Frequently asked questions

Our dentists have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Finding a Dentist

Do I need a specialist?

Specialists will have more experience and skill in certain areas and will often charge higher fees if in private practice. There is no specific referral process – you can be referred by your general dentist or you can self-refer by contacting directly and making an appointment. The most common dental specialities are:

  • Orthodontics: straightening of teeth with fixed or removable braces
  • Periodontics: treatment of gum disease or improvement  of gum position
  • Endodontics: root fillings and treatment of abscesses
  • Prosthetics: replacement of teeth by removable dentures
  • Restorative Dentistry: restoration of teeth as well as periodontics  endodontics and prosthetics
  • Prosthodontics: cosmetic restoration and replacement of teeth by crowns, veneers, implants etc..
  • Oral Surgery: minor surgical procedures in the mouth including implant placements
  • Implantology: there is no speciality but if required this would usually be done by a combination of specialists in Periodontics or Oral Surgery, and Restorative Dentistry or Prosthodontics.

Remember though, whether they are specialists or not, all qualified dentists are qualified to perform all of the above treatments, including placement and restoration of implants and cosmetic dentistry as long as they have been suitably trained. Many generalist dentists have completed post-graduate education in cosmetic dentistry and will have particular areas of expertise where they have gathered extensive experience.

Where do I start?

The General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC register keeps details of dentists’ qualifications and specialists’ listing. This is available at To find a dentist in your area [intlink id=”42″ type=”page”]click here[/intlink].

What should I ask?

Anyone considering cosmetic dentistry treatments should expect to be fully informed about the entire procedure, risks and side effects.  For realistic expectations, ask your dentist how long things will look their best after treatment, and about maintenance advice. If there is any information you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for further clarification. The treatment should be something you choose to do, rather than something you are told to do.

Can I see examples of their work?

Yes, this is essential. Request before-and-after photos from any potential practitioner – examples may be available on their website or in published articles they may have written for the dental press. Always look for a dentist or specialist to provide you with many examples of the same style of work that you are considering. Sometimes he or she may have done only one case! Testimonials are also useful so ask to contact any previous patients who could share their experience.

What happens afterwards?

It is crucial to check what aftercare will be available if things don’t go as planned. There should be a support system outlined for the long term before the treatment begins, especially if something doesn’t go to plan (an ever-present risk if considering cut-price treatments abroad).

Smile makeovers

Does teeth whitening cause permanent teeth sensitivity?

Sensitivity from teeth whitening is always transient.  That means if there is any sensitivity caused by the whitening, it goes away within one to two days after the cessation of the whitening and the patient returns to the state of sensitivity that they had before they started the whitening process. For additional information please consult a BARD certified dentist.

Is teeth whitening bad for patients enamel?

There is no permanent damage caused to the enamel or any other tooth structures by tooth whitening.

If my teeth are reshaped for veneers or crowns, what will they look like? Will they be sensitive?

Generally, cemented restorations like crowns or veneers (see our procedure section) will require two visits – one to shape the teeth, and one to cement the restorations to the teeth.  In between, your dentist can place attractive prototype restorations to help prevent sensitivity, allow function and provide a nice smile.  These prototypes are designed to be in your mouth for a limited time, but should be comfortable and natural looking until you can get your new restorations or smile completed.

What will my new smile look like?

Your BARD dentist with work with you to choose the look that’s right for you.  A smile makeover can be made to look dramatic and natural at the same time.  Your dentist can use photographs, cosmetic imaging and models to show you what to expect.  Sometimes, trial materials can be placed directly on your teeth to help visualize the change.  Ask your BARD certified dentist what can be done to give you the smile you desire.

How many visits will it take to restore my teeth and improve my smile?

That will vary for each person, depending on his or her needs.  Sometimes, you can dramatically improve your oral health and appearance in just a couple of visits. Most BARD dentists will work to make your treatment as convenient as possible, perhaps choosing slightly longer visits instead of more trips to the clinic.  Talk to your dentist about your goals and concerns so the best plan can be developed for your individual situation.  If you start today, new teeth and a smile can be yours sooner than you think. For additional information please see a BARD certified dentist.

Will a dentist I select be able to provide all of the treatment I need?

