Dentist Glen meets implant inventor Professor Branemark

Here is the first in a series of blog posts composed by our dental colleague Glen Frew.

As you’ll read from this intro Glen has amassed great experience in the field of dental implant surgery, which he carries out at our Glasgow dental clinic.

Here Glen turns the clock back to focus on what became a significant chance meeting…

Dentist Glen Frew

Dentist Glen Frew

1992 – a wet, windy morning in Dublin and I am stood waiting in a queue for a taxi to the Conference Centre.

In front of me an older chap’s umbrella was blown inside out and, in his attempts to rectify matters, he dropped a folder sending papers fluttering into puddles along O’Connell Street.

We chased them down and, in doing so, I cannot help but notice that the headings on the sheets were the same as on the Information Pack in my briefcase.

“Are you going the Osseointegration Conference?”, I enquired.
” Thank you, yes – are you?”, he said, in a Scandinavian accent.

Professor Branemark - the 'father' of modern day implant surgery. (Image:

Professor Branemark – the ‘father’ of modern day implant surgery. (Image:

He wore a large floppy bowtie that reminded me of Gepetto, Pinocchio’s father in the Disney film.

“Yes, let’s go!”, and we both clambered into a cab.

He told me he was from Sweden and was doing a presentation at the Conference.

He seemed more interested in examining the spokes in my undamaged umbrella and comparing them with the twisted wires in his own mangled parasol. I explained that mine was stronger as it had been designed to withstand the blasts of Scottish golf and we laughed.

I introduced myself and we shook hands.

“I am Per-Ingvar Branemark” he smiled, alighting at our destination.

Half an hour later he was quietly addressing a thousand delegates, who listened in respectful silence as the great man described his experiment 40 years previously, when he had planted a tiny titanium instrument in a rabbit’s broken leg to monitor the healing process.

When he went in months later to retrieve the instrument it had become enveloped in bone and could only be removed with great difficulty.

And so, by pure accident (like the landmark discoveries of penicillin,insulin and x rays) Branemark learned that bone fuses to titanium without any reaction leading to rejection – this discovery opening new frontiers in orthopaedic surgery and dentistry in particular.

More than 3 million dental implants will be placed worldwide in 2013, with success rates at 95% or higher over 10 years.

Dental implants play a crucial part in the restorative treatments we offer at our dental clinic in Hyndland, Glasgow – with inestimable benefit to so many patients.

I wonder if the spokes in my brolly were titanium?

Should you have any queries about this blog or would like to find out more information about dental implants and the other treatments we offer please contact us via the website by clicking here or by calling 0141 339 7579.

Guest blogger: Dentist Glen to write on dental and implant topics

Dentist Glen Frew

Dentist Glen Frew

Throughout the year we invite our colleagues at our Glasgow dental clinic to put together blogs focusing on their work, past or present.

Dentist colleague Glen Frew graduated from Glasgow University in 1978 and entered private practice in the city’s Hyndland area in 1992.


At that time, through training in Gothenburg, he met and became a disciple of Per-Ingvar Branemark – regarded as ‘the father of dental implantology’ – who also discovered osseointegration (the biological fusion of bone to titanium).

And so Glen became one of the first dental surgeons in Scotland to introduce implantology into day-to-day practice.

With his considerable experience and post graduate training in Europe and the United States, Glen has a wealth of dental implant knowledge and an evidence base which he has accumulated over the years.


As well as his dental expertise, Glen has a fantastic way with words.

With this in mind, we have asked him to produce a small series of blogs – focused on some musings/recollections, career defining moments, major changes which have occurred in the field of dentistry and other considered tales or outstanding moments.

The first of these blogs, presented unprompted, is almost complete and when you read it, you will understand why I was keen for more. Keep up to date with our blog for Glen’s debut instalment.

If you have any questions about the above post or would like to find out more about the services and treatments – including dental implants – that we offer at our Glasgow dental clinic then please contact us on 0141 339 7579.

My 3-day trip to South Africa in pursuit of advanced implant training

One of the most important advances in cosmetic and restorative dentistry in the last century was the dental implant.

Here at our Glasgow dental clinic we pride ourselves in our knowledge and expertise in the field of dental implant surgery and fully appreciate the aesthetic and functional benefits implants can offer our patients.

I have a particularly keen interest in this field of dental work and have travelled extensively in pursuit of the newest advances in implant surgery.


I was delighted to be invited recently to the Branemark Clinic in Johannesburg for an advanced implant training course.

Philip with Professor Howes at the institute in South Africa

Philip with Professor Howes at the institute in South Africa

This course was run by Professor Dale Howes and Dr Greg Boyes-Barley. This surgeon and prosthodontist are leaders in their field, carrying out many and varied functional and aesthetic rehabilitations for patients who have lost their dentition and function.

