If you have any questions which are not listed below, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team who is always happy to answer our patients’ queries.
Do I need different doctors to perform different dental procedures?
At Iris Dental, our dental surgeons are qualified to perform a number of procedures, which means you have the opportunity to be treated by one doctor.
How often should I go to the dentist?
At Iris Dental we recommend regular dental checkups, this helps us help you care for your teeth and keep them for a lifetime.
How do I maintain good dental hygiene?
Regularly brushing your teeth and flossing two times a day is good dental hygiene. Moreover, by regularly cleaning your teeth professionally and removing plaque and tartar, our dental hygienists and therapists are ready to help you with your oral hygiene.
Is flossing important?
Flossing is not important, it is ESSENTIAL!
In order to remove plaque from between your teeth, where gum disease can begin, you need to remove food scraps containing sugars. These sugars promote bacterial growth and are very hard to remove with brushing alone.
We often say “Only floss the teeth you want to keep for life”. We recommend flossing at least twice a day.
Why 6 monthly check-ups?
6 months may seem like a frequent period of time, however, it is 182 days in which plaque can settle into hard to reach places and start forming into tooth decaying tartar which affects both your teeth and the gums they rely upon. A combination of at home maintenance (brushing and flossing) and professional “cleaning” and treatment will ensure that your mouth, and the body systems it is connected to, are in top shape and able to be enjoyed for the rest of your life. If plaque and tartar exist and you leave it on your teeth and under your gums it will dramatically increase each month. Tartar provides a breeding ground for plaque forming an environment where exponential growth is common. 182 days is plenty of time to form a colony of bacteria in your mouth.
Does the kind of toothbrush I use make a difference?
This is a good question, which we hear often. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush.
We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums.
Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose.
We recommend replacing your brush at least once a month, a sign of a tired brush is when the bristles are even slightly bending or losing their colour. Our team all brush first thing in the morning, after each meal/snack and at the end of the day. If you are not able to do this because of your busy schedule, we recommend brushing at least twice a day. Drinking water after eating is not as effective, but a good way to diminish acids and food particles
Can anything help my occasional bad breath?
Bad breath is experienced by most people at some time.
It may simply be “morning breath” but can be a persistent chronic condition which affects a person’s everyday life and confidence. It is almost always caused initially by poor oral hygiene leading to a build-up of excess bacteria in the mouth and which gives off smelly gases.
A professional clean and visiting your hygienist regularly will help. Daily flossing and brushing will allow you to maintain fresh breath. Some patients also find that a tongue scraping tool helps remove bacteria.
I have some old silver fillings which are beginning to look bad. What can be done to improve them?
Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of mercury and silver alloy, eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average lifespan of a silver filling is five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they appear to need to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay.
If your concern is strictly cosmetic, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations.
I would like to have my teeth whitened. There are so many products and ads for whiteners that it is hard to decide which is best. What do you recommend?
You are correct. There are many products and techniques available. Some work well and some don’t work at all. The various over the counter products give the least predictable results. To get a really great result you should probably use one of the products sold through dental offices which utilise custom made trays for home application of a bleaching gel. Besides giving a great result, most take home products overcome the sensitivity problem seen with some of the other products.
I am missing several teeth. A friend told me that she recently had implants to replace her missing teeth and is very happy. What are implants?
Dental implants are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your overall general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. After your dentist does a thorough examination and treatment plan the surgical phase of treatment takes place. When healing is complete, the tooth or bridge segment can be placed on top of the healed implant. You should ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for implants and proceed only with dentists or specialists that have trained specifically in this complex area.
What could be causing my toothache?
There are many factors which could contribute to your toothache and the cause can only be established after a dental examination. Some of the main reasons for toothaches result from loose fillings, tooth damage, the eruption of wisdom teeth, tooth decay and gum disease.
What can I do to relieve the pain from my toothache?
The best solution would be to seek professional help. If you are unable to do so immediately, you could:
- Rinse with salt water
- Avoid excessive chewing
- Make use of ice packs
- Brush gently and floss
- Purchase over the counter painkillers
How long should I wait before visiting the dentist?
This depends on the level of your pain; however, it is important to note that any kind of pain is unnatural and if it persists for more than 24 hours, we advise that you seek medical attention.
Will a toothache go away on its own?
It depends on the cause of a toothache but generally the symptoms will persist or reoccur after some time, if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of a toothache?
- Throbbing or constant pain
- A Fever
- Swelling of the gum tissue
- A change of taste in the mouth
What is causing my teeth to be sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity is characterised by a sharp pain when you eat or drink something cold or warm. The main causes of sensitivity are gum recession, a temporary side effect of teeth whitening, aggressive brushing or gum disease.
Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?
Generally, an electric toothbrush requires less work than a manual toothbrush and can be more effective in cleaning your teeth. So long as you are brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, the type of brush you use should not really matter.
How can I avoid developing cavities?
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Visit the dentist at least once every six months for a professional cleaning
- Cut down on your sugar
- Limit your carbohydrate intake
- Rinse in between meals
For more information, contact us today.
How white will my teeth go?
