Search This Blog

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Big films for the holiday season!

Looking forward to seeing both these films over the holidays.

First the Hobbit, a film I've been waiting for them to make for years

And second, saw the trailer for this and was intrigued, I know its an adaption of a book but nothing else. My second choice is Life of Pi.

Christmas Decorations are going up

Today I put my Christmas tree up at home, the house is starting to look festive.

My dog is intrigued by the tree and the new boxes that have appeared.

Here's the dog looking bemused by the whole experience.

Excuse the blurry photo of the tree, taken on my phone.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Winter Whitening. Spicer Road Dental Practice's Christmas offer for you!

Would you like a whiter, brighter smile for Christmas? Everybody wants a brighter smile. Your smile is one of the first things others notice about you, it says more about you than any other feature. Every smile is unique, we will prescribe the perfect treatment for you to achieve the bright smile you desire.' Offer price £260.00 usual price £360.00 Offer open to existing patients AND non patients. 

Contact the Practice Reception on 01392 308 265 to arrange an appointment. 

Tooth whitening is a simple procedure the most commonly requested cosmetic treatment. Short free assessment with dentist to discuss suitability. Tooth impressions taken to provide the patient with custom made whitening trays along with the whitening solution.

Terms and Conditions. 1. Offer runs from 19th Nov to 31st Dec 2012. Appointments can be booked into Jan 2013 as long as booked within the offer period. 2. Whitening is not suitable for every patients. Short assessment with dentist is included in offer price. 3. Offer includes custom made whitening trays and 12 tubes of whitening gel. 4. Offer open to non-patients.

We have more information on our website here.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

21 years qualified as a dentist, how things have changed!

I was thinking back on my years as a dentist and I realised in December of this year I have been qualified for 21 years. This led me to reflect on what has changed since I was a student and on what techniques and materials the profession has adopted. Ask any dentist what has been the biggest change in dentistry in the last two decades and I will bet you will a massive variety of answers. 

Whether it be the replacement of missing teeth with dental implants, the development of tooth coloured filling materials that can reliably bond to teeth, the increased and almost routine use of magnification by dentist for carrying out operative procedures, the development and improvement in dental ceramics that help us to beautiful and lifelike crowns, bridges and veneers or the systems that help us reliably and predictably carry out root canal treatments.

For me advances that have had the biggest impact on my everyday practice are the improvements made to tooth coloured fillings and nickel titanium files that are used to carry out root canal treatments.

I would like to right about some the kit and gadgets that I like to use to enable me to carry out root canal treatments. About five years ago I decided to invest in a set of loupes, I own a set of nuview loupes with 3.5x magnification and also a LED light that mounts on the frame of the loupes.

The improvement in vision I get with these is amazing. One tip if any dentists read this, if you get a set of loupes, invest in a light too, until I purchased a light I couldn't see why everybody was so enthused about loupes and extra magnification, purchasing a light vastly improved my experience with loupes. 

The other pieces of kit that have dramatically changed my experience in providing root canal treatments are the use of an electronic apex locator and the use of rotary endodontic files. I specifically use a Raypex 4 apex locator and the Dentsply X Smart with protaper files. 

Using the electronic apex locator I can accurately confirm the length of a patients tooth and reduce the number of radiographs (x-rays) that I take and using the X Smart motor with rotary files I can easily prepare the tooth to receive a root filling.

Using this kit I can produce results like this.

The radiograph (x-ray) shown is from a real patient of mine, he present with severe pain from one of his molar teeth, using the equipment I have talked about and my skills as a dentist we have managed to save and preserve his tooth.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Fabulous Customer Service at the Apple Store Exeter

Just a quick note to highlight a fab customer service experience I had at the Apple Store in Princesshay last Sunday.

Friday evening, I was trying to use my ipod but for some reason it was not working. On the screen was a red cross in a circle and a website address for Apple Support. I'd seen this before and it indicates a broken hard drive. I was disappointed because this ipod was less than a year old. I managed to make a genius bar appointment and went to the Apple store last Sunday to see what could be done.

The guys at Apple quickly determined that the ipod was not repairable. A few notes were taken and I was given a brand you ipod to replace the broken one.

An hour's work at home uploading my music and podcasts and all systems were go again.

Just wanted to say thanks and the new ipod works perfectly!

The Clocks Go Back, Winter Has Arrived.

