Monthly Archives: March 2015

Wow! Check out this email we received…


I just wanted to say a big thank you for the sympathetic and professional manner in which you treated me whilst I was suffering from a painful abscess which eventually required the tooth to be removed.

On each occasion I was seen on the day of request. From front of the house to the ‘back room’ I received treatment that I have never experienced before t a dental practice. you have created a practice that should be the model of ALL dental practices.

My thanks to the dentists, the dental nurses on the respective days (superb) and not forgetting the first impression makers the all important reception staff. Final thank you to ‘Mr Bean’ on the TV in the ceiling, thanks for the distraction it certainly helped.


Find out about our new patient dental package


We love shopping locally and try to do so whenever possible. So on our hunt to bring you this blog and the task of persuading you away from a mass quantity of easter eggs (you can’t eat 20!) we needed something good, something really good. We needed Set.

So with a little help from the lovely folks at Leicester’s Highcross gift shop- Set we bring you a list of ’10 Sweet Gifts this Easter’ with something for your little niece, terrible brother, doting daughter, lovely mother, socked out dad, gorgeous granny, or a selfie for your selfie! Set yourself apart from the usually monotony of egg gifts this Easter with our top 10 picks.


My Set Leicester Easter Gift Number 1Soft and cuddly lamb £15.99 and his friend the duckling £10.99 both from Jellycat.


Set Leicester Easter giftsSalt and Pepper Dutch rabbits £14.99


My Set Leicester Easter gift 3Wear this adorable Easter bunny with pride, cute ceramic necklace £20.


My Set Leicester Easter gift 4Silver kissing rabbits earrings by Amanda Coleman £25.


My Set leicester Easter gift 5Light the way with these battery night lights, from £4.99 each.


My Set Leicester Easter Gift 6Save your teeth and test your brain instead, Roses jigsaw puzzle £9.99.


My Set Leicester Easter GiftsMake sure that lunch is healthy, Happy Jackson lunch box £5.99


My Set Leicester Easter gift 7Show off those sparkly teeth in a super Selfie Stick shot £17.99


Set Easter Gift 8Easter pineapple! Why not, ceramic and a money box £14.99


Set Easter Gift 10Relax with a soap cake, just don’t try eating it £4.99.


All gifts and many more Easter treats are available from the fabulous gift shop Set based at the Highcross here in Leicester.

Set gift Shop Highcross Leicester



10 Hidden Powers of Smiling

10 Hidden Powers of Smiling

Smile Essential Dental Team Smiling Picture

Smiling when you’re happy comes pretty easily to most. But smiling is much more powerful than just an emotional reaction to being happy. There are also all sorts of advantages to smiling that actually help people to judge not only how attractive you are but if they can trust you and if they can accept you socially.

Smiles also depend on which country you’re from, cultural and gender difference. It’s known that women generally smile more than men and that it’s not necessarily due to them being happier! Russian’s generally rank last in the smiling charts and Americans top, us Brits are somewhere in the middle of that.

1. Get others to trust you

Smiling really does help people to trust you, it shows that you are friendly and approachable and have nothing to hide. It’s thought to give your smile real value and authenticity you should show your teeth whilst smiling.

2. Smile for leniency

This art we think gets perfected during childhood and it can work towards your advantage during adulthood too! Next time you make a mistake smile.

But this time don’t show your teeth else you might look too happy!

3.Fix a social faux pas

Embarrassing social situations can be the worst. But with a little know-how, you could easily elicit a feeling from other people to show a little empathy.

An embarrassed smiles we look down and sometimes we emit a silly little laugh.

4. Stop you from feeling guilty

Surprising and probably not something you may have thought of before. But sometimes social pressures force you into smiling and women, in particular, seem to feel this pressure.

When you hear someone good new the polite thing (especially us Brits) seem to do is feel the need to smile for someone else’s success.

If someone told you some good news and you didn’t smile you would likely regret it afterwards and this would make you feel bad. So as the saying goes ‘nod and smile’.

