Taking care of your teeth this Easter!

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Whilst Easter is a fun and tempting time of year with all the chocolate eggs and sweets available, we must not forget about our teeth as we are at a higher risk of tooth decay during this time of year. This compilation of Easter tips from the clinicians at Oakwood Dental Practice provides valuable insights into maintaining oral health during the festive period.

Grethe Louw Easter Grethe Louw’s Easter Tip – Keep Easter goodies out of the fridge and drink water after consuming them to wash away lingering chocolate and increase saliva flow, which helps neutralize harmful acids. Eating chocolate straight from the fridge can cause chips/fractures to teeth, which can spoil your Easter festivities. 

Hennie Muller Easter

Hennie Muller’s Easter tip – Opt for dark chocolate as a healthier alternative to milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is better for the teeth and overall health in general as it contains flavanols which are antioxidants and are linked to lower the risks of heart disease. Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols which help fight the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth.

Anna Tooke Easter

Anna Tooke’s Easter tip- Try and eat any chocolate eggs/Easter treats straight after a meal instead of snacking on them throughout the day. Every time you eat something sugary it feeds the bacteria living on your teeth, raising acidity levels which can soften tooth enamel. Eating sugary treats as part of a meal reduces the frequency of acid attacks throughout the day. 

Richard Brookes Easter

Richard Brooke’s Easter tip –  Do not rinse after brushing make sure to just spit the access toothpaste out instead to try and leave as much fluoride on the teeth as possible. This will ensure our teeth have as much protection as possible from sugars and acids that are present in delicious Easter treats! 

Harry Egerton Easter

Harry Egerton’s Easter tip – Make sure you keep up your regular toothbrushing and flossing regime. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes. After brushing your teeth before bed don’t be tempted to eat any more of your Easter snacks. 

Susan Lynch Easter

Susan Lynch’s Easter tip – Try to eat like an Easter bunny and snack on raw carrots over the Easter period. Carrots are a healthy snack which contain vitamin A and beta carotene which helps keeps bones and teeth healthy. Also, carrots help massage gums when eating as it acts like a natural toothbrush

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices during Easter festivities is essential for preserving the health of your teeth and gums. By limiting surgery treats, practicing good oral hygiene, and making healthier snack choices, you can enjoy the holiday while minimising the risk of tooth decay and other dental issues. Remember to drink plenty of water, avoid hard sweets, and consider scheduling a dental check-up. With these simple tips, you can have a happy and healthy Easter season avoiding any emergency trips to the dentist.  

If you do experience any dental issues our doors are open to give a helping hand or any advice. We are a Southampton based Dental Practice in Hampshire accepting new patients.  

Show your teeth some love.

Give Your Teeth Some Love This Valentine’s Day

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At Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley we are feeling the love this Valentine’s Day! Fancy meals, yummy chocolate and movie dates (with snacks!) are good for the soul but although we love them, they may not be the best for us and our dental hygiene.

Principal Dentist, Dr Grethe Louw shares her top tips to show your teeth some extra love!

Time your brushing for 2 minutes.

You already know that proper brushing is critical for a healthy smile. Still, most patients don’t brush for as long as they need. To fix that, Grethe recommends timing each teeth brushing session for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. You’d be amazed at how long 2 minutes really is!


You will never normally hear Grethe say this, but studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate is effective with fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. This is because dark chocolate is a great source of polyphenols, a natural chemical that helps limit overall oral bacteria and harden tooth enamel! Dark chocolate contains less sugar than other alternatives such as milk and white chocolate. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find and studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Snack on strawberries!

Strawberries are not only a great Valentine’s Day themed snack but they are also great for your teeth! Strawberries contain malic acid which is a natural astringent that helps remove tooth surface discoloration and serves a natural whitener for tooth enamel. Just make sure to floss your teeth after eating them to help remove any seeds that could be stuck between your teeth.

Chew sugar free gum.

