APEX Solutions


The Start of Movember

Posted by Robert Pilcher

With the start of November, the weather starts to take a turn for the worse, and the cold is upon us. November is also the start of the practice's chosen charity this year - Movember. Mr Pilcher and Mr Little have agreed to grow facial hair in aid of men's charity Movember. They will be in a semi-state of unshaven-ness for the month in aid of this charity. A collection box and sponsorship forms will be at reception. Regular updates will be available in Reception and on our Blog

The Effects of Dietary Acid

Posted by Robert Pilcher

A growing number of people (especially teenagers) are having significant problems with erosion of their teeth.  Erosion is the destruction of the tooth structure by acids that do not come from the bacteria involved in tooth decay.  These acids can come from foods, from the stomach (from reflux or vomiting) or from the environment.  62% of 15 – 18 year olds have erosion to their permanent teeth.  Acids in foods include citric, malic, phosphoric, tartaric, acetic and carbonic.  Carbonic is the least erosive.  This is very much a growing problem. We are seeing increasing numbers of patients will loss of the surface of the tooth (TSL). Often the molars will look as is if 'someone has taken pieces out of the biting surface with a melon baller'.

The following lists shows those foods and drinks that may cause dental erosion,

Foods and drinks that have the potential to cause dental erosion

Soft drinks – carbonated and diluted squashes (including the ‘diet’ varieties and sports drinks).

Fresh fruit juices and fruit juice drinks.

Wine, alcopops, cider and perry, spirits consumed with mixers

Some herbal teas.

Fresh fruit such as citrus fruit and apples (not bananas) if eaten often in large quantities.

Vinegar, sauces and pickles (large quantities).

Acidic sweets e.g. acidic fruit drops.

Chewable aspirin and vitamin C tablets (large quantities).

Foods and drinks with low/no erosive potential  

Bread (sandwiches, toast, crumpets and pitta bread).

Pasta, rice and starchy staple foods.

Fibrous foods (e.g. raw vegetables).

 Low-sugar breakfast cereals (e.g. shredded wheat).

Sugar-free chocolate and sugar free chewing gum.





Tea and coffee (unsweetened).

Unsweetened popcorn

So to combat the effects of acid in the diet (and tooth decay) the following is recommended.

Key dietary recommendations to safeguard dental health

-      Reduce the frequency and amount of sugary and acidic food and drinks and try to limit these to mealtimes.

-      When a structured meal plan is not followed, limit the consumption of sugary foods to 3-4 times a day.

-      Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks close to bedtime.

-      Consume foods and drinks that do not cause, or are known to protect against, dental decay and erosion.

-      Consumption of some sugar-free products may help achieve these goals in practice.

-      Avoid brushing immediately after consuming acidic food and drinks.

-      Chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes immediately after meals. (Adults and older children only)

-      Use a straw for drinking any acidic drinks.

-      Read manufacturers labels to identify hidden sugars and acids and follow recommendations on the dilution of squashes and the use of products.

-      Do not add any drink or food to a baby’s bottle, except formula milk, expressed breast milk, cow’s milk or water.

-      Provide all drinks (including formula) in a cup or beaker to infants from the age of 6 months and cease bottle-feeding by 1 year.

Everything you wanted to know about Dental X-Rays but were too afraid to ask

Posted by Robert Pilcher

X-ray examinations form part of dental examinations and are taken when the dentist considers that they are necessary to diagnose a pathology, which could not be diagnosed with visual examination alone. Dentists do so on the principle that the risk of having a certain X-ray examination outweighs the risk of not having that examination. X-rays are therefore only performed when necessary.


X-ray machines and image receptors )e.g. X-ray films) are constantly being improved and updated. They have become more sensitive over the years and this ensures that doses are kept  to the minimum necessary to achieve a diagnostic result.

The X-ray equipment in Abbey Dental Practice is subject to annual, independent safety tests by DBG inspectors. The staff also undertake their own program of quality control.


When X-rays are taken, some of the energy in the X-ray beam is absorbed in the body. This is called the radiation dose, often shortened to 'dose' It can be expressed in a number of different ways. The most common quantity is the 'effective dose' measured in sievert (Sv). Because diagnostic X-ray examinations

involve relatively low doses, these doses are stated in millisievert (mSv): in other words, one thousandth of a sievert.


