FAQ

Belconnen’s choice for quality dental care

faq hands
We’ve included the answers to some frequently asked questions about our treatments and services below, but for more details or to book an appointment, please give us a call.

Hygiene

What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film that forms on your teeth each day. Plaque can be removed at home by brushing twice a day with a toothbrush and flossing once a day to remove plaque from between the teeth. If plaque is not removed daily, it can go hard and turn into calculus. Plaque is full of bacteria, which causes tooth decay and gum inflammation, or gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal disease.

What is calculus?

Calculus is hardened plaque. Calculus cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush; a dental professional must remove it.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Most people have had a bit of gingivitis at some stage in their lives. Gingivitis is caused by leaving plaque lying around the teeth and gums. Signs of gingivitis include inflamed, red and tender gums that often bleed when you brush them. Gingivitis can easily be fixed by brushing and flossing daily with the correct brushing technique and a soft toothbrush.

Implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium screw that is submerged into the jawbone. When dental work such as a crown, fixed bridge or a full set of dentures is added, one or more missing teeth can be replaced. A dental implant is fabricated from a very strong, biocompatible material placed in a simple procedure that is as convenient as a tooth extraction. After an initial healing period, during which the implant is buried in bone and left undisturbed under gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small metal post that secures and supports the artificial tooth. The bone grows to the implant and bonds to it. This makes the implant very strong. The process is called ‘osseointegration’.

How long will an implant last?

This is impossible to predict. Though research has demonstrated a long life once the implants have been integrated with bone, each patient is different, and longevity may be affected by overall health, nutrition, oral hygiene and tobacco usage. Individual anatomy, the design and construction of the prosthesis and oral habit s may also have an influence.

What’s the procedure?

The gum is folded back, and the bone drilled to receive the implant. You may have this done in the chair with local anaesthetic or go into the hospital for a general anaesthetic. The implant is covered over and left to heal until the implant is osseointegrated. Your oral surgeon or periodontist may also leave the implant uncovered by the gum at this first stage. A second operation may then be needed to uncover the top of the implant. Your dentist or prosthodontist can usually start construction of your crown or a bridge after a month.

General

How often should I get my teeth cleaned?

Cleaning your teeth every day at home, while important, is only part of a successful routine. For most people, visiting your dentist every 6 to 12 months will help ensure a healthy mouth. Your dentist will use professional tools to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria build-up that you are unable to efficiently clean yourself. Combining regular brushing and flossing with an annual dentist’s office visit will not only give you a more confident smile, but it will also help protect you from tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.

Why do I have bad breath?

Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. All the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odours (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash — merely covers up the odour temporarily. The odour will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body. If you don’t brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue – this causes bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help reduce bacteria. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums.

Why do I need X-rays?

Early tooth decay does not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but your dentist will be able to see from an X-ray (radiograph) whether you have any decay present under the enamel, any possible infections in the roots, or any bone loss around the tooth. X-rays can help the dentist to see in between your teeth or under the edge of your fillings. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save both time and money. In children, X-rays can be used to show where the second teeth are and when they will come through. This also applies to adults when the wisdom teeth start to come through.

How often should I have X-rays taken?

If you are a new patient, unless you have had dental X-rays very recently, the dentist will probably suggest having X-rays done. This helps them assess the condition of your mouth and to check for any hidden problems. After that, X-rays are usually recommended every 6 to 24 months depending on the person, their history of decay, age and the current condition of their mouth.

Call us today on  02 6251 5635  for more details about our dental care services in Belconnen.

Share by: