How Mouth Aware Are You? The 45 second check that could save your life!

Are you able to recognise the changes in your mouth? That’s the question posed by Smile Essential as they support a charity campaign to raise awareness of mouth cancer.

The dental practice, based on Narborough Road, is urging Leicester residents to be more mouthaware and recognise the early warning signs of mouth cancer, ahead of November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

With awareness of the disease remaining alarmingly low, Smile Essential says that a simple 45-second check is often all that’s needed to identify anything unusual and be able to then seek professional guidance.

Dr Niket Patel from Smile Essential Dental Practice says: “Early diagnosis transforms our chances of beating mouth cancer from 50 per cent to 90 per cent so it is crucial that we know what to look out for and that we do not hesitate in seeking advice from a health professional.

“A mouth ulcer that does not heal within three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area, can all be potential signs of mouth cancer so it’s important to be aware of any changes occurring inside your mouth.

“Quite often it is easier to notice lumps and bumps on the outside of the body or to dismiss a mouth ulcer as benign. Most of us will spend at least a few minutes every day in front of a mirror brushing our teeth so while we’re there it makes sense to have a quick look inside the mouth.

“If you keep a lookout for these symptoms then a simple 45-second check really could save your life.

“If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please speak to your dentist or a doctor.”

Mouth Cancer Action Month takes place throughout November and is organised by the Oral Health Foundation.

With around 8,300 Brits diagnosed with mouth cancer last year, the disease is one of the UK’s fastest increasing cancers, with cases rising by a third in the last decade alone.

Survival rates of mouth cancer have not improved in the last 20 years and the oral health charity is concerned that too many are mouth cancers are being diagnosed at a late stage, significantly reducing our chance to beat the disease.

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE added: “Mouth cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth including the lips, tongue, cheek, throat and gums.

“Mouth cancer can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, impacting on their breathing, eating and speech. Reconstructive surgery could also change their appearance while the experience often has an impact on confidence and self-esteem.

“By developing a greater understanding about the early warning signs and symptoms, the lifestyle factors which increase our risk, and recognising where to go if we notice anything unusual inside our mouth, we can detect mouth cancer early. This will not only improve our chances of beating it but will also reduce the amount of invasive surgery needed to treat it.

“During every dental check-up, your dentist will do a visual examination for mouth cancer and look for anything that might be a cause for concern. That’s why it’s so important to keep regular dental check-ups – it’s not just about the health of our teeth and gums – a trip to the dentist could really be a lifesaver.”

To find out more information about mouth cancer and Mouth Cancer Action Month, please visit


Alternatives to veneers UK…

Dental veneers are often touted as the perfect celeb smile. However, many people often wish they could have veneers, but they are unaware of what they entail and the commitment. Veneers aren’t magic they require commitment.

We often get asked about veneers at our Leicester dental practice. We decided it would be beneficial if people had a brief guide on ‘Alternatives to veneers UK…’ that they could read at their leisure. Of course, dental treatment varies from person to person, and this guide shouldn’t be used in place of professional dental advice given to you following a full consultation.

In this guide, we will first discuss what you need to know about dental veneers. We will then also look at alternative options that may be suitable for you. 

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are a covering that goes over the top of your teeth. They are usually made from porcelain. Veneers can be used to change the size, shape and colour of your teeth. 

Veneers are mostly used to fix:

• Teeth that are discoloured
• Teeth that have been worn down
• Chipped or broken teeth
• To improve the shape of the tooth
• To close a space between teeth

The treatment process for porcelain veneers

Having dental veneers happens over several appointments. 

Firstly a consultation to check that you are suitable and understand the commitment required for veneers.

Having veneers requires you to have excellent oral health. Your mouth has to be healthy with no tooth decay or gum disease. This can affect have a negative impact on the veneer treatment. So before you proceed with veneer treatment, there may be some other dental and hygiene work required. 

Once your mouth is healthy, veneers can be completed in 3-4 appointments. This involves planning, preparation and fitting and of course, a review appointment to check that you are managing to look after them at home.