Some BARD dentists choose to provide a variety of procedures, while others focus on specific areas of treatment.  Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry often requires a team approach to achieve the best results.  A consultation is a great way to determine your needs and plan with your BARD dentist how to achieve your goals. Either way, our members will work to give you the smile you want and deserve.

Why should I go to a BARD dentist?

Our member dentists have shown a special interest in new technologies and procedures, specifically to help them achieve better results for you. BARD provides a wide variety of educational and interactive opportunities that assist member dentists in attaining the best possible clinical skills and higher education, leading to Certification, Diplomas and Fellowship.  This helps promote excellent care to their patients.

What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life.  Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though.  New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as the ones you see when you smile.  Now your mouth can be healthy, look great and function better at the same time.  Ask a BARD dentist what is available for you.

How much does it cost to get a great smile?

Like most services, cost will vary based on the time required and the difficulty of the procedures. Generally, improving a smile will require a combination of treatment options such as tooth whitening, reshaping gums and using bonded materials (resin or porcelain) to improve the appearance of teeth.  A great way to start is having a consultation with a BARD dentist to determine the ways that you can reach your goals.  Improving your smile is an investment in you.

I don’t like my teeth or smile – what can I do?

A wide variety of options are available to improve how your teeth work and the way your smile looks. Check out our “Procedures” section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped, then look for a BARD certified dentist near you to get started on your new smile.

Gold fillings

Can the Dental laboratory supply patients with crowns and dentures direct, without the need for a dentist, as I have seen these services advertised?

There are a small number of clinically qualified technicians who do supply dentures directly to the public, but they cannot provide restorations such as crowns, bridges, implants or more complex restorations. These must be prescribed by dentists, who work in close co-operation with specialist dental laboratories. A BARD certified dentist will offer best advice on the treatment you require.

Why is it necessary for dentists to work together with a dental laboratory/technician?

Dentists and dental technicians will work together as a team to provide correctly designed and constructed crowns, bridges and dentures. This involves careful examination, diagnosis, and treatment planning to ensure that the best possible treatment options are made available to all patients.” You should contact a BARD certifed dentist for further information.

How long will my gold restoration last?

Clinical studies would suggest that the gold onlays and partial inlays done properly have 70% success rate over 45 years.

Will it be obviously visible?

In most cases it can be well hidden, so when talking to people , they will not notice that you have a gold restoration.

How much tooth will need to be taken away?

For a crown, only 1mm, and afterwards only half of that for a gold restotation.

How expensive is it?

Most dentists usually charge the same, if not less, than for a porcelain filling or crown.

I though gold was a soft metal?

Yes, but this can be an advantage as it acts as a shock-absorber when chewing and means the restoration will last longer

Is it pure gold?

No. Gold is mixed with other metals to make the resultant alloy harder and therefore more resistant to wearing away. Pure gold would be too soft.

Can it be used with porcelain?

Yes. In fact a porcelain and metal crown will look more tooth-coloured if a high gold content metal is used underneath the porcelain.

Is there any other uses of gold in dentistry?

Yes. Probably the best material for making a post for root-treated teeth is a high gold content metal. It has the most scientific research to back up its use compared to any of the modern materials, and it requires less tooth to be taken away. You should contact a BARD certified dentist to enquire about your gold work.


Does Dental Implant treatment hurt?

Patients are often surprised with how little pain and discomfort they experience during and after the procedure. The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off a few hours later, you might expect some discomfort. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and bruising may also develop.

Am I too old for the treatment?

There is no age limit for patients to have dental implants. Many patients continue to have dental implants placed into their sixties, seventies and even eighties. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.

How long will Dental Implants last?

Dental Implants have been used for over 30 years and should last a lifetime. It is important that careful dental hygiene and regular check ups are completed to ensure they last as long as possible.

How long will the process of Dental Implants take?

There are various techniques available which affect this. Usually implant treatments require a number of appointments over several months, although this can be done on a shorter timescale. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.

Are there any finance options for Dental Implants?

