The Best Options for Tooth Replacement

photo of woman smiling

Not only can a missing tooth change your appearance, but it can also cause problems with biting, chewing and speech. Depending on how many teeth you have lost, it can also cause a ‘sinking’ effect whereby your cheeks sink-in and causes wrinkling around the mouth. The more teeth you lose, the more flexibility in your cheeks as there is nothing to support them. 

Missing teeth can be caused by a number of factors, most commonly caused by tooth decay, gum disease or significant trauma and injury. Over time, missing teeth can result in further issues, which is why we always advise treatment for tooth replacement.

If you are looking for tooth replacement treatment, luckily, there are a number of excellent options available to restore your smile. The quicker you visit your dentist for advice on missing teeth, the better the options you will have for tooth replacement – so we always recommend visiting your dentist earlier on.

1. Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the most common methods of tooth replacement and are affordable and extremely effective, as they stop the bone from receding as the bone has something to hold onto. They can be used to replace single missing teeth or multiple missing teeth.

Unlike some other tooth replacement options, dental implants look and feel like a real tooth. While they do take a short time to heal, they are an excellent permanent solution and can be secured with a dental crown.

The bone integrates around the dental implant to make it stable and secure for a long-lasting replacement for missing teeth. When cared for and maintained properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants are a lifelong replacement, meaning that you won’t need additional appointments in-between your dental check-ups.

If you’re in a hurry, you’ll also be pleased to know that there is a treatment that gives you dental implants in just one day, meaning that you won’t need several appointments in order to restore your smile. Same-day dental implants make it possible to replace missing teeth in the space of a few hours.

2. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a great smile restoration option and can restore your ability to eat and speak, as well as your facial structure to stop the remaining teeth from sinking in. They help to rebalance your bite by filling in gaps between the teeth where you have lost teeth.

Dental bridges can be used to replace missing teeth if there are teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge. They are incredibly strong and long-lasting, providing that you care for them properly and regularly visit your dentist every six months for check-ups. 

At Perfect Smile Spa, there are three different types of dental bridges we offer, including traditional bridges, resin-bonded bridges and implant-retained bridges. While we understand you are unlikely to understand the difference between these three types of bridges, we take the time to explain each treatment to help you make the best decision.

3. Cosmetic Dentures

Similar to dental implants, cosmetic dentures can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth that are missing. While many patients are put off by the thought of dentures as they believe they are prone to falling out, this is no longer true. Advancements in technology mean that modern dentures are completely secure, robust and will not fall out.

There are two types of cosmetic dentures – full dentures and partial dentures. As you’d expect, full dentures are suitable for when there are no teeth in the mouth, whereas partial dentures are used for when one (or very few) teeth are missing. Full dentures do not require teeth to secure them, although partial dentures do need some teeth to be secured.

Tooth Replacement at Perfect Smile Spa

At Perfect Smile Spa, we understand the importance of having confidence in your teeth with a perfect smile. This is why we provide a variety of tooth replacement treatments with 0% finance and affordable monthly payment options.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Invisalign VS Traditional Braces: Comparing Orthodontic Treatments

Invisalign VS Traditional Braces

Invisalign VS Traditional Braces

Traditionally, braces are made of metal and are attached to the outside of the teeth. However, there are now a wide variety of teeth straightening options that are comfortable, discreet and provide fantastic results in a much shorter frame of time.

Some of these teeth straightening treatments include Smilelign, Inman Aligners, Six Month Smiles, Fastbraces, and Invisalign, the most popular aligning treatment we have at Perfect Smile Spa. 

If you’re reading this, you are most likely looking to straighten your teeth but can’t decide between Invisalign or traditional braces, also known as Fastbraces. This guide compares the two treatments together to help you decide which is best for you.

 

Discreet and Invisible

Want teeth straightening without the need to feel worried about the appearance of braces? Invisalign alleviates the requirement for the use of visible wires – which can often become a source of embarrassment for many of our patients who would prefer to avoid traditional train-track braces.

The biggest benefit of Invisalign is that the retainers are virtually invisible, and are therefore discreet and ideal for patients who are self-conscious and would rather their treatment went unnoticed. Invisalign is also highly suitable for adults who feel embarrassed to wear braces.

Traditional braces are almost impossible to hide and are typically very noticeable. However, with more of us wearing masks and now working from home, is COVID-19 the best time to get braces?

 

Comfort and Adjusting

Best of all, Invisalign is far more comfortable to wear than other treatments. Invisalign have far fewer mouth and gum problems because they are specially tailored to the mouth, so there is no possibility of cuts to the inner cheeks or uncomfortable rubbing.

Traditional braces are not painful but can cause some slight discomfort when adjusted as the teeth are pushed into position. This discomfort usually lasts for a day or so and is bearable.

 

Daily Activities

Unlike other orthodontic treatments, Invisalign can be easily removed for brushing, flossing and eating. The ability to remove Invisalign is a huge selling point as it means that patients can continue on as normal. 

You will need to be strict and wear your Invisalign for 20-22 hours each day, so if you’re a little forgetful, you may find that treatment will take much longer and we do advise being disciplined.

However, as traditional braces cannot be removed at home, they are continuously working all throughout the day and night and can be easily worn when eating and drinking, with some small restrictions on eating extremely hard foods. It doesn’t cause any pain to eat with traditional braces, although you may find some small discomfort if you are eating shortly after having your braces adjusted.