5. Laws of Attraction

Opposites really do attract when it comes to the rules of attractiveness. If a woman smiles and makes eye contact with a man then he will approach her and it’s deemed an attractive quality.

However, if a man smiles too much at a woman then it’s thought his masculinity is brought into question and he seems less attractive.

6. Hide what you really think

It’s never great to fake a smile but sometimes it is necessary. People have a radar for fake smiling so knowing what makes a real smile to a fake is important. Americans are judged for having on occasion a fake looking smile, but as they smile the most we’ll let them off!

But what makes a smile look real or fake? Apparently, it’s 2 things: the speed of which you smile and what your eyes do. A real smile tends to come on more slowly starting at the corners of the mouth, a fake smile starts quick and fades quick. Also, smiles that don’t involve the eyes are judged as fake smiles.

7. Smile to make money

A smile can have real value in the world of work at all levels. To see this you only have to look at yourself and your own actions every day. Did you tip the smiling waitress? Give to happy charity collector? It’s an age-old system that has always worked to give you what you want and in the world of work, that means money.

Know the value of your smile.

8. Smiles are contagious

One of the simple social pleasures of life, which goes almost unnoticed because it’s automatic, is when you smile at someone and they smile back. It’s contagious and it makes us and them feel good.

So share a smile and imagine how far it could travel.

9. Smile to shake off stress

Smiling makes us feel good even when we don’t, so force a small smile when you’re feeling stressed and try to gain perspective on your situation. When smiling it’s believed a chemical reaction takes place and feel good hormones get released and this could help to reduce your stress level.

Forcing an insincere smile can be a little draining but finding a little laugh in there could be the turning point. So find something funny on youtube or watch a feel good movie and make a conscious effort to smile and laugh.

10. Live Longer

Last of all and probably the most important, smile to live a longer, healthier and happier life.

How happy are you with your smile? Click here to take our Smile Check.

Thank You For Restoring My Faith In Dentists

real patients real reviews on choosing a dentist
I would like to thank Nik and all the staff at Smile Essential Dental Practice for restoring my faith in dentists. Before coming to Smile Essential dentist I had endured some pretty rough dental treatment which had made me lose confidence.

Dental health is important and even though I understand this I really didn’t want see a dentist again. Nik and his team have provided me with excellent and compassionate dental care and I no longer worry about dental appointments. The dental team always have the time to answer any questions that I have and treatment plans are always clearly explained. Thanks Smile Essential.

JS. Leicester

Click here to find out about becoming a new patient

The Truth About King Richard III and Medieval Dentistry

King Richard Leicester

The truth about King Richard III and Medieval Dentistry

We have been on a Medieval mission at Smile Essential Dental Practice, with all the hype and excitement about the reinterment of King Richard III we wanted to give him a good check up and sink our teeth into the weird world of Medieval dentistry.

The journey was intriguing, often tricky, exciting and very insightful. We’ve been in touch with with the University of Leicester archaeologists, osteologists, read news articles, watched the videos and read numerous publications, researched historical dental records and publications.

Our team member Gemma has been on the King Richard III trail to see just what we could uncover about our local legend.

Gemma Breeze article on King Richard 3rds teeth

So what secrets are locked away in King Richard III’s teeth?

Shakespeare portrayed King Richard III in his 1591 play as an anxiety ridden English monarch and various publications have stated that the king ground his teeth together a condition known as Bruxism. It’s claimed it was from the stress caused by the guilt after murdering the Princes in the Tower to become the King of England.

The Truth

Princess  in the towerIn an article for the British Dental Journal Dr Amit Rai analysed the kings dentition and concluded it does indeed show signs of tooth wear that would support grinding.

However to get a clear diagnosis you have to look at the whole picture. It is thought that because of his medieval diet and the extent of wear not being too severe on the king’s teeth, the cause is more likely to be dietary abrasion and erosion; not the guilt of murdering his two nephews!

The University of Leicester recorded that there were cellular changes in the king’s teeth over the last few years of his life which is normally associated with a change in water supply from the local area. However it is known that the king didn’t move and the changes were more likely due to his new richer diet of fish and his increasing wine consumption.


