A check-up and clean involves more than just cleaning the teeth. At Alexandra Hills Dental, we look at the soft tissues of your mouth as well as your teeth. With our background in radiation therapy, we do an oral cancer screening test at every cleaning appointment. We also check for any abnormalities in the jawbone, and ensure there is no swelling in the lymph nodes. We also assess your bite- how are the teeth resting together? Are the jaw joints moving the way they should? Some of these factors can go unnoticed until they start to cause pain if regular check ups with your dentist are not done. We strongly believe that prevention is better than a cure, so picking up on some of these early, can save you a lot of money, time and pain!
Looking at your teeth, the dentist is checking for any signs of wear, decay, crack-lines, or anything that can cause a potential issue within the next 5-10 years. The supporting structures for your teeth (gums and bone) are also examined- without those in good health, our teeth will just fall out! This is checked through x-rays (taken every 2 years unless symptoms prompt for sooner investigations).
Your teeth are then cleaned as gently as possible to remove any staining, plaque and calculus. Sometimes this process can cause some sensitivity, so be sure to let your dentist know if you need a break or if you would like something to help with the cold sensation. If there are any areas of concern, we will take a photograph to discuss with you at the end of the appointment. The photographs really help you understand what the dentist is concerned about.
As well as discussing with you about the photographs and x-rays that were taking, the dentist will show you the best way to clean your teeth. There is so much information and everyone has different ideas about how to properly clean your teeth, that sometimes all you need to improve your oral health is a tweak in your brushing technique. The dentist will show you the best ways to make sure you are able to clean EVERY surface of your teeth!
You may find that a check-up and clean appointment takes a little longer than a clean at another clinic. This is because we want to make sure we are doing a complete and thorough examination for you. There is always time for the dentist to answer any of your dental questions, and to make the cleaning as painless as possible.
Teeth cleaning is about more than just how your teeth look! Plaque and calculus build up on your teeth can cause irreversible damage. Some issues of the mouth don’t cause any pain until it’s too late, so at Alexandra Hills Dental, we believe that prevention is stronger than a cure!
Think of your teeth like a boat, and the calculus like barnacles. If the barnacles are left on the boat, they can start to cause rust and structure damage- ESPECIALLY the barnacles underneath the surface that can get missed with regular boat cleaning.
Even if you are brushing diligently at home, there are areas of your mouth that can easily be missed. Crowded teeth are also a lot harder to keep clean with brushing alone. A dental clean will remove any food particles from under the gums and in those harder to reach places, as well as catching issues at their early stages.
Having poor oral hygiene can affect your overall health. When you have painful or missing teeth, it can effect our eating choices meaning we are not having a good balanced diet.
Without keeping your mouth clean, the likely outcome is decays and/or gum disease. Treatment for these issues can become quite costly, so prevention is always better than a cure! We recommend you see your dentist every 6 months for a scale and clean, as well as brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day.
Dental plaque is a matrix; there is a combination of food and bacteria. When food is stuck to the teeth and gums, it creates a favourable environment for bacteria to thrive. Plaque is seen on the teeth as a sticky yellow or white substance. If it is not removed (via brushing or flossing) it will solidify and become calculus, trapping the bad bacteria to your teeth.
Just like our skin colour, everyone’s skin color is different. But our teeth do discolour with age. The food we eat, the things we drink, the colours do get absorbed into our dentines and get locked in there.
We all have different color skin, whitening does provide a treatment option to get it whiter. However, what is white enough for you, may be different to what is white enough for someone else. The first step to achieve this is to use tooth whitening, it will get the whitest without causing damage to your teeth.
However, if you are not happy with the results, some people look at getting veneers (a thin line of ceramic which covers the outside surface of your teeth), which makes it look a lot whiter.
There are a lot of reasons why your teeth can hurt. It can be from the teeth themselves, or it can be from the gums. Or it can be referred pain. Come and see us and do the tests. A general dentist may not be able to fix the problem, but we are trained to go through our process to identify the issue
Sensitivity can be many factors. It can be a sign of gum disease, where the gums wrapping around the tooth have shrunk away. It could be decay. Decay and gum disease are the two most common reasons why people’s teeth are sensitive.
