Your questions answered

Below you will find a range of questions commonly asked by patients visiting the practice. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Please send us a message on the contact page – we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Treatment Q&A’s

Orthodontics and teeth straightening

Do I qualify for Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign aligners can be used for both children and adults and the cases that will benefit most from this treatment are those with mild to moderate crowding.

Is orthodontic treatment uncomfortable?

Depending on the type of orthodontic treatment you receive, there may be a few days at the beginning of the process where your mouth feels more tender and slightly uncomfortable. Over-the-counter mild analgesics, such as paracetamol, are more than sufficient to ease any discomfort in the first few hours after having your orthodontic system placed.

How long will it take to straighten my teeth?

Treatment times vary depending on multiple factors such as age, the complexity of your case, and the system used to treat your smile. Generally, most people wear their braces or aligners between 6-24 months.

How often will I need to visit the dentist?

For fixed braces, you will need to visit the dentist every 6-8 weeks so that the dentist can check that your treatment is progressing as planned and to have your wires changed if you have fixed braces.

Dental implants and missing teeth

How painful is it to have a dental implant fitted?

Your Brickfields Dental Care implant team will conduct your treatment under local anaesthetic to numb the gums and surrounding tissue so you shouldn’t feel anything throughout the procedure. Slight pain and swelling is common after the surgery and can be managed through over-the-counter pain killers.

Are dental implants available through the NHS?

Though implants are usually only available through private dental care, there are a few circumstances where they may be available on the NHS i.e. to replace teeth lost as a result of mouth cancer. Our dental team will be happy to talk through your options with you should you think you may be eligible for this.

How long does the dental implant process take?

This varies from patient to patient, however, the average treatment time is 3-9 months. Should you require additional preparatory treatment such as bone grafts or extractions, treatment time may be extended.

Whitening and brighter smiles

How long will my teeth stay white after treatment?

The effects can last anything from 12 weeks to 3 years, however, its longevity depends on many factors, such as if you are a coffee or wine drinker, or a heavy smoker etc.

Can I still have my teeth whitened if I have gum disease?

If you suffer from tooth decay or gum disease, it is necessary for these to be treated prior to commencing any whitening procedures.

We also would not permit a pregnant or nursing mother to undergo any whitening treatments, or anyone who is under the age of 18 as the teeth will still be developing at this point.

What if I have sensitive teeth?

If you suffer from sensitivity, your dentist can provide you with desensitising swabs to take home after your whitening treatment. These will work immediately so that you don’t feel any discomfort.

Will bleaching work on my crowns, veneers or false teeth?

Unfortunately, it will not. In order to whiten dental prosthetics, we would have to gradually change them in favour of a lighter coloured version.

Cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers

What procedures are used in a smile makeover?

Depending on your smile goals, your dentist may opt to use a combination of restorative and cosmetic treatments to recondition and enhance your smile. Each treatment will require a specialised procedure that your dentist will talk you through at your consultation.

How long will my smile makeover take?

The length of your smile makeover treatment time will vary from patient to patient and depend on the procedures you are having.

I'm afraid of the dentist - can I have a smile makeover?

Yes! We pride ourselves on creating a relaxing and positive experience for our more nervous patients. Our dentists offer both local anaesthetic and IV sedation as a way to make you feel more comfortable in the dentists’ chair whilst undergoing treatment.

Periodontal care and gum disease

My gums are bleeding when I brush – what should I do?

This is often a sign of gingivitis which is the early stages of gum disease. We recommend booking in for an appointment with our dental hygienist who will assess the condition of your oral health, remove any build-up of plaque and discuss with you the best at-home oral health regime to get your smile back on track.

Can I treat gum disease at home?

Gum disease occurs when plaque and bacteria have collected past the surface of the tooth and moved deeper into the gum line. It is important for a professional dental hygienist to address this as normal flossing and brushing will not be able to penetrate deep enough to remove this harmful bacterium.

What can I do to ensure I don’t develop gum disease?

Brushing twice a day, flossing and attending regular dental hygiene appointments will significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease.

Fluoride varnish and fissure sealants

How do cavities form?

Cavities, or tooth decay, are areas of your teeth that have become damaged and developed into tiny holes. They are formed through a combination of factors including consumption of too many sugary foods, prolonged bacterial build-up and a poor oral hygiene routine. An untreated cavity may develop into a larger hole that could affect nerves, fracture the tooth or even lead to an abscess through infection.

Is fluoride safe?