Last night marked the end of British Summertime, the clocks went back an hour and we reverted to Greenwich Mean Time. So this means darkness will come early probably at around 5pm next week, and the days will get progressively shorter as we march towards winter.

So after enjoying an extra hour in bed courtesy of the time changes, I woke to see that the day had dawned and the weather looked pretty good. I decide to make the most of the weather and to take the dog to Exmouth for a long walk on the beach. From October to April the beach is open to dog walkers and this would be his first sighting of the sea and the sand. 

We had a decent walk from the Beacon to Exmouth Lifeboat Station and back again. Exmouth was busy with large numbers of people enjoying a fresh but blustery day at the seaside. Many dog walkers were out too, and there was plenty of oppurtunity for Woody to see and socialise with other dogs.

Here are a few photographs that I took today.

So the year and time continues to march onwards, just my thought, make the most of every day because time is precious. As I read somewhere "Life is what you do so you can blog about it!"

Monday, 1 October 2012

An amazing come back. Europe win the 2012 Ryder Cup

Last weekend marked the 2012 Ryder Cup from the Medinah Country Club near Chicago.

At the end of Saturday's play Europe trailed 10-6, on Sunday twelve points were up for grabs, the Americans required 4 1/2 points to win back the Ryder Cup. Over the first two days the Americans built a massive lead, overpowering the Europeans in both the foresomes and four balls.

I don't know what was said in the team room on Saturday night and Sunday morning but the Europeans came out motivated and playing superb golf. 

Unfortunately I didn't have Sky Sports so wasn't able to watch the final day's play on the television, instead I spent Sunday evening listening to the coverage on Radio 5. What can I say, it was superb, the atmosphere was amazing and you could feel the excitement building through the evening's coverage. Belief built and Europe pulled off an amazing and unlikely win to retain the Ryder Cup. I just wish I had a bet on this because I reckon you could have got long odds on a European Win on Sunday morning.

I must say this was an amazing end to an awesome summer of sport, from the Olympics to the Paralympics and finally to the Ryder Cup. Sport and sporting endeavour at its best!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Neil Armstrong RIP

I was nine months old when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon and immortalised the words "It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This  probably was and is man's greatest feat of exploration to date. It culminated almost a decade of effort, millions of man hours of work and it meant NASA completed John F Kennedy's dream of landing a man on the moon before the decade (of the sixties) was finished.

During my childhood and throughout my life I've been fascinated by space travel and exploration, I have read many books about the astronauts and the space programme, and have been amazed by the shear vision, sense of purpose that led to the landing by the crew of Apollo 11 in July 1969. It amazes me that this happened and that we managed to get there. I'm even amazed by the shear scale of the technology, the awesome power of the Saturn V rocket, the fact that the average smart phone has more computing power than the computer in the lunar lander.

It was with sadness that I heard on the radio that Neil Armstrong died last Saturday following complications after heart surgery.

If you want to read about the amazing effort of getting men to the moon. I would recommend two books, A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chailkin and Moondust by Andrew Smith.

Let's hope these won't be the only footprints we leave on the moon. 

Saturday, 11 August 2012

An Interesting Blog Post

This is an interesting read, a blog written by Chris Barrow, Dental Business Coach and Director of the BKH group. 

The link is here.

He talks about an interview given to the BBC by British cycling coach Dave Brailsford. Brailsford tries to explain the reasons for British Cycling success. Worth a read.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Olympics Super Saturday

Yesterday, dubbed super Saturday by the sports pundits, marked the midway point of the London Olympics.

I will admit, I was an Olympics sceptic, thinking that it wouldn't be a success and was a waste of money. How wrong could I have been.

Yesterday, Team GB won six gold medals, two in rowing, one in cycling and three in athletics. An amazing achievement by all the athletes! Team GB are now standing third in the medal table behind the USA and China.

My personal favourite yesterday was the Women's Team Pursuit in the track cycling, a gold medal and breaking the world record (this is the sixth time in a row in competitive racing that this team have broken the world record).

Congratulations to everyone and thanks for the amazing memories.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Our Customer satisfaction Survey

The Spicer Road Dental Practice is a member of Denplan Excel.

