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I’m not happy with my smile, what are my options for cosmetic dentistry?

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Latest posts by Dr Nishan Dixit (see all)

We find that many people are looking for options to restore their smile but simply don’t know what those options are. This blog post has been written to allow you to understand what the options are available, possible prices, the procedures and what to expect from cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic dentistry is broadly broken down into 4 main areas.

  1. Straightening crooked teeth.
  2. Whitening dark teeth.
  3. Restoring broken down teeth.
  4. Replacing missing teeth.

Let’s look at each of these areas in turn.

Options to straighten crooked teeth.

As with many areas of dentistry there is in one simple way of doing this, which actually works as an advantage as it means that you can choose the best approach for you. We thought one of the easiest ways to break these treatments down Is to look at treatment time is and how quick you could have straight teeth again.

Straight teeth in around 2 to 3 weeks

If you’re looking to have straight teeth in the quickest time possible them possibly dental veneers are the way forwards. Dental veneers are a precision made thin-layer which fit over the surface of your existing teeth. They made from a high-strength dental ceramic by a highly skilled dental technician and so often come with a higher pricetag than many other options.

Dental veneers can also be used to restore broken down teeth and whiten dark teeth, so at the same time straightening them you could end up with a perfect Hollywood smile at the same time!


One of the big disadvantages with dental veneers are that they often require some form of reduction of your natural teeth underneath. Many dentists prefer to work on a minimally invasive nature, whilst dental veneers are relatively minimally invasive they do still often require drilling of your natural tooth.

If your natural tooth is otherwise healthy then you need to know that some of this may be reduced in order to accept the new dental veneer.

Before cosmetic dentistry from our Harrow dentists
Before dental veneers
After cosmetic dentistry
After dental veneers

>> Read more blog posts about dental veneers

>> Information from the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry about dental veneers

Straighter teeth in around 12 to 16 weeks

One of the disadvantages of dental veneers is the fact that they often require a small amount of reduction of your natural tooth. Whenever possible we prefer to keep your natural teeth fully intact and so this is where the next treatment to straighten teeth comes in, it involves moving them with orthodontics and the technique which is fastest is known as the Inman Aligner.

The Inman aligner is a revolutionary new technique whereby a removable orthodontic appliance is used to push and pull your teeth in the correct direction. You need to be committed with your Inman aligner and wear it for at least 20 hours per day, removing it only for cleaning and eating.

Here’s a video of how the Inman aligner works by pushing and pulling at the same time.

>> more information on the Inman aligner

Straight teeth in around six months.

Many people dislike the fact that the Inman aligner, whilst being rapid, is a removable appliance. Some people prefer to have a fixed appliance. Fixed appliance orthodontics are generally able to move teeth slightly more than a removable appliance and the one that we prefer is Six Month Smiles.

This orthodontic system uses fixed, tooth coloured brackets to move your teeth around six months, this is much faster than conventional orthodontics which often takes between one and two years. The reason we can move the teeth quicker is down to a revolutionary type of bracket and the fact that we are often only moving the front teeth.


Before Six Month Smiles


After Six Month Smiles

>> more information on Six Month Smiles

 Cosmetic dentistry to whiten dark teeth

You have two options to whiten dark teeth:

  1. Teeth whitening.
  2. Dental veneers.

Teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry

Teeth whitening is one of the most easily accessible treatments in dentistry as it can be offered to almost anyone. So long as you have natural teeth (dental veneers or crowns cannot be whitened) and you are in good dental health then you are more than likely candidate of teeth whitening.

As with any dental treatment it is absolutely vital that you are in good dental health before embarking on any programme of whitening. This is one of the reasons it is important to visit your dental practice to have your whitening treatment, if your gums are unhealthy or perhaps bleed on contact then this can affect the whitening process and inflame any gum disease you may already have.

