FAQs

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the term used to describe any type of dentistry that enhances your smile. These treatments include teeth whitening, teeth straightening, veneers, crowns, gums lifts and even dental implants. Any one of these treatments, or treatments in combination with each other, can help you to achieve the smile you have always dreamed of.

Should I have cosmetic dentistry done?

Whether you have crooked teeth, discoloured teeth, teeth too far apart, missing teeth or even teeth that are too short, cosmetic dental treatments options will work for you.

COSMETIC INJECTABLES

Why should I do injectables with dental treatment?

Your dentist understands the aesthetics of your smile and the subtle details that can help to enhance it further. Injectables can often help to ease lines around a smile, reduce gummy smiles and also for muscles around the jaw for those who have frequent headaches from grinding their teeth. The addition of fillers to lips are often used to even and complete a beautiful smile.

Is it safe?

Yes absolutely! Research has shown that cosmetic injections have minimal side effects.

We have a registered nurse cosmetic injector working with us for our patients. She has extensive training in cosmetic injecting – in fact she will not inject you on that day if she feels it is unsafe for you.

What are the possible side effects?

While cosmetic facial injections rarely inflict hurt on anyone, a small number of individuals may feel a stinging sensation which disappears quickly. In some extremely rare situations, people do experience bruising, skin colour changing, or the injected area getting a little lumpy. However, our registered nurse is very experienced and always minimises the chance of any complications

What do you use for cosmetic injectables?

Facial injectables use either Botulinum Toxin or dermal filler, depending on the area and treatment required. They act as a wrinkle relaxer, smoothing out lines for a period of three to four months. They also stop certain muscles from being active for the same period of time, which is why they are used for grinding and headaches.

How quickly do you see the results?

Depending on the individual, you can usually see initial results from 2 days. However, the full effect takes place for 14 days.

How long do facial injectables last?

They are completely reversible and do need topping up regularly. Again this timing depends on the individual as every body metabolises the substance differently, and also how many units you had placed. Anti-wrinkle injections usually last about 3-4 months, and fillers can last up 9 months

DENTAL CROWNS

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a covering over the entire visible part of the tooth. They are used when teeth are broken, if a tooth has lost old and large fillings, if there is a crack in the tooth or if the teeth are badly decayed or severely discoloured. They can be used cosmetically as well as they improve the appearance of your natural teeth and can brighten your smile.

Why do I need a crown?

Dental crowns are used to functionally improve the structure and integrity of the tooth. As time goes by, we often find that our teeth are no longer structurally sound. Problems such as lost fillings, decay, chipping and cracking of the enamel can all lead to large-scale problems in a tooth’s surface. If the whole surface of the tooth is problematic but the root system is intact, a crown might be the ideal solution.

What types of crowns are available?

We offer a range of materials for crowns from gold, porcelain bonded to metal, or all white porcelain crowns. Each material has different benefits, so the right option is chosen for you depending on the situation for which it is used.

INLAYS/ONLAYS – DENTAL FILLINGS

Why do I need a inlay or onlay?

There are times when an old tooth cavity or filling is very large, and has involved a large majority of the tooth. A simple filling in these situations will often not last long or protect the small amount of tooth that is left. In these cases, we may recommend an inlay or onlay

What is an inlay and onlay?

These are fillings made from a stronger porcelain material, and are fabricated in a dental laboratory. They are tooth coloured and are individually designed to fit perfectly to mimic the old tooth shape and contours. This way, inlays and onlays are used to strengthen and repair damaged teeth. They are stronger than normal fillings, but more conservative than a crown.

Inlays are smaller and are for restoring tooth structure between the cusps.

Onlays are larger and used for restoring tooth structure to cover one or more cusps.

INVISALIGN

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a straightening system to align your teeth without braces. Traditional braces used to be the only option for adults who wanted straighter teeth. However now Invisalign™ can often be used instead as a straightening product. It is custom-made to suit you perfectly. And because Invisalign™ is nearly invisible, your teeth can be straightened without anyone even knowing.

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign™ uses 3D computer imaging technology, called a clincheck, to show you the complete treatment plan, from the initial position to the final desired position before treatment even starts.

As soon as you are happy with the computer simulation, a series of custom-moulded ‘aligners’ are produced. The clear, removable aligners gradually straighten teeth, positioning them into a wonderful new smile.

As well as being almost invisible, they’re removable. So you can eat and drink whatever you like during your treatment. You’ll also be able to brush and floss as normal.

