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Q: What is a laser used for?

A: Lasers are used for a few things. The particular lasers we run have the ability to cut, prepare or sterilise.  They can be used to cut a tooth, as a drill would when we do a filling.  They can be used to prepare a tooth surface to improve how well a material can bond to a tooth. They can be used to sterilise, where they can kill 99.99% of the bacteria in a confined space (e.g. Inside a tooth)

Q: Will the laser hurt and do I still need an injection?

A: There is some sensation with a laser, which will increase or decrease depending on the setting being used.  It is common not to require anaesthetic (injections), although for larger fillings we generally recommend it.

What you will hear is a lot of ‘clicking’ noises and a small vibration. The laser sprays water constantly on the tooth to prevent overheating.

Q: Is tooth whitening safe?

A: Tooth whitening has now been in practice for many years, and there is no clinical research to suggest it is unsafe when used at the correct levels, and for the right situation.

Sometimes, especially in younger patients, there is some level of increased sensitivity, which improves, and care must be taken around the gums.

Q: Can I have my silver fillings changed to white fillings?

A: It is always possible to replace silver fillings.  However, we believe each situation requires some consideration and consultation. If a tooth with a silver filling can’t be seen and has no other problem we may suggest this is unnecessary.  For very large silver fillings, it may be preferable to switch to a crown rather than a white filling.

Q: Is it safe to have dental treatment while I’m pregnant?

A: Depending on which stage of your pregnancy, dental treatment can be performed, temporized or deferred.  Any pain or infection should always be addressed promptly. Whilst x-rays are generally safe, unless it is paramount we often defer.

It is a good idea to speak to your dentist about the changes you may experience to your teeth and gums during pregnancy, how to address this, and also pre and post-natal oral care for your child.

Q: What’s so important about fluoride?

A: Fluoride has been shown to be hugely beneficial to oral health at the right levels, without producing any negative side-effects.  In South Australia, we are very proud that our water has been fluoridated for over 40 years, as this has meant that our population experiences a significantly lower amount of decayed, missing or filled teeth compared with the past.  Because our water is fluoridated, as well as our toothpaste, not everyone needs additional fluoride treatments at the dentist.

Fluoride can actually reverse early signs and stages of dental decay, and work to protect teeth against future acid attacks and decay.

Q: How much will my first appointment cost?

A: See our “fees” page. The very minimum is to have the exam only.  However, in many cases, it may be recommended to take x-rays also.

Q: Can I just have a consult?

A: You can have a consult only, if there is a specific problem that needs addressing. This is slightly different to a comprehensive examination, and focuses only on the problem area.

Q: What sort of tooth brush should I be using?

A: We only ever recommend SOFT bristled toothbrushes. Even medium toothbrushes can start to wear into the tooth structure over time. In some cases it may be advisable to use an electric toothbrush. Especially if oral hygiene is mediocre, or access difficult.