Dental Care @ Carine

Below are some of our frequently asked questions, if there is anything else you would answered please call us on 9447 6444

Why do we recommend seeing a hygienist or therapist?

At Dental Care @ Carine we emphasise the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist will recommend an appointment with a hygienist/therapist for you to receive more specialised oral care, while they address your complex restorative needs. Dental Hygienists and therapists are trained in the maintenance of the teeth and gums.

They will provide evaluation and assessment of your gum condition, carefully scale and polish the teeth and deliver individual oral hygiene instruction as well as apply medicaments to help prevent tooth disease and sensitivity. Our Hygienists work closely with our dentists to offer you an individually tailored maintenance program to help you keep your teeth for life.

Why do I need an x-ray?

Dental radiographs (x-rays) show the structures of your teeth and mouth that cannot be seen visually during your clinical examination. We take x-rays every 2-3 years to check for any problems. Some areas of your teeth have thicker outer enamel surfaces making detection of decay, by looking in the mouth only, very difficult. X-rays also allow us to see the very early signs of decay which means we can monitor changes, start treatment early and prevent further damage.

From time to time there are other more specific reasons to take an x-ray, when there is an infection or to check on unerupted teeth in the jaws e.g. wisdom teeth. Dental x-rays require small radiation doses (even smaller now we have digital x-rays!) however, we never take them unnecessarily.

Why do I need a crown and not just a filling?

Very large fillings are likely to be weak, unstable and to leak over time leading to recurrent decay and replacement with even larger fillings. The process of patching or replacing already large fillings is what we call “patchwork dentistry”.In most situations, patchwork dentistry ultimately leads to the loss of the tooth, or at least to further pain and expensive treatments.

A crown can strengthen a weakened tooth and help give it the best long term strength and prognosis. Lately newer materials and techniques allow us to strengthen teeth without having to sacrifice as much tooth structure (less drilling) for an even better tooth prognosis, e.g. onlays and veneers.

What age should I bring my children to see the dentist?

Dental Care @ Carine believes in making your child’s visit to the Dentist as positive and enjoyable as possible. We approach all treatment in a non-threatening and minimally invasive way, where possible. Most children look forward to their dental visits!

Most children will have all of their baby teeth between 2-3 years of age. Around 18 months to 2 years is a good time to start having a check up. We are fortunate to have a paediatric dental therapist, Bec Holt, who is excellent at orientating children with parents at their first visit.

Should I wait in the waiting room while my child is having their dental appointment?

Taking your child to the dentist can be one of the most difficult times as a parent. You may be prone to anxiety about dental treatment yourself, especially when you may have had a negative experience in the past. At our practice, we aim to make your child’s dental visits as a positive, fun experience so they will look forward to returning and maintaining a healthy smile.

Despite your best intentions, often phrases like “it won’t hurt” or “they won’t use a needle” can subconsciously introduce dental fear to your child. Parents hovering over the dental chair trying to comfort their child often brings about unwarranted anxiety and tears in children who were initially very happy and confident to have their teeth checked.

In the lead up to your child’s dental appointment, try to keep it casual. Just mention it once of twice in the few days prior to the appointment. Try using phrases like “on Wednesday we’re going to the dentist to meet Bec, she’s going to count your teeth so we can see how many you have” and leave it at that.

We encourage you to accompany your child into the surgery on their initial visit with us to discuss any dental concerns you may have and so the dental therapist can discuss your child’s oral health with you. However, for the following visits we try to instil independence and a sense of achievement in your child by acknowledging that they are “old enough to go to the dentist” on their own.

After the initial consultation, we ask that parents remain in the waiting room while their child is having their appointment so that the dental therapist can develop a rapport with your child and undertake the planned treatment in an environment your child is comfortable in. Your child needs to trust our dental team to get everything done efficiently and with minimal fuss. The best way to do this is to lead by example! Just keep in mind that your children can often pick up if you’re anxious about their dental appointment so always bring them in with a smile!

If you need to discuss any anxiety issues regarding yourself of your child please phone the clinic in advance and our dental clinicians will be more than happy to settle your nerves over the phone!

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