People are more cautious of possible halitosis on Valentine’s Day! Halitosis, also known as bad breath is not a worry people want to have especially on February 14th. Chewing gum is a quick and easy fix as it keeps your breath fresh, clean, and minty. Sugar-free gum also helps increase the flow of saliva and reduce plaque acid so it’s a great treat for your teeth after a decadent Valentine’s meal.

See your dentist regularly.

No matter how well you take care of your smile, regular check-ups are a must! Not only do they keep your smile looking great; but they also help detect and prevent disease that can harm your dental health. We understand that it can be tricky to squeeze in regular visits, so give us a call today to book an appointment that’s convenient for you.

Grethe’s Valentine’s Day dental tips will keep you feeling confident. If you would like to learn more about Oakwood Dental Practice’s services from whitening and straightening, to implants and hygiene services, call us today! We also offer online appointment scheduling, so book your appointment today to make sure you love your teeth each day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day!


Show your teeth some love.

Holly’s Trainee Dental Nurse Blog

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Hi, I’m Holly, I started at Oakwood dental practice as a trainee nurse in December 2021, previously working as a waitress in Fareham whilst studying at school and college. I love working at Oakwood as I feel very supported by the rest of the team and the patients have been so welcoming, I now feel part of the family.

I have always wanted to have a career related to health and social care, and dental nursing is the perfect role for me. I love being able to interact with the patients, and that no two days are the same. It’s great to be able to work in a Practice that carries out such a diverse range of treatments.

I am currently doing my training through Eastleigh College. I attend college one day a week and I have work to complete and submit to my tutor for marking. My tutor will also come and observe me working alongside the team at Oakwood Dental Practice. I will then sit a final exam at the end of my training.

My favourite treatment to assist and observe for is a crown preparation. This is because it is such a lovely experience when a patient sees the transformation and the final results. We are lucky to have a Cerec scanning and milling machine in the Practice so we can do crowns in one day!

The best thing about dental nursing is being able to make a real difference and to help our patients have the best dental experience they can.

Once I qualify in 2023 I would like to broaden my skills and take on more responsibilities such as being able to take dental impressions and take x-rays, I am excited about my career prospects and want to keep on leaning and developing my skills.

In my spare time I like going for dog walks with my family and I am a keen horse rider.

Happy tooth

Oakwood Dental Membership Plans

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Did you know that you can become a member of the Oakwood Dental Practice family?

Joining our membership plan means that you can budget for your routine dental care and enjoy great discounts on treatment should you need it.

At Oakwood Dental Practice we offer bespoke membership plans from only £5 for children and £17.50 for adults. All memberships include an exclusive 10% off many routine dental treatments should you need it. Our memberships also have the added benefit of worldwide accident and emergency insurance.

By spreading the payments, you can budget for your dental health, making administration easier (no bills to pay on the day of your check-up!) and enjoy the added benefits of the emergency cover.

If you would like to join our membership plan, please give us a call on 01489 797902, we can complete the paperwork with you whilst you wait, or send you a link by email and you can start enjoying the benefits from day 1!

Managing toothache at home.

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Tips on how to manage dental problems until you can see a dentist

Following the recent guidelines from NHS England and the Department of Health, dental practices have been advised to STOP AEROSOL SPRAYS and PRIORITISE URGENT TREATMENT where possible. 
As well as reducing the risk to staff and patients this will also prevent unnecessary travel in an attempt to reduce virus transmission. The following information aims to advise people in pain who need to access care and support people managing minor symptoms at home. 

If you need to access emergency care: 

  • Have you or anyone in your household been self isolating? 
  • Do you have any symptoms?
  • High temperature or continuous cough?

If the answer to any of the above is YES, CALL 111. They will direct you to an emergency facility with the appropriate protective equipment which will allow staff to treat you safely. 

What counts as a dental emergency? 

  • Facial swelling extending to the eye or to the neck
  • Bleeding following an extraction that does not stop for 20 mins
  • Bleeding due to trauma
  • Significant toothache preventing sleep, eating, or fever that can not be managed with painkillers. 