When looking at the whitening scale, we usually look for a minimum of 5 shades lighter than your original shade. However, after the procedure, the most common result is 8 shades lighter than your starting shade. Teeth whitening results do vary from patient to patient and are dependent on the mineral content of an individual’s teeth. Our goal is to get your teeth as white as they can naturally go, a good frame of reference for this is the whiteness of your teeth as a teenager. Though you can rest assured that after the procedure your teeth will look shiny and pearly white!
How long does the procedure take?
As it is for most procedures, you will need to go in for a consultation with a dental practitioner to check-up on your teeth, discuss what options are available to you and what procedure would be best for you, then book an appointment.
Excluding a short consultation before the procedure where your dentist will explain the process and answer any of your questions, the procedure itself takes, on average, 45 minutes. And so you will most likely be at the practice for just over an hour. If you have any queries after the procedure your dentist or an assistant will be more than happy to answer them and you will see the whitening results for yourself as they are immediate.
Is the process harmful to teeth?
Is the process of teeth whitening harmful to a patient’s teeth is a commonly asked question. In short, there has not been any evidence that would indicate that professional teeth whitening systems have either a short-term or long-lasting negative impact on the teeth or gums. In fact, the opposite is true, since most teeth whitening formulas are devised to improve and boost dental health. The effect of teeth whitening does not differ from common dental procedures or ingested foods and so you can be confidently assured that the health of your teeth enamel and dentin, as well as your gums, are safe.
What is the process of getting new dentures?
The process of getting dentures is a relatively simple one and it should only take you 4 or 5 appointments scheduled over the course of about 3 weeks. During these appointments, we will make a mould of your teeth and gums, measure your bite and help you to select your new dentures. We will also educate you on precisely how to take care of them when you are away from us and to prolong their use. The quality of the materials used is, however, more likely to determine the longevity of your dentures.
What things should I expect with new dentures?
The same rules apply to dentures as with any other new appliance and while they may feel slightly odd, unnatural or too big at the very start, this part of the process will be over fairly shortly. New dentures may also increase the production of saliva in your mouth or hinder your speech until you have adapted fully to them. You should also cut your food into smaller pieces and avoid hot or hard foods until such a time that your dentures have rested sufficiently, and you have become accustomed to them.
Should I use a denture adhesive?
Denture adhesives are able to give you an added element of grip even for dentures are perfectly fitted, this is particularly true of lower dentures. That being said, they are not to be confused with being a quick fix for old or ill-fitting dentures. These dentures can cause irritation and may even contribute to bone loss and sores. Research has shown that some denture adhesives that contain zinc that is used too regularly, may cause a deficiency in your copper levels and lead to health problems such as hypocupremia and severe neurological disease.
How does teeth whitening work?
Tooth whitening works from the within to the exterior of the tooth. The opalescence gel used in the procedure penetrates your teeth and works to remove stains and break down discoloured molecules which results in the whitening of your smile. Components of the opalescence gels include both potassium nitrate and fluoride which have been proven to strengthen the enamel of your teeth, aid in the prevention of cavities as well as decrease tooth sensitivity. And so if you are interested in undergoing a tooth whitening procedure you generally do not need to worry about the process weakening your teeth.
How long do teeth whitening results last?
The results of teeth whitening on average have a long lasting effect of up to three years after having undergone the initial procedure by a professional. Factors such as age, diet, genetics, some medications as well as life habits, like smoking, may have a negative effect on the span of your whitening and cause your teeth to lose their lustre. However, this problem can be easily solved and rectified by going in for touch-up teeth whitening treatments which are a simple and effective way to help you regain that perfect white and bright smile.
Will teeth whitening cause tooth sensitivity?
When undergoing a teeth whitening procedure, tooth sensitivity is a fairly common side effect experienced by patients, especially early on in the treatment when going through the bleaching process. However, the sensitivity that occurs is usually temporary and will leave once the teeth whitening process has been completed. Ingredients such as potassium nitrate and fluoride found in the products are used as desensitisers and they help to reduce tooth sensitivity as well as prevent discomfort. If your teeth are extremely sensitive and the sensation persists then we recommend that you meet with your dentist so that they can advise you on what measures to take.
How can I prepare my child for their first dental appointment?
It may seem like something minor but your own attitude as an adult towards dentistry can affect the way that your child perceives a trip to the dentist. Making sure that your attitude is positive and that you put aside any personal issues that you may have with dentists, means that they will be less likely to be fearful of their experience with us. Also remind them all the time about how important it is that their teeth and gums are healthy and that we are really good guys (which we are).
Baby teeth aren't permanent. Why do they need special care?
The role that your baby’s teeth play in their developmental is incredibly important despite the fact that they aren’t permanent. During the years that your child has their baby teeth, they begin to speak, chew and smile with these temporary teeth providing the basis for them to do so. They also act as a kind of placeholder for the permanent teeth that are yet to grow. Also, if your child loses a tooth too early either from trauma or decay, then their teeth might begin to shift in the gap that’s been left by the missing teeth.
At what age is it appropriate to use toothpaste to clean my child's teeth?
It is generally accepted that once your child has more than a few teeth that you are then able to use toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean their teeth. It should be noted that you only need to use a teeny tiny amount for each brushing session and that you avoid using toothpaste with fluoride in it as it can be harmful to children. They should always rinse and spit after brushing but some do have a habit of wanting to swallow what’s in their mouths once you’ve finished. Once your child is old enough to start brushing their own teeth, you can then pass on all the information they need to do it properly.