Am I eligible for Invisalign?

As it becomes more popular and as a wider range of treatments are included in the system, it becomes more suitable for a wider range of people… But how do you know if you are eligible for Invisalign?

In this article we’ll take a look through the different options available for people with different dental problems and of different ages.

The different types of Invisalign

There are primarily 3 different types of Invisalign:

  • Invisalign full
  • Invisalign i7, Invisalign lite or Invisalign Express
  • Invisalign teen

Let’s look at each and a little more detail

Invisalign full.

This is generally suitable for adults requiring orthodontic treatment to have straighter teeth using invisible braces. It will often move front teeth and back teeth on the top and bottom at the same time. Invisalign full treatments typically take anywhere from 1 -3 years.

Invisalign i7, Invisalign Lite or Invisalign Express

This is suitable for adults requiring more minor and rapid teeth straightening, typically of the front teeth only.  The official name is Invisalign i7 however different practices call this treatment different names, including Invisalign Lite and Invisalign Express.

It may be that you have a single tooth or a couple of teeth that have bothered you for a while and you would like them straighter. Invisalign i7 treatments typically take around 3 months.

Invisalign teen

Invisalign teen is based on the same Invisalign principle of using clear orthodontic aligners however, the teen braces have a Smart Track ™ material making them a little more comfortable and easier to take on and off.

They also have Smart Force™ attachments which are little tooth coloured shapes which are attached to the teeth, this gives something for the aligners to grip, enabling them to move the teeth more predictably. They effectively work like little handles for the aligner.

Invisalign teen also has blue indicators which change depending on the amount of time the aligner is worn, this allows the parents and orthodontist to track compliance of the Child to ensure the braces are being worn for the specified amount of time.

Invisalign Teen Compliance Indicator

Who can wear Invisalign?

Invisalign is suitable for any adult or child who wishes to straighten teeth invisibly. Adults will normally have Invisalign full for complex cases or Invisalign Lite to move front teeth only. Younger people will usually be prescribed Invisalign teen as this is more suitable for their age.

Because Invisalign is completely clear and virtually imperceptible it is suitable for anyone wishing to have straighter teeth with no one knowing they are wearing braces.

5 benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign are clear!

  1. Virtually imperceptible.
  2. Removable, giving you the flexibility to take them out to eat and drink as well as to clean the aligners.
  3. Comfortable, made from a flexible material with no sharp brackets or wires to cause ulcers.
  4. Convenient, providing treatments in as little as 3 months.
  5. Predictable, using the latest 3-D technology to scan your teeth beforehand, provide you with an animated video of how your teeth will move plus track this movement throughout treatment.

Playing musical instruments

Playing musical instruments with any orthodontic treatment can sometimes be a challenge and you may have to adapt your embouchure. One of the big advantages of Invisalign is that you can take the aligner out to play your instrument, although it is worth bearing in mind that the aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours a day.

Some wind instruments, for example a clarinet may require the mouthpiece to be adapted or replaced after orthodontic treatment if it has become worn with other tooth marks that have moved from how the mouthpiece has worn.

How can I get Invisalign?

Because Invisalign is considered a cosmetic treatment it is not available on the NHS. Even if tooth alignment can be shown to be affecting health then the NHS will only provide traditional braces with metal and wires. Any treatment which has any cosmetic element, including clear orthodontics will need to be paid for privately.

Most practices offer affordable finance for Invisalign, typically this could bring treatment down to £42 per month * or just over £1 per day, less than the price of a cup of coffee!

The Invisalign process starts with a digital smile assessment using the Clincheck software, this can then work out the number of aligners you will require and how long treatment takes. This then dictates the final price.

You then have a digital scan of your teeth, Align Technology then manufacturer the aligners and send them back to your dentist, you then wear each aligner for approximately 2 weeks and then change it for a new one. This process continues throughout treatment.

You will always be closely monitored by your dentist to ensure treatment is progressing as planned and that you have no unforeseen problems.

Eligibility for Invisalign

Clinically this is determined by your dental health and current tooth position. You need to be dentally fit and healthy in order to move teeth, if you have good oral hygiene then you will usually be suitable for Invisalign treatment.


*  Total cost of Invisalign, £2500. £500 deposit and then finance for £2000. Subject to status. Conditions apply. Representative example. Cash price of goods/amount of credit £200060 monthly payments of £42.00; Total amount repayable £2520.22; Representative 9.9% APR variable.



How to Find an Orthodontist in Essex

How to find an orthodontist

The most important questions to ask when looking for an orthodontist

If you have crooked teeth and live in the Essex, Hornchurch area then you may well be looking for an orthodontist to help you straighten crooked teeth with braces.

But how do you know which dentist/orthodontist is best?

How do you know if you will get the treatment and service you are looking for?

In this blog post we go through some of the questions that we recommend you ask a dentist in order to help you decide if this is the right person for you.

How many years experience do you have?

The more cases your dentist or orthodontist have seen then the more likely it is they will be able to recognise the best course of treatment for you. There will also be more aware of potential problems which can arise from each of the different types of treatment, this means an experienced dentist or orthodontist may help you to avoid unforeseen problems in the future.

Which orthodontic systems do you offer?

There are a wide variety of orthodontic brace systems on the market, some systems are able to move teeth great distances, including back teeth. Some braces are more focused around the cosmetic anterior teeth.

Some systems offer rapid orthodontics whilst others offer low-cost and cheaper braces.

Whilst even more systems offer imperceptible orthodontics using clear aligners, clear brackets with tooth coloured wires or brackets on the tongue side of your teeth.

Ideally, visiting an Essex dentist which offers the widest range of orthodontic systems means you get the biggest choice and a system perfectly tailored to your requirements, clinical situation and budget.

Can you show me before and after photographs of previous cases you have treated.

Being able to see before and after photographs of cases similar to your own is a great way to understand the kind of results you can expect to achieve.

