We answer your dental questions.
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Tooth Ache and Pain

I have bad toothache, can you see me today?

Yes, of course. We will try our best to get you out of pain as soon as possible. We allocate time in our schedule specifically for  emergencies. Give us a call on 4926 2240 and speak to one of our team to schedule your appointment.

How often should I get my teeth checked and cleaned?

This really depends on what is happening in your mouth. If disease is active and aggressive then a six-week review may be recommended.

On the other end of the spectrum, a bi-annual review may be sufficient for someone with a healthy mouth who also takes the time for exemplary home care. A more usual review period is three to six months.

Can you extract my tooth?

Not all teeth can or should be saved, sometimes there is no other option. Choices comes later, when you consider what should be done to replace your tooth and this is where you want as many options as possible.

The range of options for future replacement of your missing tooth is greatest where there is bone available where the tooth was taken out. Unfortunately, as soon as your tooth is removed you also start to lose the bone that supported the tooth, unless something is done to maintain it.

A bone graft allows you to maintain as much supporting bone as possible and gives you the opportunity to at least have a gum shape that helps your replacement tooth look real. Even if you would only consider replacing your tooth with a denture, the grafted site will allow a denture to be more retentive than it would otherwise have been.

In an ideal world, a graft would be placed each time a tooth was taken out.

Do you do root canals?

Yes we do. The most common reason for having a root canal treatment is when the inside part of the tooth is dead or dying.

Sometimes this process can be extremely painful and people are grateful for the relief offered by the procedure. At other times the tooth can die without warning and infection can spread through the bone around tooth and you don’t even know about it until an x-ray is taken or the infection spreads to the point where it is noticed.

In either situation, root canal treatment can help you keep your damaged tooth.

I have a cracked tooth, can you help?

Can my headache be caused by my teeth?

The position of your teeth can certainly make life hard for the muscles that bring your top and bottom teeth together and this can be the cause of your headaches. Try this. Sit quietly with your lips and teeth apart and just relax. When you are nice and comfortable, slowly begin to close and point to the place where your top teeth and your bottom teeth touch together first.

(Some will find it very hard to relax like this and will want to just clench their teeth together. If that’s you, your muscles get very little rest – it’s little wonder that they might get tired and painful. You are likely to have a lot happening in your mouth and it is probably time to find out why you are clenching regularly.)

Your bottom jaw just hangs from your head. It is positioned entirely by muscles and ligaments. What you have just done is found out that the muscles that hold your jaw in place would like your teeth to meet in one place, but that particular teeth don’t allow this to happen. So the muscles know that they would be most comfortable in a particular spot, but the teeth don’t let them use that spot. The teeth get in the way and so the muscles have to adapt to where the teeth dictate that they must be. Like any muscle that is under continuous adaptive stress, pain is common. Pain coming from the muscles that position the jaw is interpreted by our body as a headache.

People have spent many years battling debilitating headaches, only to find that relief is rapid when neuromuscular dentistry provides a physiologically balanced jaw position.

Do you remove wisdom teeth?

Yes. Wisdom teeth are molar teeth that traditionally appear around 18 years, and sometimes there is no room in the jaw for them. When this happens, the wisdom teeth don’t have enough room and become stuck, or impacted. Impacted teeth often cause painful infections and can cause a lot of damage to the tooth in front of them.

Extraction is usually the solution to the problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth. Plan the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth for a time that is convenient to you, rather than have the surgery forced on you at a time when you would really prefer not to be swollen and sore.

Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Possibly. Wisdom teeth are molar teeth that traditionally appear around 18 years, and sometimes there is no room in the jaw for them. When this happens, the wisdom teeth don’t have enough room and become stuck, or impacted. Impacted teeth often cause painful infections and can cause a lot of damage to the tooth in front of them.

Extraction is usually the solution to the problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth. Plan the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth for a time that is convenient to you, rather than have the surgery forced on you at a time when you would really prefer not to be swollen and sore.

I have whiplash, can you help?

Whiplash is a terrible injury that is often glossed over as not being important, but many continue to suffer from whiplash long after the other injuries sustained at the time have healed.

Whiplash is basically a compression injury. The difficulty with treatment arises from attempting to maintain the necessary decompression which allows the tissues of your neck and jaws to heal. Your physiotherapist or chiropractor will be able to provide short term relief, but unless your neck and jaw joints are treated together, then long term resolution will be unlikely.

A neuromuscular dentist will be able to predictably maintain the decompression needed for resolution of your jaw joint and neck symptoms.

What is a root canal treatment?