In addition to this, their work involved the complex reconstruction of patients who have lost cast areas of their faces from disease or trauma (most notably gunshot wounds). This work is awe inspiring and the dedication of Professor Howes and Dr Boyes-Barley is palpable.


Despite their skill and reputation, they are both humble down to earth individuals who are completely dedicated to educating and passing on their knowledge.

This advanced work is made possible with the use of angular end and zygomatic implants which we have available in the clinic as part of our expanded treatment offerings.

The angular implants in particular allow the more predictable and immediate replacement of front teeth whilst allowing a temporary crown to be placed immediately in many cases meant no need for cumbersome dentures. There are also options available for molar teeth.

The three-day trip to South Africa was tiring because of the travel but the benefits accrued from seeing the professor and doctor at work were immesurable.

If you have any questions about this blog please contact our clinic team on 0141 339 7579 or you can send a secure message via our website by clicking here.

Specialist orthodontist Imran makes keynote speech at 60th anniversary event

Our Glasgow dental clinic team’s most recent recruit is specialist orthodontist Imran Shafi.

He bring his orthodontic expertise to our clinic after years of study, training and experience in this area of dentistry.

He recently had the honour of addressing the British Society for Oral and Dental Research to mark this prestigious organisation’s 60th anniversary.

Specialist orthodontist Imran Shafi at Glasgow dental clinic Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry receiving top award

Our Glasgow dental clinic’s specialist orthodontist Imran receives his award from Professor Watson


Here Imran tells us what the event was about and the focus of his keynote speech…

“I had been previously awarded the TC White Lecture Award by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and was invited by the British Society for Oral and Dental Research to present my winning lecture earlier this month.

This was the society’s 60th annual meeting hosted by the University of Bristol in the unique town of Bath.

My presentation was called “Computer prediction systems for planning the surgical correction of facial deformities.”

It was about my research undertaken at the University of Glasgow and involves using advanced cone beam CT and surgical predictions to help patient with dento-facial deformities.

We have a similar cone beam CT machine in the Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry Clinic, which we use for all our dental implant, cosmetic, orthodontic and endodontic work.


These highly specific and specialised machines capture radiographic images in detailed 3D, which allow the dental team at the Glasgow dental clinic to provide advanced dentistry.

I received my certificate and award from Professor Tim Watson who is the President of the British Society for Oral and Dental Research, and from the feedback I’ve had, the lecture was well received.”

If you have any questions about this blog post or would like to find out more about the orthodontic services we offer at our Glasgow dental clinic then please contact us via the website by clicking here or calling 0141 339 7579.

The age of your smile can ‘speak’ volumes

Can your smile give away the secret of your age?

With so many TV shows and media reports focusing on age – and how to stop the effects of ageing – we’re looking in this blog post at the types of issues that can be prevalent regarding your teeth and smile as you get older.

We’re looking at the 40+ decades and highlighting some of the issues you may encounter.

Our team here at the Glasgow dental clinic is on hand to help discuss any of the issues covered here and of course can look at some of the recommended cosmetic dentistry solutions – including dental implant surgery – which can help.

40s and 50s

During your 40s and 50s, stains can become much harder to erase with wear and tear and ageing and gum recession can become more pronounced.

As your face starts to age, your teeth can often push forward which in turns leads to causing lower front teeth to crowd.

Regular professional cleanings can help erase minimal stains – and that’s where we would always recommend regular visits to see our dental hygienists’ team here at our Glasgow dental clinic. But if that doesn’t work, then whitening, crowns or veneers may be necessary recommended solutions.

Veneers can offer a solution, providing, in essence, a new outer layer of enamel for the tooth or teeth. They can disguise worn teeth and can look very natural – a key word in any treatment for patients.

Check the surface of your teeth. Is it rough? The rougher the texture, then the more likely your teeth will be to retaining stains and causing your aesthetic issues. Your dentist should be able to smooth out or polish the tooth enamel so it will be less likely to absorb stains.

Into the 60s

Moving into the 60s then the patient could have additional issues facing them…

Gum recession may make your teeth look longer than they actually are. Saliva production may decrease, reducing the protective benefits of saliva and leading to bad breath.

Even if you’re whitening their teeth, your smile could still be ageing you. One solution is to think about ceramic crowns or veneers to enable lighter teeth set up to a bespoke design – and improved smile.

When the back teeth are worn or missing, the facial structure they support tends to collapse or fall in which can lead to deep facial folds. In addition, without the back teeth, far more pressure than is normal is placed on the front teeth which may be to their detriment over time.

Teeth that support the lips and ideally positioned give optimal support to the overlying soft tissue, meaning less obvious folds and creases. The end result is a more balanced, youthful appearance for an overall younger look. Subject to any cosmetic or restorative work being carried out – including dental implants – there would be a full examination carried out and an assessment of the patient’s medical history and status.

