General Dentistry

The regular check-ups, cleanings and fillings that we are all familiar with are covered by the term General Dentistry.

However, it encompasses much more, in fact General Dentistry at our clinic includes all of your everyday dental needs, including non-surgical extractions, and more complex treatments such as root canal therapy and gum treatment.

Our dentist has years of experience looking after families and individuals of all ages. We look forward to the opportunity to help you achieve and maintain excellent oral health.

What is it?

This is a critical part of the dental appointment.  At your first visit, and at subsequent check-ups, the dentist will carry out a thorough check of not just your oral health, but also the health of the peri-oral tissues.

The Benefits:

Regular checking of teeth, gums, oral and peri-oral health allows us to catch problems at an earlier stage.  This generally means that they will be easier to treat and that the treatment will have a higher chance of success.

The Process:

Dr Sherina will start by checking jaw joint movements, lymph nodes and facial symmetry before she even looks inside your mouth!

There are several conditions which can show signs within the mouth, since the dentist is one of the health care professionals you see on a regular basis, she will always check for signs of these conditions along with checking for your tooth and gum health.  To do this she will look at your cheeks, tongue, below the tongue and the palate.

To check for gum and tooth health, our dentist carries out a full dental examination.  She conducts a Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE) for every adult at every check-up.  She also examines each tooth, looking for signs of caries, checking the integrity of existing fillings and restorative treatment.

As part of the dental examination, x-rays may be recommended.  These usually come in the form of ‘Bitewings’, small x-rays that show the top and bottom back teeth on each side.  All x-rays are taken using the most advanced digital equipment.  Digital x-rays require dramatically less radiation than the old film system, they are fast, save straight to the computer for you to see, and allow us to more easily diagnose problems at an early stage.

At the end of the examination, Dr Sherina will explain her findings, and give you a customised treatment plan for your consideration.  Please do ask her any questions at all.  Your treatment is under your control, and we will only go ahead with the treatment to which you have consented.

The Cost

The dental examination and consultation fee varies depending on the complexity of each patient’s needs.  However the fees are usually deducted from subsequent treatment charges, in effect, they are usually waived.

What is it?

This is the regular maintenance treatment that is normally sufficient for most people to maintain oral health. In addition to the dental check-up it involves scaling & polishing, fluoride treatment, and sometimes special tests depending on your specific needs.

The Benefits

The greatest benefit of regular dental maintenance, in conjunction with a check-up, is peace of mind.

Scaling & polishing removes the bacterial biofilm (plaque) and calculus that builds up on all of our teeth. It helps to maintain gum health and to prevent the development of gingivitis or periodontitis. In addition this process also removes the stains that build up over time, leaving you with a bright, natural smile.

Flouride treatments help to desensitise the teeth, and to increase their protection from developing decay.

The Process

Dr Sherina will use an ultrasonic scaler to efficiently remove the build-up of plaque and calculus from the teeth. This is usually concentrated in the area right next to the gum line, so you may experience some sensitivity during the procedure. Once complete the dentist will then polish the teeth to remove any remaining staining, and leave them feeling clean and smooth.

The flouride treatment involves wearing upper and lower trays filled with concentrated fluoride gel. This is allowed to soak into the teeth over a period of several minutes. It is advised that you avoid eating or drinking for half an hour after the treatment.

The Cost

Charges for a scale & polish will vary depending on the needs of each patient. The cost range is $70-$120. Most people tend to fall into the $70-$90 range, especially those who attend for regular six monthly maintenance appointments. We encourage you to meet with our dentist for a consultation, and discussion of your particular needs and treatment costs.

What is it?

Fillings are placed to restore teeth to function and appearance after trauma, caries removal or tooth wear. Fillings can be separated into two categories – silver coloured or tooth coloured. It is very rare for our clinic to place silver coloured fillings anymore, but they are available if requested.

The Benefits

Fillings are most often carried out as part of the restorative process for caries treatment. They are intended to bring your tooth to function, look good, and prevent the decayed lesion from growing.