There have been concerns that fluoride could be linked to a range of health conditions however there has been no convincing evidentiary support in review of these concerns. The use of fluoride by dentists is supported by every major health organisation in the fight against dental disease.

Dental hygiene and oral health

Will I feel any pain at my dental hygiene appointment?

Your hygiene treatment at Brickfields Dental Care should be pain-free however if you do feel any discomfort during the process of cleaning your teeth, please let your hygienist know – it is our aim to make you as comfortable as possible.

How long will my hygiene appointment take?

A routine hygiene appointment usually lasts from 30-60 mins however appointment time can vary from patient to patient depending on the treatment needed.

How often should I visit the dental hygienist?

If your hygienist has identified that you have a healthy mouth and a low risk of developing gum disease, they will recommend visiting them for a routine hygiene appointment every 6 months.

Sports mouthguards and teeth grinding

Will a mouth guard cure my bruxism?

Your Brickfields dentist will recommend you wear a mouth guard at night if you’re showing signs of teeth grinding. Your mouth guard will be used to protect the surface of your teeth from wear and reduce the painful effects of grinding, however, you will need to find and eliminate the initial cause of your bruxism to completely remedy the issue.

How do I keep my mouth guard clean?

It is important that you thoroughly clean and dry your mouth guard after use to bacterial growth. This is a fairly low maintenance routine of rinsing with cool water and brushing the surfaces of the guar with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use. Your dentist can also recommend suitable cleaning solutions for soaking your mouth guard.

Dentistry for Children

Are baby or milk teeth important?

Yes! Keeping your child’s primary teeth healthy is very important. Cavities and oral infections can be painful for your child so it is recommended to help them to adopt a good oral hygiene routine to keep their teeth and gums clean.

How often should I clean my child’s teeth?

Before your child’s teeth erupt, you should clean their gums with an infant toothbrush or clean, moist washcloth. Once their teeth have grown in, you should use a very small dot of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice daily with an age-appropriate toothbrush.

How can I prevent tooth decay in my child’s teeth?

We recommend that you take your children to visit the dentist regularly from the appearance of their first tooth or their first birthday. This, alongside a balanced diet and good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing, will help to prevent caries and tooth decay.

Crowns, bridges and dental prosthetics

How long will my bridge last?

Our bridges are built for long-term wear and with the right care can last up to 15 years. Your Brickfields Dental Care dentist will advise you on the proper hygiene techniques to keep your bridge in good condition.

Do I take my bridge out at night?

A dental bridge is known as a fixed dental prosthetic meaning that it is bonded to your remaining teeth. The bridge stays in place at all times so there is no need to take it out before you go to sleep. Looking for a removable alternative? Head over to our dedicated dentures page.

Dentures

How do I clean my dentures?

Dentures are quite delicate so extra care should be taken when removing or inserting them. Similar to your usual oral hygiene routine, your dentures will require daily brushing to remove plaque and staining.

At night or during long periods of sleep, we advise removing your dentures to allow the soft gum tissue underneath to recover. Whilst removed, it is vital that patients also clean their tongue, palate, and gums with a soft-bristled brush.

Are complete dentures a permanent solution?

On average, your dentures should last between 5-10 years but may need relining or rebasing during that time. The dimensions and shape of the mouth itself are constantly changing and a regular check-up is advised on an annual basis.

Fillings

Are fillings painful?

Filling treatment is not usually painful for most patients as our dentists use local anaesthetic and numbing gel to make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Afterwards, you may experience slightly increased sensitivity to temperature or pressure, however, this should settle down after a few days.

How long does it take to get a filling?

This depends on the type of filling treatment you are having and how many fillings you require, as well as the size and location of the fracture or cavity being treated. However, you should expect your filling appointment to take up to an hour.

How do I clean my filling?

Extra care should be taken when cleaning your teeth as the edges of the filling may trap bacteria leading to further decay or infection. It is recommended to add daily flossing into your oral hygiene regime if it isn’t something you routinely do.

Root canal treatment

How long does a root canal take?

Typically, root canal treatment takes up to 30-60 minutes and may take two appointments to complete.

How successful are root canals?

Root canal success rates are very high ranging from 70-90% over 5 years.

What happens if the infection reappears?

New infections may appear after your root canal treatment despite your dentists’ best efforts to remove all bacteria. This could be because there is an undetected crack in the tooth or a breakdown of the protective inner sealing over time. If a secondary infection occurs, your dentist may retreat the area with root canal treatment or consider a more invasive method of endodontic surgery to save the tooth.

Inlays and onlays

What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?

