minimally invasive dentistry

New Associate Dentist at CK Dental, Sonia Manikam believes that modern dentistry is a blend of science and art.

Sonia has a passion for minimally invasive dentistry. But what is minimally invasive dentistry? And how does this work with a trend for whiter and straighter teeth?

With more advanced dentistry techniques, using the best restorative materials, worn down teeth can now be preserved more easily. Teeth can even be perfected to look straighter and whiter. Dentists can help patients to manage their oral health better, as well as build their confidence.

What is ‘minimally invasive dentistry’?

Despite our best efforts to brush our teeth as frequently as our dentist encourages us to, most of us have some tooth decay. According to government national statistics, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. This can be caused by a number of factors, including bacteria in your mouth. Also, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well can cause harm.

The ‘minimally invasive’ approach to treating dental caries incorporates the dental science of detecting, diagnosing, intercepting and treating dental caries on the microscopic level. The aim is maximum conservation of the dental enamel and dentin of a tooth. To manage tooth decay without losing too much of the tooth.

How have minimally invasive dental techniques improved?

Expanding on her view that modern dentistry is a combination of science as well as art, Sonia said: “Modern dentistry isn’t just lab-based. It’s about the dentist actually building up the teeth.”

“It is really nice to give a patient a nice smile, and to do that free-hand. It is possible to change the shape and size of teeth, and this is a very precise thing. It’s about functionality (being able to eat), but it’s also about confidence.”

People are grinding their teeth down faster, and there is the ongoing problem of acid erosion to teeth, mainly caused by sugary foods. Composites, or white fillings, were not even an option thirty years ago. Back then, the dentist would need to remove a lot of the tooth to fit a crown. Now, composites are much stronger, and made from more long-lasting materials. They can be layered and shaped to the teeth, without the need to drill any tooth away. The new surface can also be blended to match the enamel colour.

Dental veneers are now a common request by patients, but these may only require a very thin layer of enamel removed from the front of the tooth. The shape and colour of veneers can be adjusted with minimally invasive techniques.

How are techniques used in cosmetic dentistry?

The good news is that when teeth are missing, worn down, misaligned or discoloured, there are now more treatment options available which involve minimally invasive techniques. And patients can even be shown how their teeth will look after treatment.

Aligning the teeth involves some short-term orthodontics such as Invisalign. Only a fine amount of enamel may be rubbed away by the dentist, so the teeth can move into position within the clear aligners. This is unquestionably a more comfortable and less invasive alternative to braces, with noticeable results within weeks.

A patient may also want to proceed with teeth whitening. The results of this would be seen much quicker – after just two weeks. The Enlighten whitening treatment at CK Dental uses non-acidic whitening agents, which would not harm the tooth enamel.

After straightening, and whitening then composites are normally introduced, so that they can be colour-matched and moulded with the new shape of the teeth.

Sonia explained that it is amazing how teeth can be built up, even in very complex cases. And even though it is now far less invasive, for nervous patients worried about sensitivity when undergoing any dental treatment, there are more ways to help here too. At CK Dental, patients can expect a calm, reassuring and relaxed setting. During a consultation with the dentist, patients can discuss the option of sedation and general anaesthetic.

To find out more about any of our treatments, discuss your options if you are a nervous patient, or to simply book an appointment, please give us a call on 0117 905 9866.

whiter smile

Georgina Gargett, a 30 year-old Travel Agent Manager was over the moon when she found out that she was the lucky recipient of a Polanight Teeth Whitening treatment with CK Dental.

Georgina, normally works in central Bristol, but is now working from home in Yatton, North Somerset and has been using video calls for work and her book club. Confronted by her own appearance more often, she had been thinking about having a teeth whitening treatment, and especially as she would be getting married in just a few months.

She had been keeping a beady eye on local competitions on Instagram and she was delighted when the opportunity to win a free whitening treatment with the Bristol based dentist popped up in January. She could have a whiter smile in time for her big day!

The initial consultation

At CK Dental, the first step of a teeth whitening treatment involves a consultation with the dentist to check your general oral health and suitability for the procedure. Georgina’s initial appointment was arranged very promptly at the dental clinic in Clifton which is at the Nuffield Hospital.

“Everything felt safe and hygienic on entering the building. I was even given a fresh medical mask to wear! I wasn’t nervous at all. The team at CK Dental were really friendly and put me at ease”, she said.

