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Why quality dentistry will save you in the long run

Can you spot the grotty ‘white’ filling in the middle of the picture? Believe it or not this filling was not done at the turn of the century but completed a couple of years ago!


If you look at the tooth to the left of the one with the grotty ‘white’ filling you may be surprised to know that 15 mins previous to this photo it looked exactly like the grotty one. We are replacing this chap’s ugly white fillings with nice shiny new ones that look their age (ie well into the 21st century)…

People often ask if we enjoy dentistry. But who wouldn’t like being able to take out that grotty old filling and replace it with a nice shiny new one. We can get this invisible effect using our beautiful italian white filling materials, and a little bit of technique to go with it!!

Ok here’s the rub:

Grotty white filling in the middle of the picture
Estimated cost £20
Estimated time involved 5 mins
No guarantees
Replace every 2 years?

Shiny new Italian composite filling on the left
Time involved 15 mins
Cost £70
Cost of filling material: at least double that of the cheap stuff
5 year guarantee.

Quality dentistry costs less over time and makes you feel good.

Spot the crown competition

Just for fun

Winning Smiles spot the crown competition take 2:
Clue: there is one crown in this picture, can you tell which one?

Spot the crown

Spot the crown

Some of the simplest jobs are the most satisfying.

Invisible filling in front tooth – as good as new

Sometimes its the little jobs that make such a difference.

This chap said he had been hiding his smile for years. His main issue was the general yellowness of his teeth and an old filling in the upper central incisor.

We carried out some (minor) bleaching and replaced that old filling with a new one using Enamel Plus HFO material with Dr Lorenzo Vanini’s technique – see our best white fillings blog article.

Not sure if these pictures do it justice (it may depend on your computer settings). The real-life difference was more remarkable, but I’m sure you can see the difference anyway.




Recent dental implant case studies

Dental implants are an increasingly popular choice for my patients as I’ve been doing a lot of them recently.

So I thought it was about time I posted a few case studies. Here they are:

Tooth replacement and smile makeover: Case Study

A full set of replacement teeth: Case Study

Implant bridge: Case Study

Implant retained dentures: Case Study

I’d love to hear what you think – or if you have any questions about dental implants at all, please do post something in the comment box below.

Closing gaps between teeth

I thought it worth jotting a few words down about this one – it’s such a common problem for people, and frankly so easily fixed (without breaking the bank)!

Here at Winning Smiles we’ve been closing gaps between teeth for years, using our Italian composite-filling system (the same white filling system we use for tooth decay) – see our best white fillings blog article.

The beauty of using ‘Cosmetic bonding’ with a top class tooth-coloured filling system (like Enamel Plus) is that:

  • the teeth don’t need to be cut or ground down;
  • it’s over and done with in one visit (no waiting for crowns or veneers to come back from the lab);
  • it’s painless, really, I don’t even use anaesthetic for this technique!

So what are the drawbacks?

Nothing too serious really, I recommend having them polished once or twice a year to maintain their ‘lustre’ and I usually do the polishing during routine 6 month examination appointments (at no extra charge).

They can get chipped/broken, but so can veneers, the difference is that these bonded build-ups can be repaired seamlessly (chipped veneers have to be replaced completely).

And all for around £400. Something worth talking about?  In fact, it’s such a popular treatment I don’t know why I haven’t mentioned it before!

Here’s an example of the before and after pictures:

Immediate Veneers to Close Gap between upper front teeth Immediate Veneers to Close Gap between upper front teeth


Are your teeth stained on the inside?

Many people are familiar with the techniques used to whiten teeth from the outside, but I doubt many of you know that discoloured teeth can also be bleached from the inside, out!

There are times when the teeth are discoloured from within rather than from run of the mill red wine and coffee stains on the outside. It usually involves one or two front teeth (upper or lower) that have been root-filled in the past and have become severely discoloured (brown, yellow or orange).

When these badly discoloured teeth are combined with a generalised yellow appearance of the other teeth (from years of staining) this makes for the hand-over-mouth, or lip over teeth, smile that so many patients seem to put up with.

Standard dental bleaching involves either using trays at home or a special light source used in the dental chair (see my teeth whitening blog for views on which works best). However it is also possible to bleach the inside of these very dark (root-filled) teeth, and at Winning Smiles we use a technique that combines both bleaching the outside of all the teeth and bleaching the inside of those extra-orange ones. The results are quite spectacular and often avoids the need for drilling and crowning these individual problem-teeth.

In the photo, two of these front teeth were ‘off-the-scale’ orange, the rest were just a creamy shade of yellow from normal staining. The patient had 10 days to go before his dream wedding in the caribbean. This is how he looked after a week of Inside-Out-Bleaching. Can you tell which ones used to be orange?

If you look really closely, two of the teeth are whiter than the others – yep, you guessed it, those are the ones that were orange a week ago!

Perfect smile not required

Someone came to the surgery the other day, and this happens a fair bit, they apologised for their teeth.

It reminded me that I should put ‘something on the website’ about this, as we’re really not here to judge anyone and people should not feel the need to be embarrassed (even if it is human nature).

You see, its only when people really need us that we get to make the most difference.

And if its not too selfish of us, we’d be delighted to see you.

Immediate dental implant techniques

Just recently we’ve had an unusual number of patients coming in with serious problems with single front teeth. Perhaps it’s something in the Essex water!

Among the causes of these problems are

  • sports injuries (eg getting kicked in the face playing rugby)
  • ‘other’ injuries (eg falling down the stairs or sliding on the ice)
  • old crowns that have failed and cracked the root
  • problems with old crowns with posts
  • problems with root filled teeth

in these cases extraction is often the only option.

In the past we would have had to wait months after extracting the tooth before putting the implant in, and then a few more months of waiting before the implant could have a tooth added to it…..6-9 months of waiting with a temporary bridge in place…

With Immediate Implant techniques we can often bypass this waiting time: if the bone is intact around the failing tooth and there is no infection present then we can (very) carefully extract the root (without damaging the socket walls) and put an implant directly into the tooth socket!

And if the implant is secure in the bone then we can even put the titanium post into place and put a temporary crown on top.

Where appropriate this treatment means that the patient can literally come to the clinic with a failed tooth and leave a short while later with their new implant tooth in place.

Painless Dentistry: Dental Wand Demo

You may have heard of the dental wand, but if you haven’t seen it and want to know how it works, this is for you.

Although Matt told me this would be fun, I’m not sure now – it’s always horrible hearing yourself speak isn’t it?

Video length: 2 minutes and 50 seconds