Monthly Archives: December 2013

Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

shrikesh_bWhen tooth whitening is carried out by a trained dental professional it is perfectly safe. Sometimes the public concern surrounding tooth whitening is because it is being carried out by beauticians, hairdressers, and salon staff; who do not have the sufficient knowledge or training and could cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.

Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha is the only dentist in Leicester to have Gold Membership accreditation to the British Dental Bleaching Society. He attended a two day training seminar and hands-on for Gold membership accreditation with the British Dental Bleaching Society. After completion of the course participants are eligible for Gold Membership of the British Dental Bleaching Society. The theoretical part of the course aims to teach about different Bleaching Techniques in general, discussing indications and contradictions for all types of bleaching, advantages, disadvantages, why do teeth discolour and types of tooth discoloration.

Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha of Smile Essential dentist in Leicester, knows all of the practical techniques in detail about home bleaching, power bleaching, internal bleaching, over the counter bleaching treatments, the current controversies in bleaching teeth, the current legal situation. One of the benefits of this type of treatment is bleaching treatments can be incorporated into simple aesthetic dentistry and advanced restorative dentistry.



Are Dental Veneers Just for Celebrities?

Dental veneers have become more popular in recent years due to celebrity trends, but many people still don’t know what they are or if they could help them.

Here at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester we have worked on a number of Veneer cases, sometimes people only require one veneer and sometimes people want to address their whole smile. This blog is dedicated to explaining what veneers are and the treatment involved in placing them.

Dental veneers are wafer thin, custom made shells of tooth-coloured material, designed to cover the front of your teeth to improve their appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth to change their size, length, width, cover up gaps or unsightly teeth.

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

  • Teeth that are discoloured
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

What is the procedure for getting veneers done?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires a few trips to see us at Smile Essential dentist – one for a consultation, one to review your veneers, one to make the veneers and one to apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

  • Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. Explain to the dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. We may take X-rays and take impressions of your mouth and teeth.
  • Try Before you Buy. 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.
  • Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist at Smile Essential will remove about half a millimetre of enamel from the tooth surface, which is roughly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added. Before trimming off the enamel. The treatment can be carried out comfortably while you lie back and watch a DVD from our DVD menu. Your dentist will then make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which constructs your veneer. It usually takes 2 weeks for us to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. In which time we will make you some temporary dental veneers.
  • Bonding. Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and colour. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer colour can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. 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. A glue cement is applied to the veneer, which is then placed on your tooth. Once properly positioned, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making final adjustments as necessary. Finally showing you, your fantastic new smile in the mirror!
  • The review appointment. The dentist here in Leicester will ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the veneer and to once again examine its placement.


Smile Essential in the Community

We recently went to a local Leicester school to help promote good dental health. At Smile Essential dentist we know it’s vital that good dental health starts young. After reading a recent Leicester Mercury article that discussed how the Leicester City Council are allocating £490,000 for a campaign to try to improve our children’s teeth and we decided we wanted to do our bit too.  So Emilia and Annamarie headed out to teach the 5 and 6 year olds at Kingsway Primary School.

The Class really engaged with Emilia who is a fully qualified Oral Health Educator at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester and Annamarie a qualified Dental Assistant. The children took part in various interactive activities and all left equipped with a special dentist goody bag and plenty of smiles.







If you or your child’s school would like us to do a talk at your school please get in touch.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart?

heartPaying attention to your dental hygiene and health, especially your gum health. May not only pay you back with more than a nice, gleaming, healthy smile. It could help keep your heart healthy too!

It has long been debated between dentists and cardiologists the link between gum disease and heart disease. Here at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester we often see patients that could support the various theories surrounding the gum disease and heart disease link. While there are several theories, it is not clear whether gum disease actually has a direct link to heart disease or not. If it’s true that people with poor oral health have more heart attacks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that poor oral health causes them. People with good oral hygiene may just be taking better care of themselves. In other words, people who floss and brush their teeth may have healthier life style and other heart-healthy habits.

