Aspendale Gardens Dental Group is happy to assist you with any questions you may have about your upcoming dental visit.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is made from a very strong biocompatible material and can be considered a replacement for the root of a tooth that is missing or has been extracted. A dental implant is placed into the jaw bone and left to heal. After this healing period the implant is then uncovered and connected to an artificial tooth (Crown). Implants can also be used to support dentures and bridgework.

Success of an implant may be affected by general health, oral hygiene and tobacco usage. The design of the prosthesis, the anatomy of the patient and oral habits may also contribute to longevity.

Can I claim my dental visit on Medicare?

Medicare does not currently cover dental procedures.

I am keen to get my teeth whitened. What is involved?

Tooth whitening can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. However, tooth whitening will not alter the shade of existing restorations.

Tooth whitening can be achieved by either visiting the surgery for a whitening procedure or applying a whitening gel in the comfort of your own home.

Occasionally people find that their teeth become sensitive to cold during or after the treatment. Others may have discomfort in the gums, a sore throat or white patches on the gum line. These symptoms are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days of the treatment finishing.

Tell me more about cosmetic dentistry?

In the past, dentistry was considered to be just filling or extracting teeth. These days many people turn to cosmetic dentistry, or ‘aesthetic dentistry’, as a way of improving their appearance, much as they would use cosmetic surgery or even a new hairstyle. The treatments can be used to straighten, lighten, reshape and repair teeth.

Cosmetic treatments include veneers, crowns, bridges, tooth-coloured fillings, implants and tooth whitening.

Ask one of our team for more information.

Should I have Amalgam Fillings replaced?

Amalgam Fillings are the silver coloured fillings. We believe there is no positive gain in having dental amalgam fillings replaced with other materials, other than for aesthetic reasons.

What age should I bring my child for their first dental visit?

We recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents as early as possible. They should be taken regularly, as often as your dentist recommends. This allows them to get used to the noises, smells and surroundings and prepare them for future visits. The earlier these visits begin, the more relaxed the children will be.

How can I tell if my child has tooth decay?

The most common dental decay problem seen in infants and younger children is nursing decay. Teeth normally affected are the top front teeth. The back teeth in top and bottom may also be affected. Bottle and breast-fed babies are both susceptible. Babies left with a bottle as a pacifier and those who are frequently nursed, especially at night, run the danger of bottle or nursing decay due to the prolonged exposure to milk  (human milk is no exception) or juice.

Another common decay problem seen in preschool children is due to frequent exposure to sugary, starchy and acidic foods, including all forms of juices, cordials and soft drinks. Snacking generally promotes dental decay, because the mere presence of food in the mouth feed the plaque that produces acid, causing decay.

When do I need a crown? What is involved?

Dental crowns are often referred to as ‘dental caps’. Dental crowns are used when rebuilding broken or decayed teeth, to strengthen teeth and to improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.

A mould of a prepared tooth is made by your dentist and sent to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will make the crown. The crown is then cemented over the tooth by your dentist. The type of crown your dentist recommends will depend on the tooth involved and sometimes on your preference. They include porcelain crowns, porcelain-bonded- to-metal crowns and gold alloy crowns.

Speak to your dentist about these options.

Do I need to have a root canal treatment?

Sometimes the Dental Pulp (the soft tissue containing blood vessels and nerves within the tooth) becomes inflamed due to dental decay or tooth fracture. This can cause dental pain and abscess formation. Root Canal Treatment is the process by which the Dental Pulp is removed from the tooth.  The canal(s) which contained the dental pulp are cleaned, medicated, then filled usually over a 2 to 3 visit period.

A tooth that has had root canal treatment will generally require a complex restoration or a crown. This is due to the fact that teeth that have undergone root canal treatment can be more prone to fracture.  Failure to restore a tooth correctly after root canal treatment can lead to tooth fracture  and eventual loss of the tooth.

Ask your dentist to take an x-ray at your next visit to check any teeth which may be sensitve or painful.

What is the closest public transport?

The closest bus stop is directly in front of the surgery.

The closest train station is Edithvale Station.

Can I claim my dental treatment costs on my private health insurance?

We offer HICAPS service so your health fund claim can be made at the point of payment on the day of your treatment.

Most dental procedures can be claimed on private health insurance although the amount covered depends on your level of cover. There are waiting periods imposed by your individual health fund for particular treatments so it is worth checking these before your visit. We can provide item numbers before the treatment if you would like to check your level of cover prior to receiving treatment. Just ask at reception.

Amalgam Fillings -Why all the fuss?

There has been much publicity regarding the safety of dental amalgam (silver fillings). The World Health Organisation and the International Dental Federation have released a joint statement confirming the safety of dental amalgam as a filling material.

How can I tell if I have gum disease (Periodontitis)?

Gum disease is a condition that affects the supporting tissues of the teeth caused by bacteria. These tissues include the gingival (gums), the supporting bone and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone. If left untreated the supporting structures if the teeth can become weakened leading to gum recession, tooth mobility and eventual tooth loss.  Some people have a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease . Smoking and other  conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications can all be contributing factors.

Signs include:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth.
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Loose teeth or teeth that have moved.

If you experience any of the symptoms of gum disease you should visit your  dentist who will examine your teeth and gums, and will clean your teeth to remove any plaque build up. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is important in preventing gum disease.

What is a veneer?

A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain made to fit over the front surface of a tooth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail. Sometimes a veneer may be made from tooth coloured filling material (Composite resin).

Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth.

When should I wear a mouthguard?

When playing sport, teeth are exposed to an increased risk of damage so a mouth guard is recommended.  A mouth guard can also help prevent concussion and jaw damage.

It should last you several years if you look after it correctly by rinsing in cold water, leaving to dry and storing in a protective box. Commercial cleaning solutions may also be used. Do not expose your mouthguard to heat as it may alter its shape and fit.

Children can also wear mouthguards however will need to have the size checked regularly due to growth.