If you have any questions, please check through the list of frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that you do not see here feel free to contact us with your questions and concerns.
This is my first visit, what should I expect?
As you walk in you find yourself in a brand new medical centere and will be greeted by Lisa, our dental receptionist. She will have you fill out our new patient form, unless you already filled it out and brought it in with you (you can download and print out your form on our New Patient Page and fill it out in advance).
The initial appointment begins in the dental chair with a discussion regarding your concerns about the health of your teeth and gums, as well as what you would like done to improve the current condition of your teeth. At this point we may need to take x-rays and pictures of your teeth to gain a better understanding of the type of care and treatment you need.
Together, we then formulate a detailed and personalized treatment plan that will outline the number of appointments and time involved as well as the cost. We always take into account your budget and any concerns before finalizing your treatment plan with you.
Most patients also have a clean, polish and fluoride treatment during their first appointment. Please allow approximately 45 minutes to an hour for your initial visit.
If you have a health fund card, please bring it with you to your first appointment so we can help you claim your benefits on the spot. We have ample parking available (free for the first 3 hours) and are wheelchair accessible.
As a treat before you go, we also recommend you try the best hot chocolate in Sydney at the Berkelouw Bookshop, just next door.
How often should I see the dentist?
You should visit your dentist every 6 months for a regular clean and check up. Plaque and tartar build up and can be significantly reduced by a regular clean. The more often you see the dentist the more comfortable and pleasant your mouth will feel.
Is flossing important? How often should I floss?
Flossing is very important. The aim of flossing is to remove food and plaque build up between your teeth. Not flossing can lead to an infection of the gums, also called gingivitis. This will cause your gums to appear swollen, red, bleed when you brush and in some cases cause bad breath. Cleaning in between your teeth is very important, you can use floss or a pikster. Piksters are sold in pharmacies and come in many different colours and sizes. If you have never use a pikster before we can advise you on what kind of pikster would be best suited for you.
I brush my teeth often but I still have bad breath. What can I do?
Persistent bad breath is usually a sign of bacterial accumulation in certain areas of your mouth such as deep underneath your gums – which is difficult to clean with just brushing and flossing. There are many factors that contribute to bad breath such as stress, diabetes, genetics, smoking and pregnancy. We recommend making an appointment with us to find out what factors are contributing to your bad breath. This way we can help you work out a perfect treatment plan followed by a home care regime to help you get rid of that bad breath.
What can happen if I do not regularly get my teeth cleaned?
As plaque and tartar accumulate, the initial stages of gum infection can progress to affect the surrounding tissues of your teeth and more importantly the bone. This can cause persistent bad breath, sever infection of the bone, and if left untreated can lead to the loss of teeth.
How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Healthy gums are pink, firm and do not bleed. They fit snug around the teeth. Inflamed gums (gingivitis) are red, puffy, swollen, tender, bleed when your brush or floss and look longer because the gums have been receded. As the inflammation progresses to affect the surrounding bone (preiodontitis) the gums usually separate or appear pulled away from your teeth, creating a pocket. This affects the way you bite your teeth, you teeth may feel loose, experience constant bad breath and or a bad taste in your mouth and pus coming from between your teeth and and gums.
What can I do about stained or discoloured teeth?
First you have to find the cause of the stain. Most stains are external, which means they are on the surface of your teeth. These stains are normally caused by smoking, red wine, tea, coffee and can be easily removed by brushing, polishing and whitening.
Other stains are internal, which mean they are within your teeth. This can result from formation, trauma or injury to the tooth, root canal treatment (this presents a dark grey colour around the neck of your teeth) or from having tetracycline antibiotics as a child (this presents as a yellowish band across all your teeth). In these case you may choose cosmetic treatment such as the use of porcelain veneers or a series of porcelain crowns to change the shape, colour and appearance of your teeth.
Is one type of toothpaste better than another?
We recommend a Colgate, Oral B or Macleans toothpaste. For children under 12, please ensure that they are using a suitable toothpaste for their age (this information can always be found on the toothpaste packaging). Children under 12 should also use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when brushing their teeth.
What should I look for in a toothbrush?
Soft, soft and soft! Always make sure you use a soft bristled toothbrush when brushing you teeth. You should also make sure you change your toothbrush every 3 months. For those who use an electric toothbrush always make sure your setting is on ‘soft’ or ‘gentle’.
I have crooked teeth but do not want to have metal braces. Are there other options for me?
Did you know you can now have clear braces? They have all the benefits of conventional braces and are equally effective, but are much less noticeable. There is also the option of Invisalign, which is a series of clear, custom made trays for your teeth. This will require a consultation to determine which method would best be suited for you and your teeth.
What are wisdom teeth? Do I need to worry about them?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are a set of four teeth that erupt into the back four corners of the mouth behind the 12 year old molars. This usually occurs between the ages of 17 to 21.
We recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed while your are still young. Some people elect to wait until they are much older to have their wisdom teeth removed, often times they wait until their sixties. At this age there are already other health issues that exist, making the recovery process much longer and more difficult than it could have been if they had their wisdom teeth removed as teenagers.
Because wisdom teeth can cause damage without warning, waiting till an older age to have them removed isn’t a wise choice. If they are impacted, an ounce of early prevention is much better than trying to treat the problem down the road.
At what age should my child have their first visit?
We recommend that all parents bring in their infants as early as 1 year of age for their first dental check up.
What is a "Dental Emergency" and what do I do if I have one?
Dental emergencies can range from things like a raging toothache to a knocked out tooth to a broken filling or tooth. Dental emergencies usually require a trip to the dentists on the same day they occur. We understand these emergencies will happen from time to time and we reserve two appointment spots each day for people with dental emergencies. If you have a dental emergency please call us right away and we will get you in as soon as possible.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is any dental work that will improve the appearance of your teeth, gums or bite (the way your teeth come together). This includes things like whitening, bonding, porcelain inlays or onlays, porcelain veneers, crowns and or bridges.
Are there any payment plans for more expensive procedures?
Any treatment completed at Clovelly Dental must be paid for and finalized on the day of the treatment, unless under an alternative financial agreement.