What does this mean for you?
This means that as a practice, the team at Spicer Road Dental Practice have achieved the high standards required to join the Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme, developed by Denplan. The programme helps dentists to develop better relationships with you, our patients, through good communication and improving your experience of coming to the dentist.
Denplan Excel is the first accreditation scheme to be approved by the Patient’s Association and was developed as a result of studies showing that patients who enjoy a good relationship and effective communication with their dentists are less anxious about examinations and treatment.
As a member of this groundbreaking scheme we are regularly monitored to see that we maintain these high standards. We first achieved Excel accreditation three years ago and  have been re-accredited twice since, most recently in July 2011.
We are delighted to achieve these high standards of patient care and see our Denplan Excel Accreditation as a badge to be worn with pride.

We recently undertook a patient survey and had the results returned to us in July. I thought I should show you some of the great feedback we've had from our patients. these comments have been transcribed exactly as written by patients. Only obvious spelling and punctuation errors have been corrected.

"Convenient, competent and comfortable"

"Very helpful, friendly all round good guys"

"In spite of my age(86) I am always treated with friendliness and respect"

"Accessibility and availability: feeling of confidence and trust"

"Friendly reception,spacious clean waiting area.Competent dentist, appointments on time. relaxing environment"

"Friendly dentist, nurse and hygienist. Cleanliness is wonderful"

"I like my dentist, very skilled. Appreciate the text reminders"

"My dentist is fantastic. He takes time with me and talks with me about dental problems no other practice dentist does this"

"Very local and always able to get an appointment at short notice. Friendly staff"

"Prompt on time appointments. Friendliness of reception staff"

Its great for the team at Spicer Road Dental Practice to be shown such great appreciation by our patients and we would like to thank those that replied to the survey for their comments.

If you would like to join the practice, why not contact our reception team on 01392 272408 or visit or practice website for more information about us.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A week off, finally!

So July arrives and I have finally taken a week away from work. I'm enjoying the time off but I only wish the weather could be a bit better. The last few days haven't been blessed with the best summer time weather. All bar two days this week have been very wet.

Despite this I've managed to make the most of my free time, a lot of reading, catching up on DVD's and in between downpours walking the dog and playing a bit of golf. There's also been some great sport a fabulous Wimbledon final and a brilliant British Grand Prix

These are the books I've read.


I'm watching this DVD boxed set 

I saw this in the cinema

Finally a bit of proof the weather wasn't totally bad.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

New technology at Spicer Road Dental Practice

At the Spicer Road Dental Practice we are constantly looking at ways to improve our patient's experience at their regular dental visits.

Last week we installed a digital x-ray scanner, this will mean that we can get crystal clear x-ray images on our computer monitor screen within seconds. This will allow us as dentists to provide patients with an accurate diagnosis and information within seconds of us taking any x-rays of your mouth.

We are finding this new piece of equipment remarkably useful and many patients have been amazed at seeing their x-ray images appearing before their eyes.

If you are interested in joining us as a patient why not visit out website for more information or call our reception team for an appointment on 01392 272408.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Woody, my new wire haired miniature dachshund.

Last Thursday, I collected my new puppy Woody from Cardiff. He's been with me for a week now and after a couple of nights of broken sleep and early mornings, he's settled really well. The only minor irritation is that he isn't quite housebroken yet, but you always know that you will get some accidents with a new puppy.

Woody is enjoying exploring his new world and he is a feisty and brave little dog. He was a star at a friend's BBQ last weekend, fussed over by everyone.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the little guy.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Spring Clean your Smile!

Yes folks, it's that time of year again to think about Spring Cleaning Your Smile!

We are running this fabulous offer until the end of June 2012.

Is a brighter whiter smile something that interests you?  If so, contact our reception team on 01392 272408 and make an appointment. Our team at the Spicer Road Dental Practice looks forward to hearing from you.

A fabulous smile could be yours in a matter of weeks!

Terms and conditions apply.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Love this version of the Keep calm and Carry on Poster

This year has seen the rise of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster.

I think this version is possibly my favourite!

Monday, 14 May 2012

A brilliant day out

Last Thursday, I was treated to an amazing day out at Lords with Denplan. I was invited to London to meet with other Denplan dentists to enjoy an afternoon cricket net, a short tour of Lords and to have an evening meal out, all in the company of ex England cricketers Phil Tufnell and Dean Headley. I'd like to take this chance to thank Denplan and the Denplan Events Team for the invite, a great day was had by all.

