A new handbag or a new smile?

You can spend an incredible amount of money on a new handbag or a pair of shoes. How much wear do you think you will get out them? How many days a year will they spend in their protector bags in the closet, never seeing daylight? As far as cost per wear (a measure of how worthwhile an item is), you may be looking at huge amounts. And yet, if you spent the same money on sorting out your smile, you’d be using your new investment all day every day.

Smile makeovers in EssexA good smile brings such a wide array of physical, social, and emotional benefits that smile makeovers should be at the top of everyone’s ‘must have’ list.

Smile makeovers are what we in the dental profession call cosmetic work that encompasses more than one treatment, and they are rather amazing. Here’s how they work:

We look at your whole smile

With our smile makeovers in Essex, we take your whole smile into account. We look at the size, shape, colour and alignment of the teeth, as well as their ratio to the gums, and the surrounding facial features. We then devise a programme of treatments to bring all these features into a harmonious whole to create the most flattering, healthy and natural looking smile for each patient.

Your smile makeover could be as simple and quick as tidying up worn edges, or covering up chips and cracks with a veneer or two, or cosmetic bonding, plus a whitening treatment. Or it could be a series of carefully planned treatments that need to be carried out in a particular order, shoring up decaying or failing teeth with crowns, replacing others with dental implants, realigning crooked ones with invisible braces, removing stains with whitening. The sky’s the limit!

You may even choose some facial aesthetics work to brighten up the face and lips, which make up the frame in which the smile sits.

The main thing with smile makeovers is that the end result needs to look like it has been there being beautiful and natural for your whole life. Why not come in for a consultation with us to find out more?

Why you need to think about your gums

When we think of problems at the dentist, we tend to focus on having fillings, or losing teeth, because of tooth decay. Of course, tooth decay is problem, especially in kids, but in adults the main culprit behind tooth loss is in fact gum disease.

At Crofts Dental Practice, one of our main focuses is on making sure that our patients have healthy gums in Essex. We know that with this particular problem, prevention is so much easier than cure. Gum disease may start off in the gum but it spreads, and when it spreads, that’s when the real problems start.

Healthy Gums in EssexAre your gums healthy?

If you have healthy gums, they will be pink and firm, holding your teeth securely in place. Healthy gums do not hurt or bleed when they are brushed. If that’s happening, then you are at risk of early gum disease.

Early gum disease

Gum disease comes in two stages. We call the early stage gingivitis. It’s hard for patients to spot because gingivitis doesn’t necessarily hurt. Perhaps it will make your gums bleed when you brush them, perhaps it won’t. Perhaps your gums will be red and swollen. If you want to be sure of tackling it early (and believe us, you do), then you need to come for regular dental check-ups and allow us to spot it. What you really want to avoid, if you can, is letting gingivitis get to the next stage.

Advanced gum disease

Technically known as periodontitis, this is when the gum disease spreads into the tissues and bones that support the teeth. You are likely to develop bad breath, loose teeth, have an unpleasant taste in your mouth and even collections of pus under your gums or teeth (abscesses). Periodontitis can lead to teeth falling out.

Gum disease and prevention

You can easily avoid gum disease by maintaining a diligent oral health routine. Brush the teeth carefully for at least two minutes last thing at night and at one other time during the day. Floss and use interdental brushes, which come in various sizes, especially if you have bigger gaps between your teeth.

A closer look at white fillings

An important aspect of providing high-quality dental care involves eliminating outdated treatments. White fillings, or tooth-colored fillings as they are also known, are made of composite resin. While metal fillings have been in use for many years, and have served their purpose well as the only option available during much of that time, they are now not always the best option available.

White Fillings in EssexAt Crofts Dental Practice, we believe that composite resin bonding materials provide better alternatives to metal fillings in terms of appearance and function. Clinical experience has shown that white fillings are more stable when exposed to hot and cold temperatures, compared to metal fillings that expand and contract. As such, white fillings help preserve the strength and appearance of the tooth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may need replacement at some point. However, they are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, attractive smile.

How are white fillings placed?

White fillings can usually be placed within one visit to the dentist. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay and anything that’s left of your old filling if there was one. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is attached.

