Author Archives: Brightside Dental

Brightside Smile Of The Month September 2020

Lauren initially came to Brightside for a consultation with Dr Ketan Shah to find out how she could improve her smile. She found us via Google, largely based on reviews from happy patients and from seeing examples of treatment we had carried out for other patients. She was mostly unhappy about her upper front teeth which were overlapping and had moved over time and also the gaps around her lower front teeth.

We looked at different treatment options that could achieve Lauren’s goals and opted on the following plan:

  • Invisalign clear aligners to straighten the teeth
  • Teeth whitening to freshen and brighten Lauren’s smile
  • A Maryland bridge to replace the remaining space from the missing teeth

A bridge was chosen over having a dental implant largely due to time and financial constraints (Lauren was getting married in 10 months).

The treatment progressed well and Lauren was very compliant and wearing her aligners as recommended and attending all appointments, which helped hugely.

We met the deadline of Lauren’s wedding and the main treatment was completed in time for her to smile confidently for her photos.

After the wedding, we carried out some further minor movements of the upper teeth in order to improve the end result. The treatment took 15 months in total, which would have been much less but was increased due to Lauren’s wedding and lockdown from Covid 19.

Lauren was very pleased with the process and outcome of treatment and shares her experience here:

If you would like to find out more about options to improve your smile or if a friend or family member is interested, email us or call on 020 88884401 and we can arrange a free, no obligation virtual consultation to advise on options.

Do You Suffer From Burning Mouth Syndrome?

‼️Burning Mouth Syndrome‼️ (BMS) is a hot feeling or sensation which can affect your tongue, lips, palate, or areas all over your mouth. BMS is sometimes called ‘glossodynia’.

You get this feeling when there are changes in the way the nerves in your mouth send messages to your brain – for example, about taste and temperature. When your brain doesn’t understand these messages properly it can cause the feeling of pain or burning.

Although some parts of your mouth may feel like they are burning, they will not be hot to the touch. You might not be able to see any soreness or redness in the areas that are hurting.

BMS is sometimes called a ‘neuropathic pain’, as it happens when there is damage to the nerves.

You can help to ease the symptoms yourself at home by:

· Sipping water often.

· Sucking on crushed ice.

· Chewing sugar-free gum – this helps you produce more saliva which helps to stop your mouth getting dry.

· Avoiding things that irritate your mouth – such as hot and spicy foods, mouthwashes that contain alcohol, or acidic fruits and juices.

· Avoiding tobacco and alcohol products

If you need any further advice, please contact us on 020 88884401.

Important Advice If You Have A Removable Dental Appliance

Please read if you have anything in your mouth that is removable such as:

  • Orthodontic Aligners/Retainers
  • A Denture
  • Whitening Trays
  • Nightguard
  • Sports Mouthguard

you need to be even more careful than ever in the current climate to reduce the spread of Covid 19.

Brightside’s Principal Dentist Ketan gives advice here:

If you have a removable appliance such as Invisalign aligners or dentures, it is very important to wash your hands before both removing the appliance from your mouth and also when putting it back in.

If you are somewhere where it is not possible to wash your hands, use hand sanitiser instead.

If this may be a problem, see if it’s feasible to leave the appliance at home while you are out. For any of our Invisalign patients, if you’re out and are unable to wear your aligners for the recommended hours, simply add an extra day of wear before moving to the next aligner

Keep your appliances as clean as possible by storing them in a case – don’t put them in your pocket or a bag when not wearing. You can clean day to day with a toothbrush and toothpaste or soapy water (cold or warm, but not hot water). Once or twice a week, use a cleaning tablet such as Steradent or Retainer Brite to fully clean the appliance    

If you need any further advice, please contact us on 020 88884401.

How To Correctly Wear A Face Mask

Wearing a face mask is something we do every day at work, however we appreciate that this is something quite new and feels strange for many people. As it’s become mandatory to wear masks on public transport and in many shops, it something we need to get used to for the foreseeable future.

There are lots of types of face masks available to buy and many people make their own. We want to give some general advice and in particular how to wear a surgical mask.

