Frequently Asked Questions at the Dentist
1) Why Should I Visit The Dentist If I Am Not In Pain?
The primary aim of a dental exam is the early detection of all oral problems. Conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer and grinding are often present long before you notice any signs or symptoms. Instead of waiting till you notice something is wrong we strongly recommend you book in for a routine dental exam for early identification of problems. It is during these initial stages that treatment is much simpler and cost effective.
2) What Is The Importance Of A Clean At The Dentist If I Clean My Teeth At Home?
When brushing and flossing your teeth, even if you are doing a good job, it is common for small deposits of food to be missed in the harder to clean areas. When combined with bacteria and minerals naturally found in the mouth, hard layers of calculus (tartar) form on the teeth. Once formed calculus attracts more bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Calculus, unfortunately can not be removed in the home setting. This is the main reason for getting a clean at the dentist. As well as removing calculus, during dental clean, stains will be removed, your teeth will receive a final polish and an application of fluoride to strengthen them.
3) Why Do I Need To Have X-rays Of My Teeth?
One of the most common areas tooth decay starts is between the teeth, especially if you do not floss. Dental x-rays are the only way to detect this type of decay. The digital x-rays we use at Brookwater Dental are extremely safe and recommended to be taken once every two years.
4) What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is basically a ‘hole’ in the tooth. It is caused by bacteria aggregating on a tooth surface, producing acid and attacking it. In the initial stages tooth decay can only be detected during a dental check up as there are no signs or symptoms. If identified at this stage treatment is very easy. If left untreated the ‘hole’ gets larger and will result in a toothache or broken tooth, which can be more difficult and expensive to treat.
5) What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (Gingivitis) is an infection of the gum. It is caused when calculus and plaque (which contains bacteria) is not removed from the surface of the tooth. Gingivitis results in inflamed, red gums, which bleed easily – especially when cleaning them. Gingivitis is reversible and easily treated with a thorough professional clean to remove all plaque and calculus from the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, however, it will progress into periodontitis (infection of the periodontium), which results in bone loss, loosening, pain and the eventual loss of teeth.
6) When Should I First Bring My Child In For A Dental Visit?
It is important children grow up having a good relationship with the dentist. We recommend you bring them along with you at your appointments from a young age so they get used to the dental environment. Three years of age, when all of their baby teeth come through, is a good time for their first dental visit. As well as getting an exam the dentist will also go through specific instructions for looking after baby teeth.
7) I Have Not Been To The Dentist In A Long Time And Am Afraid Of What You May Find. Is This Normal?
Yes it is. Many patients are in the same position and it is half the battle just coming for your initial appointment. Once here we have a supportive team and together we can work towards improving the health, appearance and function of your teeth. We will sit down with you and go through all your options so you can decide on a course of action, which you are comfortable with and best suits you.
8) Is Tooth Whitening Safe?
Tooth whitening can make a big difference to a lot of people and it is generally safe. It can however, accelerate existing tooth decay and cause tooth sensitivity. It is therefore best to have a check up first and get all basic dental work completed first to maximize the results of tooth whitening while avoiding and complications.
9) I Have A Chipped/Broken Tooth, How Is This Fixed?
Depending on the size and severity, there are many options to fix a chipped/broken tooth. A simple filling may be all that is required however for an even stronger and longer lasting solution a crown maybe more suitable. The sooner you come in the better as the longer the problem is left the more complicated it may be to treat.
10) What Options Do I Have To Replace A Missing/Extracted Tooth?
Depending on your needs missing teeth can be replaced in a variety of ways. Dentures, bridges and implants are the three possible options and all can be done here at Brookwater Dental. If you are interested in any of these treatments please book in and we can discuss which one is the rite choice for you.