Dental work can be expensive. If you are considering having dental implants and are looking for finance options we have some links which may help you. It is always worth checking with your dentist to see what finance options they recommend.
Dental Finance Websites
• Denplan — providing people with confident smiles for life, by making mouths matter.
• CODEplan — Tailor made dental plans.
• The HSA Dental Plan – gives you cash back towards your dental check ups and dental treatments.
• Tesco Dental insurance — a partnership with AXA PPP healthcare, bringing you quality dental cover at the prices you’ve come to expect.
• James Hull Associates introduced Dental Loans into its practices some 5 years ago in order to provide patients with affordable treatments. The Dental Loan was an instant success and proved to be a simple way for patients to spread the cost of their dental care over extended periods with no interest to pay at all.
• Direct Dental Finance — Affordable Dentistry — Direct Dental Finance affords dental patients the opportunity to undertake the dental treatments they want by an affordable interest free credit scheme.
• Braemar Finance — Finance Loans for Medical Treatments. Competitive rates !

How much do Dental Implants cost?

The price of dental implants vary considerably and depends on several factors including the level of skill of the surgeon, the type / quality / brand of implant used, the clinic where the treatment is carried out, the level of aftercare service provided and the amount of work required, and number of implants you need. In the UK the costs of a single tooth implant can vary from £500.00 up to £3000.00. The cost may depend on whether the final restoration is included in the price or not. For example, some clinics may charge £1800 for an implant, and then £700 for the final crown to restore the implant, whereas another clinic may charge £2500 for an implant that includes the final crown. Always check exactly what is included in the price before making a decision.

How does the Implant Process Work?

Assessment Planning
Before any Dental Implants are placed you will need an initial consultation by your dentist to assess the health of your teeth and gums. The dentist should also discuss possible alternatives and the feasibility of Dental Implant treatment. If there are any signs of gum disease or decay these must first be treated. Following this your treatment will be planned following several x-rays and a in some cases a CT scan is done to assess that bone quality and check for nearby anatomical structures to avoid before any drilling. Models may be prepared. Your plan is usually then put in place to detail the sequence of treatment and costs. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.
Dental Implant Placement
The placement of the Dental Implant is relatively simple and is considered a minor surgical procedure. The gum where the Dental Implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a small hole is drilled into the jawbone at the precise location of the intended Dental Implant. The titanium Dental Implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over the Dental Implant. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the Dental Implant a number of options are available for bone regeneration. This may be carried out before or at the same time as the Dental Implant placement.
Once the Dental Implant has been placed it is left to heal and integrate with the jawbone. It can be loaded into function immediately or soon after placement. However, a period of 6 weeks to 6 months (depending on the patient) should be allowed for the Dental Implant to fully integrate before loading. During this stage the bone tissue will grow and anchor itself into the microscopic rough surface of the Dental Implant.
Restorative Phase
During this healing / integration period patients are given temporary teeth (bridges) or continue to wear dentures. Later when the surrounding gum tissue has matured the final permanent restoration can be fitted to the Dental Implant. These Dental Implants are constructed by a specialist dental laboratory working closely with your dentist.
Following the treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the Dental Implants. Regular dental visits are important to check the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and integrity of the restoration.

What are the benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental Implants are more comfortable than conventional dentures due to the fact that they do not move or slip. Due to the procedure there is no need to grind down healthy teeth as in Dental Bridgework. Dental implants help maintain the structure and shape of your jaw. Dental Implants also help with confidence!
• Better aesthetics
• Improved dental hygiene
• Improved function
• No need to drill or remove any healthy tooth structure
• Reduced bone loss

How do I take care of the Implant Retained Bridge?

The IRB must be treated like your natural teeth. It must also be cleaned with a special type of floss or a little brush that your dentist will give you. That way the space between the gum and the implants is kept healthy. You might need to see your dentist more regularly for the first year or two and have regular hygiene visits.

What are the disadvantages of having Implant retained bridges?

Implant retained Bridges are more expensive than conventional bridges. The procedure involves minor oral surgery and it is done under Local Anaesthetic but some patients who have dentist phobia might not wish to have it done. The process involves multiple visits to the dentist and takes longer to be completed as the implants need to heal first. If there is not enough bone present, the patient might need a bone graft which involves more surgery.

What are the benefits of implant retained bridges?

IRBs have a higher success rate than conventional bridges. Since there is no need to prepare any neighbouring teeth there is no risk of needing root canal treatments in the future. Since the implants take up all the forces on the bridge, there is no risk of tooth movement. There is also no risk of recurrent caries to the prepared teeth as the bridge is supported by the implants which are made of titanium

What does the procedure involve?