Water of that time was often unsafe to drink, so it was expected that people would drink the much safer alcoholic beverages!

Wine was a lot more acidic in those days which could increase the likelihood of abrasion. Mead, a wine made from honey, was also popular during that time which could also help to explain some of the dental decay King Richard III suffered from.

Crazy but kinda possible folktales

Scholar John Rous a Medieval historian initially praised the king for being a good lord and not taxing the common people. However he quickly changed his views following the reign of the kings new successor, portraying the king as a freakish individual who was not only carried in his mother’s womb for 2 years but was also born with a full set of teeth and that he had also poisoned his own wife! Rous’s historical works have been noted that they display no critical faculty and arising in a somewhat credulous manner.

Now we know that it is extremely unlikely that his mother was pregnant for a whole 2 years, it is however a possibility that he may have been born with a full set of teeth- though it’s quite a rare occurrence only happening in about 1 of every 2,500 people.

Medieval Dentistry is not what you think!

Dental health is perhaps not the first thing you think of when you think of people living in Medieval times. However it was surprisingly sophisticated and there is a great deal of evidence to support that Medieval people did make an effort and care about their teeth and gums.

barber surgeons during king richards iii time

Dentistry was carried out by barbers in those days and they had a range of basic dental instruments and concoctions to treat toothache. They had a good understanding of diagnosing and treating dental problems for the time, though some of their suggestions are a little whacky!

Here’s a few for your entertainment:

  • Avoid eating leeks as they’re bad and could cause injury to the teeth.
  • Cure tooth worms (tooth worms they believed created bad teeth) by inhaling the smoke of hot henbane seeds.
  • After dental treatment it would help to gargle with salt wine or a wine spiced with myrrh and frankincense
  • Severe pain would be weakened with opium if you could afford it. If not you would have to resort to prayer!
  • Wear the beak of a magpie hung from the neck to cure tooth pain.

Perhaps a visit to see us for toothache next time might seem a little dull!

The good, the bad and the poisonous…

Most people in Medieval times cared about oral hygiene and had a oral hygiene routine which was centred on using liquids such as vinegar and other caustic substances, scrubbing the teeth using a cloth (no toothbrushes back then!) with a mixture of herbs and abrasive substances which rubbed bacteria off the teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, Medieval people could be meticulous about personal hygiene and they were constantly looking for new ways to make themselves look better and smell sweeter. Medieval fold would use things like mint, musk and bay leaves to freshen their mouths and prevent bad breath.

Taking a tooth out was seen as a last resort in Medieval times. Generally Medieval barbers would try herbal remedies, vinegar and wine rinses, charms, amulets and tooth fillings.

Though the filling material could be poisonous!

An example of a Medieval filling recipe:

  • pig grease
  • gall nuts
  • mastic
  • myrrh
  • sulphur
  • beeswax
  • arsenic

In some cases, inability to afford medical treatment, or a doctor’s lack of success, led the sick to fall back on prayer and pilgrimage as the only hope of a cure.

There is written documentation proving that people used fine sticks to remove food deposits, much like we use toothpicks today. In fact Dr Amit Rai noted in his publication that there was less plaque build up on certain teeth compared to others indicating that King Richard III himself had some sort of dental routine. It’s also evident that he experienced at some point dental treatment as it’s apparent that he had 2 teeth extracted by skilled hands.

Medieval Cosmetic Dentistry

Is it possible that King Richard III partook in some cosmetic dentistry procedures? His front top left tooth is missing. There were options available to make a denture from either human teeth or cow bones! However this is just speculation as far as our research goes we haven’t found out any evidence as yet, but our quest continues…

Richard_III_earliest_surviving_portrait (1)


We don’t know if King Richard III was guilty of the murder of his close family members or indeed if he was born with a full set of teeth! However we are certain of his reform of the judicial system and its changes that are still in place today. In the words of King Richard III “innocent until proven guilty”.

It’s been interesting for us to look back at such a local Leicestershire legend especially to us and our patients that live here. Catching a glimpse of Medieval life through dentistry has been an fascinating journey that Gemma and all at Smile Essential Dental Practice have enjoyed and we hope you have too!

