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.

What’s what in your teeth line-up?

In our blog posts from our Glasgow dental clinic we can cover a multitude of topics – from cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and patient testimonials right through to staff courses and family events.

Today’s blog post is going back to basics on the dental front with some facts about teeth.

We decided to share a brief and simple description of the teeth that humans should have in their mouths…assuming they’ve not undergone any trauma, loss or decay.

We can help improve both aesthetic and function qualities of your smile.

We can help improve both aesthetic and function qualities of your smile.

If they have dental issues then of course our experienced team of dental professionals here in Glasgow can assist. Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry techniques have made huge advanced especially in the last few decades.

The use of dental implants, for instance, can ensure both aesthetic and functional benefits for patients with only a few missing from their existing line-up of teeth – or for patients with few or no teeth and who could perhaps need upper or lower dentures retained by the implants.

Each tooth has a different shape and function – and of course exist to help the process of eating. Most adults should have 32 teeth – while as youngsters we’ll have 20 primary – or baby – teeth that eventually make way for the permanent set.


Firstly lets check out the incisors…These are the four front teeth on the top and on the bottom jaw and are used for cutting and chopping food. Usually first ones to erupt in babies.


Then we move onto the canine teeth – the sharp, pointy teeth. We have one on each side of the incisors on your top and bottom jaw, making a total of four. These teeth aid the tearing apart of food.


Premolar are situated next to your canine teeth. Premolars are also called bicuspid teeth. There are eight premolars in total – four on the top jaw and four on the bottom. These teeth are bigger and wider than the incisors and canine teeth. Their function is to crush and grind your food.


Then we have the molars. There are eight of these – four on the top and four on the bottom.
Molars are your strongest teeth and these work with your tongue to help you swallow your food, mashing it up until it’s ready to be swallowed safely.


There are also third molars – known more commonly as your wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to erupt and won’t often do so until late teens or even your 20s – if at all. If wisdom teeth do come through they can cause issues such as crowding and will often need to be removed.

If you have any questions about this post or would like to find out more about the services and treatments our team can offer at our Glasgow dental clinic then please call our reception team on 0141 339 7579.

Dentist Liz’s puppy continues its training: update on Ramsay’s journey

We like to share news on what’s happening on the clinical side of our work here at our Glasgow dental clinic.

We also like to let you know of any new advances in treatments such as dental implant work and cosmetic dentistry.

Dentist Liz Glass with pup Ramsay

Flashback – Dentist Liz with puppy Ramsay shortly before he left Glasgow for training

But we also enjoy giving you an insight into the life our experienced and committed team members share when they’re away from the Glasgow clinic…and that can range in topics from family life, sporting interests and big life milestones to hobbies and courses.


Earlier this year we shared news about our dentist colleague Liz Glass and how her family’s pet labrador Twiggy had given birth to some pups.

One of the male pups – called Ramsay – was donated by Liz and her family to the excellent charity called Canine Partners which trains puppies to become assistance dogs for people with disabilities. These dogs can make a huge difference to those people who are assigned their canine partner.

Liz has just shared with us an update on how Ramsay is progressing since he headed off from her home in Glasgow for his new ‘working life’.

Liz's pup Ramsay after leaving Glasgow to train with Canine Partners charity

Liz’s pup Ramsay after leaving Glasgow to train with Canine Partners charity

According to the charity team, young Ramsay is making good progress, settling into training classes and is learning to do as he is asked promptly rather than in his own time!


The update report added: “With encouragement he settles well both at home and in class when the humans are having coffee.

“He seems sound in traffic and his lead walking is improving. He loads into the car well and travels with no problems.

“At first he was tending to bark at other dogs but now it is the occasional whine rather than a bark which is good. Hopefully the whining will stop as he matures.”

The charity also provided Liz with some new photos of Ramsay…and there’s certainly a big difference in him since the last time he appeared in our blog!

We look forward to further updates on Ramsay’s progress.

Should you have any questions about this blog or would like to find out more about the treatments and services on offer at our Glasgow dental clinic then please contact our receptionists on 0141 339 7579.

Cuppas combat cavities? New research reports on tea benefits

From time to time the humble cuppa is credited with assisting a myriad health issues.

