Nothing but the tooth

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Dentistry FAQs

How do I book an appointment?

Please write, email, ring or call in at the practice, and we will book an appointment that is convenient for you. You can also book certain types of appointment online.
We will send you an email reminder followed by a text a few days before your appointment. If you should need to alter your appointment, please give us as much notice as possible, and in any case a minimum of 48 hours. This allows us to offer the time to someone else and helps keep our costs and therefore our prices down.

Why do I need to come to the dentist if I am not experiencing any pain?

Most dental disease causes no pain at all until it is well advanced. Although it is perfectly possible that the reason you have no pain is that you are completely healthy, it is equally possible that you have significant tooth decay, or advanced gum disease, or a chronic abscess, but do not know it. Our healthy mouth assessments are designed to pick up all types of potential problems, including checking for mouth cancer. If your teeth are healthy we can advise you on how to keep them that way.

How do you ensure all your equipment is sterile and safe?

We take cross infection control very seriously. In order to comply with the essential requirements of government cross infection control advice, we use properly serviced and maintained equipment which sterilises all our instruments as thoroughly as possible. We use disposable items wherever possible and we never reuse items that are recommended for single use only. Our procedures are regularly audited and we undertake regular training to ensure our knowledge is up to date.

How do I know I am receiving good quality care?

The whole team keep our General Dental Council registrations up to date, and engage in regular training and education to keep our skills current. We are registered with the Care Quality Commission who most recently inspected our practice on February 12th 2014. Their report is published on their website. Click here to view the Report. We welcome and encourage feedback from all our clients so that we can constantly improve the service we offer.

How can I pay my bill?

The most cost-effective way of paying for your treatment is to join our “lifelong sparkle club”. Your regular preventive care, along with a host of other benefits, is then covered by one simple monthly direct debit.

Our preferred method of payment is by credit or debit card. We take all major cards including American Express. We also take cash.

Please come prepared to pay for all treatment received on the day you receive it. We will give you a receipt for your payment including any proof you need to claim your payment back from your insurance or employer if appropriate.

What do I do if I need care in an emergency?

If you need to see the dentist urgently please telephone the practice as soon as possible. We guarantee to see all our registered patients who have an emergency within 24 hours, but the earlier in the day that you ring, the more likely you are to be seen that same day and at a time that suits you best.

If the practice is closed and you cannot wait till opening time, please telephone and listen to the answer phone message which will give you instructions on accessing our out of hours emergency service.

What guarantees do you offer on treatment?

In line with our promise, we want you to keep a healthy mouth and an amazing smile forever. Guarantees are not possible in dentistry, as even the best treatment with the highest quality materials can fail owing to multiple patient factors outside our control. However, we have great confidence in our care, and we will therefore repair, adjust or replace as necessary any fillings, crowns, bridges, and dentures that we have placed which fall out or break within two years. On top of this we will always assess each case on its merits, and if we believe an item needs replacing because of something we could have done better, we will redo it free of charge or at a reduced cost even if it is over two years since it was placed. Valplast dentures are guaranteed for life against breakage in normal use.

We do not guarantee treatments which are temporary or a compromise requested against our advice. For example, if we advise that the only suitable treatment for a broken tooth is a crown, and you request we do the best filling we can in the circumstances, we will always try to fulfil your requirements but we cannot guarantee that the filling will last.

Treatments FAQs

Facial Aesthetics FAQs

How do antiwrinkle injections work?

Muscle relaxant injections reduce the movement of the muscles that cause the wrinkle. This minimises the appearance of existing lines and reduces the formation of new ones.

The injections contain a protein called botulinum toxin type A. There are various brands such as Vistabel and Botox. The product we prefer to use is called Azzulure. We can treat lines and wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows, as well as crows’ feet.

Anti-wrinkle injections do not immediately improve static lines that are present at rest but with repeated anti-wrinkle treatments, the skin that is normally creased has time to recover, and an improvement in static lines may be gradually seen.

