Preventive dentistry: it’s all about teamwork

Even though dentistry has come a long way in the last couple of decades with regard to pain management and treatments being less invasive, most people still harbour some nervousness when they come for a check-up and a good proportion of patients get very anxious indeed. So much so that they don’t even make appointments for check-ups, let alone make it through the door.

Preventive Dentistry in EssexAnd yet, if you take the time to clean your teeth well twice a day and have your check-ups, you stand a very good chance of not having to have any treatments, not even a tiny filling.

And we’d rather you didn’t have to but that you work with us to prevent the bad stuff from happening in your teeth and mouth.

Your part in preventive dentistry in Essex

If you clean and floss and show up for check-ups and cleanings with the hygienist, then we can do our part which is to deal with any problems that show up, in their early stages.

Preventive dentistry for children

Toothbrushing is a skill and it can take a good few years to master it. That’s a challenge when you are a kid, especially when part of the skill is just standing there, brushing away, for 2 minutes, twice a day even. Not many adults have the discipline for that, so imagine what a challenge that is for a 6-year-old. Children also consume more sugary snacks and drinks than adults, so it’s no wonder that the incidence of tooth decay is higher among youngsters than grown-ups.

We have a couple of treatments that can help make children’s teeth less susceptible to tooth decay. We can paint a coating on to their teeth that will act as a barrier to prevent decay causing bacteria from plaque getting to tooth enamel in those hard-to-reach fissures on the back teeth. We can also use a fluoride treatment that helps mineralise the enamel, making it harder and less prone to decay.

Both adults and children need to visit the hygienist to remove any build-up of plaque. Twice a year is good. Some people may need to come more often.

Smile without thinking first

Being able to smile spontaneously is a wonderful gift and if you have never felt able to do so because you have misaligned teeth, then you do not know what you are missing. Being self-conscious about your smile can be a terrible burden. Yes, you may have gotten used to having to remember to put a hand over your mouth every time you laugh, or to smiling with your lips closed, but when you no longer have to remember not to show your teeth when you smile, it is like taking off a pair of tight boots that you have been wearing all your life.

Orthodontics in EssexHere at Crofts Dental Practice, we have a range of discreet orthodontic devices to straighten teeth for adults who would rather not look like a Goonie when they are getting their teeth realigned.

The Inman Aligner

This works on the very front teeth. It sandwiches them between aligner bows that are spring-loaded. Depending on what your teeth look like to start with, getting them straight could take as little as 6 weeks, or as long as 18 weeks, which is still not much time in terms of teeth straightening. The Inman Aligner is taken out for eating and cleaning, and it also doubles up as a retainer, making this a very affordable option.

Six Month Smiles

Fixed bracket and wire braces that realign the front 6-8 teeth, which are the ones most on view when you talk and laugh. The great thing about these braces are that the brackets are smaller than you might think and made of clear ceramic. The wire is coated with a tooth-coloured material, so the whole lot blend in with the teeth. The front teeth are easier to move than the back ones, so treatment can take as little 4 months, but takes 6 on average.

Lingual braces

For more complex alignment issues, we recommend lingual bracket and wire braces that go on the tongue side of the teeth, where they can’t be seen at all.


Removable clear plastic aligners that look like very thin mouth guards, these are removable for eating.

Those teeth you need to replace..

…how are you thinking about doing it? These days, there are up to 3 options to hand and you may wonder whether the latest is the one to go for, or whether you should stick with the tried and trusted.

In the end though, it is all technology. You have to ask yourself whether what the replacement teeth do – bite, chew, talk, smile – is important enough in your life to get the latest technology, which is dental implants.

Dental Implants in EssexWhat are dental implants?

Dental implants are the latest generation of tooth replacement, but they are not all that new anymore. In fact, dental implants have been around for more than 30 years.

They are small, tapered posts or screws that are put into channels carefully made in the jawbone to replace tooth roots. Once in place, the titanium implants trigger the bone to create new tissue all over them and the two fuse together. It’s not quite a tooth in a socket but it’s the nearest dental research has come to it, and this way of replacing lost teeth gives people back the full functionality of their teeth, and protects the health of their jawbone.