Georgina was the perfect candidate. Her teeth were in a good condition, and this was backed up by X Rays from her regular dentist. The dentist did a scan of her teeth so that a mould could be made for the whitening trays.

The teeth whitening treatment

Once Georgina had collected her customised trays, she was ready to go with a plan of using them every night, for 14 consecutive nights. She would then go back to the dentist for a final check-up.

The convenient thing about the Polanight Treatment that Georgina received, is that she could apply it while she slept. Because of the concentration of carbamide peroxide, Georgina was able to achieve stronger whitening in a shorter period of time. In fact, she started noticing the difference in just a week.

“Although this was a gradual change to me, several friends mentioned that they could really see the difference when we met up for a socially distanced walk.”

Side effects of teeth whitening

Like any treatment, teeth whitening can cause some potential side effects. Georgina was told to expect some mild sensitivity for a few days after the treatment.

“I would put the trays in half an hour before going to sleep to get used to them. I just got used to them and I was able to sleep fine, they weren’t at all uncomfortable.”

Other than some sensitivity, there were no other side effects. In fact, she was able to carry on drinking tea and coffee and eat whatever she wanted.

Happy with the results

Georgina was really pleased with the results of her treatment, and says that she “highly recommends it, and the team at CK Dental”.

One of the best things about this treatment is that it doesn’t require extensive maintenance. You will only need to top up the treatment for one night every couple of months during the first year. Unsurprisingly, Georgina is planning a top up treatment just ahead of her wedding in the Summer.

Why not treat yourself to a whiter smile with an effective, simple whitening treatment. Call CK Dental on 0117 905 9866 to book a consultation.

better than a facelift

Those looking to improve their facial appearance tend to focus on drastic procedures such as a facelift. While these procedures can deliver excellent results, less invasive procedures may be a better option.

Did you know for example, that many people are finding an Invisalign treatment to be a better alternative to a facelift? Here, we’ll look at how changing your teeth through the Invisalign system can prove better than an extensive facelift procedure.

Why might Invisalign be better than a facelift?

The jaw and teeth provide the frame for our face. Therefore, making adjustments to how they look can ultimately impact our entire facial features. Since the start of the lockdown, the cosmetic dentistry sector has seen a significant rise in demand. The rise in Zoom video calls, additional time on social media as well as desire for a ‘pick me up’ from social isolation, has led to many people choosing treatments to correct their facial imperfections.

Invisalign braces help to correct the shape of the teeth and jaw, in turn helping to alter the appearance of facial features. Unlike a facelift, the treatment is also very hard to spot and it doesn’t require a huge recovery time. Facelifts are renowned for their lengthy recovery process and you’ll need to wear a bandage for a week or two. This makes it difficult to hide the procedure from others.

With Invisalign, the results are natural too. The braces are created using a mould of your mouth. This ensures they will fit correctly and feel comfortable. Facelifts on the other hand, tend to create a more dramatic impact. A full face lift is often easy to detect due to how extensive it is.

The benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign braces deliver a lot of great benefits. The fact that they are practically invisible to the naked eye is a major benefit. This is great for those who worry about having standard braces because of how they might look.

Ageing also tends to be more visible on the lower part of the face. As Invisalign braces help to alter the shape of the jaw, it can help to correct the signs of ageing in the area. Unlike a lot of procedures, they also provide natural looking results. This means it won’t be obvious that you have had work completed. The additional structure and support provided by the braces also helps to reduce sagging.

They can also widen the smile, making it more prominent. You’ll find them easy to clean and look after, and most patients feel they are comfortable to wear.

What is Invisalign Go?

Invisalign Go is aimed at patients with mild correction issues, who are looking for fast results. Clear aligners are used to straighten the teeth in just six months. The original Invisalign treatment takes around 12-18 months to work fully. You will need to wear them all of the time, besides when brushing, flossing and eating.

Both Invisalign and Invisalign Go have proven highly effective at helping patients to achieve a perfect smile. As well as improving the teeth and jawline, they can also help to improve the signs of ageing.

Book a consultation today to see how Invisalign could help you to boost your confidence and achieve that perfect smile. Call CK Dental on 0117 905 9866 to book an appointment with our experienced dentists.

