FAQs - Bracken Ridge Dental

FAQs

Here are the simple answers to questions we typically get asked.

If you like what you read…

Just call us for an appointment to suit your busy lifestyle. When we see you we’ll stop any pain, if that’s the problem. Then we’ll check your teeth and discuss your options so you can decide what you want to do… it’s entirely up to you.

I know how breaking a tooth, having toothache or any form of jaw pain can be one of life’s most annoying and aggravating incidents so I’ll move heaven and earth to see you today during office hours and stop the pain for you!

Once that’s done, I can advise you about long term care, if necessary. So, if you’re in Bracken Ridge or anywhere nearby with toothache or a broken tooth here’s all you have to do. To get the first available emergency appointment please phone our office. If it’s outside our office hours please phone us and leave a message explaining the nature of the problem and giving your contact details. We’ll get back to you as soon as our office opens and arrange your appointment.

What to do in the meantime:

If you have toothache: Here are a few steps you can take at home to try to relieve some of the pain:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Nurofen or Panadol. However, be aware that you need to see me as soon as possible. If you mask the pain and ignore it, the infection can spread and could become very serious.
  • If the pain is caused by debris lodged in a cavity, washing the area may relieve the problem.
  • Floss your teeth, and then run a toothpick around the gum line. This may remove debris that’s lodged under the gum.
  • If you’ve lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the exposed part of the tooth. Clove oil, available in pharmacies and supermarkets, works well to relieve tooth pain.
  • Putting an ice pack on your face over the area that hurts also may relieve the pain. Apply the ice for 10 to 20 minutes of every hour, as necessary.
  • If you will be travelling in an plane, the change in pressure when the plane takes off or lands may make you feel more uncomfortable. You should see me before travelling by air.

If you have a broken tooth:

  • Save the pieces. If the break was relatively clean, I may be able to cement the tooth back together as a temporary measure.
  • Rinse your mouth well with warm water. If you were able to save the tooth fragment(s), rinse them under running water.
  • If an area is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
  • Apply a cold compress to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If you’re in Bracken Ridge or anywhere in Brisbane and need a check up or dental advice the first step is to call my office to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.

I’ll start by doing an examination to check your teeth thoroughly and take the necessary x-rays and photos. I will spend the time with you that is required to give you a full knowledge of your mouth and the various options that are available. If your situation is relatively simple I will explain everything there and then.

Sometimes I will make a second appointment for you, giving me time to assess your requirements. At that appointment I can give you my recommendations and discuss your options. I’ll provide you with written treatment alternatives that are specific to you, and you can ask all the questions you want to so that you get the answers you need. I strongly believe you have the right to expect me to spend time with you and fully inform you of your situation and provide you with the alternatives so that you can confidently choose the dentistry that’s right for you.

Then you can make a decision about what you want to do and, if you want it done, whether you’d like me or another dentist to do it for you. That’s my promise… after I’ve told you as much as I can and given you the advice I think is right for you I will leave it entirely up to you; you’ll be under absolutely no pressure from me.

By the way, my team is committed to ensuring the long-term health of your teeth and gums. With our Preventative Care Program, we design your visits to suit you with this in mind. We have found that prevention of dental disease and the maintenance of oral health are less costly and result in less dental emergencies. With regular checkups, we can help ensure the long term health of your smile.

Personally I’ve always believed that the first thing people see is your smile, so why not fix that first!

If you’re reading this then you probably think that way too. You see, when your smile isn’t right, the rest of you just won’t look or feel right. But when you‘ve got beautiful straight, white teeth, and a dazzling smile, it’s amazing how young you look and how great you feel… the years just disappear!

Many people tell me they wish they had come to see me earlier. They tell me they had simply learnt to hide their smiles, were embarrassed or unable to laugh freely. It’s been my absolute privilege to transform their smile in as few as two treatment visits. And what a difference it has made to their lives! It’s restored their self-confidence and they’ve been able to smile broadly and laugh again with no inhibitions.

So, if you’re in Bracken Ridge or anywhere north of Brisbane and are thinking about cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile, the first step is to call my office to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you. Cosmetic dentistry is simply dental treatment that improves the position, the shape, the colour or the contour of your teeth and possibly your gums… it’s really about giving you a smile you’ll love!

And I can design whatever look you want for your teeth. I can replace silver fillings with almost invisible white ones, whiten or reshape teeth with veneers or crowns to enhance their appearance, replace missing teeth with bridges or implants, and straighten them to close spaces or minimize gaps. With a passion for cosmetic dentistry, I spend much of my time helping people to get the look they want.

Often, when people are thinking of having cosmetic surgery like botox, liposuction or a tummy tuck, it may pay to start first with their teeth instead. A great smile makes a world of difference to the face!

