Author: craigentinny

What options in cosmetic dentistry are available to the people of Edinburgh

Are you embarrassed to smile?

Do you have crooked, dark, chipped or missing teeth that mean you smile with your hand over your mouth?

There are a variety of options for people looking to improve their smile and teeth with cosmetic dentistry and these are just a handful, perhaps you’re aware of more…

Modern dentistry has allowed dental practices around the UK, including our dental practice in Edinburgh, to provide solutions to these problems in often simple, quick and low-cost ways. This blog post explores some of those ways.

Dental bonding with instant veneers.

This type of treatment is perfect if you have a minor amount of cosmetic dentistry that is needed, typically this will be small chips and pits in teeth. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your tooth and then roughened surface with an etching gel.

Once the surface has been roughened the dentist can select a composite material which has a putty like consistency in the correct colour to match your existing tooth. This composite material is then built up in layers to exactly match the surrounding tooth, and repair the defect such as a chipped or damaged tooth.

Instant veneers are in essence the same as this except they often cover the whole of the front surface of your tooth. These rapid veneers can often be done in one single appointment at the dentist and can have a dramatic impact on how your smile looks.

Dental veneers.

These are ceramic shells which are custom made by a highly skilled dental technician, to exactly match the contours of your teeth. They are applied over the surface of your tooth in order to correct defects such as.

  1. Crooked teeth.
  2. Rotated teeth.
  3. Dark teeth.
  4. Badly chipped or broken down teeth.

The dental veneers are a permanent fixture in your mouth and will last for many years if properly cared for by yourself.

Orthodontics to straighten crooked teeth.

In years gone by adult orthodontics were not an option for our patients in Edinburgh to help with their cosmetic dental needs, as the only option was train track braces which many adults did not want to wear.

With the advent of treatments such as the Inman Aligner adults are able to wear orthodontic appliances that move teeth in an unobtrusive and rapid way. This has given the dentist a new way to treat cosmetic dental problems as it is no longer always necessary to use dental veneers which can be more expensive and prone to chipping.

Minimal cosmetic dentistry withTeeth whitening.

This is the simplest form of cosmetic dentistry as it can be used for most patients,  so long as all the teeth are natural and not crowns or veneers. Home teeth whitening tends to get the best cosmetic dental result.

Cosmetic dentistry is now a combination of instant veneers, dental veneers, orthodontics and teeth whitening with the most common approach being known as align, bleach, bond. This is where your cosmetic dentist will align teeth using rapid orthodontics, then bleach them with teeth whitening and finally bond small instant veneers over the surface to correct minor tooth imperfections.

Find out more about the cosmetic dentistry here.

Craigentinny dental practice in Edinburgh is a local practice with many years experience in cosmetic dental procedures, always looking to offer the most minimal amount of dental treatment for any patient.

Would You Like Nice Smile?

Lets be honest who wouldn’t like a nice radiant smile. Yet if someone said to you so what would you like to change about your smile to make you really happy,  it is often difficult to be precise. Most people start with the words well “whiter would be nice……”  but then often struggle to identify exactly what other changes they would like to make to their smile. Teeth whitening is a good place to start but only takes you so far if you are really determined to improve your smile.

When considering cosmetic dentistry assess your
smile from  several angles not just the front.
Getting the best out of a cosmetic dentistry  is all  about communication and the more you are able to tell your dentist about your goals, the more likely they are to be able to deliver a result that you will love.

Most good dentists will be happy to set aside time for a cosmetic dental consultation appointment  to discuss your aims for treatment and discuss how you might achieve them.  Here are a few tips that you might make it easier to prepare for the appointment.

1. take a photo of your smile from the front and from an angle of around 30 degrees to the left and right. If you find it difficult to conjure up a natural smile try saying the letter  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. When we assess our own smile we tend to look at ourselves in the mirror, very few people stand directly in front of you when they are talking to you so your smile does not have to be perfectly symmetrical. the offset views are more likely to be a representation of what people see when they speak to you.

2.  look at the pictures on a  monitor or as a print out- we are used to seeing ourselves in a mirror and it has been shown that in time we filter the view that we have of ourselves. A photo is the reverse of how you look in a mirror so very often this view makes things more noticeable to you.

