Frequently Asked Questions

I have a fear of the dentist. What should I do?

Talk to your friends and family and find out who they recommend. If you can, visit our practice and meet the dentist and staff so you can feel comfortable. Book an appointment for a checkup first so you are relaxed on the chair and know that no treatment is going to be carried out.

How often should I have a dental check up?

We believe a patient’s teeth should last them a lifetime. We recommend our patients schedule in for a dental visit every six months. By regularly visiting our practice, we can ensure that minor dental issues are addressed before they become major and more expensive to treat.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

It is important to take your child to the dentist as early as possible. It is also important to make the first visit a positive experience as this will help your child to feel relaxed and more comfortable to come back again.

Can I claim on my dental insurance on the same day of visit to the dentist?

Our practice is HICAPS ready so if you have a dental health fund, we can swipe your card and claim your rebate straight away. This saves a trip to the health fund office and means you only pay any gap fees on the day.

Why do I need to fill in the medical & dental history?

As a new patient and annually for regular patients we will ask you to fill out a medical history form supplied by the Australian Dental Association. This form includes your contact details and some detailed questions about your general health. It is important for the dentist to have a full picture of your overall health particularly if you are taking medications as some may have a significant impact on the dental treatment they provide. Of particular concern are Bisphosphonates, Warfarin and Anti-Depressant medications but you should include information about all prescription and non-prescription drugs. If you have an up to date medications list provided by your GP it is helpful to bring it to your appointment.

Why do I need an X-ray?

Dental radiographs (x-rays) show the structures of your teeth and mouth that cannot be seen visually during your clinical examination. We take x-rays every 2-3 years to check for any problems. Some areas of your teeth have thicker outer enamel surfaces making detection of decay, by looking in the mouth only, very difficult. X-rays also allow us to see the very early signs of decay which means we can monitor changes, start treatment early and prevent further damage. From time to time there are other more specific reasons to take an x-ray, when there is an infection or to check on unerupted teeth in the jaws e.g. wisdom teeth. Dental x-rays require small radiation doses (even smaller now we have digital x-rays!) however, we never take them unnecessarily.

Why do my gums bleed?

The most common cause of bleeding gums is plaque build-up on the teeth, resulting in gum inflammation (gingivitis). Bleeding gums is usually a sign that your oral hygiene technique may need some improvement. If your gums are bleeding, try brush to the gum line of every tooth twice daily and floss once a day. Bleeding gums may also be a result of gum disease (periodontitis) or other less common causes. Please book an appointment for a check up and clean so that we can assess the health of the gums.

How do I prevent gum disease?

By correctly brushing and flossing your teeth and regular professional scale and cleaning you can reduce your risk of gum disease. However, factors such as stress, smoking, diabetes, pregnancy, genetics and poor health can affect gum health. Our Dentists will suggest a preventative care program to suit your individual and specific needs.

I brush my teeth constantly but still have bad breath. What can I do?

Good daily brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odorous 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 odours are created. 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. If bad breath persists, there are mouth rinse products available. A visit to the doctor may also be necessary to eliminate other causes.

What happens if I don’t get my teeth cleaned regularly at the dentist?

Periodontal disease progresses as plaque and calculus are allowed to accumulate. The supporting tissues around the teeth (the gums, periodontal ligaments and bone) are lost. Pockets will form which trap even more plaque. Bad breath frequently occurs. Be mindful that once bone that supports teeth is lost, it will never regrow. Referral to a periodontist may occur.

What do I do if I have a chipped or broken tooth?

Often a chipped/broken tooth can easily be repaired using tooth coloured materials which match the colour of your teeth. We need to assess the condition of the chipped/broken tooth to offer you the treatment option with the best outcome. It may be a sign of underlying tooth decay, so please organise an appointment so we can assess your teeth. We will do our best to see you as soon as possible.

What is the best way to whiten the teeth?

There are many ways to whiten the teeth and all have advantages and disadvantages. Since each case is different there is no one best way. When staining is present on the surface, one of our dentists can professionally clean the teeth, often producing a fresher, whiter appearance. On the other hand, when staining is actually in the tooth, below the surface, there are a number of ways to whiten the teeth. Sometimes simply replacing old, worn out fillings that are failing at the edges can produce better looking front teeth. Alternatively, when the enamel is heavily stained, crowns or facings may be the best option. We also provide home bleaching.

What is home bleaching?

Home bleaching involves wearing very thin, transparent plastic trays molded to your teeth, which are used to hold a bleaching agent in contact with the tooth surface. They are normally worn for approximately ten days. The active agent in the bleach is usually carbamide peroxide. This is a chemical that quickly breaks down to hydrogen peroxide, which is the chemical that lightens the teeth.

Am I too old to get braces?

Adults can be fitted with braces at any age. When constant pressure is placed on teeth, the surrounding bone remodels as one’s teeth move into the corrected position. Throughout life, one’s bone is constantly remodelling thus making braces an option at any age. Many adults like to use the new Invisalign clear aligners to position the teeth with the benefit of not being seen. Call us to book an free appointment to discuss the possibility of getting a braces.

What is the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

The Commonwealth Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a dental benefits program for eligible children aged 2–17 years that provides up to $1,000 in benefits over two years to the child for basic dental services.

How can I check my Child’s eligibility and balance?

We can check that for you at our practice. We will need you to bring your Medicare card with you.

What kind of dental treatment can my children receive?

Benefits cover a range of dental services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canal treatments and extractions. Benefits will not be available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and will not be paid for any dental services provided in a hospital operating theatre or oral surgery environment.

What are fissure seals?

Fissures are the grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth. Often if these grooves are deep, food and bacteria can be trapped and this can lead to decay. Modern preventative dentistry now allows us to flow a white or clear sealant material into these grooves to seal them, providing excellent protection.Sealants do not harm the tooth and are ideally placed in childhood when a vulnerable tooth has just erupted into the mouth. Normally the procedure involves minimal intervention (surface preparation only) without the need for any injections. Generally, it is applied on 6 and 12 year old molar teeth, depending on the decay risk of the child and their tooth anatomy.

Can I use my private health insurance?

We accept all major Australian health funds and have the HICAPS claiming system in operation meaning you should only have to pay the gap amount. We also currently have provider agreement in place with BUPA.

Are you open on Saturdays ?

We are open 6 days a week, including Saturdays

What are the waiting periods for making an appointment?

Usually we are able to book you in within the next week, but please book in advance as we might be quite busy especially during holiday periods, Saturdays and late afternoons. If we are unable to book you in on your preferred day or time, you may request to be placed on a cancellation list. If someone cancels their appointment we may be able to bring your appointment forward.