Should you have any questions arising from the blog or would like to make an appointment to discuss any of the issues please call our Glasgow clinic reception team on 0141 339 7579.

Kasia embarks on course in dental implant nursing

Our dental professional team at our Glasgow dental clinic is well qualified to carry out the treatments and services we offer our patients.

But, like every other UK-based dental clinic professional, the emphasis for our Glasgow team is very focused on learning more and gaining further knowledge and qualifications in a range of treatments from teeth whitening to cosmetic dentistry and dental implant work.

Continuing professional development is a key priority at our Glasgow clinic and the staff were are often attending seminars or courses. Sometimes our own clinic will be the venue for courses and seminars with delegates coming from all over the country to attend.

Dentist Jillian Clare is currently enrolled on a smile design course which she attends monthly in London.

Our endodontist Ross Henderson has recently completed his thesis for his Masters in endodontics – more commonly known as root canal therapy.

Dentist Liz Glass recently completed studies and subsequent examination to become a Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery.

Kasia Zawada who's embarking on dental implant nursing course.

Kasia – embarking on further studies in dental implant nursing

And now our dental implant nurse Kasia Zawada is embarking on a year-long course which will see her attending monthly sessions at London’s King’s College Hospital.

Next July she will complete the course and on passing the exam should receive their certificate in dental implant nursing.

As well as being based at our Glasgow clinic, Kasia works with me at the Edinburgh New Town Dental Care clinic when I’m seeing dental implant patients there.

We look forward to hearing how Kasia progresses on the course and we’ll keep you posted on news of any other courses are Glasgow team embark on in the coming months.

Should you have any questions about the above blog post or would like to find out more about the services and treatment on offer please call our reception team in the first instance on 0141 339 7579.

What a difference a dental implant can make…

Dental implant surgery is a particular focus for my professional work.

The benefits achievable with dental implants can be key to effective cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry work – all playing part of aesthetic and functional improvements (also more commonly known as a ‘smile makeover’)…

There can be a number of reasons why a dental implant can be the effective solution for a patient.

artwork shown in our Glasgow clinic where dental implants are offered

Implants can make significant difference in function and appearance.

I recall looking after one male patient from our Glasgow dental clinic who had suffered a sports injury – he’d been a footballer and in a clash had instantly knocked out his two front teeth. I was able to see him at short notice and assess the damage caused in the accident.

Like anyone the loss of these teeth and the impact on his smile were fairly traumatic factors but it was evident to me on examination that we could achieve a long-lasting and effective solution for the patient by using dental implants.

The treatment took about 15 months in total but during the patient journey we kept him fully informed with what was happening and what needed to happen to achieve the end result.

Much of that time is taken up in the simple healing process post surgery and to allow the titanium implant to become properly secured in the patient’s mouth.

The patient’s own words to us in a testimonial summed up the outcome following completion of his treatment plan.

He kindly wrote: “The shape and shade of each new tooth has exceeded my expectations and the overall effect has restored my confidence.”

I carry out dental implant work both at my Glasgow clinic and also at the New Town Dental Care clinic in Edinburgh.

Should you wish to find out more information about how dental implant surgery could help you please contact us on 0141 339 7579. Our reception team here at Glasgow would be happy to help with your enquiry.

What’s in a name? The story behind our Glasgow dental clinic

Exterior of the Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry Clinic which offers bespoke general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and life enhancing dental implants

Exterior shot of our clinic – with our name displayed.

We’re often asked about our Glasgow dental clinic’s name – Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry at Hyndland Dental Clinic – and why we selected that name to be proudly displayed on our premises here in the West End of Glasgow.

As the founder of the clinic I was more than happy to have my name ‘above the door’ but I also wanted a clinic title that sums up exactly what we offer in terms of treatments and services for our patients.

The title’s key word is “advanced” which, in our view, covers a myriad aspects of our patient care package…

Here are just three advanced aspects that we feel sum up exactly what we’re about –

Advanced care – this is key to everything we do at the clinic. From the moment our reception team receive your initial call or welcome you for the first visit patient care is our number one priority. Our dental care professionals are well qualified and experienced in their fields to deliver the right treatment plans for each patient, whether it’s for bespoke general dentistry, maintenance and hygiene services to more complex services such as cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, specialist orthodontic work or dental implant surgery which is one of our Glasgow clinic’s particular focuses.

Advanced technology – when we were setting up our clinic we scoured the world for the best in cutting-edge equipment to ensure that with our professional skills we were able to offer the patients 21st century advanced treatment. We continue to upgrade/renew our equipment and technology and are constantly researching the latest advances in the dental care world.