The most common reason for having a root canal treatment is when the inside part of the tooth is dead or dying.
Sometimes this process can be extremely painful and people are grateful for the relief offered by the procedure. At other times the tooth can die without warning and infection can spread through the bone around tooth and you don’t even know about it until an x-ray is taken or the infection spreads to the point where it is noticed.

In either situation, root canal treatment can help you keep your damaged tooth.

Why do teeth crack?

The easy answer is because they get overloaded. The overload can occur 2 ways:

  • the tooth has been weakened by decay or restorations that don’t reinforce it.
  • the load on the tooth is excessive – for example, chewing ice, clenching or grinding.

Unfortunately, this sort of overload often occurs while we sleep, and we don’t even know about it.

Minimising Discomfort

Do you offer ‘Happy Gas’?

Yes. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your treatment. You can have nitrous oxide (Happy Gas) for your dental treatment or a more powerful sedation if you prefer.

We also offer NuCalm which has revolutionised dental care for people who are apprehensive about treatment – and let’s face it, that includes most of us. NuCalm is an all-natural therapy that makes you feel as though you are just about to go to sleep. NuCalm has no recovery period – when your appointment has finished you are ready to go about your day as usual.

Do you offer general anaesthesia?

Yes. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your treatment. We can arrange for your dental treatment to be carried out under general anaesthetic. You can also have nitrous oxide (Happy Gas) for your dental treatment or a more powerful sedation if you prefer.

What is NuCalm all about?

We also offer NuCalm which has revolutionised dental care for people who are apprehensive about treatment – and let’s face it, that includes most of us. NuCalm is an all-natural therapy that makes you feel as though you are just about to go to sleep. NuCalm has no recovery period – when your appointment has finished you are ready to go about your day as usual.

Are you a child-friendly dentist?

Yes. We understand children can be quite anxious about dental treatment. Our friendly and caring team goes above and beyond to ensure your children’s time with us is stress-free and pleasant, including many and varied pain management and anxiety relief techniques.

Cost

How much will a filling cost?

Please give us a call to discuss our fees and approximate costing. If you are in pain we will need to see you and maybe take some x-rays to find the source of the pain. Give us a call and speak to one of our friendly team to schedule your appointment.

What is the price for a check-up and clean?

We do have set fees for our check-up and clean appointments.

If you haven’t been to see us before, we prefer to do a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth before we do any treatment. This way we can give you more definite costing and a plan to carry out your treatment.

Give us a call and speak to one of our team to schedule your examination appointment.

I know I need a lot of work, but I don’t have a lot of money.

For most of us, money is definitely a finite resource that needs to be very carefully controlled. This is the case whether you are using your own money or have borrowed money to fund treatment.

It is always tempting to spend money on the obvious – for example, filling that cavity – and in many emergency type situations that is absolutely valid and necessary. However, once the emergency is over, the most important part of keeping your teeth healthy for years to come, is to have a plan.

Most people don’t plan to lose their teeth, but neither do they have a plan to keep them and so the number of teeth that are lost grows as the years go by. Spending some time and money on finding out where you are now, where you want to be, and how you might get there is never wasted.

Treatment can nearly always be staged so that you arrive at a destination of your choosing, rather than going on a mystery tour to a place that you would have really preferred to avoid.

How much will it cost to remove a tooth?

This is a common question and a difficult one to give a definite answer to.

Please give us a call to discuss our fees and approximate costing. If you are in pain, we will need to see you and find the source of the pain. Give us a call and speak to one of our friendly team to schedule your appointment.

What does it cost to get my tooth crowned or capped?

This is a common question and a difficult one to give a definite answer to, as it very much depends on the state of your teeth and gums and which tooth you are wishing to get crowned or capped.

We have many possible solutions, so please give us a call to discuss our fees and approximate costing. For long term solutions such as ceramics and implants, we are similar in cost to most good quality dentists in the business area of our capital cities (without the cost of travelling outside of Rockhampton).

What does it cost to get an implant or veneers?

This is a common question and a difficult one to give a definite answer to, as it very much depends on the state of your teeth and gums and which tooth you are wishing to replace.

We have many possible solutions, so please give us a call to discuss our fees and approximate costing. For long term solutions such as ceramics and implants, we are similar in cost to most good quality dentists in the business area of our capital cities (without the cost of travelling outside of Rockhampton).

Are you a preferred provider for my health fund?

At Capricornia Dental Centre we put our patients above private health funds. Our fees are fair and reflect the above-average service and expertise we offer. For dental implants and long-term solutions such as ceramics, our fees are comparable with capital city dentists, but right here in Rockhampton.

HICAPS is available so you can claim immediately from your health fund and only pay the gap. Capricornia Dental Centre doesn’t make financial agreements with any particular health providers, ensuring you decide on your best options for treatment.