New Associate Dentist at CK Dental

We’re delighted to welcome a new member to our team at CK Dental. Associate Dentist Dr Sonia Manikam qualified at the University of Bristol in 2017. She then embarked on a four-year Masters of Clinical Dentistry in Fixed & Removable Prosthodontics at the prestigious King’s College London.

As well as general practice, Sonia enjoys and has a special interest in minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry and short-term orthodontics, creating beautiful smiles using a conservative approach. She has a relaxed friendly style to put you at your ease however complex the procedure may be.

Outside of dentistry, Sonia enjoys going for long walks in the countryside and playing the piano. Call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange a consultation with Sonia.

dental health

Due to the lockdowns forced into place by the pandemic, thousands of patients have missed their routine check-ups. With everything going on and dental appointments being postponed, it’s easy to forget about your dental health.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is vital to your overall health. So, how can you look after your dental health while you wait to attend your routine check-up?

Brush twice a day and don’t forget to floss!

It has always been recommended that we clean our teeth twice each day. However, it’s easy to let this routine habit slip during difficult times. While skipping brushing your teeth once a day every now and again isn’t going to harm you, consistently doing it will. So, start by making sure you are brushing twice a day with a good quality toothpaste.

Alongside brushing daily, you should also floss the teeth. This is because flossing gets rid of the harder to reach plaque. Even the best electric toothbrushes won’t remove all of the plaque in your mouth, instead they focus on removing it from the back and front of the teeth. With flossing, it eliminates plaque from in between the teeth and gums. This is where the most harmful microbes live. If left unchecked, they can lead to gum disease.

When should you change your toothbrush?

In order to maintain good dental health, you are going to need to change your toothbrush from time to time. It is recommended that you change it every 3-4 months. Keep an eye on the bristles and replace them when they start to fray.

If you don’t change your toothbrush frequently enough, your teeth could suffer. Frayed bristles aren’t going to be strong enough to remove the plaque. Over time, this would lead to a plaque build-up.

The array of different electric or ‘power’ brushes in the market might be overwhelming, as well as specialist toothpastes and mouthwashes that can be beneficial to your oral hygiene. Your dental hygienist can recommend those that are best for you.

Checking your gum health

Your gum health can have a direct impact on your overall health. Those with gum disease have been shown to have an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, keeping on top of your gum health should be a priority.

There are a lot of ways you can keep your gums healthy at home. Brushing and flossing will go a long way to keeping them healthy. Quitting smoking, using fluoride toothpaste and a therapeutic mouthwash will all help.

Bleeding around your teeth when you brush, bad breath and tooth sensitivity are all symptoms of gum disease. If you have these symptoms, visiting your dentist is the best course of action. They will be able to treat the gum disease, preventing it from worsening.

At CK Dental, we are currently running a competition through Instagram where you can win a free check-up as well as a hygiene appointment that would normally be worth £145. Be quick to enter though as the competition closes on March 26th, 2021. Head over to our Instagram page now to learn more.

teeth straightening

Braces have long been used to help straighten the teeth. However, they have come a long way since they were first introduced.

Conventional metal braces aren’t the only straightening method available these days. They also aren’t limited to children. A growing number of adults are choosing modern day braces to help them achieve a perfect smile. Here, you’ll discover more about the different types of braces available.

Who can have braces?

The ideal time to wear braces is typically between the ages of 10-14. However, you can wear them at any age. In June 2020, the British Orthodontic Society reported 80% of its members were seeing more adult patients requesting braces to straighten their teeth.

The majority of the time adult patients are seeking to straighten the teeth for cosmetic reasons. However, some patients do need them for health purposes. Whatever the reason for needing braces, the teeth should be in good condition and you should also have good oral hygiene.

What different types of braces are there?

There are a number of different types of braces available today. While conventional metal mouth braces are still used, there are other less noticeable braces you can use. The different types of braces dentists can use on their patients include:

  • Ceramic
  • Lingual
  • Self-ligating
  • Invisible

Ceramic braces are made to match the colour of your natural teeth. They are as effective as metal braces, but they are also just as uncomfortable and they can be expensive. Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth; however, they can be hard to adjust and it can have a more significant impact on speech.

Self-ligating braces tend to offer less discomfort and they can offer a quicker treatment. The downsides are that they can stain the teeth and they won’t be suitable for all patients.

The most recent type of braces introduced onto the market are invisible braces. These are easy to clean, they don’t cause discomfort and it isn’t easy to tell that you are wearing them. You can learn more about these innovative braces below.