Invisalign™, like everything, is not always right for everyone. The aligners work extremely well for a vast majority of patients, both adolescents and adults. Invisalign™ suits people whose teeth are crowded or have spaces between them, and those whose teeth may have shifted after having worn braces in their youth.

Is Invisalign painful?

Most people experience a small amount of “pressure” or minor temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning and with each new aligner. This is normal and is usually described as a feeling of pressure. That’s a sign that Invisalign™ is working, sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner.

Why do people prefer Invisalign to braces?

The convenience and ease of Invisalign™ have made it the choice of over half a million people. You can live your normal lifestyle and still end up with an incredible smile, thanks to the comfort, convenience and virtual invisibility Invisalign™ provides during treatment.

Be as active as you like! And of course you can remove your aligners for special occasions.

How long does Invisalign treatment take?

Every mouth is different, so treatment will be different for everyone. However Invisalign™ treatment can range from as little as 6 to 18 months, depending on what’s needed to get your smile straight and beautiful. An initial appointment will help to determine the time frame so you can know before starting treatment.

DENTAL ACTIVE MAINTENANCE APPOINTMENTS

What is included in my dental check up?

A check up appointment with Dr Nidhi Berera usually starts with a thorough pre-clinical discussion regarding your medical and previous dental history. She then completes a comprehensive examination of your face, neck and full mouth (including a cancer check of the soft tissues). We may take some photographs, digital scans or x-ray images to better visualise your mouth and the previous work that you have had done. We will then sit down with you and discuss what we have found. We will chat about any conditions you may have, any work which you would like to have done and what options are available for you.

If you would like a clean done on the same day as your initial appointment, please let us know so that enough time can be allocated for you. Dr Berera may do the initial clean for you. However we also have appointments available with our hygienist, who will dedicate a full hour to check your gums, discuss your oral hygiene and perform a thorough removal of plaque and stain from your teeth. If you suffer from more advanced gum disease or have a lot of build up on your teeth, this visit may not be enough to remove all the build up, but it’s a great start towards improving your oral health. You may need to return for an additional visit to complete your cleaning appointment.

How often to I need to visit the dentist?

We find that every 6 months is ideal. Most people build up stains, plaque and tartar in this time which is difficult to remove with home oral hygiene. A thorough clean every 6 months with a hygienist is perfect to keep on top of this and your oral health

However if you have gum disease or find it difficult to keep your teeth clean at home, or for people with braces on, we may advise more regular professional cleans – every 4 months may be better in these situations

How do I maintain good oral health at home?

This is something that our hygienist will be happy to talk you through. From using a good toothbrush at home with the correct technique, eating a healthy diet, reducing sugar and acidic foods and drinks, to looking after yourself in general. And of course, visiting us regularly!

What is the link between my oral health and my overall health?

There are definite links between poor oral health and other systemic diseases. Most studies show that it is not a causative link (i.e poor oral health does not cause heart disease), rather those patients already affected by a chronic systemic disease (such as heart disease and diabetes) have more problems trying to manage their disease if their oral health is poor. It is more difficult to maintain good oral health if you are already chronically ill or on medication, so making sure excellent oral health is maintained while you are healthy will pay dividends in times of illness.

ORTHODONTICS

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

It’s not just about how your teeth look or how straight they are – it is actually about the health of your mouth. That’s because straight teeth are healthy teeth. When teeth are crowded or overlapped, there is a much higher chance of plaque, bacteria and tartar accumulating in these areas. It is difficult to brush or floss to keep tight spots clean. This inevitably leads to gum disease and decay, and more problems down the track.

Orthodontics specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of dental and facial irregularities in children and adults. It plays an important role in reducing the need for future dental treatment. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function and excessive stress on gum and bone. Misalignment of the jaw joint can even cause chronic headaches or pain in the face or neck.

What age is best for orthodontic treatment?

Most children go through some sort of teeth straightening appliance in their life. An orthodontic plate is often a good place to start and can be used for children just before all of their permanent teeth erupt. For girls this it at around the age of 9-11, for boys it is around 10-12.

However, braces aren’t just for kids anymore. It’s never too late to achieve a beautiful straight smile. Your teeth can be straightened at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. Adults who have never had braces are always a good candidate for orthodontic treatment as it can dramatically improve your appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.

What type of orthodontic treatment is available?