Can I get the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) provides access to benefits for basic dental services to children aged 2-17 years. The total benefit entitlement is capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period.

The CDBS has a means test, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) or a relevant Australian Government payment. It provides individual benefits for a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.

Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital.

Give us a call and talk to our friendly staff to discuss this scheme and your eligibility.

Appearance

I don’t like my black/silver/amalgam fillings. What can I do?

The black fillings are amalgam which is very strong but actually can weaken the tooth, and it’s predominantly made from mercury.

Amalgam is usually replaced with either resin if the cavity is small, or ceramic if more of the tooth is missing. Resin can help the tooth become stronger after it is restored, but if a large amount of tooth is missing, then resin is just not up to the job.

In this situation, a laminate of ceramic and resin is bonded to the remaining tooth to make the tooth very nearly as strong as it was before it ever had a cavity.

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Do you do teeth whitening?

Yes, we do. The tooth whitening product we are currently using is the best we have found.

Although it’s not the cheapest system, we find that the system we use, with a planned combination of home and in-surgery teeth whitening, produces results which, even with very badly stained teeth, are amazing. Talk to us about it today.

Does teeth whitening work?

The honest answer is sometimes. Reliable teeth whitening is very dependent on the technique and the products used. We have found that the best technique is a pre-planned combination of home and in-surgery teeth whitening.

The tooth whitening product we are currently using is the best we have found.

Although it’s not the cheapest system, we find that the system we use with a planned combination of home and in-surgery teeth whitening, produces results which, even with very badly stained teeth, are amazing. Talk to us about it today.

What teeth whitening products do you use?

We use a bleaching system which can dramatically whiten teeth, often 16 shades or more lighter depending on the teeth’s susceptibility.

Whitening is considered entirely safe and will involve periodic home care to maintain your results. Our system works by restoring your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen which is absorbed deeply into the tooth, dissolving stain molecules and altering how the teeth absorb and reflect light.

Can teeth whitening damage my teeth?

When teeth whitening was first promoted many years ago, there were all sorts of dire predictions of irreversible damage.

So far, after millions of teeth whitening procedures world-wide, with a wide range of products, the dire consequences that were predicted do not appear to be occurring with anything approaching statistical significance.

The most common side effect of a teeth whitening procedure is short to medium term tooth sensitivity. Our preferred technique of home teeth whitening prior to in-surgery teeth whitening reduces the potential for the whitening to lead to debilitating sensitivity of any duration.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is about enhancing your smile. It may mean replacing old and discoloured fillings, re-shaping worn or damaged teeth, moving teeth into alignment or simply brightening your smile with teeth whitening product.

We have many options available. Please call our friendly team at Capricornia Dental to discuss your needs.

Do you make dentures?

Yes – and our dentures are very different to most. We custom-make your dentures using our neuromuscular technique and computerised jaw tracking to ensure your finished bite is physiologically and anatomically correct.

Every detail of tooth placement, size, shape, proportion, inclination, colour and contour is considered to give you dentures that will enable you to speak, eat and smile with complete comfort and confidence. Call us to talk about your needs.

Do you make mouthguards?

Children's Dentistry

Are you a child-friendly dentist?

Yes. We understand children can be quite anxious about dental treatment. Our friendly and caring team is committed to ensuring their time with us is stress-free and pleasant.

Do you treat lip-tie and tongue-tie?

Yes. In some cases there may be a restriction of movement of the tongue or lip, which is sometimes referred to as tongue tie or lip tie.

The release of a tied tongue or lip is a simple procedure that will aid every aspect of your child’s oral development – not only help with easier feeding. This applies equally to breast or bottle-fed babies. It may be able to be resolved by us without surgery, but if necessary, we will refer your child for surgery.

Are you a dentist that bulk bills?

At Capricornia Dental Centre we do not bulk bill but HICAPS is available so you can claim immediately from your health fund and only pay the gap. Capricornia Dental Centre also doesn’t make financial agreements with any particular health providers, ensuring you decide on your best options for your children’s’ treatment.

Do you make mouthguards?

Can I get the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) provides access to benefits for basic dental services to children aged 2-17 years. The total benefit entitlement is capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period.

The CDBS has a means test, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) or a relevant Australian Government payment. It provides individual benefits for a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.

Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital.

Give us a call and talk to our friendly staff to discuss this scheme and your eligibility.

Do you do orthodontics for children?

Yes, we offer Orthodontics and Orthotropics®. Orthotropics avoids pulling teeth backwards and has been shown to increase the airway size and make the face more attractive than conventional orthodontics.

Please give our friendly team a call to discuss your orthodontic needs.

