G Dental is dedicated to helping you understand as much about your oral health, and how to care for your mouth as possible. Here’s a list of some of our most frequently asked questions.
How young can children receive numbing injections at the dentist?
Administering localized anaesthetic in the form of an injection to a young patient can prove to challenge as they usually feel extremely anxious and need a lot of treatment at once. Therefore many dentists prefer to use a general anaesthetic, either through oral sedation, laughing-gas or via drip administration. This helps to make the treatment quicker and easier as well as create less anxiety in the child.
How long can I expect my teeth to be sensitive for after a filling?
It is common for you to feel discomfort and sensitivity in the treated tooth 1-2 days after the filling. If this persists for longer than a week then there may be something wrong with the tooth or the filling itself. It is best to seek your dentist’s advice if discomfort and pain persist for a longer period of time.
How do I mentally prepare for a root canal?
Discuss your apprehension and feelings with your dentist before the procedure, he will reassure you of the reality of the procedure and may dispel any frightening assumptions you may have had. Speak to others about their experience with a root canal and voice your concerns. Beforehand, take deep breathes and focus your mind on things that make you happy rather than your procedure.
Is clenching your teeth a sign of anxiety?
Clenching your teeth or grinding them is a sign of stress and it can wear your teeth down over a period of time. Most times you aren’t even aware that you’re grinding your teeth, as it often happens while you’re concentrating or asleep. This can cause facial pain, headaches, broken teeth, fillings and worn-down teeth which can lead to tooth loss. If you start experiencing sensitivity when biting or have sore gums, it might be time to consult with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to check your teeth for signs of teeth grinding, as well as coordinate with your GP about how to handle stress.
How does coffee discolour my teeth?
Coffee stains happen when tannins, which are organic substances found in plants build up on tooth enamel and cause a stain. The acid in coffee is a contributing factor to the stains, as overexposure to the acid in coffee can degrade the enamel, making it more susceptible to staining from the pigments in coffee. Unfortunately, there is no solution that will please coffee drinkers but there a few useful tips to help with the staining.
- Rinse teeth with water after your favourite cup
- Try drinking it with a straw
- Drink your favourite cup a bit more swiftly, savouring it adds to staining
- Chew on some sugar free gum afterwards
Is tooth decay a cavity?
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes, they are also referred to as tooth decay and are caused by bacteria in your mouth, sugary drinks and not having good brushing habits. The damaged area softens and this creates holes or cavities that grow larger over time if left untreated. The damage can also reach your dentin or the next layer of your tooth and eventually cause a root cavity.
I’ve lost a tooth, what can I do?
If you’ve lost an adult tooth or had your tooth knocked out, don’t stress. Call your dentist to arrange an emergency appointment, as it may be able to be saved.
Pick your tooth up carefully by the crown of the tooth, avoid touching the root as you may cause damage to the fragile root system. If the tooth is dirty you can clean it either using your saliva or milk; the proteins that are found in milk will help to preserve your tooth. You should transport your tooth either in your mouth or in a cup of milk, do not try to place the tooth back in the socket as you may damage the root system.
Why should I replace a missing tooth?
Replacing a tooth is not just for aesthetic appeal: your teeth play a larger role in your oral health and maintenance than just chewing your food.
Your teeth help to preserve the structure of your mouth; they make contact with each other briefly hundreds of times a day. This contact helps maintain the health of the jaw bone, as well as promotes blood flow. Once your tooth is lost you no longer gain this stimulation and your jaw line begins to deteriorate, this is why you may observe cheeks with a “hollowed out” appearance in the elderly or those with missing teeth.
By not replacing a missing tooth you are not only sacrificing the health of the jaw where the tooth no longer sits, you are also sacrificing the health of the tooth above. Your teeth are like partners, they rely on the adjacent tooth to help promote growth and health around them. Lost teeth can also affect your ability to chew food and may lead to speech impediments.
What do I do if my crown is damaged?
Sometimes if a crown isn’t fitted correctly it may cause the dental crown to fall out. You may also find that you have managed to chip your crown. If either of these scenarios occurs it is important not to stress, as we can help.
Depending on the severity of the chip your dentist may be able to repair the crown while it’s still on your tooth. To begin with, the remaining porcelain will be gently etched and then a composite resin will be used to repair the chip. Depending on the chip, if the structure is compromised, you may be advised to have a replacement crown made.
If your crown has fallen out and doesn’t cause you any discomfort, or affect your appearance, don’t attempt to refit it yourself. Wash the crown and place it in a zip lock bag. Call your dentist and arrange an appointment to have the crown looked at and the damage assessed. In many cases, a new crown will need to be replaced, though your dentist may choose to use the original as a temporary. If you are experiencing discomfort and do require the crown to be replaced right away, ensure you clean the inside of it well. You may wish to use a toothpick in order to remove any debris or dried cement stuck to the crown, followed by a wet cotton swab. Your crown can be replaced temporarily using any denture or temporary dental cement found at many pharmacies: however this should not replace your dentist.
