Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t like my teeth or my smile – what can I do?”

A wide variety of options are available to improve how your teeth work and the way your smile looks. Check out our Smile Gallery section to see how other patients with similar problems were helped, then book a consultation to get started on your new smile.

How much does it cost to get a great smile?”

Like most services, cost will vary based on the time required and the difficulty of the procedures. Generally, improving a smile will require a combination of treatment options such as bleaching, and using bonded materials (resin or porcelain) to improve the appearance of teeth. A great way to start is having a consultation to determine the ways that you can reach your goals. Improving your smile is an investment in you.

What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?”

A great smile should improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on the social and professional aspects of your life. Cosmetic dentistry is not just about pretty smiles though. New techniques and materials are available for back teeth as well as the ones you see when you smile. Now your mouth can look great, get healthy and function better at the same time.

Can I replace black or silver fillings?”

Yes, we offer all of our patients white or tooth coloured fillings.

I have a tooth that has gone dark. Can this be whitened?”

Yes, this is usually caused by a dead tooth which has darkened over time. This may be improved using a whitening technique just on that tooth. If there is lots of filling in the tooth, a crown may be recommended.

How do I know what colour my veneers, crowns, caps, bridge or implants be?”

Usually, the answer is to whiten your natural teeth to either the level of whiteness you want or to the brightest they can be. We will then have the veneers made to that color. Teeth are of course not monochromatic, so typically more than one colour is used to create a very natural look. This colour variation is critical in avoiding fake or artificial looking teeth. It is the internal contrast of colours that help create vitality. The internal play of light on the porcelain in the restoration helps to create this vitality. Surface texture is also very important, and helps to break up light reflections and make the veneers, crowns, caps, bridges or implants look more natural.

What causes dulling and discolouration of teeth?”

Discolourations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Tooth dullness or staining is an indication that whitening should be considered. Smokers and those who drink coffee and/or tea on a regular basis accelerate the discolouration and require cleaning more often. This is among the most common reasons for teeth whitening.

What is Bonding typically used for?”

Bonding is a tooth-colored composite resin (similar to an enamel) that is bonded to the tooth surface to repair and/or change the colour or shape of a tooth, then sculpted into shape, hardened, and polished. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also makes a great tooth coloured filling for small cavities and broken or chipped surfaces. It can also be used to close spaces between teeth.

What can be done for missing teeth?”

Implants, Bridges and Partial Dentures (plates) are all designed to replace missing teeth. Not only will they fill the unsightly spaces left by lost teeth, but they also help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing teeth. We will be able to recommend the treatment best for your situation.

What is a crown?”

Crowns are a layer over the tooth to give a beautiful smile. Most commonly porcelain. Porcelain is stronger, looks nicer and lasts longer.

How long will my crowns last?”

This depends on your particular bite, if you grind your teeth, and how well you look after them. Porcelain crowns can last 15-20 years.

What is a bridge?”

Bridges are used to replace teeth by attaching a false tooth to the teeth beside the gap. These are one of the best ways to fill gaps but does require strong teeth either side of the gap to take the weight of the missing tooth. They look and feel almost exactly like real teeth.

What is an implant?”

Implants are used to fill gaps and are probably the longest lasting option. They do not need any other teeth around them for support and look and feel just like natural teeth. They involve placing a titanium “tooth” into the gum with a crown placed on top. Implants can also be used to make dentures firm and stable so they don’t move around.

How can jagged teeth be corrected?”

In some instances, simple reshaping (contouring) of the front teeth, even without anesthesia, may produce a dramatic result to correct jagged, chipped or slightly uneven teeth. We simply utilize sanding discs and creativity, to create a natural look with existing teeth.

Can I have my teeth straightened without using braces?”

We need to see your teeth to know what can be achieved for you.

What does a hygienist do?”

Hygienists are specifically trained to keep your gums healthy and your teeth scaled and clean.

Why is it important to have a thorough clean and scale?”

One of the most common reasons teeth are lost is due to gum disease. Bacteria form nests in your gums which cause the bone holding your teeth to become diseased. This eventually causes the teeth to get loose and painful. Also the nests of bacteria cause bad breath and make your gums bleed more easily. A thorough and regular clean is the most important thing to help keep your teeth for life, and to keep them looking their best.

How often should I see the hygienist?”

Most people require 6 monthly cleans to keep the nests of bacteria away.

What is tooth whitening?”

Tooth Whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discolouration of enamel and dentine.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?”

Almost anyone. However, treatment may not be as effective or some as it is for others. Your dental professional can determine if you are a viable candidate for this procedure through a thorough oral exam, including a shade assessment.

Do many people whiten their teeth?”

More people than you might imagine. A bright, sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. The Whitening System makes it easier and faster than ever before.

Is whitening safe?”

Yes, extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women. In some cases patients experience tooth sensitivity along the gum margins, but this normally goes away within 24 hours. To assist in lessening such sensitivity, tooth mousse is recommended 5 days prior to the bleaching treatment.

Does teeth whitening damage teeth?”

Latest studies say no, however some people can feel sensitivity but this is largely avoidable.

Are there any side effects?”

Some people experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment. These symptoms disappear within 1-3 days after interruption or completion of the treatment. In some cases patients experience tooth sensitivity along the gum margins, but this normally goes away within 24 hours.

What does a patient experience during the In-Office procedure?”

During the procedure, patients may comfortably watch television or listen to music. Many actually fall asleep.

How does the In-Office System work?”

The light-activated whitening gel’s active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentine, bleaching coloured substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The light aids in activating the Hydrogen Peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth. A study has shown that use of the lamp increases the effectiveness of the gel by 33% or more, giving an average improvement of shades.

How long do the results last?”

Most whitening cases last 3-5 years but in order to maintain the colour it is recommended to use a maintenance kit (bleach trays with a whitening solution) once or twice a year. If you are a heavy smoker or coffee drinker, you would need to use the bleach kit several times a year. The ongoing costs are very low to purchase a supplementary tube of teeth whitener to maintain that beautiful smile.

Does the whitening gel damage my tooth enamel?”

The process oxidises the tooth enamel and produces temporary tooth enamel roughness (microscopic and unable to be felt with the tongue). But this quickly reverses by the minerals in the saliva. There are no long term side effects.