 

Treatment Visits

When you come to our clinic, we discuss your insecurities to find out the most suitable orthodontic treatment for your exact budget and requirements. If Invisalign is suitable for you, we will discuss your treatment plan, including payment and the treatment timeline. We will then take a 3D scan of your teeth to create customised retainers in a laboratory. 

With Invisalign, you’ll have fewer consultations and check-up appointments at the dentist, which can be an extreme selling point for patients who lead a busy lifestyle or are situated further away from Essex.

On the other hand, traditional braces require more consultations and visits to tighten the braces for adjustments. These trips mean that you’ll be required to visit our dentist more frequently compared to Invisalign patients. With that being said, our dental clinic is open on Saturdays, so you will be able to visit us outside of your working week.

 

Effectiveness

Both Invisalign and traditional braces are fantastic in delivering effective results. Although, Invisalign isn’t suitable for everyone, and we will discuss the best treatment for you during your free consultation.

For more complex cases, we may advise traditional braces or steer you away to our other orthodontic treatments

Our free consultation talks through your options, determines the timeframe and what to expect from the results. We aim to give you a detailed summary of each orthodontic treatment to allow you to make an informed decision that is best for you.

 

Orthodontics in Essex

Whether you’re looking for Invisalign, Fastbraces, or if there are other orthodontic options you are considering, we are more than happy to provide you with a free consultation to guide you on each treatment we have available.

All of our treatments are completely pain-free too, so there’s no need to worry about feeling uncomfortable during any treatments or appointments. Best of all, we offer 0% finance and affordable monthly payment options if you’d like to spread out the costs.

For more information, please get in touch or call us on 01708 207526.

What to Expect From Dental Implants

Diagram of dental implants

Dental implants are the cutting edge in technology and are the next best thing to natural and healthy teeth if you suffer from tooth loss. They are a long-term and permanent solution for replacing missing teeth caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, or injury.

As well as this, dental implants can also improve your speech, appearance, ability to eat, comfort and oral health, and are extremely durable. As they are designed to last a lifetime, depending on how well you take care of your dental implants, they are extremely convenient with no risk of falling out, unlike other temporary solutions to tooth loss.

What Are Dental Implants?

Placed directly into the jawbone, dental implants provide an artificial replacement for the root of your missing tooth or teeth. The dental implants are paired with dental crowns or cosmetic dentures for a robust solution that will not fall out.

Dental implants are the most recommended and favoured solution for tooth loss and have become the best way to get your confidence back after experiencing loss of teeth.

Depending on how many missing teeth you have, you can have one dental implant (for each missing tooth) or alternatively, you can have a full set of dental implants if you have lost all teeth.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants work by replacing the tooth root with a solid base for a dental crown and heal and integrate with the jawbone to anchor the crown. Within a few months of having dental implants fitted, the bone tissue will bond with the jawbone in the same way as a normal tooth root. 

Dental implants are typically carried out during two separate procedures. The first procedure is to fit the implant into the jawbone, then the second procedure is to fit the new tooth onto the implant once it has anchored to the jawbone.

Before and After of Dental Implants at Perfect Smile Spa

While dental implants can be an uncomfortable procedure, the procedure at Perfect Smile Spa is painless and carried out under local anaesthetic with the option to have IV sedation if the procedure takes longer or if you are nervous.

Our dental treatments are promised to be completely painless using painless dentistry methods and techniques to offer no pain and minimal discomfort.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Dental implants can be made from zirconia, however, as the long-term performance and success rate of zirconia is yet to be proven, titanium is the preferred choice and is what we offer at Perfect Smile Spa.

Titanium dental implants are extremely durable and have an excellent track record backed up by decades of reliability. However, dental implants will only last a lifetime if you treat them with care, with regular brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, just as you would treat your natural teeth. Like any other restoration, your implant-supported teeth can still be damaged by trauma and affected by gum disease and poor oral hygiene, as well as infections if plaque isn’t removed effectively.

How Safe Are Dental Implants?

The dental implants procedure is one of the safest dental procedures with an extremely high success rate. The only reason why dental implants would be unsuccessful is if you weren’t eligible to have them, as dental implants aren’t for everyone. 

During your initial free consultation with us, we’ll talk you through your options and check if dental implants will suit you.

Dental implants can be placed in all adult patients, providing your jawbone is fully developed, you have sufficient quantity and quality of bone tissue available and you maintain good oral hygiene. With that being said, dental implants may not be suitable in some extreme cases, for example, you are a heavy smoker, drink alcohol excessively, you have periodontal gum disease or if you grind your teeth (Bruxism). 

If for whatever reason, dental implants aren’t suited to you, we would be more than happy to discuss alternative options or treatment you will need to have before being a suitable candidate, for example, treatment for gum disease.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Dental implants typically start from £1159, with a free consultation during the beginning to check a dental implants procedure is right for you.

We also offer a dental finance service if you’d prefer to split up your payments, with no deposit required. Dental finance is also ideal if you’re looking to combine several dental treatments, for example, with our smile makeover.

How Can We Help?

