6 Month Smiles

Just back from an exciting few days at the British Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry’s annual conference in Edinburgh. For once it was nice to have a high profile dental event in our home town.

We enjoyed a good few days picking up tips and advice on the most up to date cosmetic techniques from some of the worlds finest clinicians. For me one of the recurrent themes of the conference was that cosmetic dentistry in the uk, thankfully, is moving away from grinding away lots of healthy tooth for the sake of improving appearance towards a more conservative approach where as little is actually done to the teeth as possible. This approach to all dental care has been at the heart of what we do at Craigentinny for the last 20 years so it is nice to see it starting to take hold in mainstream cosmetic dentistry too.

It was also great to spend 3 days in the company of other dentists from around the UK who love what they do and are truly fascinated by their craft.

Our highlight was the 6 Month Smiles certification course which allows us to expand the range of short term orthodontic treatment that we are able to offer our patients. This treatment is designed mostly for adult patients who do not wish to have major bite altering treatment that takes 12-18 months or longer. 6 Month Smiles allows you to improve the alignment and appearance of the front teeth in around 16 – 34 weeks. The 6 Months Smiles system can also cope with some problems that treatments such as the Inman Aligner may struggle with.
The great news is that both systems are now available to our patients.

Finally we are off to the Dentistry Awards tomorrow after being shortlisted for an award, fingers crossed.

How To Stop Being Scared Of The Dentist

Do you think an Open House would help?

We know that taking the first few steps to beating any fear are the hardest, and dental fear is no exception. As a team we are always looking for ways to help people want to beat their dental fear but are too nervous or scared to take the first step. We know that for the vast majority of people things get much much easier after the first few steps. This lead to the development of our 7 day e-course which in turn has become a plans to hold an open night at our dental practice in Edinburgh.

At the open night we hope to provide a chance for people to come and see us without actually having to have a consultation or an examination.
Several of our team will be on hand with wine, soft drinks and nibbles. The wine will be purely for medicinal purposes and the nibbles will of course be sugar free! They will be happy to talk about anything, be it teeth, dental fears or something else all together. We really want this to be a chance for anyone who finds the thought of a “real” visit just too stressful to come along without any of the “scary stuff” happening. Friends and family members providing moral support will be made welcome too. I would love to know whether you think this is a good idea or not.
Our first ever Open Evening will be on Wednesday 25th November running between 5:30pm and 8:30 pm. So if you or someone you know might benefit please come along. For more information visit the web site or just RSVP
Even if you are not particularly anxious but want to have an informal chat about any aspect of your dental care at all just drop in and see us on the night. Our friendly team will be lonely without any visitors so please do join us.

On a personal note I was delighted and proud to discover last week that our team at has been shortlisted in the “Dental Team of The Year – Scotland” category at the Dentistry Awards. There are 2 other practices in the running but we are the only dentist in Edinburgh to be shortlisted this category. The story was picked up and reported briefly in the Edinburgh Evening News too which was great. The nomination is a great boost for our support team of Nurses, Hygienists, Receptionists, and Back Office Staff all of whom strive to make sure our patients are really cared for before, during and after their visits. Without them the our Dentists could not achieve the results for their patients that they do. We find out if we are the overall winners on the 4th of December….. fingers crossed.

Does Preventive Dentistry Make A Difference?

Ok I admit it! I have fillings, lots of them, a good few root treatments too and a handful of crowns. In fact there is little that I do to my patients that I have not been on the receiving end of myself at one time or another. Great for helping me to be an empathetic dentist but given a choice of all this or no treatment at all what do you thibk I woudl choose?
Despite all of this treatment in my mouth, I have not experienced any new tooth decay for at least 10 years…..so what do I know that most people don’t?

Here are my thoughts

First lets start with the old fashioned approach to dentistry, it goes something like this…..

At your check up the dentist finds tooth decay in your mouth –
so you have a filling.
At your next check up or the one after that there is more decay
and so another filling is done
and so it goes on, every so often
having filling after filling

So over a lifetime your ever increasing number of fillings that grow ever larger. Eventually teeth start to break and crowns or root fillings become necessary too.

It seems like you are never away from the dentist and that your teeth just don’t like you any more…..do you remember any of this from the past? I do!

Now lets look at the MODERN ALTERNATIVE = Preventive Dentistry

Your dentist knows that filling teeth IS NOT treating tooth decay.
They that a filling only treats the EFFECT of tooth decay.
Treating tooth decay actually means stopping the process that caused the hole in the first place
So instead he or she sets about finding out WHY you are getting tooth decay
Then helps you to sort this problem out
All this is done without a drill going anywhere near your teeth

A preventive or minimally invasive dentist might

  • analyse your diet,
  • examine a sample of plaque from your mouth under a microscope
  • test your saliva to find out if it is helping or hindering
  • ask a skilled dental hygienist to devise a killer home care routine for you
  • use a laser scanner to identify early decay

These are just some of the things that that I have befitted from personally and lead to our team being shortlisted as preventive practice of the year in 2007. The tests themselves do nothing but an experienced preventive dentist will use the information they provide to create a customised plan of action which can help you to eliminate the tooth decay process from your life. permanently

If you can stop the decay process, and it really is possible to do this without living like a Saint, then the amount of dental treatment that you need in future will be far far less. Now hands up anyone who actually likes having treatment done?……..