A very common question. A lot of times people just got used to the idea that their gums bleed, but it is not normal. It is indicating that the gums are inflamed and there can be underlying gum disease. The gums are the foundation that holds the gums in place.
Mouth rinse alone is not enough to remove the food, stains and bacteria from our teeth. Just like with soaking dishes, manual scrubbing is the only way to properly remove any build up. If the food is not properly removed from all surfaces of your teeth, it will attract bacteria which can cause calculus build up, decay and gum disease!
There are many types of mouth rinse formulated for different purposes. Speak to your dentist about whether a mouth rinse will aid your oral hygiene routine.
Around 2 years of age is generally when you should start to take your child to regular dental visits. These visits can be quite daunting so the first few appointments may only be desensitising them to make dental visits positive. A great alternative to making an appointment for your child, is to bring them along to your dental appointment. Bring another adult that can sit with them and keep them calm!
The easy answer is yes, but without assessing the status of your tooth, we cannot say for certain. Most times a broken tooth can be fixed with a filling or a crown, but in extreme cases (where there is very little tooth structure remaining), an extraction of the tooth is the most viable option.
Book an appointment to see one of our dentists as soon as possible. They will assess your tooth and discuss the best option/s available for you!
There are a few factors to why your tooth may have chipped in the first place. This is important to find out before repairing the tooth. The chip may have been caused by an incorrect bite (your teeth are not resting the way they are supposed to), or perhaps you grind your teeth at night? It could also be caused by a crack line or fracture of the tooth, or even a decay!
Depending on the cause of the chip, there are a few different options your dentist may provide- a filling, a crown etc. Speak to your dentist to ensure you are receiving the best treatment for YOUR situation.
Even when a tooth is crowned, it is still vulnerable to decay and infection if proper oral hygiene isn’t done. Although the crown itself cannot get decayed, the tooth underneath it can. If left undetected, the decay can grow and eat away at your tooth. When it gets close to the nerve, you can start to feel pain.
Other times, if a crown is done incorrectly, it can start to cause strain on the remaining tooth structure, resulting in pain.
Consult your dentist who will take an x-ray to see what is going on underneath the crowns surface.
Our teeth actually move all the time. They are held together by some little ligaments/fibers. Every day from our chewing, external pressure, our teeth can move. The only way to guarantee that they do not move is to have retainers.
Wearing them 2-3 times a week will ensure your teeth won’t move anymore. Even with people who have not had braces before, once they pass a certain age, they will start to notice that the teeth start to bunch up – which is called crowding.
The first step would be to see a dentist, have a full comprehensive check-up and clean appointment. The dentist will be able to assess everything and find out the cause of the problem. Usually if teeth are falling out without preamble, it is due to advanced gum disease.
We all have two sets of teeth. The first set is for the ages 1-12 which are called primary, or baby teeth. As your adult teeth grow out, they push your baby teeth causing them to fall out. Occasionally adult teeth are missing, and your dentist can determine this through x-rays. Once our adult teeth are out, there are no other sets so it’s important to take good care of the teeth you have!
An implant is a great way to fill in any gaps due to missing teeth. They are permanent fixtures that, once healed, you treat as a regular tooth!
A surgeon will place a titanium screw into the bone. For the next 3-6 months, the surgeon will have regular visits with you to monitor and make sure that your bone is growing and “latching” onto the screw/implant. This process is called Osseointegration. Once integration is final, you are referred back to your general dentist where they put a crown on top (this is the part that makes it look like a tooth!). With proper hygiene habits, this implant can last a lifetime!
A dental bridge is one of a few options generally available for a missing tooth. A solid crown in place of your tooth is supported by the teeth either side, creating a bridge. The effect is a seamless and functioning tooth!
There are many factors that can make dental treatment seem expensive. The equipment that is necessary for dental procedures are unfortunately quite costly in Australia, and these expenses need to be accounted for.
Looking directly at a bill, dental treatment isn’t more expensive than your typical doctor’s visit, the only difference is that doctors appointments are claimable by Medicare. In Australia, Medicare does not cover dentistry, so this may make your appointment seem expensive.