The clear teeth whitening tray
The clear teeth whitening tray

Teeth whitening works by placing a small amount of peroxide gel in contact with your teeth. This peroxide whitening gel is held in place by close-fitting and precision made bleaching tray which is the spoke to you and cannot be used with anybody else. These trays need to be made with absolute precision.

They need to seal around the age of your tooth/gum margin to ensure that none of the peroxide gel touches your sensitive gums. This is another reason why we recommend going to see your dentist for whitening, they can accurately make sure that this tray fits precisely prior to beginning any treatment.

You will typically wear your teeth whitening bleaching trays overnight for approximately 2 weeks. The good thing with the treatment is that if you experience too much sensitivity or you reach your desired tooth colour then you can stop treatment immediately.

Dental veneers for whitening teeth

If your teeth are extremely dark, perhaps because they have died then we may find that whitening is not adequate to get them to the shade required. If this is the case then dental veneers can be used to cover up the dark teeth underneath.

Before restoration with veneers to whiten teeth


After restoration with dental veneers

Restoring broken down teeth in cosmetic dentistry

We’ve already discussed the ability for dental veneers to straighten crooked teeth and white and dark teeth, they can also be used to restore broken down teeth. Because we’ve already spoken about dental veneers we’re going to focus our attention now on dental crowns.

Dental crownsA dental crown is a precision made and highly aesthetic replacement for the natural crown of your tooth. The most aesthetic ones are made from pure high-strength dental great ceramic which is extremely long lasting and can withstand the force is exerted when you eat and chew.

Your dentist will remove any decayed area of tooth, prepare the remaining teeth and take an impression which will be sent off to the dental technician. The dental technician, who was a highly skilled member of the dental team will then make your new crown to fit exactly over the stump which the dentist has prepared.

This whole process takes approximately 2 weeks from start to finish, was the technician is making a new crown you will be supplied with a temporary crown.

Replacing missing teeth in cosmetic dentistry

We’ve written blog post in the past offering top tips for people wanting to replace missing teeth, so we’re not going to spend too much time here talking about this. What is important to know is that replacing missing teeth can also be done in conjunction with other forms of cosmetic dentistry.

If you have missing tooth it may be that in order to replace it we need to create more space, if this is true then we may use orthodontics to move the surrounding teeth around to create enough space. You may also want to restore broken down teeth and white and other teeth at the same time as replacing missing teeth. This then becomes a more complex form of cosmetic dentistry with complicated procedures.

If you’re going to have these more complex procedures we recommend you search for your cosmetic dentist on the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website, in the search facility if you type in Nishan Dixit and enter the area as Harrow you will find that he is a full member of the Academy who has been qualified for more than three years, demonstrated a commitment cosmetic dentistry by fulfilling their strict requirements which include attendance at meetings and ongoing postgraduate education in subjects relevant to the practice of cosmetic dentistry.


Dr Nishan Dixit runs a dental practice in the heart of Harrow offering cosmetic dentistry  to the local people. The practice offers a free cosmetic dentistry consultation with the treatment co-ordinator, please complete the relevant form here 


Top Tips for People Wanting to Replace Missing Teeth

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit

Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation.
Dr Nishan Dixit

Latest posts by Dr Nishan Dixit (see all)

If you have missing teeth then there are a variety of reasons why you might want to replace them. Indeed, some people may not want to replace missing teeth and just leave the gaps so we are going to start this short article by explaining why you should consider replacing missing teeth. If you understand the reasons why replacing missing teeth is important (other than the obvious cosmetic reasons) then you may also be better placed to make the best decision about which option is right for you.

Preventing adjacent teeth from drifting.

Teeth drifting without replacing the one lostYour teeth are all in fine balance with one another, each tooth gently supports its neighbour which prevents it drifting. If you have a gap then that support is lost and the teeth either side of that gap can actually begin to move and drift into the space.

Preventing opposing teeth from over erupting.