Our dentists and team in Essex have advanced training in dental implant skills. We use implant techniques recognised for their innovation and reliability. Our cosmetic dentists have numerous dentistry awards as they use the most advanced equipment and aim to offer painless dentistry for nervous patients, including the option for sedation for optimum comfort.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients. This is why our highly-skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists are there for you every step of the way in achieving your perfect smile using dental implants or any other cosmetic dentistry treatment.

We pride ourselves by giving our patients the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

11 Common Dental Myths and Misconceptions

Image of girl brushing her teeth

Knowing how best to maintain your teeth and gums can prevent a number of issues in the long-term. It’s safe to say that knowledge is power, and while we have heard some crazy dental myths and misconceptions over the years, understanding what is true and what isn’t can help keep your teeth in tip-top shape in-between visits to the dentist. 

New developments in dentistry and recent findings have now made it clear of how you can look after your teeth at home. Interested in some of the common dental myths we hear from our patients? Here are our top 11…

1. Only Sugar Causes Tooth Decay

While eating too much sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay, there are other factors that can also contribute too. This means that even if you don’t have a lot of sugar in your diet, you can still very much be at risk of cavities.

Tooth decay can also be caused by food and drink high in carbohydrates, including starchy foods. We recommend cutting down on starchy foods or foods containing high amounts of sugar and to look after your teeth and gums.

It’s also important to know the signs in order to visit your dentist at the right time. Some of these symptoms include a toothache (or occasional sharp pain), bad breath, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, grey, brown or black spots appearing on your teeth and tooth sensitivity.

2. White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth

We understand that we all desire to have a beautiful white smile, however, a white smile doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth are healthy. This also means that just because your teeth are white, it doesn’t mean that there is no need for you to visit the dentist. 

You can still have white teeth and be suffering from cavities, infections or other conditions, so it’s crucial to understand that the colour of your teeth can vary and visiting your dentist should still be your routine.

It’s impossible for natural teeth to remain completely white and eventually begin to yellow due to lifestyle factors and the foods/drinks we consume. Of course, there are teeth whitening treatments available if you wish to brighten the shades of your teeth. 

3. It’s Safe to Have Teeth Whitened at a Beauty Salon

Whitening teeth may leave the underlying cause of discolouration unaddressed, which is why it’s always best to visit your dentist for teeth whitening rather than visiting beauty clinics or salons.

Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should therefore only be carried out by a regulated dental professional. Over recent years, we have seen a countless number of beauty salons becoming prosecuted for illegal teeth whitening.

4. You’re Too Old for Braces

Many patients visit the Perfect Smile Spa clinic as they are embarrassed about their uneven smile, but at the same time are against the idea of orthodontics due to their age. Although it’s more common for children and young adults to have orthodontic treatment, we are seeing more and more adults (of all ages) opt for orthodontics, particularly as there are discreet orthodontics available, such as invisible braces and Invisalign

Advances in these orthodontics to offer more discreet options mean that adults who weren’t able to address their orthodontic issues when they were younger are now able to address them now.

5. Baby Teeth Do Not Need to Be Brushed

Despite baby teeth only being temporary, it’s crucial to have good brushing habits in order to also have healthy gums. By using the correct brushing technique and brushing twice a day, the build-up of plaque can be prevented and therefore the risks of tooth decay and gum disease reduced.

As tooth decay is a rising problem among children, it’s important to understand the importance of starting good oral hygiene habits early in order to keep the gums, teeth and mouth as healthy as possible. Tooth decay is also the leading reason for the hospital admission of children.

Reducing the amount and frequency of sugar intake and practising good oral hygiene can be a great place to start, but it’s vital to maintain good oral hygiene at any age.

6. Flossing Isn’t Important

Maintaining oral hygiene isn’t just about brushing your teeth and using mouthwash. An important step missed out by many patients is dental flossing, which is crucial for removing bacteria and cleaning between the teeth. As particles of food can also become stuck between the teeth, flossing is one of the most important steps in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and can even remove up to 80% of plaque.

While brushing can clean the surfaces of the teeth, flossing can clean around a third of the tooth surface, which a normal toothbrush would be unable to do. Brush, rinse and floss!

7. Bad Teeth and Gums Are Inherited

Even though this would be an interesting fact, it isn’t actually true. However, the spacing, size and alignment of your teeth are inherited.

With that being said, it’s impossible to inherit bad teeth or poor gums as these will only occur due to lifestyle factors and how well you take care of your teeth.

8.Brushing After Eating

One myth that shocks a lot of our patients is that it’s better to brush your teeth after eating breakfast in the morning. While many of us believe that brushing after breakfast will mean we can start our day with clean and fresh teeth free of food, it has been scientifically proven that brushing your teeth before breakfast can have a better effect on your teeth and gums.

You should never brush your teeth immediately after eating as your teeth will be weaker due to the pH level in your mouth. While we know it makes more sense to brush after having breakfast, this can be harmful to your protective enamel.

Brushing your teeth before breakfast can rid the mouth of plaque build-up overnight. This is why we recommend waiting at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after having a meal.

9. Bleeding Gums Are Normal

Even though 90% of the adult population experience some form of bleeding gums, it doesn’t mean that this is normal and should be left to take care of itself.

Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing is due to the inflammation of the gums. In many cases, this can be due to gum disease or gingivitis, as well as excessive plaque buildup. If you have noticed your gums are bleeding when you brush, you must visit a dentist as soon as you can.

10. It’s Okay to Drink Soft Drinks If They Are ‘Diet’

Yes, soft drinks do contain high amounts of sugar, and while we all admit to having a soft drink every once in a while, it’s important to have limits and drink water as much as possible. 

The acidity in soft drinks can be damaging to the teeth, meaning that even ‘diet’ drinks can be damaging to the teeth. Over time, soft drinks can wear down the enamel, leaving you at a higher risk of cavities, sensitivity or even tooth loss. Even the natural sugars in some fruit juices can be just as damaging.

11. Root Canal Treatment Is Extremely Painful

Is root canal treatment painful? We’ve all heard that root canal treatment is extremely painful, which is why when patients visit us for endodontics, they are usually very concerned about the level of pain.

However, dentistry has come a long way. The procedure itself provides very little pain, but it’s usually the tooth infection that causes any excruciating pain. Ironically, root canal treatment can take this pain away, so there’s really nothing to worry about. 

Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatments aren’t as painful as they seem. As a dentist in Essex, we offer painless dentistry and aim to make dental treatments as pain-free as possible. 

With painless dental treatments held as one of our core values, we take our time to make sure every care is taken to make you feel comfortable and provide a positive dental experience that will help you defeat your dental anxiety and any fears relating to having a root canal treatment.

How Can We Help?

Our cosmetic dentists have numerous dentistry awards as they use the most advanced equipment and aim to offer painless dentistry for nervous patients, including the option for sedation for optimum comfort.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients and we pride ourselves by giving our patients the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Improve Your Smile With a Gum Lift

Gum Lift Before & After

Gum recession is a common problem which occurs when the roots of the teeth are exposed. 

Receding gums is a common issue, so you’re not alone if you have this problem. There are many lifestyle habits which contribute towards receding gums, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with the insecurity of receding gums.

Have you always felt your gums were the main feature of your smile? If you find yourself feeling insecure about the appearance of your gums, then you’ll be pleased to know that we offer a treatment to reshape your gums for a more even smile. 

Our gum reshaping treatment is painless and can transform your smile in a matter of minutes! This guide tells you exactly what to expect from the treatment, how much it will cost and the benefits of having gum contouring.

What Is a Gum Lift?

A gum lift, also known as gum contouring, changes the height of the gums to correct any imperfections with the gums being uneven by reshaping and resculpting the gum line. Gum contouring can transform the look of your smile and is a great way to enhance your confidence if your gums have been causing you to become self-conscious.

Gum recession is usually caused by a number of different reasons, including:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Flossing too aggressively
  • Clenching the jaw
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Some medical conditions
  • Smoking
  • Trauma to the gum
  • Gum infections
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Issues with the position of the teeth
  • Piercings

Following a gum lift, the gums will become more in balance with the smile and can leave you with a more confident and improved aesthetic.

While gum contouring is typically carried out for cosmetic purposes, it can also be a treatment used following on from some extreme cases of periodontal disease when the gums become damaged.

Gum Lift Before & After

The Benefits of a Gum Lift

Cosmetic treatments like gum reshaping can also help if you are embarrassed by a ‘gummy smile’, enhancing the aesthetics and helping to rebuild your confidence.

A gum lift really can be life-changing for any patient as it can transform the smile and work wonders if you suffer from any gum-related insecurities. The treatment can ensure you have healthy gums to complement your smile.

As well as transforming your smile, it also allows your dentist to properly check the condition of your gums to ensure your gums are healthy. The treatment is painless, extremely quick and has been a lifesaver for many of our patients.

Gum Lift Before & After

Does Gum Contouring Hurt?

Wondering what to expect from your gum lift treatment? Following on from your free consultation, we numb the whole area with a local anaesthetic to ensure the treatment is as comfortable and painless as possible. We also offer IV sedation for nervous patients who require further support during treatment, to ensure a comfortable experience.

The treatment is completed by a professionally trained dentist who uses expert technology for a precise and accurate result. The best news of all? A gum lift only takes around two minutes per tooth!

How Much Does a Gum Lift Cost?

With any dental treatment, the cost of a gum lift will depend on your individual needs, meaning that we give you a specific quote during your free consultation with us. If you’d like to find out more about how much gum contouring will cost you, we would be more than happy to discuss during your consultation.

Gum contouring starts from £125 per tooth and a maximum of £549 for up to 10 teeth, with the option to have 0% finance on the treatment too – meaning that the cost can be spread out for more manageable payments.

Gum Lift Before & After

Gum Reshaping Treatment in Essex

At our popular dental clinic in Essex, we can help you get the smile you deserve by reshaping your gums to reduce the amount seen when you smile.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients. This is why our highly-skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists are there for you every step of the way in achieving your perfect smile using gum contouring.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Porcelain Veneers VS Composite Veneers: Which Is Best For You?

Porcelain Veneers

Surprisingly to some, dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments, with the treatment exploding in popularity in the UK in the past few years. Dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments, which completely transform the way the teeth look, giving clients the smile they always dreamed of!

The main advantage of having veneers is that it creates exceptional results and completely transforms the smile. Contrary to popular belief, veneers also require minimal preparation, conserving the maximum amount of natural tooth underneath. 

