Frequently asked questions
We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our patients.
Maintaining your teeth and gums as you age is an important step in sustaining your general health and well-being. Whilst exercising, eating right and regular health checks are important – looking after your teeth and gums is also essential. Good dental health will help you to lead a long, happy and healthy life.
If your teeth become damaged, lost or simply worn over time, there are a number of options available to treat these problems.
If teeth are lost, then Implants, Dentures or Bridges may be an option for you. If a tooth needs rebuilding, then Crowns, Inlays or Onlays could be the solution. For cosmetic changes, Tooth Whitening, Veneers and Bonding are amongst some of the treatments that you could consider.
Achieving optimal dental health has the power to change your life for the better. Just a few of the major benefits, dental treatment may provide include;
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Improved oral health and general well-being
- Improved facial appearance
- Improved comfort
- Improved speech
- Improved dietary habits and nutrition
Cosmetic Dentistry is the ultimate mixture of art and dental science. These procedures endeavour to create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing smiles; utilising the latest restorative technologies and materials.
Previously, little could be done to attain the smile you always dreamed of. The treatments available to treat chipped, stained or crooked teeth were limited. Yet, today with the vast range of Cosmetic Dentistry treatments available, every smile can be aesthetically enhanced.
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in many foods and some water supplies. It is also used in many consumer dental products. Fluoride strengthens teeth making it more resistant to decay. It is important to use fluoride containing toothpastes, mouth rinses, and gels topically to gain the added benefit of preventing sensitivity and tooth decay.
A common problem is that teeth will crack, either due to trauma, grinding, clenching, decay or heavily filled teeth. "Cracked Tooth Syndrome" relates to a variety of symptoms and signs caused by a crack or many cracks in a tooth. Early diagnosis is needed to improve the chances of saving a cracked tooth. Symptoms include:
- Sharp and erratic pain upon chewing or after release of biting pressure: not all cracks cause pain
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods/drinks, or sweets
- Difficulty in pinpointing which tooth hurts, either upper or lower
If you suspect that you may have a cracked tooth, discuss this with your Dentist.
The black filling material used in your teeth is amalgam. It has been used as a filling material for over a century, it’s still one of the strongest materials available.
We do not recommend changing amalgam fillings unless they need replacing due to decay or the appearance particularly worries you.
Amalgam restorations can be replaced with white fillings or same-day ceramic fillings.
They’re the last teeth to erupt in the back of your mouth. Usually, they erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Occasionally, though, they find their way out much later than that, some never erupt at all.
Thanks to evolution, we’re evolving into the proud ownership of smaller jaws, unfortunately our teeth aren’t quite keeping pace. Most of our jaws only have room for 28 teeth, we have 32.
Basically, this means that the last teeth to erupt, which are the wisdom teeth, have nowhere to go if there’s not enough room remaining.
In the earlier stages of gum disease (mild to moderate periodontitis), most treatment involves scaling and root planning. The procedure aims at removing plaque and calculus from the surface of the tooth adjacent to gum tissue.
In the majority of early gum disease cases, treatment entails improved home care techniques, scaling and root planing.
Advanced cases may require surgical treatment and will benefit from our waterlaser treatments.
Conscientious removal of plaque by flossing, brushing and regular professional cleanings will minimise your risk of gum disease. However, there are other factors that can affect the health of your gums, such as stress, diabetes, genetics and pregnancy.
As the plaque and calculus accumulate, the periodontal disease continues. Supporting tissues around the teeth (gums, periodontal ligaments, bone) are lost.
Periodontal pockets form which trap additional plaque. Bad breath often accompanies this condition. Once the bone that supports the teeth is lost, it will not regrow without surgical intervention.
Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If plaque is not regularly removed, it calcifies into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. By products of bacterial metabolism irritate the gums, making them red, tender, swollen and more prone to bleed.
Eventually, the supporting periodontal structures begin to breakdown. The result of this slow process is tissue loss, bone loss and eventual tooth loss.
If you are not in any pain then ring the dentist as soon as possible to make an appointment, but try to keep the tooth as clean as possible and avoid biting hard on that tooth. If you have pain, then you will need to go to your dentist ASAP as an emergency.
Attempt to reposition the tooth to its normal alignment using very light finger pressure, but do not force the tooth. Bite down to keep the tooth from moving. Your Dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to the loose tooth.
Immediately. Getting to a dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth. When a tooth is knocked out:
- Immediately call your Dentist for an emergency appointment.
- Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage cells necessary for bone reattachment.
- Gently rinse the tooth in tepid water to remove dirt. Do not scrub.
- Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and the gum to keep it moist.
- It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
- If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.
Gingivitis is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetic’s body doesn’t respond as quickly to infection as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth.
It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infections than those who are poorly controlled
Radiographic or X-ray examinations provide your dentist with an important diagnostic tool that shows the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.
X-Rays can help your dentist to determine the presence or degree of periodontal disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumours. X-rays can also show the exact location of impacted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through visual examination (such as changes in the jaw bone structure as a result of systemic disease).
The ideal time for your child to meet the dentist is six months after their first (primary) teeth erupt.
This gives your dentist a perfect opportunity to carefully examine the development of their mouth and catch problems such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations and prolonged thumb-sucking early.
Brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odourous sulphur compounds and the food they feed on. However, bacteria hide not only on and around the teeth but also on the tongue under a layer of mucous. Here they are free to create odours.
It is best to brush your tongue daily or you may want to consider a tongue scraper. Both are extremely effective at removing this protective mucous layer from the back of the tongue.
The latest products on the market for bad breath are toothpastes and mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide. The chlorine dioxide neutralises the odourous sulphur compounds, instead of simply covering up the odour.
In most cases of bad breath we find that the patient is not brushing as effectively as they think they are and / or they already have gum disease. Very rarely a medical condition that can cause bad breath. The only way to find out is to have your teeth inspected by a dentist.