Anyone can benefit from botulinum toxin, and it is used by both men and women.

What happens at my first treatment for anti wrinkle injections?

When you arrive we will check your medical history and ensure you are happy to go ahead with your chosen therapy. You will be seated upright rather than lying down and we will ask you to smile and frown so that we can make a small pencil mark on the skin to show us where to place the very fine, tiny needle. The sites to be treated will be cleaned thoroughly with a antimicrobial wipe. The injections take a few seconds each, and the discomfort experienced is very minimal. We can use topical anaesthetic cream if you wish.

Once we have completed the treatment, we will give you some advice as to how to look after yourself for the rest of the day and we will arrange a follow up review appointment.

The effects of anti-wrinkle injections will begin to appear at around 72 hours, building to its maximum effect in up to two weeks.

How long does Botulinum treatment last?

The duration of effectiveness is dependent on the dose administered and generally lasts up to 4 months. For the first few sessions, the longevity can be shorter – around 3 months. Studies have shown that anti-wrinkle injections are more effective and last longer when given at regular intervals of 3-4 months due to progressive weakening of the muscles treated. With time the amount required becomes less and the interval between injections becomes longer. If at any time, you decide to cease treatment, your muscles will return to normal. Wrinkles return to their previous state, and do not become worse.

Does it work on all wrinkles?

Ageing skin behaves like paper, the more times it is folded the deeper the line becomes. For this reason very deep lines and wrinkles require the use of Dermal Fillers as well as anti wrinkle injections in order to get the desired result. We always recommend trying the most conservative approach to anti-wrinkle treatments first and then build upon this if need be.

Dermal Fillers – what are they?

Dermal fillers are non-surgical cosmetic treatments used to fill or replace the lost volume in lines and folds that appear at rest. Unlike anti-wrinkle injections, they do not affect facial muscle movement. Wrinkles due to facial expression are best treated with anti-wrinkle injections.

Why might I choose to have dermal fillers?

As skin ages we lose collagen, fat and other natural moisturising substances from our skin. Our skin therefore becomes thinner, and lines and folds develop. Dermal fillers can help to replenish this lost volume of collagen in our skin and rejuvenate the face. Dermal fillers can also be used to enhance, define, or enlarge lips.

What happens at my filler treatment appointment?

Just as with anti-wrinkle injections, when you arrive we will check your medical history and ensure you are happy to go ahead with your chosen therapy. You will be seated upright and the sites to be treated will be cleaned thoroughly with a antimicrobial wipe.

Treatment usually involves the application of topical anaesthetic cream to the area to be treated, or local anaesthetic similar to a dental injection. The dermal filler is then injected into the treated area to fill out the line, wrinkle or fold.

How long do fillers last?

The results are instant but sometimes it takes more than one session to get the best results. The first treatment lays the foundation for the subsequent treatments, and future treatments allow for any adjustments to be made. The effects generally last six to nine months.

Orthodontics FAQs

Am I suitable for short term orthodontics?

You need to be dentally healthy with an excellent tooth cleaning regime before braces can be provided safely. Crowns and fillings don’t mean you can’t have treatment, but tooth decay and gum disease do. If you haven’t had a dental check up in over a year you will need to book one with us or your own dentist if you have one.

Not all crooked teeth can be straightened with short term orthodontic braces. We would recommend you come in for a free no obligation consultation when we can tell you if you need treatment from a specialist orthodontist to achieve your desired result.

Does it hurt?

The fitting, adjusting and removal of the braces is not painful, but you may find that your teeth ache for the first few days after adjustments, or after changing to a new aligner. Also the wires on fixed braces can make the cheeks sore for a week or two after they are first fitted. We provide you with special wax to put over the wires to make this more comfortable until the soreness wears off.

How long does the treatment take?

This varies depending on what the problems are that you want to correct. In general most treatments take between 4 and 9 months, but some more complex cases can take over a year. We will give you an estimate of when we think you will finish when you have your initial consultations.

