Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to North Sydney Dentistry | North Sydney Dental Frequently Asked Questions page:
How can dentistry be pain free? What is happy-gas?
At North Sydney Dentistry we know how important your dental treatment is and we want to ensure your visit with us is as relaxed as possible. When you make your next appointment with us please ask about our “happy gas”. Happy gas or nitrous oxide is a colourless, sweet-smelling gas used by dentists for mild anaesthesia. It is sometimes called happy gas because it makes some patients feel giddy or silly, but a great benefit is also that recovery is rapid.
What is a Crown / Dental Crown?
Crowns are used in the restoration of damaged teeth. A crown covers a tooth and mimics the shape, size and colour of the surrounding teeth. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your teeth. Crowns are indicated for cracked teeth and teeth with deep cavities; to protect teeth that have been filled by root-canal treatment; to provide extra support for bridges; and to cover poorly shaped or coloured teeth.
Crowns may be made of metal, porcelain, or newer restorative materials. They are custom-made and fitted for each patient in conformation with the patient’s bite, and the size and length of the natural teeth. Crowns typically last five to eight years, but can last much longer with proper oral hygiene.
When should my child first visit the dentist?
The first official trip to the dentist is due when your child is aged about two. However, when you go to the dentist for your regular check-ups, it may be a good idea to take your child with you so they can become familiar with the surroundings. It may not be wise to do this if you are nervous at the dentist yourself, as your child will pick up on your nervousness.
When the ‘big day’ comes, make it an exciting event for your child. Take along their favourite toys to play with while they’re waiting. When it’s time to take a ride in the dentist’s special chair, your child may be a little curious to see what’s going on. If so, you may want to give them a mirror to hold so they can see what the dentist is doing.
If you leave a child’s first dentist visit until they have pain or there is a problem, they will be left with a negative impression of the experience, which they will remember next time they visit the dentist. You may need to put on a brave front for your child!
What is Bridgework?
If you are missing one or more teeth then a bridge may be an option for replacement. Fabricated from porcelain and an underlying metal sub-structure, a bridge utilises the adjacent teeth to secure prosthetic teeth in the space of the missing teeth.
During a careful preparation process, your teeth on either side of the space will be adjusted and reshaped to accommodate the supporting crowns that will hold your replacement tooth in place. Impressions will be taken, along with study models and appropriate measurements.
Once your crown has been fabricated, we will ask you to return for a fitting. If no adjustments are required, we will then cement this for you so that you can begin enjoying the benefits immediately. Essentially, bridges are an innovative way to improve your appearance and function allowing you once again to smile with confidence and function as normal.
What is an Implant?
Dental implants are the most successful and versatile form of treatment available for applications such as replacing a single tooth, utilised to secure a bridge or an entire upper or lower arch (maxillary and mandible) . One of their most salient advantages is they are completely independent, not replying on other teeth for support. This allows both surgery and restorative phases to be combined.
Implants are made of ‘grade 5’ titanium, with the titanium alloy providing proven strength. Dental implants act as “screws” that are placed into the jawbone as a substitute for a missing tooth root. They integrate naturally with the bone (a process called osseointegration) before a crown, bridge or fixed denture is fitted to replace one or more missing teeth, thus eliminating the need for uncomfortable or ill-fitting dentures.
Dental implants may be needed for a variety of reasons including trauma, decay or gum disease. Missing teeth may cause the lips and face to collapse, which gives a premature aged appearance, as the bony structure that was once supporting a tooth or teeth have deteriorated.
Significant benefits of dental implants are:
- They are a permanent solution to missing teeth
- They are identical to your natural teeth in appearance, feel and function
- They restore your bite by stopping the remaining teeth on either side of the space moving and rotating, which often makes it difficult to chew food efficiently
- They improve the appearance of your smile
- They reduce the appearance of premature ageing and wrinkles
- They help retain bone structure
What are veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-designed shells of tooth-like ceramic material that, when applied over the surface of a tooth, can cover worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, or spacing and chips or cracks.
Dental veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create a bright, white smile with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. Even better, the translucent ceramic quality of today’s veneers provides a more natural look than what’s been available in the past. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, dental veneers can also serve a functional purpose by protecting the surface of a damaged tooth. In some cases, veneers may replace the need for a dental crown, eliminating the need for more invasive tooth preparation.