Tea – in various guises of green, mint and the normal brew – has been credited in medical and media reports to help cases of Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure and indigestion as well as to reduce certain cancer risks.

Now the latest reports claim that at least three cups a day can help keep your teeth in good condition and cut the risk of decay.

photo showing a simple cuppa

The humble cuppa…at centre of new research

Black tea – according to the report in the Daily Mail at the weekend – can help to combat two particular types of bacteria – Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus – associated with tooth decay and gum disease.


Dr Carrie Ruxton who has written about her findings in the British Nutrition Foundation’s “Nutrition Bulletin” headed up this new study and believes that the most effective tea dose was 3-4 cups per day.

The research scientists reported that black tea continued to fight decay, even when some sugar had been added to it.

Green tea – long associated with having health benefits – also appeared to have a similar effect – but in addition helped prevent cases of bad breath by effectively neutralising the sulphur compounds that contribute to the condition.

Dr Ruxton believes that there is good evidence that tea drinking protects against tooth loss and is quoted as saying: “Evidence specific to black tea suggests that three to four cups a day could help to reduce levels of bacteria in the mouth,
‘I’m sure this news is set to be welcomed by dentists and hygienists alike as as they continue to educate the nation on the need for greater oral care.’

Tea contains antioxidant ingredients called flavonoids and catechins, tannin-type substances, that have an anti microbial effect.

The new report also looks at how green tea could help weight loss, increases energy expenditure and burning up more body fat.


As you can imagine the Tea Advisory Panel, set up by the industry, was positive in its welcome for this latest research.

Their spokesman Dr Tim Bond was quoted in reports saying: “A relatively little known benefit of tea until recently has been its potential for reducing the risk of dental caries.

‘This benefit is thought to be due to a reduction in inflammation in the oral cavity and prevention of the adhesion and growth of bacteria linked to periodontal disease.”

Our dental hygiene team here at our Glasgow dental clinic can provide you with information about foods and drinks that may cause some additional risk of dental decay. We can also give advice on maintaining good dental hygiene which in turn can help minimise the incidence of bad breath.

If you have any questions about this post or would like to find out more information about the dental services and treatments we can offer patients please call our Glasgow dental clinic reception team on 0141 339 7579.

Image courtesy of Kritsana/

A Beatle “reborn” from an old molar? Imagine…

We enjoy reading some of the more unusual media stories about the dental world and one offering that’s been doing the rounds in print and online certainly fits that bill.

Dentist Michael Zuk, based in Red Deer in Canada, who bought John Lennon’s discoloured molar for £19,500 at a 2011 auction, reckons scientists can potentially extract the singer-songwriter’s DNA and one day could clone a new Lennon!

To quote one of his songs – “imagine”!


Lennon gave the tooth to his housekeeper after the music genius had it pulled out in the ’60s, and dentist Michael bought it from her son more than 30 years after the Beatle was shot dead at his US apartment block in 1980.

Michael has been quoted as saying:

“Many Beatles fans remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot.

“I hope they also live to hear the day he was given another chance.”

We note that in many of the stories the auction house said at the time of the sale that DNA could not be obtained.

But with new advances in genetic/DNA research, Michael believes that Lennon’s DNA can be harvested and, in time, converted from tissue cells into stem cells, and eventually into a reborn Beatle.

He’s further quoted: “To say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing,”


Until that day dawns there is a more serious and positive side to this venture. Michael is advertising other dental endeavours: pendants and a piece of sculpture made from Lennon’s “tooth dust”, a picture book of celebrities’ teeth, the parody song “Love Me Tooth”, and other initiatives to promote awareness of mouth cancer.

Up until we read the lines about the worthwhile cause of mouth cancer awareness – something that our own Glasgow dental clinic is doing this year too – we might have been forgiven for checking our calendars to see if April 1 had arrived early…

Should you have any questions about this blog post or would like to find out more about the services and treatments our Glasgow dental clinic can offer patients please call us on 0141 339 7579. We’ll be happy to assist 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.

Mouth cancer awareness campaign: knowing the risk factors

Throughout 2013 our Glasgow dental clinic has been running a mouth cancer awareness campaign – promoting the risk factors and sharing expert knowledge about the condition.