Will I need to wear retainers?

Yes! Many of our patients are having braces because they stopped wearing their retainers after they had orthodontics as a child and their teeth have relapsed. Teeth move throughout life and this movement can only be minimised by wearing either a fixed retainer on the back of the teeth or a removable retainer every night, permanently.

Can I eat and speak normally with my braces in?

With any brace there is a period of adaptation for a week or two. Speech normally adapts very rapidly, but the Inman Aligner will usually change your speech a little for the whole time you wear it.
Certain foods will need to be avoided when wearing fixed braces as they can damage the wires or brackets.
You cannot eat, or drink anything other than water, with an Inman Aligner or with Invisalign or Smilelign clear aligners in place. As these need to be worn 22 hours a day for the best effect, this means that you will not be able to snack frequently during your treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs

How can I make my teeth look whiter?

Teeth darken over time as we get older, and the red wine, tea, coffee, curries and tobacco we consume all do their best to dull the brightness of our smiles. One of the quickest and simplest ways to look younger is to whiten your teeth.

Sometimes a simple “scale and polish” or one of our special Aquacare stain removal treatments can make all the difference to how your teeth look. For darker or more difficult stains, we can supply you with custom made whitening trays and gel which will restore your teeth to their former glory. You can choose between our quick and inexpensive Phillips Zoom whitening gel or the “Enlighten” system which guarantees the lightest natural tooth shade after treatment.

My teeth are crooked. What are my options?

Although veneers and composite bonding can give the appearance of straighter teeth, for more significant crowding braces are the best option. So many people are wanting to straighten their teeth now that braces are one of our fastest growing treatments. To find out more, have a look at our dedicated braces page.

What are veneers?

Stained, dark or malformed teeth, crooked teeth, and uneven smiles can all be corrected by porcelain veneers. These look a little like a false fingernail and are made by the laboratory to your exact tooth shape. The tooth or teeth are trimmed where necessary and the very thin veneer is bonded on top, evening out any crookedness and covering imperfections in the tooth surface.

How can I stop my fillings showing when I laugh?

If you have silver fillings they can be quite noticeable when you open your mouth wide, for instance to laugh or yawn. Fillings that curve around onto the front surface of the teeth can also show when you smile. We can replace these fillings with tooth coloured materials which will be virtually undetectable to your friends and family.

I just don’t like my smile at all. What can I do?

We can combine any of the above treatments to give you a complete smile makeover. For example, often we combine replacement of old ugly metal based crowns with new all ceramic ones, followed by composite bonding to improve the shape of less heavily restored teeth. Similarly, crooked teeth may need some straightening with invisible braces before they are ready for the final veneers. And initial tooth whitening with replacement of silver fillings and front teeth veneers will give that Hollywood look. There are as many possibilities as there are people, so do please come along and have a no obligation chat to our team, and we can give you some ideas about what is available for your particular needs. If you do decide you are interested, you will need to book an assessment and will be given a detailed treatment plan and full written estimate of costs before you proceed.

Nervous Patients FAQs

Will it hurt?

Patients are often frightened that on their visit to the dentist they will have to sit through uncomfortable or downright painful treatment, especially if they have suffered from bad experiences at the dentist in the past. We promise this will not happen when you visit us. We use excellent anaesthetics and gentle techniques and we believe we have failed if you are not completely comfortable at all times. The most frequent comment people make at the end of their treatment appointment is “if I had known it was that painless I wouldn’t have worried about coming”.

I hate not being in control

At nothing but the tooth, you are in control. We will never start treatment, even a check up, without your being ready. We will agree a signal you can give us, such as a raised hand, if you need us to stop what we are doing at any time. If you decide part way through an appointment that you have had enough for today, we will stop treatment. You can have absolute faith that you are in complete control of what is happening at all times.

Can’t you just knock me out?