Straight to A&E

  • Facial swelling affecting vision or breathing, preventing mouth mouth opening more than 2 fingers width 
  • Trauma causing loss of consciousness, double vision, or vomiting. 


  • Loose or lost crowns, bridges, or veneers 
  • Broken, rubbing, or loose dentures
  • Bleeding gums
  • Broken, loose or lost fillings 
  • Chipped teeth
  • Loose orthodontic wires 


Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can help reduce pain from teeth. Combining paracetamol and ibuprofen has shown to be effective. 

There is currently no strong evidence that drugs like ibuprofen make COVID-19 worse. 

If you have no coronavirus symptoms carry on taking ibuprofen as normal. 

Until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you it is not suitable for you. 

Remember painkillers should always be taken in accordance with instruction on the packet. Taking too many tablets, or taking medication incorrectly will not improve your symptoms and can cause serious stomach and liver injury which can be life threatening. 


If a tooth is extremely sensitive to hot or cold, antibiotics will not help. 

There are home measures which can help until care can be managed

  • Good cleaning with fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar intake will stop decay from getting any worse. 
  • If there is a hole in a tooth, or a tooth has cracked and is now sensitive/sharp, a temporary filling can be packed into the space. Temporary filling kits are widely available for pharmacies. 
  • Sensitive toothpaste (like sensodyne) can help. Rub toothpaste directly on the affected area and rinse afterwards. 
  • Anaesthetic gel such as orajel can help ease pain. 

Wisdom teeth 

Wisdom tooth pain is normally due to inflammation of the gum over the erupting tooth, which can be worsened by trauma from biting. 

Most flare ups can be managed with good home care and should settle ina few days to a week. 

  • Excellent cleaning, even if it is painful to brush, the area must be kept clean
  • Corsodyl mouthwash, avoid use for more than one week as it may cause staining
  • Soft diet, soft food will reduce trauma from biting 
  • Painkillers, ibuprofen or paracetamol, following the packet instructions
  • Warm salty mouthrinses 

If you have difficulty swallowing, swelling in your face or cheek, or difficulty opening your mouth, call your dentist. You may need antibiotics if the infection is spreading. 


Although painful, most ulcers will heal within 7-10 days. Non-healing ulcers/ oral lesions present for more than 3 weeks should be assessed by a dentist or doctor. The following can help ease pain and promote healing: 

  • Warm salty mouthrinses
  • Excellent cleaning, even if it is painful to brush, the mouth must be kept clean to encourage healing and prevent more ulcers forming. Be gentle and use a soft / baby toothbrush. 
  • Difflam (Benzydamine) spray or mouthwash
  • Soft diet, soft food will reduce trauma from biting 
  • Painkillers, ibuprofen or paracetamol, following the packet instructions
  • Rubbing Dentures, denture adhesive like fixodent may help secure a loose denture. Any sharp edges can be removed using an emery board. Remove dentures when possible if causing trauma. 
  • Corsodyl mouthwash, avoid use for over 1 week as can cause staining. 

Pain or bleeding after an extraction

  • Continue to take regular painkillers for several days after an extraction, it is normal for the pain to be at its worse at day 3-4
  • Some pink spit/oozing is normal after an extraction, but if the socket is bleeding freely, bite hard on a gauze or clean handkerchief for 20 minutes. If bleeding has not stopped, call your dentist. 
  • We cannot provide antibiotics for pain after extractions unless infection is present. We also cannot prescribe antibiotics over the phone without seeing you in person. 

If you smoke or rinse too soon after an extraction, you risk a dry socket forming. This can be very painful and regular painkillers are unlikely to be effective. You should call your dentist for an emergency appointment. Antibiotics will not solve this, as a dressing is needed to cover over the exposed bone. 