The first stage of the process is placing the titanium screws directly in the gum or jaw. This is done under Local Anaesthesia. The implants are then left to knit with the bone for about 3-6 months. After this the dentist then uncovers the screw and abutments are fitted. An impression is then taken which is sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the crown or bridge. The final crown or bridge is then cemented or screwed in place.

When are implant retained bridges used?

They are often used when there is one or more teeth missing or in some cases they are used when teeth are extracted. They are ideal for patients who cannot tolerate a partial denture or when the natural teeth are not suitable. They are used to improve function and/or aesthetics.

What is an implant retained bridge?

An implant- retained bridge is like a regular dental bridge, but instead of being held in place by natural teeth it is supported by implants. When an implant-retained bridge is used, one or more implants are placed according to the patients needs and then crowns which are linked to each other to form a bridge are placed on top of the implants. Unlike traditional bridgework, implant retained bridges are more conservative as there is no need for destruction of tooth tissue.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a replacement or substitute for the root portion of your natural tooth. It is usually a small screw-shaped attachment (commonly made from titanium). It is inserted within the jawbone to take the place of a missing tooth root. Once the bone attaches firmly or fuses to the implant (osseointegration), a replacement tooth can be secured to the top of this implant. This new tooth can look, feel and act as a natural tooth. It is also possible to use multiple implants to support dentures or bridges. Locate a dentist offering implants by going to the “Find A Dentist” section of this website.

TMJ Occlusions

What should I do if I think I have an Occlusion or TMD problem?

Most Restorative-trained dentists will be able to make an initial diagnosis of a problem with your occlusion or TMD. Depending upon the dentist’s training and the severity of your problem you may then need to be referred to a dentist with a special interest who can carry out tests and x-rays as required. This could be a specialist such as a Prosthodontist or Restorative dentist, or a specially trained dentist in private practice. The first phase of treatment will usually be some form of appliance (splint) that will help to establish a proper diagnosis.

How can I tell if I have a clenching or grinding habit?

If you stand in front of a mirror in a good light you can check a few things. Firstly, open your mouth and, without moving it around, look at your tongue – does it have indentations? And your cheeks, are there lines along the inside that match where your teeth meet? Finally your teeth, rub them together and have a look if they fit together in particular positions – that may be where you are habitually holding them and you could have worn them away so much that they now fit like a key in a lock.

Isn’t clenching or grinding my teeth an odd thing to do?

It does seem strange, but studies show that about 80% of the population have this habit from time to time. It tends to be worse at more stressful times, such as before exams and holidays, and it’s often worse in more intelligent people who normally appear to cope well with stress. There’s also some evidence that clenching and grinding takes place more during REM (dreaming) sleep. For further information you should contact a BARD certified dentist.

What is “TMD”?

TMD usually refers to a “disorder” of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and the muscles and nerves that control the movement of the jaws. If the joints are affected this could cause pain just in front of the ears, particularly on wide opening or chewing hard foods, or some limitation of movement and reduced function. Headaches, migraines, sinus pain, dizziness and joint noises are also common symptoms in TMD. Restorative dentists are trained to treat this condition by aligning the bite and the use of night guards.

What makes it worse?

Clenching or grinding your teeth, which many people do due to stress, will put much more strain on the teeth, muscles and joints, particularly if it’s done during sleep when you don’t have conscious control over your actions. Other factors like a whiplash injury, holding your mouth open wide during root canal therapy, or even just yawning and shouting can also bring on problems.

What sort of symptoms might I notice if I have an occlusal problem?

If your teeth don’t meet evenly, such as when you have a new filling or crown that is slightly “high”, this could cause pain on biting or with extremes of temperature. In the long term you could develop mobile teeth, receding gums, fractures, abnormal wear, tension headaches and even jaw joint problems such as stiffness, clicking and locking.

What can go wrong with my Occlusion?

When you bite together your teeth should, ideally, meet evenly on the back teeth and allow you to chew efficiently and comfortably. However, teeth may grow or drift into the wrong place, they may be lost due to decay, trauma or gum disease or they may just wear away over time; all of which could result in occlusal problems. For more information please contact a BARD certified dentist.

What is Dental Occlusion?

Dental occlusion is the way in which your teeth contact when you bite together, swallow, chew or clench. Your dentist will routinely make an assessment of your occlusion based on whether it is a comfortable and stable relationship that works well for you. A poor occlusion might lead to more serious problems later in life, so your dentist may suggest ways in which it might be improved as a preventative measure. For more information please consult your BARD certified dentist.

