Dental Treatments


Our highly-qualified dental team brings together a worthy reputation, vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the most modern dental techniques updated through continuous post-graduate training.

We provide a full dental care service including:

  • Routine dental work
  • Oral hygiene
  • Preventive treatment
  • Children's dentistry
  • Cosmetic and restorative treatment
  • Teeth whitening 

Routine Dental Work

Our team of Dental Care Professionals include the following:

  • Dental Therapists – who work under instructions of the dentist to provide restorative and periodontal treatments, excluding cosmetic work such as crowns, bridges, dentures and adult root treatments and extractions,
  • Dental Hygienists – who work under instructions of the dentist to provide above and below the gum line cleaning in conjunction with oral hygiene advice to improve the oral health of our patients,
  • Dental Surgery Assistants – who provide assistance to the operators and are seen as a link between the surgery and the reception desk. They are trained to be able to answer most of your questions.

Your dentist will recommend how often you should have routine check ups. Many people should see their dentist once or twice a year. At Buckhurst House, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease and other health problems.

One of our dental hygienists or dental therapists will begin to clean your teeth by scraping hard mineral build up (tartar) off of your teeth with specialised instruments. The hygienist or therapist will then floss your teeth, using a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. 

Occasionally your dentist will want to take x-rays. The x-rays take only a few seconds. Your dentist will have you bite down on a small piece of plastic. This will help align the teeth properly for the x-ray machine. Your dentist may repeat this process several times to get pictures of all your teeth.

Your dentist, hygienist or therapist may ask you about the foods you eat. What you eat and whether you get enough vitamins and minerals can affect your dental health.

If you have active tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist will talk to you about changing your brushing or flossing habits. In severe cases, he or she may recommend antibiotics, special mouthwashes, or other dental treatments. If your teeth and gums appear healthy, your dentist will recommend that you continue your usual brushing and flossing.

Oral Hygiene & Therapy

Dental hygienists are registered health professionals who focus on the prevention and treatment of diseases of the mouth and gums

Dental hygienists work under the direction of dentists.  Services include:

  • Providing oral health care assessments that include reviewing individual health histories, dental charting, and oral cancer screening
  • Taking and processing dental x-rays
  • Cleaning the teeth by removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from above and below the gumline
  • Applying cavity-preventing solutions, such as fluorides and sealants, to the teeth
  • Teaching proper oral hygiene and plaque control techniques
  • Developing individualised at-home oral hygiene programs

Dental hygienists are graduates of accredited dental hygiene education programs. They must pass written and clinical exams before they can practice.

A Dental therapist is able to carry out all the above, but is also able to provide the following:

  • Place fillings in both adults and children
  • Perform root treatment and extractions on children
  • Take impressions for study models and tooth whitening trays

Our Dental therapist, Chris Hammond, is also trained in tooth whitening by Linda Greenwall, a senior member of the British Dental Bleaching Society.

Preventative Treatment

Preventive dentistry is the modern approach to helping you keep a healthy mouth. The two main causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The more we prevent these two problems, the more improved chance there is of maintaining healthy functioning teeth for life.

When the dentist, therapist, hygienist and patient work together, the degenerative cycle of decay, filling and extraction can be broken. The team at Buckhurst House may recommend a course of treatment to get your mouth into good condition, and then work out a ‘maintenance plan’ to help you keep it that way.

Can everybody benefit from preventive dentistry?

Yes, preventive dentistry will benefit everyone with their own teeth. Even those who don’t have any teeth can also benefit from screenings for oral conditions, such as cancer and stomatitis, which can be identified early and treated.  It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late to start. You should start your child’s trips to the dentist at age 12 to 24 months.

What is involved?

At Buckhurst House your dentist will first check your teeth and gums, and talk to you about any treatment you need. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.

  • The dentist, therapist or hygienist will thoroughly ‘scale and polish’ your teeth.
  • The dentist, therapist or hygienist will show you the best ways to brush and clean in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss to remove the bacterial ‘plaque’ which forms constantly on your teeth. When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in the plaque turns the sugar into acid, which may cause tooth decay. Plaque can also cause gum inflammation (swelling and soreness) if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The tartar (or ‘calculus’) which builds up on the teeth starts off as plaque and is turned hard by the minerals in your saliva if not removed.
  • You will be told which oral care products are the best ones for you to use.
  • The therapist or hygienist will probably talk to you about your diet, and any habits such as smoking and drinking.
  • The therapist may also perform simple dental procedures like Fissure Sealants.
  • Your dentist will also make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.

Will my dentist recommend treatment?

At Buckhurst House, a dentist will often recommend treatment to strengthen a tooth to make sure it does not break. For example, if the dentist sees that a tooth is cracked, or is weak and in danger of breaking, he/she may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown to protect it. This is always better than waiting until the tooth breaks, and then dealing with it as an emergency.

