FAQS - General

Why did I lose a tooth?

Tooth decay is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Given this, it is very important to treat dental issues early to prevent a bigger issue later on. We recommend regular dentist visits to help maintain your natural teeth for life. Your dental hygienist/oral health therapist plays a pivotal role in your dental education and will instruct you on correct brushing and flossing technique. We call this preventative dentistry.

What causes tooth decay

Sugar is the main cause of decay and unfortunately in this day and age it is found in many of the foods and beverages we eat and drink. Natural bacteria in the mouth (that sit on the teeth) thrive on sugar. When bacteria and sugar get together a chemical reaction occurs that produces acid. This acid eats away at the enamel of the tooth leading to decay. Incorrect brushing techniques and poor flossing routine can also lead to tooth decay, our clinical staff will educate you to ensure this won’t happen in the future.

What causes tooth discolouration?

The most common causes of discolouration (after ageing) is the consumption of staining substances. Unfortunately these are all the fun things – coffee, tea, cola and red wine among others. Certain antibiotics or even excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discolouration.

Are there different types of mouthguards?

There are two basic types of mouthguards available. The generic mouthguard available at many pharmacies. These are a ‘one size fits most’ and normally fit poorly and are uncomfortable to wear. We do not recommend these as they offer little protection to teeth. The custom fitted mouthguard which we can fit for you. We construct this mouthguard directly from a mould taken from your teeth. This will fit snugly and comfortably over your teeth. These are the most effective in preventing injuries to the teeth.

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a removable, soft and flexible shield placed over teeth. They are ideal to protect the teeth when worn during vigorous or high contact sports.

Do I need to get my dentures checked?

Absolutely. If it is a partial denture you wear with your remaining natural teeth then your dentures should be reviewed every 6 months ideally or as we recommend. If you wear full dentures, we would like to see you every 2 years for review.

What is the difference between a denture and a crown?

A crown is fixed or cemented in place and cannot be removed. Dentures are removable.

What is a denture?

A denture is an appliance that replaces teeth. We can replace all the teeth (full denture) or only some of them (partial denture). They are entirely removable for cleaning.

What is an oral health therapist?

These guys and gals know teeth well! They are university trained and registered practitioners. They have spent at least 3 years studying general paediatric dentistry, general periodontics, oral health sciences and public health and hold a Bachelor Degree in their chosen field. At Channon Lawrence Dental, our Oral Health Therapists play a vitally role in delivering general children’s dentistry, gum disease treatment/management and/oral health maintenance. We pride ourselves on having two Oral Health Therapists on the clinical team to care for our junior patients.

What is preventative dentistry?

Setting of a good oral health foundation to avoid future decay. This entails regular checkups, cleaning, personalised education and an at home guide for caring for your teeth and gums.

How often should I visit the dentist?

Ideally we would like to see you every 6 – 12 months. Oral health can impact all other aspects of your overall well-being and it is important you look after it.

How do I know if I need a filling?

Fillings can be quite sneaky, you may not know that you actually need them. Many of the smaller holes in teeth give no pain. In fact, decay has been known to eat away the majority of the tooth from the inside out and you would have no idea it is happening. Dental X-rays (which are taken on a regular basis as part of your check-up) may show early decay that has yet to give any symptoms. If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold or sweet food and drink, you may need fillings. If you see your teeth start to change colour that may be a sign of early decay and you may need fillings. Any persistently sensitive teeth should be checked. Toothache that lasts for more than a few minutes at a time should be investigated. Teeth that cause severe pain may require fillings, or in some cases will require more extensive treatment such as root canal treatment.

Are there particular sports you recommend mouthguards for?

Mouthguards should be worn during any sport where there is the chance of a knock to the face. In contact sports a mouthguard should be compulsory (these include rugby, soccer, martial arts and boxing). For collision sports a mouth guard is highly recommended. These sports include basketball, hockey, netball, baseball, softball, BMX bike riding, horse riding, skateboarding and skiing among others. Mouthguards should be worn during all competitions as well as during training sessions, as this is when many injuries occur. This is especially important to children in junior teams.

