It’s a funny thing, smoking

If you have never been a smoker, you must wonder why it is so very hard to stop. All you can see is money going up in smoke, grey faces, yellow fingers and that overwhelmingly noxious smell of fag smoke. If you have been, or are, a smoker, you know that no amount of disgust registered on the faces of the saintly non-smokers around you is going to make you stop.

Smoking Cessation in EssexMaybe you have tried time again to give up tobacco, but each time you have a crisis, you run to the garage for another pack of cigarettes or rolling tobacco. And, everything is a crisis when you first stop smoking.

It can be a whole lot easier to stop the evil weed if you have someone on your side to talk to, offer advice on coping mechanisms for those early days and cheer you on when the going gets tough.

Here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex, we get to see plenty of mouths and what smoking does to them. We see the shrinking gums, stained teeth, and hairy tongue. We treat the gum disease and infections that are exacerbated by the fact that smoking stops oxygen getting to the gums. We hear about how our patients can’t taste or smell things like they used to. And we upset people when we tell them they can’t have dental implants because smoking has caused jawbone loss.

Can we help you?

Did you know we offer support for smoking cessation in Essex here at Crofts Dental Practice? We can give you information on the best ways to stop smoking and how to get hold of products that can help you quit. We can also offer you something that will make it much easier for you to stop smoking: support.

We understand that it’s highly unlikely that you will manage to stop the first time you give up. It usually takes about four attempts to quit, but some people have to try over and over again before they finally manage it. After all, if you are used to dealing with life with a ciggie in your hand, getting through the ups and downs without one is going to take practice.

Rolling back the years

Time was when reaching the age of 40 was quite an achievement. Then in more recent times, 40 was seen as the start of middle age and you were most definitely over the hill. Now, 40 is nothing at all and 50 is the new 30. Better nutrition and exercise is keeping everyone much more fit and able, so it’s important to have faces that keep in step with the rest of our wonderfully toned, supple bodies.

Facial Aesthetics in EssexOne way to do this is with facial aesthetics, which we offer here at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex. Dentists are the perfect practitioners to deliver treatments that affect the face because we spend years and years training in working with the skin, blood vessels, nerves and muscles of the face so we can be effective dentists. Expanding this knowledge to encompass the delivery of facial aesthetics in Essex is a natural progression. We have spent years using needles to deliver anaesthetics, and now we use that experience to deliver just the right amount of Botox or dermal fillers in just the right places in your face to give you a naturally youthful look.

Botox and dermal fillers do two different jobs and can be used either separately or in combination.


Botox smooths out some fine lines and wrinkles by temporarily paralysing the muscles that have contracted to cause them. It works really well on particular wrinkles that are caused by us habitually holding certain facial expressions, such as frown and worry lines, crow’s feet and even smoker’s lines around the lips. You receive a series of carefully placed injections of Botox, which gradually takes effect over the next few days. You will still be able to make facial expressions. Botox lasts about four months.

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers are injections of synthetic hyaluronic acid, which the body naturally produces and which works to lock in moisture. We inject it into folds and hollows to plump them out. Dermal fillers work really well on naso-labial folds and smokers lines and are also great for plumping out lips that have flattened with age or were naturally thin to start with.

Straighten your teeth and still look smart

If you are an adult who needs teeth straightening, but do not want to ruin your professional appearance, then invisible braces may be the right option for you. Unlike metal braces, which are highly visible, invisible braces are specifically made for adults, who care for their appearance for professional or other reasons.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we offer invisible braces for adults, namely Invisalign, lingual braces and Six Month Smiles. With invisible braces, you can be safe in the knowledge that most people won’t even know you are wearing braces.

Invisible Braces in EssexInvisalign

Invisalign is an innovative teeth straightening treatment, consisting of a series of custom-made, transparent, removable aligners. Invisalign aligners are created with the help of 3D technology, allowing your dentist to plan your treatment from the beginning. Each aligner is individually manufactured with precise calculations to gradually move your teeth into place. More importantly, you can remove the aligners to eat or brush your teeth, so your teeth stay healthy while they are undergoing treatment.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are hidden on the inside of the teeth and are uniquely customised to match the shape of your teeth. The greatest benefit of lingual braces is that – even though they are metal braces – they are completely hidden behind the teeth and so are practically invisible. There is no need to remove them before you eat, as you would do with Invisalign. Moreover, lingual braces can treat a wide variety of dental issues, including severely misaligned, crooked and rotated teeth.

Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles is a treatment for patients, who are self-conscious about their crooked front teeth. Six Month Smiles combines the best aspects of traditional braces with the increased comfort and aesthetics of cosmetic dentistry. This treatment uses clear brackets and tooth-coloured wires to gently move your teeth into their proper position. Patients who do not need corrections made to their bite, but want straighter teeth, may find that Six Month Smiles is the most suitable treatment for their needs.

Get in touch

Want to learn more about invisible braces in Essex? Gives us a call and we will schedule a consultation appointment for you.

The importance of dental hygiene for oral health

Visiting your dentist at least twice a year not only helps keep your smile more beautiful but also helps preserve your oral health. By examining your teeth and gums, your dentist will know whether or not you may be developing gum disease, tooth decay or other oral health issues that can be prevented.

At Crofts Dental Practice, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and for this reason, we encourage our patients to visit our dental practice on a regular basis. Even if you brush and floss your teeth diligently at home, chances are that you are still susceptible to oral disease. This is because bacteria and plaque cannot be removed from hard-to-reach places in your mouth without the help of a dentist and hygienist.

Dental Hygiene in EssexWhy is good oral health important?

Recent studies have proven that there is a clear link between healthy teeth and general health. Patients who take good care of their teeth and gums are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease or other health issues. Pregnant women with untreated gum disease show a greater incidence of pre-term and low-birth-weight babies. More alarmingly, mouth infections can lead to infections of other organs of the body, while chewing problems can lead to digestive disorders.

How can dental hygiene in Essex help?

Good oral hygiene and a thorough oral care routine are important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Doing this requires more than brushing once a day. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Moreover, visiting your dentist for examinations and cleanings is equally important. Your dentist will remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums and will offer valuable information on proper oral techniques between visits. It is very important that you schedule your dental visits every six months, and sooner if you notice any pain or discomfort.

Care for your teeth, care for yourself

Proper dental care is a vital part of keeping your teeth healthy. Contact us today to learn more about our dental hygiene services. Take the first step towards lasting oral hygiene and set up your appointment today.

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.