Be clear about what it is you want to correct, do you feel your top teeth stick out too much (overbite)? Is it that your top teeth are rotated and look crowded? Or something else? When you go to visit your orthodontist or dentist be very specific about what it is you don’t like and ask to see similar cases that they have treated before.

Can you show me reviews that patients have written about your orthodontic treatment?

Any good dental practice will gather together reviews and testimonials by happy patients. The key thing here is to see the reviews that have been left by patients that have specifically had orthodontics. That way you know that your dentist or orthodontist comes specifically recommended for the braces they offer.

How long will each treatment take?

Treatment times vary incredibly between different types of braces, anything from 9 weeks up to a couple of years! It really depends on the type of system and your clinical situation coupled with what you want to achieve.

Being very clear about how long you want the treatment to take, or even if you want it to be finished by a specific date or event can be really helpful when looking for an orthodontist to ensure you find one that offers braces which fitting with your timescale requirements.

What are the payment options for treatment?

As with many things in life orthodontic treatments can often be quite expensive. Asking about payment plans such as monthly or staged amounts or even 0% finance can make treatments much more affordable. Many orthodontic systems can be made available from as little as £42* per month.

How frequent will my follow-up visits the throughout the treatment?

Different dentists, orthodontists and braces systems have different follow-up protocols. Understanding how many times you may need to visit the dentist and how often can have a big impact on which dentist or orthodontist you choose.

In order to find this out you may find you need to have an initial consultation so that your clinician can take a look at the clinical situation and you can have a discussion about which brace system is right for you.

You will however typically need to visit the orthodontist or dentist once every 4-6 weeks for most orthodontic systems.

What levels of service and care will I receive?

We all know that service really matters, so what’s important to you about the service you receive? Would you like to communicate with the practice by phone, text or e-mail? Does the dentist or orthodontist offer the communication preferences you prefer?

Many practices offer online booking of appointments, is this important for you?

When you visit the practice, are you looking for a practice that is modern and new with the most up-to-date equipment?

Be clear about what it is you want to receive and what’s important to you, you can then look for clues as to whether the practice can offer this as well as asking them directly.

What hours do you open?

Many people work long and unsocial hours. If you need an orthodontist in Essex, local to you,  then it’s important to find one that fits around your schedule.

Ask about early mornings and late evening appointments, you may also find that some practices offer Saturday appointments which can be useful if you live locally.

The last thing you want is a dentist where you are required to visit once every four weeks at appointment times that don’t fit in with your schedule, that can mean that your orthodontic appointments come delay and treatment times can then extend beyond what you initially expect.

*Subject to status. Conditions apply. Representative example. Cash price of braces £2000; 60 monthly payments of £42; total amount repayable £2520.22; representative 9.9% APR variable

The best ways to reduce swelling after lip fillers

As more and more people begin their journey to plumper and fuller lips with lip filler injections we are finding that more people are asking about some of the side effects, specifically the best ways to reduce swelling after lip filler injections.

Lip fillers are great way to add volume and achieve a softer, fuller and perfectly kissable lips, the use a small injection which places a small amount of hyaluronic acid into your lips. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring chemical in your body and so is perfectly safe and healthy to use.

There are however sometimes some side-effects to the lip injection treatment.

How much swelling is normal after lip fillers

After any invasive treatment, even if it is a small needle there is likely to be small amount of swelling afterwards. This should reduce very rapidly, often within hours.

For the full effect of the filler treatment become apparent you will need to wait approximately 3 or 5 days in order for any initial treatment swelling to completely subsided.

Lip filler swelling stages in days

  1. After the first day the bulk of any swelling should have subsided.
  2. By day 2 the initial swelling will have gone and you will start to see the full effects of the treatment.
  3. By this day the bulk of any pain should have gone, the primary swelling from the injections will have subsided.
  4. On the 4th day after treatment you can expect for all of the swelling to have gone  and to see the full effect of treatment. All pain and tenderness should also have subsided by day 4

How to hide any swelling

Try these following tips to hide and reduce swelling:

  • Apply ice to the area to restrict blood flow, place it in a plastic bag to prevent getting wet and then wrapped the plastic bag in a tea towel to avoid direct ice contact with your lips.
  • Make sure you drink lots. Keeping fully hydrated allows your body to mobilise fluids, rather than store them in single places (swelling) staying hydrated keeps the flow of fluid around your body.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and increasing your heart rate.
  • Rest and protect your lips. This means no hard kissing for 48 hours!
  • Avoid drinking through a straw for 2 days, this can also put pressure on your lips and exacerbate any swelling.

Do lip injections damage lips

If the injections are done professionally then no, they don’t damage the lips. The injections use a naturally occurring acid (hyaluronic acid) which is readily absorbed back into the body, with no common side-effects.

Swelling a few months after filler treatment

Swelling after a few months could be due to a few reasons:

  • Late onset inflammatory response to hyaluronic acid.  This is a rare complication which can occur 4-5 months after treatment but in extremely rare cases up to 14 months after. This information is readily treatable with oral steroids.
  • Edema.  This is where an excessive amount of fluid buildup in or around the cells or tissue of the body, it is  a normal response and almost everyone will experience it. It is most commonly considered a minor complication and very rarely can become a serious or major complication. Typically 10-50% patients will have this type of swelling. Gentle massage of the area can help to reduce the swelling
  • Lip filler lumps. These are not a normal reaction and are usually caused by incorrect technique or by the practitioner is not using the correct lip filler product. small lumps can usually be removed by massaging the area, however if you have a larger lumps then it may be the sign of allergic reaction so visiting your practitioner again is advised.

Un-even swelling after lip fillers

Uneven swelling could be caused by any of the areas listed above but is most likely due to operator error. If your practitioner removes the needle from the lips whilst they are continuing to inject the hyaluronic acid it can mean that the filler is injected into the incorrect area, it can then lay in the outer areas of your lips and cause these un-even swellings.

