December sparkles through the rain

As we Jingle Jangle into Christmas and the all too quick end to another year…

Welcome to Donna

Donna joins us as our new Treatment Co-Ordinator (TCO) after Abbey decided that remote working with us was just not as good as being in person (she claims it has nothing to do with the fact that she missed Friday cakes, but I’m not sure).  So, a big thank you again to Abbey for all the work she has done for us over the years and a big hello to Donna.

Donna brings a lot of experience, having helped to run the dental care professional training courses at the Bristol Dental Hospital and laterally, the University Dental School.

Her role as a treatment coordinator is to act as your guide through your treatment from new patient to end for treatment.  She will be there to answer your questions and send you the information you need. She is available for face-to-face meetings or video calls on Mondays,  Tuesdays and Fridays, but you can contact her at any other time on the practice number or via email on

Donna’s cautionary tale – careful what you put in your body.

Not long after she had started working with us, Donna received some photos from her daughter who was not feeling well and who had started to develop a rash.  As the day progressed, the rash got worse, and her lips stared to swell. A lot of slightly worried research was done but nothing was fitting the pattern, measles, chickenpox, and other usual suspects were all ruled out, 111 were stumped. Nicola was ready to drive Donna and her daughter straight to A&E, swollen lips being an indication of some form allergic reaction.

Whist trying to work out what was happening one of the doctors asked a seemingly unrelated question ‘Is there any chance that you have had your nails done recently?” Shocked, Donna replied ‘yes, just a few days ago,” the Dr. responded, ‘I can’t say for certain but were seeing a lot more of this type of case, an allergic reaction to acrylic nails.”  Further research yielded an article by bath dermatologist Dr Deirdre Buckley, and you can see the Independent’s report on the subject that quotes her here.   ( )  Thankfully her daughter has made a full recovery.

The allergic reaction in cases like these comes from chemicals call methacrylate’s and once you have the allergy you are likely to have it forever.  But you may have guessed that methacrylates are present in more than just nails as Dr. Buckley said in her article, it is present in a lot of things including artificial joints, and in many items commonly in use in dental practices, typically in white fillings and some forms of dentures.   As we mention on our webpage here most white filling materials are complex resin based chemicals.  You will also be pleased to know that at the Natural smile the filling material here that we use, Admira fusion, does not contain methacrylate’s, BPA or Bis -GMA.

I know for a fact that other filling materials that are free of BPA and Bis-GMA do contain them since we were approached by a company about using their filling material recently.  A scan of the material safety data sheets (MSDS)  showed that it contained two forms of methacrylate’s, and even labels the known issues with them  “May cause an allergic skin reaction”.  You need to be on your guard!

 Here for you over Christmas our Christmas opening hours:

Dec 22nd                               Appointments as normal.

Dec23rd – 26th                    Emergency cover available – 07770 941848*

Dec 27th – 29th                     Skellington staff emergency appointments buy TNS Dental Staff.

Dec 30th – Jan 1st               Emergency cover available – 07770 941848*
Jan 2nd   onward              Appointments as Normal.

*Our payment plan patients are covered for any costs.

Challenging year 
As we wind towards the year end, we are aware that lots of you are dealing with many issues and have had a challenging year. At work as long term lab technician and experienced referral specialist start to retire or cut down their hours we have really struggled to find replacements with the quality of work care and experience we strive to provide and would want for our patients.  We have put a lot of effort into this issue and at the years end it is  looking a bit more positive as a result  but if you have been affected by this thanks for bearing with us as we try to sort through it, we only ever accept labwork that is up to standard even if this means its gets delayed.

The end of 2023 has brought difficulties for Nicola and I on a personal level with our respective parents finding themselves in hospital for different reasons. 

We have found ourselves having to lean heavily on our own advice to get through it, but it is as good now as it ever was.  Deep ‘core’ breathing being drawn through your nose, good nutrition hydration and sleep, natural daylight, fresh air, and movement.  And we have added a new one to the list – the understanding that you cannot change that which refuses to change. Combined, these things have at least helped us to get through a tough end to the year and give us hope that we can move forward in 2024.

Happy Christmas from the whole team at the Natural Smile.