What are invisible braces?

At CK Dental, we provide Invisalign invisible braces. These innovative braces offer more benefits than traditional braces. They are especially well-suited to patients who worry about having visible braces.

The Invisalign treatment starts by scanning the mouth to create a 3D image of the teeth. This is used to create aligners that are exactly tailored to your mouth. It takes around a month to create the aligners, which will then need to be changed approximately every 1-2 weeks. A check-up is required every six weeks and it takes an average of 12-18 months to complete the treatment.

A major benefit of these braces is that they cause minimal discomfort. So, if you’re looking to straighten your teeth discreetly and pain-free, invisible braces are a great choice.

You can learn more about teeth straightening, and about our Invisalign treatments, at your initial consultation. Call CK Dental today on 0117 905 9866 to book a consultation with our experienced dentists.

Cost of dental

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists have remained open for both emergency and non-emergency care. Following the strictest protocols to allow them to work safely, dental practices across the UK are helping people to maintain their oral hygiene.

Keeping on top of oral hygiene is a lot more important than you might think. Cases of mouth cancer have shown to be on the rise in recent years. As February 4th marks World Cancer Day, it is a good time to remind patients the importance of getting regular check-ups.

Of course, the pandemic hasn’t been the only barrier to some patients seeking treatment. The cost of dental care can also be a concern. Here, you’ll discover how to manage the cost of dental care to ensure you get the treatment you need.

How does a payment plan work?

At CK Dental, we offer Denplan payments to ensure our patients can easily manage the cost of treatment. After working out what treatment you need, the dentist will calculate the full costs involved. The total will then be split into affordable monthly payments.

These plans provide a lifeline in emergencies, as well as to those living within a tight budget. It covers hygiene appointments and check-ups and there is the option to customise the plan to include emergency treatment.

It is important to note that not everything is covered by our payment plans. You may need to pay for restorative dental treatments, prescription charges or lab fees for example. It also doesn’t cover cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening.

Benefits of Denplan

There are a lot of great benefits of using our Denplan contracts. Firstly, it can act as a great preventative tool. As you won’t need to worry about the cost of check-ups, you will be able to visit the dentist more frequently. This will help to identify any potential problems early on, protecting your oral health and your wallet.

The plans available can cover a wide range of treatments, tailored to match your specific needs.

You can also choose to take dental insurance to cover you for emergency dental treatment at home or abroad. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to get the treatment you need without worrying about the cost.

These are just a small handful of the benefits you can expect when you take advantage of our monthly dental treatment plans.

How much does it cost?

Plans start from £15.90 per month, and that includes regular check-ups and hygiene appointments, but the cost of your Denplan will depend upon a variety of factors. Your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate quote based upon your individual needs.

To find out more about our affordable payment plans, contact CK Dental today.

Dental implants

Dental implants are commonly used to correct missing or severely damaged teeth. Providing a long-lasting solution, they can last a lifetime when properly looked after. However, before deciding whether or not this treatment is right for you, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

A question we often get asked is whether dental implants are painful. Here, you’ll discover what to expect from this popular procedure.

What are dental implants and how do they work?

Dental implants are used to support false teeth. Aiming to replace the tooth’s root, they are titanium screws which are inserted into the jawbone. For two to four months, a temporary restoration will be provided, and the bone will begin to grow around the implant.

A custom-made restoration is fitted to complete the treatment. An abutment will be fitted into the implant with a screw, before dentures, crowns or bridges are fitted.

Are dental implants painful?

During the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic. This should eliminate any pain, ensuring you only feel a slight pressure when the implants are inserted. Work isn’t carried out until the area is numbed.

After the procedure, you may feel some pain and discomfort for a few days. This can be managed with over the counter painkillers. So, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure itself, and minimal pain afterwards.

Of course, everyone’s pain tolerance is different. Therefore, some patients may experience more pain or discomfort than others. You can always speak to the surgeon if you are in pain to see whether prescribed painkillers can be provided.

Tips to help you relax prior to the procedure

For many patients, undergoing dental surgery can be a really anxious and stressful time. If you want to have the best experience, it’s worth following a few tips to help you relax. These include:

  • Consider oral sedation if you suffer with extreme anxiety
  • Bring a distraction
  • Focus on soft foods after the procedure
  • Make sure you schedule time out to recover

Although it is always best to undergo dental implants under local anaesthetic, patients with dental anxiety may be able to opt for general anaesthetic instead. However, it’s best to speak through the pros and cons with your surgeon before deciding whether general anaesthetic is best.