What is a cosmetic dentist?
Dr. David A. Hall, a retired accredited cosmetic dentist explains it this way… “Everyone that graduates from dental school is a general dentist, and most of them also claim to be cosmetic dentists. But there is a great difference and it’s quite simple because cosmetic dentistry is not a legally recognized specialty. This means that there is no restriction on a dentist saying that they are a cosmetic dentist.”

Aesthetic porcelain restorations, implant dentistry, smile design and gum height manipulation are simply not taught at the universities nor is the manipulation of materials and use of modern equipment such as dental lasers. Learning how to do cosmetic dentistry properly requires extensive extra training that can take years. It means a heavy commitment of time, money and energy for a dentist and their team.

As a cosmetic dentist I am confident that I have the “knowhow” in cosmetic dentistry. I have dedicated hundreds of hours in continuing education both in Australia and abroad to keep up to date with the latest in technology, materials, and the latest techniques.

I continue to travel frequently throughout Australia and overseas to keep to up-to-date with what’s happening in dentistry to make sure that I can provide state of the art care. That training has helped me in diagnosing and delivering options that give my patients the results they want. I have qualified to use a wide range of techniques and materials to help me achieve results that look great and work well. I also team with the best laboratories to produce beautiful teeth, so that when they are in your mouth, all you will experience is a beautiful, natural and stunning smile that looks and feels great.

What is involved in getting a dream smile? Smile Design- Initially, I will sit down with you to discover your goals for your dream smile. I then go to work to design a smile that suits your image aspirations, facial shape, and your age… or the age you want to be!

Blue Print (see the result before you start!)- Working closely together with you, I design and create an entire “blue-print” of your new smile, on models of your teeth and with pictures, adding all the character and individuality to your smile that makes you, YOU! You will see your new smile unfold before we even touch a single tooth!

Transformation- With all the prior planning, you can have your new smile with as few as two treatment visits. It’s virtually painless and if you are really worried or nervous you can have sedation which almost lets you dreamily enjoy the experience and even better, you remember very little afterwards and wake up with a brand new smile!

A beautiful smile wins! Talk show host Oprah Winfrey once had her audience rate which cosmetic procedure made the most difference. A beautiful smile came out way above any other cosmetic procedure simply because of the years it took off and the image of confidence and self-assurance it gave people.

A word about teeth whitening There’s been increasing awareness about tooth whitening ever since those makeover shows on television made people aware of it. Many people have had their teeth whitened and have been disappointed with the result. Others have heard about these less than satisfactory results and have held off having their teeth whitened. Here at Bracken Ridge Dental I offer two very effective tooth whitening treatments… ZOOM in office treatment and Home Teeth Whitening.

Zoom– Safe and highly effective, Zoom is an in office tooth whitening treatment that takes just over an hour to complete using state of the art technology. Teeth are lightened from six to 10 shades as a safe light source in the blue spectrum accelerates the activity of a special whitening gel. Zoom delivers lighter, brighter more attractive smiles quickly, painlessly and safely. It’s so convenient!

Home Teeth Whitening– If you prefer to do the whitening yourself, I will prepare personalised whitening trays that snugly fit your teeth. Then in the comfort of your home you simply fill the trays with the whitening gel, fit them over your teeth and wear them for 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Perhaps you have seen a dentist recently who has suggested that you might need a bridge or crown or maybe you have heard friends talking about having a bridge or teeth crowned and you think that you might be a candidate for such dental work.

If you need some advice on bridges and crowns you’ll find it here. Whatever the reason you would like to know what may be involved in these procedures or you’re considering it and are worried about the expense of such treatment.

What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?

Both crowns and most bridges are like replacement parts for your teeth and once in place they’re there for a long time and will mean that your teeth will both look and function naturally. They’re different to dentures (or false teeth) that you can take out and clean daily because they are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.

A crown can be used to cover or “cap” a damaged or broken tooth. Once it is in place it looks your own tooth, strengthens the tooth and improves the appearance a tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain or ceramic material which can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Sometime gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic will be used and I will always recommend the type of crown I think will do the best job for you and your teeth.

Generally, I will recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

The reason for bridges is simple. When you are missing one or more teeth a bridge may be indicated a gap left by missing teeth can eventually cause remaining teeth to drift or fall into the empty spaces. That would give you problems with your bite (the way your teeth work for you). A missing tooth or teeth can play havoc with your mouth and lead to gum disease and headache, migraine and pain in the jaw, neck or shoulder because of what is called call TMJ pain (TMJ means temporomandibular joint and is the joint just in front of each ear, where your jaw bone connects to your skull).