White fillings

How can I tell if my filling needs replacing?

When a filling breaks, a tooth fractures around a filling, or decay gets under a filling, it must be replaced. You will not always experience pain or feel a hole in your tooth. Your dentist will take X-rays and may use a tiny camera in your mouth to monitor the integrity of your old fillings.

I don’t want amalgam fillings in my mouth. What are the risks of having them replaced?

As with any traumatic procedure there is always a risk. More drilling may cause the nerve inside the tooth to become irreversibly damaged and need further attention. It is worth remembering, that with further intervention the cavity can only get bigger.

How long do the different filling materials last?

Well-constructed fillings should last for many years. You should expect between 7 and 15 years for a direct restoration. Reports would suggest that gold fillings, called inlays or onlays, made in the laboratory are the most successful of all, lasting up to 50 years.

I have recently had a filling and my tooth is really sore. Is this normal?

No, but it is not unusual. The process of removing an old filling or decay is a traumatic one. The nerve inside the tooth can take time to recover. Severe toothache, however, would need urgent attention as on rare occasions the nerve is unable to recover and can become infected or abscessed.

Fillings seem much cheaper abroad than here in the UK. Do they use the same materials?

Yes, in EU countries they should use, as we do here in the UK, only accredited products. Like all medical proceedures you must reassure yourself that the highest standards are met, as the costs of replacement could prove counterproductive. In reality even the very best dentists have failures and for this reason you may feel more comfortable having treatment closer to home.

My dentist says my filling has to be made in the laboratory.Why is this?

On occasions, when an old filling is replaced or after removing tooth decay, the resulting cavity is so large that restoring the tooth directly in the mouth is impossible. This maybe because the direct filling materials are not strong enough or it is impossible to create the right contours and shapes for function and health.

Would it be better to have a cap or a crown?

A cap, sometimes called a crown, demands more tooth removal on top of that of the original filling. Only when your dentist advises you that there is not enough tooth to successfully rebuild your tooth or they are worried about tooth fracture, should you consider a laboratory made crown.

Do only cosmetic dentists do white fillings?

Not at all. All dentists are taught the skills required to provide tooth coloured fillings. The technique is however much more complex than a silver amalgam and most dentists will undergo extra training to ensure they are providing their patients the highest level of dental care. If you want white fillings doing well you should contact a BARD certified dentist.

Are all fillings available on the NHS?

No, they are not. The NHS guidelines do change but silver amalgams are the most common and readily accepted as the restoration of choice within the NHS.

My dentist says white fillings don’t work in back teeth. Is this true?

Of all the fillings, white or tooth coloured fillings placed directly (and not made by a laboratory and glued in) are the most technique sensitive. Isolating the tooth from moisture is one of the keys to success and may prove difficult at the very back of the mouth. The skill and experience of your dentist can determine the filling materials that are offered to you.

Do all filling materials work?

In the right situation .. Yes!
 Some fillings however are very technique sensitive and your dentist may have a preferred option that works particularly well for them.

How much would I expect to pay for different filling materials?

A silver amalgam can cost as little as £45:00. A tooth coloured composite may cost in the region of £200:00. When it is impossible for your dentist to rebuild your tooth directly in the mouth they may have to take an impression and have a porcelain or gold filling made in the laboratory. These restorations can cost from £450:00 to £700:00

Does a back tooth need a different filling to a front tooth?

There are different functional (biting) and cosmetic demands from front and back teeth. Some poeple have very strong bites and a standard silver amalgam or tooth coloured composite fillings are simply inadequate. Gold and porcelain (ceramic) may be a reasonable alternative in these situations or when the cavity is particularly large.


What training is required to provide veneers?

All dentists are suitably trained but BARD certified dentists will have received extra training.

What are the success rates?

One long-term study suggests 90% success over 10-15 years, if the preparation is kept in enamel.

How much tooth is removed for a veneer?

The preparation should usually only be up to 0.5mm and the margin should remain in enamel.

How long will a veneer last?

The life of a dental veneer will depend upon the material used to make it. Porcelain veneers last much longer than composite ones. They can last up to 10 years or 20 years for lumineer veneers. Minor repairs can be performed or the veneer can always be replaced easily

How are dental veneers fitted?