If the decay was near the root of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The white filling will then be precisely placed and shaped, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed; however, this will diminish shortly after your tooth gets accustomed to the new filling.

Can I have metal fillings replaced with white fillings?

If you want to have white fillings in Essex to replace your silver fillings this may be possible, depending on your individual circumstances. However, in most cases, your dentist will suggest not to remove existing fillings if they are working well.

Get in touch

If you would like to improve your smile with white fillings in Essex, please contact us and we will book a consultation appointment for you.

Effectively treating nervous patients in Essex

Dental phobia is a condition affecting people of all ages. For most people, this does not stop them visiting the dentist and having regular treatment, but for some, dental phobia can be a serious problem. Whether you suffer from slight anxiety or incapacitating fear of the dentist, your comfort is our main priority.

Nervous Dental Patients in EssexAt Crofts Dental Practice, we have come to realise that many patients are not thrilled about dental treatment and we have made it one of our areas of expertise in treating nervous and anxious patients. We are here to listen to your concerns and offer the best treatment possible. Our dentists are not judgemental and will go the extra mile to make your visit a relaxed and positive experience.

What causes dental anxiety?

Most patients report that their dental fear began after a traumatic, difficult, or painful dental experience. Some people even lose sleep because their fear of the dentist is so strong. They worry about what will happen if they schedule a dental appointment. Patients whose teeth are in a bad state may also fear that they will be judged by their dentist.

However anxious a person is, there are ways of dealing with the problem. Our dentists are aware that nervous patients in Essex can feel uncomfortable throughout the procedure, and are trained to take your fears seriously and deal with them sensitively.

Options for nervous patients

At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer many options to make your dental experience as friendly and relaxing as possible. We offer a free consultation appointment with the dentist, during which you do not need to sit in the dentist’s chair while discussing your concerns. We are also available for advice over the phone.

We appreciate that sitting in the waiting room for long periods of time is not helpful with your anxiety, therefore we make sure that you won’t have to wait for long. You are also welcome to bring a friend or family member for support.

Our main services for nervous patients in Essex include cognitive behavioural therapy and inhalation sedation. We also offer intravenous (IV) sedation, for patients who are too nervous to undertake oral surgery.

The choices between replacement teeth

If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are now faced with a choice.  You can opt for dentures, a tried and trusted and relatively inexpensive replacement method. Or you can go for something that is probably a complete unknown to you, dental implants.

In Essex, at Crofts Dental Practice, we know that it can take time to decide which is the right restoration method for you. There are important factors to weigh up, and we understand that you may wish to talk them over with us several times.

Dental Implants in EssexWe are happy to discuss the pros and cons of both treatments with you, with no pressure either way, so to get the ball rolling let’s look at what dental implants are and what they can offer.

Replacing the roots

The difference between dental implants and dentures hangs on the fact that dental implants replace the root of the tooth as well as the crown, whereas dentures rely on a good fit to the gum and jawbone for their stability.


Dental implants mesh with the bone over a period of weeks and become as firmly anchored as a natural tooth. This means you can eat whatever you like, including crunchy, chewy and sticky foods that are off the menu for denture wearers, which, at their best, only give about 25% of the chewing power of natural teeth.


Dental implants, if well looked after, can last for the rest of your life and will never wobble around. Dentures can’t help but start to slide around because the gum recedes and the jawbone shrinks when there are no roots in it to stimulate cell renewal. This means having to use dental adhesives and getting the dentures relined every little while.

Jawbone shrinkage

As mentioned above, with no roots in it the jawbone starts to shrink. It doesn’t take long for people with no tooth roots to develop that pointy-chinned, sunken look characteristic of tooth loss and premature old age.

Cost benefit

Dental implants usually last for decades. Dentures need to be replaced every 7–10 years. Over time, they can end up costing about the same.

The popularity of teeth whitening explained

There’s nothing that lifts the spirits quite like a beautiful, warm smile showing healthy, white teeth. So, it’s no surprise really that teeth whitening is the world’s most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. In Essex, teeth whitening is the go-to pick-me-up treatment among our patients at Crofts Dental Practice.

