You can see I’m happy with my ‘smile transplant’

You can see I’m happy with my ‘smile transplant’

  I was moved by this story about a lady who had a smile transplant in order to be able to smile again. The lady had to have a tumour removed and the surgery left her paralysed. After the surgery, she was able to have control over her left eye and mouth, enabling her to smile again. One can only imagine how isolated she must have felt being unable to smile. Only after she was able to smile again was she confident enough to socialise and interview for a new job. Let’s not take our smiles for granted. Remember to smile, it makes all the difference to how you feel and can lift the spirits of everyone else around you.

news articles
A woman whose face was left paralysed after surgery to remove a tumour can smile again thanks to a pioneering transplant.

Plastic surgeon Charles Nduka transplanted a muscle from Victoria Howell’s temple, restoring her facial symmetry and enabling her to regain control of her left eye and her mouth.

Ms Howell, 27, from Sidcup, struggled with eating, drinking, speaking or showing expression before the procedure. She developed facial palsy, affecting muscles including those needed to smile and to close her left eye, after the benign growth was removed in 2008.

The condition affects thousands of people in the UK and occurs when a nerve in the face is damaged or missing. In Ms Howell’s case, the tumour surgery affected the nerve which connects the ear to the brain.

The former photographer, who had physiotherapy after her “smile transplant” in 2011, said: “It took a year after the operation before I felt confident enough to meet new people. I’ve now got a job in travel recruitment which I really enjoy and I feel confident again.”

Mr Nduka, of the Cadogan Clinic in Belgravia, chairs the charity Facial Palsy UK, set up to raise awareness of the condition and improve quality of care. He said: “A major aim is to highlight to health professionals which patients need specialist treatment, and provide support networks to reduce the sense of isolation patients feel.”

It’s that time of the year again. National Smile Month 2013

It’s that time of the year again. National Smile Month 2013

National Smile month is one of the UK‘s largest oral health campaigns. This national campaign is organised by  BDHF, and has been running for the past 37 years, all in an effort to improve oral health in the UK.

The message the BDHF has set out for us this year is dedicated towards encouraging people to:


And we have lots of things happening here at the Dental Spa to celebrate National Smile Month, as we want to encourage you to adopt the above 3 basic habits into your day to day lives.

For us at the Covent Garden Dental Spa, if we can get people to adopt the habits above, then we know our patients will have:


We will be able to accomplish this by doing the following:


And what else do we have in store for you this year?

Smile Survey results

Do you remember taking part in our National Smile Month survey last year? Our survey targeted local Covent Gardeners and our Dental Spa patients. We had responses from 650 of you. The questions varied from whether you thought a smile contributed to a person’s attraction, how important you thought a smile was for job interview and who had the best celebrity smiles. We got some interesting results, which we will be publishing throughout NSM 2013 on Flora’s blog

Competition £2000 voucher for orthodontic treatment

Look out for our NSM competition over the next month: We are giving away a £2000 voucher towards orthodontic treatment. You can enter this competition on our website in the ‘Fun Stuff’ section. You gotta be in it to win it!

Neal St Dental Goody Give Away Bonanza

Look out for us over the next few weeks on Neal St during lunch breaks, where we will be giving out dental goody packs loaded with dental goodies to help maintain your beautiful smiles. And if you are a Dental Spa patient, be sure to make sure you get your dental goody bag when you next come in for your dental check up.Smile Month

Toothy Trinkets!

Toothy Trinkets!

There is a lady who goes by the name of Hannah Warner.  I happened to stumble upon an article about her last week. It was the word ‘ teeth’ which caught my eye – anything to do with teeth is usually enough to keep me interested. Hannah Warner’s Fang and Teeth Jewellery collection has successfully given macabre-chic a new meaning with her new top of the range – earrings for the ladies and cuffs for the gents, adorned with casts of sharks teeth. I found myself questioning who would want to buy tooth shaped jewellery. Someone who has a passion for teeth I suppose – my dentist colleagues? Patients who love visiting their dentist? Patients who love skulls, claws and bones? As pretty as the jewellery looks, diamonds and all (and yes, diamonds are this girl’s best friend), and as much as I have a passion for all things tooth related, I think I may pass.

Intrigued, I researched further, and it appears there is a whole new ‘fang-jewellery’ world out there! There is an Australian silversmith who doesn’t even bother with casts of sharks teeth, but raids the tooth fairy’s treasure chest and uses real human teeth to make her jewellery. Thankfully, the teeth are sterilized (not blood stained) and then hand set in silver. So next time you visit the dentist to have a wisdom tooth extracted, think about the beautiful toothy necklace you could have designed. Or better still, if there are two teeth being extracted, maybe a set of molar encrusted earrings?