A bridge can replace one or more missing teeth because it does exactly as the name suggests… span the space where the teeth are missing. The bridge is cemented to the natural teeth on either side of the empty space and they serve as anchors for the bridge. Each of those teeth is covered with a crown and the replacement tooth or teeth are attached to those crowns. Similar to crowns there is a choice of materials for bridges and I’ll help you decide what is best for you taking into account its location and function, how you want it to look and, most importantly, the cost.

I see many people in Bracken Ridge and surrounding areas in Brisbane who want to know more about dental implants so I have written this to help you understand what they are all about.

If your dentures are loose or you can’t bite into an apple… a steak… or any of your favourite foods because they give you a problem then implants could be the answer. Implants can lock your dentures firmly in place… rock solid… so you never have those problems again. You can eat what you like whenever you like, no problems!

And implants are great to replace missing teeth too! If you are missing one or more teeth, been told you need a crown or have a tooth that just doesn’t look right then dental implants may be the answer for you! Implants are the simple and easy way to replace missing or problem teeth so that they look natural and work just like nature intended… and they don’t weaken or rely on neighbouring teeth.

What is an implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth “root” used to support an artificial tooth or group of teeth. Almost all dental implants are placed in the jaw bone and can be used to support crowns, bridges or dentures. A typical implant consists of a titanium screw made out of commercially pure titanium which is screwed or cemented once in place.

After allowing time (around 6 weeks) for the bone around the implant to bond with the implant, a tooth or teeth can be placed on the implant or your dentures locked into place. Naturally the amount of time required to place an implant and for it to bond with the bone will vary depending on the quality and quantity of the bone in which it is placed and the difficulty of the individual situation.

The best way to find out whether implants are right for you is to phone and arrange a time to meet me and my team. I can see what shape your mouth and gums are in, explain your options and exactly how I’ll do the implants. Naturally I’ll tell you the costs involved and then you can decide what you want to do… you won’t be put under any pressure. Rest assured, you’ll feel relaxed comfortable and confident.

More and more science is recognising the link between your mouth, jaw and teeth and the health of the rest of your body. My comprehensive care means I assess not only your dental needs but also how your whole body is being affected.

You see all parts of the body are interrelated and treatment for your teeth just cannot be considered in isolation. The jawbone holds the lower teeth in place and your temporomandibular joint (also referred to as your TMJ) is the joint just in front of each ear, where your jaw bone connects to your skull. Problems with the TMJ and the muscles that control jaw movement are known as temporomandibular disorders or TMJ disorders.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

Dull, aching pain, which varies in strength from mild to severe, is the most common symptom associated with TMJ disorders. The pain is usually felt in the jaw, but can also be felt in the surrounding areas, including the face, ear, and even the teeth. The pain may also radiate to the neck or shoulders, and is usually made worse by chewing and moving your jaw.

Other signs and symptoms associated with TMJ disorders include:

  • difficulty eating (especially chewy or hard foods);
  • jaw tenderness;
  • jaw clicking, or popping, when you open and close your mouth and chew;
  • a grating sensation when chewing;
  • an uncomfortable or uneven bite; and
  • jaw locking (an inability to open or close the mouth completely).
  • Tingling fingers

TMJ disorders can be temporary or chronic (ongoing), but only a small proportion of people develop significant, long-term problems. Women tend to be affected by TMJ disorders more often than men.

What causes this condition?

TMJ disorders are generally caused by a combination of problems with the joint and stress on its surrounding structures. Some of the causes of joint problems include arthritis, injury, and dislocation of the joint, which can be due to an improperly-aligned bite or joint hyper-mobility (looseness of the jaw). Jaw clenching and teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can put significant stress on the jaw muscles.

People who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, or sleep apnoea, sometimes clench their teeth during the day and grind their teeth while asleep, resulting in muscle pain and tightness as well as damage to the teeth. Poor posture (e.g. holding the head forward while looking at your computer screen) can also strain the muscles of the jaw, face and neck.

How can I help with TMJ?

When you see me I will assess your teeth and your bite for any problems. I may also suggest wearing a plastic biteplate or orthotic to help align your upper and lower jaw bones. If you have been grinding your teeth at night, you may need to wear a special mouthguard (also known as a mouth splint or night guard appliance) while you sleep. By helping prevent jaw clenching and teeth grinding, a mouthguard can ease the tension in your jaw muscles.

Splints can also be worn during the day to relax your jaw muscles and prevent damage to your teeth from grinding. It means that often I fix more than your teeth or smile. Sometimes neck, shoulder pain, headache and migraine are symptoms of problems in your mouth. Because I understand the harmony between your teeth and muscle and posture I can often reduce or eliminate that pain totally.