Teeth Whitening in EssexAs we’ve booked patients in for treatment, we’ve asked ourselves what makes teeth whitening so popular. We have concluded that it is because whitening is so quick and easy, and also because doesn’t require any alteration to the structure of the teeth. Even wonky teeth can be dramatically improved in looks if they are a great healthy white colour. We think this is a first step treatment when people are testing the waters of cosmetic dentistry. If they get good results and feedback from having their teeth whitened, they will probably go on to have other, more permanent, treatments afterwards.

Teeth whitening is also used as a finishing treatment for people after a lot of restorative work or another cosmetic treatment such as teeth straightening with braces. If someone has been wearing fixed braces for several months, when it comes time for them to be removed at long last, the patient often chooses this time to have their beautiful and newly straightened teeth whitened. It really makes a big difference after all that hard work and removes any residual traces of staining from the brackets and cement. It’s great to see them leave our dental practice with huge grins on their faces.

And, really, being able to crack a big, wide smile whenever the urge comes upon you is what it’s all about. It feels wonderful, and does beneficial things to the body, releasing serotonin to lift the spirits.

Teeth whitening options

At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer two ways to whiten teeth. You can come into the practice for power whitening. This takes about an hour and you just lie back and relax, while a more concentrated whitening gel on your teeth does its work. Or you can whiten your teeth at home with a less concentrated gel, wearing custom-made mouth trays for several hours, or overnight, each day. This takes about two weeks to get results. You can also have a combination of both.

Teeth sensitivity

It could come as a surprise to hear, but as many as one in eight adults suffer with sensitive teeth at some point. When you suffer with sensitive teeth, daily activities such as brushing, flossing, drinking and even eating can cause jolts of extreme pain. Crofts Dental Practice can help.

Sensitive Teeth in EssexTooth sensitivity often results from worn down enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, designed to protect the root. When enamel is removed, the underlying dentin is exposed. These nerve endings can be stimulated by heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods, causing the quick jolt of pain that our patients in Essex with sensitive teeth will experience.

Is it something to worry about?

In some cases, tooth sensitivity can be indicative of a more serious problem. Cracked or chipped teeth, cavities, pressure from tooth grinding or dental procedures, such as whitening can all be causes of overly-sensitive teeth for many of our patients.

What can I do about it?

If you are concerned about sensitive teeth, you should have a chat with one of our dentists here at Crofts Dental Practice immediately. Our experienced dental team can alleviate the pain associated with sensitive teeth, as well as prevent further discomfort.

We can quickly and accurately identify, or rule out, the cause of your sensitive teeth and develop a treatment plan based on your individual needs. Currently, several options are available, based on the severity and frequency of the sensitivity you are suffering with.

Can I prevent sensitive teeth?

Prevention is always a much better option than treatment of an existing tooth sensitivity issue. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as daily flossing, are the most important steps in achieving and maintaining proper oral hygiene. Avoiding tooth grinding, hard brushing and abrasive toothpaste are also important steps in the prevention of tooth sensitivity.

Our dentists may also choose to prescribe a mouth guard for patients who grind their teeth at night, as this can also help to prevent tooth sensitivity. Please call our practice for an appointment, as it’s never too late to start improving your oral health.

Do I need a root canal?

There are several reasons for the need for root canals in Essex at Crofts Dental Practice. The over-riding reason is that the nerve in the centre of the tooth is either creating dental problems, or is at risk of developing problems in the future.


Root Canals in EssexOnce tooth decay becomes extensive, the bacteria that cause the decay can infect the nerve. This causes inflammation and pressure to build up inside the tooth. This pressure cuts of the blood supply to the nerve and the nerve will die.

The throbbing sensation often felt by our patients with an infected root is the increased blood pressure from each heartbeat. That is why the pain can feel worse with any exertion. It can also get worse whilst lying down, as the blood pressure to the head is increased.

Broken teeth

If you have an accident, or break a tooth biting into something hard, you can expose the tooth to outside infection. If this is simply a tiny spot, we can try simple fillings. But, if bigger, it may be wise to have a root canal, as it is likely to cause problems.