See advice from Brightside’s Principal Dentist Ketan Shah

DO’S: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before placing a mask. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitiser 
  • Hold the mask by the loops the correct way round (darker side outwards) 
  • Fully cover your nose, chin and mouth with the mouth 
  • Press the metal/thicker part around your nose 
  • When finished wearing, remove the masks by the loops 
  • Dispose of the mask in a bin 
  • Wash or sanitise your hands

DON’T’s: 

  • Have your nose uncovered when wearing the mask 
  • Have the mask upside down or back to front 
  • Touch the mask while it on where possible 
  • Reuse the mask if it has become contaminated 
  • Share the mask with someone else

Personal Training For Your Mouth And Gums

During the lockdown period, most people have had lots of challenges and one of the most common concerns we are hearing about from our patients is gum issues. For some, it may be that cleaning habits have changed and for others, not being able to have their dental hygienist treatment as planned.

We are very pleased that at Brightside Dental we are able to offer dental hygiene appointments for our patients. As with everything we doing at the moment, there are some differences:

  • Treatment is being carried out fully with hand instruments followed by polishing (as opposed to previously using both hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers). This is because ultrasonics are what’s know as aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and these are currently deemed as potential high risk procedures. Also, after an AGP, we have to allow 1 hour (known as fallow time) before the room can be used again and this is not practical or financially viable.
  • Appointment times are longer as hand scaling is more manually intensive for our hygienists and also to allow additional cleaning time in between appointments.
  • A dental nurse now assists the hygienist throughout the procedure for your protection and to help give the best treatment outcome
  • We now have two levels of hygiene treatment (previously 3 options). The fee for the treatment is £99. For patients who need more comprehensive treatment or have advanced gum disease, the fee is as before of £145 per visit.
  • We have invested in significant new hand instruments in order compensate for not having the option of using ultrasonics.

Brightside’s principal dentist Ketan gives further advice:

Here are some of the most common questions we have been asked by patients:

  • Is hand scaling as effective as ultrasonic scalers? Yes. Studies show that both treatment methods are just as effective. Hand scaling is more manually intensive for the hygienist and can take longer to perform.
  • Will the treatment be more painful? No. The treatment should not be more uncomfortable for you. In the 3 weeks we have been working this way, we have had great feedback from patients and some actually prefer this method of treatment.
  • When will it be possible to use ultrasonic scalers again and can I wait until then? Yes. You could wait, however at the moment we really don’t know how long this will be for. Currently, we have extended all hygiene visits and 1 hour appointments to allow for treatment and additional cleaning. Previously, many appointments were for half this length. If we introduce AGPS, under the current guidelines this would mean almost 2 hours between each appointment. This would limit the number of patients we can see even more than now and unfortunately, this would not be financially viable for the practice unless treatment fees are significantly increased.
  • I usually have airflow treatment for stain removal. Will this be as effective? No. Airflow uses specific equipment for stain removal. Our hygienists will remove as much staining from your teeth as possible, however is you do have significant staining, removal will be limited.
  • I am a member of the practice. Will I have to pay more for hygiene? No. If possible, we do not want to increase any fees for our members. You will receive hygiene appointments without additional charge within your membership and if you require any additional visits, you will benefit from a 10% discount.

If you are not currently a member and this is somthing you may wish to consider, you can find more details here:

Please remember visiting the hygienist is like having a personal trainer- they will help you get your mouth in the best condition possible but the most important part is the work you put in at home every day!

If you would like to become a member of the practice or need any further assistance, please reply to this email or give our reception team a call on 020 88884401.

National Smile Month 2020

National Smile Month is an initiative created by the Oral Health Foundation and takes place once a year. This year it ends on 18th June. The purpose of the campaign is to promote good oral health.

Together, with thousands of individuals and organisations, it highlights three key messages, all of which go a long way in helping us develop and maintain a healthy mouth. They are:

Ultimately, the aim is to help us achieve good physical andmental well-being by improving our oral health.

