Q: I am a new patient – will you see me?
A: Of course we will. We will endeavour to see anyone who is in pain on the day that they call. We offer several after-hours times for your convenience with on-site parking available. Please call the practice or book online to secure your appointment.
Q: What can I expect at my first examination appointment?
A: Lou will go through your medical and dental history and discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about your oral health. We will then conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and jaws. Photographs and x-rays may be taken to get a closer view. Your teeth will then be cleaned gently, and a fluoride treatment may be applied.
If further treatment is required, Lou will discuss all of your options and associated costs in an open, non-judgemental, easy to understand way.
Q: How easy is it to change from another dentist and get my records transferred?
A: It is very simple to have your records and x-rays transferred. Our friendly staff can organise a transfer form for you to sign and that is it! If your appointment is booked a week away, we can generally have your records before your first dental visit.
Q: How often should I see the dentist?
A: At Tooth Dental, we believe that prevention is far better than cure. To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, the Australian Dental Association recommends regular 6 monthly maintenance visits as well as daily brushing and flossing. At your maintenance visit, we will remove any plaque and calculus which has formed. Plaque is a bacterial biofilm, which, if left, can lead to decay and gum disease. By diagnosing dental conditions early, treatment is often far simpler and less expensive when compared to leaving it until there is pain. Some people have a much higher susceptibility to decay and gum disease, and may need to be monitored more closely.
Q: How often should dental x-rays be taken?
A: For most patients, dental x-rays will be taken every 18 months to 2 years. Dental x-rays help to diagnose early decay which is not yet clinically visible. In patients who have higher risk of decay, x-rays may be taken more regularly. Digital x-rays have a very low radiation dose, intraoral x-rays are equivalent to 1 hour in the sun. Extraoral x-rays are the equivalent to a plane flight from Brisbane to Adelaide.
Q: What causes dental decay?
A: Dental decay results from bacteria (oral hygiene), diet, saliva and genetic predisposition. The world health organisation (WHO) has identified dental decay as the most common infectious disease worldwide. While you cannot control your genetics, you can certainly reduce your risk of decay through your diet and oral hygiene. At Tooth Dental, we prefer to prevent dental decay and will discuss diet and oral hygiene with you. Regular dental visits will ensure that any dental decay is diagnosed early, and treatment is generally simple (filling). Dental decay that is left untreated will inevitably result in pain and infection, and treatment can be more extensive or expensive (root canal treatment or extraction).
Q: How does fluoride reduce decay?
A: Fluoride forms a resilient layer on the enamel. This makes the tooth more resistant to acid attack from diet and bacteria. Fluoride is generally applied to the teeth after they have been cleaned.
Q: I have a tooth ache what should I do?
A: Tooth aches are very serious, and should not be ignored or left for days. At Tooth Dental, we have appointments available on the day for tooth aches. If your child has a tooth ache or has had a fall, we will see them immediately as our first priority. Please call the practice and we will get the appropriate details.
Q: If I have a tooth ache or broken tooth and it is outside of the practice hours, what should I do?
A: Teeth have a way of misbehaving outside of practice hours! Please contact the practice any time of the day and you will be prompted to leave a message. It is important that you leave your name and contact details, our friendly staff will contact you first thing on the next business day to arrange an appointment. Alternatively you can book online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q: My child has just broken or knocked out their tooth, what should I do?
A: If your child has had an accident, please contact the practice immediately. Treating your injured child is our top priority, you will be seen right away. We understand that it can be very overwhelming, and will do our best to ensure you and your child are comfortable.
If an adult tooth has been knocked out (avulsed), contact the practice immediately as time is of the essence. If you are unable to come straight down, try and place the tooth back in to the socket. The next best thing is to place the tooth in a cup of milk, do not rinse with water or wipe the tooth. We will see you as soon as possible. Once the tooth has been reimplanted, we will discuss any further treatment required.
Q: What happens if I can’t make my appointments?
