Below are a selection of questions we are frequently asked by our patients. If there is something you would like to ask which is not listed below please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our team.
- Q. Why do I need X-Rays?
Radiographic or X-ray examinations provide your dentist with an important diagnostic tool that shows the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.
X-ray can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodental disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumours. X-ray can also show the exact location of impacted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through visual examination (such as changes in the jaw bone structure as a result of systematic disease).
- Q. 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 any pain, then you will need to go to your dentist immediately as an emergency.
- Q. What causes tooth loss?
Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, affect mostly adults. Periodenta disease is an infection of the gums caused by the build up of plaque, and its earliest stage is know as gingivitis.
- Q. What are Dentures?
Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth used to occupy the upper or lower jaw, usually attached to a plate. Simply put, dentures are a set of false teeth.
- Q. What happens if I have a toothache at the weekend?
Ring the practice and on the answer machine it will detail arrangements for making an emergency appointment with the dentist on call.
- Q. Why do I need regular checkups?
Regular check-ups help to maintain good oral health. It also allows potential problems to be caught early, before they become large and expensive problems. It’s recommended that you see your dentist at regular intervals as determined by you oral health and lifestyle. This should never exceed 2 years, but can be as frequent as every 3 months for your exam, cleaning and x-rays if necessary.
- Q. What do I do if I cannot make my appointment?
If you are unable to attend for treatment please try to give us at least 24hrs notice, enabling us to treat others (who may be in pain).
We normally charge a fee for a missed appointment or if insufficient notice is given when cancelling an appointment.
- Q. What are the advantanges of having a tooth-coloured filling over a silver filling? Is it true that silver fillings may cause health risks?
The composite resin (tooth coloured) fillings have come a long way in recent years. Their strength and longevity is now comparable to that of the silver fillings, but with much enhanced esthetics. The dentist has the capability to match the filling exactly to the shade and colour of your tooth, such that no one else will ever know you had a cavity.
Another advantage of these tooth-coloured restorations is that the preparation is relatively conservative. Only decay is removed, and the filling is then bonded to the area that has been prepared.
Silver fillings do not have the same bonding capacity, and therefore relies on mechanical retention to hold the filling in place. As a result, good tooth structure is taken away to create the ideal depth and undercuts required to achieve adequate retention.
Another advantage of composite restorations is that they are typically less sensitive to hot or cold, as metal tends to conduct tempurature more readily.
- Q. I think I need a root canal. Would it be easier and less expensive just to pull my tooth out?
Whilst every situation must be evaluated and handled individually, generally you are much better off keeping your natural teeth. Teeth are important for chewing, which of course is important for good nutrition. They also aid in our appearance and in the way we form our words. Teeth support each other, like stones in an archway, when one is removed it can have a negative domino affect on the position and function of the remaining healthy teeth. Usually, while less expensive in the short run, losing a tooth that could otherwise be saved with root canal treatment ends up costing more in the long run both in terms of money and dental health.