The cosmetic dental veneer procedure has two stages. The first reshapes the tooth in preparation for the veneer and a tooth impression is made. The dental wax imprint of the teeth is sent to a dental lab for processing and design of the veneer, which is then manufactured. This process takes around two weeks. On the next visit the veneers are fitted, trimmed and polished.

What alternatives are there to veneers?

Fillers that are tooth coloured can be used to repair small cracks or gaps in front teeth. However, the use of fillers is less effective when the teeth corners are broken because there must always be a join between the filler and the teeth which would be difficult to secure.

Why use dental veneers?

The saying “smile and the world smiles with you”, may not be so applicable if one smiles and reveals a mouth full of broken bone like structures. Smiling has been reported as being the most successful social ice breaker, causing others to relax and be comfortable. It is no wonder that people want the perfect smile for social and business reasons. A firm handshake and a great smile has always been seen as the preserve of successful salesmen and women the world over. Dental veneers have the ability to straighten, whiten and perfect aged and abused teeth with the minimal amount of effort and preparation.

What are lumineers?

Lumineers are an ultra thin type of veneer with little or no preparation time at all. They require little or no preparation because the teeth do not require filing down with a drill prior to fitting the veneer. The lumineer fits straight on top of the cracked, broken or discoloured tooth and is even more durable than standard porcelain veneers. They are as thin as contact lenses with a life span of up to 20 years. Lumineer veneers are manufactured by the Cerinate Smile Design Studio in California.


What happens after my braces have been removed, won’t my teeth move back?

After braces you will be fitted with retainers. There are various sorts of retainer available and they are all an essential part of your treatment.

Are there any side effects of having braces?

If you clean your teeth and brace well and are careful with your diet and avoid sugar then not really.

I’ve seen lots of adverts for clear braces that I can take in and out, can I have these?

Sometimes. Generally these types of braces are for very mild problems.

Why are invisible braces more expensive?

The invisible braces are individually crafted to fit you only. This individual customisation and longer appointment time adds to the cost.

I’ve heard about braces that are fitted behind the teeth, is that really possible?

Yes, these metal braces are fitted behind your teeth and are totally invisible. It may take a week or so for your speech to adapt.

What about my appearance, is it possible to make the braces less noticeable?

Yes. It is possible to have tooth coloured braces and wires fitted to the front of your teeth that are barely visible to others.

Will I need any teeth removed ?

Sometimes . For some people there is simply not enough room in their mouth to align all their teeth. The removal of a tooth creates space. At the end of treatment there will be no gaps left.

Will it hurt?

All tooth movement results in some discomfort. This, however, is brief and after a few days can be relieved with simple analgesics as you would take for headaches. You may find that soft diets for a day or two will also help relieve the discomfort from the teeth.

Can my regular dentist straighten my teeth?

Sometimes . Frequently if it is just the front teeth that need straightening and you have a good bite then your dentist may be able to offer you treatment. For more complex treatment your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist who specialises in braces

What are the advantages of having orthodontic treatment?

Apart from having a great smile, straight teeth are much easier to clean and can therefore help reduce gum problems and tooth decay because you can remove the bacteria that build up on them more easily. Also, an improved bite can help reduce possible jaw joint problems and headaches later in life.

Will my teeth stay straight for ever after braces?

Teeth move throughout life due to the constant forces applied on them from the lips, tongue and cheeks. We can maintain the position of your teeth by giving you a clear retainer that you wear every night, or we can bond a wire retainer on the inside surface of the teeth to hold them in place.

I am scared to have braces as I don’t know what my teeth will look like at the end?

This fear of the unknown can be eased with Invisalign, a product and service which uses computer generated design and manufacturing processes to make the braces. This means that after sending moulds and photographs of your teeth to Invisalign, they virtually create a movie of how your teeth will move from start to finish. There is a small cost to do this but if you are not happy you can walk away or the video can be changed until you are happy with your appearance.

My friend had braces and his breath smelt?

This can be a problem with fixed braces as it is hard to keep the teeth clean with the braces on. However the Invisalign and Inman aligner systems are removed for brushing and eating so your teeth and breath can stay clean and fresh.

I want braces but my dentist said I couldn’t have them because I had crowns on some of my teeth?