Ok, so maybe toothy trinkets aren’t your thing! (yeah, I don’t blame you). How about a bespoke made MP3 player which fits into your mouth and plays your favourite tunes! This gadget was inspired by grillz – the teeth jewellery worn by rappers such as Nelly. The all bling mouthpiece transmits your play list via bone conduction through your skull. Here’s the science: your dentist will take a mould of your upper teeth, and a small appliance is made to fit into the roof of your mouth. A vibrating motor is connected to a digital music player, which is connected to your mouth appliance. Your tongue will have the multi-purpose of changing the tune, or controlling the volume. Interesting! Just hope and pray your gag reflex doesn’t kick in mid song!


This I thought was quite a good idea: a teething necklace. This is a necklace worn by Mum as a jewellery piece when her child is going through the teething phase. The necklace is usually made of a soft or smooth material such as wood, organic cotton yarn, or food grade silicone, that baby can bite or chew onto, thus helping to sooth the teething symptoms.  Whichever material, be sure to make sure it is one which can be washed or sterilised to some extent. You can also get teething necklaces made of Amber or Hazel, which have holistic properties to help alleviate teething pains. These necklaces are worn by baby, so care must be taken to ensure that the necklaces don’t have small parts which could result in choking.

We do, however, do twinkles, which is a small diamante (or a real diamond for that matter) placed into your tooth. These used to be very popular about 10 years ago, and once in a while, I do still have patients requesting them for that million dollar smile. If this is something you may be interested in, please do call us. The twinkles are usually ordered per patient request.

Smile Makeover Case Study

Smile Makeover Case Study

This is a Case Study outlining Smile Makeover Treatment which I carried out for one of our patients:

Details of Patient: Male, RE (the patient’s initials have been used to protect his identity)

Patient: Male, RE (initials used to hide identity of patient)

Patient’s Age: 28yrs

Patient’s Dental History: RE fell as a young child, the fall resulting in trauma to his two front teeth, causing fractures to the teeth. At the time, he had two front fillings placed on the front teeth, but these subsequently fell off, and he has had them replaced several times over the years.

RE booked an appointment to have a Free Smile Make-over consultation with me at the Covent Garden Dental Spa. At this appointment we discussed his Dental History and his treatment needs. He revealed he did not like smiling, and lacked confidence because of the way his teeth had been all his life. He felt this affected his day to day life. He had always wanted to change his smile, but kept putting it off, as he was not sure what it involved and what to expect from the course of treatment. This made him nervous about undergoing dental treatment. He was hoping that the treatment we provided would help to restore his confidence again, thus improving the quality of his life.

On examination, I noticed RE had two broken front teeth. One of them was badly discolored. He also had a mild gum infection making his gums slightly red in appearance.

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After discussions on different treatment options available, carrying out all the necessary investigations such as radiographs and study models, RE and I decided on the following treatment plan:

  • Three intensive hygiene sessions with our hygienist Lana to make his gums look healthy. Lana also provided him with tooth brushing and inter dental cleaning instructions to make sure he maintained food oral hygiene.
  • Laser Teeth Whitening (in-surgery power whitening)
  • Root Canal Treatment for the non-vital discolored tooth
  • Non-vital Tooth Whitening of the discolored tooth to lift the dark brown hue
  • 2 weeks of Take home Teeth Whitening using the whitening trays to top up the laser teeth whitening on all the other teeth
  • Two all ceramic crowns to cover his two front teeth

The whole course of treatment was carried out over a period of 3 months.

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When the treatment was complete, RE was delighted with the outcome. He wrote me this note:

A big thank you to the team and particularly to Flora who accomplished a great job!
I recently had treatments and crowns fitted onto my front teeth.
Flora explained me everything and the experience was ‘pain free’.
They have made me feel comfortable and confident with the treatments and the reception staff  have always been friendly and helpful.
The hygienists have also been good and offered some good advice.
The result is truly excellent and thanks to them I smile even much more
Thank you 🙂

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Are you also worried about smiling because of trauma you may have had to your teeth when you were younger? Broken, chipped or discolored teeth may reduce your confidence.

Our FREE smile makeover consultation may help you find out what treatment can be done to help restore your smile and confidence again.