It sounds so simple and obvious but it is true.

Over the years our team have helped hundreds of nervous patients regain control of their dental health. They have been able to stop the decay process in their mouths and as a result have need far less treatment. That is the perfect outcome and that aim of preventive dentistry.

If there is no new decay happening then treating any pre existing problem becomes much less urgent and can be carried out at a pace that is comfortable and stress free to all concerned. it means one less thing to worry about.

Equally if you are considering investing in any cosmetic treatment wouldn’t you rather protect your investment by making sure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be before you start?

So if you would like any advice or help treating tooth decay why not start with our simple 4 point prevention plan on our web site. It’s not rocket science but as a starting point it will improve your chances of becoming decay free. Or better still drop our team a line with your question and they will be happy to oblige.

Scared Of The Dentist – Beat The Fear Cycle

After an extensive search a new dental colleague is joining the Craigentinny Team in the next few weeks. As we have a very special interest in helping nervous patients overcome their anxieties it was very important to us to find a caring dentist who understands the fears anxieties and needs of a nervous or phobic patient. As a result our search took some time, but at long last we are please to welcome Dr David Brown BDS to Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh.
Dave as he likes to be known, is a very experienced dentist with wide ranging interests. After talking to him for a short time it becomes evident that not only is he passionate about his dentistry but that he cares sincerely about his patients. We were chatting recently when we got into a discussion about a problem that we had both identified that keeps many people away from the dentist.

I call it the “Fear Cycle,” it goes something like this,

1. you are scared of the dentist
2. so you don’t go along until you are really having a BIG problem.
3. When you do you find the treatment for this BIG problem incredibly stressful and
4. as a result your worst fears are conformed…….
5. so that you continue to believe that dentistry is scary and you wont be back!
6. Until the next time it happens again—-go back to Item 1

Sound familiar?

Breaking this Fear Cycle is critical to beating your dental fear. Imagine a situation where you had a healthy, gorgeous smile, it is well cared for and each time you visit the dentist, we only have a look around and give things a gentle clean. This is the reality for many people, and preventive dental care can help almost anyone to achieve this.

The trick lies in breaking the “Fear Cycle.” The very best way to do this is to resolve to visit the dentist BEFORE you experience your next dental emergency. When you are going in to see the dentist knowing that nothing has to be done on a specific day you will feel much less stressed, more relaxed and in control.

If you attend this way you will be better equipped to explain to the dentist what it is that frightens you and what support you feel you need from them. At a routine visit rather than an emergency one, your dentist can work with you to create a detailed programme of prevention that can help you to avoid the extreme situation where you experience toothache or severe pain.

Recognising that the best time to visit the dentist is when you are not in pain is big step towards beating your fear.

Here are just 3 things that you could try

1. Find a dentist that is truly interested in treating nervous patients
2. Visit Dental Fear Central it is a great source of advice and support and recommendations
3. Try our free 7 day beat your dental fear eCourse

Or feel free to get in touch with our friendly team of dentists here at Craigentinny who are happy to hear from you in person, by e-mail or telephone.

The Cosmetic Revolution

Cosmetic dentistry has been a hot topic for a long time. 10 Years Younger and Extreme Makeover have created greater awareness of cosmetic dentistry and what it can do.

One thing that you rarely hear talked about on these programmes is what we call the “restorative cycle.” Put simply, just how long do you think that your new smile will last?
The truth is that crowns, veneers or any artificial material that is placed in the mouth by a dentist has a lifespan. Nothing lasts forever no matter how well it is done. The actual lifespan of any treatment will vary hugely from one person to the next. For example what you eat, how well you brush, or floss, whether or not you grind your teeth will all have an effect on how long things last.
As a Preventive Dental Practice we don’t like it when teeth need to be drilled! We believe that any treatment should have as long a restorative cycle as possible.
So if you want straighter and whiter teeth. You usually have 2 options
1. porcelain veneers
We prefer moving the teeth orthodontically and whitening rather than grinding the teeth down for veneers. Why?
Veneers will probably get you to the end result a little faster, but you should plan on replacing them every 7 to 15 years. Considering the averge female born today is expected to live for 81 years that means quite a few sets of veneers in a lifetime. generally veneers need removal of some natural tooth to make space for them and each time the veneers are replaced there is the potential for a little more tooth to be lost.
Compare this to the orthodontic option. If you move the teeth to the correct position and retain them there, the result will be lifelong. There is no porcelain to chip, or become stained at the edges and usually the teeth are left untouched. When the total cost to you over a lifetime is calculated the orthodontic option wins hands down. No one solution is right or wrong, and there are still situations where porcelain veneers or crowns are the right treatment. Make no mistake change is coming. New technologies and approaches such as the Inman Aligner and 6 Month Smiles are gradually superceding more traditional aproaches to the smile makover.
Here are the results for just one patient that we helped at Craigentinny Dental Care.
All done with No INJECTIONS, and NO DRILLING away of healthy tooth.
As well as moving the teeth we did use one extra technique to get this result and i will talk about that soon.