As a pain-free treatment, veneers are very quick and only take around five appointments following your free consultation. With good maintenance and care, your veneers can last you for many years to come, which makes them an excellent investment if you value a white, bright smile!

However, before you have veneers done, you’ll need to make a big decision as to whether porcelain veneers or composite veneers are better suited to you, your lifestyle and budget. This guide compares porcelain and composite veneers to help in making your decision.

Porcelain Veneers VS Composite Veneers

When you choose to have an innovative and modern treatment like veneers at your professional Essex dental clinic, you’re already well on your way to improving the aesthetics of your teeth. This does mean that you will need to choose which material you want your veneers to be made from, with the two main choices being porcelain veneers and composite veneers

Veneers can also be used to close in small gaps in the teeth when orthodontics aren’t always the most suitable option. As an example, veneers can be fitted to bring one tooth into line with the others if it is even slightly out of position.

Both materials are incredible at transforming your smile, but which is right for you depends on various factors. Of course, when you visit our dental clinic, we’ll talk with you to discuss what you’re looking for and recommend the best solution for you based on your budget and preferences. 

Porcelain Veneers

As the more natural option, porcelain veneers have the same appearance of natural teeth, with the translucent quality strongly resembling the enamel of the natural teeth.

Porcelain veneers are by far, the most durable veneer material option and are incredibly strong and resistant to stains and chips, making them ideal for more permanent wear. When properly maintained, porcelain veneers can last for well over a decade or even 20-30 years. 

Porcelain Veneers

Often described as the gold standard in cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers create a beautiful and natural appearance which aim to mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth in a way that blends naturally.

While porcelain veneers can cost slightly more than composite veneers due to the need for them to be created in a dental laboratory, they do, however, last longer than composite veneers and are known to be slightly more durable.

Porcelain veneers do require some dental preparation, although this is very minimal and conservative to protect the enamel.

The only disadvantage of porcelain veneers is that they can take longer to create than composite veneers. Unlike composite veneers, porcelain veneers give more of a polished and detailed appearance, hence why they do take longer than composite veneers.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers can be quicker to create in comparison to porcelain veneers and can even be completed in one single visit. Made from resin, composite veneers are bonded directly to the teeth and sculpted to the desired shape. Similar to porcelain veneers, composite veneers can improve the following dental problems:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Damaged teeth
  • Gaps between the teeth

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers tend to be sculpted when placed on the tooth, which can make the treatment quicker and less invasive, although the difference in that respect is minor. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite veneers are easy to reverse due to the minimal preparation on your natural teeth, meaning that composite veneers are better suited if you aren’t looking for a longer-term solution.

Composite veneers can be used for treating a wide range of cosmetic dental problems and can improve the colour, shape, size and texture of teeth to make them more attractive by fixing minor chips and cracks in the teeth. 

Whilst most of our customers do opt for porcelain, composite veneers are ideal if you have a smaller budget. Both composite and porcelain are effective in transforming your smile, however, which material is right for you will depend on some factors.

Get Your Perfect Smile

We will speak to you about both of your options and whether porcelain veneers are better suited to you than composite veneers during your free consultation. From your initial appointment, through to the completion of your treatment and any check-ups along the way, we will guide and support you.

Aftercare is the most important step in prolonging the life of your porcelain veneers so we do recommend visiting your Essex dentist every six months for professional cleaning and have them examined once a year.

We also have an excellent selection of cosmetic dentistry procedures if you are undecided whether porcelain veneers are right for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Dental TikTok Trends You Shouldn’t Try at Home

Dental TikTok Trends

As we spend more time at home, away from work, and video calling our loved ones, we may be more likely to consider having cosmetic work done to improve the way we look. For many people, teeth can be a critical factor of how confident we feel in ourselves, which is why it’s understandable that some of us are considering having dental work carried out.

Although, with 3.7 million TikTok users in the UK, with a variety of different age groups, an increased number of us are becoming exposed to DIY hacks on the video-sharing platform, whether it be related to home renovation, self-improvement, or even DIY dental hacks!

From DIY filing down of the teeth to whitening our teeth ten shades lighter using a £4 bottle of hydrogen peroxide, there are some truly shocking DIY dental hacks that have become viral over the previous few months. With that being said, some of these dental hacks can cause lasting damage to the teeth and pain later on in life, so it goes without saying that these DIY dental hacks are certainly not approved by a dentist.

Filing Down Front Teeth

Like some other Brits, if you are struggling with confidence in how straight and aligned your teeth are, you may have looked into having orthodontics with a registered dental clinic. Orthodontics is a proven and safe method of aligning the teeth for a perfectly straight smile. 

However, a recent TikTok trend that has taken the platform by storm is the DIY tooth filing ‘hack’, whereby users are taking it upon themselves to file down their front teeth using a nail file rather than visiting their dentist for professional treatment and advice first.

While the enamel of your teeth is very thin and is there to protect your teeth against tooth decay, filing the enamel down can cause a number of issues with enamel not growing back. As well as exposing the teeth to a wide range of oral health issues, this hack also makes the teeth more affected with developing stains over time and surface irregularities. Shaving down the teeth can also make the teeth more prone to cavities.