Likewise, if the viscosity of the filler is too high and can’t be injected well enough into the chosen area this can also lead to an uneven amount of filler, uneven lips and bumps are a result.

This is why it’s incredibly important to select your practitioner carefully, ensuring they have adequate training, not only to do the injection in the first place but to help you with any problems later on.

Bruising after treatment

After any form of injectable treatment some mild bruising  should be expected. It can be helpful to use a dark coloured lipstick in order to  cover up any mild bruising on your lips after the injections, you should however wait for 24 hours before applying any make up.

When you go to bed that night, sleep with your head slightly raised if possible and avoid any undue pressure on your lips (including kissing) for 24 hours, this will then keep the bruising to a minimum.

A great tip is not to book your injectable treatment the day before you are going to an event, people often ask for their practitioner not a bruise them as they go into an event the next day, unfortunately any injectable treatment does come with a bruising risk. Always have your lip filler treatment approximately one week prior to any important event, this gives time for the bruising and any swelling to subside.


Lip filler side-effects, precautions and contra indications

late onset inflammatory response

Please note that this article should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or used for any home treatments.

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How long do veneers last?

So you’re thinking about getting dental veneers? Or perhaps you have just had dental veneers and want to know useful information about how long they are going to last?

We will answer a series of questions that people commonly ask about dental veneers, each of them taking a different viewpoint on the overall question of how long do veneers last.

Is it a bad idea to veneer healthy teeth?

This is a good place to start our journey into looking at dental veneers, should you have them in the first place and should they be used over healthy teeth?

There is always a balance in dentistry, balancing the health of your teeth and gums with how you look. Ideally most dentists would want to maintain as much natural healthy tooth structure as possible, however in some circumstances teeth can be very dark (such as with tetracycline staining), and ugly shape or broken down.

dental veneers
Dental veneers showing the small amount of tooth removed prior to the veneer being placed

Generally speaking dental veneers require 0.5 mm of reduction of 2 separate in order to accept the new custom-made veneer. This is a very small amount but if your natural teeth have already begun to wear this may go all the way through the enamel and into the softer dentine underneath.

A veneer will have a border all the way around the edge where it meets the natural tooth and it is often this border which causes any problems. If any small amount of bacteria gets in underneath the veneer then they can cause decay in the underlying tooth.

Dental veneers may also fracture, if this happens the veneer will need to be completely removed and manufactured again.

For these reasons it is best to err on the side of caution and leave natural teeth as they are… Unless they cause you concern due to the way they look.

This is when the balance tips the other way, if the benefits of having a new, bright and fresh smile outweigh any of the downsides of having natural tooth surface removed.

Veneers are then absolutely the right thing to do.

Can you get veneers with gum disease

Gum disease typically means that the oral health isn’t quite as good as it could be. If the oral health isn’t as good as it could be for veneers, then  it is indicative that it will not be as good after veneers, and veneers need to be looked after as well as natural teeth do.

Gum disease  can include swollen, puffy and bleeding gums, this can make the process of having veneers difficult in the first place, plus the margin between the veneer and the tooth could irritate these already irritated gums and therefore make the gum disease worse.

Prior to getting veneers any dentist will want to ensure that the oral health is in good condition, with a good oral health care routine with daily brushing. Then, and only then should veneers be considered.

Are veneers permanent

Because veneers are a thin layer which is applied over the surface of the natural teeth many people consider them to be temporary. However, your tooth is likely to have been trimmed down slightly by the dentist to accept a veneer, for this reason, dental veneers should always be considered a permanent treatment.

In some circumstances a dentist may be able to apply a thin layer of composite resin to the surface of the tooth without reducing the tooth. If this is what the dentist does then it may be possible to remove the raising and therefore remove the veneer.

What is life like with veneers?

living with dental veneers should be virtually the same as living with natural teeth. Daily cleaning with a brush, floss and mouthwash is still advised and is in some ways more important with restorations.

One of the biggest problems with veneers they can chip and crack, particularly porcelain veneers. The highest incidence of these happens when people accidentally banged their teeth on a glass or mug, this porcelain on porcelain contact often can chip the veneers.

All that is required for living with dental veneers is to remember that dental veneers are fitted, be careful with the foods that are eaten to ensure that the front teeth on used an extremely hard foods… And be careful with those drinks!

How long does tooth bonding last?

Tooth bonding is the process of applying a thin layer of composite resin the outer layer of the, often known as composite veneers or immediate veneers. the advantage of this type of veneer is that they are quick to do, often being done in a single appointment with no injection. They do however have a tendency to pick up stains including red wine, coffee and tea.

A typical tooth bonding veneer will last between 5 and 7 years before it needs replacing. This time can be dramatically reduced is particularly strong coloured foods are ingested and/or the veneers are put under too much stress and they break.

How long do veneers last?

It depends on which type of veneer you have, with proper care and attention:

  • composite bonding veneers typically last 5-7 years
  • porcelain veneers typically last 10-15 years

Veneers may last slightly less time if you grind your teeth, although this will be spotted by your dentist prior to having veneers in the 1st place.


Taking the average lifespan of the dental veneer to be around 10 years puts the typical cost of a porcelain veneer to about £85 per year,  if you care for your veneers  with good quality dental care than they could last even longer.

If you follow the dental procedures outlined above and take good care of your teeth then your veneers should give you long and excellent service.

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Teeth Names and the Tooth Numbering System

Ever wondered what your dentist was talking about when they are describing your teeth to the nurse? When they say that tooth “44” as a filling… Which tooth is this?

One of the top dental searches on Google is for teeth names and also for the numbering system used to classify each of the human teeth. There is also a difference between the standard numbering systems in the UK and the international system so will go through both of these in this article.

