Frequently Asked Questions

What is a crown?

Dental crowns (also sometimes referred to as 'dental caps' or 'tooth caps') cover over and encase the tooth on which they are cemented. Dentists use crowns when rebuilding broken or decayed teeth, as a way to strengthen teeth and as method to improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth. Crowns are made in a dental laboratory by a dental technician who uses moulds of your teeth made by your dentist.

The type of crown your dentist recommends will depend on the tooth involved and sometimes on your preference. They include porcelain crowns, porcelain-bonded-to-metal crowns, which combine the appearance of tooth coloured material with the strength of metal or gold alloy crowns.


What is a bridge?

A bridge is an appliance permanently fixed in the mouth to replace missing teeth. It uses remaining teeth to support the new artificial tooth or teeth.

A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and a false tooth/teeth rigidly attached in between. The false teeth are called pontics. The bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.


What is a dental implant?

A dental implant can be thought of as an artificial tooth root that is submerged into the jawbone. When dental work such as a crown, fixed bridge or a full set of dentures is added, one or more missing teeth can be replaced. A dental implant is fabricated from a very strong, biocompatible material placed in the jaw bone. After an initial healing period, during which the implant is buried in bone and left undisturbed under gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small metal post that secures and supports the artificial tooth.

The implant material is extremely biocompatible. The bone grows to the implant and bonds to it. This makes the implant very strong. The process is called 'osseointegration'. For more information speak to your dentist.


Are amalgam fillings harmful?

Dental amalgam, or sliver fillings, have been used as a reliable, efficient, long-lasting and safe filling material for over 100 years. There is no scientific evidence to indicate that amalgam fillings are dangerous and health experts and institutions world-wide support the use of amalgam fillings.

The World Health Organisation and the World Dental Federation have released a joint statement confirming the safety of dental amalgam as a filling material.


Should I have my amalgam fillings replaced?

Replacing any filling unnecessarily or for improved appearance results in additional tooth substance loss and weakening of the remaining tooth structure. Unless there is a legitimate dental need to replace your filling, you are better off keeping the fillings you have. Talk to your dentist of you are unsure.


What is cosmetic dentistry?

In today's age of technology, your dentist has a range of options to help your teeth look great. Stained teeth, dark teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, and even teeth that are missing altogether, can be repaired or replaced. Cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry is the broad heading under which many dental procedures that improve the appearance of teeth may be described.


Does Jones Dental do tooth whitening?

Yes Jones Dental offers tooth whitening. Your dentist, after assessing if tooth whitening is suitable for you, takes an impression of your teeth. A special thin tray is then constructed to fit your teeth accurately. The whitening agent, which is in the form of a gel, is placed in the tray and the tray is worn at home for the period of time recommended by your dentist in order to achieve the best result.


What is the best technique to brush my teeth?

When brushing your teeth it is best to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, aiming the bristles of your brush toward the gum line. The join between the teeth and the gum is where a lot of bacteria and plaque accumulates, so it is important to get to this area.

Once you have the brush at the correct angle, you need to jiggle the brush gently back and forward, only brushing one or two teeth at a time. Don't be excessively vigorous but also don't be too mild.

You need to be systematic - brushing all teeth in order, inside, outside and chewing surfaces. Don't forget to brush your tongue as well.


How do I know if I need a filling?

You may not know if you need fillings in your teeth. Many small to medium holes in teeth are asymptomatic, giving no pain. In fact, decay can sometimes eat out two-thirds of the tooth from the inside and you would have no idea it is happening.

Dental radiographs (X-rays), which are taken on a regular basis as part of your check-up, may show early decay that has not yet given any symptoms. You may be able to see a change in the colour on some of your teeth which may indicate early decay.

If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink, you may need fillings. All persistently sensitive teeth should be checked by your dentist. Toothache that lasts for more than a few minutes at a time should be investigated by your dentist. Teeth that cause severe pain may require fillings, or in some cases will require more extensive treatment such as root canal treatment.


What should I do in a dental emergency?

Call Jones Dental as soon as possible to make an appointment, at all 4 Jones Dental locations we keep emergency appointments each day for such occurrences and our Unanderra surgery is open every Saturday.

A very persistent toothache is always a sign that you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should try to obtain relief by rinsing the mouth with water and trying to clean out debris from any obvious cavities. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped within the cavity (especially between the teeth). If swelling is present, place a cold compress to the outside of the cheek (Do Not heat). Take pain relief if necessary, using pain medicines that you know you are safe with. Remember, no pain relief tablets will work directly on the tooth. They must be swallowed as directed. If placed on the tooth, they can cause more trouble (especially aspirin).

Braces or retainers:
If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze or soft wax. If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, DO NOT attempt to remove it: Let the dentist do it. If there is a loose or broken appliance, go to the orthodontist or dentist.

Knocked out tooth:
If dirty, rinse tooth in milk holding it by the crown (not roots). If not available use water (few seconds only) or have patient suck it clean, then put the tooth back in the socket. If the tooth cannot be replanted, wrap in Glad Wrap or place it in milk or in the patient's mouth inside the cheek. Go to a dentist within 30 minutes if you can. Time is critical for successful replanting.

Broken tooth:
Try to clean debris from the injured area with warm water. If caused by a blow, place a cold compress on the face next to the injured tooth to minimize swelling. Go to the dentist as soon as practicable.

Bitten tongue or lip:
Apply direct pressure to bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compress. If bleeding doesn't stop readily or the bite is severe, go to the dentist or hospital.

Objects wedged between teeth:
Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss in carefully so as not to cut the gums. If unsuccessful, go to a dentist.


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