We’ve worked with the team from the Ben Walton Trust which is a charitable organisation set up following the death of a young Scottish student – Ben Walton – after contracting mouth cancer.

In this post we’re sharing information about the risk factors related to mouth cancer. The information comes from the team at the British Dental Health Foundation, a UK-wide charity which exists to promote positive messages about dental health and share information about dental/oral issues.

Here’s what the Foundation has to say about the risk factors related to mouth cancer.


Around a fifth of the UK’s population smoke and the habit is still considered the leading cause of mouth cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of current smokers will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease, including mouth cancer. Smoking helps to transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous.


Drinking to excess can increase mouth cancer risks by four times. As alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth, those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely to develop the disease.

Poor diet

Around a third of cases are thought to be linked to an unhealthy diet. It is recommended that people eat a healthy, balanced diet including five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Increasing evidence also suggests that Omega 3, found in foods such as eggs and fish can help lower risks, as can foods high in fibre such as nuts, seeds, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.

Chewing or Smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco is normally defined as any tobacco product that is placed in the mouth or nose and not burned. Although some people believe this type of tobacco is safer than smoking, the reality is that it is much more dangerous. The types of smokeless tobacco products most used in the UK often contain a mix of ingredients including slaked lime, areca nut and spices, flavourings and sweeteners. The terminology for smokeless tobacco varies, but the main types used in the UK include:

Gutka, Khaini, Pan Masala (betel quid), Shammah and Maras powder (these are sucked or chewed);
Zarda, Qiwam, or Mawa (chewed);
Lal dantmanjan, Gadakhu, Gul, Mishri, or Creamy Snuff (dental products which are used as toothpaste or rubbed on gums);
Nass (can be used nasally, sucked or chewed).

Smokeless tobacco is used particularly by South Asian Communities, especially women. The incidence of mouth cancer is significantly greater among South Asian women. Other parts of South Asian communities are also more at risk from the effects of smokeless tobacco including: people of Bangladeshi origin; those in older age groups; and people from lower socioeconomic groups.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

The Human Papilloma Virus, transmitted via oral sex, is increasingly being linked to mouth cancer. Younger people are particularly at risk. A recent study in the USA has connected over 20,000 mouth cancer cases to HPV in the last five years. Experts suggest it may rival tobacco and alcohol as a key risk factor within 10 years, although some research indicates that people with mouth cancer caused by HPV may have a greater chance of survival. People with multiple sexual partners are more at risk.

Who is at risk?

Mouth cancer incidence has always been strongly related to age. In the UK, just under half (44 per cent) of all mouth cancer cases were diagnosed in people aged 65 and over, with more than a quarter (25 per cent) diagnosed in the under 55s. Although the gap has significantly diminished over time, men are still twice more likely to develop mouth cancer than women, although for men, age-specific incidence rates peak at ages 60-69, whereas for women it peaks in the over-80s.

Given the most well established risk factors for the major types of oral cancer are excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, it is not surprising that mouth cancer incidence is strongly associated with deprivation. The most recent England-wide data shows incidence rates for head and neck cancer are more than double (130 per cent) for men living in more deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and more than 74 per cent higher for women. Similar results have also been published for Northern Ireland and Wales while Scotland shows an even larger deprivation gap.

The rising incidence and mortality rates in young and middle-aged adults are undeniable. A series of studies in southern England looking at risk factors for patients under 45 years concluded that most young patients are exposed to the traditional risk factors of tobacco smoking and alcohol. However, the relatively short duration of exposure to these known risk factors suggests that other causes may also be involved. There was also a small sub-group of patients who had little, if any, exposure to the major risk factors.

Our clinic’s message

Should you have any concerns about any mouth problems then please contact your doctor or dentist as soon as possible. Our Glasgow dental team is able to carry out an examination to ascertain if you are showing any symptoms that need further investigation.

If you have any questions arising from this post please contact our Glasgow clinic on 0141 339 7579.

Good reason to visit the dentist? Read on…

Struggling with toothache? Bleeding gums when you brush? Unhappy with your smile?

All the above are sound reasons for visiting your dentist for a check-up but just how good is our country when it comes to visiting the dentist?