There are quite a few different ways of using a notational system, including the international standard or universal numbering system which is widely used internationally. Let’s start by looking at the teeth names first…

The Names for Adult Teeth

Starting at the tooth in the front and working backwards the tooth names are:

  1. Central.
  2. Lateral.
  3. Canine.
  4. 1st premolar.
  5. 2nd premolar.
  6. 1st molar.
  7. 2nd molar.
  8. 3rd molar.

This is the same on the left and right side making 16 teeth on the top, it is also reflected on the bottom with another 16 teeth making 32 teeth in total.

tooth names

Adult tooth numbering system

Very often in the UK the Palmer notation method is used, this was named after Dr Corydon Palmer a dentist from Ohio. It uses a simple system to represent the quadrant in the mouth and whether it is up, lower, left or right. It is always indicated by the PATIENTS left and right, never the person sitting opposite the patient and viewing.

Palmer tooth notation

So if a dentist wanted to talk about the permanent dentition 1st premolar on the right-hand side (remember it’s always the patient’s right) you would hear them talk about upper right 4, sometimes abbreviated to UR4, this would then have the notation:

upper right 4

… They would be talking about this tooth…

1st premolar tooth notation

The last tooth in the mouth, the 3rd molar, numbered 8 is what is otherwise known as the wisdom teeth. These can be problematic as there is often not enough room in the mouth meaning they can be impacted and push against the other teeth.

International Standards Organisation

In addition to both the methods above there is also the ISO system which is used widely by dentists internationally. It uses a 2 digit system, the 1st digit indicates the quadrant as follows:

  1. upper right
  2. upper left
  3. lower left
  4. lower right

In the ISO system, the 2nd number indicates which tooth, start counting from the front tooth and work backwards.

international standard organisation notational system

The uses of different teeth

There are different types of teeth in the mouth or groups of teeth, they all have specific uses:

  • Incisors for biting into food and tearing off bite-size pieces.
  • Canines for sharper biting forces concentrated into a point and also, historically for display in our ancestors. Think of a gorilla who has large canines but does not use them for tearing food, rather they are used for display.
  • Premolars and molars for grinding food into smaller sized amounts.

The names for children’s teeth

Baby teeth are also known as deciduous teeth, they are the primary teeth that a human has and are lost in early childhood through to teenage years. This is because an adult needs larger teeth but the baby jaw is not big enough for them to come through at the beginning. Starting at the tooth in the front and working backwards the tooth names are:

  1. Central.
  2. Lateral.
  3. Canine.
  4. 1st premolar.
  5. 1st molar.

This is the same on the left and right side making 10 teeth on the top, it is also reflected on the bottom with another 10 teeth making 20 teeth in total.

Most commonly they are referred to in lettering format.

  • A – Central.
  • B – Lateral.
  • C – Canine.
  • D – 1st premolar.
  • E – 1st molar.

With deciduous teeth many people believe there is no need to look after the children’s teeth as much as possible, after all, the permanent teeth are going to come through afterwards so what is the point as they will have another set of teeth, right?

This however is a dangerous viewpoint.

If children get into bad habits by consuming large amounts of sugar or not following a good oral health care routine then those habits will inevitably work their way through into teenage years and affect adult teeth as they erupt.

If a child has dental decay then the bacteria will be present in the mouth, the higher level of bacteria can then mean that the permanent teeth are also subject to a higher risk of decay.

On top of all of this the bacteria which cause dental decay have also been shown to cause other problems in the body, this could then put the child at risk from a wide variety of other health-related issues.

In summary

If you have any concerns about your teeth in any way at all please do contact your local dentist who will always be happy to help. We recommend taking the children to the dentist as soon as the teeth begin to wrapped as babies, this can help to get used to the dental environment and allow your dentist the opportunity to monitor the baby tooth development as it happens, always watching out for gum disease.

Common Questions and Answers about Dental Veneers

Dental veneers have been around for many years now and still a common treatment option for a variety of cosmetic dental problems. In this blog post we take a detailed look at some of the common questions and answers about this popular treatment choice.

What are teeth veneers?

dental veneersTeeth or dental veneers are usually made of one of 2 materials, either composite resin or ceramic. They are an extremely thin layer which sits over the front surface of your natural tooth and is custom designed to fit your tooth perfectly.

Veneers can be used to straighten, whiten and correct problems such as chips and pits in teeth . They can also be used to change the shape of teeth which is a common reason for using a veneer. The best veneers shape will be discussed with you prior to treatment so that you can be sure to have the results you are looking for.

Sometimes the natural tooth needs to be trimmed down slightly to accept the new veneer although this is not always necessary, depending upon your clinical situation.

Even though veneers look extremely natural you still need to maintain good oral hygiene to ensure your new veneers last as long as possible.

Do veneers make teeth look bigger?

Veneers do not necessarily make teeth look bigger. Sometimes veneers are used because teeth are too small in this case a big are looking to is desirable.

If veneers are used to fill spaces between teeth then they can also make the teeth look slightly bigger but this should be taken into account during the diagnostic phase of your treatment, so it should not come as any surprise.

if a veneer is going to be used to change the shape, colour or position of the tooth and it is dealt that it might make your teeth look to make them very often a small amount of natural tooth will be removed. This then allows the dental technician and dentist to rebuild this tooth in the correct alignment, position or colour without making the tooth look too big.

One area that many people overlook is their face shape. Your face shape whether it be round, square or triangular will be reflected in the shape of your teeth and it’s important to make sure that your teeth fit with your overall features.

Can a teeth gap be hidden by veneers?

Yes. Spaces between teeth can easily be closed with dental veneers, sometimes these veneers are manufactured by a dental technician and other times  will be instant veneers placed directly by your dentist.

Should I get dental veneers or dental bonding?

Sometimes dental bonding is thought of as a less permanent option than dental veneers, if the dental bonding is additive only, by that we mean no natural tooth has been removed and the composite has been added to the surface of the tooth exclusively then you may be able to have the composite bonding removed. However you should not rely on this and you should always consider any form of veneer to be a permanent restoration.