Committing to veneers

Having veneers is a big commitment. Firstly due to the extensive work and laboratory involvement (to make the veneers), the cost of veneers can be very high. Veneers do not last forever and will have to be replaced. So you need to consider your financial position not just now but in the future. 

Most veneer treatments involve filing away some tooth. This is important to understand, as it means that the procedure, in most cases, cannot be undone.

As we mentioned, veneers require you to have excellent oral health. This requires a daily commitment to interdental cleaning – flossing and toothbrushing. Failure to do this could result in poor appearance or further treatment being needed. Gum disease can cause the gums to shrink away from the veneer, and tooth decay could start around the surfaces of the tooth and veneer. Good oral hygiene is imperative for dental veneers!

Adjustment to diet. Veneers are durable, but they can chip or break when the aftercare instructions aren’t followed. Your dentist is likely to advise you that you should no longer bite into hard foods such as apples or carrots. This puts a massive force onto the veneers and could cause them to chip or break. You can still eat those foods, but you will be required to cut them with a knife and then place into your mouth to chew.

These are just a few of the commitments and considerations you should think about if deciding whether you want veneers. Your dental professional will be able to discuss your factors during a cosmetic consultation.

Alternative options to veneers

There are alternative options to having veneers. These options have now also become popular with celebs and people in the public eye. These alternatives are considered to be more conservative – it doesn’t harm the teeth significantly.

Adult cosmetic braces. Also known as invisible braces.

Braces for adults are now more popular than ever. With around half of all brace cases now being adults, not kids! People often want veneers to improve the position of the teeth. Adult braces offer you a solution to permanently fix the teeth. There are a couple of advantages braces have over veneers. Firstly, once the treatment is complete, it requires minimal commitment compared to veneers. There are no changes to your eating habits and having teeth that are aligned correctly has a positive impact on your dental health. This is because food and plaque don’t trap as easily, and they are also easier to clean, which makes your home care routine much more effective.

Cosmetic contouring/reshaping

Sometimes dentists can reshape your teeth using some composite filling material. This can be done in one appointment, and subtle changes can have a dramatic effect on your smile. Because it doesn’t involve lab work or several appointments, it can be a considerably cheaper alternative to dental veneers.

The drawbacks are that it’s not always a suitable treatment. There are limitations as to what can be done, and they can break easily and cause damage to the natural tooth.

If you would like to discuss your options for improving your smile then take advantage of our free no-obligation consultation. Get in touch here.

Need to change dentists?

After several years with my previous dentist – and dreading every visit – I decided I needed to change. I can’t believe the difference, not only in the quality of care but also the dentistry which is far more advanced than I have experienced before. I have just had root canal treatment and can honestly say that on each of my visits I haven’t felt the slightest bit nervous – the team have looked after me fantastically and I am very happy with the results.

J.B, Leicester.

Find out why you should choose us for your dental care needs…

Terrifying Treats That Won’t Rot Your Teeth!

Teeth Bites!

These are our absolute favourite Halloween treats! They are truly terrifying treats from Fork and Beans.

Mummy Pizza

Who’s the mummy this Halloween! These pizza treats will go down a storm with the kiddies.Check out Inhabited Kitchen for a full buffet line up of Halloween treats.

Ghosts and Pumpkins!

Who knew that ghosts could be one of your 5 a day! These fruity spooks Weelicous.

Cheese and Pretzel Broomstick

You’ll be riding high this Halloween with these low sugar magic treats from One Little Project.

Watermelon Brain

Check out this watermelon brain from The Rawtarian. Spooktacular!

Spooky Teeth

Our second tooth entry for Halloween! Visit Active Kids for more details.

Devils Eggs!

These will look pretty impressive on your Halloween table! Check them out on Good To Know.


Friendly Leicester Dental Practice…

I have been a patient at Smile Essential for a number of years. I used to be a very nervous patient and really hated going to the dentist after having several bad experiences at other dentists in Leicester. The staff are very friendly and very helpful too. From the moment you walk into the time you leave you are put at ease and any treatment you receive is explained to you.