Children's Dentistry

A child’s dental care really starts with his or her mother’s healthy pregnancy, because baby teeth begin to form before birth. If you are pregnant, make sure to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and get an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. It’s important for pregnant women to have a complete dental exam and have any cavities or gum disease treated.


A child’s first teeth (primary teeth) usually begin to break through the gums (erupt) at about 6 months of age, although the timing varies among children.  ll of the twenty primary teeth should come in between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.  our child will lose his or her primary teeth between the ages of 6 and 11. 

Your child’s first permanent teeth (molars) usually erupt behind the primary teeth at about age 6. The last permanent teeth usually erupt between the ages of 12 and 24 years.

Starting dental care for children

By the time your child is 6 months of age; your doctor should assess the likelihood of your child having future dental problems. This may include a dental exam of the mother and her dental history, as the condition of her teeth can often predict her child’s teeth. If the doctor thinks your child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees a dentist by his or her first birthday or six months after the first primary teeth appear - whichever comes first. 

Experts recommend that your child’s dental care starts between ages 12 and 24 months. Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease or a developmental problem should be seen by a children’s (paediatric) dentist right away. If these dental problems are not limited to the surface of the teeth, your baby should also be seen by a children’s doctor (paediatrician) or family doctor.

Caring for your child’s teeth

It is best to start good oral health habits before permanent teeth come in.

Parents and caregivers often share spoons, forks and other utensils with babies. The saliva you may leave on the utensil contains bacteria that can cause tooth decay. You can help prevent early childhood tooth decay in your child by making sure that your family practices good dental health habits. Keeping your own teeth and gums healthy reduces the risk of transferring tooth decay bacteria to your child.

Do not put your infant or small child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice or other product that contains sugar.  The sugar and acids in these liquids can cause tooth decay (bottle caries). Do not prop the bottle up in your baby’s mouth. Remove the bottle as soon as your baby is done feeding or is asleep. Breastfeeding your infant to sleep is safe, however.  Encourage your baby to begin drinking from a cup at about 4 to 6 months of age. Free pouring cups are preferable to stopper sucking cups because they promote swallowing and prevent drifting of teeth.

Discuss your child’s fluoride needs with your dentist if your local water supply does not contain enough fluoride. You may also need to provide fluoride to your children if you use bottled water for cooking or drinking. Normal amounts of fluoride added to public water supplies and bottle water are safe for children and adults. 

Give your child nutritious food to maintain healthy gums, develop strong teeth, and avoid tooth decay. These include whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Try to avoid food that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates.

Do not give your child mouthwashes that contain alcohol.  If your child of age 6 years or older has cavities, ask the dentist if your child should try mouthwash that contains fluoride.  But watch to make sure your child does not swallow it.

Keep your child away from cigarette smoke (second-hand smoke).  Tobacco smoke may contribute to the development of tooth decay, gum disease and other health issues. As your child grows teach him or her about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.

If your child sucks his or her fingers or thumb, help your child to stop. 

Brushing and Flossing

Start cleaning your child’s teeth with a soft cloth or gauze pad as soon as the teeth come in. As more teeth erupt, clean teeth with a soft toothbrush.

Brush your child’s teeth for the first few years, until your child can do it alone (usually at about age 3 years). Teach your child not to swallow the toothpaste.

Children should be brushing their own teeth morning and night by age 4 years, although you should supervise and check for proper cleaning.

Give your child a small, soft toothbrush and apply fluoridated toothpaste in an amount about the size of a small green pea. Encourage your child to watch you and older siblings brush teeth. A good teaching method is to have your child brush in the morning and you brush at night until your child masters the skill.

Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they touch each other. You may find plastic flossing tools helpful. Talk to us about the right timing and technique to floss your child’s teeth and how to teach your child to floss.

Use disclosing tablets from time to time to see whether any plaque is left on the teeth after brushing. Disclosing tables are chewable and will colour any plaque left on the teeth after the child brushes.

Cosmetic and Restorative Treatment

Dentistry is no longer just a case of filling and extracting teeth, as it was for many years.  Nowadays many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle.  The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth.  Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crown, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening.

Can I have white fillings? over 150 years standard fillings have been made out of a silvery-grey material called ‘amalgam’.  This is considered one of the strongest and longest lasting materials for fillings.  However, many people find it unattractive and some are concerned about possible health risks.

White fillings are now a popular alternative to amalgam fillings.  The new dental materials mean it is much easier to find a perfect match for the shade of a particular tooth. In most cases, it is quite impossible to see that the tooth even has a filling.  Sometimes white filling material can be used to cover unsightly marks on teeth, in a similar way to veneers.

My tooth is badly broken – what can I do?

When a tooth is badly broken or heavily filled, your dentist may need to crown or ‘cap’ it to restore its appearance and strength.

