When we think of going to the dentist, many of us will instantly fill with dread, citing it as a necessary evil rather than a willing choice. All of those seventies and eighties childhoods pinned to the chair with a gas mask have left their mark!
However, much like almost every other minor medical procedure we’re subject to, dentistry has come a long way since. Gone are the metallic-tasting fillings and weekly trips for braces to be tightened, and in their place is an industry run by dentists who’d rather help than scold, and who have taken an altogether more patient-focused approach putting us firmly in control of how our smiles could look.
As someone who has witnessed these developments first-hand, Dr Elaine Halley of Cherrybank Dental Spa, is a fan!
People really care about how their smile looks, and what that does to their face and confidence, and I see it as my job to help them achieve that.“I’m pleased to say that we have come a long way as an industry, and we’re now much more focused on individualised healthcare rather than the treatment of bad teeth. People really care about how their smile looks, and what that does to their face and confidence, and I see it as my job to help them achieve that.”
Cherrybank will celebrate quarter of century next year, and as the founder and owner Elaine has embraced and invested in the incredible technological progress within her industry, ensuring her patients have benefitted from the advances as they’ve happened. So-much-so in fact, that in 2018 she was awarded for her Outstanding Contribution to Dentistry in Scotland, and she remains the only dentist in Scotland to have achieved accredited status by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentists.
“We’re the only Scottish practice to use a veloscope, which can detect oral cancer before it’s visible to the naked eye. That’s obviously a powerful tool to have and can literally save lives.
"But our investments have also improved more routine work; for instance, we were the first dental practice in Scotland to have an Itero scanner, which takes digital impressions with more accuracy and is much more comfortable for patients. It played a big part in us being awarded the Digital Smile Design Master level - there are currently only 38 accredited clinics in the world, and we’re really excited to be the first in the UK.”
It is this idea of a ‘digital smile’ that sees me sitting in Dr Halley’s practice; can we really choose how we look, beating the roulette wheel of genetics to have a movie-star, mega-watt grin?
People often to say to me ‘I don’t want to look like Simon Cowell!' We simply want healthy, natural teeth.“I’m not sure anyone wants that anymore! In fact people often to say to me ‘I don’t want to look like Simon Cowell though!’ Nowadays it’s about healthy, natural teeth, all sitting in the right place, whitened only a shade or two to help you feel more confident.
“For me, it’s a far better approach to both your health and your appearance; we always recommend that if possible, patients realign their own teeth rather than going straight to veneers.”
An interesting statement from a dentist who is internationally renowned in the cosmetics world, and who has written numerous articles on advanced cosmetic dentistry.
“Of course some people will need more intrusive treatment, but as a first choice I’d always want to go for a natural approach. In fact, Cherrybank Dental has now provided more Invisalign treatment than any other dentist in Scotland and we’re classed as Diamond providers – this is because we‘re our priorities are always the comfort, health and smile of our patient. If you can do that while enhancing their natural teeth, why wouldn’t you?”
It’s the Invisalign technology that has transformed the way Elaine now approaches the ‘Digital Smile’ for her patients. It has been described as a ‘transformative experience’ and uses both highly sophisticated technology and a simple, use-at-home aligner – the results are proven to be 75%more predictable and can be achieved in as little as three months.
“It’s why patients love it and it’s why I love it! We are all far more informed about our health now, and we definitely care more about our appearance. We see ourselves repeatedly in a way we never have before - in selfies, on social media, in professional headshots.
We see ourselves repeatedly in a way we never have before - in selfies, on social media, in professional headshots. “When we’re conscious of our smile we tend to stifle it, and this leads to that fake look – we’re not smiling with the whole face and it shows. It’s called the Duchenne smile – when your eyes and cheeks lift in line with your mouth – and it feels warm and genuine. We want to give our patients that freedom of expression.”
It’s a bold statement, but one Elaine is confident in making with the tools she now has to hand.
“Once upon a time our jobs were about single tooth dentistry – we fixed one tooth at a time as they needed done. With this, it has become a project and the end result is to give the patient a great smile and increased confidence about their self-image. This also means that the results are unique –some of the more dated techniques end up giving everyone that ‘same smile’ look!”
“There are three key stages to the treatment, which typically takes three to six months from start to finish. The initial consultation is free of course, and the great thing is that the technology means that I can show a patient from the outset exactly how they’ll look once the treatment is complete. In fact, we now offer virtual consultations where people can login to a web link, upload their selfie and see a before and after image - the guess-work has gone!”
Cherrybank uses an iTero, intra-oral scanner to create fast, precise 3D digital images of the patients teeth which enables accurate, efficient planning. This info is then processed through ClinCheck technology which digitally creates a precise, personalised treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth and how long your treatment should be.
“That initial scan really helps people identify what it is they don’t like, or where any issues are. It then maps every set of Invisalign aligners that you’ll need to create your smile, so there’s no room for error. The technology produces highly accurate, customised aligners, with each new set moving your teeth comfortably and efficiently towards their final position.”
"You wear the aligners every day and change them at home – on average every 1-2 weeks. They are clear and so discreet that the claim is hardly anyone will notice you’re straightening your teeth. Unlike track style braces of old, the aligners are more like a retainer, and are completely removable meaning life continues as normal – from brushing and flossing, to eating whatever you like.
“There is a set of new alingers every couple of weeks, and these are all handed over at the start of treatment. Patients check in every 6 – 8 weeks meaning it’s much easier, and less intrusive than a typical brace. The results are incredible – it holds force around the teeth and gentle moves them into position.
It is simply miles ahead of its competitors in terms of technology and research and in turn, that has made the team at Cherrybank better at what we do.“We’ve talked a lot about appearance, but when teeth are properly aligned, gums fit more securely around them which is the strongest and healthiest defence against potential problems. So while Invisalign is a great cosmetic treatment, it’s worth noting that it has been clinically proven to treat mild to complex teeth straightening issues such as overly crowded teeth, spacing issues and gaps and both underbite and crossbite.
“It is simply miles ahead of its competitors in terms of technology and research and in turn, that has made the team at Cherrybank better at what we do. If anyone is thinking about having straightening treatment done, or even if they’re just curious about what might work for them, then I would say come along for no-strings consultation – take advantage of the offer! – and see exactly how a new smile would make you look.”
Cherrybank Dental Spa would like to invite you to an Invisalign Open Day on Saturday 28th September. There are limited appointments available and the first 10 patients to sign up for a course of treatment on the day will receive
Contact Cherrybank today to book your appointment, by calling 01738 624667.
Cherrybank Dental Spa offers flexible payment plans to help you spread the cost with monthly payments to suit your budget. For a detailed breakdown of finance options, please speak to the team at your consultation. Terms and conditions available on request. Finance subject to status.
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