Lost crown 

  1. Clean and check the crown. If the crown is mostly hollow, you can attempt to re-cement at home if you feel confident to do so. 
  2. Remove any debris from the crown, you can use something like the tip of a paperclip to scrape the old cement away. Clean your tooth thoroughly, all debris must be removed from your tooth and the crown for it to seal properly. 
  3. Check the crown fits without cement. Check that the bite feels correct, if the tooth feels too tall, it is not fitted correctly, double check for debris. NEVER force a crown post onto or into your tooth, this can cause the root to fracture. If you cannot get the crown to fit, you will need to wait until you can see a dentist. 
  4. Crowns should be re-fixed using a dental cement from a pharmacy. DO NOT USE SUPERGLUE.
  5. Once you have practiced placing the crown, dry the tooth and the crown, mix the cement as instructed on the packet and fill the crown. Place the crown directly onto the tooth, bite firmly to press it into place. 
  6. Remove any extra cement with a toothbrush or tepe and floss between your teeth to make sure the cement does not stick between the teeth.

New Year New You

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Happy new year to all our current and future patients! 

It’s a new year and most of us are busy trying to keep to our New Year’s Resolutions. If you still haven’t made yours, why not think about trying to improve your dental health? Making easy changes to your routine in 2020 could set you up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve a dazzling smile. 

Get Flossing. 

Flossing should be an essential part of your dental routine. However, according to the Oral Health Foundation, only 21% of adults in the UK floss regularly and one in three never floss. By only brushing your teeth, up to 40% of the tooth surface area can be missed which increases the risk of cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss. 

Book an appointment with the hygienist

The hygienist is not only able to provide a thorough scale and polish to remove any up of plaque and calculus, they are also there to give you help and advice on the best oral hygiene routine to follow in between appointments to keep your teeth looking their best. Contact us to book in your routine dental hygiene appointment today. 

Give up smoking. 

Quitting smoking is on many people’s list of resolutions, but did you know that it could seriously benefit your mouth health as well? Smoking is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer and gum disease in the UK. Studies have shown that smokers are likely to lose twice as many teeth as non-smokers. Visit the Smokefree website for help and support to help you quit for good.

Cut down on sugar 

Cutting down on sugar will help improve your dental health, giving you stronger, healthier teeth. There are many foods such as sauces and cereals with hidden sugars in, remember to always check the labels. 

The sugar content in beer or your favorite alcoholic drink may surprise you, also many mixers have a high sugar content. Alcohol also dries the mouth out and high acidity levels contribute to tooth decay. 

Teeth Whitening 

Teeth whitening is currently the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the UK. Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth by removing the staining caused by a variety of lifestyle factors as well as the natural aging process. 

Teeth Straightening 

Teeth straightening can help to create a beautiful smile. At Oakwood, we focus on the Invisalign system because it offers the best and most discreet way to achieve a perfect smile. Teeth whitening can help improve confidence and self- esteem, allowing you to achieve things you never thought were possible. 

Smile Makeover 

Want to completely rejuvenate your smile? A smile makeover may be the option for you. Smile makeovers use a combination of cosmetic dental treatments, such as veneers, crowns, dental implants, braces, composite build ups, and tooth whitening to give you an attractive and healthy looking smile. 
Want to start your journey to a sparkling smile? Call Oakwood Dental on 01489 797902 and book an appointment today.


Is sedation dentistry an option for you?

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Here at Oakwood Dental Practice, we are always aiming to deliver the best quality treatments to our patients, and always go the extra mile. We are proud to offer conscious sedation for anxious patients during dental treatment.

Dr. Hennie Muller is an experienced sedation dentist at Oakwood dental practice in Botley, Southampton, Hampshire.  Dr. Hennie Muller and his specially trained dental sedation team see patients with all forms of dental fear or anxiety.  If fear of the dentist, or a bad experience, like an anaesthetic that did not work, put you off from having dental treatment in the past, we can use techniques to help you relax get your dental treatment in a comfortable and calm environment?  By putting treatment off small problems, which could easily be rectified by simple treatment, can quickly become more complex problems and need more invasive forms of treatment later.

There are different types of sedation – Taking relaxing tablets and hour before treatment may be enough for some patients but by far the most profound sedation offered at the Practice is intravenous (IV) sedation.

