Why is my first dental examination one hour long?
Because your new dentist is seeing you for the first time, they don’t know what current dental concerns you may have. Some first-time patients may present with several problems. On the other hand, some new patients may have perfectly healthy teeth and surrounding structures.
Before we’re confident to give you the ‘all clear’, we use this hour-long examination to explore all your presenting issues, not just the obvious quick-to-spot problems.
Rest assured, your fee for this comprehensive 1-hour appointment is the same as our standard appointment fee, so you won’t be charged more to see us for the first time.
I haven’t been to a dentist in years. Should I be worried about what they might find?
At Face & Smile, we understand that your dental problems may have been brewing for a while. You may also be postponing seeing a dentist because you’re concerned about how to pay to fix your dental issues. Unfortunately, dental problems usually worsen if left untreated. This generally means that the optimal time to start to fix them is now.
In our clinic, we focus on preserving your natural teeth as much as possible and practicable. To do this we start with a treatment masterplan to help you understand upfront what needs to be done to fix your dental problems, in what timeframe and the indicative costs involved. Our financial co-ordinator is available to help you set up a payment plan and provide loan options, so you can receive the dental treatment you need and, at the same time, budget accordingly.
Why do I need to see a hygienist? Can’t my dentist clean my teeth?
A hygienist is specially trained in caring for your gums, whereas a dentist treats a greater range of dental problems. Keeping your gums healthy requires regular check-ups and professional care. A hygienist’s knowledge and skills are employed to diagnose emerging dental problems early, when your treatment is easier, cheaper and with a better prognosis.
Will a dental hygienist cost more?
Your hygienist will take the time to thoroughly clean your teeth and offer professional advice for taking great care of your smile.
Plus, it’s more cost effective to see your hygienist for regular teeth cleaning, than pay to see a dentist every time. Just like it’s more affordable to see a GP for the flu, than to have an unnecessary appointment with a specialist doctor.
What’s the difference between a porcelain filling and a cheaper one?
Porcelain fillings are incredibly strong. In fact, according to research, a porcelain filling may give your tooth anywhere between 80 to 100% of its original strength. Whereas, a standard composite filling does not come close to that strength. Amalgam metal-coloured fillings are even worse and have been known to cause teeth to fracture.
In addition, porcelain fillings are more compatible with natural teeth than any basic filling material. Composite fillings wear much faster than natural tooth enamel and can break down to the base of your tooth, allowing decay-causing bacteria to enter. No filling material carries a 100% guarantee, but porcelain fillings are closer than any other basic filling material.
Why do I need an x-ray? Will it harm me in any way?
Many people fear the radiation from x-rays, such as the dental x-rays required to accurately see where decay, if any, may have entered your teeth. Compared to medical x-rays, the dosage of radiation used in a dental x-ray is much lower. Plus, our digital x-ray system reduces the dosage by 50%, making them even safer.
As a matter of perspective, you’re constantly surrounded by x-rays in the form of background radiation emitted by the world around you. You’d need 100,000 dental x-rays to equate the background radiation your body will experience over an average lifetime.
A vital diagnostic and preventative test, dental x-rays help your dentist identify potential issues before they become major problems. Early diagnosis of decay prevents the need for root-fillings in the future.
My tooth isn’t completely broken, so why do I need to fix it?
The saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ describes our approach to broken teeth perfectly…
Because our teeth serve us from 6 to 106, we need to prevent future dental problems during our life, as much as we can. Unlike other parts of your body that self-repair, your teeth depend on you regularly seeing a dentist to be checked and then fixed, if required.
Protective measures against detrimental tooth loss include preventing gum disease, preventing decay leading to abscess, and fixing a fractured tooth before it fails. Your prognosis is always better when these issues are caught before they result in lost teeth.
At Face & Smile, our dentists and dental care team use their experience and knowledge to identify teeth heading towards problems, and to recommend treatment accordingly.