DIY Teeth Whitening

Many high street products promise to give you dazzlingly white teeth for the same price as your standard toothpaste, so there’s no surprise that many of us are unaware of how teeth whitening works and why it should only be carried out at a professional dental clinic. Many of these high-street treatments contain dangerous abrasives that scratch the surface of the enamel away, which is why it is always advised to talk to a professional first.

However, there are several TikTok trends taking over the platform whereby users are creating their own ‘do-it-yourself’ teeth whitening trends using products found around the house or dangerous chemicals that can be easily purchased online.

Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening

The trend of using hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth has since led to the chemical selling out online. The bizarre trend sees TikTok users rubbing food-grade hydrogen peroxide, accessible online for just £4, on the surfaces of their teeth to whiten the teeth in less than three days. 

Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide of any grade should be left to the professionals, and arguably, shouldn’t be sold directly to the public and should only be used under the supervision of a professional dentist. Prolonged exposure of the chemical is extremely dangerous and can irritate the skin and gums.

Unless you know exactly what you are doing, this technique is not safe and we advise you to visit a dentist for professional teeth whitening instead for safe results.

Baking Soda Teeth Whitening

Another homemade whitening trend sweeping the TikTok platform is a homemade concoction of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin and gums with long-lasting dangerous effects, however, when mixed with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is far more dangerous and can cause irreversible permanent damage to your teeth and gums.

As hydrogen peroxide can soften the enamel while baking soda is an abrasive, the combination of the two ingredients together should never be used on your teeth.

Of course, fluoride toothpaste containing baking soda is completely safe to use and is approved by dentists, so it’s advised to stick to that if you’re looking for ways to whiten the teeth.

Lemon Juice Teeth Whitening

A staple item in most of our kitchens, lemon juice is another ‘home remedy’ TikTok trend for whitening the teeth, with users removing permanent stains from the teeth.

While lemon juice is high in acidity, it can cause acid erosion to the protective layer of enamel when rubbed directly on the surfaces of the teeth. Lemon juice teeth whitening can also produce very slow results, whereas professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth as much as 20 shades brighter. 

Charcoal Teeth Whitening

A trend that has been around for some time and has been regularly promoted by social influencers is charcoal teeth whitening, which has since turned into a popular TikTok trend.

Unfortunately, activated charcoal is more coarse than regular toothpaste, and can therefore scratch the teeth and damage the protective enamel. In future, this can lead to the teeth becoming more prone to staining. Charcoal teeth whitening isn’t proven to produce life-changing results, with the black paste creating a temporary illusion of whiter teeth when the black paste or powder is placed next to the teeth.

Visit a Professional Dentist

These TikTok trends are temporary solutions which can lead to you either needing an emergency trip to the dentist or experiencing damaging results later on in life which can be costly and sometimes irreversible.

It’s always best to leave it to the professionals, so if you are experiencing a lack of confidence in your smile, a cosmetic dentist in Essex should always be your first point of contact.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Is COVID-19 the Best Time to Get Braces?

For many of us, COVID-19 has turned into a time for self-improvement, both mentally and physically. Whether we’re pledging to increase our steps, become better in the kitchen or even taking more time out for ourselves to relax and step away from our usual hectic schedules, there’s no doubt that the last few months have changed our lifestyles.

Orthodontics are incredible for fixing problems with misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, gappy teeth or other combinations of orthodontic issues. A primary concern for patients looking into orthodontics is aesthetics. There’s no shame in wanting a perfectly straight smile, however, many of our patients often opt for the most discreet orthodontic option or decide to avoid orthodontics altogether in order to prevent others from finding out.

With that being said, the COVID-19 pandemic has ordered almost 46.6% of the UK population to work from home at one time or another this year. With this in mind, the pandemic could potentially be the best time to finally begin your smile transformation. So, if you’ve been on the fence about getting braces, now is the time to bite the bullet and talk to your orthodontist!

Why Is Now the Best Time for Orthodontics?

With a second national lockdown looming over the UK which is rumoured to last longer than the first initial lockdown, we are being advised to ‘stay at home’ and reduce contact with others by not meeting other households. When usually we would be regularly seeing friends and family in the evenings and weekends or constantly on the move, we are now staying at home with fewer opportunities to see our loved ones.

While we are currently only able to leave the house for emergencies, essential shopping or if we physically cannot work from home, having orthodontics at this time means that patients can take advantage of this treatment without the need to explain to others. 

Even when we are able to get out of the house, we are still required to wear a mask in public buildings and some public spaces. Covering the nose and mouth has become a life-saving precaution, meaning that the chances of someone seeing your braces have never been lower. There’s also a good chance that by the time the need for wearing masks is massively reduced, whether that be in a few months or even several years, you are likely to be at least halfway on your journey to achieving the perfect smile, or even completely finished with your treatment!

In order to keep in contact with work colleagues and loved ones from afar, most of us have also taken to Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or FaceTime to communicate rather than face-to-face. Of course, this also means that the appearance of metal braces are minimised.

What Are the Benefits of Orthodontics?

While there are other cosmetic dentistry treatments available, orthodontics can gently push the teeth together to create a more natural and even smile. At Perfect Smile Spa, we have a wide selection of cosmetic straightening treatments, which range in price and treatment time. 