Whilst the inlay fills the damaged area between the cusps of the tooth, an only will cover the structure of the cusp entirely.

How long do inlays and onlays last?

Our specialist and bespoke restorative treatment will ensure that your inlay or onlay treatment lasts between 20-30 years. We will provide you with the proper guidelines to follow to ensure you prolong the life of your restorations.

Anti-wrinkle/Dermal filler treatments

Are there any side effects?

The risk of any side effects is minimal and, as Botulinum Toxin is reversible, will be temporary. No patch testing is required before the procedure.

How long will the effects of anti-wrinkle treatment last?

The effects of our anti-wrinkle treatment will last 3-4 months. Early results from clinical trials show that less treatment is required with time as the muscles retrain themselves. This, however, varies from person to person. In addition, the effects may be less effective for patients over the age of 65.

What’s the difference between dermal filler and Botox?

Whereas botulinum toxin relaxes the facial muscles that result in wrinkles, dermal fillers work to plump and fill troubled areas of skin for a smooth result. Not sure which treatment is right for you? Our resident facial aesthetic professional will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Can dermal fillers be removed?

We use Hydra Fill products which are entirely biocompatible, meaning that their temporary effect will wear off between 6-9 months after treatment. However, should you wish to remove the filler treatment before they naturally absorb into the body, we can use dissolving enzyme injectables to speed up the breakdown of the filler.

Disorders and conditions Q&A’s

Dry Mouth Disorder

What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth or ‘xerostomia’ is a condition that affects the flow of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems and can happen as you get older. Quite often it is a side effect of medication, especially heart, blood pressure, and depression tablets.

What products are there to help with dry mouth?

There are a number of gel and spray products designed to provide moisture and comfort. Some have extra ingredients that may help prevent tooth and gum problems.

What could I try to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth?

Some people find that sipping water or sucking sugar-free sweets helps in the short term. It is very important to use sugar-free products, as dry mouth can make you more likely to have tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help as it encourages your mouth to make saliva. Your dentist might recommend products such as rinses, gels, pastes, and lozenges which you can get from the chemist.

TMJ

What is TMJ?

The letters TMJ are short for of ‘temporo-mandibular joint’, which is the joint connecting your lower jaw and your skull. The movement in this joint lets you open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.

How can I tell if I have a TMJ disorder?

You may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together. This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. Most people who grind their teeth do it while they are asleep and may not know they are doing it.

If you suffer from severe headaches, or neck and shoulder pain, you may not have linked this with possible jaw problems. Or you may keep having pain or discomfort on the side of your face around your ears or jaw joints or difficulty in moving your jaw. These are all symptoms of TMJ problems.

How is TMJ disorder treated?

If your dentist suspects that your problems are due to an incorrect bite, he or she may help to improve the problem by supplying a temporary soft nightguard or hard plastic appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth. This appliance needs to be measured and fitted very accurately so that when you bite on it, all your teeth meet at exactly the same time in a position where your muscles are relaxed. You may have to wear this all the time or, just at night. If the appliance relieves your symptoms then your bite may need to be corrected permanently.

Bruxism

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for the habit of grinding and clenching your teeth.

Most people will do this from time to time, which does not usually cause any harm, but when teeth grinding happens on a regular basis it can permanently damage the teeth. In some people, it can also aggravate headaches, earaches, and pain and discomfort in the jaw.

Teeth grinding usually occurs subconsciously during sleep. In most people, stress and anxiety are a contributing factor to bruxism.

How common is Bruxism?

It is not known exactly how many people have bruxism, but up to 8-10% of the UK population are affected by it at some point in their life.

It can occur in both children and adults but is most common in adults aged 25-44.

Stress and anxiety are thought to make teeth grinding in your sleep more likely, or worse. Bruxism is also more prevalent in people who regularly drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or drink caffeine (more than six cups a day).

What can I treat Bruxism?

There isn’t a cure for bruxism, although it may be possible to break the teeth-grinding habit by trying habit-reversal techniques.

For those with a known stress-related problem, cognitive behavioural therapy may help treat any underlying stress or anxiety.

Meanwhile, you may need to wear a mouth guard or mouth splint (sometimes referred to as gumshields or gum splints) at night to protect your teeth from wearing down and maybe advised to make simple lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking (if you smoke) and managing stress.

Ulcers

What are mouth ulcers?

Ulcers are painful sores that appear inside the mouth. They are usually red or yellow. They are different from cold sores, which appear on the outer lips and are due to a virus.

What are the common causes of mouth ulcers?