They can also be used to restore defects in teeth caused by trauma, or tooth wear. Again this usually has several benefits – relief from pain, restoring function and aesthetics.

Tooth-coloured material science is improving all the time, our composite filling materials have the same if not better strength than the old silver coloured fillings, and have the advantage of bonding to and supporting the existing tooth structure.

The Process

Dr Sherina will discuss all the pros, cons and costs of your treatment needs. If fillings are required, they will usually be under local anaesthetic. This is numbing for just the tooth or area in question. Our clinic always applies a surface numbing gel before giving the local anaesthetic injection to give almost pain free analgesia.

If you have any concerns regarding analgesia, please do let us know so that we can make the experience as anxiety free as possible.

Our dentist will then prepare your tooth for the filling. This means removing any decay or debris with dental drills and hand instruments. You won’t feel any pain, but you may be aware of vibration from the drills.

Tooth coloured fillings take a few stages and require a clean and dry tooth. The dentist will apply an etching gel, which is washed off after a waiting period, then a bond layer is applied and ‘set’ with the light-curing machine. Lastly the filling is placed in layers, and set along the way. It is then polished and the bite is checked. It is ready to use right away, however it is always advisable to wait until your numbing wears off before eating or drinking.

What does it cost?

The cost of this treatment will depend on many factors like complexity and size. The fee range for a tooth coloured filling is $70-$150. We always encourage you to meet with our dentist for a consultation, and discussion of your particular needs and treatment costs.

What is it?

Extraction is the treatment to take a tooth out under local anaesthetic. It is usually done because a tooth can no longer be restored, is too mobile, or for orthodontic treatment.

The Benefits

Extraction for orthodontic treatment allows the orthodontist to create sufficient space in your mouth to align your teeth. It allows for a much more favourable orthodontic outcome.
Extraction due to poor dental or gum prognosis is usually only carried out if all other options have been considered or tried. Under such circumstances, the main benefit will be removal of a source of pain and/or infection. It will also restore that area of your mouth to function, and may allow tooth replacement options to be considered.

The Process

Extractions are done under local anaesthetic. This is numbing for just the tooth or area in question. Our clinic always applies a surface numbing gel before giving the local anaesthetic injection, to give almost pain free analgesia.

If you have any concerns regarding analgesia, please do let us know so that we can make the experience as anxiety free as possible.

Once you are numb, our dentist will gently apply pressure to the tooth from various sides to make it increasingly mobile. When it is quite loose within its socket, forceps are used to help deliver the tooth. This is usually achieved with the tooth intact, but if the tooth is very decayed, it may have to be taken out in pieces.

Once all of the tooth is out, the extraction site is checked, and a pack is placed to stop the bleeding. You will be given instructions in how to take care of the site to optimise healing. You will also be prescribed some mouthwash and painkillers.

What does it cost?

The cost of this treatment will depend on many factors. The fee range for a non-surgical extraction is $80-$150. We always encourage you to meet with our dentist for a consultation, and discussion of your particular needs and treatment costs.

What is it?

When the nerve of a tooth dies, or becomes infected, you may experience pain and swelling. This can cause a severe toothache in extreme cases. Root canal treatment allows us to remove the infected or necrotic nerve while saving the tooth.

The benefits

The most important benefit is removal of the nerve as the source of pain and/or infection without sacrificing the tooth too. In extreme cases root canal treatment is considered an emergency dental treatment to alleviate severe pain, and sometimes swelling.

Root canal treatment also allows you to avoid extracting the tooth, and the tooth replacement treatments that would follow an extraction.

The process

Dr Sherina will go through all the pros, cons, risks and costs of your chosen treatment with you before starting the procedure. You will be given local anaesthetic to ensure a pain-free procedure. This is numbing for just the tooth or area in question. Our clinic always applies a surface numbing gel before giving the local anaesthetic injection, to give almost pain free analgesia.

If you have any concerns regarding analgesia, please do let us know so that we can make the experience as anxiety free as possible.