The use of X-rays in Dental Practices is subject to both National regulations and Practice Rules. Doses for individual examinations are not routinely calculated for every X-ray examination, but sufficient information is recorded to enable doses to be estimated if necessary.


National studies have enabled average doses for adults for different examinations to be estimated as shown in Table 1. Doses are expressed in units of millisievert and also in terms of the equivalent number of years of background radiation. This helps to put the examination into context.


Background radiation comes from the sun, the food we eat, building materials and natural surroundings like earth and rocks. The dose varies in different parts of the UK but on average it amounts to an effective dose of about 2mSv per year. Here in East Anglia it is also about 2mSv per year, whereas in Cornwall the background radiation dose is about 7mSv per year.  A patient who undergoes a relatively complex examination in hospital, such as an intravenous urogram

(IVU) receives a dose of radiation equivalent to a little more than one year of background radiation.  Dental X-rays inside the mouth, involve a much smaller dose of radiation equivalent to about 2 hours each of background radiation.

Table 1: Typical Doses for Adults from diagnostic X-Ray Examinations.





Effective Dose (mSv)


Equivalent time of average natural background radiation


CT Body




4.0 years


Barium enema




3.6 years






1.2 years


Barium meal




1.3 years


CT Head




1.7 years


Lumbar spine




8 months






4 months


Thoracic spine




4 months






4 months






8 days






6 days


Dental Bitewing




2 hours




There are very strict regulations concerning the use of X-rays (Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999, and Ionising Radiation (Medical Examination) Regulations 2000.), which are aimed at reducing exposure to Radiation by the General Public, Patients and Heathcare Workers. In short, the only person to be exposed is the patient being X-rayed. To achieve this, all persons except the patient and the dentist will leave the room. The Dentist will stand behind the X-ray tube at least 1.5m away from the tube or patient.  This will reduce the X-ray exposure to the dentist to approaching zero. Most dentists in this practice will take approaching 2000 X-rays in a year. If this were to exceed 2500 in a year then Dentists have to wear monitoring badges. Most patients will have about 2 dental x-rays every 2 years.

More Movember

Posted by Robert Pilcher

Only 9 days to go. The facial hair is starting to irritate a bit, but the fact that we have now hit £300 makes it worth it.

We don't have a photo of Steve today - he has been in hiding in his surgery. He didn't even make it for afternoon coffee!

We do have one of my ugly mug to compare with last week

Another week of movember

Posted by Robert Pilcher

Well another week of Movember down. We have raised over £150 pounds so far, so thank you to all the patients who have been so generous. The facial hair is coming along, as can be seen below.



The girls do need some electrolysis or waxing though!



Posted by Robert Pilcher

Well the Blog is back. It was removed from the website for a few months as it was just generating spam.

About a month ago, I mentioned in passing that I was considering doing Movember (It's all Chris Evans fault on Radio 2. He mentioned it on his morning show as I was driving in from Cambridge). This was latched upon by the girls at Bury and suddenly it was set in stone and Mr Little and I were signed up. None of the girls wanted to join us!

So now we are a week in and it is itching like, well, ltchiness itself. Especially under a mask. Mr Little has gone for moustache, but my wife insisted I went for full set after a few days of moustache only. I wish I hadn't listened, as my beard is coming through white. My wife thinks she is growing her own Santa.

 One week in we have raised over £100, so thank you all the patients who have donated. It is a bit like being an old fashioned exhibit at a travelling show - £1 entry to see the bearded man!

Mr Pilcher


Mr Little's Moustache


Woolpit Moustaches



Rebuild complete

Posted by Robert Pilcher

The rebuild of Mr Pilcher's Surgery is now completed as the photos below show. Mr Pilcher has bought a Castellini Skema 8 operating unit - Their top of the range unit - and cabinetry by Tavom. Both these are Italian, as shows in their fantastic design. These were supplied and fitted by RPA Dental based in Wigan - a specialist Dental Surgery design and fitting company. Building work was carried out AM Building Ltd who have ben working with RPA for 25 years. Mr Pilcher is 'over the moon' with the new surgery.








Mon 22nd April Surgery Build

Posted by Robert Pilcher

There have been big noticeable changes today as the cabinets went in today and the templates for the work surfaces and desk areas were made. The corian work surfaces will be installed next monday.


Templates for work surfaces