Will I get a tooth-coloured filling?
At North Sydney Dental, we use the latest materials; we do not use amalgam and mercury-based products. In addition, to being unsightly and harmful, amalgam fillings cause structural weakness to the tooth causing longer term problems that could be avoided.
Tooth-coloured restorations, such as fillings, sealants, crowns and veneers are an aesthetically pleasing, and a healthier alternative to traditional metallic restorations. If you have existing metallic fillings that you are not happy with, we can still help you. Tooth coloured restorations are not only limited to new restorations, but it is a simple treatment to remove your old fillings and replace them with new materials creating that whiter, brighter, healthier smile you have wanted for such a long time.
What is CEREC?
CEREC is a computer restoration system that allows us to provide you with accurate and natural looking ceramic dental crowns, in a single visit. The CEREC digital 3D infrared scanning system allows us to create an optical impression of your tooth. This cutting-edge technology allows for a precise replica of your tooth structure to be created. At North Sydney Dental, we understand your time is valuable so this sophisticated technology enables us to provide ceramic restorative solutions without awkward impressions, temporary fillings and multiple appointments.
During the procedure, your tooth will be prepared, and then scanned by the CEREC camera. This camera will take a three dimensional image of the prepared area using infrared waves which are sent down to the preparation site and back to the camera to measure the heights of the tooth structure, adjacent teeth, and surrounding tissue. Your final restoration is then designed and fabricated from this scan and is automatically milled out from a solid ceramic block. This provides you with a perfect, quality long-lasting restoration all in one appointment.
There is no need for impression taking, temporaries or unnecessary reduction of healthy tooth structure when having CEREC restoration. This method can be used for ceramic crowns, veneers and fillings and will restore your smile.
The benefits are numerous:
- Preserves more of your natural tooth structure
- Bonding actually strengthens the tooth
- No uncomfortable impression trays
- Beautiful aesthetics – colour matched ceramic
- Natural looking smile
- Clinically proven – millions of successful restorations worldwide
- Enamel-like materials – natural look and feel
- Suitable for fillings, crowns and veneers
We are pleased to offer you CEREC restoration services at North Sydney Dentist. This superior method of creating precisely designed, colour-matched and highly durable ceramic restorations is available directly from our practice.
What does a regular scale and clean appointment involve?
At North Sydney Dentistry, we believe that prevention is better than cure. This is why we recommend that our patients visit every 6 months for a dental check-up. Regular examination of your teeth at these visits allows us to ensure that minor dental problems are noticed and treated before they become more serious. Professional cleaning during these regular visits, as well as thorough care at home will help to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful for many years.
At your scale and clean appointment, our dentist will ask you if you have any concerns about your dental health. They will then examine your whole mouth, including your teeth, gums, jaw and surrounding anatomy. If our dentist notices anything of interest, a record of this will be made immediately in your personalised file, and your options will be thoroughly discussed with you. If necessary, our dentist may also advise you to have an x-ray taken during your visit, as this may reveal information about areas which are not visible to the eye (e.g. a cavity under an old filling).
Our dentist will then use instruments to remove surface stains, tartar and plaque that have built up on your teeth since your last visit. Regular scale and cleans are important for maintaining healthy gums. Our dentist will then apply topical fluoride treatment, which helps to strengthen the tooth surface and minimise the risk of developing cavities.
Does North Sydney Dentistry use needle-free injection systems?
At North Sydney Dental | North Sydney Dentist, we believe in using the latest dental technologies available. We are pleased to inform you that we currently use the latest needle-free injection systems, which are virtually painless, is tissue preserving and safe.
We understand that some people have fear of needle injections, which is actually widespread since the development of first conventional syringe dating back to 1853. This system is also good for children who may be afraid and not understand the purpose of the dental treatment for their benefit. The shorter onset time also reduces any treatment-induced stress for children.
Equally applicable to adults who may be afraid of syringes with needles as well as the pain induced by the dental treatment. This problem can often be alleviated with using needle-free syringe systems. Studies have shown that adults even the most highly anxious ones, in studies report less painful injections and usually request the same delivery system when visiting the dentist again in the future.
If your particular dental treatment requires the use of a needle and you would like to use the needle-free injection system, please let your dentist at North Sydney Dentist know.