Advanced dentistry – we work hard every day to ensure our ‘patient journey’ is right. We consider that our standards of care/treatment are such that we believe our patients are assured of the very best at all times. We consider that our ‘package’ of care/treatment along with our high levels of professionalism, supported by our clinic’s technology and equipment more than earns the label ‘advanced dentistry’.

We are also happy that the name we selected for our Glasgow clinic – Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry at Hyndland Dental Clinic – was approved by the General Dental Council before we went ahead with the official naming back in 2010.

Summing up we believe we offer ‘dentistry with a difference’ and are happy to discuss your dental care/needs.

Should you have any questions about this blog post or would like to discover more about the treatments/services we can offer our patients at our Glasgow clinic then please get in touch with us on 0141 339 7579 or via the contact section of the website.

Veneers: cosmetic dentistry solutions at our Glasgow dental clinic


We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry solutions at our Glasgow dental clinic.

Our team is well experienced in advising patients on the best solutions to achieve aesthetic and functional benefits.

If you’re thinking about having cosmetic dentistry carried out to improve your smile then this post about veneers may give you some key information.

Veneers are thin facings which are bonded to the teeth to enhance their appearance.
In an ideal world, natural teeth are of a satisfactory shape and shade or colour, and in positions in the mouth which are ideal.

In life, of course, this ideal situation is not always present.

Veneers - can improve appearance/function

Veneers – can improve appearance/function

Teeth can be discoloured or stained, twisted or rotated, crowded or spaced in combination such that the aesthetic appearance of the smile in unsatisfactory and in need of improvement. Veneers can be used to lighten, brighten or straighten teeth where appropriate and are used on the upper and lower arched on incisor, canine and premolar teeth. Depending on the occlusion/bite, veneers can also be used on the molar teeth.


Veneers can be used with careful planning to correct any or all of the above problems in combination.

Following full case discussion and planning, together with x rays where appropriate to determine the health of the supporting tooth roots, impressions are taken in order that a diagnostic wax up can be provided. This diagnostic set up is then transferred to the mouth in a temporary material to allow patient visualisation before any treatment is commenced.

Following approval of this diagnostic set up, the teeth are prepared for final veneers. It is always the intention to ensure that the preparation of natural tooth tissue is as minimal as possible to preserve the natural tooth structure. In cases of tooth rotation or malpositioned teeth, however, this preparation may require to be a little more invasive. In extreme cases, it may be prudent to consider pre ceramic orthodontic treatment to move the teeth into a more favourable, less invasive position for veneers treatment. In addition, depending upon the case requirements and the smile design required, pre operative crown lengthening (refer to crown lengthening section) can also ensure that the height the gum line is perfect to compliment the perfect smile.

Following the final veneer preparation under magnification, accurate impressions are taken and transferred to the laboratory where the final veneers are fabricated ready for transfer to the mouth. In the intervening period, temporary veneers are generally placed using the transfer technique from the diagnostic wax up described above.


After construction of the veneers, the temporary veneers are removed and the veneer preparations polished before the final veneers are trial fitted for patient approval before being cemented into place carefully.

Veneers can be made from a number of materials depending upon the specific case requirements. These materials include porcelain and composite.

Following completion of veneer treatment, it is imperative to ensure regular attendance to care not only for the veneers but also for the remaining teeth in the mouth to ensure the result lasts as intended. Veneer treatment generally, but not always, requires the use of local anaesthetic for the preparation and fit stages.

If you have any questions about this post or any of the treatment discussed in it please feel free to contact us on 0141 339 7579.

New team member: specialist orthodontist Imran joins us

specialist orthodontist Imran Shafi joins our team at Glasgow dental clinic

Specialist orthodontist Imran Shafi

It’s a warm welcome to our newest team member who joins us today…

We’re delighted to welcome Imran Shafi, specialist orthodontist, to the Glasgow dental clinic team of clinical professionals.

Imran joins fellow specialist orthodontist Andrew McGregor in the Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry staff line-up.

Orthodontics can play a vital part in a patient’s aesthetic and functional rehabilitation treatment plan and it’s great having Imran on board to complement and enhance our existing team.

Imran is a graduate from Glasgow University and after completing his vocational training in Newcastle headed to Australia where he worked for two years.

On returning to these shores he completed his specialist orthodontist training, being awarded a Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry (Orthodontics) at Glasgow in 2011.

His research won two extremely important and prestigious prizes – the Royal College TC White Lecturer Award and the Royal Society of Medicine Odontology President’s Prize Award.

I know from speaking with Imran as he prepared to join the team how much he is looking forward to seeing patients here at the clinic.

As with all our dental professionals here, Imran Shafi is registered with the General Dental Council and his registration number is 79325.

Should you have any questions about this post or would like to know more about orthodontic treatment and the other services/treatments we offer here please contact us via the website or by calling our reception team on 0141 339 7579.