The same applies with teeth on the opposing jaw. Having your teeth meet together on a regular basis during the day helps to keep them in the right place. If you have a tooth missing then it’s opposing tooth will have a tendency to over erupt and drift down into the gap.

The image to the right shows how both of these processes work. The black arrows show the drifting of the adjacent teeth and the opposing teeth, but why does this matter?

Drifting of teeth like this causes a few problems:

  • Cosmetic. Take a look at the gum line on the top jaw around where the tooth has moved in the image. The natural contour (known as gum architecture) of the gum line has changed which can cause aesthetic issues.
  • Bite problems. Your teeth are in fine balance with one another as you chew and eat. As you slide your jaw to the left and right the cusps of your teeth work in unison with one another. If you’re teeth move out of this fine balance the muscles of your jaw may have a tendency to overwork in order to compensate, by moving your jaw in a slightly different trajectory in order to eat.
  • Problems restoring the teeth later on. As the teeth move in the direction of the arrows the gap can become smaller and smaller. The adjacent teeth can drift and end up at such an angle that restoring them with either crowns or bridges at a later date can become difficult. Whilst this isn’t an immediate problem it can cause problems later on if you subsequently decide to replace the missing tooth with either a dental implant or bridge.

Your options to replace a missing tooth.

The replacing missing tooth is important as it prevents the problems above from occurring, but what is your best option? Let’s look at them in turn, your primary options are as follows:

  1. A dental bridge.
  2. A denture.
  3. A dental implant.

Dental Bridges.

dental-bridgeDental bridges have been around for many years now and are an excellent solution to replace missing teeth. They have an excellent lifespan, look fantastic and with modern techniques, should be indistinguishable from a natural teeth. There are however two problems with dental bridges.

  1. They often require reduction of the teeth either side of the gap. If these are healthy then reduction of healthy tooth tissue is required. Many dentists dislike doing this as they preferred to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
  2. The bone around where your tooth has been lost will continue to resorb over the years. Sometimes, this bone loss means that a gap forms underneath the false tooth of the breach. This can create a problem with speech, cosmetics and may become a food trap. In many instances remaking the breach to extend down to this new gum line is required, This can be an expensive option.


Dentures can also be used as a highly cost-effective way to replace missing teeth. They are often the cheapest option which makes them attractive to many people. Modern techniques can also make dentures look highly aesthetic and like dental bridges, be almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

The biggest disadvantage with dentures is that people often don’t like to have to remove them to clean them, they can affect the surrounding gum and cause ulcers if they don’t fit particularly well. Dentures need to be regularly maintained and so frequent visits to your dentist are required in order to ensure that your dentist days in excellent condition.

Dental implants.

Dental implant versus natural toothA dental implant is essentially a replacement for your natural tooth root. Once the dental implant is placed into your jaw a crown can be placed on top. These can look highly natural and be completely indistinguishable from your natural tooth. Whilst dental implants tend to have the highest initial outlay of all of the options to replace missing teeth they can be the best value solution over their lifetime.

Because a dental implant is actually placed into the bone the bone is supported. This means the bone loss which occurs with dentures and dental bridges does not happen, with the dental bridge or denture, when this bone loss occurs you may need to have the bridge or denture replaced. This can add to the cost of the overall tooth replacement. With a dental implant this doesn’t happen.

Many dental practices also offer interest-free finance for treatments such as dental implants allowing you to spread the cost over an extended period, this also makes the treatment much more affordable.

Further resources for dental implants.

The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry have a website with further information about dental implants and the likely costs. www.bacd.com

The Association of Dental Implants (ADI) Have a large resource library for patients, it includes answers to the most common questions and can be accessed here www.adi.org.uk


Blue Court Dental Centre is a local dentist in the heart of Harrow, Middlesex offering a range of teeth replacement options including dentures, dental bridges and dental implants. They offer a free consultation for dental implants and have a free guide for immediate download which offers information and advice about replacing missing teeth.