Things you’ve always wanted to ask your Dentist…
By Dr Jannen Tan BDSc (Hons) (Melb)
Dr Jannen Tan has been creating smiles for over 10 years. Here are the Dental issues he most commonly explains to his patients.
Why do I have to get regular check-up and cleans?
The mouth is a harsh environment and always changing. For most people, we recommend a check-up and clean every 6 months as things can change rapidly. We look at many aspects including teeth and gum health, cavities, unusual wear patterns, oral cancer screening, condition of existing dental work and many more areas.
Soft plaque sitting on teeth get calcified with the calcium in saliva. They form hard calculus, which stick on to teeth. Regular home brushing will reduce build up but not prevent it altogether. Plaque and calculus are a dense breeding ground for the bacteria that cause gum disease. Therefore, a good scale and clean every 6 months is very important to keep the gums healthy. Remember – no gums, no teeth!
Does cleaning hurt
Patients who regularly attend check up and cleans normally enjoy a very relaxed, totally pain free visit. When the hard calculus buildup is not allowed to set in for extended periods of time, it is easily removed. Sometimes when it has been a long time since the last clean was done, it could occasionally cause some sensitivity. If gum disease is active and the gums are inflamed from all that long term calculus buildup, some sensitivity might also be felt. Most patients do not need any anaesthetic, however we are always happy to provide local anaesthetic if you need it. If you have any concerns or worries, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your Dentist before treatment. Remember, the more regularly you attend check up and cleans, the more likely you will have an enjoyable, relaxed, pain-free experience every time.
How does Fluoride work?
Fluoride incorporates itself into the enamel of teeth, forming a kind of “super enamel”. It is many times more decay and acid resistant than enamel that has not been exposed to Fluoride. There is Fluoride in Melbourne’s water supply, however it is extremely important to use a Fluoride toothpaste and receive a Fluoride treatment at your six-monthly check and cleans to ensure your enamel is as strong as it can be.
What causes tooth sensitivity and how do I fix it?
Sensitivity is caused when the nerve inside a tooth is irritated by temperature changes, touch or sweet. Within the tooth dentine (2nd layer under enamel) there are tiny tubes filled with fluids that run towards the nerve. When dentine is exposed, the fluid in these tubes move around in response to stimuli like hot/cold, sweet. This movement stirs up the nerve, giving you sensitivity. Exposed dentine from gum shrinkage, wear, erosion and decay are amongst the main causes. It is important to cure the cause as much as just treating the symptoms. The best way to get to the bottom of your sensitivity is to see your Dentist!
How do I improve my Smile?
Modern Dentistry has given us a huge variety of options to improve and even totally makeover your smile. Missing teeth can easily be replaced with dentures, implants and bridges. Weak, discoloured, poorly shaped or angulated teeth can easily be made to look perfect with porcelain crowns and veneers. Crowded, spaced or misaligned teeth can be moved into perfect positions with Invisalign (clear trays) or cosmetic clear braces. Our team can offer all these treatment options and more! We will listen to your needs and tailor the best solutions to suit your budget. Great competitive prices and payment plans also make it all a breeze.