The Secrets Of 1 Hour Whitening

Tooth whitening in an hour fact or myth? Lots of people ask me if 1 hour tooth whitening works or not. The fact that at present we don’t do 1 hour tooth whitening as a standalone treatment in the practice probably tells you a lot about my views on this. I have spoken to patients who will argue a case for both sides. On thing that you need to be aware of if you are having this done is that your teeth will get whiter just by being dried out for an hour. And believe me when I say that 1 hour bleaching WILL dry out the teeth.

Take a look at these 2 pictures, we did not do any whitening at all for this lady. We used some layered resin bonding to close a space between 2 front teeth that she was unhappy with. This in its self is fairly routine cosmetic dentistry at our practice in Edinburgh. No injections needed and a relatively short treatment time of around an hour. Low stress for our patient who liked the idea of injection free treatment and loved the final result. Happy patient = happy dentist!

Now look at the colour of the rest of the teeth, you will notice in the after photo that the teeth look much whiter (even allowing for different camera exposure settings.) This is because the teeth had dried out during the treatment. Given an hour or two another photo would show the overall shades of the teeth to be back to normal.

This is the same phenomenon that many people see after 1 hour whitening where the initial results look fantastic but seem to fade back from this level very rapidly. My point here is not to say that 1 hour whitening is bad per se but simply to highlight one risk with assessing before and after colour of teeth on the same day. Colour stability after whitening can take up to 2 weeks to develop depending on the system used.

Natural tooth whitening systems will boost your smile and get rid of the stains that build up over time but if you want the really white look it is still necessary to use a deep bleaching system which mixes together in practice and at home whitening for the best and most predictable results.

Dental Fear or Dental Phobia – A Gentle Introduction

We are right in the middle of some major practice development right now. This goes on all the time along side the dentistry, but the arrival of our Practice Manager last September has allowed Myself and John to allocate more time to improving our services and developing our team. After many discussions with my team about the barriers that keep nervous patients or peole with dental anxiety away from dental practices, we agreed that something was needed to help people bridge the gap between WANTING to see a dentist and actually going ahead and making contact.

As a result our first ever e-course recently went from concept to reality in just 14 days. The information was all there so it was an easy matter to get it organised into bite sized chunks. It was launched on our web site recently already more than 50 participants have completed the course. it has been great to receive e-mails from many of the participants who have found it to be helpful. It is a totally free resource and offers a daily e-mail for 7 consecutive days where we share some of the many tips, tricks and tools that we have used to help dentally phobic patients over the last 20 years. Even if you live no where near us you are welcome to participate. If you know someone who is too scared to see a dentist why not send them the link to the Dental Fear E-course.

It was also a real boost to get such a positive reponse to this idea from the site administrator at Dental Fear Central who helped to test the course and gave some great feedback too. As a resource for patients it is in my opinion up there among the best.

Ideas from our recent practice meeting it also lead us to a radical overhaul of the options that are available to nervous patients . Tomorrow we will be reviewing what progress we have made as a team in helping our patients enter a less stressful world of dentistry. Some of my most enjoyable days happen when we see the practice moving forwards, hopefully this is one.

Dental Implants and The Future

Dental implants are growing steadily in popularity in the UK. For a long time we lagged behind almost every country in western europe in terms of the number of patients who benefitted from this type of treatment. Thankfully now as the implant systems have become more user friendly treatment has become much more accessible.
One of the biggest advances is the availability of 3 dimensional x ray scans of the mouth. Just like whole body scanners that are used in hosiptals, there are now smaller versions that just deal with the jaws and teeth. This means that we can assess with incredible accuracy how much space is availble for a dental implant where before we could only get rough indication. What this now means for our patients is that treatments are more predictatable than ever before.
From the perspective of a preventive dentist, dental implants have bcome a bigger part of our practice in e
Here is one little example of what we can do now

New Mini FIlm For Web

We have wanted to showcase our cosmetic dentistry on our main website for a while now and just struggled to find the right way to do this. I have just received a copy of a mini stills video that does just this. its not the finsihed product bit is definately soemthing better than the traditional before and after shots. What do you think?

Fantastic Lab Work

Received a case back from the Lab team at Edinburgh Dental Specialists today and and was blown away by the quality of the finished product. I can’t wait to see my patients smile when they see the end result. From start to end the lab team have been very supportive and nothing has been too much trouble for them. The end result is a real credit to them. Our office and reception team have also been fantastic in bringing together all aspects of the case.