Once numb, a clamp, like a little metal clasp will be placed around the tooth to be treated, and rubber dam will be applied. Rubber dam is a way to keep the tooth clean, and free of contaminants from the oral cavity. The nerve in the tooth will then be accessed and removed. The canal space which housed the nerve will be thoroughly cleaned, washed, and shaped in preparation for placing the root canal filling. We use the latest endodontic rotary and filling techniques to streamline and optimise your treatment. After the root canal filling is placed, the excess is removed and the treatment is completed with a core or post & core depending on your needs.

Periodically during the treatment you may need x-rays. These are carried out using our digital x-ray machine which is adjoining the treatment space.

After root canal treatment, you will usually need to have a crown or onlay made to protect the underlying tooth and filling.

What does it cost?

Cost for root canal treatment will vary depending on the tooth, and complexity. We always encourage you to meet with our dentist for a consultation, and discussion of your particular needs and treatment costs.

What is it?

Also known as non-surgical periodontal treatment or gum treatment, this is the treatment for people with periodontal or gum disease.  When you attend your regular check-up, our dentist will always check your gum health.  Gum disease is inflammation of the gums, causing them to be swollen, bleed easily and become less and less supportive of the teeth as pockets grow between the gum and the teeth.  Untreated gum disease can lead to bad breath, tooth mobility and even tooth loss. If it is found that you have gum disease, Dr Sherina will recommend this treatment to you.

The Benefits

Periodontal treatment gives you a protocol to slow and even stop the progress of this condition.  The structure of our non-surgical periodontal therapy is reassuring and gets results.  Teeth that were feeling shaky and difficult to eat with will usually become firm with adherence to the treatment.  Gums become less swollen and bleed less readily, and a lot of our patients report improvement in their halitosis (bad breath)

Non-surgical periodontal treatment cannot grow back the gum and bone support that has been lost, but it can allow our patients to halt the progress of the disease, and often bring their teeth back into function.

The Process

Dr Sherina will go through all the pros, cons, risks and costs of the treatment with you before starting the procedure.  You will be given local anaesthetic to ensure a pain-free procedure. This is numbing for just the tooth or area in question.  Our clinic always applies a surface numbing gel before giving the local anaesthetic injection, to give almost pain free analgesia.

If you have any concerns regarding analgesia, please do let us know so that we can make the experience as anxiety free as possible.

The first course of periodontal treatment is carried out over two visits, each lasting 45-60mins.  The local anaesthetic is applied to one side of the mouth, for instance, on the first visit Dr Sherina may numb the upper and lower teeth on the left side of your mouth.  Once numb, a ‘Six Point Pocket Chart’, a thorough measurement of the state of your gums, is carried out.  This provides us with a numerical image of the depth of the periodontally affected pockets around your teeth.

Our dentist will then clean the tooth surfaces below the gum line, to remove the plaque, calculus and bacteria which are causing the gums to be inflamed, and the pockets to grow.  The cleaning is done using carefully calibrated ultrasonic equipment, and is followed by hand instrumentation.  Lastly the pockets are washed out with an antimicrobial irrigant which helps to promote healing following the treatment.

Post treatment advice will be given.  There may be some soreness and sensitivity in the first couple of days, for which analgesics, mouthwash and appropriate toothpaste will be prescribed.  Your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits will also be reviewed to improve the outcome of your treatment.

This process is repeated on the opposite side.

After a three month wait to allow the gums to improve, you will need to return for a periodontal review.  This is a detailed examination of your periodontal health, oral hygiene and related lifestyle habits.

In some cases all the teeth will be found to be free of periodontitis, and a three monthly maintenance program will be prescribed.  In other cases, the response to treatment may be positive but incomplete.  Therefore some patients, with more difficult cases, may have to have further non-surgical and possibly surgical periodontal therapy before they can switch to the maintenance phase.

What are the costs?

Periodontal therapy is an ongoing treatment, therefore the full cost will vary from patient to patient.  The cost of each course of non-surgical periodontal treatment is capped at $600 (with no GST charged) but is may well be less than that, especially for subsequent courses of treatment.

We always encourage you to meet with our dentist for a consultation, and discussion of your particular needs and treatment costs.

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