At Oakwood Dental Practice we only offer conscious sedation.  The difference between conscious sedation and having a general anaesthetic (GA) in hospital is that with conscious sedation you remain responsive throughout the treatment, even though most patients report that they cannot recall most of the actual procedure due to the amnesic effect of the medication provided. Our team at Oakwood Dental Practice is specially trained to administer IV sedation.

IV sedation is very good in the treatment of dental anxiety, but there are a few other circumstances where it may also prove to be beneficial, for example difficulty with taking impressions due to a gag reflex or uncontrollable tongue thrust, which could make access for normal dental treatment complex. It also helps to provide patient comfort over very lengthy surgical procedures, like complex wisdom tooth removal, as well as dental implant placement procedures.

Another great benefit of conscious sedation is the relatively quick recovery time after the procedure, which means that a patient can go straight home afterward, providing that they have an escort to drive them home and preferably stay with them for a few hours.

Delayed going to the dentist, but feel you could be ready for this? Hennie is now taking bookings for appointments. If you wish to book a consultation to see if this could be for you, contact the practice on 01489 797902.

Further sources: SAAD

Toothbrush Share

When sharing isn’t caring – it’s time to be selfish with your toothbrush!

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Despite it being bad news for our health, one in four of us are happy to share our toothbrush with others, explain our Botley dentists Grethe Louw and Hennie Müller from Oakwood Dental Practice.

A new study has found that more than a quarter of the UK population admit they would share their toothbrush with a family member, friend, partner, neighbour or celebrity.

Men are significantly more likely to allow somebody else to borrow their toothbrush (32%) than women are (20%). Younger adults are also nearly twice as willing to share their toothbrush (55%) compared to their parents (30%), and around four times more open to do so than their grandparents (13%).

Dr Ben Atkins, dentist and trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, who carried out the poll with Philips, wants to warn people against the idea of sharing their toothbrush and says that it can lead to a number of health problems.

Dr Atkins says: “Although it may seem like a kind gesture to share your toothbrush, it really is not a very good idea. Sharing a toothbrush leaves you susceptible to all sorts of oral and general health problems.

“This is because brushing sometimes causes the gums to bleed, which exposes everyone you share your toothbrush with to bloodstream diseases. This means that by sharing a toothbrush, you could also be sharing blood, which is a lot riskier than just swapping saliva.”

There are many hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others. This could include common colds, cold sores or even hepatitis B.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, adds: “The mouth harbours hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, that can be easily transferred from one person to another. You can control this by only using your own toothbrush.

“By avoiding using other people’s toothbrushes you will prevent the mixing of bacteria and plaque. This will protect the health of yourself as well as others.”

Welcoming new private patients

If you are concerned about your dental health, contact us for more information – new patients are always welcome. Our dental practice on Botley High Street opens at 8am on Tuesdays and 8.30am all other weekdays, with after-hours appointments available on Tuesdays by special arrangement. We look forward to hearing from you and your family.


Woman smiling on beach in summer

Protecting your teeth this Summer

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It’s July, and summer is officially here!

Longer days, picnics in the park, pool parties, barbeques…there’s a lot to look forward to during summer time. As life starts to slow down and you take a back seat, it’s easy to forget about your oral hygiene. To help you remember to keep those pearly whites in check, here are Dr Grethe Louw’s and Dr Hennie Muller’s summer teeth tips:

  1. Avoid using your teeth as tools

You may think that opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth is convenient, but this can cause your teeth to crack and chip! Keep a bottle opener or pair of scissors handy at the barbeque and only use your teeth for eating! Contact us if you would like to know more about repairing chips to your front teeth.

  1. Wear a mouth-guard when playing sports

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and play sports, but it is always advisable to wear a mouth-guard to protect those pearly whites when engaging in these activities.

School alert! Book in to see us before mid-August to avoid the rush and get your mouthguard sorted before term starts.

  1. Go easy on the treats

It’s easy to forget about your teeth, when all you want is a cold can of fizzy drink (or chilled glass of prosecco!) on a hot summer’s day, however remember to eat and drink everything in moderation.

