At Smile Hawthorn, we will always try to assist you with all your concerns and questions. These are general answers to commonly asked queries. Please speak to your dentist for more specific assistance to your concerns.
Some commonly asked questions may be found under the following categories:
A swollen face may be caused by a dental infection. This can be quite serious and should be managed as soon as possible.
At Smile Hawthorn, after a tooth is removed, we will provide you with post-operative care instructions and a few packets of sterile gauze. In summary:
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is as easy as:
Brushing Adult Teeth - Electric or Manual Brushes
Brushing Children's Teeth - Birth to First Tooth
Brushing Children's Teeth - First Tooth to 18 Months
Brushing Children's Teeth - 18 months to 2.5 Years
Brushing Children's Teeth - 4 Years
Brushing Children's Teeth - 6 Years
How to Floss
Dental bacterial plaques are soft accumulations that are easily removed with soft bristled toothbrushes.
There are as many toothpastes as there are toothbrushes available on the supermarket shelves. Fluoridated toothpastes help to strengthen tooth enamel, kill bacteria and reduce dental decay. Most toothpastes have fluoride in the form of either sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate.
Fluoridated toothpastes are generally not required for infants under 18months of age. Depending on the risk level for tooth decay, children up to 6 years of age are generally recommended to use toothpastes with fluoride concentrations of up to 500ppm. Beyond the age of 6, children are generally recommended to use adult toothpastes provided that they spit the toothpaste out. Up to the age of 12, these toothpastes tend to come in a low mint flavour/menthol concentration to improve comfort during brushing. Adult toothpaste is normally found with fluoride concentrations of 1000ppm, which can increase to 5000ppm for individuals with an increased risk of tooth decay. For sensitive teeth, any desensitizing toothpaste can be effective with time.
When soft plaque and hard calculus build up around the teeth and gums, the gums become irritated and inflamed resulting in a reddish and swollen appearance and a tendency to bleed easily. This is termed gingivitis.
Gingivitis, if left unmanaged, may be associated with a more severe type of gum disease known as periodontitis due to further accumulation of plaque and calculus. Periodontitis affects not just the gums but the bone and tooth supporting ligaments as well. Periodontitis can result is extensive gum shrinkage, bone loss, bad breath and tooth loss.
At Smile Hawthorn, we assist you in minimising the risks of developing periodontitis via our oral health promotion regimes.
Depending on your level of disease risk, we recommend having a dental examination every 6-24 months to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy.
Routine examinations ensure that any problems are identified early and can be resolved with minimal biological and/or financial costs.
X-rays are an important diagnostic tool utilised in all forms of health that provide the clinician with information that cannot be gleaned through visual examination alone. This can include:
If any problems are detected early, appropriate management may be instituted to reduce adverse outcomes.
At Smile Hawthorn, we employ the latest in digital x-ray technology, which significantly lowers the amount of radiation exposure to the patient.
At Smile Hawthorn we recommend the following simple steps:
Baby teeth are important because they:
It is recommended that a child's first dental visit should occur around their first birthday. It is a great way to introduce them to the dental clinic and for a check to be undertaken to review their oral condition.
A few simple things to do:
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends an initial orthodontic evaluation be conducted at the first sign of orthodontic (jaw or teeth) problems. Alternately, this evaluation should be conducted no later than 7 years of age. At this early age, your specialist orthodontist will be able to advise whether treatment is needed and anticipate the most effective age for treatment to commence.
An Orthodontist is a Dentist, but a Dentist is not an Orthodontist.
In Australia, the specialist training of an orthodontist involves an additional 3 years of university studies at a Clinical Doctorate level. Apart from clinical training, the specialist programme also involves extensive research in order to advance the field of orthodontics. By having your orthodontic treatment performed under the guidance of a specialist, you are ensuring that you receive the highest level of care possible with the most up-to-date methods available.
At Smile Hawthorn, you do not need a referral to see the Orthodontist.
Your consultation can be booked via our online booking portal or by telephoning our clinic for an appointment.
Prior to your appointment, we will send you some information on our practice and orthodontics, as well as a brief questionnaire and an x-ray referral form for an orthopantomogram of your teeth and jaws to bring to your first visit.
At this first appointment, we will listen to your concerns, address any questions you may have, and gather all the relevant information to advise you:
Like most things in dentistry, orthodontics is not painful. As with new shoes, orthodontic appliances can take a bit of getting used to in the beginning. Orthodontic appliances move teeth by applying gentle pressure to stimulate a localised inflammatory response that allows the teeth to move through the bone. This response may result in some tenderness after an interval of 6-8hours, which usually only lasts for 24-48 hours. Panadol may be helpful in reducing discomfort caused by the body's response to the appliances.