One of the advantages of bonding is its immediate results, your dentist will apply the bonding composite directly to your tooth surface whilst you are in the dental chair, this will be to the correct colour and tooth shape that you require. Ceramic veneers on the other hand can take up to 2 weeks to be made by a dental technician.

The advantage of ceramic veneers  is that they are far more hard wearing and won’t collect stain as can sometimes happen with composite bonding.

What are porcelain veneers? What are their pros and cons?
What options are available to change the shape of teeth?

Is it a bad idea to veneer healthy teeth?

The mantra of a good dentist will always be to maintain as much natural and healthy tooth structure as possible and to keep your teeth as fit and healthy as we can. However this guiding principle needs to be balanced with the desire to have a confident smile, your perfect smile is not always something you’re born with..

Your dentist will always look for as many alternatives is possible to achieve your cosmetic result with out damaging the teeth in any way, however if extensive cosmetic alterations to your smile, such as crooked teeth or dark teeth are required then it is inevitable that the teeth may require some trimming down in order to accept the new dental veneer.

Is there any way to remove the veneers from my teeth?

Veneers can be removed however it is an extremely difficult and time-consuming procedure to undertake. The question then also needs to be asked, what will go on in their place?

If the veneers were only added onto the surface of your natural teeth without any reduction of trimming of the underlying teeth then it may be possible to remove them, however if the underlying tooth has had enamel removed, as is normal, then it will not be possible to remove the veneers as you will need a permanent covering over the surface of the teeth.

How to get rid of ugly yellow teeth?

There are a few options to get rid of ugly teeth:

  1. Teeth whitening. Even if you have a single yellow tooth then teeth whitening can still be undertaken on that tooth alone. Teeth whitening can also whiten all of your teeth if they are all too yellow.
  2. Dental bonding. Sometimes teeth whitening is not able to whiten teeth enough on its own and additional treatments such as bonding are required. Dental bonding will then use a lighter coloured bonding material which is placed on the outside of your teeth to cover up the ugly yellow tooth underneath.
  3. Dental veneers. In the event of exceptionally dark yellow teeth and dental and maybe the only option. It is possible to make ceramic dental veneers with a small amount of opacity to them which will cover up the ugly yellow teeth underneath.

How much do dental veneers cost?

The cost of dental veneers varies enormously depending on:

  • the type of veneer you have
  • the skills and experience of the dentist

It takes many years to train to understand all the nuances of being a cosmetic dentist and to have the necessary experience to be able to provide natural dental veneers which last many years. It’s also worth noting that you will be using your new dental veneers all of the time and are therefore a definite investment in yourself.

Many people will happily pay many thousands of pounds for a new car and yet that car begins to devalue immediately and will probably only last a few years. Dental veneers will last considerably longer, up to 20 years and are often much cheaper than a car!

Porcelain veneers are available for around £850 per tooth wear as composite bonding is available from around £250 per tooth.

For the front 6 teeth you are therefore looking at just over £5000 for the top 6 teeth to be redesigned with dental veneers. Compare this to the price of a car and how long that car will last and veneers suddenly are far more affordable.

Many practices also offer interest-free finance or interest-bearing finance, in this example above dental veneers would cost £107.11 per month over 60 months. *

Certainly a much more affordable way of having a brighter and more attractive smile.

Subject to status. Conditions apply. Representative example. Cash price of goods/amount of credit £510060 monthly payments of £107.11; Total amount repayable £6426.57; Representative 9.9% APR variable.


The Signs of Gum Disease

Spotting the early warning signs of gum disease is a key factor in ensuring that your dental health space in tiptop condition. Gum disease can progress painlessly on the whole and is often not until the disease has spread to the more advanced stages you will actually notice at home.
Our latest blog post answer some of the most common questions asked about gum disease and looks at how you can prevent it in the 1st place.

What are the causes of gum disease?

Gingivitis or Pyria, commonly known as gum disease is an inflammation of the soft tissue area (gum) which surrounds your teeth.

Throughout the day a thin layer called biofilm forms over your teeth, this is known as plaque. This is a sticky and natural layer made up primarily of bacteria. As these bacteria in plaque feed on the sugar, you ingest they excrete acid and it is this acid which causes tooth decay.

When you clean your teeth you will be removing this biofilm layer but if the film is not removed adequately enough then it can begin to harden, particularly in between teeth where it’s difficult to clean. As it hardens it turns into a thick cream coloured layer called tartar.

This tartar can then irritate the gums whilst also giving the bacteria a really good place to read and hide.

This inflammation of the gums, caused by the buildup of tartar then turns into gum disease.

How to catch gum disease?

Gum disease isn’t something you can catch as it is not an infectious disease. However, there are other diseases which are infectious which can lower your resistance and mean you are more inclined to develop gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene, not by catching it from anyone else. There are however certain other risk factors which can increase the likelihood of catching gum disease including various medical conditions and of course, smoking.
It’s also possible to be more susceptible to gum disease if you are wearing orthodontic braces, it is therefore really important that you keep your teeth and orthodontic appliance clean whilst having teeth straightening treatments.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

red and inflamed gums

Gum disease has a series of symptoms depending on its severity, but classically:
  • Gums become red, puffy and inflamed. Typically they will look red and swollen.
  • Bleeding can occur, initially only on vigorous brushing or when using an interdental floss or stick.
  • Gums can then begin to bleed spontaneously as the gingivitis progresses.

What is periodontal disease?

dreaming of periodontitis

If gum disease is left untreated it can then turn into the more serious periodontal disease. This is where the layer surrounding the root of your tooth becomes inflamed and infected. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum, the part of the mouth you can see, periodontitis is an inflammation underneath the gum around the bone, the part of the mouth you can’t see.