I travelled to London on Thursday morning, after a surprisingly easy train journey I managed to get to our hotel, with a bit of time to spare. Our hotel was located across the road from Lords cricket ground in St John's Wood, this is a beautiful suburb of London, crammed with expensive apartments, and a local high streets brimming with dies, coffee shops and boutique shops. So I took the chance to have a little explore around the area.

At 3pm, I met my colleagues and we took the short walk to Lords. We had a 90 minute net session with the cricket pros, brilliant fun, and I even managed to bat a little despite not having picked up a cricket bat in three years.

We then had a tour of Lords, the home of cricket, visited the ashes museum and were entertained by stories from Phil Tufnell and  Dean Headley. The biggest shame was not seeing the Long Room, but being allowed to see some of the more hidden areas of Lords was an unforgettable experience. By the way, just a bit of advance warning the wicket for first test against the West Indies looks a bit green!

Our day finished with beers at the Lord's Tavern and then a trip to a local curry house. Fun was had by everyone.

Next morning, I woke a bit bleary eyed, but after reviving myself with a full English breakfast, I took on the role of a tourist, here a few pictures from my walking tour. I think I managed a walk of several miles, my only wish was that I had packed some more comfortable shoes because I have several blister that are rather sore at the moment. Here's some pictures from my walk around the tourist sites.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Something I like!

Apparently this card is given to anyone who starts working for Apple. As a statement of values and intent I think its brilliant. 

So I thought I'd post it here.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Books recently read and an epic saga begins!

One part of recent history that has fascinated me is the Space Race and the epic voyages of the Apollo astronauts to the moon.

There are may great books that cover this area of American and Cold War history.

These are two of my favourites:

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, this is the story of the pilots who flew the early test flights that led to the breaking of the sound barrier by Chuck Yaeger up to the final flight of the mercury programme. This is a brilliantly written and enjoyable history of the early ears of the space race, a time where great pilots had to show their skill, bravery and the possession of the Right Stuff during these amazing early test flights. Definitely worth reading. 

Next up is a book that cover the history of the Apollo programme. A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. This book chronicles the seventeen Apollo flights, it brings their stories to life through the voices of the astronauts, their wives and the staff in mission control who fought against the odds to keep them alive. Its an amazing read, and what is so extraordinary was that this amazing feat occurred forty years ago, and since the final flight of Apollo 17 we haven't been back to the moon again, and it is unlikely that we will get there again in the near future.

My next book is something completely different. On the recommendation of several friends I have decided to attempt some epic fantasy again. So the time has come to dip my foot into the epic Game of Thrones Saga. So today I'm going to start A Fame of Thrones by George R R Martin. Hopefully this will live up to the recommendations I've been given.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Woody the Dog.

At the end of the May, this little guy will be moving in with me.
He's a miniature wire haired Dachshund and his name will be Woody.

Monday, 16 April 2012

A little late but my thoughts on The Masters.

The Easter weekend also marked the playing of the 2012 Masters at Augusta.

Once again the Augusta National looked as pretty as a picture and some amazing golf was played over the four days.

Once again there were high hopes that a British winner would happen with either Lee Westwood or Luke Donald breaking their duck in majors. Westwood was in contention eventually coming third, Donald didn't seem to get the pace of the greens and his short game wasn't up to his usual immaculate standard.

Anyway to follow up, here are three amazing shots that got the crowd shouting and hollering.

First Phil Mickelson on Day 3. An amazing wedge shot into the 15th green.

A double eagle (albatross) for Louis Oosthuizen. An astounding second shot into the par 5 second hole.

And finally the shot that won the Masters for Bubba Watson, an astonishing recovery from the rough in the sudden death play off. (I can move a golf ball like this too but it is never a planned shot!)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Massive Shock

Last weekend I returned to Wales to see the family. We had a brilliant Saturday, a round of golf with my Dad in the morning, Wales winning the Grand Slam against France in the afternoon followed by a fabulous Indian takeaway.

Sunday, the plan was to get the family together and go to a local restaurant for a Mother's Day Meal.

This is where things took a massive turn for the worst.....

On the way to the restaurant my Dad was driving, felt unwell and suffered a cardiac arrest in the car. A series of fortunate coincidences came together, I saw the car stop and turned around. The scene I was met with was a massive shock. My Dad was collapsed and was being attended to by a nurse who witnessed what had happened. She found he had no pulse and was administering CPR, I stepped in to help. I managed to perform chest compressions as I'd been trained at work. I think that I got through three cycles of CPR with the nurse. At this point two first responders arrived and took over,shortly afterwards, a paramedic arrived with a defibrillator. This diagnosed Dad's heart had fallen into ventricular fibrillation and effectively he had no circulation. He was connected to the defibrillator within 5-10 minutes of the initial event and electric shocks given to his heart started it beating again. 

