speak.
 

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Eye in the sky

Even though I work some late shifts at the medical centre in the Olympic village, we do get some break times, so I took these pictures of what one can even see happening around us as the excitement starts to rise, from a beautiful sunset with the British Flag flapping in a welcome breeze, to a circulating Airship up above (I assume it's TV crews). We have also been listening to and watching a further rehersal for the opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium across the way, with some fireworks and laser show action too as my shift finished and I watched this for some 30 mins before deciding I really need my sleep now :)

It's difficult to explain the combined tired and excited feelings and how surreal it is to just be stood in the middle of it all, inside looking out, so to speak.
 

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Tower of Babel comes to London!

The Olympic Village medical centre is a very distinctive 'angular' design in the village and the Kazakhstan team have moved into the block opposite our clinic on the top floor - is it wrong to keep thinking of Borat every time I go into work :) I do hope they win something significant at the Olympics too to maybe balance their International recognition!

The Official languages of the Olympics are French and English so all H&S signs are dual language too. With over 200 countries competing, in theory every team has interpreters that speak both languages, they are spread too thin and so the Village translation services are often needed for Dentistry. Russian, Japanese and Portugese seem to be the most popular alternatives we've had to treat patients with ,but some of the dental terminology can be difficult, making consent and discussing alternatives and choices 'interesting' too. Our dental clinic works up to 11.30pm at night but as we found out recently, translation services stop at 9pm when we have to swap to a telephone translation service, which if you've ever used isn't quite so practical so now we know we need re-arrange appointments that best serve patients' language needs too.

We also have our own onsite lab useful for many things including making replacement gumshields of various designs for various sports as well as urgent repairs and where necessary replacement prostheses, though with some inevitable limitations. We are all getting very busy now, I am already fully booked for my 2pm-11.30pm session as everyone tries to get sorted out before the games proper begin!
 

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There's a Moose in the Hoose :)

Needs to be said in a Scottish accent for full effect, but the decoration and symbolism of various country's residential blocks continues unabated as more Teams arrive and settle in this week - some are going for items outside the main entrances to the blocks, whilst others like Korea are going for high visibility.

Security is also very tight but they have a good attitude in this relaxed atmosphere and as you can see from the photo, a relatively heavily armed police officer was happy to pose for a photo too. You can feel the excitement building up now in the residential village as the Games proper are about to start and the British Team are about to be welcomed into the village proper.
 

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Olympic Medical Centre

 

I was fortunate to be selected to help to provide dental treatment for Olympians from all over the world at the Olympic village, starting this week as the atheletes begin to arrive from all over the world and take residence in the Olympic Village.
 
I am based in the Medical Centre right in the residential area for the Atheletes which, I'm sure you can appreciate, has the highest security which we jokingly say is to mainly keep the press out, not just the Terrorists :D
It is a sanctuary for them and provides for all their needs, from shops , laundry and the biggest catering area I've ever seen with chefs from all over the World cooking specific meals for many different tastes, to our Medical Centre which is one of the most advanced in the World.
 
We have 8 Dental Surgeries, onsite Lab, a team of Specialists, Dentists, Hygienists, Nurses and Technicians in our section, plus Optometry, Physio, Pharmacy, GP, Surgery , A+E, 2 MRI scanners and one CT scanner, Hydrotherapy pool etc. and the busiest dept. of all, Anti-Doping section !
 
My sessions tend to be very long ones, 6am to 3.30pm or 2.30pm to 11.30pm with occasional on-call between the two as required. We can also be called upon to help with other Depts. too, including the Anti-doping which is continuous.
 
There are some days off, it has been a slower start-up this week which has been very useful to get used to the new systems and of course there is much paperwork involved for clinical records, Olympic organisation records, we are doing some research regarding tooth erosion problems in atheletes and of course we are constantly doing the dentistry often using interpreter services for every language you can think of!
 
I will post occasional pictures, updates and observations on here over the next 3 weeks where time, security and rules allow, but whatever negativity you may be seeing in the press currently, the atmosphere here is SO positive and friendly , yet serious and focussed, it really is a unique experience and I feel very privaleged to be a part of it.
 
Hopefully I can share some of the highlights and ordinary experiences of this with you on here also, to contrast with what is reported on the TV etc.
 
Cheers for now,
 
Tony.
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