Periodontal disease, because it affects the support around the tooth and root if left unchecked can ultimately lead to tooth loss, so it should be treated as a serious condition.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

If you have periodontal disease then you will almost certainly have all of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, in addition, you may also have:

  • Gums which are pulling away from your teeth making your teeth look longer.
  • Loose or wobbly teeth.
  • Puss coming up between your gums and teeth.
  • Continuous bad breath.
  • Pain in your teeth caused by the pressure of the infection.
It’s important to bear in mind that gum colour varies enormously between individuals, gums can appear anything from dark black to light pink and both are perfectly normal.
Un-natural back gums can be caused by:
  • Smoking. Smokers black gums are known as melanosis, this is because there are cells in your gums called melanocytes, nicotine can stimulate these cells to produce more melanin than normal and this gives the dark black appearance on the gums.
  • Some medications. Some treatments for chlamydia or acne can result in a side-effect of discolouration of the gums. There are often alternatives so speak to your medical practitioner if you feel this is the cause.
  • Old silver fillings. Amalgam (Silver) fillings are extremely dark by nature, looking very black and grey. As you age you may find that the outside of your teeth where you have a filling wears down and becomes thinner, as this happens the amalgam filling can show through. If the amalgam is closed your gum it can give a grey/black appearance to the gum.
  • SEVERE gum disease. In some instances of severe gum disease the soft tissue can actually die. This necrosis, sometimes called trench mouth then gives the black appearance. It is often accompanied by extreme bad breath, mouth ulcers, and bleeding gums.
  • Hyperpigmentation caused by Addison’s disease. This is a condition which affects the adrenal glands, its symptoms include tiredness, lack of appetite, weak muscles and thirst. The condition has a side-effect that hyperpigmentation occurs in parts of the body and the gums can appear darkened or black.
very early onset gingivitis can easily be reversed at home by maintaining a good oral health plan and ensuring you brush your teeth twice a day for 2 min using the fluoride-containing toothpaste. However, if you have noticeable symptoms of gum disease then it may have already progressed to a more serious stage which requires intervention by your dental hygienist.
A dental hygienist is able to clean underneath the gum line, known as the cleaning or deep scaling. This can remove any detritus or plaque which has formed underneath the gum and caused the gum disease.
Your hygienist may recommend an intense course of professional cleaning in order to thoroughly clean the teeth, they will then give you advice on how you can do this at home yourself to prevent the condition coming back and the plaque building up again.

How can periodontitis be reversed?

Non-surgical intervention.

There are a range of nonsurgical techniques including scaling, root planing, and antibiotics. scaling can be done using instruments or with a laser or ultrasonic device. The root planing removes the bacteria around the route and encourages the soft tissue to reattach itself to the root and tooth. Antibiotics can then treat any infection.

Surgical intervention.

If the periodontitis is more severe or nonsurgical interventions have not worked then treatment by a specialist periodontist may be required, typical techniques involve:
  • Pocket reduction – this is where the soft tissue around the infected area is gently lifted away, the underlying bone and root can then be extensively cleaned. The gum can then be stitched back into place.
  • Soft tissue grafting – if there has been extensive loss of soft tissue (gums) a craft can be taken, often from the roof of your mouth, and used to replace the soft tissue around your teeth.
  • Bone grafting – if the periodontitis has infected so much bone the bone has been lost then grafting from either your own bone or synthetic bone can be used to rebuild the area around your teeth.
Brushing and flossing really is the key to good oral hygiene, protecting your teeth and gums, soft tissues and bone. Regular dental health checks can also ensure that gingivitis isn’t progressing unnoticed.

How long do lip fillers last?

It is very common that when people search for the dermal fillers or lip fillers that they have a range of questions they would like answered, in our latest blog post we seek to answer some of the most common questions and answers about dermal fillers and lip fillers, we finish with answering the question about how long dermal and lip fillers last for.

What is a dermal filler treatment

As we begin to age our face looks more wrinkled as our skin loses its elasticity. This can result in the lines and wrinkles in the parts of the face which move more often, typically around the mouth, eyes and nose.

This is as a result of the slowdown of collagen production in our bodies, which begins in our late 20s. Collagen is a protein which maintains the elasticity of the skin helping it to maintain its youthful looking appearance and bounce back into shape.

Dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally recurring acid in your body, with the primary function of binding water to help retain moisture. When hyaluronic acid is injected it helps to reverse this process and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

What is the longest lasting dermal filler

It is quite natural for the effects of dermal filler treatment to fade overtime, this is because hyaluronic acid which is injected is naturally occurring in your body and therefore gets absorbed, unfortunately the lines and wrinkles then reappear.

All dermal filler treatments should always be looked upon as a temporary treatment for this reason.

Is botox a dermal filler

This is a question we get asked quite often but the answer is, no. Botox and dermal fillers are often confused as they are both used in facial rejuvenation techniques. Botox, otherwise known as botulinum toxin type A affects the nerves of the injection site, reducing their ability to move, and therefore cause wrinkles. Dermal fillers on the other hand, smooth the wrinkles out by injecting into them.

How to prepare for dermal fillers

There is little actual preparation required. However, we advise:

  • Consulting your doctor about stopping blood thinning tablets such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E or St John’s Wart. This can help to prevent bruising but please always consult a doctor beforehand and do not stop taking prescribed medications.
  • Do not drink any alcohol for 2 days prior to treatment.

How much swelling is normal after lip fillers

Minimal lip swelling after filler injections is quite normal, this is caused by a reaction to the injection needle. This will normally subside within a couple of days.

Can you drink alcohol after lip fillers

Of course you want your lip fillers to last the maximum amount of time so people often ask questions such as can you drink alcohol after lip fillers and if so, how quickly?

We recommend avoiding alcohol for at least 24 hours after you have had lip fillers. This just ensures that you are accurately able to follow all of our instructions about keeping your heart rate low and avoiding inversion exercise. People that have had too much alcohol tend to forget these instructions which can then impact the length of time that lip fillers last.