A: At Tooth Dental, we understand that even the best made plans can go awry. Please contact the practice as soon as you can to arrange an alternative appointment. The appointment time has been allocated to you, other people may have been turned away. If you cannot make the appointment any more, please allow us time to offer it to someone else who may need it. We ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice when rescheduling an appointment or you may incur a cancellation fee.
Q: At what age should I bring my children to the dentist?
A: Ideally we should see your child from around the age of 3. The first visit will usually involve a ride in the chair, some play, and a discussion on diet and oral hygiene. We endeavour to make your child’s first visit and positive fun adventure, many children leave asking mum and dad “when can I see the dentist again?”. Prevention is far better than cure, it is important that we identify any issues early so that treatment is simpler and more cost effective.
Q: I have Private Health Insurance, what is involved in claiming for treatment?
A: We support a range of Health Funds. At Tooth Dental, we have HICAPS. After your dental visit, our friendly front office staff will simply swipe your health fund care through the HICAPS terminal and enter your claim details. Within seconds, you claim will be authorised and you simply pay the gap – the difference between the fee for treatment and the health fund claim. We have EFTPOS available if you wish to pay the gap with your debit or credit card.
Here are some of the Health Funds we accept:
Q: I am scared of the dentist.
A: Dental phobia is very common, in fact it is the second highest fear in the community after public speaking! Fear of the dentist is learned, either through a direct experience, or perhaps having heard scary stories from loved ones. Luckily, this means it can be unlearned and replaced with a more positive experience.
At Tooth Dental, we take special care when treating anyone who is anxious about dental treatment. Our warm and friendly staff are available to speak with you about any concerns that you may have. We have created a warm and inviting practice, where you can sit and relax. When you are in the treatment room, Lou will take the time to discuss all of your concerns and will ensure that you are comfortable and in control the entire time.
We also have Happy Gas (Nitrous Oxide) available to help reduce stress. Nitrous Oxide makes most people very relaxed and comfortable, which allows us to do excellent work in a stress-free environment. Nitrous Oxide is very safe, all you need to do is gently breathe in and out through your nose and you will begin to feel relaxed within a couple of minutes. When the procedure is finished, you simply breathe normal air and will feel completely normal very soon. You will be able to drive to and from your appointment with Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide is also safe to use on children, who might feel apprehensive about treatment. There is an item code which can be claimed through your health fund. If you would like more information on Nitrous Oxide sedation, please speak to one of our friendly staff members.
Q: What dental laboratories do you use?
A: Dental laboratories make a range of custom made dental appliances including crowns, bridges and veneers, dentures, mouthguards and occlusal splints. There has been a growing trend for dentists to send any lab work to cheaper overseas laboratories in China and India. These appliances often do not comply with Australian TGA standards, and can be inferior to Australian made appliances.
At Tooth Dental, we only use the highest quality Australian dental laboratories. Our crowns and veneers are made by a laboratory in Brisbane, you will often meet the lab technician who is responsible for your custom-made appliance. Our occlusal splints are made in a laboratory in Perth.
Q: I am pregnant, can I still see the dentist?
A: Congratulations, that is very exciting! At Tooth Dental, we know that you want to best prepare for your baby. There are a lot of scary misconceptions about dental treatment and pregnancy, and it is important to educate yourself on what treatment can be done. Dentistry is very safe during pregnancy. Ideally, you should aim to have a healthy mouth before you conceive, and have any major dental treatment performed prior to pregnancy. Routine dental x-rays can be postponed until after baby is born, but may be taken if there is an emergency.
Research has shown that when the mother has a healthy decay-free mouth, the child is far less likely to have dental cavities. This is because the decay-causing bacteria are transmitted to the baby through kissing and tasting food. If these bacteria are not present, or have been eliminated from your mouth, the bacteria which colonise your baby’s mouth will be healthy happy bacteria which will support a healthy happy mouth for your baby.