Frequently Asked Questions


Are implants safe and how long will they last?

Implants are a safe, well-established treatment. It’s probably true to say that implants, much like natural teeth, will last for as long as you care for them.

How well you look after your implants – and whether you go for your regular maintenance appointments – will have the biggest impact on how long they will last.

If you don’t look after your implants they will develop a coating similar to what you get on neglected natural teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to gum infection.

No one can give guarantees because the health of a person is dependent upon many factors which are out of the control of one’s dentist, e.g., proper nutritional needs being met, proper hygiene, genetics, disease processes which might occur.  So, the answer to this question really is that no one knows how long each individual implant will last…

If your implants are well looked after, and if the bone they are fitted to is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years. However, just as with other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement) there is no lifetime guarantee.

After I receive dental implants, will I set off metal detectors in the airport?

You will not! With tight airport security, nobody wants the additional concern of setting off airport screening devices. Implants are tiny, and the titanium used in implants is not as dense as other metals, so it will not set off the airport metal detectors.

Do Implants hurt?

Placing a dental implant in Reading is often easier than taking a tooth out and is usually done under local anesthetic. You will not feel pain at the time but you may feel some discomfort during the week after the surgery. Sometimes we offer sedation if you are very nervous or if the treatment is complicated

Can I drive after appointment?

On most occasions there is no problem driving after a dental appointment. The exception to this rule is if the patient has had any form of sedation, in which case we would advise against driving for the subsequent 24 hours.  If you do not feel comfortable driving we would also recommend you do not drive. If needed, we can call a taxi for you.

How long after my filling should I wait to eat or drink?

One of the reasons dentists suggest you avoid eating and drinking following treatment is due to the effects of the local anaesthetic. The numbness of the mouth may cause you to inadvertently bite the soft tissues, and or scald your mouth if the temperature of the food and drink cannot be perceived. We would advise you to wait 2-4 hours until the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off.

White fillings are set at the time of the placement, but some fillings such as  amalgam fillings, and some cements take time to set. To allow the fillings/ cement to achieve its optimal properties again we request you avoid drinking and eating immediately after your treatment.

Can I have a hygienist appointment and a filling on the same day?

Generally there is no problem coming in for appointments with the hygienist and for a filling on the same day. Occasionally patients do make both appointments at the same time for convenience purposes. If you are having extensive dental work it may be difficult to have your mouth open for long periods of time. Also some dental treatment requires time to set. If this is the case the dentist will advise you.

Can I buy stuff over the counter from pharmacies or supermarkets that will whiten my teeth cheaper that having it by the dentist?

Yes, there are many over the counter whitening toothpastes and products, however these will only remove surface stains and will not predictably whiten the intrinsic (base) colour of teeth. Also, some whitening products have very harsh abrasive agents that can microscopically damage the enamel leading to increased sensitivity. All tooth whitening that occurs is temporary and cannot be compared to the professional tooth whitening carried out by a properly trained dental professional.  Also beware of unlicensed boutiques undertaking tooth whitening illegally. Only GDC registered dental professionals can carry out tooth whitening safely.

What is the tooth whitening process?

No drilling, no damage to your tooth enamel!  You simply have impressions taken of your teeth and customised soft invisible whitening trays are made. We use one of the latest and best professional tooth whitening systems called Enlighten, and we are a professionally accredited tooth whitening centre. Our dentists have won awards for their whitening from the industry leading Aesthetic Dentistry Awards. Once your trays are fitted you are provided with a whitening kit as well as full instructions on its use. We will take before and after clinical photographs to monitor your progress. The whitening process starts with whitening the teeth overnight for 2 weeks at home while you sleep. Most people get an excellent result with just the home whitening alone, however for those who wants to go that extra shade lighter, we also do in surgery ‘Power Whitening’ using a specialised blue light. The whitening is gentle and you will be guided throughout by your dentist with full aftercare and follow up. Also once you have finished the whitening you get to keep your whitening trays so that if you need to top up in the future, you simply just purchase the gel from us without undergoing the full costs of the whitening again! This way we can ensure all our patients get high quality as well as cost efficient treatment and long term aftercare.

How can I stop my teeth from staining?

This can be done by reducing the amount of tea/coffee/red wine and also highly coloured foods such as curries. Regular good oral hygiene is very important using a good electric toothbrush and flossing daily to remove stains that build up between your teeth. Also regularly visiting the hygienist will also remove tartar build up which is the leading cause of tooth staining. Smoking will generally also discolour your teeth and we encourage all our patients to cut down or ideally quit smoking altogether to realise a huge improvement in their general and oral health. Some people are more prone to staining due to the genetic makeup of their tooth enamel, i.e. tooth texture, shape, and surface roughness. Also some childhood genetic conditions or medications can cause tooth discolouration as side effects. Your dentist can diagnose this for you and provide you with a range of options to help prevent or correct this.

Why do my gums bleed when you clean them but not when I brush them at home?

Gum tissue is very delicate and responds to the direct presence of dental plaque, a mix of bacteria that can go on to cause tooth decay and gum disease if not removed effectively.

Through the nature of the treatment for cleaning and scaling the teeth dentists and hygienists are able to access deeper tissues that are directly affected by the presence of dental plaque. It may also be that the method used to clean the teeth, either with a toothbrush or in between the teeth, may not be so effective leading to a build up of dental plaque.

Do you sterilise your instruments?

Our instruments are constructed of medical grade stainless steel that can withstand the high temperature and vigorous cleaning and sterilising they have to go through. All our instruments are sterilised after use, unless they are disposable, and are washed in an enzymatic solution to dislodge and remove any debris before being run through an autoclave where steam is used to kill off any residual bacteria.

The instruments are packaged once this process is complete to protect them from damage and any cross contamination. Instruments are stored in clean drawers in the surgeries and are only taken out for use when needed.

We clean and sterilise all our instruments in our dedicated Decontamination room , away from patient areas. The practice is fully CQC [Care Quality Commission} compliant.

Do you take referrals?

We accept referrals from dentists for all aspects of dentistry including Endodontics, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, Implantology, General dentistry and Hygienist visits. We can accept a referral via telephone, email or through our online referral form on our website that includes a medical history and information relevant about your condition.

You may also refer yourself. Many of our patients have been recommended by their friends and family.

It is important to remember your normal dentist will continue to provide your general dental care as you will still be registered with him/her.

Can I eat after having an implant placed?

It is advisable to wait until any numbness wears off following placement of an implant, or any dentistry being carried out. This is to avoid biting the soft tissues or scalding the mouth if the temperature of the food or drink cannot be perceived. It is best to stick to a soft diet with easy to chew foods for the immediate 24 hours, after this period you will be fine to return to a normal diet unless advised otherwise.