Recent survey results issued by the British Dental Health Foundation revealed that the UK is one of the most likely nations in Europe to visit their dentist for a check-up – ranked second (72%), after the Netherlands (79%).

At our dental clinic here in Glasgow the dental professionals recommend you visit for a check-up twice a year/every six months.

The Foundation’s survey found that when it came to reasons for visiting the dentist –

27% of adults only visit their dentist when they have a problem

9% of adults visit their dentist with pain

90% of visits to the dentist are for check-ups

The survey also found that teeth/smiles are rated the second most important attraction feature, after personality, and the most important body feature surveyed (including body shape, height, hair, face and eyes).

We also recommend regular visits to our hygienist team to ensure you maintain good cleaning standards to ensure all round oral health and maintenance.

Should you have any questions about the above post or would like to find out more about the treatments we offer here – ranging from general dental care to cosmetic dentistry – please contact our reception team on 0141 339 7579.

Dental implants: questions and answers


The clinical team at Philip Friel Advanced Dentistry has experience of a wide range of implant, cosmetic and restorative dentistry techniques – from whitening to complete dental/aesthetic rehabilitation – as well as offering a range of general dentistry services including routine maintenance, check- ups and hygienist appointments.

One of the greatest advances has been dental implant surgery and Philip and his team of dentists and dental nurses are highly trained in this aspect of advanced dentistry.

Implants have transformed dentistry over the last 40 years and are now often the first choice of treatment for the replacement of missing teeth.

artwork shown in our Glasgow clinic where dental implants are offered

Implants can make significant difference in function and appearance.

An implant is a titanium substitute for a natural tooth root and is placed into a socket created in the jaw. It is usually inserted into the socket creating an initial stability, which over time is steadily enhanced by further growth of bone on to the implant surface. The internal design of the implant allows a variety of fitments to be attached to it, which support replacement teeth, providing the foundation for long-term support of crowns, bridges or dentures.

As well as offering implants at his Glasgow dental clinic, Philip also offers dental implant surgery at the New Town Dental Care clinic in Edinburgh.

Here Philip answers many of the questions that can arise when someone is considering dental implants.


If you have good general health and maintain good oral health, then implants will almost certainly work for you.
It is rare to have health problems that will prevent the use of implants although some medical conditions may affect the success rate of implants.
As well as a complete examination of your mouth and remaining teeth you will be expected to supply details of your medical history.
In addition, full discussion with regards to requirements and expectations will allow us to determine if implant treatment is appropriate.


All the common forms of tooth replacement, such as bridges or dentures can be supported by implants. If you are missing just one natural tooth, the one implant will likely be all that is required – but larger spaces of two, three or more missing teeth will not necessarily need one implant per tooth.


If you have no teeth in the lower jaw, a conventional lower denture can be considerably improved with an implant retained “over denture” which involves two implants placed at the front of the lower jaw to secure a denture. The same concept can be used in the upper jaw which requires four implants. Implants make dentures much more stable and also allow the denture to be smaller which means reduced palatal coverage by the denture.
Like conventional dentures, overdentures should be removed for daily cleaning. There are many implant options available and it is crucial that you have a thorough dental examination to be aware of what treatment would be best for you.


For routine cases, from the time of implant placement to the placing of the first tooth, treatment times can vary between a few weeks to six months. The better the bone the less will be the treatment time. With poorer bone more time must be taken which can extend treatment time beyond six months.


You will be fully advised on care and maintenance of the implants or the superstructure they support. Instruction will include how to clean adequately. It must be understood that the adequate care and maintenance of the implants requires regular effort on the patient’s part at home for ideal maintenance.
It is recommended that implants be cleaned every three to six months by the dental hygienist depending upon individual case requirements.


Once your implants and surrounding soft tissues are seen to be healthy and your new teeth are comfortable, it is the quality of your home care and willingness to present for regular maintenance reviews, that will most influence how long they will last.
Implants, much like natural teeth, will last longer if they are cared for adequately. Well-maintained implants, placed into adequate bone, can be expected to last for many years.

If you have any questions arising from the above blog or would like to find out more information about dental implant work carried out by our team please contact the clinic on 0141 339 7579

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.