Find out more frequently asked questions.
What causes decay?
Decay occurs when plaque combines with the sugars of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
What is a root canal treatment?
At the centre of your tooth is the pulp chamber, where a collection of nerves and blood vessels that help support the surrounding tooth reside. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure that involves the removal of infected or irritated nerve tissue within this chamber. After removing the pulp, the root canals are cleaned, sterilised and shaped to a form that can be completely sealed with a filling material to prevent further infection. This enables a tooth that was causing pain to be retained.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are permanently placed in the mouth to replace missing (either congenitally, from trauma or due to disease) and hence look, function and feel like natural teeth.
What are dental x-rays and are they necessary?
Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumours.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
What are the signs and symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease refers to a range of inflammatory conditions that affects the surrounding tissues of the teeth (including the gums and bone). Symptoms of gum disease Include:
- Red, inflamed gums.
- Bleeding gums.
- Chronic bad breath.
- Receding gums.
- Loose teeth.
- Pus around teeth and gums.
- Changes in bite.
What is a porcelain veneer?
Porcelain veneers are made of ultra-thin porcelain that is permanently bonded to your natural tooth enamel. Veneers can correct:
- Chipped or broken teeth.
- Discoloured teeth.
- Misaligned or crooked teeth.
- Gaps or spacing in teeth.
- Worn down teeth.
What are fissure sealants?
Dental sealants are a clear and protective coating that is applied to the biting surface of the back teeth. The sealants are a very effective way of preventing tooth decay by shielding against bacteria and plaque. They should ideally be placed in the adult molar teeth soon after they present themselves in the mouth at around 7 years of age.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
The anxiety that some people have can be controlled by administering sedative drugs. A combination of drugs can provide relaxation, amnesia, additional pain control, and even deep sleep. Depending on the patient and the procedure, an anaesthetic plan is prescribed that is tailored specifically to meet your needs.
This safe and effective technique is beneficial for anyone who:
- Suffers from dental anxiety or fear of the dentist.
- Has had a traumatic dental experience in the past.
- Has neurological disorders that make holding still in a dental chair difficult.
- Needs extensive dental work done, with little time to do it.
- Has extremely sensitive teeth.
- Has trouble getting numb by other methods.
- Has difficulty due to gagging.
When is the best time to start bring my child to the dentist?
At Dental 864 we love having children visit even if it is just to accompany a parent or guardian. This is important so that your child becomes familiar with the dentist and leaves with a positive experience. Children as young as 18 months are encouraged to visit the dentist for a check-up.
How often should I visit the Dentist?
It’s a good idea to visit your dentist at least twice a year. This will lower your risk of developing dental problem and allow the dentist to pick up pathologies in the mouth early.
What can cause bad breath?
There are a number of reasons you might be experiencing breath. While many causes are harmless, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.
Bacteria – Bad breath can happen anytime thanks to the hundreds of types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally lives in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.
Dry Mouth – Your mouth might not be making enough saliva. Saliva is important because it works around the clock to wash out your mouth. If you don’t have enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.
Gum Disease – Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.
Food – Garlic, onions, coffee… The list of breath-offending foods is long, and what you eat affects the air you exhale.
Smoking and Tobacco – Smoking stains your teeth, gives you bad breath and puts you at risk for a host of health problems. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells.
Medical Conditions – Mouth infections can cause bad breath. However, if your dentist has ruled out other causes and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, see your healthcare provider.
How does smoking and vaping affect my oral health?
Apart from the other well-documented smoking related health problems, smoking and vaping both affect the health of the mouth. Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. If you do smoke or vape, it is especially important for you to visit the dentist regularly to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and there are no signs of oral cancer present.
Smoking is associated with an approximately 80 percent increased risk of developing severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, bone loss and other periodontal diseases compared to people who do not smoke.
Oral cancer is two times more likely to develop in people who use tobacco compared to those who do not. This includes tobacco that is smoked and chewed. Drinking alcohol and smoking at the same time can increase your risk of oral cancer even more than each alone. Tobacco use and alcohol consumption cause about 75% of oral cancers. Once you quit using tobacco, your risk of developing oral cancer will start to decrease.
Whilst there is no tobacco in e-cigarettes, vaping can still have a negative effect on your oral health and is not recommended as a replacement for smoking. Many vapes still contain nicotine and other chemicals, including heavy metals that have a similar negative effect as regular smoking.
Research has shown that the oral effects of e-cigarettes may include mouth and throat discomfort, changes to the soft tissues in the mouth and damage to the teeth and gums. This research is based on e-cigarette use by non-smokers.