These messages are important more than ever with the current climate and with limited access to dental care. Although the campaign runs for a month each year, we strongly recommend you follow these habits throughout the year.

We are very pleased that Brightside Dental has re-opened and we are able to provide face to face patient appointments. We are currently prioritising emergency appointments and seeing patients for whom we can complete treatment that was started before lockdown. We are able to provide dental hygienist appointments, which we know many people have been waiting for.

If you need any help or advice, we are here for you and if we are unable to see you for an appointment, phone and video call options with our dentists are available. For more information about treatments we are able to currently provide visit

If you need anything, please email [email protected] or call us on 020 88884401.

We Request Our Patients To Be Patient

As you may be aware, Brightside Dental is re-opening for patient appointments from Monday 15th June. We have not been closed, as such during the past 3 months as we have provided advice to hundreds of people on the phone and via video calls during this time.

Many people talk about a “new normal”, however currently in dentistry there is no clear sign of what normal will be. What we do know, is we can’t work the way we did 3 months ago for the foreseeable future.

To put the situation into context, we were ordered to close our practices in March without any prior warning and then our re-opening was announced on BBC news with none of the dental profession having been informed. Since then we have had very varied and conflicting information from our regulators, so much so to the point of receiving an email from the NHS yesterday evening that went against their previous advice. I am not looking to blame anyone, as this situation is unprecedented, however as a profession we feel we have been severely let down and when the guidelines and goalposts keep changing, along with threats of being reported to the General Dental Council, it is very challenging to make plans for the practice.

At Brightside, we are doing our best to ensure we meet regulatory guidelines and our top priority as always is the safety of our patients and team members. Dental practices have always met very high standards for infection control and we have taken additional measures in line with Covid-19. I believe a dental practice is one of safest environments to be in, however there are certain procedures we carry out which may increase risks, which are discussed below.

There are significant changes to the way we will be working and will be modified on an ongoing basis. Initially, we are planning appointments until the end of June. Priorities will be for those in pain and with dental problems and patients that were partway through treatment with us.

In line with social distancing and limiting the number of patients in the practice, along with increased disinfection measures, initially we will be able to see around 25-30% of patient numbers we were previously and will be able to use 2 of our 4 treatment rooms.

We are currently unable to carry out aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) as these are potentially higher risk for spreading Covid-19 and also because we don’t have all the personal protective equipment (PPE) we need to carry out these procedures. We have been sourcing PPE for weeks, however there are significant shortages throughout the country and having only recently received guidance on what we do and don’t need, many items we need are on back order with suppliers.

Many patients have enquired about hygienist treatment, which we are pleased to say we can offer. Please note for the foreseeable future, hygienist treatment will be carried out using hand instruments and not ultrasonic scalers or airflow for stain removal as these create AGPs. Are hygienists are fully trained in working this way and we have invested in significant equipment for them to be able to work. Treatment provided this way is more labour intensive for the hygienist so we will be booking longer appointments for you and the hygienist will be assisted by a dental nurse to improve efficiency for you. This will mean less appointments will be available each day.

Examples of what we can provide:

  • Emergency advice and treatment such as temporary fillings and refining crowns temporarily
  • Denture treatment
  • New patient and existing oral health assessments
  • Routine extractions
  • Teeth whitening
  • Orthodontic treatment (with some limitations)
  • Hygienist treatment with hand scaling

Examples of what we can’t currently provide:

  • AGPs such as fillings, crowns, root canals, dental implant placement, surgical extractions
  • Ultrasonic scaling and airflow for hygiene
  • Surgical extractions

We do still offer the option of a telephone or video consultation where possible in order for you to avoid having to come to the practice if possible.

We have limited appointments overall and these are allocated between NHS and Private patients. There will not currently be appointments available under the NHS for new patients to the practice or those who have not seen us in over 2 years (we may be able to offer private options) as we feel we need to give priority to our existing patients.

I am not asking for you sympathy towards dentists, however I hope this makes you understand why you may not be able to have an immediate appointment with us. Please bear with us and I request that you be kind and considerate to our team members as they are under huge amounts of pressure and are all doing the best they can for our patients.

