What causes tooth decay?
Decay is caused by the build-up of bacteria and food, commonly known as plaque. Plaque accumulates around the gums and teeth in your mouth and feeds off the sugar in the foods you eat, turning it into acid. This acid dissolves the tooth structure and results in decay. Minimising your risk of having decay involves proper oral health care including brushing techniques, daily flossing and regular dental visits.
Why do I need a fluoride treatment at my routine dental visit?
Fluoride plays a key role in minimising risk and development of decay. Plaque uses the sugars in the food consumed to convert them to acid, which demineralises tooth enamel. This is known as the “early phase” of decay. Having regular fluoride treatments at your 6-monthly dental visits can help re-mineralise these areas and prevent the decay from developing further. Fluoride, in cohesion with correct oral health care at home including fluoridated toothpaste, can significantly reduce the risk of decay.
How can I makeover my smile?
Due to lifestyles rich in tea, coffee and red wine, our teeth can become yellow in colour and appear stained. Tooth coloured fillings on front teeth can also stain over time. To “revamp” your smile, we recommend in-chair whitening, which brightens your teeth (see whitening). After this, fillings can be replaced to match your tooth colour. This can be done with tooth coloured filling material or with porcelain veneers (see veneers).
Why do my gums bleed?
Improper brushing and flossing techniques leave behind plaque. When plaque accumulates along the gum line of your teeth, it causes irritation. Failure to remove this plaque regularly results in further irritation and gums will bleed during brushing and sometimes eating. Bleeding gums is a sign of early gingivitis (first stage of gum disease) and most times can be rectified by a professional cleaning by your dentist every 6 months combined with proper oral care at home.
Why would I need a crown?
Crowns are used as a stable long-term restoration for teeth that have large sized fillings or have had root canal treatment, as they are brittle and more prone to fracture. A crown is a full coverage that is designed to protect the tooth and usually lasts 10 + years (see cerec)
How do I care for my teeth at home?
We recommend brushing twice a day (morning and night) with either a manual or electric toothbrush that has soft bristles. Total brushing is at least 2 minutes, and advise that small circular angled motions are much better at removing plaque then horizontal scrubbing backwards and forwards. We also recommend flossing daily. Mouthwash can be used to freshen breath, however it does not replace adequate brushing or flossing techniques.
When should my first dental visit be?
We recommend first dental visit from 18 months – 2years. Although treatment is not common at this age, it is important for infants to familiarise themselves with the dental surgery environment and basic items such as riding in the dental chair, so if in future they require treatment, the dentist is able to treat them without fear. If you have a young family member you can bring them along to your next scheduled appointment to have a look around.
How can I afford my dental treatment?
We understand that dental treatment can be costly. Payment is required at the conclusion of each visit, however patients that require a larger amount of treatment can be eligible for a payment plan. If you require financial assistance please contact our office to discuss this.
I have private health cover, can I claim at my appointment?
Yes, we have a HICAPS machine that we use to process health fund claims at the end of the appointment. Just bring your insurance card along with you to process the claim