The symptoms

The symptoms felt by our patients who may need a root canal vary considerably and if you are in doubt, you should consult your dentist at Crofts Dental Practice. The symptoms of a tooth needing a root canal can include sensitivity to hot and cold. If the sensitivity only lasts a few seconds and is a sharp pain, you will probably just need a filling, but if the pain lasts more than a couple of minutes, you may need a root canal.

Another symptom can be pain when biting. If there is an abscess under a tooth, biting on the tooth puts pressure on the abscess, causing pain.

Swelling around a tooth is also common and most frequently associated with an infection. This infection can be from a root canal related infection, although there are other types of infection which your dentist can diagnose.

Sometimes, the nerve can die and you may not suffer any pain at all. This is one of the reasons why it is important to visit your dentist regularly.

An embarrassing problem

Having bad breath can be embarrassing and make you feel uncomfortable in social situations. There are lots of reasons that it can occur, including consuming strong-smelling foods and drink such as garlic, onions or coffee, smoking, underlying medical issues or poor oral hygiene. Liver and kidney problems, sinusitis, throat infections, diabetes and lung problems can all also result in unpleasant breath and it can be exacerbated by a mouth which is particularly dry. This can happen as we age as we naturally produce less saliva or can be the result of a medical condition. At Crofts Dental Practice we help our patients have fresh breath in Essex.

Fresh Breath in EssexWhy does my breath smell?

If there are no underlying medical problems then the most obvious cause of bad breath is lack of adequate dental care. The unpleasant odour is gas released by bacteria which coat your teeth, gums and tongue. If your teeth are not regularly and properly cleaned, the bacteria can accumulate and cause problems. In addition, bits of food can get caught between the teeth. When food debris decays, a nasty smell is the result. The bacteria on your teeth can cause gum disease and one of the warning signs is a persistent disagreeable smell or taste in your mouth.

How can I have fresh breath?

Regular dental care at home and a good diet which is low in sugary foods is essential. It is also important to have regular appointments with your dentist or hygienist who can check for plaque build-up, scale and polish your teeth, look for any underlying issues and offer advice on how to effectively clean your teeth, tongue and gums. Some treatments, such as having your teeth straightened, can also make a big difference as there are fewer gaps in which plaque can develop. Our team will help you identify the cause of the problem and offer solutions to ensure that you can enjoy fresh breath again. We can even help you to stop smoking.

Having fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth and means that you can relax and enjoy your social life again. Do get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Solutions for missing teeth

If you have one or more missing teeth, you will know how this is detrimental to your appearance as well as making it harder to eat and speak. You may also have had to restrict yourself to a soft food diet. Not only do you miss out on your favourite foods but having a limited diet also affects your nutrition, gradually undermining your health over the years. Dentures can be unreliable or uncomfortable but there is a great alternative to removeable replacements. At Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, dental implants have helped many of our patients improve their smile and enhance their quality of life.

Dental Implants in EssexHow do dental implants work?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots in the form of titanium screws which are set into the jaw during a minor operation. Titanium is well tolerated by the body and the bones and soft tissues of the jaw mesh around the implants, stabilising them into position. Dentures, crowns or replacement teeth are fixed to the implants, ensuring a secure, long-term restoration. Some people have been told that they cannot have dental implants due to lack of bone strength in the jaw but we can offer bone augmentation, sinus lifts or mini-implants so that dental implants can once again be an option. In straightforward cases, we can even fit your implants and replacement teeth in the same day.

Improving your health and looks in the future

With dental implant treatment you will be able to eat normally which improves your diet. Implant also strengthen the structure of your jaw. When you have missing teeth, the jawbone gradually deteriorates. This leads to weakness which destabilises your remaining teeth, as well as an aged appearance. Dental implants stimulate the jaw when you eat in the same way as a natural tooth root. This keeps the bones and blood vessels healthy, ensuring long-term strength. A further benefit of having dental implants is that they support the lips and cheeks, avoiding the sag and droop which can occur when there are gaps.

Dental implants are a long-term investment in your health and appearance. To find out how we can help and why we are so proud of our service, do get in touch with our experienced team today.