Check up and clean

At Be Pain Free Dentistry, we know the best way to prevent pain and suffering caused by an unhealthy mouth and teeth is to provide regular check ups for our patients.

We encourage all our patients to visit us every six months for a thorough examination by offering a gap free check up and clean service. So if you are part of a private health fund, you will pay nothing out of pocket for your six monthly dental visit for a check up and clean. This will include the scaling to remove any calculus as well as a polish and fluoride to make your teeth healthy and strong. We will also take X-rays as required to identify and eliminate any early problems that may be present in your teeth and dental bone.

We dislike using the drill as much as you dislike having it used on you, so even if you aren't having any apparent dental problems, we would still encourage you to visit us regularly so that we can ensure your gums and teeth are at the healthiest possible.

As part of your regular check up and clean, we will look for any signs of early tooth decay and gum disease and will monitor your bone levels using X-rays and other clinical methods. We will also remove any hard (calculus) and soft (plaque) deposits and remove any visible stains.

Fissure sealants

Fissures are the naturally occurring pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth. If they are very deep and narrow, it is impossible for an ordinary tooth brush to get inside and clean them sufficiently. If the fissures can’t be cleaned out well, then food and bacteria get trapped in these areas which will lead to tooth decay with time.

A fissure sealant is a protective coating. It is like a layer of paint that can be applied to the fissures after they have been professionally cleaned by a dentist which will minimise the risk of tooth decay in the fissures. Fissure sealing is a painless and non invasive preventive treatment that only takes a few minutes to complete and does not require local anaesthesia.

Sealants often wear away with time and may need to be reapplied after a number of years. The best time to place a fissure sealant is soon after the eruption of a permanent tooth. However, at Be Pain Free Dentistry, we believe it is better late than never, and if we feel that you or your child are at high risk of future tooth decay and may benefit from fissure sealants we will discuss this with you so that we can prevent decay and fillings in the future on these teeth.

It is important to note that whilst and intact fissure seal offers a seal and will protect against tooth decay on that particular surface, having a fissure seal does not guarantee that your child will be entirely cavity free as untreated surfaces are still prone to decay. So it is essential that you and your child brush and floss regularly and limit the consumption of sugary foods and drinks. We also recommend regular dental visits so that we can monitor the condition of the fissure seals and also monitor the rest of the dentition for any sign of decay or early issues.

There are no reported side effects from having fissure sealants applied on teeth, however, if you are concerned about any aspect of it, please discuss your concerns with us.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that is added to many dental products and also tap water in an effort to strengthen teeth and prevent the formation of tooth decay. Tooth decay is a result of acid attack on teeth, and fluoride is effective against decay as it can aid in repairing the damage and remineralising the demineralised tooth surface before it progresses to a cavitation. A constant source of low level fluoride is the best prevention against demineralisation and so at Be Pain Free Dentistry, we recommend that you drink tap water which contains a low level of fluoride.

We will also apply some fluoride foam to you teeth when you come in for your regular cleans. The foam contains moderate amounts of fluoride and will help to further strengthen your teeth when applied in small amounts over regular intervals.

If there is a specific tooth or area where we feel there is excessive demineralisation or enamel loss, we will apply a higher concentration of fluoride to this area in the form of a fluoride varnish. This will help further strengthen your teeth and with the correct diet and oral hygiene habits we may be able to prevent the development of tooth decay so that you do not need any fillings.

Gum disease treatment

Early gum disease is a completely reversible condition that begins as an inflammation of the gum tissue. Gum disease may present as swollen red gums that may be tender to touch. Often the first sign of gum disease is bleeding from your gums when you brush and floss your teeth. If you are suffering from gum disease (gingivitis), your friendly dentist will devise an oral hygiene routine that is tailor made to you that will reverse the effects of this disease. However, we rely on you to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene at home to prevent the progression of the gum disease. If gingivitis is not controlled in its early stages, it can progress to periodontitis.