3. write down what you see that you like about your smile in each picture, this helps your dentist to understand what features of your smile need to be preserved and carried forwards

4. write down the things that seem to be out of place or incorrect to you, this helps us to understand the priorities as you see them. Sometimes it is simply not possible to have everything on our wish list so identifying the changes that are  most important to you is the key.

5. Do not ever pull your lips back with your fingers to take the photo or do any kind of cosmetic assessment, after all we don’t normally walk around pulling our lips back.  Remember smiles should look great when we are living life NOT when we are studying them in a mirror. Great cosmetic dentistry should be subtle and give you confidence rather than attract attention as is often seen in “celebrity smile makeovers”

If you try this let me know how you get on…..

Dental Fear, Roadblocks and Momentum

I have been having a several good conversations with people in recent weeks about how they can best beat their Dental Fear.  By making contact with  me or someone like me  they have done the hardest part. i.e. actually taking action.  If you are thinking of taking action here are  a few ideas that might help……..

5 things that you could do to get started

  1. Try our 7 day beat your dental fear e-course
  2. watch a you tube video where we talk about what happens at your  first visit to the dentist  as a member of our Nervous Patient Programme.
  3. request an e-mail dental fear consultation to discuss your dental anxieties
  4. request a phone consultation to discuss your dental anxieties with one of our nurses or dentists
  5. speak to a friend and ask if they can help you either by coming with you to a visit 

Although getting started really is the hardest thing to do, the  next challenge comes when you hit a “roadblock.”  There are some steps in the process of beating your dental fear that are larger than others and these constitute roadblocks.The roadblock can take many forms, it could be  setting foot in a practice, actually sitting on a dental chair or something different all together. But it is something that feels like it is such a massive step that even contemplating  it raises your blood pressure. The key thing here is maintaining momentum and making sure that you continue to build on each small success.  To deal with roadblocks you either need to go through them or work out how to go around them.

Many patients choose to go through their roadblocks, the so called “feel the fear and do it anyway” type approach and in many ways this can be a good thing as it is phenomenally empowering to do this and emerge on the other side of your own roadblock having beaten it.  Equally I know this approach is not right for everyone so some strategies to allow us to take a more oblique look at the roadblock are needed.
If for example you think meeting a dentist for the first time in a while would be too difficult, you could sidestep this by meeting with or chatting to  one of our experienced nursing team first. They could then help and support you through the next stage.
If your anxiety is such that you simply don’t feel able to set foot in a practice then drop us an e-mail and let us know, we can put you in touch with a few professionals who can help you to reduce your dental anxiety away from the practice setting and teach you a range of anxiety and fear management techniques.
The secret though is to maintain momentum….so wherever you are in the process please try to work out what your next step will be and if we can help in any way  whether it is getting past a roadblock or going around it our team are on hand to help you maintain momentum.
For our Edinburgh dental team  the most rewarding part of helping people with their dental fear is to see the sheer relief on someones face as they see their anxieties shrinking down and becoming manageable.

Taming The Fear; a dentists tale….

As my campaign to stave off a mid life crisis gathers pace, I set a goal of  running a 10K as fast as I did 20 years ago. A few months in and my enthusiasm for training resulted in my left knee suddenly swelling to something approximating double its normal size overnight.  I could barely walk, was in severe pain,  and was generally miserable. ( It was even  alleged that I had “man flu of the knee” by some of my less sympathetic friends! )

This sudden and unexpected problem made me really quite miserable and to be honest I found the voyage into the unknown world of knee pain quite stressful too.

What happened next is the interesting bit, I had a couple of visits with the lovely team at Physis in Edinburgh where

  • They listened in detail to what was wrong with me,
  • Listened to what it was  that was worrying me about my injury 
  • And then took time to explain what was actually happening ( as opposed to what I thought was happening)
  • Finally when I understood the real nature of the problem we  got down to fixing it

Interestingly though I felt much better as soon as I knew the facts of the situation.