Usually, a single mouth ulcer is due to damage caused by say biting the cheek or tongue, sharp teeth, tooth brushing, or poorly fitting dentures. These ulcers are called traumatic ulcers. If you have a number of mouth ulcers the usual cause is recurrent aphthous stomatitis.

What should I do if I think I have mouth ulcers?

If an ulcer lasts more than 3 weeks you should always ask your dentist or doctor for advice. They may be able to tell you the cause and provide treatment, or they may arrange further tests or refer you to a specialist if necessary.

Smoking

How can smoking affect my oral health?

Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, many people don’t realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums, and teeth.

Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.

How will smoking affect my gums and teeth?

Smoking can also lead to gum disease. Patients who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums fail to heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and gum disease to progress more rapidly than in non-smokers. Gum disease still remains the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

How is smoking linked with cancer?

Most people know that smoking can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people are still unaware that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking

What can my dentist do for me?

Your dentist will carry out a regular examination to make sure that your teeth and gums and whole mouth are healthy.

Your dentist will also examine your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs of other conditions that may need more investigation.

They may also be able to put you in touch with organisations and self-help groups who will have the latest information to help you stop smoking.

Mouth Cancer

What is mouth cancer?

Most people have heard of cancer affecting parts of the body such as the lungs or breasts. However, cancer can occur in the mouth, where the disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

What can cause mouth cancer?

Most cases of mouth cancer are linked to tobacco and alcohol. Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking are the main forms of tobacco use in the UK. However, the traditional ethnic habits of chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha, and paan are particularly dangerous. Alcohol increases the risk of mouth cancer, and if tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater. Over-exposure to sunlight can also increase the risk of cancer of the lips.

recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body.

HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer.

Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.

What are the signs of mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer can appear in different forms and can affect all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips. Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. A white or red patch in the mouth can also develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.

How can mouth cancer be detected early?

Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. Many people with mouth cancer go to their dentist or doctor too late. If your dentist finds something unusual or abnormal they will refer you to a consultant at the local hospital, who will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and throat. A small sample of the cells may be gathered from the area (a biopsy), and these cells will be examined under the microscope to see what is wrong.

Bad Breath

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth and gums. Bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. So correct and regular brushing is very important to keep your breath smelling fresh.

However, strong foods like garlic, coffee, and onions can add to the problem. The bacteria on our teeth and gums (plaque) also cause gum disease and dental decay. One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. Again, your dentist or hygienist will be able to see and treat the problem during your regular check-ups. The earlier the problems are found, the more effective the treatment will be.

How can my dentist help?

If you do have bad breath, you will need to start a routine for keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Regular check-ups will allow your dentist to watch out for any areas where the plaque is caught between your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach. They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums and show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.

Can I prevent bad breath?

To keep your breath fresh, you must get rid of any gum disease, and keep your mouth clean and fresh. If you do have bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat and list any medicines you are taking. Take this diary to your dentist who may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem.

Brush your teeth and gums for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drinks.

Sensitive Teeth

What causes sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth occur when the lower, or underlying, layers of the tooth are exposed by the gums receding. Gum disease, or Gingivitis, causes the gums to become inflamed which can result in the breakdown of the ligament which anchors the tooth in place. The nerve in the tooth is exposed and susceptible to hot and cold drinks and even sugary foods resulting in a painful sensation.

How do I reduce the risk of sensitive teeth?

As ever the main way to prevent any problem is to have excellent oral hygiene procedures. Always brush and floss your teeth daily and check for any missed areas. Keep the brush at a sensible angle to the gum and brush gently in a downwards direction or in slow round movements. Never scrub or brush upwards as this will damage the gum area. Periodically check the bristles. If they are squashed and pointing in all directions then you are using too much pressure.

What can my dentist do for my sensitive teeth?

Effective treatment depends specifically on the actual cause of the condition. General treatment options are Fluoride gel, desensitizing products, specialist fillings, and a root canal for severe cases.

It should be noted that if sensitivity is due to teeth grinding then a professional will help you to reduce the severity of the grinding and as a result, the sensitivity will reduce also.

Decay

What is dental decay?

Dental decay happens when the enamel and dentine of a tooth become softened by an acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity (hole) in the tooth. ‘Dental decay’ is the same as tooth decay and is also known as ‘dental caries’.

What causes dental decay?

Dental decay is caused by plaque acids that gradually dissolve away the enamel and dentine of the tooth. Decay damages your teeth and may lead to the tooth needing to be filled or even taken out.

What are the signs of dental decay?