How long do lip fillers take to heal

You should find that the healing process is very quick. Normally within 48 hours, swelling and bruising begins to calm down and you should begin to notice the new beautiful shape of your lips.

Are dermal fillers painful

You will always be given a local anaesthetic over the treatment area. This is in the form of a numbing cream which is applied over the skin. This just numbs the skin prior to having the full local anaesthetic injections. Once these have been injected you will feel nothing at all and be completely comfortable.

Can dermal fillers go wrong

The images you see on social media of people with huge lips (just do a search for dermal fillers gone wrong) and swollen faces is usually for one of 3 reasons:

  1. The clinician was not skilled when treating using dermal fillers
  2. The patient requested this look and the clinician complied
  3. The patient purchased the fillers online and tried to do it themselves

Unfortunately, the last option is becoming more common and people are trying dermal fillers themselves, this is highly dangerous and should be avoided. Most people will not have the understanding about the chemicals involved, so will not be able to tell if the fillers are doing the right job. If the fillers are purchased online, who is to say that what it says on the label is actually what it is in the vial?

Anatomy of head face and neckThe anatomy around your head, face and neck is also very complex with lots of blood vessels and nerves. It’s vital that the injections are placed in exactly the right place by someone that has had adequate training and knows what the results will be.

What happens when dermal fillers wear off

We will do everything within our power to ensure that your fillers last for as long as possible. We will also give you instructions on how to ensure fillers last as long as is possible. However, dermal fillers do wear off as the body absorbs the hyaluronic acid naturally.

When this happens you will find that the wrinkles slowly reappear and you will have to get booked backing for another treatment. This is typically anywhere from 6 months to 12 months after the initial treatment although some treatments last longer, up to 18 months.

How long do lip fillers last?

The various factors which govern how long a dermal filler lasts include:

  1. The type of dermal filler. Some of them are absorbed into the body faster than others.
  2. The site of the dermal filler treatment.
  3. Your lifestyle. If you are particularly active then your increased heart rate and metabolism may mean that the hyaluronic acid get absorbed quicker.

How to make dermal fillers last longer

To ensure your lip fillers last the longest amount of time we recommend that immediately after treatment we recommend that you take no exercise aside for walking for 48 hours. This should keep your heart rate under 100. You should also not do any kind of inversion such as found with gymnastics or yoga for the same period of time, however, always follow the instructions of a doctor.

It’s also recommended that you will avoid squeezing or massaging the area for a few hours as this could change the location of the filler and therefore the result. Your clinician will have precisely placed the filler in exactly the right place, so it’s best to not massaged the area too much.

Most dermal fillers will last at least six months some treatments such as Restylane can last from six months to a year.

How to Get the Best Teeth Whitening and Fast Results

When you pay for teeth whitening you, of course, want to get the best result teeth whitening and fast results. This blog post identifies some of the best ways you can achieve this in a safe and effective way.

We’re going to go through a few different areas of teeth whitening, starting with cleaning your teeth and then going through some facts & myths.

Cleaning your teeth to get the best teeth whitening result

Very simple way to help your teeth look brighter and whiter is to ensure they are as clean as possible.

Each day a thin layer of biofilm builds up over the surface of your teeth, this is a thin sticky layer which, if not cleaned off will harden into tartar. This tartar can then attract surface stains which look dark. This is particularly true if you smoke or drink lots of tea, coffee or red wine.

Electric toothbrushes

Using an electric toothbrush can be a really effective way to brush your teeth and keep your pearly whites as bright as possible.

Which is the best toothbrush for uneven teeth?

It can be rather difficult cleaning around uneven or crooked teeth, this is one of the reason that straighter teeth can be beneficial. However, if you have uneven teeth then an electric toothbrush will probably be better.

If you use a conventional manual toothbrush to clean your teeth then not only do you have to be sure to hold it at the correct angle whilst moving it around every single tooth, you also have to manually pulsate it in order to clean properly. With an electric brush you simply focus on the exact area you wish to clean and new electric toothbrush will pulsate or rotate in exactly the right way to clean your teeth most effectively.

The best way to brush your teeth

Can brushing alone whiten teeth?

It depends upon the reason for the teeth being darker in the first place. If it is due to staining then yes, brushing alone may be able to whiten your teeth slightly. You may also see a slight improvement if you use a whitening toothpaste.

However, because toothpaste is not especially designed to remove stains you will find the best result comes when you use professional teeth whitening from your dentist.

Teeth whitening , Fact or Myth?

Teeth whitening with oil pulling

How does coconut oil whiten teeth?

Coconut oil pulling requires you to take a small amount of edible oil, typically a teaspoon and often coconut oil, this is then swished around the mouth to care for teeth. Some people claim that this offers various benefits like whitening teeth. There is however no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Another problem is that people may be tempted to use this technique instead of using conventional toothpaste, this could actually result in damage to your teeth. Conventional toothpaste will contain fluoride which helps the teeth re-mineralise and stay hard and resistant to acid attack. Without this fluoride your teeth will be more prone to attack and you will stand a higher chance of getting tooth decay.

Is it true that the usage of coconut oil makes whiter teeth?

There is no scientific evidence that we are aware of which demonstrates that coconut all makes teeth whiter. In order to make teeth whiter the substance used needs to either:

  • Remove surface stains by abrasion.
  • Bleach the surface of the tooth.

Coconut oil does not have the ability to do either of these.

Teeth whitening with charcoal

It has been claimed that charcoal can help whiten teeth.  Activated charcoal has many tiny holes in its surface, this allows it to absorb a wide range of chemicals making it highly suitable for use in filters etc.  The reality is that the dental community doesn’t know enough about activated charcoal at the moment.

It’s not clear whether the activated charcoal actually absorbs chemicals and cleans teeth better making them look whiter or whether it is just because it is an abrasive substance which abrades your tooth enamel and makes it look whiter.