How Could they be linked?

Experts agree that there are plausible reasons why dental health and heart health may be linked. For example, inflammation is a common problem in both diseases. Narrowing of the arteries or atherosclerosis, is associated with inflammation. Much of the build up of fatty plaque, also called atheroma (not the same as plaque we find on the teeth) in the arteries is an inflammatory process. Inflammation is also associated with gum disease. Gingivitis (the early stages of gum disease) occurs when gums become inflamed and bacteria invade the tissues.

What research shows about gum disease and the heart-

Experts in periodontology and cardiology reviewed more than 120 published medical studies, position papers and other data on the heart and a possible dental health link. They developed a consensus report, published in 2009 simultaneously in the Journal of Periodontology and the American Journal of Cardiology.

The aim of the paper was to give cardiologists, periodontists and other health professionals a better understanding of the links between gum disease and heart disease. But overall research is still ongoing and more is needed to know for sure.

7 Steps to the Perfect Dental Health Check

SE060It’s time, 6 months has flown by. So you turn up to the dentist…reluctantly for your checkup.

Well already you are one of the elite as less than 50% of the great British public even go to the dentist!

Hopefully it doesn’t smell like your childhood memories, here at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester we use aromatherapy oil burners to banish THAT smell.

You’re sitting in the chair when a voice calls out ‘Open Wide’.  How do you know that he/she is doing what they are supposed to do?  Is there a perfect dental check up?

Here’s what to look out for:-

1.   They should be nice and smiley. Yes I know that is so not scientific but I think it’s plain common sense, to help you relax.

2.   Extra-Oral Exam– This is a posh way of saying they should check all the stuff on the outside to do with your mouth.

  • TMJ- This is your jaw joint, is it moving freely, is it clicking, is there any pain?
  • Lips, muscles
  • They should check the lymph nodes under your jaw, behind your ears, along your neck.  This is important as many diseases especially cancer can be detected early via these nodes

3.   Intra-Oral Exam– This is basically all the pink stuff inside your mouth. Cheeks, inside lips, tongue, palate. The dentist is checking for any lumps and bumps and ulcers

4.   Periodontal Checks-Basically how healthy your gums are.  The colour, consistency.  A dental Probe should be used (has markings like a ruler) and is used to check how healthy your gums are. A score of 0 is the healthiest, 4 is the worst and means you have gum disease. Yup in dentistry we do it the opposite, of everyone else…the higher the number the worse your score!

5.   Teeth– Checking old fillings still intact, no cavities, any chips cracks etc, check existing restorations, e.g. crowns, veneers and bridges

6.   X-rays – Only when necessary but this varies.  Could be after 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or somewhere in between.  It depends on the individual and how many fillings they have or prone to.

7.   Discussion – At the end they should sit you up, it’s hard to have a good conversation when you’re  lying down unless it is pillow talk! They should let you know any issues, what to do next and give you a written treatment plan with costs upfront.

Notice teeth come way down in the list.  There are a lot more things we check for than just your teeth!


Don’t Get Your Teeth Knocked Out

It is important to wear a professionally made mouthguard whenever you play sport that involves physical contact or moving objects.

This includes: cricket, hockey and football-which can cause broken and damaged teeth; and American football, boxing and rugby-which can all cause broken or dislocated jaws.

A mouthguard is a specially made moulded vinyl cover which fits exactly over the teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage. It is made by taking an accurate impression of your mouth and making the mouthguard specifically to fit your own teeth. There are many colours to choose from including striped, multi-coloured and clear. Many people now have mouthguards made in their favourite team’s colours or to match their own sports strip.

Children who are still growing will have new teeth coming through so positioning will change and their mouthguard will need replacing fairly regularly. Adults may not need to replace theirs so often but, as with other sports equipment, mouthguards will suffer from and tear. If you already have a mouthguard we recommend that you bring it to your next dental health check, so that we can make sure it fits properly.