I have recently moved to the Isle of Wight but I will be coming back to Leicester so I can have my treatment at Smile Essential.

Find out more about joining our Leicester practice…

How gum disease can affect your overall health…

The mouth is often overlooked when we are considering the health of our body. However, there is growing evidence that an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realise that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

With that in mind, we take a closer look at some of the most documented connections. 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Gum Disease Link UK

A study published earlier this year linked gum disease to Alzheimer’s disease. The bacteria most commonly responsible for gum disease produces an enzyme that was present in higher levels in brain tissue of patients who suffered Alzheimer’s compared to normal brains of the same age. A second study showed that the bacteria can increase the production of amyloid beta, a major component of the amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s. These studies don’t prove any direct causation and more still needs to be done.

Premature Labour and Gum Disease Link UK

Gum disease can have implications during pregnancy. Maternal periodontal disease increases the chances of giving birth prematurely (less than 37 weeks) or to a lower weight baby. A study of 400 women discovered that the women who received periodontal treatment had less premature labours.

Diabetes and Gum Disease Link UK

There is an increasing number of links between gum disease and diabetes. Around half of the UK, population suffers from gum disease and about 10% of them have it severely enough that it leads to tooth loss. 

The increase in blood sugar level, which occurs in diabetes, can cause damage to nerves, blood vessels, the heart, the kidneys, the eyes and the feet. In the same way, the gums can also be affected.

Evidence also shows that severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and also in those who do not have diabetes. In other words, periodontal disease and diabetes are linked in both affect one another.

Heart Disease and Gum Disease Link UK

There have been established links between gum disease and heart health. The Brtish Heart Foundation is doing lots of research into the links between heart disease and gum disease. They have put together this fantastic easy to understand video explaining why gum disease can affect your heart.

Now it’s important to remember that gum disease is treatable. If treated early then there are often no harmful effects. If left untreated it can cause damage but is still treatable and can prevent further problems from occurring.

If you are worried about your gum health then please get in touch with us for advice…

Over 20 years of good treatment at this Leicester dental practice…

I have been coming to this dentist for over 20 years and the service care, concern and planned treatment has given me years of peace of mind and more importantly, I’ve kept most of my teeth!

The receptionist Adele and dental staff Amelia… Lina… and all staff including the excellent cleaners of the premises… I cannot thank you all enough and never have any fears or worries about my treatment… Thank you!

Mrs J.P, Leicester.

Find out here what to expect on your first appointment at Smile Essential…

Here’s what you should know about Invisalign at our Leicester dental practice…

Invisalign treatment is an incredibly popular option for realigning your teeth. It is one of the main cosmetic brace systems that is requested by our Leicester dental patients.

Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear aligners over your teeth – so they are almost completely invisible. They are developed using the worlds most advanced system. Gently exerting pressure on key areas to align (hence being known as aligners) the teeth into a more desirable position. The aligners are designed to be changed every 1-2 weeks as the teeth can only be moved a small amount at a time.

To get started with Invisalign one of our Leicester dentists will assess to see if Invisalign is the most suitable option for you, your other options, including if an alternative treatment with an orthodontist would be more suitable. If it was agreed then the next step would be a more detailed assessment in which a ClinCheck is created. This maps out your entire Invisalign journey, detailing how long exactly the treatment will take and will also show you how the final result will look. This is very exciting for our Leicester patients seeing the results beforehand!

Invisalign cases take different lengths of time depending upon the complexity of the case. You will know an approximate length of time once you have completed a ClinCheck. Invisalign can be completed in as little as 3 months or it can take up to 2 years for complex cases.

After completing treatment many people wish they had straightened their teeth years ago. Having your teeth aligned in a more attractive way can really help to boost your confidence and keep you smiling.

Arrange your complementary consultation today…

What’s the process of having dental veneers…

Dental veneers are often seen as the staple of the perfect celeb look. However, over recent years more and more people are seeking options such as veneers to improve their smile.