Gemma and the Smile Essential team

Sources and thanks-

Dr Amit Rai- Richard III- the final act, BDJ, dental treatment in medieval england, Daily Digest, BACDT directory, Wikipedia King Richard 3rd, Wikipedia Barber-Surgeon, wineintro, University of Leicester for answering our emails and Smile Essential Dental team for discussion, advice and guidance.


Smile Essential Dental Practice Wins Award For Excellent Customer Service AGAIN!!!

leicester dental practice wins customer service award

Smile Essential Dental Practice has been recognised with an award for excellent customer service by private healthcare search engine,, based on feedback by customers over a twelve month period.

WhatClinic awarded the top clinics across the country with awards for excellent customer service, superior satisfaction and consumer feedback. Customers rated clinics based on how well the clinic treated them, how quickly they were contacted and seen, and how happy they were with the treatment.
Smile Essential was honoured to receive the award again due to their fantastic customer feedback and constant drive to better patient experience.

Dr Niket Patel today said; “We are delighted to be recognised for the second year for our continual commitment to customer service. As Leicester’s leading dental practice, it is something we focus on in everything we really do value such positive feedback from our patients.” CEO Caelen King congratulated Dr Niket Patel and the Smile Essential dental team she said “Our awards are now in their 6th year and it’s great to see more clinics than ever reaching the high standards we set in order to receive this award.

“It’s the customer who selects our awards winners, by their clinic ratings and the feedback they leave about service and experience. We believe that empowering the patient with accurate information is the future of a successful healthcare market. With these awards we honour clinics that are dedicated to the highest level of customer care and consistently putting the needs of the patient first.”

Smile Essential Dental Practice really is a dentist with a difference. Our focus is making your dental visit as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We treat people as individuals and appreciate a trip to the dentist might make you a little apprehensive but we believe going the extra step in customer service, kind words and dental excellence make that journey a little easier.

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Great Dental Review of Our Leicester Clinic

Dr Nik Patel Dental Review From Leicester Patient

I attended the Smile Essential Dental Practice for a checkup and was required to undergo treatment, which was performed with great care and skill.

Dr Patel is clearly a dental perfectionist and proud of both the work he does and the reputation that the practice has established. He was calm, approachable and answered any queries in a clear and easy to understand manner which helped me to relax during treatment.

The staff are courteous, helpful and always willing to assist- an assured team of professionals. The surgery itself is modern, superbly equipped and I always felt that I was in capable hands. I have maintained regular visits over the last couple of years and would not hesitate in recommending the practice to my friends and colleagues!

Mr PP. Leicester

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That’s disgusting!

So many germs live on your toothbrush

What has tiny bristles, lives in your bathroom and can house five of the nastiest germs, including the flu virus?

Yep you guessed it- it’s your toothbrush.

It’s sort of funny that if we dropped a bit of food on a clean(ish) kitchen floor we would throw it away not wanting to possibly subject our body to any unwanted bacteria action or for the less germ phobic may pick it up, eat it and think what the heck I’ll take my chance! However your little toothbrush lives its life in the bathroom- getting covered in not only our icky mouth germs but also gross bathroom bugs!

Did you know that viruses and bacteria can live for weeks on your toothbrush so every time you brush you could be making yourself ill.

So how can you protect yourself and your family from the perils of toothbrushing?

1) Change your toothbrush every 6 weeks, or after you or a member of the family has been ill. Germs from one person’s toothbrush can spread if they are all stored together.

2) Wash it, give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris.. Then was it in antibacterial soap or soak it for 5 minutes in a antibacterial mouthwash.

3) Don’t share your toothbrush, it is just gross.

4) Try deep cleansing your toothbrush. You can but ultraviolet light toothbrush sanitisers which nuke the nasties harboured on your toothbrush.

5) Close the lid of the toilet when you flush, to contain those nasty germs

Know when to let go of your toothbrush. If you have had it longer than 6-8 weeks, have been poorly, if it is showing signs of wear and tear then it’s time to chuck it away.