What is full functionality?

This means that the teeth work just as well as your natural teeth did. Once they have integrated with the bone, dental implants can withstand the chewing pressures of an adult male. This means that you can eat whatever you like again instead of having to live on a soft food diet.

What’s so important about the jawbone?

The jawbone needs to feel the impact of teeth meeting each other to know that it is still in use and so renew its bone cells. Without the tremor of impact coming down through the roots, the bone starts to resorb, shrinking in size and density pretty quickly to eventually give you that pointy-chinned, tiny jaw that we associate with the elderly.

With dental implants, your jaw remains strong and able to support the structure of your face.

Come into Crofts Dental Practice and find out how dental implants in Essex can help you replace lost teeth.

Your teeth can go on for longer

Dentistry in the 21st century is all about helping you to hang onto your teeth for life. For most of us that means our adult teeth are going to see at least 50 years of service.

We use our teeth every day and over time they do start to wear out. Plus there are certain things that can happen to them that could finish them off altogether, but we can extend their life with crowns. Here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, dental crowns are a versatile treatment that is used in several different ways.

Dental Crowns in EssexWhat is a crown?

A crown is a porcelain cover for your tooth. It fits down over the entire tooth, covering it completely right down to the gum. Crowns are custom-made to blend in with your other teeth, and no one but you will know they are not your natural teeth.


If you get an infection inside your tooth, it will probably show up first as incredible pain and an abscess under the gum. The way we treat an infected tooth is to clean out the infected pulp, which is the softest part of the inner tooth, right down into the root. We then fill the root and cover it with a crown so that you can continue to use it to eat with.

Crowns to cover up ugly fillings

If your tooth is mostly filling, the filling material can show through the enamel and make your tooth an unattractive colour. When a tooth gets to this stage, it may not be very strong either. We can cover the tooth over so that it looks good again and also to extend its chewing life.

Crowns for buttresses

If you have lost a tooth or two, we may recommend that you replace them with a bridge. This is one or more teeth suspended on a metal framework and anchored at either end by a healthy tooth covered in a crown. The healthy teeth have to be ground down to receive the crowns.

Dental porcelain does not respond to whitening so if you also want your teeth whitened, get that done first and then get the crown to match your whiter teeth.

The importance of children’s dentistry

Thinking that you don’t need to worry about your children’s teeth until their adult ones come through? Then think again. Read these government statistics on decay in children’s teeth to find out why:

  • 25% of children aged 5 have tooth decay, often in three or four teeth;
  • Almost 8,000 children aged six and under have had to have teeth extracted in hospital;
  • In 2012-13, tooth decay was the most common reason for children going into hospital;
  • In 2014-15, 63,000 children aged up to 19 went into hospital for tooth extractions.

Children's Dentistry in EssexWhile the decay issue is worse in the North, in 2015, 20% of five-year-olds in the South East had tooth decay.

Not even going into how much money this costs the NHS, let’s look at what tooth decay means for your children.

Teeth problems for life

Decay doesn’t sit still, it moves through the tooth and it can jump from tooth to tooth too. It can jump sideways to neighbouring teeth, but it can also get into the adult teeth that are sitting behind decaying milk teeth, waiting to come through. Not taking children’s dentistry seriously can give children dental problems for life.

Teach them how to brush

Children get more decay than adults because there is a lot more sugar in their diets: snacks, juices (acid and sugar is a sure-fire decay-causing combination) and sweets. They also have not yet mastered the skills and habits to make them diligent brushers. Brushing the back teeth well is hard to master, as is standing still at a sink for two minutes twice a day. Boring! Even for adults.

The hygienist at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex can make tooth brushing education fun.

Treatments to keep teeth safe

We can help protect your children’s teeth against decay with fluoride treatments to mineralise the teeth. We can also paint fissure sealants onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to provide a barrier against the acids that cause decay.