You’ll also find it useful to take a distraction. Dental implants can take a long time to fit. So, consider bringing your favourite music along, or an audiobook. To keep discomfort to a minimum after the procedure, you’ll also want to focus on eating soft foods such as soup.

Finally, making sure you take enough time out to recover is important. You’ll only need a day to rest and fully relax.

Overall, dental implants can help to replace missing teeth and help you regain a beautiful smile. While you may feel some discomfort after the procedure, they aren’t as painful as you might think. There are also several ways to reduce the discomfort and pain levels.

Why not book a consultation today to see whether dental implants are right for you by phoning CK Dental on 0117 905 9866.

Dentist still open

Following yesterday’s announcement, we want to let you know that as an essential medical service, CK Dental is able to remain open as normal, and patients are still allowed to travel for their dental treatment.

Your safety, our priority

We would like to reassure all our patients that our clinic is the safest environment possible. Since the first lockdown, we invested in a new air filtering system which has the recommended HEPA filter, and is able to filter out 99.97% of pathogens as small as 0.3 microns.

We have had no reported cases in the clinic and we will continue to work within all the government guidelines to keep it that way.

Dental treatment plans

Please make sure you keep your appointment if you have one. If you call us to make an appointment, you will be asked some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment to see if anything has changed since you booked.

We are still accepting new patients too, and we can offer budget payment plans with Denplan Essentials to make treatment more affordable.

How you can help

At CK Dental, we use personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and aprons, and social distancing measures to keep staff and patients safe. You can also help by following these steps;

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
  • With the exception of children and persons in need, patients should come alone
  • Patients should attend wearing a mask
  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice
  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact NHS Test and Trace

Please call our friendly team in Bristol on 0117 905 9866 if you have any questions about your upcoming appointment or our budget payment plans.

We look forward to seeing you!

Teeth whitening kit

This new year, why not treat yourself to a new smile? At CK Dental, our teeth whitening treatment is one of the most popular procedures requested by patients. Helping to remove stains and lighten the teeth, this effective treatment can help get you that perfect smile you have been dreaming of.

Here, you will discover everything you need to know about the procedure and how you can get your hands on a free, teeth whitening kit this January.

The Enlighten whitening system

At CK Dental, we use the Enlighten whitening system treatment to give our patients the smile they have been dreaming of. For 95% of patients, it takes just two weeks to see full results.

The innovative treatment guarantees a B1 shade in up to 98% of patients. You will be given a treatment kit to take home with you, and it will need to be applied each night. After a couple of weeks, you will go back to the dentist for a final check-up.

One of the best things about this treatment is that it doesn’t require extensive maintenance. You will only need to top up the treatment for one night every couple of months during the first year. Then, simply use a top up treatment for one night every three months in the second year, followed by one top up every six months after that.

What are the risks and side effects?

Like any treatment, Enlighten Whitening may cause some potential side effects. However, these are very mild and mostly consist of sensitivity. For a few days after the treatment, you may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold.

You should avoid undergoing the procedure if you are pregnant. This is because the treatment hasn’t yet been tested on pregnant women so there is no way to know whether it would cause any side effects during pregnancy.

Will my teeth whiten evenly?

Although the whitening treatment is monitored by your dentist, you will be carrying it out mostly by yourself at home.
So, does this mean there is the potential to experience uneven results?

At first, you may notice the edges of the teeth appear whiter. This is because the enamel is a little thinner around the edges of the teeth. However, as you continue the treatment, you will notice the rest of the teeth eventually turn the same shade. So, you won’t be left with uneven results by the end of the treatment.

Bag yourself a FREE treatment kit this January

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a trying year for all of us. That’s why we’ve decided to give one lucky winner a free Polanight whitening treatment kit to help bring a little cheer and kickstart 2021.

To be in with a chance of winning, head over to our Instagram page and give us a follow. Then, like the competition post and tag a couple of friends you feel might be interested in this fab promotion. Your name will be entered into the prize draw for the custom-made trays and Polanight teeth whitening treatment.

Treat yourself to a new smile this new year with this effective, simple teeth whitening treatment.