Orthodontic treatments are used to align your teeth for a straight smile and can resolve a number of issues, including diastema, overbite, or generally crooked teeth. Orthodontics can improve confidence, make the teeth easier to clean, facilitate oral hygiene and can also resolve other issues relating to dental health.

While orthodontics are generally most commonly used during teenage years, teeth can be corrected at almost any age, whether that is for practical or cosmetic reasons.

What Are the Types of Orthodontics?

There is a wide range of orthodontic treatments available, with some more tailored to unique orthodontic problems and others providing faster and more effective results. Some of the most modern and advanced procedures at our popular dental clinic include metal braces, ceramic braces, Smilelign, Fastbraces, Damon Braces, Inman Aligners, Six Months Smiles and Invisalign.

If you’re looking for invisible orthodontics, you can take advantage of our discreet teeth straightening options at Perfect Smile Spa.

Essex Orthodontics

Although orthodontic treatment is beneficial in your teens, it doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable for adults. More and more adults are now taking advantage of the discrete teeth straightening options currently available.

Our dental practice in Essex is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our orthodontics treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Mouth Cancer Action Month: What Causes Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer affects around 8,300 people in the UK each year, making it the 6th most common cancer in the world. With this number continuously rising each year, mouth cancer takes more lives than cervical and testicular cancer combined. 

Like all mouth cancers, detection is vital. It’s crucial to know the signs, symptoms and understand what best to reduce your chances of contracting the life-threatening disease. The more we know about mouth cancer, the better chance we have of beating it. 

Dentists are natural leaders in leading the fight against mouth cancer, so when you visit your dentist for a check-up, they will carry out a mouth cancer screening to check for the signs, before you may even notice them.

Supported by the Mouth Cancer Foundation and the British Dental Health Foundation, Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place every November and highlights the importance of early detection, by raising awareness of the risks, signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.

What is Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer is a tumour that develops in part of the mouth, either on the inside of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, the lips or gums, or on the surface of your tongue.

For reasons unknown, mouth cancer is more common in men than in women, with that being said, we are seeing an increased number of women diagnosed with the disease. As a large majority of mouth cancer cases are first spotted by dental health professionals during check-up appointments, it’s strongly advised to routinely visit your dentist and avoid any delays.

Mouth cancer is also more common in patients over the age of 40, however, more and more young people are now affected than before.

What Are the Symptoms of Mouth Cancer?

Common symptoms of mouth cancer include unexplained lumps in the mouth or neck that do not go away, unexplained persistent numbness, an odd feeling on the lip or tongue, unexplained loose teeth that do not heal after extractions, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue, changes in speech or, most commonly, painful mouth ulcers that do not heal.

What Causes Mouth Cancer?

Unfortunately, it’s unknown what exactly causes mouth cancer, however, we do know that up to 90% of all mouth cancers are linked to lifestyle factors. Of course, if any of the lifestyle factors apply to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are certain to develop mouth cancer, but that you are likely to have a higher risk of developing it instead. 

Here are some of the lifestyle factors that are linked to mouth cancer:

Smoking

Smoking is proven to increase your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to 10 times, whether it be pipes, cigars or cigarettes. Some evidence suggests that second-hand smoke in the workplace or at home can also increase the risk of mouth cancer. With more than 60% of mouth cancers linked to smoking, this is the number one contributing factor to mouth cancer.

Alcohol

With alcohol linked to 30% of all mouth cancers, it’s crucial to stick to the recommended UK guidelines of alcohol intake per week for both men and women, which currently stands at 14 units per week.

Diet

Not only is diet important for your oral health, but it can also be another contributing factor of mouth cancer, with a third of mouth cancers thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet. Our best advice is to eat a healthy and balanced diet, with lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as consuming foods high in Omega 3 and fibre.

HPV

Research also suggests that HPV (also known as the human papillomavirus) is another top contributing factor. In order to reduce the risk of contracting HPV, it’s important to practice safe sex and limit the number of partners you have.

Genetics & Cancer History

Unfortunately, if you have a family history of cancer or if you have had mouth cancer before, then you may be slightly more at risk of developing mouth cancer than those without a cancer history. If you are in this higher-risk bracket, it’s critical to visit your dentist more frequently.

How Common Is Mouth Cancer?

While mouth cancer isn’t as common as other forms of cancer, it is still the 6th most common cancer in the world. With that being said, the cases are slightly lower in the UK in comparison to other countries.

More than 65% of mouth cancer cases develop in adults over the age of 55, with only 12.5% of cases occurring in those younger than 50. Risks are higher for men which is thought to be due to men drinking more alcohol than women, but this is yet to be scientifically proven. HPV is thought to be one of the most common factors of mouth cancer in younger people.

How Do You Know If You Have Mouth Cancer?

The best way of determining whether or not you have mouth cancer is to regularly visit your dentist for dental check-ups. During every check-up, your dentist will carry out a mouth cancer screening to examine your mouth and look out for any signs, before they get the chance to turn into symptoms.

Of course, you should also be aware of the symptoms (mentioned above) and immediately visit your dentist and doctor if you feel you may be experiencing these symptoms. Only a dentist or doctor will be able to diagnose mouth cancer.

How to Treat Mouth Cancer

If mouth cancer is diagnosed early, it can be very easily treated using surgery alone. However, if the cancer is larger, then surgery should be followed by radiotherapy or through different methods. It’s worth understanding that advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have led to much-improved cure rates.

