Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do when I have tooth ache?

If you are suffering from a persistent tooth ache you should see a dentist as soon as possible, in the meantime make sure your teeth are clean and debris free, floss between your teeth to remove any left over food particles. A cold compress can be used on the outside of the cheek if any swelling is present.

My Gums bleed when I brush is this healthy?

No, bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease and you should make an appointment to visit us so that we can assess the situation and help to prevent disease. You are likely to have gingivitis or, worse still, periodontitis. You need a program of therapeutic hygiene treatment or you could be on the way to losing your teeth.

Will whitening harm my teeth & gums?

No; teeth whitening has been around for many years now and the extensive research conducted has proven that it is safe for your teeth and gums when the procedure is carried out as directed.

Should I have tooth whitening before or after my crown, bridge or implant?

No; teeth whitening has been around for many years now and the extensive research conducted has proven that it is safe for your teeth and gums when the procedure is carried out as directed.

Are electric Toothbrushes better than manual brushes?

If you are brushing incorrectly, it doesn’t matter what kind of tooth brush you use. Using a manual toothbrush with the correct technique can be just as good as the electric version. Electric toothbrushes can be advantageous to you if you suffer poor manual dexterity.

I have recently cracked my tooth but do not know why as I have healthy gums and look after my teeth?

A toothache caused by a cracked tooth without associated cavities or gum disease can cause severe sharp pains.

A broken tooth can be caused by chewing or biting hard objects such as lollies, nuts, chewing on your pen, heavy tooth grinding (bruxism) etc… You are especially prone if you already have a heavily filled tooth; this is why for example we would recommend that you have a crown fitted after root canal treatment.

What causes an ice cream Headache?

Ice cream headache occurs when ice or cold food, usually ice cream is put into your mouth.

It is characterised by a stabbing, aching pain that peaks in 30-60 seconds and can last for up to a few minutes. The headache may also be accompanied by a toothache.

To prevent ice cream headache, keep cold foods and beverages away from the back of the palate (roof of the mouth). It is a form of referred pain from the palate where it is triggered to the head and sometimes teeth.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound containing fluorine, one of the most common elements found on earth.

Fluoride compounds and ions are found naturally in minerals, soil, plants, rivers and water sources. It is found naturally in seawater at much higher levels than those used in the fluoridation of drinking water.

Fluoride helps stabilise the mineral content of bones and teeth and helps prevent tooth decay.

What causes Fluorosis?

Trauma, infection and medication are all possible causes of mottling or staining of teeth, excess fluoride is just one possible cause.

Fluorosis normally presents as a mild mottling of teeth when high levels of fluoride have been ingested during the formation of the tooth enamel; it is not dangerous and mild cases do not affect the aesthetics or health of your teeth. Very high levels of fluoride can however cause brown staining or pitted enamel, although this is uncommon, and is caused by children swallowing too much fluoride from toothpaste or fluoride tablets rather than from drinking fluoridated water.

To reduce the likelihood of fluorosis, health authorities recommend that children use only a small amount of toothpaste (the size of a small pea) on their toothbrush, and rinse after brushing.

Water fluoridation is the ideal way of providing the benefits of fluoride, as it delivers very low levels on a regular basis, like naturally fluoridated water.

What if I am scared of the Dentist?

Experiences from when you were a child may become distorted by time and reinforced by obsolete media presentation and stereotypes. Times have changed, thanks to improving technology and education.

Dentists are skilled medical professionals in dealing with patients who are anxious about seeking treatment; the best way to help overcome your fear and apprehension is to discuss with us any concerns that you have.

There are various forms of anaesthesia and relaxation that can be used to change your negative thoughts into a positive experience.

What methods do Dentists and their staff use for infection control?

Dentists use a steriliser (autoclave) which uses steam under pressure to achieve rapid and high heat sterilisation of instruments; otherwise we use disposable items wherever possible. The general standard of infection control in all surgeries in Australia is excellent and rubber latex gloves are worn wherever there is a risk of exposure to blood or bodily substances, which is almost always the case. Face Masks and protective eyewear are also necessary for the dentist, assistant and the patient during procedures where, contact with blood or other body substances is likely to occur. For more information on our infection control click here

What do I do if I knock out a tooth in an accident?

If you have an accident and knock out a tooth; this is especially common with contact sports.

It may be dirty so rinse the tooth in milk holding it by the crown or suck it; make sure you do not touch the roots (do not swallow it!) then put the tooth back in the socket. If you cannot put it back in the socket, wrap in Glad Wrap or place it in milk or just keep it in your mouth inside the cheek. Make sure you get to a dentist within 30 minutes if possible, as it is critical for successful replanting.

Does Smoking affect my Oral Health?

Yes it does. Most people are aware that smoking poses a problem to overall general health as it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and to a third of all cancer deaths.

What is less well known is the effect it has on your mouth. The most harm is done to the gums and mucosa. Smokers develop more oral cancers than non-smokers and also suffer some degree of gum or, periodontal disease.Other than staining, smoking doesn’t affect the teeth. However, it also has a profound effect on your saliva, promoting the formation of thicker ‘ropey’ saliva at the expense of the thinner watery ‘serous’ saliva. This explains why some heavy smokers get decay even if they are brushing well. They essentially reduce the acid-buffering ability of their saliva.

I have dull, discolored teeth, how can I make them white?

You have several options, depending on the severity.
Professional cleaning
Professional home tooth whitening – effective and economical
Instant in-house tooth whitening
Porcelain or composite veneers
Crownwork – total coverage (often called caps)

My teeth are not exactly straight; can anything be done about this?

Again, you have several options
Recontouring – simple and low cost
Porcelain or composite veneers
Crown work
Orthodontics with braces

I really don't want to lose my teeth and end up with dentures, is this possible?

Yes, modern dentistry and therapeutic hygiene treatment is aimed at just that – keeping your teeth for as long as possible.

I've lost a couple of teeth, can the spaces be filled.

Yes, choose from:
Fixed bridgework (will not come out)
Implants (like having your own teeth back)
Orthodontics , braces to close the gaps
Dentures – lower cost option (must be removed at night)

I don't like my silver fillings, what's the alternative?

White fillings can replace silver amalgam in most cases. Choose from composite resin or ceramic (porcelain)

I have crowns but there's a dark line around the gum, can anything be done about it?

Advances in dental materials and techniques allow for crowns which do not darken the gum line.

People complain about my bad breath or stand back during conversations. I brush my teeth regularly and use mouthwash but it doesn't seem to work. Can you help?

The majority of bad breath is from bacteria found in plaque and tartar attached to your teeth or from tooth decay. Contact us to have your teeth and gums assessed so we can find the cause and treat it.