Why should I get X-rays?
Dental X-rays assist your dentist in visualising any diseases or decay of the teeth and surrounding teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, or bone degeneration that may otherwise remain invisible during a regular oral exam. This early detection method may be able to help pin-point any potential issues in their early development.
In children, X-rays can assist in decay prevention and early treatment, determining if the primary teeth are being lost fast enough for the permanent teeth to erupt properly, and to determine if there is enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth.
Early detection can potentially save you money, time and discomfort.
When should my child’s first dentist trip be?
The Australian Dental Association recommends your child have their first dental visit at 12 months of age, or shortly after their first baby teeth erupt.
Your child’s first dental visit will evaluate overall oral health, look at their face and jaw for signs of mal-alignment, try to examine any teeth that have come through to evaluate their health, and instruct their parent or guardian on diet, brushing and general oral health tips as well as fluoride use.
Regular dental visits starting at an early age help lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral and dental health and hygiene. At G Dental we realise that a traumatic first visit will shape your child’s view on dentistry for the rest of their life, and aim to create a safe reassuring environment.
It is vital to know how to detect early childhood decay. Starting as white patches close to the gum that seem unable to be brushed away, childhood decay often occurs close to the gum and eventually breaks down further to form holes.
I brush my teeth and use mouthwash constantly, but still have bad breath. What can I do?
If you are concerned about bad breath you should book an appointment with your dentist. Bad breath is often embarrassing and could be warning you of deteriorating oral health.
Bad breath, even after brushing and mouthwash, can be caused by a number of factors. Also known as Halitosis, bacteria in the mouth forms to emit sulphur-like odours. Various foods and drinks such as coffee can influence bacterial growth and promote bad breath further.
Illnesses such as gall bladder dysfunction, liver disease, diabetes and sinus infections may influence bad breath despite good oral health regimes. Alternatively, if your bad breath is linked to other symptoms such as inflamed or sensitive gums, sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, then it could be a warning sign of gum disease.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Some people go through their whole life without their wisdom teeth giving them any grief, however, wisdom teeth erupting in perfect alignment are rare.
An extra set of molars is often too much for our jaws to handle, causing your other teeth to be pushed around to create space. By rubbing against other teeth, they could cause cavities, as well as jaw soreness. This is assuming they erupt at all, some wisdom teeth are impacted or get stuck altogether as they can grow sideways or on an angle. If your wisdom tooth is having trouble growing this may lead to inflamed gums, and can even promote sinus pain and congestion.
When wisdom teeth removal is mentioned, a lot of people stress that it will require a hospital visit. This is not always the case. Your dentist will look at your X-rays and advise you if having your wisdom teeth removed in the clinic is an option.
What should I take to a dentist visit?
- Make a list of your concerns
- Bring along your insurance details
- Be sure to carry your medical and dental history
- Make a list of the medication you are currently taking
Should I arrive a few minutes before my appointment?
If you are able to do so. Arriving about 15 minutes before your appointment could allow you to settle in and get comfortable with your surroundings. This tends to slightly eliminate the stress of a dentist visit especially if you are nervous.
How do I book in an appointment?
You could call our practice, email us or send us a message via Facebook.
What are wisdom teeth? Why do I need them removed?
Wisdom teeth are found right at the back of your mouth and are the last of your molars to appear, erupting anywhere between your late teens and early twenties. The problem with wisdom teeth is that they are often misaligned which causes crowding or damage in your teeth, jaws and nerves. It may be the case that they don’t break through, which can cause infection, swelling, pain and illness which may be cause to have them removed. It’s quite a simple procedure, however will vary from case to case and this will be determined during your initial consultation.
What is a root canal procedure? (Endodontics)
One of the most concerning aspects of tooth decay and advanced gum disease is that it can severely damage the nerves inside your tooth. A root canal is used to clean inside your teeth in order to remove the infection and damage. If the tooth is damaged enough, we might suggest placing a crown on it to make is stronger. A root canal is usually a straightforward procedure that entails little discomfort and can be completed in just three visits. The area of dentistry that involves dental pulp or root canals, is known as endodontics.
When should my child visit the dentist?
A lot of new parents ask us about the right age to bring their children in to see us and we always tell them that they can make their first appointment at around two years old. Although this may seem strange to a lot of parents, we also strongly encourage you to bring your child with you to your own dental check-up, so they can familiarise themselves with the environment of a dental practice. This hopefully will condition them to become more comfortable with their own visits. Bringing your little ones in at a young age also allows us to detect any concerns early and treat them with greater efficacy.