Frequently asked questions from patients

Facial Aesthetics

  • How long do facial aesthetic treatments work for?

    The effects of Botulinum Toxin often last up to four months, depending on the individual patient. If you decide to stop treatment, any permanent lines and wrinkles will gradually return.

    The effects of dermal fillers can last for 9-12 months but again this does depend on the individual and how your body breaks down the product. Treatment to the lips usually lasts about 6 months. After this time your skin will gradually return to what it looked like before the treatment, unless you have a top-up treatment. You can of course just have a one-off treatment specifically for a special event.

  • Are there any side effects from Botulinum toxin injections?

    Side effects from this treatment are rare. Most people find the injection causes only mild discomfort. You may get some local discomfort and bruising lasting a few days after the Botulinum toxin therapy. Occasionally temporary drooping of the upper eyelid or raising of the eyebrow can occur. This may last a few weeks but will always resolve. Other possible side effects include a temporary headache, dryness or watering of the eye. We will discuss all the possible side effects with you prior to your treatment.

  • Can anyone have treatment with Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers?

    Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are not suitable for everyone. At your consultation we will ask you questions about your medical history and decide if these treatments are the right ones for you.

    Before starting treatment, please tell us if you have any disorders that affect your nerves and muscles, if you are pregnant, if you are planning to become pregnant soon or breastfeeding. There are also a number of medications that may interact with Botulinum toxin e.g. some antibiotics and muscle relaxants.

    Treatment should be avoided if you have an infection where the treatments will be injected.

  • Is Botulinum Toxin safe?

    Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have been safely using Botulinum toxin facial injections for more than 30 years. It has a very high margin of safety and no reported cases of true allergic reaction have been reported.

    As long ago as 1978 it was used as a treatment for patients with eye squints by weakening overactive eye muscles. Since then, it has been used in a variety of therapeutic areas including spasmodic neck, writer’s cramp, tics, multiple sclerosis, facial spasm, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy.

General questions

  • Can you match crowns / fillings to the existing colouring of my teeth?

    Yes. With the help of our laboratory technicians we can mix and blend crown/ fillings materials to produce a good match to your existing teeth.

  • Why are my teeth so sensitive?

    The part of the tooth we can see is covered by a layer of enamel that protects the softer dentine underneath. If the dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive. This usually happens where the tooth and the gum meet and the enamel layer is much thinner. Here are some causes of sensitivity.

    • Toothbrush abrasion: Brushing too hard, and brushing from side to side, can cause enamel to be worn away, particularly where the teeth meet the gums. The freshly exposed dentine may then become sensitive.
    • Dental erosion: This is loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidic food and drinks. If enamel is worn away the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to sensitivity.
    • Gum recession: Gums may naturally recede (shrink back), and the roots will become exposed and can be more sensitive. Root surfaces do not have an enamel layer to protect them.
    • Gum disease: A build-up of plaque or tartar can cause the gum to recede down the tooth and even destroy the bony support of the tooth. Pockets can form in the gums around the tooth, making the area difficult to keep clean and the problem worse.
    • Tooth grinding: This is a habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This can cause the enamel of the teeth to be worn away, making the teeth sensitive. Other causes of pain from sensitivity may be:
      • A cracked tooth or filling: A cracked tooth is one that has become broken. A crack can run from the biting surface of a tooth down towards the root. Extreme temperatures, especially cold, may cause discomfort.
      • Tooth bleaching: Some patients have sensitivity for a short time during or after having their teeth bleached. Discuss this with your dentist before having treatment.
  • Why do my front teeth chip?

    Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    People can clench and grind without being aware of it during both the day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often the bigger problem because it is harder to control.

    The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the trigger in many people. Some people probably clench their teeth and never feel symptoms. Whether or not bruxism causes pain and other problems may be a complicated mix of factors:

    • How much stress you are under
    • How long and tightly you clench and grind
    • Whether your teeth are misaligned
    • Your posture
    • Your ability to relax
    • Your diet
    • Your sleeping habits

    Each person is probably different.

  • Can I go to sleep for complicated treatment?

    In the dental surgery we are not allowed to use general anaesthetic. However we do offer conscious sedation. We have a team of visiting anaesthetists who carry out the procedure. You remain conscious but unaware throughout the treatment and as such are able to comply with simple instructions (i.e. open and close). The sedation is given intravenously and will make having a long/complicated treatment seem like it was over in minutes rather than a couple of hours. Please ask a member of staff for more details on this option.

  • When am I meant to have my wisdom teeth out?

    NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines state that wisdom teeth should only be removed after recurrent episodes of infection. If they are not causing trouble there is no reason to remove them at all.

  • Do my wisdom teeth push my front teeth forward causing crowding?

    It’s a common misconception that wisdom teeth can cause overlapping of the front teeth. But it’s just not true.

  • I brush my teeth well, yet my gums still bleed – why does this happen?

    One of the most important things you can do to prevent gum disease is to floss daily and use interdentally (between the teeth) cleaning brushes. Brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes twice a day. Some people are more susceptible to gum disease than others. The long term use of some medications such as antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs can cause dry mouth which makes you more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Speak to your dentist about this and make sure we have an up to date list of any medication you are taking.

  • Should I clean and floss every time?

    Yes. Brushing alone only cleans 60% of your tooth surface.

  • How often should I replace my toothbrush / electric toothbrush head?

    All manufacturers’ recommendations vary but as a general rule you should change your tooth brush at least every 3 months and your electric tooth brush head every month. However if it is showing signs of wear before this time you should replace it sooner.

  • What treatments do you offer?

    General dental treatments (examinations, dental hygienist appointments, fillings, fissure sealants, oral cancer screening), Reconstructive treatment (crowns, bridges and dentures), Endodontic treatment (root fillings and apicectomies), Surgical procedures (extractions, dental implants, bone grafts, sinus grafts) Periodontics (treatment of gum disease).

  • How can I book an appointment?

    Please give the practice a call on 01329 823040 or drop us an email requesting a call back.

  • What are your opening hours?
    • Monday 8.00am – 5.30pm
    • Tuesday and Wednesday 8.00am – 5.00pm
    • Thursday 9.00am – 5.30 pm
    • Friday 8.00am – 1.00pm
  • How often should I visit the dentist?

    Every 6 months unless otherwise recommended by your dentist

  • When can I bring my children in for an appointment?

    We recommend you bring them from as young as possible (teeth or no teeth) this is so they can get used to the sights and sounds of the dental surgery.

    Bring your children with you to your examination appointments as we can advise you on what to do and what to expect before their teeth arrive and once their teeth make an appearance we can start to actively look after your children’s oral health.

Payment questions

  • Do you have a payment plan?

    The McInerney Practice payment plan is now available. 

     The plan includes:

    • Regular dental examinations
    • Regular hygiene visits
    • 10% discount on many dental treamtents and tooth whitening
    • Ability to spread costs of routine dental appointments by Direct Debit
    • Special promotions throughout the year
    • Interest Free Finance – 0% APR representative
    • Access to a 24 Hour Dental Emergency Service
    • Emergency Assessment
    • Priority Appointment
    • Worldwide Dental Trauma and Emergency Callout Insurance, which includes an oral cancer cover (terms and conditions apply)
    • Redundancy protection for your monthly payments for up to 12 months
  • Can I pay for extensive treatments over a certain period?

    We do offer interest free credit to those patients taking on extensive treatments. This is provided by Hitachi capital and is subject to acceptance. Application forms are available on request.

  • What can I expect to pay?

    Please see our fee guide for further information

  • How do I pay for my treatment?

    We will ask you to pay for your treatment as it progresses. A written treatment plan and estimate will always be produced so you will know in advance the cost of your dental treatment and what you will be expected to pay when.

Teeth whitening / brightening questions

  • How long does teeth whitening / brightening take?

    Depending on each individual patient. Generally the optimum results are achieved within 3 weeks.

  • Do you offer teeth whitening / brightening?

    Yes we offer teeth whitening. We recommend the supervised home whitening system as the ‘Gold’ standard.

Implant questions

  • How long does the implant procedure take?

    Depending on how complex the treatment is and how good your bone quality is implant treatment can take anything from 3 months to 1 year to complete. This includes the planning, placement and restoration of the implant.

  • Is everyone suitable for dental implants?

    This depends on the quality and quantity of bone available in your jaw. Many people are good candidates for dental implants. Even if you have a reduced amount of bone we may be able to supplement this by grafting bone into the area first. Your dentist will be able to advise you as to your suitability for implant treatment.

  • How long do dental implants last?

    Dental implants are a reliable form of treatment for replacing missing teeth. With the right planning, care and maintenance dental implants will last for many years.

  • Does having dental implants work?

    Dental implants replace missing teeth. A dental implant can be a stand-alone unit (just like your natural teeth) or used to anchor fixed or removable bridge work to replace more than one missing tooth. Dental implants are just as susceptible to gum disease as your natural teeth and as such a high level of oral hygiene is very important.

  • Will it hurt?

    Placing implants means a small operation. This can be done using local anaesthetic. If you are very nervous your dentist may suggest having conscious sedation. You will not feel any pain at the time but you may feel some discomfort the week following surgery.

  • What is a dental implant?

    A dental implant is a titanium metal rod which is placed into the jawbone. It is used to support one or more false teeth.

Veneers

  • Do veneers damage my teeth?

    A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth surface and with any kind of tooth preparation there is always the risk of nerve damage. This is very unlikely but can happen in some cases. If this does happen we will need to root fill the tooth before continuing with the treatment.

  • Should I have my teeth whitened before I get my veneers / crowns?

    If you would like your teeth whitened then it is best to have this done prior to having veneers and crowns made. Whitening will only work on natural teeth. Existing crowns, veneers of white fillings will not change shade and as such may become more visible after a whitening procedure.

Bridges

  • How reliable are they?

    They are a long term solution. Nothing is forever but with careful planning, good home care and regular examination from your dentist they can last for years.

  • How do I clean bridges?

    Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you how to keep your bridgework clean. With the daily use of floss threaders, super floss and/or interdental cleaning brushes you will be able to keep the gum around the bridge healthy.