Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I schedule periodic dental checks?

On average, it is advisable to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a check-up. The recommended number of annual visits may be more for those who are prone to gum disease or dental caries.

Periodic dental check-ups allow the dentist to monitor the progress of your dental health through oral examinations. During the examination, various parts of your oral cavity – including teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue, and soft tissue regions – will be investigated for any signs of abnormalities or underlying concerns. This is necessary for detecting early symptoms of conditions that require immediate intervention before they develop into more serious conditions.

Is professional dental cleaning necessary for a person who brushes and flosses regularly?

While important to maintaining proper oral hygiene, regular tooth brushing and flossing are not enough to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. The dentist uses specialized tools to access hard-to-reach regions such as the tiny gaps between your teeth and under the gum line to remove plaque and bacteria that normal brushing and flossing cannot. This helps to prevent sticky plaque from forming or hardening into calculus, both of which can have detrimental results for your teeth. In addition, the dentist can administer fluoride treatments to further protect your teeth enamel against tooth decay.

Is x-ray radiation harmful? How often should I have x-rays taken?

It is important to put the risk of dental radiation into proper perspective and context. The amount of radiation exposure from a dental x-ray is comparable to the amount you get from less than a day’s worth of background radiation that we are constantly exposed to – from the sun, earth and naturally radioactive substances produced in our own body. It is almost the same amount of radiation you get from traveling in an airplane for one to two hours. In other words, the risk is very minute and insignificant. On the other hand, the benefits of dental x-rays in helping to detect decay, cavities, lymphoma, cysts and even oral cancer in obstructed regions can be highly beneficial to a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

Nevertheless, as healthcare providers, we exercise extreme caution when sending patients for x-ray diagnostics, and do so only when necessary.

I have a fear of visiting the dentist. What should I do?

There are many reasons why a person may be fearful of dental visits but the most common one is associated with the perceived pain and discomfort during treatments. The good news is, modern dentistry has gifted mankind with a host of minimally invasive techniques and anaesthetics that are designed to optimise patient comfort. At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we are happy to provide these services for nervous patients. If you still feel uncomfortable about the idea of dental treatment, please let us know what your concerns are so we can better cater to your specific needs.

Which private health insurance are accepted at your clinic?

As part of our efforts to make our services as accessible and affordable as possible, Molonglo Dental Surgery accepts all major private health funds. In so doing, we also hope to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses and maximise your savings when you opt for treatments here. If you are unsure about a specific health fund, please call us to check if it is accepted at our clinic.

To make life a little easier for you, our clinic is also fitted with HICAPS terminal to facilitate on-the-spot claims and speedy electronic transfers! That means no troublesome form-filling or long waiting queues are necessary. Just show up at our counter with your private insurance membership card and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does fluoride help to prevent tooth decay?

The benefits of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay are widely acknowledged and endorsed, including by the Australian Dental Association. A naturally occurring substance found in the earth’s crust and our water supplies, fluoride helps to limit the production of corrosive acid that erodes the teeth’s natural protective enamel. It also prevents mineral loss and replenishes calcium to decaying teeth. Depending on your dental condition, the dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment to supplement your fluoride intake. Typically administered in the form of a gel, fluoride treatments are particularly useful for people with dry mouth conditions, gum disease or a history of cavities.

Why do baby teeth require fillings when they will fall out anyway?

Left untreated, tooth decay in milk teeth can lead to other complications like bite problems, eating difficulty and infections. It can even make the child’s future permanent teeth more susceptible to decay. The only reason for leaving a decayed milk tooth alone if it is close to falling out, bearing in mind that the last baby tooth for most kids falls out around the age of 12. Otherwise, you will be increasing the child’s risk for infections, toothaches and unsightly teeth.

When should I start bringing my child to see the dentist?

Professional dental care is very important during the formative years of your child’s dental development. You may start bringing your children to see a dentist when all their milk teeth have arrived, usually when they are around 3 years old.

There are two reasons for these early visits: One is to familiarize your child with the clinical surroundings and the experience of receiving treatment in a dental chair so that he or she can adapt sooner than later, and the other is to prevent the highly prevalent occurrence of childhood decays and cavities. Known as dental caries, this common dental ailment affects millions of preschoolers all over the world. In fact, tooth decays and cavities are more common than any other chronic childhood ailments, including diabetes or asthma.

What causes dental decay and toothaches?

There is a reason why tooth decays are commonly blamed on over-consumption of sweet and sticky foods like candy and toffee. That’s because the bacteria that cause tooth decay thrives on the sugary residue that gets stuck inside the grooves of your teeth.

By stripping away its calcium, the sugar-feeding bacteria – named Streptococcus mutans – destroy the tooth’s enamel structure. Compounding the problem, the bacteria produce a sticky substance known as plaque that spawns enamel-destroying acid. The combined effects of acid erosion and calcium deficiency lead to a breakdown in tooth structure, resulting in cavity holes. When the tissue and nerves inside the tooth get exposed and irritated as a result of cavities, it can cause pain in the tooth.

My child had a fall and lost a tooth. What do I do?

If the child’s tooth has been completely knocked out, the first thing you need to do is recover the tooth. There is a good chance you can try to salvage the tooth if it is placed back in the socket within an hour of being knocked out.

To do so, gently rinse the tooth while careful not to remove any attached tissues. Holding the tooth by the crown, try to gently insert the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk and contact us immediately. If the tooth in question is a baby tooth, do not attempt to reinsert the tooth. In any case, you should bring the child to see the dentist as soon as possible.

Does root canal hurt?

Although a root canal treatment involves an intricate process, it does not hurt as much as what some might think. When people talk about “root canal pain”, they are more likely talking about the pain that comes from having an infected pulp. Instead of causing the pain, a root canal treatment actually helps to relieve the pain.

Part of the treatment process is to remove the infected nerve and pulp that is causing the pain and to prevent the infection from spreading further. (For more information on Root Canal treatment, please go to Root Canal page). Nonetheless, we do provide a few anaesthetic options to help patients cope with the procedure and to help For patients who wish to replace their existing amalgam fillings, we also provide a service for safe amalgam removal. Molonglo Dental Surgery is proud to be able to provide a non-toxic alternative that promotes the health and wellbeing of our patients. As cosmetic dentists, we are also happy to offer White Fillings as the preferred aesthetic choice for those who look after their appearance.

Why should I replace my amalgam fillings?

People who opt to replace their amalgam fillings with white composite fillings usually cite the appearance and health factors as reasons.

In terms of appearance, they complain about the silver-coloured appearance of amalgam fillings resembling a dark spot on their teeth. This compares unfavourably with composite fillings that blend in seamlessly with the other teeth, allowing for a more natural-looking smile.

Other patients are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the mercury content found inside amalgam fillings, which remains a controversial subject within the dental profession.

If you are thinking of replacing your existing amalgam fillings, we do offer safe amalgam removal services. (For more information on Safe Amalgam Removal/ White Composite Fillings, please go to insert link to White Composite Fillings page). The decision really depends on your individual preference.