How does the dentist make a crown?

The usual method for fitting a crown involves shaping the tooth under local anaesthetic and then taking an impression using a rubber-like material. The impression is then sent to the laboratory along with the details of the shade to be used, and the technician makes the crown.

What happens to my teeth while the crown is being made?

While your crown is being made, the prepared tooth can be protected with a temporary crown. This is easily removed just before fitting the permanent one. In most cases, the temporary crown is in place for about two weeks.

Dental crowns
Before and after crown treatment

What is a crown made of?

Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials, such as porcelain or porcelain boned to gold. New materials are continually being introduced. It is a good idea to talk to your dentist about which crown would be best for you.

How can my dentist fill a gap in my mouth?

If a tooth is missing, or needs extracting, there are several ways to fill the gap that is left. In some cases it is important to try to replace any missing teeth to balance the way your jaw bites. If you have several missing teeth, the remaining teeth are under more pressure, which can lead to broken fillings or even jaw problems.

A partial denture is the simplest way of replacing missing teeth. However, some people find dentures uncomfortable and eventually decide to look at alternatives, such as bridges or implants.

What is a bridge?

Bridges are ideal for people who don’t like dentures and only have one or two teeth missing. Bridges are usually made by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. They are fixed in the same way as crowns. These bridges are usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base to give it extra strength.

What if I don’t want my remaining teeth drilled?

Adhesive bridges are another way of bridging a gap, and less of the tooth needs removing. These bridges are made up of a false tooth with metal ‘wings’ on either side. These wings are made to bond to the teeth on either side, with very little drilling involved. Instead, the teeth are roughened and the bridge is fitted using a very strong composite resin.

Cosmetic Dentistry
Before and after cosmetic treatment

What is a veneer?

Veneers are thin slices of porcelain. These are precisely made to fit over the visible surface of your front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.

Why might I have a veneer?

Veneers are an ideal way of treating discoloured or unsightly teeth, closing gaps between front teeth, or repairing chips and cracks.

How are veneers made?

A small amount of enamel is removed from the tooth, usually the same thickness as the veneer will be. An impression is taken by your dentist and sent to a dental technician for the veneer to be made in the laboratory. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth to form a strong and natural looking repair.

What is tooth whitening?

It is a bleaching (oxidizing) process that lightens discolourations of enamel and dentine.  The system we recommend uses a mild solution retained in a custom fitted appliance that is worn over your teeth for a period of time.  The custom fitted tray is hardly visible and does not overly interfere with speech.

What causes tooth discolouration?

There are many causes.  The common include ageing, consumption of staining substances (coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco), trauma, tetracycline (antibiotic) staining, excessive fluoride intake, nerve degeneration and old fillings.

Who can benefit from tooth whitening?

Almost everyone, however, there are some cases where the treatment may not be effective or appropriate and for those individuals other cosmetic procedures would better meet their expectations, such as porcelain veneers or crowns.

The tooth whitening system we use at Buckhurst House is ideal for patients who have healthy un-restored teeth and would like to have a lighter, brighter smile.  Teeth tend to become more yellow with age.  These changes can be reversed with tooth whitening.  Stains in the grey family (such as tetracycline antibiotic) can be more stubborn if not impossible to bleach.  Bleaching will not change the colour of existing dental fillings or crowns.  If new fillings are planned for the front teeth, it is sensible to bleach first then match the fillings or crowns to the brighter, lighter teeth!

Is tooth whitening safe?

Research has shown that whitening teeth with carbamide peroxide is safe for the gums and teeth under the supervision of a dentist.  The custom fitted trays isolate the solution to the teeth that need to be bleached and keeps contact with gum tissue to a minimum.

How does it work?

The bleaching gel is placed in a thin custom fitted tray (similar to a gum shield) that fits only over your teeth.  As the active ingredient in the gel is broken down, oxygen enters the dentine and enamel and bleaches any stains.  The structure of the tooth is not changed, only the tooth is made lighter and brighter.

Tooth whitening
Before and after tooth whitening

How long does it take?

Results are usually seen in the first night.  Maximum results generally occur when the process is continued for 10 – 14 nights.

Are there any side effects?

Some people experience tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment.  Others have reported temporary gum discomfort.  These symptoms ALWAYS disappear within 1 – three days after interruption or completion of treatment.

How long will the results last?

Your teeth will always be lighter than they were.  However, some patients may need periodic re-bleaching or ‘touch up’ treatments for one or two nights every six to twelve months, especially if they continue to use staining substances like caffeine, tobacco or red wine. You can still use your original trays with a top up kit.  Keep your trays safe and should you need further bleaching gel, we always have some in stock and can provide this for you at a reduced cost.

We all want whiter, brighter teeth. A beautiful smile is a goal you can quickly achieve.