The outcome of mouth cancer can vary depending on which part of your mouth is affected and whether or not cancer has spread. Treatment can generally include surgery, radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy), chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy.

Take Action this Mouth Cancer Action Month

Prevention is better than the cure, which is why it’s critical to regularly visit your dentist for dental check-ups to have mouth cancer screenings and to check the overall health of your mouth. If you are a smoker, drink alcohol very frequently or if you have been diagnosed with HPV, it’s even more important that you regularly visit your Essex dentist for a check-up.

Other than regularly visiting your dentist, you can also limit your alcohol consumption, avoid tobacco, have a healthy and balanced diet and maintain good oral hygiene.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Seven Ways To Stop Bleeding Gums

Oral hygiene

If gum disease is occurring, then you may experience bleeding gums, sore gums or inflamed gums. Gum disease, which affects 3 out of 4 adults in the UK, occurs when plaque and tartar on the teeth builds up and the associated bacteria irritates and inflames the gums, causing them to recede, bleed and become sore.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and we want to ensure our patients don’t suffer that fate and instead have the healthiest and happiest gums, supporting a beautiful smile. This is why not only is it important to understand the signs of gum disease, but it’s also important to know what to do when you first spot the signs.

In this guide, we take a look at seven of the best ways to stop your gums from bleeding and how you can prevent gum disease from occurring.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Bleeding gums usually are a sign of poor dental hygiene, with the gums becoming inflamed and bleeding when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. If plaque is not removed from the teeth properly, bacteria and what it omits can irritate the gums, which is the start of gum disease. If the condition is not treated, it progresses and gets worse, eventually destroying the gums, and the jawbone which holds the teeth.

If you don’t brush or floss enough, bacteria can spread and cause tooth decay or gum disease.

To improve oral hygiene, brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss once a day. You may like to read our guide on how to optimise your oral health.

Using Mouthwash

Antibacterial mouthwash can prevent and treat gum disease, which is a common cause of bleeding gums, by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gums. Antibacterial mouthwashes can be purchased in the supermarket or from any pharmacy.

Fluoride mouthwash can also help in clearing the mouth of debris and preventing plaque from building up in the mouth, as well as freshening our breath. As gums are the foundation for healthy teeth, it’s important to care for them and ensure we use mouthwash on a daily basis to help treat and prevent gum problems.

Using the Right Toothbrush

With most things in life, it’s important to find what works best for you, and toothbrushes are no different. If you suffer from sensitive teeth and gums, you should opt for a toothbrush best suited for you, such as an extra soft or sensitive toothbrush. Firm or medium toothbrushes can be rough on the gums, so if you find that your gums bleed easily while brushing, you should try switching to a softer toothbrush.

It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles appear frayed, which may indicate that you are brushing too hard.

Gentle Flossing

While it’s recommended to clean between the teeth with floss once a day, it’s essential to be gentle and not apply too much pressure to your gums or teeth. 

Your gums will eventually build up in strength with consistent flossing as overall gum health improves, so it may take a while for your gums to stop bleeding when you floss.

Avoiding Smoking

According to DentistryIQ, smokers are three times more likely to suffer from gum disease than non-smokers, with smoking weakening your body’s ability to fight off infection and making it more difficult for your gums to heal and the body to heal its tissues.

As smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors towards bleeding gums, it may be well worth giving up or reducing the amount you smoke. Often, our patients notice improvements in their oral health soon after giving up smoking. Giving up smoking can benefit the whole body and can greatly increase the health of the mouth and gums.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fresh fruit and vegetables can support in keeping the gums healthy. Healthy gums can guard against heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, bad breath and tooth loss. Crunchy vegetables can help keep the teeth clean between meals, with leafy greens providing an excellent source of nutrients and reinforcing the enamel on our teeth.

Foods rich in vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and support in fighting off gum infections that cause bleeding gums. If you practice good oral habits and still find your gums bleeding, it may be worth adding more vitamin C into your diet. Cutting back on carbs can also help prevent the formation of plaque.

Visit Your Dentist

Wondering how to stop bleeding gums? If you notice any changes in your gums, teeth or mouth, it’s critical to visit your dentist for a dental hygiene visit as soon as possible. Pain, discomfort, redness or bleeding should be checked out as your dentist will be able to check for early signs of gum disease as well as other health-related issues that could be related.

Regular dental visits can stop minor issues before they become serious. As untreated gum disease can lead to infection and in some cases, tooth loss, it’s important to not delay visiting your dentist. The healthier your gums and teeth are, the lower your cost of dentistry!

How Can We Help?

We offer a complete gum assessment where our experienced team performs a full check of your gums to understand the kind of treatment and support you need. We can then help to treat the problems, and work to help prevent any further problems in the future. Support from our hygienists and dentists is a really good way to maintain healthy gums. 

We can help to remove plaque and tartar with effective cleaning techniques and also provide you with up-to-date advice on how to care for your teeth and gums day-to-day to help avoid any further issues.

We offer a wide range of treatments for gum problems, including advanced oral hygiene care and cleaning, as well as professional restoration treatments such as composite fillings, gum coloured fillings, gum surgery and ongoing hygienist services.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.