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Read the most frequently asked questions we receive from our dental patients…

Why is it so important to maintain dental health?

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.

What can I do to improve the health and appearance of my smile?

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 composite bonding are amongst some of the treatments that you could consider.

What are the main benefits of quality dental treatment?

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

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

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.

Who is a candidate for Cosmetic Dentistry treatment?

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.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts of 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.

Why do teeth get cracks?

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.

I have a number of black fillings, what can I have done to improve this?

The black filling material used in your teeth is amalgam. It has been used as a filling material for over a hundred years, it’s still one of the strongest materials available. However, it’s about as unattractive a filling material as you can get. There are a number of other tooth-colour restorative materials currently available that can be used to replace old amalgams.

What’s the best way to prevent gum disease?

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.

What happens if I just ignore getting my teeth cleaned?

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.

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

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 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 odorous sulphur compounds, instead of simply covering up the odour.

While biting hard food I broke one of my teeth. What should I do?

If you are not in any pain then ring the dentist as soon as possible and make an appointment, but try and 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.