In the early stages of dental decay, there are no symptoms, but your dentist may be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when they examine or x-ray your teeth. This is why you should visit your dentist regularly, as small cavities are much easier to treat than advanced decay.

What happens if I have a cavity?

Once the cavity has reached the dentine your tooth may become sensitive, particularly with sweet foods and drinks, and acidic or hot foods.

As the decay gets near the dental pulp you may suffer from toothache. If the toothache is brought on by hot or sweet foods this may last for only a few seconds. As the decay gets closer to the dental pulp the pain may last longer and you may need to take painkillers – paracetamol or ibuprofen – to control the pain. You must visit your dentist straight away as the tooth is dying and you may develop a dental abscess if it is not treated.

What treatment will I need?

If the decay is not too serious, the dentist will remove all the decay and restore the tooth with a filling. Sometimes the nerve in the middle of the tooth can be damaged. If so, the dentist will need to carry out root canal treatment by removing the nerve and then restoring the tooth with a filling or a crown. If the tooth is so badly decayed that it cannot be restored, the dentist may have to take the tooth out.

Google Rating
4.9
Based on 232 reviews
Very glad to have found this dental practice. They have been attentive to my various dental problems and treated them well. Practice is clean and Covid compliant. The receptionists are lovely as are the dental nurses who held my hand on more than one occasion (as I am not the bravest of patients). Dentist himself was very professional and knew straight away what needed doing and kept me informed throughoutIn all very happy dental patient and can now smile with confidence. Thank you to you all
Eve G.
Eve G.
I have just completed implant surgery and once again I cannot fault this practice. TC, the owner and my dentist today, is a highly competent professional, who is a perfectionist and someone who his staff say would trust him with their lives, you can’t get better praise than that. On this occasion, even the initial local anaesthetic was pain free.The receptionists are always very professional, friendly and very competent. I cannot praise this practice enough. Highly recommended.
Avril N.
Avril N.
Visit today was excellent be as usual. Fixed chipped tooth during routine check up. Staff friendly and helpful as usual.
Kim P.
Kim P.
Felt completely safe with Covid-19 protocols in place. Staff were as friendly and helpful as usual. Great practice.
HARRY T.
HARRY T.
Always happy with the service and care at Brickfields Dental Care.
Kerry G.
Kerry G.
Well organised and COVID Secure. Have had a make over and looks very professional.
Amanda H.
Amanda H.
Very disappointed that no time was given for the lidocaine to work before they tried to pull a tooth. Sure that’s not normal practice, staff really nice, good clean practice.
tellstorytime
tellstorytime
An excellent dental practice with amazing staff. I can’t say enough good things about the practice. If you’re a new patient try and get Dr Amit Patel, he’s my dentist and what a dentist he is and he’s an amazing person he is too.
Stuart
Stuart
Emergency appointment for a lost filling, fitted me in with 20 mins notice. Very polite and efficient, thank you!
Dave C.
Dave C.
The staff are so accommodating and helpful, they will always go the extra mile if and when they can.
Brenda A.
Brenda A.
They are very gentle and caring
Marilyn H.
Marilyn H.
Absolute fantastic dentist, made to feel relaxed and all procedures explained, would highly recommend
Greg S.
Greg S.
After not going to the dentist for over 10 years, having had a bad experience, I was extremely nervous and anxious. All the staff are amazing from the reception ladies through to the dentist, they explained and reassured me about everything they are doing. My treatment is on going through the next month and I have no concerns. Definitely recommend
Lisa G.
Lisa G.
Thank you to everyone at Brickfields for the large filling I had today and for the hygienist appointment yesterday.Everyone gave me clear information and expert treatment.
Richard F.
Richard F.
Absolutely excellent service
barbara Y.
barbara Y.
I've just had 2 fillings. Very caring and totaly pain free.
Jon K.
Jon K.
My appointment with Joanne assisted by Lyn was the best I have encountered in the dentists chair considering the complexity of the work required ,painless and comfortable as possible.I would throughly recommend them to any person requiring any dental work.
David R.
David R.
Really good practise i was nervous about going as i hadn’t visited a dentist for years but the staff are great very welcoming and polite.Recommended.
Tim Y.
Tim Y.
I have always received a warm welcome from the moment I've set foot in the door. Ahmit and his colleagues are extremely professional whilst reassuring during all the treatment I have received. I would 100% recommend to anyone!
Fiona J.
Fiona J.
Very pleasant and professional receptionists and hygienist excellent. Professional all round.
Rosemary S.
Rosemary S.