Why is dentistry so expensive?
When it comes to dentistry, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is very true. Many people are shocked at the cost of dental treatment particularly if extensive dentistry is required. There are many reasons why dentistry is expensive.
To begin with dental equipment is extremely costly and dental practices require far more equipment than the average medical practice. Dental chairs, x-ray machines, hand pieces, sterilizers, specifically customized cabinetry etc etc etc are a requirement even in the most basic practices. In this practice, one dental chair alone costs in the vicinity of $70,000+.
Many dental practices offer a variety of new technologies to provide better services. This all comes at a cost. Other costs associated with running a dental business include education, expensive supplies, specialized staff etc.
Dentistry also seems costly because dental private health insurance generally is limited and fails to contribute much toward expensive dental treatments. Dental insurance is best suited to covering basic care. There are clinics in most areas that offer low cost dentistry. No matter how you approach it, cheap dentistry is just that.
It is difficult to put a price on your health. What ever you are doing twenty years from now, no doubt you will be eating. How you do that depends upon the decisions you make now. Investing in your dental health is one of the best investments you will ever make.
Reducing the cost of dentistry for you and your family is best achieved through maintaining a healthy diet, systematic brushing and flossing and routine dental check ups and cleans. All of our staff regularly (every six months) have oral exams and cleans. Rarely do they require anything other than minor treatment.
Why do I have to give notice if I’m not going to keep a dental appointment?
Your appointment time has been specifically set aside for you. At Amazing Smiles Dentist Clinics we do not overbook patients. For us to provide you with optimum care we need to allocate an appropriate amount of time to carry out the necessary treatment. Should you fail to notify us that you are unable to attend your appointment, this not only inconveniences our dental team but disadvantages other patients.
We understand that from time to time unforeseen circumstances arise. Where possible, we ask that you are courteous and respectful to other patients and our staff. Please notify us at least two days prior to your appointment if you are unable to attend. This gives us the opportunity to offer your appointed time to someone else.
We also ask that you make every effort to be on time for your appointment. At Amazing Smiles Dentist Clinics we understand your time is valuable and we do our best to see you at the appointed time. If patients run late for appointments, this puts our entire schedule behind.
In the event that you are running late we would appreciate a telephone call prior to the commencement of your appointment, so we can adjust our schedule accordingly.
I brush my teeth but still have bad breath. Why?
Bad breath, known as halitosis can be a distressing problem to live with. Bad breath can affect not only your dental health but your confidence and social life too. Mints, mouthwash and gum can help to mask the problem, but will not cure it. You need to consult with your Dentist or the Oral Health Therapist to get to the route of the problem. The Oral Health Therapist can work with you to overcome bad breath.
In most cases careful management through professional cleaning appointments to remove plaque and tartar build up and instituting a new oral health regime can help tremendously. We encourage patients to come in and talk to us. There is no need to be embarrassed. This is what we are here for; to help restore healthy happy smiles.
My gums bleed when I brush my teeth. What should I do?
In all likelihood you have gingivitis or a more serious gum disease. Gingivitis is a common untreated infection of the gums. It generally doesn’t cause pain and is therefore often ignored. Gingivitis is characterized by bad breath and red puffy bleeding gums. These are the symptoms of an infection in your mouth and this infection requires treatment.
Gingivitis is the accumulation of bacteria and bacterial products forming plaque at the base of your teeth. Once this plaque hardens into tartar a toothbrush and dental floss can no longer remove it. It can only be removed by a Dentist or Oral Health Therapist. Left untreated the bacteria in the scale eats away at the jawbone. That is where the saying “getting long in the tooth comes from” as the gums and jawbone are receding showing more tooth.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontitis is a serious dental disease that can often go untreated because periodontitis rarely causes pain. Periodontal means ‘around the tooth’ and therefore relates to the gums and underlying bone structure that anchor the tooth in place. The pouch between the gum and the tooth increases in size due to plaque build up.
The infection deepens and over time more bone and gum tissue are destroyed. Untreated, eventually the teeth will become quite loose and fall out or alternatively need to be extracted.
This condition can be avoided through routine trips to the Oral Health Therapist. Should you suspect you have periodontal disease, make an appointment to come and see us. Together we can structure a plan to help you manage this condition.