Sore Gums

How do I keep my gums healthy?

Each tooth needs to be thoroughly cleaned every day. Flossing your teeth, particularly using a technique known as circumferential flossing, can achieve this.

If you find it hard to floss, there are many other aids that are available to you, ranging from little brushes that specifically clean between the teeth to water blasters that use pressurised water to get to places that are otherwise hard to clean effectively.

Do you treat gum disease?

The mainstay of treatment for periodontal disease is cleaning; and not just by us. When we clean your teeth thoroughly and remove the plaque and scale from the teeth, then they will remain clean for about a day. After this time, bacteria will begin to recolonise the tooth and the process will begin again, but it will take about 6 weeks for the really harmful bacteria to find their home on your tooth. Your home care is more important than what we do in the surgery.

Sometimes, the particular bacteria in your mouth can be very hard to control by conventional methods. If we suspect this, then a sample of your plaque can be sent for analysis so that we can determine which antibiotics may be useful in getting your disease under control in conjunction with a renewed home and in-surgery protocol.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory gum disease. Bacteria that attach to the teeth are the cause of the inflammation, but each person’s response to the bacteria is different. Some people can have a huge bacterial load and very little disease. Others can have very few bacteria, and still generate an exaggerated response with rapid destruction of the bone that supports the teeth.

It is important to know what you are dealing with if your periodontal disease is not being controlled by conventional treatment. Further tests are available to target the bacteria involved and better control the inflammatory response.

There is a very strong correlation between the inflammatory process of periodontal disease and other inflammatory processes such as heart diseases. Healthy gums are proving to be a very important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth are molar teeth that traditionally appear around 18 years, and sometimes there is no room in the jaw for them. When this happens, the wisdom teeth don’t have enough room and become stuck, or impacted. Impacted teeth often cause painful infections and can cause a lot of damage to the tooth in front of them.

Extraction is usually the solution to the problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth. Plan the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth for a time that is convenient to you, rather than have the surgery forced on you at a time when you would really prefer not to be swollen and sore.

Sleep Apnoea

What can a dentist do about sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea occurs when a person’s airway closes during sleep. Some people have an airway that is prone to collapse during sleep, due to poor jaw development, a large tongue, bad posture, or weight gain. These people are at greater risk of suffering from sleep apnoea.

We can help.

At Capricornia Dental Centre, we take a very personalised approach to constructing and fitting you with a physiologically based appliance to treat sleep apnoea and sleep disorders related to difficulty in breathing.

Many over the counter and cheaper appliances use an arbitrary sizing – a fast ‘fix’ and a cheaper product which is rarely effective for treating the problem. Particularly for people who are intolerant of the traditional CPAP device, our appliance is created uniquely for your physiology, and is therefore comfortable to wear and retain while you’re sleeping.

I’ve been told I snore. Can a dentist help?

Yes, we can help. If you already have a CPAP machine then you have probably already been diagnosed with either OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) or UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) and know the consequences of leaving these conditions untreated.

CPAP is definitely the gold standard against which all other treatments for OSA and UARS are measured. If you can’t tolerate a CPAP machine – and you are not alone in this – then something needs to be done to keep you breathing effectively while you sleep.

At Capricornia Dental Centre, we take a very personalised approach to constructing and fitting you with a physiologically based appliance to treat sleep apnoea and sleep disorders related to difficulty in breathing.

Many over the counter and cheaper appliances use an arbitrary sizing – a fast ‘fix’ and a cheaper product which is rarely effective for treating the problem. Particularly for people who are intolerant of the traditional CPAP device, our appliance is created uniquely for your physiology, and is therefore comfortable to wear and retain while you’re sleeping.

I can’t get used to my CPAP machine. Can a dentist help?

If you already have a CPAP machine then you have probably already been diagnosed with either OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) or UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) and know the consequences of leaving these conditions untreated.

CPAP is definitely the gold standard against which all other treatments for OSA and UARS are measured. If you can’t tolerate a CPAP machine – and you are not alone in this – then something needs to be done to keep you breathing effectively while you sleep.

At Capricornia Dental Centre, we take a very personalised approach to constructing and fitting you with a physiologically based appliance to treat sleep apnoea and sleep disorders related to difficulty in breathing.

An oral appliance can be used to stop your lower jaw from falling back while you sleep and obstructing or impeding your airway. Oral appliances were not reliable in the past, mainly because they didn’t respect your physiology. Contemporary sleep dentistry places much more emphasis on maintaining a jaw position that is both physiologically compatible with maintaining your airway and also allowing your body to relax and recover which is what sleep is all about. Be very wary of accepting any appliance that doesn’t respect your physiology.