This set of circumstances and coincidences probably saved his life!

Since Sunday, Dad has been on the coronary care unit at the University Hospital in Cardiff. The care he has received has been amazing. Today, he was moved from the coroner care unit and onto a high dependancy ward. He can move and is sitting in a chair, and is moaning that his chest hurts :-), it's not surprising after having three people push on for chest for five minutes or so that you are getting a bit of pain!

Two things I want to say, one,  thanks to all the people who helped with Dad, the Nurse at the scene, the first responders and paramedics and the nurses and doctors on the CCU in the hospital. Second, if you are reading this, learn CPR, you could save someones life. Watch this video from video starring Vinnie Jones there are some good tips here from the British Heart Foundation.

Monday, 5 March 2012

QR codes. What's the point?

Apparently these are now the latest thing in marketing and providing links to your web content. I'm not normally a tech phobic person but I don't see the point of these codes. See below for what I'm talking about. (This is the QR code linking to this blog)

So to make these work you need the following:
  1.  A smartphone, be it of the Apple or Android variety.
  2.  An app that can translate the QR code to something meaningful.
So for me I need to start an app on my iPhone, photograph the code and wait and see if something happens. If it works it eventually directs me to a bit of web content related to the advert the code is on. On my iPhone this takes a couple of minutes (maybe the software and hardware are slow) but why not just put the URL on the advert instead. Its a lot quicker to copy this down into your browser.

Maybe I'm wrong, who knows?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tooth Whitening. A simple way to transform your smile!

There are many reasons why you may want to get your teeth whitened. Everyone’s teeth are different; and just as our skin and hair colour vary, so does the colour of our teeth. Very few people have brilliant white teeth, and our teeth can also become more stained and discoloured as we get older.

Your teeth may also become stained on the surface from eating certain food and drinks. Also smoking may stain your teeth.

Tooth whitening is a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing or damaging the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change, but it will lighten the existing colour of your teeth.

Tooth whitening has now become one of the most common and safest cosmetic procedures in the world. There are many studies in the dental literature that confirm the safety and success of tooth whitening.Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are suitable for tooth whitening treatment, and supervise it if you are. Your dentist will provide you with custom made mouth-guards that fits on your teeth like a gum shield, and a gel to place in the tray and on your teeth. You whiten your teeth at home and results are usually visible within a few weeks. 

The results of tooth whitening usually last around three years but you can easily “top this up” using tooth whitening gel at home.

Is this some thing that may interest you? Why don't you contact our team at Spicer Road Dental Practice and arrange a consultation, to see what we can do to transform your smile.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Music. So when was the last time you listened to a whole CD?

I was thinking the other day how in recent years the way we listen to music has changed. My thoughts were prompted when I realised its been more than 2 1/2 years since I've listened to a CD. Thinking about it, the only CD player I now have that works is in my car.

So what has changed for me? I was a fairly early adopter of MP3 players. Over six years ago I bought a Creative Zen Touch MP3 player, the idea of being able to carry my entire CD collection around in my pocket appealed to me.

It was at this point I stopped listening to whole albums and started to play my music on the random shuffle setting. I love listening to music like this because tracks get thrown out from the darkest corner of my music collection, and sometimes these long forgotten tracks are absolute gems.

MY zen MP3 player lasted over three years, but when I converted from PC to Mac at home I discovered my trustee MP3 player wouldn't connect to my mac and there was no mac compatible software for the device. 

So sadly my zen touch was retired and I converted to my iPod classic.

I love my iPod and via iTunes I have over 4400 tracks. I think my music consumption has changed, I tend to buy one or two tracks off albums now but via digital music stores I can access tracks from bands I loved as a teenager, guilty pleasures like A Flock of Seagulls, Visage, Gary Numan and Ultravox. My 80's music collection was mostly on cassette and it great to be able to rediscover how good (and naff) some of this music was.

I hope you don't think me as a philistine for on listening to my iPod on shuffle but as I said I love it when I get to hear a track I haven't heard in ages. Two recent favourites thrown out recently were Broken Land by the Adventures and From the Stars by White Lies.