Orthodontics can be performed at any age. However, for some individuals, treatment may be more effective when performed during a particular stage of facial growth. At Smile Hawthorn, the orthodontist will determine which options are best suited to reach your goals and advise you on the best timing for your treatment.
Treatment time varies depending on your concerns and treatment goals. At Smile Hawthorn, the orthodontist will advise you of an approximate treatment duration that is based on your treatment needs. The orthodontist will also guide you in the maintenance and care of your appliances so that your treatment proceeds as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
All forms of treatment have some risks and limitations. Fortunately orthodontic complications are infrequent and when they do occur they are usually of minor consequence. Depending on the type of treatment required, there will be different risks and complications involved. At Smile Hawthorn, the orthodontist will discuss the risks and complications specific to your treatment prior commencement and will answer any questions you may have about your care.
Tooth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that uses the chemical process of oxidation to break down stains and discolouration in your teeth.
When conducted by a dentist, teeth whitening is a safe and effective cosmetic procedure. However, all forms of treatment have some risks and limitations. At Smile Hawthorn, we will determine which options are most effective for you in achieving a whiter and brigher smile, discuss any risks or limitations involved in your care and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
All our products are TGA approved and your treatment is conducted in a clean and safe professional environment to ensure that you achieve the brightest smile possible in the most effective and efficient manner available.
There are several factors that determine the effectiveness of teeth whitening. For example:
At Smile Hawthorn, we utilise a personalised approach in achieving a brighter and whiter smile for every patient.
These products tend to have a lower concentration of whitening agents when compared with professionally prescribed whitening systems. Thus they tend to be effective, over a longer period of application.
Dentists are trained in the indications for teeth whitening, which involves an understanding of the products, procedures and risks involved. At Smile Hawthorn, your whitening procedure is assessed, conducted and monitored at all times by a fully registered dentist. All our products used are TGA approved and are produced by world leading manufacturers. We assess your overall dentition and health, and advise which types of teeth whitening procedures are effective in brighting your smile.
As we age, our teeth tend to darken or yellow as the inner dentine layer of the tooth thickens. Fortunately, the effect of teeth whitening may be maintained with the use of touch-up kits. Touch-up kits are an easy and affordable way to also remove staining caused by coloured foods/drinks, which may have caused the original discolouration.
The following guidelines have been provided by the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT).
Children between 7 and 10 years of age are more like to experience avulsion (the tooth being pushed out of the bone) due to the elasticity of the bone at this age. Good oral hygiene is critical during the healing period
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PLACE A BABY TOOTH BACK IN AS IT COULD DAMAGE THE DEVELOPING ADULT TOOTH
If you have the broken piece, keep it in a moist environment (milk or saliva - NOT WATER) in a zip lock bag and bring it with you to your appointment. In some cases we may be able to bond the broken fragment back.
We will guide you through what can be done to fix your broken tooth.
At Smile Hawthorn, we recommend using a mouthguard for anyone playing any form of contact sport.
We especially encourage young children playing, football, soccer, netball, basketball, hockey etc. to play with a mouthguard to minimise the chance and the effect of any traumatic incident that might occur.
Mouthguards can be made in a relatively short time period and can usually be done in your favourite colours.
Infected teeth are painful. This pain is caused by the bacteria inside the tooth and the body's inflammatory reaction. In such cases, root treatments are helpful as a means of relieving pain and assisting recovery. Adequate anaesthesia is important when initiating root treatments on painful teeth to prevent discomfort and ensure success of the procedure.
Caps/Crowns assist with achieving a tight seal on the root filling and keeping weakened parts of the tooth together, reinforcing the tooth and preventing root fracture. It also assists with ensuring that optimal aesthetics is achieved following root treatment. Best practice dictates that, where there is extensive damage, a crown is usually advisable.
Wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed. It depends on their position, whether they are causing any discomfort or have the potential to cause any problems.
The need to go to hospital is entirely dependent on whether you would like the procedure to be done under a General Anaesthetic. Some wisdom teeth can be easily removed in a dental chair setting.
If you choose to be seen in hospital, the treatment is generally organised and managed by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Additionally, if the removal procedure is complex, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is usually better equipped to remove these teeth, and a referral will be provided.