Existing crowns do cause a problem when trying to do braces as the braces cannot really glue well to them. But the Invisalign system can be perfect in these cases, as the teeth can be moved without anything needing to be glued on to them.

Can I not just have veneers or crowns?

In the right case the above treatments can work well and give a lovely result. However if your teeth are crowded or pushed out, the teeth would need to be drilled down a lot to get them into line. This can cause many problems in the future with the health of the teeth. It is much better to move the teeth into the correct place first and then consider veneers. Veneers will work better and last longer when less tooth is removed.

I’d love braces but I don’t want to have any healthy teeth extracted to make space?

The types of braces available often do not involve extracting healthy teeth to make space. Instead, space is gained to move teeth by expanding out the back teeth to give a wider smile and/or doing some slight polishing in between teeth to create more room.

But why did the orthodontist say it would take 2 years to straighten my teeth with traditional metal braces?

This can often be the case and not every case can be treated to get ideal results. In many complex cases the result gained from traditional braces provided by a specialist Orthodontist will be the best. Traditional orthodontic treatment focuses in aligning all the teeth including the back ones and perfecting the bite. It is this complex movement and fine tuning of the bite that take the time. The type of braces offered by most BARD certified dentists can be classed as short term orthodontics and focus on straightening the teeth that people see when you smile. Therefore, the types of movements made are less complex and hence can be addressed more quickly.

I really don’t want to wear braces for a long time?

This is not always a problem as some of the techniques used can straighten teeth to rapidly achieve a cosmetically pleasing result, rather than total correction of the problem. The Inman aligner brace can straighten crowded front 4 teeth in as little as 8 weeks in some mild cases. The 6 month smile system can straighten and create a nice smile in as little as 6-9 months. Therefore your treatment time can be kept down to a minimum.

I’m embarrassed about people seeing my braces?

This is not necessarily a problem and there are now a wide range of braces available to bring a about a cosmetic result, whilst being cosmetic themselves. The Invisalign clear brace system is worn by many celebrity patients who, being in the public eye, have very similar concerns. The beauty of this is that the teeth can be moved without anyone really noticing.

I always wanted to straighten my teeth but am embarrassed about having braces at my age?

People of all ages are now becoming more conscious of their teeth. We treat patients across a wide age range from teenagers to the elderly. Age is not necessarily a barrier to treatment. Braces can be used provided you and your teeth are healthy and able to clean them properly.


What can I do to prevent Periodontal disease?

Good oral hygiene, brushing twice a day and the use of dental floss or interdental brushes. Regular visits to your Periodontist, dentist or hygienist will also help as they will be able to assess any disease. Preventive measure like these will help you maintain your gums and teeth for years to come.

My parents have lost all their teeth from Periodontal disease does this mean that I will have Periodontal disease?

Research has shown there is a genetic component to Periodontal disease but there are a variety of risk factors that play a role in disease progression. It would be best to seek advice from your dentist or Periodontist.

How can I find a Specialist in Periodontics?

Your general dental practitioner may refer you to a Specialist in Periodontics in the area. However, you can search the Dental Register on the General Dental Council website for a Specialist in Periodontics in your area.

Should I see my dentist or a Periodontist to treat my disease?

Your dentist may have a special interest in the treatment of Periodontal disease. If, after the treatment, results are not as expected then a referral to a Specialist in Periodontics would be advisable. A Specialist in Periodontics would have additional qualifications, completed a 3 year full time course regulated by the General Dental Council, and would have also completed the exit examination in this speciality set by the Royal College of Surgeons.

When the Periodontal disease has been treated will I ever get it again?

There is alway a risk of further disease progression as you may be susceptible to the
disease. Therefore it is essential to see you periodontist, dentist and hygienist regularly to maintain the health of your gums and teeth and therefore avoid any further tooth loss.

What treatment will I need to treat my Periodontal disease?

You will be given specific techniques on how to clean your teeth more efficiently, removing the bacteria from your teeth. Professional cleaning will also be needed and this is usually performed using local anaesthetic. In most cases this treatment is usually successful. More complex treatment may be required if complete resolution has not occurred.

Will I lose my teeth?

You will need Periodontal treatment which will stabilise the Periodontal disease. If teeth are extremely loose then these teeth will need to be lost as they can cause problems. To maintain the health of your gums and to prevent further tooth loss you would need to be seen more frequently by your Periodontist, dentist or hygienist.