These summer treats contain a high volume of sugars and acids, which can cause cavities, plaque and loss of enamel if over consumed. If you’re desperate to finish off all of the sweets, it is better to consume them in one sitting rather than space them out throughout the day.

Ice creams and ice lollies are cooling treats on those hazy, hot days but they can contain a lot of sugar so always check your labels if you are consuming them quite frequently.

If you find you can’t eat cold things or you find the experience painful due to sensitivity, visit your dentist or the hygiene team for a desensitising treatment.

  1. Going away?

If you’ve got an exciting trip planned this summer, remember to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and interdental brushes! (If you use an electric toothbrush, also remember your charger and a plug adapter too) Emergency dental kits can be a tooth-saver on holiday, but please remember book in to see us once you are back for a permanent job!

  1. Wear lip balm with SPF

It’s easy to forget to protect your lips when applying sun cream but your lips are more susceptible to burning than most parts of your body. Damage to them over time can lead to skin cancer so don’t forget to pack a small tube of your favourite lip balm in your beach bag this summer.

Cold sores have an annoying tendency to pop up due to sun damage, we recommended using a cold sore cream and staying out of the sun if one does appear.

  1. Drink Water!

It is important to ensure that you stay hydrated. The best way to do this is to drink water. This will help not only your oral health but your overall health too. Sip water between meals, it’s a good idea to carry a water bottle around with you but be sure to choose a reusable one to help reduce wastage and save the environment!

Water will keep your mouth moist and help wash away plaque and food deposits, reducing the harmful bacteria in your mouth and helping to keep your breath fresh!

Many popular drinks (fizzy drinks, coffee, sports drinks, alcohol!) can cause you to dehydrate or dry out your mouth, so try to drink in moderation!


Lastly, we want everyone to enjoy the summer but don’t forget to come and visit us at Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley for your next routine dental appointment!


Do you use your teeth to open bottles, tear clothing tags or bite your nails?

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If so, you are not alone but the advice from our Botley dentists is to stop! Most of us are putting our oral health at risk by using our teeth as tools for jobs they weren’t intended for.

Joint research by the Oral Health Foundation and Philips, and highlighted by Oakwood Dental Practice near Southampton, has found that 65% of us frequently use our teeth for tasks other than eating and drinking.

The most common misuse for our teeth is tearing sticky tape with 41% of us admitting to doing this regularly. More than a quarter of us bite our nails while over a fifth use our teeth to carry things when our hands are full.

Other popular uses include taking tags out of clothing (20%), chewing pens and pencils (16%), opening bottles (9%) and doing up zips (4%).

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says that while it may seem trivial, using our teeth as tools poses a considerable risk to our oral health.

Dr Carter says: “Anything from opening bottles to chewing foreign objects can damage existing dental work or cause our teeth to crack.

“There are also examples of teeth shifting out of place, chipping, and in some cases breaking, due to the pressure and strain. Accidents are also more likely to happen which could result in invasive and expensive emergency dental work.”

Young adults are the biggest culprits when it comes to using teeth in improper ways with 85% of 18-35-year-olds admitting to abusing their teeth by performing unusual tasks with them. This is significantly higher than 35-54-year-olds (70%) and the over-55s (54%).


Restoring teeth in Botley

If you have cracked or chipped a tooth, please get in touch for some help and advice. Our Botley High Street dentists have a raft of cosmetic and restorative solutions at their fingertips, from dental veneers or crowns, to composite bonding.

Composite bonding can transform the appearance of one or more teeth in a single visit. Tooth-coloured composite resin (like a white filling) straightens uneven or chipped edges, or closes gaps between our teeth. This fast, affordable and impressive treatment requires minimal tooth preparation and is completed in less than one hour per tooth often without the need for any anaesthetic.


New patients welcome

We provide excellent, personalised dental care to patients in Botley, Hedge End, Bishops Waltham, Winchester and the wider Hampshire community. If you would like to find out more, please contact our Southampton dental practice. We look forward to hearing from you.


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