Having treatment under sedation or General Anaesthetic is not a cure for dental phobia. The next time you need treatment you will be just as scared as you are now.

We prefer to work with you at your own pace to help you overcome your fears for good with a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neurolinguistic Programming type techniques which gradually desensitise you to the anxiety of a dental appointment.

If you are one of the few patients who feel they are not progressing with this, we can provide tablets to help just before your appointment, or we can arrange for you to receive any urgent care under sedation.

I am scared of needles

Lots of people have the same phobia, so you are not alone. We always try to use materials and techniques that do not need an injection if you are frightened of needles. If we feel that it is advisable that your teeth are numb before treatment, we will explain this to you. We can use a special gel to numb your gum first if you would like, and then our local anaesthetic injections are given so gently that many people do not even feel them. We ask our patients to score the injections on a 0 – 10 scale, where 0 is no pain at all and 10 is agony. Very nearly all our patients give a score of 0 or 1. Our highest ever score (once!) was 3.

I am frightened of the dentist’s drill

Again, this is a common worry.

If your anxiety is based on a worry that the drilling will hurt, we would refer you back to our pain free promise. You will not have to sit through any painful treatment here. Ever.

If you don’t like the noise, you are welcome to bring your iPod or MP3 player, or a CD to play.

If you dislike the sensation of drilling, we can do shorter treatments, or give you frequent “breathers”. There are even some ways of filling teeth such as the Aquacut air abrasion unit which will remove decay painlessly without any drilling at all.

I am embarrassed about how bad my teeth are

The team at nothing but the tooth are all experienced dental professionals, and I can promise you that we see patients with high treatment requirements all the time. It takes a lot of courage to come for treatment if you are nervous, especially when you know you need a lot of work. We applaud that, and we thank you for choosing us to help you on your way towards a healthy mouth and that amazing smile you are going to be sporting soon.

Implants FAQs

Am I suitable for implants?

If you lost your teeth through gum disease it is important that the disease is treated and stabilised, as implants will not integrate with the bone properly or can fall out if you have active gum disease.

Some medical conditions such as diabetes can also affect success rates, as will smoking.

If you take bisphosphonate medication (to help harden the bone in diseases like osteoporosis and myeloma) you are unlikely to be suitable for implants.

There needs to be enough bone to place the implant into, so people who have lost a lot of bone may need bone grafts or similar procedures before they can be treated.

How long does it take?

You should allow around 6 months from start to finish for your implants to be completed. Unless you are having immediate loading implants, we would normally allow around three months after extraction for the site to heal, and then there would be an assessment appointment with x-rays and possibly a scan, followed by the surgical procedure to place the implant in the bone. After a few weeks the implant is uncovered and a cap placed to shape the gum to the right shape for the new crown. Once this has healed we can then take the impressions and fit the final restorations, which will usually take three visits in total.

Is it painful?

The surgical treatment is carried out under strong local anaesthetic, and you can choose to have sedation for more extensive work, so the treatment itself is not painful. You may find that you are bruised and sore for a few days after the surgery, so it’s best not to book it just before any important events.

Where do I have my implants placed?

We work with Will Murphy to provide the surgical aspect of implant placement, before Celia or Hassan restore the implant with a crown. Will and Celia have been work colleagues almost since graduation (a long time!) and have worked together for patients needing implants for around 9 years. Will places his implants in one of his two clinics in Birmingham city centre or in Solihull. Once they are completed, you will have your crowns placed at Nothing But The Tooth.

Is it expensive?

Implant treatment is some of the most demanding and technique sensitive work that dentists perform. The implants themselves are costly if bought as we do from reputable manufacturers such as Straumann.
However, when looked at over the life of an implant, it can work out as very cost effective compared to having repeated dentures or bridges, or to needing to rebalance the bite after tipping of neighbouring teeth. Many of our patients feel that the benefit of a fixed tooth over dentures is worth the extra investment.

Six Month Smiles BACD - British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry British Dental Association The Oral Health Foundation GDC