We have developed this simple guide to help you to understand more about dental veneers and if they might be an option you wish to look at.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-coloured materials, designed to cover the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth. Dental veneers can change the colour, shape, size, width/length, they can be used to treat gaps or hide unsightly teeth.

The most common reasons dental veneers are used:

• Heavily discoloured teeth

• Worn-down teeth

• Teeth that are chipped or broken

• Create a more desirable tooth shape

• Close a space between teeth

What is the procedure for getting veneers done?

For the best results, veneers can require several visits to the dental practice. The following stages help to outline the process:

Step 1) Diagnosis and treatment planning. 

This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. You need to be able to explain to the dentist the results you would like. Consider the key thing that you would like to address and that you are trying to achieve. Photo’s of the type of look you are after can help you to get the most out of this appointment. 

As well as the discussion, of course, the dentist will need to examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate and discuss what the procedure will involve for you, the time frame, the cost and key considerations about the treatment. The dentist may take X-rays and take impressions of your mouth and teeth.

Step 2) Test Run! 

We appreciate that committing to having cosmetic work carried out especially on your front teeth can be a daunting task. That’s why we work closely with our laboratory to create diagnostic wax-up models of your teeth with the veneers in place. This way we can work together to see if there is anything that you would like to change before carrying out any work. 

Step 3) Preparing the teeth for veneers.

Preparing a tooth for a veneer. The treatment can be carried out comfortably while you lie back and watch a DVD from our extensive DVD menu. Your dentist will shave about half a millimetre of enamel from the tooth surface, which is roughly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added. Your dentist will then make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which constructs your veneers. It usually takes around 2 weeks for us to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. In which time we will make you some temporary dental veneers.

Step 4) Fitting your dental veneers. 

Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, the dentist will show you the teeth on the tooth models. If you’re both happy then the next step is to remove your temporary veneers. Even at this stage the dentist will place the veneers onto the tooth and check the fit and look of them before permanently cementing. They will also show you in the mirror if possible. 

Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched, which roughens it to allow for a strong bonding process. The dentist gets a bit fussy at this point about not getting the teeth wet (it affects the glue). So they may gently guide you to keep your mouth open and they’ll go quiet whilst they concentrate. A glue cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, it will be set via our blue curing light, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making final adjustments as necessary. Finally the exciting part! Showing you, your fantastic new smile in the mirror! 

Step 5) The review appointment. 

Aftercare is very important when it comes to dental veneers. Our Leicester dental team will ask you to return for a follow-up visit a couple of weeks after the fitting to check how your gums are responding to the veneer/s and everything fits and feels good. 

Long term maintenance

Veneers don’t last forever and most veneers aren’t reversible – meaning you can’t just have them removed and have your natural teeth. With good care and maintenance, veneers can last around 10 years. But this depends on many factors. The dentist will discuss the length of time they expect them to last for you.

Find out more about dental veneers at our Leicester dental practice…

7 Reasons to use that smile of yours!

1. Smiling makes you more attractive






A 2013 study revealed that, when shown identical faces that only differed in their facial expression, people preferred the smiling face. 

Smiling helps to draw people in – it’s a warm welcome that instantly puts people at ease. Ultimately a greats mile makes you more attractive!

2. A smile is contagious

This is a fun one to try out! Smiling back at someone is an automatic response for most of us. Someone with a beaming smile can light up a whole room.

3. Smile to feel better








Stress can show up in your face! A smile can help you to feel better and stop you from becoming overwhelmed. helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood. Muster a smile and you’ll start to feel a little better.

4. Smiling is good for your health!

It can boost your immune system and even lower your blood pressure! When you smile, it can positively affect your health possibly because you are more relaxed! 

5. Smiling makes you feel good

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug!

6. Smiling can help you to look younger

When you smile the muscles we use to lift the face and help you to appear younger. `Smiling your way through the day — you’ll look younger and feel better.

7. Smiling keeps you thinking positively








30Take this test! Smile – a big smile. Okay so now try and think of something negative – without losing the smile. It’s tough! A smile is interpreted in our body that life is good!