Periodontitis is when there is tissue and bone destruction around your teeth and this may lead to teeth becoming loose in the mouth. If not treated in time, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. In the beginning periodontitis presents similarly to gingivitis with some redness and swelling of the gums, bleeding with brushing and bad breath. In later stages there will be gum loss which will give the appearance of your teeth getting longer in your mouth. There will be deep pockets between the teeth and gums. You may also notice that your teeth are moving in your mouth. You may also suffer from some sensitivity due to the recession of the gums.

Many studies have been done which show that periodontitis may be related to an increased risk of many diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis.

Ineffective oral hygiene is the primary cause of periodontitis, however, it maybe made worse by some other factors such as uncontrolled diabetes and smoking. If you are a smoker and are interested in quitting, please discuss this with our team and we will strive to provide you with all the support and resources that we can to help you quit.

Although we usually recommend a check up and clean twice a year, if you are suffering from gum disease, we recommend that you attend for check ups and deep cleaning appointments more regularly (usually four times a year). This will ensure we can monitor the status of your teeth, gums and bone and take action whenever required to give your teeth the best chance of lasting you for your lifetime.

If we feel that you have a more aggressive form of gum disease, we may recommend that it is in your best interests to see a gum specialist (periodontist). If this is the case, we will discuss your options with you and recommend an expert based on your specific needs.

Halitosis (bad breath)

If you are concerned about the freshness of your breath, please mention this to our friendly dentists and they will do their best to identify the cause of the problem and help to eliminate the bad breath.

Halitosis (or ‘bad breath’) can be caused by a number of issues. Rarely it can be a symptom of an underlying condition such as liver failure, but in most instances, halitosis can be reduced or eliminated by improving oral hygiene. With regular brushing (twice a day), flossing (once a day) and a gentle brushing of the tongue daily, most people find their halitosis can be minimised.

In some cases, the cause of the bad breath may not be from the mouth or from the oral tissues, and in these situations it can be more difficult to identify and treat the cause of the problem. However, our dentists will work with you to attempt to identify and correct your halitosis. It may be as simple as increasing your intake of water daily so make sure you mention your concerns to us at your appointment.

Mouth guard

Every year thousands of people are treated for sport related dental injuries that could have been entirely avoided or at least minimised by the use of a custom fitted mouthguard.

The Australian Dental Association strongly recommends investing in a custom-fitted mouthguard (such as the ones we can make for you) because the cost of injury to your teeth or jaw far exceeds the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard.

A custom-fitted mouthguard is not only often more comfortable than a store bought one, but it will also help absorb and spread the impact of a blow to your face. A store bought mouthguard on the other hand, may actually do more harm than good, as it is not a snug fit around your teeth and may lead to an increased incidence of injury to the teeth, jaws and soft tissues of the mouth.

Any activity or sport that may result in contact and damage to the face, jaws, or teeth will require the use of a mouthguard. Some such activities include hockey, netball, baseball, basketball, boxing, skate boarding, skiing, NRL, AFL, and water polo.

Reasons to ear a mouthguard when playing sport:
1. Cushions teeth against impact.
2. Protects against jaw joint injuries.
3. Protects against soft tissue injuries.
4. Helps prevent neck and jaw injuries.
5. May help reduce concussion.

Splint/night guard

A night guard or occlusal splint is a guard to be worn at night if you clench or grind your teeth in
your sleep (bruxism). Bruxism is the excessive clenching and/or grinding of teeth that is not part of the normal movements associated with the function of your teeth. If you clench or grind during the day, you can make a conscious decision to avoid doing so. Unfortunately, in most people who suffer from excessive grinding, it occurs during sleeping and so there can be on conscious control of the action. In these situations a splint or night guard may be of enormous help and we may recommend that you let us make one for you if we feel your teeth and muscles may be being negatively impacted by the bruxism.

Whilst a splint or night guard won’t prevent you from clenching and grinding, it will minimise the damage inflicted on teeth and jaw from the excessive pressures involved. The splint will also often reduce the headaches that are often present in the mornings in people who suffer from bruxism.

If you suspect you may be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep, talk to us about how we can help.