If you are unsure about whether an appointment would be appropriate, please contact us and we can advise accordingly.

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

Information About Brightside’s Reopening

We are very pleased to announce that Brightside Dental will be re-opening for seeing patients from Monday 15th June 2020. Please watch the video below and read the associated information as the way we will be working and managing bookings will be different for the foreseeable future.

Please bear with us – our team will be doing our best to assist you. At the moment guidelines from the government and our regulators are changing on a daily basis. We need to ensure we are meeting our top priority of keeping our patients and team members safe.

If you need any further assistance, in the first instance, email us at [email protected] or call us on 020 88884401.

For the latest practice updates, please visit our social media channels and

Thanks very much for all your patience and support during these trying times and we hope to see you soon at Brightside.

The Re-Opening Of Dental Practices

Brightside’s Owner Ketan Provides An Update On Dental Services

We found out, without any prior warning at the same time as the rest of the country on Thursday evening that dental practices could re-open from 8th June. Since then, we have had mixed communications from our regulators and have been advised that further guidance on operating procedures will be provided to us next week.

At Brightside Dental, we have been working hard to do everything we can to be able to provide face to face dental care for our patients, however there are many risk assessments; team training; equipment tests and recommissioning; and the most challenging is sourcing the appropriate PPE required. None of these can be finalised until we have the further information by the government and our regulators.

We are doing everything we can to be able to open as soon as possible, however the safety of our patients and team members comes first and we need to ensure that can be met.

We will start booking appointments once we are able to and these will be initially for dental problems.

If you do wish to book an appointment, please contact us by email at [email protected] or message us via our social media channels and we will advise you accordingly.

In the meantime, if you do have a dental problem and need some help, we are available by email or phone.

Thanks very much for your continued patience and understanding and we expect to have a further update for you next week.

How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is becoming an increasingly common problem for people – both children and adults. What we have found at Brightside Dental over the past few weeks is that a significantly increased number of people are suffering from teeth grinding – including a number of members of our team. This is likely to be due to huge lifestyle changes, stress and pressure because of the impact of Coronavirus.

Teeth grinding or bruxism can affect quality of sleep
Teeth grinding or bruxism can affect quality of sleep

Many of our patients do not know they are grinding their teeth as often they would not be aware of the issue while sleeping, unless it wakes them at night or causes jaw pain. You may notice rough areas on the inside of the cheeks, or if the problem is advanced, the front teeth may wear down or chip and could become sensitive. Other issues can be with broken fillings and recession of the gums.

Brightside’s Principal Dentist Ketan Gives Advice

Ideally you should seek the advice of a dentist and consider having a nightguard made to protect your teeth from further damage. Sometimes there can be other underlying issues impacting the problem and it can be appropriate to seek the advice of a specialist or a physiotherapist. Here is some further information about teeth grinding and details of treatment we can provide at Brightside Dental

We appreciate that you currently can’t have treatment with a dentist so here are 10 things you can try to help reduce the problem:

  • Daily exercise to help relieve stress
  • Meditation or relaxation
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intact especially in the evening
  • Avoid use of phones, computers and TVs at least 1 hour before going to bed to help have a better nights sleep
  • Avoid very hard and sticky foods which create more pressure on your jaw joints
  • Don’t chew on things you shouldn’t such as pens
  • Have a warm bath before bed
  • Use a heat pack or hot water bottle and place on each side of the face near the jaw joints for 5-10 minutes
  • Jaw exercises – watch video above for advice on simple exercises you can carry out and more from this link
  • You could try using a mouthguard from a chemist or online as a temporary measure. It won’t fit anywhere near as well as a custom made guard, but may offer some help. It’s likely to be better to get one that can be moulded rather than a standard size

If you are grinding your teeth, it would definitely be advisable to have a professionally custom made nightguard by your dentist. If this is something you would like to consider, please let us know and we can arrange to see you as soon as possible once we reopen to minimise any delay for you.