What are the common signs and symptoms of Periodontal disease?

Most individuals are unaware that they have Periodontal disease as it is often silent. This means that pain is only noticed when the disease is at an advanced stage. However, it is essential to be aware of the early signs. Red, swollen gums which may also be tender. Bleeding whilst brushing your teeth or eating certain types of food. Receding gums and gaps between your teeth making the teeth look longer. Teeth that are moving and becoming loose. Persistent bad breath.

What is the cause of Periodontal disease?

It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect around the teeth and cause inflammation of the gums. 10-15% of the population are susceptible. There are four major risk factors which are known to be responsible – family history, certain types of bacteria, stress and smoking. Stopping smoking is important in reducing the risk of developing Periodontal disease and improves your response to periodontal treatment.

I have been told by my dentist that I have Periodontal disease. What is it?

Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone of your teeth. Most individuals suffer from gingivitis (inflammation of the gum) from time to time. Approximately 10-15% of the population suffer from more severe forms of the disease which eventually causes tooth loss.

Facial aesthetics

What Are the Common Uses of Botulinum toxin type A injections on the face?

Botulinum toxin type A injections can be used to treat wrinkles of the face, namely forehead wrinkles, frown lines and smile lines (crows feet). It can also be used to reduce gummy smiles and lift the corners of the mouth.

How do BOTOX® cosmetic injections work?

Botulinum toxin type A works by treating wrinkles caused by the contraction of facial muscles. It inhibits the transmission of neurotransmitter from the nerve to the muscle and stops the muscle from contracting and forming wrinkles.

Will Botulinum toxin type A treat static lines and wrinkles?

Botulinum toxin type A injections do not immediately improve static lines, or lines that are present at rest. These lines can be treated, by adding volume with dermal filler or through other skin treatments

Who is a good candidate for BOTOX® cosmetic injections?

Anyone can benefit from botulinum toxin, both men and women are good candidates for Botulinum toxin type A injections. There are some exceptions:-pregnant women, nursing mothers, those who are allergic to Botulinum Toxin Type A, those who have a history of botulism poisoning, and patients taking certain medications. However, this will be checked during your consultation stage.

How long does treatment take?

After your initial consultation and assessment your subsequent visit for treatment may only take 20 minutes.

When will I expect to notice a difference?

Depending on the area treated you should notice a difference after 2-3 days. Often this is more of a sensation rather than a reduction in the wrinkle. Normally Botulinum toxin type A treatment takes 2 weeks to work.

What are the risks of Botulinum toxin type A injections?

The risks can include droopy eyelid/eyebrow, raised eyebrow, altered smile, headaches, nausea, bruising and swelling. The risks are mainly due to the administrator, so make sure you only receive treatment from an experienced person with the correct qualifications, training and insurance.

Does the treatment hurt?

The needles used are diabetic needles which are extremely fine, and only a small volume is injected. Normally, any discomfort or tenderness experienced is minimal, short-lived and well-tolerated, so there is no need for anaesthesia. You can opt to have anaesthetic cream or ice applied to the area prior to treatment to help reduce any discomfort.

How soon can I return to work?

After receiving botulinum toxin type A treatments you may experience a small amount of swelling or redness at the injection site. This usually disappears after about 20 minutes, so you can return to work straight away.

Do I have to avoid do anything after treatment?

Normally you are asked to avoid vigorous exercise/lots of bending up and down, touching the area, applying make up and lying down for approximately 3 hours.

Do I have to frown or smile lots after treatment?

You do not need to carry out lots of facial expression after treatment. The botulinum toxin type A treatment will still work as effectively if you just resume your normal ‘facial activity’.

How long do the effects last?

Everybody is different, it’s a bit like getting a sun tan. On average botulinum toxin type A treatments will last up to 4-5 months. With repeated treatments the interval time will increase.

Where can dermal fillers be injected?

Dermal fillers can be used to reduce / soften facial lines and wrinkles, shape and or create fuller lips, shape facial contours and revitalise the skin (internally moisturize the skin).

The most common areas treated are the nose to mouth lines (Nasolabial fold), lines around the mouth (Perioral lines, often called smokers lines, and Oral Commissures). It can be used to naturally enhance the lips and define the border of them. It can be used to restore volume loss by plumping out the skin and can be used to build out cheekbones contouring the face.

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