What is a root canal therapy?
When the pulp (an area of flesh and blood encased inside the tooth) dies a root canal therapy will become necessary to save the tooth. The pulp may die for several reasons including decay reaching the nerve or damage resulting from a traumatic injury. When the pulp dies an abscess may form at the end of the root of the tooth. This abscess can be very painful. Dentists perform root canal treatments to remove the diseased pulp tissue. These canals are then filled and a final restoration (often a crown) is placed on top of the tooth.
Why do I need x-rays?
Dentists and Oral Health Therapists are not clairvoyants. Whilst they examine your teeth thoroughly, they do not have x-ray vision and are therefore unable to see between your teeth, where your teeth touch and underneath existing fillings without the benefit of x-rays. X-rays are a very important diagnostic tool in the early discovery of cavities.
Various x-rays show important information that is not readily visible looking inside your mouth. X-rays help in the diagnosis of tooth and jaw problems where dentists can not see. These areas include your roots, and even the overall composition of your facial structure. The dental team use x-rays for diagnosing gum disease, abscesses and abnormal growths like tumors and cysts.
Electric toothbrush verses manual toothbrush. Which is better?
At Amazing Smiles Dental we do not have a clear preference. We believe that there is no replacement for a manual toothbrush in the hands of an experienced dental professional. Having said that most of us are not experienced dental professionals and electric toothbrushes are very effective when used correctly. Electric toothbrushes are particularly beneficial to people (like children) who lack dexterity. Whatever dental technique you prefer be reminded that being thorough and methodical is the key.
We're thinking about having a baby. How does being pregnant affect visiting the dentist?
If you are planning for a baby, we suggest coming in to the dentist to ensure your dental health is tip top before conception. For the first three months of pregnancy we avoid taking x-rays, so it is important for you to tell us if you think you might be expecting. Your body undergoes amazing changes during pregnancy. Some of these changes will affect your oral health. Your gums will change during pregnancy and this can make you more susceptible to gum disease. We recommend a thorough oral care routine during pregnancy. Recent studies suggest expectant mothers with gum disease are more likely to deliver a preterm low weight baby.
Why should I tell you what medication I am taking?
We require a detailed medical history before we conduct any treatment. This is for your protection. Please honestly divulge all medications you are taking so we can best evaluate and manage your treatment (eg some medical conditions make it unwise for certain dental anaesthetics to be used). In the unlikely event of a crisis having your medical history is a great help for the dental team to be alerted to any likely health problems.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge. They generally erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. For many people these teeth erupt without incident. For some however, they may cause problems. A common problem is for there not to be enough room for the wisdom teeth in the jaw. Pain and infection may follow. The dentist may then recommend these teeth be extracted. Some wisdom teeth are easily extracted and others may require surgical intervention.
How does smoking impact my oral health?
As you are no doubt aware smoking is linked to several serious illnesses including cancer, lung and heart disease. In terms of your oral health, smoking increases the likelihood of developing periodontal disease and oral cancer. Smokers are more likely to develop complications following oral surgery. Smoking causes your teeth to discolour.
How does chewing gum help prevent decay?
When chewing gum your mouth produces more saliva. Saliva helps to break down the acid in your mouth. Chewing sugar free gum after eating and drinking can therefore help prevent decay. It is important to note that most chewing gums are not sugar free.
What should I do if a tooth gets knocked out?
If a tooth is knocked out, you should pick it up by the crown and rinse it in milk. If milk is unavailable have the person who lost the tooth clean it with his/her saliva being careful not to scrape or touch the root of the tooth if possible. Carefully orient the tooth (so it is facing the right way) and carefully push it back into the socket. If you are unable to do this wrap the tooth in cling film. Either way immediately make your way to a dentist. Getting to a dentist quickly is critical if the tooth is to be saved.
Does stress affect my oral health?
All of us experience stress from time to time. The clenching and grinding of teeth (bruxism) and jaw joint pain may relate to stress. Symptoms frequently associated with stress like head, neck and facial pain, chronic headaches and muscle aches, clicking and popping joints, restless sleep, ringing in the ears, restricted jaw movements and pain behind the eyes may be treated with neuromuscular dentistry.