What you can do

Start bringing your children in to see us as young as possible and teach them that visiting the dentist is a positive experience, to help them create lifelong good habits for their teeth.

Beyond the mortification

Although dentures are so much more realistic looking than they used to be, denture wearers are often very self-conscious about them. They limit what you can eat in many cases, with foods getting under the plate, which has to then be washed, and they don’t have anything like the chewing power of natural teeth.

Dentures in EssexAll that can be coped with, as can having to soak them overnight in a pot. But, when they start to misbehave, sliding around in the mouth, lifting up when you yawn, coming right out if you suddenly sneeze, then it’s no longer simply a bit embarrassing, it can be absolutely mortifying. Dental adhesives are meant to hold loose dentures in place, but it can be messy fiddling around with glue, and it doesn’t always last long. The trouble is that without something in the jawbone to stimulate cell renewal, the bones shrink away and so do the gums. This is why you can end up having to have your denture relined so often.

But what can you do? Well, you can get loose dentures stabilised with dental implants. At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, loose dentures can be such a drain on our patients, and we all love the transformation in their enjoyment of life when they decided to get their dentures stabilised with dental implants.

We insert 2–4 dental implants into your jawbone and attach special fittings to them that your dentures go onto.

We can even customise your current dentures to have the right fittings to be attached to the implants, so there is no need to invest in new ones, unless you want to.

You still use your dentures in the same way, taking them out to clean them and to rest your gums at night, but during the day, you will be amazed at how much better they perform. Once again, you will be able to eat foods that may have been off the menu for years, and you will be able to chat and laugh without one part of you always on alert for the wobble. What a relief!

What are you waiting for when it comes to teeth straightening?

At Crofts Dental Practice, part of our job is to make treatments like orthodontics in Essex accessible to as many people as possible. Sometimes this means removing the mental barriers that people have placed between themselves and the procedure that they want.

Many misconceptions surround teeth straightening treatments. This is because methods of realignment have developed a lot in the past few decades but people’s ideas around the possibilities have not yet completely caught up. A visit to Crofts Dental Practice can help you to see how well your teeth straightening can integrate into your life. Some of the common issues that we deal with are addressed below but, for specific guidance, you can contact us at the practice.

Orthodontics in EssexA minor adjustment

For some people, the barrier to a realignment is that they think their issue is too small even though it’s still significant enough to bother them. They don’t want to be subject to fixed treatment for their issue. If this is you, you might be able to benefit from treatment with the Inman Aligner. This is a low-profile, removeable method that just gives the teeth a small nudge in the right direction to get them all lined up properly.

Impressions matter

For some people, the impression they make is key to their professional or personal life. They don’t want to disrupt their look with braces, but they also know that straighter teeth would improve their appearance in the long-term. For these people, Invisalign might be an option that they can take advantage of. As the aligners used in this method are completely clear and fit close to the teeth, they are practically invisible.

Short on time

The idea that all teeth straightening treatments must take a long time to complete is no longer a valid one. Methods like Six Month Smiles can offer you the results you want in roughly 24 weeks. Sometimes it takes a bit longer or it can take a little less time, but this is the average among patients who choose this method. If you are eligible for this kind of treatment, you could use it to get your smile ready for a special occasion or holiday.

Restoring your teeth with Crofts Dental Practice

Having a perfect smile can seem like a lofty goal if you know you have problems with your teeth. However, with all the options your can choose from at Crofts Dental Practice, you are likely to find the one that can restore your teeth and leave you with a sparkly smile. This can be a great boost for your confidence and give you a new lease of life as far as your teeth are concerned.

Veneers in EssexAt Crofts Dental Practice, we know that one of the goals of restorative procedures is a repair that blends in seamlessly with the other teeth. Whether you choose composite bonding, a crown or veneers for your restoration work, we match the material to the shade of your other teeth. If you are having a full set of veneers, you can choose to have a brighter shade than you natural one to give you a movie-star smile.

When we have examined your teeth, we can recommend the restoration method that closely meets your needs. Each type has its strengths and weakness when it comes to different issues. We ensure you know all of these when we make our recommendation so that you can make the best decision for yourself with our support.