The thing that struck me were the similarities of what I experienced with someone who suffers from dental fear.  I had an internal dialogue ongoing  throughout the whole episode. I had a FEAR that something was seriously wrong with me and a  fear of something bad happening in the future.  My wife insists that being a man ( and thus unable to tolerate pain or physical discomfort) made me contemplate the possibility that

  • my knee was  permanently damaged and would never function again properly,
  • my cartilage was ruptured/ torn /displaced,
  • my ligaments had torn / broken or otherwise failed
  • the next time I run this will happen again

Of course all of these thoughts were based on no facts just my observations of the situation as well as my fear of the UNKNOWN.  The truth is  I felt bad, and in the absence of an appropriately trained person to help me, my though process ran riot and created a host of unpleasant futures for me and my knee ( which is now  by the way is healing very nicely thank you )

So what can we learn from this?
Being afraid  / stressed is a natural part of any problem that relates to our health
Given the chance our subconscious  will run riot with a host of grim scenarios
The problem may take some effort on our part but can be easier to resolve than we realised
With professional help and understanding the road to recovery can start much faster than you think

I know for one that I am hugely grateful for the time that was spent with me allaying my fears and allowing me to achive the right frame of mind to get better.

Now after all this I still don’t know a huge amount about knees, so if that is where your trouble lies please seek out a good physiotherapist!  Equally when it comes to dental fear why not take the most difficult step which is always the first one.  The step can be small and need not even involve speaking to a dentist if you don’t want to,  it can be as simple as  watching a video, reading the experiences of other nervous patients, or by  taking the 7 day beat your fear course

Equally why not  get in touch with someone who can help you to tame your dental fear.  You can begin by, contacting a sympathetic dentist by telephone,  or just dropping us an e-mail at the practice.  Whether you stay locally or not we’d love to hear from you.

Cosmetic Dentistry In A New Era

Its been a while since I last blogged on all things dental and cosmetic. Finding time over the last 12 months has proved challenging to say the least but we are back! So what has changed since I last wrote here?
Probably the the biggest shift in cosmetic dentistry  that I haev noticed  seems to be towards the idea called ABB.   Or Align Bleach & Bond.  As a dentist who subscribes to a minimally invasive approach wherever possible this shift makes me very happy.

There is a ( thankfully) growing realisation within dentistry that if we move the teeth towards a more optimal position first. The following stages of aesthetic or cosmetic treatment requires less or even no removal of healthy tooth tissue at all.
I have written a lot about  aligning teeth for cosmetic purposes in adults.  Generally we are looking to make small to medium moves to a few teeth and specifically looking to avoid reorganising the back teeth. Inman Aligner and   6 Month Smiles  are the two big brands in this area at the moment.

Just as it sounds – teeth whitening, either a few shades lighter to wind the clock back a few years or deep bleaching for the whitest possible shade

Resin bonding is the use of colour matched highly aesthetic filling material to change the shape of your teeth. While not suitable for everyone it can be a great alternative to porcelain veneers. Resin bonding has advantages and disadvantages with we will chat more about in future. But if you have a specific question ow please leave a comment or e-mail us at the practice.

Beat Your Fear Course – The Verdict

Its the start of another new year. I guess like me you probably begin again with resolutions about being a better human being, taking more exercise, eating more healthily etc etc Which one will you make stick this year? For me last year it was to return to regular exercise. I was certainly not perfect but finished 2011 a lot fitter than I started it.  So to this year……what resolution will you make a reality?

At the end of last year I asked everyone who has taken our 7 Day Beat Your Fear e-course for some feedback on it. I was quite humbled and overwhelmed by the number of people who took the time to reply sometimes in great detail about their experiences after taking the course.

What did I discover?   Well nearly 75% of all people who took the course said it made it easier or made them more likely to book a dental appointment.  Many people said that it really helped them to get specific about what their dental fears were and in doing so they developed an even deeper understanding of their problem.

There were suggestions that we should record some videos and make those a part of the course, this is a work in progress ( see previous blog postings ) and there were a few requests for direct 1 to 1 e-mail or telephone support for people taking the course. We hope to introduce these things  during this year.  For people local to us there were also request for an open night which is something that we try to do at least once every year. Watch this space!

There were some request for contact and support that extended beyond the original 7 day course too, we generally don’t want to make a nuisance of ourselves in your inbox but have taken this on board.

I am really fortunate to work with a great team at Craigentinny Dental Care who constantly innovate and generate new ideas. One of our goals for this year is to continue to improve and develop the care we provide for nervous and phobic patients and  the e-course too.  The feedback and questionnaire replies are all fuel toour thought process and  will play a big part in this so once again thanks if you took the time to reply.

Finally I would like to record my gratitude to the lovely people behind DentalFearCentral who were responsible for a significant number of people discovering the e-course that otherwise would not.