In either case there are a few things to look out for:

  • Using activated charcoal clean your teeth could wear away the teeth and damage the gums if the charcoal is abrasive.
  • Using activated charcoal alone to clean your teeth may mean that you are not using conventional toothpaste which contains fluoride. The result could be that your teeth are more susceptible to decay as they don’t have the re-mineralisation assistance from the fluoride.

LED Teeth whitening

Does teeth whitening with a LED work?

The LED whitening lights which are commonly available for home use may, in some circumstances very slightly increase the effectiveness of the whitening.  Some dental practices also use a high-intensity LED lights for 30 minutes.

However, in our opinion the best teeth whitening treatment with fast results can be attained by home teeth whitening. This is using researched, tried and tested techniques of a custom fitted tray with a bleaching agent and a whitening tray, similar to mouth guards. You wear this tray overnight for approximately 14 nights.

This also is very effective for people with sensitive teeth. If you find your teeth get overly sensitive you can simply stop the treatment immediately. Your teeth although the cover over the course of the day.

Using home teeth whitening like this means you can control how wide your teeth go to achieve the optimum result.

On the whole we don’t recommend over-the-counter teeth whitening products such as teeth whitening strips. In order to have the adequate strength in order to whitening your teeth they will need to be provided on prescription by dentist, commonly purchased products typically don’t have a strong enough active agent to make a large difference.

I think I might have gum disease, what can I do?

One of the primary causes of tooth loss is the progression of gum disease if it’s not treated and caught early. We therefore decided to dedicate this entire blog post to looking at some of the most common questions and answers that people have about gum disease (gingivitis)

What is gum disease?

Gum disease or gingivitis occurs when the delicate gums around your teeth become inflamed. Gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so you may not notice it until it is at a more severe stage.

How will I know if I have gum disease?

The first sign is that your gums may be slightly puffy, read or inflamed. At first this will be very mild and barely noticeable unless you look extremely closely (just as a dentist would during your regular dental health check).

As the gum disease progresses you may find that the gums bleed occasionally during cleaning with a toothbrush. You will also find that if you clean between your teeth with a brush or floss that the bleeding can be worse.

The problem is that people at this stage then tend to layoff cleaning their teeth quite so much as the gums bleed and become tender, however this can mean that the gum disease can progress further underneath the gum.

If the infection spreads below the gum line it can then turn into the more serious periodontitis which affects the bone and can ultimately lead to tooth extraction or loss.

Is it possible to catch gum disease?

No. Gum disease is not an infectious disease and is caused primarily by poor hygiene. However, if you have lower standards of oral hygiene without healthy gums your teeth may be more susceptible to any additional bacteria which are introduced into the oral environment.

What are the causes of gum disease?

because of gum disease is a buildup of plaque over the teeth, this is a sticky substance which if not removed daily can build up into hard tartar. This is where bacteria lurk, these bacteria are producing acid as they digest food and it is this acid which causes tooth decay.

In addition to poor oral hygiene there are additional risk factors which increase your likelihood of developing gum disease, these are:

  1. Smoking. Smoking as a tendency to dry out your mouth, this drying out means there is less saliva to wash away food stuff and neutralise the acid attack.
  2. Changes in hormones. Particularly in girls and women, hormone changes can lead to sensitivity in the gums making gingivitis more likely.
  3. Your genetics. Unfortunately some people are more prone to developing gum disease than others.
  4. Diabetes. There are direct links between people with diabetes and gum disease.
  5. Your medications. Any medication which alters the flow of saliva can leave you more susceptible to developing gum disease. There are also some medications which promote abnormal growth of the gums, these can then be difficult to clean.

Is it possible to reverse gum disease or cure it?

Yes, it is possible to reverse gum disease. Depending on how severe the disease is and how far it has progressed depends upon the best course of action. The very simplest thing you can do is to start a more thorough oral health care routine ensuring that you are brushing your teeth at least twice per day for 2 min with the fluoride toothpaste (This helps to strengthen your tooth enamel) and that they are cleaned once a day with an incidental brush or floss.

Do people with gum disease die early?

The recent any research to indicate that people with gum disease necessarily die early, however there is research which links gum disease to certain other conditions including heart attacks.

There has been research undertaken which is shown that people with heart conditions have the same bacteria present in their heart as is present with gum disease. More research is needed to establish if there is a causal link between gum disease and heart disease, however what is clear is that there is indeed a link between the two conditions.

What are some complications?

Additional complications from gum disease can include, but are not limited to:

  • Tooth removal. If your gum disease is not kept under control then it can turn into the more serious periodontitis which can then lead to floss.
  • Strokes. Studies have shown that up to 40% of the bacteria that cause the fatty deposits in People that have had a stroke come from their mouths which have inflamed gums.
  • Respiratory disease. Because dental plaque harbours a considerable amount of bacteria it is inevitable that some of these could be respiratory pathogens, therefore a complication of gum disease could potentially be pneumonia, emphysema and chronic obstructive lung disease.
  • Heart disease. Because the body is a complete system connected by its blood supply then any bacteria which gets into the blood in your mouth can make its way to your heart. These bacteria have been shown to lodge inside the walls of the blood vessels causing blood clots to form.
  • Gastric ulcers. The same bacteria that cause gastric ulcers are also responsible for gum disease, this means that if you have a particularly high bacteria count in your mouth then as you swallow your food these bacteria are transferred to your stomach.

Complications of gum disease

How to prevent gum disease

Preventing gingivitis is relatively straightforward and involves:

  • Regular dental checks by your dentist and hygienist to ensure that you are cleaning your teeth adequately.
  • Being aware of the food and drinks you consume to keep sugar amounts lower.
  • Ensuring that you have a good daily oral health care regime.
  • Watch out for the early warning signs like bleeding gums and if it doesn’t clear up contact your dentist.