How are fillings done?

Prior to filling your tooth we prepare the area under local anaesthesia. We gently remove all the decay, we wash and dry the tooth then we fill the cavity. Before the filling sets we shape it to match the original tooth contour and your bite is checked.

What is a filling?

A filling is a material that is used to restore functional and lasting structure to a tooth that has been disfigured (largely by decay or accidental breakage).

What does treatment for root canal involve?

Root canal treatment may involve up to three visits to see us. We will remove the pulp of the tooth then clean and seal the pulp chamber and root canal/s. The procedure is as follows: We make an opening through the crown of the tooth into the chamber where the pulp is found. We remove the pulp then clean the root canal and shape it into a form that can be easily filled. At this stage we may place medication to prevent infection in the pulp chamber. Depending on the presentation of your tooth, we will either leave the tooth open in order for it to drain or place a temporary filler into the crown of the tooth to protect it until your next visit. (Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection). We then remove the temporary filler, clean the root canal again before permanently filling the pulp chamber. Finally, we may place a porcelain crown over your tooth.

Why would I need a root canal?

If you have a damaged tooth or teeth. Inside your tooth is soft tissue containing nerves, blood and lymph vessels. These are known as the tooth pulp. When the pulp cannot repair itself from disease or injury, it dies. A fracture in a tooth or a deep cavity can lead to pulp death as the pulp is exposed to bacteria found in your mouth. If this happens and the pulp becomes infected, it is best to remove it before it spreads to the tooth and surrounding tissues. The whole tooth may be lost if the infection is left untreated. Root canal treatment can save your tooth.

What is a root canal?

Root canal (or endodontic treatment) is a process whereby inflamed or dead pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth. If you are suffering from a painful tooth, rather than extract it, we remove the inflamed or dead insides. This removes the cause of the pain but will enable you to retain your tooth.

I am incredibly anxious about a trip to the dentist. Help!

Anxiety about a visit to the dentist is very common. We take every step possible at Channon Lawrence Dental to ensure your visit with us is as gentle and comfortable as possible. We offer sedation dentistry, please speak to our friendly reception team on 07 5482 7688 to find out more.

Extraction sounds painful!

Whilst it does sound painful, you will be pleasantly surprised. The majority of cases are relatively straightforward and can be done under local anaesthetic. Whilst this means you are awake, you cannot feel the extraction being performed.

What benefit do tooth coloured fillings offer?

In a word, aesthetics. No longer when you talk will you be flashing a mouth full of metal. We can now blend shades to create a colour match to that of your actual tooth, providing an extremely natural and indistinguishable appearance. We think that’s pretty clever!

What age should I bring my child to see a dentist?

Early visits can prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. We suggest bringing your younger children (1 and up) in with you when you get your check up to normalise the dentist to them. Children should be taught good habits with oral health early to promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Your dentist will be able to detect early decay if it presents so children should be brought in for their own visits from the age of 3.

Are there common dental problems seen in pre-school children?

Nursing decay is a common problem seen in infants and younger children. Bottle and breast fed babies are both at risk equally. Babies who are frequently breast fed (especially at night) or bubs who are left with a bottle in their cot run the risk of this type of decay due to the prolonged exposure to milk (either human or artificial) or juice. Pre-school children commonly present with common decay. This can usually be traced back to a diet high in sugar, starch and/or acidic foods. Juices, cordials and soft drinks are particularly nasty to the teeth.

Can babies get tooth decay?

Unfortunately tooth decay can still be a common problem in infancy and childhood. Over the past few decades, despite the general reduction in dental tooth decay, early childhood tooth decay is still common.

What is CEREC - Same Day Crowns?

CEREC- Same Day Crowns is simply the name of a computerised system that we use here at Channon Lawrence Dental. It manufactures crowns or veneers or natural looking restorations to replace large fillings. The end result is a non-metallic restoration which looks and feels like natural teeth and which is bonded to the existing or remaining tooth structure.