If we can help you to beat your dental fear in any way do not hesitate to get in touch via the main web site for our dental practice in Edinburgh.

Here is a happy, healthy and stress free 2012.

Too Scared To Even Visit The Dentist

We have just uploaded a new video to our youtube channel. It describes how you can go about easing your wab back into dental care using a 3 step process that we have evolved over time at our dental practice in edinburgh.

The video is around 3 minutes long and will let you know how we can help you even if you don’t feel up to a visit to see us in person yet. Here it is …….

or if you cant see it in your browser click here.

if you would like to get in touch for a chat after reading this just e-mail us from our web site or give our friendly reception team a call on 0131 669 2114.

Have a great week

New Study Shows – Dental Fear Can Be Beaten Without Sedation

It has been my long held belief that for many, if not most patients suffering from Dental Phobia or Dental Fear that treatment under sedation should be kept in reserve as the solution of last resort. My view is based on our experiences helping people with dental fear and phobia  in our dental practice in Edinburgh over the last 20 years. The concern I have with sedation is simply that when you are sedated you will remember nothing of the process. Now on the  face of it sounds good, however the downside is that your subconscious never has the opportunity to learn from the experience so you remain dependent on sedation to have treatment carried out. If you then ever are in a situation where you require dental care and sedation is not available then you will have to face your fears with no priorpreparation, which is not in my view a great plan.

A study published in this months British Dental Journal has provided me with some evidence that we are thinking along the right lines in this regard.  The study  looked at a group of patients who underwent  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy   (CBT) to help with dental phobia around 10 years ago. The results were fascinating, of the patients who underwent the CBT  95.2% were able to undergo dental treatment without sedation after treatment with CBT. What was even more amazing to me is that after 10 years 100% of these patients continued to be able to receive dental care without sedation.

While one would hesitate to call this a “cure” for dental fear, this study certainly suggests that it comes very close.   To return to my original point interestingly less than 5%  of all patients needed sedation after receiving some professional help with their dental anxiety.

Many people are resistant to theidea of any knd of “therapy” in the UK however this is a concept that is becoming out dated. Just as logging on to an online forum to share experiences with others in a similar situation can help,  CBT should be seen as just one of the many tools that you can be used to help overcome your dental fears.

Let me know what you think?

Have a great week

What Happens At My First Dental Fear Visit

Over the last few weeks I  have been chatting to a lot of  my patients at our dental practice in Edinburgh about,  the “hurdles” that they had to overcome in beating their dental fear.  There are clearly a number of road blocks to be passed and it is interesting that many people tell me that overcoming the first roadblock  of simply making contact is often  the hardest part. However the next major hurdle can be the first visit to the practice so here is a little video where I chat about a typical new patient consultation.

This video comes with Dental Fear “U” rating……suitable for all! there are no dentists or team members in dental outfits and no dental equipment shown. Just me talking to myself and feeling a bit self conscious in our hallway!   Just click the image below to see it on You Tube

Hope & Help With Dental Injection Fear

Reports hit the press this week reporting on some research that is being done on dental anaesthetics to make them more comfortable.  At present some of the more commonly used anaesthetics are acidic, which can mean at point of first contact you can feel a little discomfort. The acidity is caused by some of the preservatives used to keep anaesthetic effective while it is waiting to be used.

The new development involves a special cartridge that will mix 2 parts of the anaesthetic together just before use thus doing away with the need for a preservative. Sadly researchers think it will be a few years before this makes its way out of the laboratory and into our hands in practice.

In the mean time here are the things that we already know can help to make injection pain a thing of the past.

1. Using lots of surface anaesthetic gel… favourite is bubble gum flavour!

2. Warming the anaesthetic to body temperature – makes for a more comfortable injection

3. Injecting very very slowly… this way the anaesthetic soaks in- believe me the first time someone gives you a really slow injection you will know the difference immediately.

4. Using techniques that allow us to avoid the most sensitive areas- there are many ways of numbing a tooth up so if you are someone who normally feels it a lot, tell your dentist and they can try an alternative approach.

Finally we know that in a heightened state of anxiety we often experience  pain  vividly more than we do when we are relaxed…… so a great self help tool is to start working on self relaxation techniques well before your visit. This way when you are  with the dentist you can use some of these techniques to reduce and control your anxiety levels.   If you need any suggestions or ideas just get in touch.