The good news is that it is not one treatment that suits everyone anymore. We can often customise ways to straighten teeth for adults and children to suit lifestyles

Although braces is more common for children, there is an option of ceramic (tooth coloured) brackets.

For adults and some teens, Invisalign can also be a good choice. For some, we can even offer a combination of the two treatments, depending on the case and treatment goals

During your initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. We can also outline the treatment plan, the timeframe required and the approximate cost.

What happens after my orthodontic treatment is finished?

When your Invisalign treatment is done or once we have removed your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. Your final orthodontic result depends on you wearing your retainers, so it is important to follow through with the work you’ve done. We usually fit you with a permanent fixed wire retainer on the inner surfaces of your lower teeth and also a removable retainer to wear at night, to ensure that your teeth stay straight.

TEETH WHITENING

Is it safe?

Yes – but as long as you stick to dentist approved products. The safest, most effective treatment will be given by your dentist as they are able to provide higher concentrations in a controlled environment. Over-the-counter treatments can be less effective and are often detrimental to the health of your teeth. They are often a lot weaker and sometimes contain substances that can harm and wear away your enamel

What’s the difference between take home and in-chair whitening?

In chair teeth whitening uses a strong active ingredient, which can only legally be prescribed and applied in the dental practice. This type of whitening can only be applied on one appointment which goes for about 90 minutes. While this whitening process may result in a dramatic change in brightness, it also causes more sensitivity and temporary tooth dehydration.

Take home whitening is gentler, has a mild active ingredient and is safe to use without constant professional supervision. However, some professional supervision is still advised as all whitening can cause side effects like tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns.

It is important to follow instructions from your dentist or hygienist regarding the safest application of your home whitening kits. Take home whitening is also very economical – you will only need to top up your whitening 1-2 times per year and the gel can be supplied at minimal cost during your active maintenance visits.

Why is it better to get teeth whitening from a dentist?

Many over-the-counter whitening products are not as effective because their ingredients are either very weak and cannot bleach the teeth for sufficient amounts of time, or they are very strong and dangerous to use and ingest. Professional teeth whiteners are safe, effective, and best done under the supervision of a dental professional. In most cases, it is worth the extra cost to visit the dentist to get long-lasting, safe results.

DENTISTRY AND CHILDREN

What age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

Visiting the dentist should be a regular and important part of everyone’s health routine, including children. It is good to get into a healthy habit from a young age so that a visit to the dentist is fun – not just something that needs to be done if there is a problem. Regular visits from when the first teeth erupt is highly recommended. Even a visit when mum, dad or siblings have an appointment to sit and play in the chair is a great place to start.

Are baby teeth really that important?

Yes they definitely are! They help to pave the way for the correct development of the permanent teeth and also for proper growth of the bone and jaws. They are very important to maintain the space for the adult teeth, and for eating and speech development as well.

Early loss of some baby teeth can cause significant orthodontic issues. Looking after the baby teeth can help to reduce the cost and the need for longer and more invasive orthodontic treatment later, as a teenager.

Why are regular checks important for young children?

Children should see the dentist every 6 months to ensure that their teeth and jaws are growing correctly. We can ensure that their dental health is on track by monitoring the development of a child’s smile. It also gives an opportunity for the dentist to talk about good oral hygiene practices, and to start the child in a good routine.

It can also be a good time for parents to talk about healthy eating habits which can significantly influence healthy teeth and decay. By doing this, we can ensure the child’s dental future looks safe and healthy.

Toothbrushing and toothpaste -when should we start using it and how much should we use?

It is good practice to start cleaning baby teeth as soon as they start to erupt. This is usually around the age of 6 to 9 months. Even a soft wash cloth for the child to suck on can help to introduce healthy habits and keep baby teeth clean initially.

You can introduce a soft toothbrush when you feel the child is ready to play with it – around age 1 is a good place to start. All that is needed at this stage is a gentle clean of the baby teeth that are present with plain water.

Toothpaste can be introduced after the age of around 2, but only a low-flouride variety. Fluoride is important as it helps to strengthen the enamel, and to prevent tooth decay.

Low-dose toothpaste is advised from the ages of 2 until 6. Only a small amount is necessary – half the size of the pea. It is important for the child to spit out as much of the toothpaste as possible, and not swallow it.

How can parents prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly from a young age to start developing good habits, beginning with when the first tooth erupts. Your dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other suggestions for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help establish a lifetime of healthy habits for your child.