Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tooth decay doesn’t mean the end

Many people may conjure up horrible images when they hear the words root canal, especially if they have a phobia of going to the dentist, but root canal treatment is a very safe procedure that can save a tooth. Root canal treatment is used to treat teeth that are severely decayed or damaged as a result of an accident or injury.

The root canal procedure involves removing decayed pulp tissue from the tooth; the pulp contains all the living tissue in the tooth, including the nerves and blood vessels and if the pulp becomes severely decayed, the tooth effectively dies. Root canal treatment removes all the decayed tissue and cleans the tooth so that a new crown can be placed over the tooth, creating a natural looking tooth that functions in exactly the same way as an original tooth.

If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged and it is left untreated, there is a risk of an abscess developing and the bone surrounding the affected tooth may become damaged; the condition of the tooth can quickly disintegrate and it may have to be extracted, which will create a gap in the teeth. Gaps not only affect the aesthetic of the smile but they also have an effect on the individual’s ability to eat and speak clearly.

Root canal treatment may be a daunting prospect for people who are worried about injections, pain or generally going to the dentist; however, the procedure is carried out under anaesthetic and many dentists now offer specialist services for patients with dental phobia. In the vast majority of cases the rewards of the procedure far outweigh the risks and the treatment can prevent the tooth from being lost. Root canal treatment is usually carried out over two appointments.

Painless dentistry

Visiting the dentist can sometimes give us a feeling of nervousness, but why is that? What is it about the dentist that reminds us of nothing but dental pain and anxiety?

At Smile Essential we have introduced painless dentistry, a concept many of us will find very hard to grasp. To start off what exactly is painless dentistry?

Painless dentistry can be defined as the removal of elements which our mind associates with going to see the dentist. We have set our clinic up with your relaxation in mind; we want you to feel at home and calm while you are here with us.

Of course we understand that bad memories triggered by sounds and past experiences can often cause a lot more pain and fear during a dental procedure than there actually is.

So what steps have Smile Essential taken to prevent this unwanted pain and make your procedure fear-free and pain-free?

If you have already visited us you will have noticed that we have removed all of the usual stigmas that could possibly cause you to panic. Gone are the typical white/blue clinical walls and the white dental coats. You won’t see any needles around and you won’t be greeted with the typical dental aroma’s. Our existing clients will be aware of our individual lemon aroma.

Stress can also be a powerful force in your fear of dentistry, which is why we spend a lot of time chatting with you, this allows you to feel calmer and open to chat about any fears you may have.

There are many ways to provide pain-free dental treatment, but nothing helps more than a calming atmosphere and a reassuring dentist who can put you at ease.

Here at Smile Essential we treat people as individuals. We’ll chat about any particular phobias people may have and don’t worry we’ve heard them all from the usual  i.e. needles, smell and the sound of the drill. To the more unusual from cotton wool to fish on the T.V. We’re here to help.

In addition to painless dentistry, there is also something we all can do to rid ourselves of unwanted dental pain. The best way to avoid dental problems is to go to your dentist regularly and maintain good oral hygiene, so that each time you visit it should just be to maintain your initial investment in your smile.

If you would like to benefit from a pain free dental experience please give us a call today on 0116 2891317 or send an email to

Smile EASEsential

I recently came in to see the dentist at Smile Essential for the first time I was so nervous. But the dentist really put me at ease.

I would highly recommend them to everybody!

Mrs G.A, Leicester

It’s all in the eyes… in how you smile

Pan American Airlines, better known as Pan Am, were once the international carrier for America, started in 1920 sadly  collapsed in 1991. The airline hostesses for Pan Am were famous for their ‘Pan-Am Smile’.

I must confess this was the first I’d heard of such a thing, it’s described as a ‘fake smile that is flashed to every jetsetter’ it has also been described as the ‘botox smile’ you can read about it here on wikipedia. So what?

A Smile without empathy is hardly a smile at all. Surely a fake smile that has no meaning means less than no smile at all, my question is how do you feel if you know someone flashes a fake smile at you? Well interestingly I came across an article written in The Sunday Times Newspaper  by John Harlow, thankfully you don’t need to have a subscription to read his article, you can read it here.

In the article he discusses a study by Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California in Berkeley in the difference between American and British smiles.

He found that while the British would smile by pulling their lips back and upwards and exposing the lower teeth, Americans are more likely simply to part their lips and stretch the corners of their mouths.

The difference was so distinct that he was able  to pick out Britons from Americans from close-cropped pictures of their smiles alone, with an accuracy of more than 90%.

Keltner found the British were also more likely to raise their cheeks when they smile, showing the crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes. This produces a more sincere, hard-to-fake smile.

The most common British smile — restrained but dignified — is called the Duchenne smile after Guillaume Duchenne, a 19th century French doctor who analysed facial expressions.

Keltner has nicknamed it the “Prince Charles”, as he believes the Prince of Wales has the typical British smile.

By contrast, Keltner found most Americans had the far less expressive smiles similar to the  “Pan-Am smile”.

In the article Keltner describes Tim Henman’s smile as ‘genuine, coy and flirtatious’ and Tony Blair’s ‘had retained many British characteristics’ likewise George bush’s smile was described as cynical rather than pleasurable’

The genuineness of a good British smile is all in the eyes — Keltner has found that only 5% of people can fake a smile that uses this muscle.

Other research has shown that women smile more than men in public, but stop smiling in private.

The power behind the smile may also be more potent than anybody has previously realised: Keltner recently released a study of photographs of women in college yearbooks dating back to the 1960s in which he separated the Duchenne smilers from the artfully posed. Researchers then tracked the women down and found that those who had smiled most happily at college overwhelmingly tended to have had the happiest lives since they had graduated.

Being a scientist, this all does sound quite convenient and i must stress this all is from an article in The Sunday times so a touch of the sensationalism doesn’t go amiss.

I find it fascinating that we regularly have people asking for the ‘Hollywood smile’, yet after this the truest smiles remain to be British.

Treating Individuals

Hi my name’s Joanne. I’ve just completed treatment for gum disease and replaced my two front crowns.

From the first visit I walked in and there was a wonderful fragrance, soft relaxing music and a very smiley welcoming receptionist.

My Dentist was clear, very attentive, informative, understanding and was interested in me as a person not just my teeth. The assistants are all very pleasant and pretty! I got the feeling I was in a happy work force.

My treatment has been excellent, I have been busy recommending the practice. Its no wonder that they were in the finals of the Dentistry Awards.

Carry on the good work guys and keep smiling!

Joanne, Leicester

Bright Start

Here at Smile Essential we believe prevention is key to maintaining good oral health. So we constantly strive to improve peoples knowledge around maintaining good oral hygiene. 

We have two Oral Health Educators at Smile Essential and we are about to have a third!

Emilia is working hard to gain a qualification to become an Oral Health Educator and is very passionate that education is key not only for children but also adults.

As part of her training and enthusiasm about National Smile Month, Emilia held an Open Day Event to educate children about tooth brushing. As you can see from the photos below the children really enjoyed themselves and learnt some valuable hands on information about Oral Health which will aid them in maintaining a Healthy Smile for life.

We always enjoy our open days and evenings it’s great for us to chat with patients and their friends in a more relaxed casual setting. We often find people feel more comfortable asking us questions at these events. We have some exciting open events for the future, so keep checking our blog and offers page for updates.

We wish Emilia all the best with her Oral Health Educator course and will keep everyone posted on her progress.