December 5, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our most frequently asked dental questions..

Can I get rid of gum disease?

The clear majority of dental diseases can be prevented or eliminated by correct dental hygiene and diet. This means you are generally in control of how many cavities you will have, if you will suffer from gum disease and if you will lose your teeth.

The most common cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. This occurs when plaque accumulates around the gum line of teeth and over time the bone and gums recede. Even a small amount of plaque over time will potentially lead to early tooth loss. Some people are more genetically likely to suffer from gum disease but poor oral hygiene and smoking are the two biggest causes which can be easily eliminated.

If you do suffer from any form of gum disease seeing the dental hygienist every 3-6 months is an important part of keeping your teeth long term. Studies show that people who visit the hygienist are much less likely to lose their teeth than those that don’t.

What is a crown?

The difference between crowns & veneers these days is limited as they both tend to be made of white porcelains. The traditional difference was that crowns had metal in them and veneers didn’t. Also veneers were usually bonded to the tooth and crowns were cemented in place. The primary difference these days is related to the amount of tooth removal required. If the tooth needs more extensive preparation it is normally a crown and more minimal is usually a veneer. In terms of how they look and feel to you there is no difference.

Can veneers be used to replace missing teeth?

No. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. A veneer acts like a false nail and sits on top of your own natural tooth and does not have a tooth root.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a man-made root which is gently placed where your tooth root used to be. It can have a crown on top or be used to secure a denture.

Do implants hurt?

Not at all. Placing of the implants is comfortable and carried out under local anesthetic. We usually recommend some sedation to make the procedure easier for you. You won’t feel any pain during the procedure.

Can I get implants if I smoke?

Smoking can increase the failure rate of implants and likelihood of problems such as gum recession, bone loss or infection over time. We recommend giving up smoking to reduce the risk of problems, but it is still possible to get implants if you are a smoker.

Do I need to have an implant for each missing tooth?

No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, four to six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used. Generally the more implants placed the better the foundations are. This is particularly important in people with high bite forces and those who grind their teeth in their sleep.

How long does treatment normally take?

This will depend on your own healing and bone type. You will usually have your final teeth in 4-6 months. This may take longer if we need to grow back bone first. Your dentist will be able to give you a timeline once you have had your consultation.

What are invisible braces?

Fixed braces can be made less visible by using materials such as ceramic, which match the tooth colour, instead of metal.

Alternatively you might consider using clear plastic braces which fit over the teeth, e.g. Invisalign

Can I eat normally when I get braces?

You can eat as normal, but avoid hard chewy foods that may damage your braces. Nuts, popcorn, toffees, gum etc. should be avoided as they may damage your braces.

Will I have to wear retainers?

To keep your straight teeth in their new position, everyone who has worn braces will need to wear retainers. Teeth change like every other part of the body so you need to maintain your result.

Retainers “ retain” the result.