Composite bonding

Bonding is a great way to repair cracks and holes that affect the cosmetic appearance of your smile. Bonding is highly adaptable and tends to be a better option budget-wise than your other choices. This is a non-invasive treatment that can often be completed in a single visit. It does not require special fitting as the resin is shaped in-situ.


Crowns are used to cover larger holes in teeth. They are used to cover the whole tooth and are very durable. Crowns are typically used when the area where the repair is required is often subject to heavy usage.


The great thing about veneers in Essex is that each one can cover the whole front of a tooth thus masking any chips or cracks. You can have multiple veneers applied to adjacent teeth to create a uniform appearance to the smile. They are ultra-thin and easy to apply is just a couple of appointments.

How we support your Six Month Smiles journey

When you are approaching a teeth straightening treatment, it’s important that you have all the information you need to prepare you for the journey ahead. Even with swift, modern methods of aligning the teeth, you are still going to have a treatment time of a few months or more. This means that you need to be able to integrate your treatment into your life. At Crofts Dental Practice, we provide plenty of support to help you do that.

Six Month Smiles in EssexWhen you enter the Six Month Smiles teeth straightening programme through our clinic, you will go through the following steps:

  • Consultation – this is where we work together to gather all the information required to give you the results you want. You need to let us know what your expectations are and we will gather data about you and your oral conditions to help meet them. We send your information off to Six Month Smiles who return a custom-made set of braces for you to wear;
  • Fitting Six Month Smiles in Essex are fixed to your teeth for the duration of your treatment. We apply brackets to your teeth in the positions indicated by your treatment plan. We then thread a wire through these and keep it in place with elastics. With Six Month Smiles, all this equipment is clear or tooth-coloured so that it blends in with your teeth;
  • Monitoring your progress – during your treatment, you will visit us approximately every six weeks so that we can keep an eye on your teeth and braces. We will make adjustments where necessary and ensure that you are happy and comfortable;
  • Support and guidance – before you leave with your new braces, we give you detailed instructions on what you should experience at home and how you can care for your teeth and equipment. We are also on hand if you need support between appointments;
  • Removal and aftercare – your braces are removed at the end of your treatment. Your teeth should not be unduly affected but you might benefit from a clean and polish at this point. You will then need to wear a retainer as you do after all teeth straightening treatments.

Four dental implant facts to get you started

Getting an extensive treatment like dental implants in Essex can be a big step for some people. You may feel a bit excited about the prospect of getting new teeth but also a little nervous about the procedure. At Crofts Dental Practice, we like to break things down for our patients in a way that makes the information flow manageable, non-technical and accessible to everyone. We can tailor the way we offer you the facts so that you feel comfortable going ahead and making decisions about your treatment.

Dental Implants in EssexWe share some of these facts with patients when they come to see us for dental implants because they highlight the benefits and offer some technical information to support your understanding of the treatment:

  • Dental implants are usually made from titanium – a complete dental implant consist of a prosthetic tooth, an abutment and a shaped metal post that sits in the jawbone. The latter is typically made from titanium because this metal has been shown to have unusual properties that allow it to integrate with the bone. This quality was discovered in 1941 by scientists called Bothe, Beaton and Davenport and later exploited to develop dental implants;
  • Dental implants can support more than one tooth – depending on the location of your missing teeth, you may only need a single implant to support multiple replacements. Teeth can be mounted on a bridge or denture which is then affixed to the implant. Some people have an entire set of teeth supported on just a few implants;
  • Dental implants do not stain or decay in the same way as natural teeth – this is great for the appearance of your smile but it does not mean you can be lax about dental hygiene! Dental implants rely on the surrounding gums and jawbone. If they are damaged or infected in any way, it can compromise the integrity of your dental implants;
  • Dental implants are quick to fit – the actual process of fitting implants is quicker than many people think. You can be in and out of our clinic in just a few hours. We talk to you about how long the healing process takes during your initial consultations with us.