Frequently Asked Questions

Dental Implants

Are implants safe? How long will they last?

Implants are a well-established, tried-and-tested treatment. 90 per cent of modern implants last for at least 15 years.

I have some of my own teeth. Can I still have implants?

Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.

Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?

It depends on the state of the bone in your jaw. 
Your dentist will arrange for a number of special tests to assess the amount of bone still there. If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Do implants hurt?

Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or with a general anaesthetic.
You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.

How long does treatment take?

Your dentist will be able to give you a provisional timetable before the treatment begins. 
Usually the permanent teeth are fitted 7 – 9 months after the implants are put in.

How soon can I have the new teeth?

The implants need to bond (integrate) with the bone after they have been put in. This takes at least 5 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper jaw. Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are fitted for the artificial teeth to be attached much sooner than this. 
If you are having one, two or three teeth replaced, you will have a temporary restoration in the meantime. If you have complete dentures, then these can be worn throughout the healing period once they have been modified after the surgery.

Are the teeth difficult to clean?

Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. However, there may be areas that give you problems and you’ll be shown methods to help.

If I had gum disease when I had my own teeth, will I get it with the teeth attached to the implants?

Yes, if you don’t care for them well enough. If you keep them clean, and don’t smoke, then you should not have any problems.

Can I take the teeth out if they are fixed to implants?

Most artificial teeth attached to implants can only be placed and removed by the dentist. However, if you have complete dentures fixed to the implants by bars, then you’ll be able to take them out for cleaning.

Do the implants show?

Your dentist will make sure that the implants won’t show during all normal movements of the mouth and lips. You will need to be able to see them, so that you can clean them properly.

Do I have an implant for each missing tooth?

No, unless you’re only having a single tooth replaced. Normally, five or six implants are used to replace all the teeth in one jaw, as each implant can usually support two teeth. For a few missing teeth, two or three implants may be used.

What if I get hit in the face?

Implants and the teeth they support can be damaged by an accident in the same way that natural teeth can. However, if the false teeth are damaged then the remnants are left in the bone and they may be 
more difficult to remove than natural teeth would be. After healing, new false teeth can then be placed alongside the fragments.

What happens if the implant does not bond (integrate) with the bone?

This happens very rarely. 
If the implant becomes loose during the healing period or just after, then it is easily removed and healing takes place in the normal way. Once the jaw has healed, another implant can be placed there. Or, the dentist can make a bridge, using the implanted false teeth that have ‘taken’.

Is the treatment expensive?

Unfortunately, yes. 
However, in many situations, the cost of the treatment is only a little more than the cost of more conventional treatment with crowns and bridges. Moreover, we can offer a very competitive price due to our relationship with the implant manufacturer, as we did a lot of research for them.
There are advantages to it, too. 
An implant to replace a single tooth avoids the need to cut down the teeth either side for crowns to support a bridge. Normal dentures often mean you can’t eat or speak well, due to the dentures moving about.  But teeth attached to an implant don’t cause this problem.

Orthodontics Treatments

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not.
The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age. 

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out or appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. 

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination: 

  • - Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • - What must be done to correct the problem?
  • - Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • - How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • - How much will the treatment cost?

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures (a combination of using low friction/force and efficient self-ligating brace system and high technology archwire), removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 24 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several payment options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 6 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly. The self-ligating brace system is a lot more efficient hence they can work longer per visit hence patients are usually seen every 6-8 weeks.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child. 

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." 
After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Panadol or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients,
“It does not have to hurt to work!”.

The self-ligating braces used by the doctor has a lot less friction built-in hence lighter and gentler forces are used to move the teeth. It has been clinically shown that patients with self-ligating braces experience less intense discomfort compared to patients fitted with conventional/traditional fixed braces. 

Do I need to see my dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces (at least every 6 months unless adviced otherwise by your dentist). Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show to each patient how to clean their teeth with braces on their teeth and a home kit pack will also be provided to each patient when they start their fixed brace treatment.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10.
Phase One treatment usually lasts about 6-12 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander. The self-ligating brace system can expand the teeth arches well hence expanders are not commonly used.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

Root Canal Treatment

What are the symptoms of inner tooth pulp inflammation or infection?

Inflamed or infected tooth pulp may present as tooth sensitivity, tooth pain or discomfort. These symptoms may occur when experiencing hot or cold temperatures, while eating or breathing, when eating sweets, or when biting the upper and lower teeth together.
This can be an indicator of potential tooth decay near the dental nerve, which may accelerate into painful toothache. Early intervention prevents oral pain, the spread of infection and disease, and may actually save a tooth in the long run. 

What does root canal treatment involve?

Root canal treatment involves providing:
Local anaesthetic to numb the treatment site.
Rubber dam placement where inflammation or infection is present.
Tooth dimensions and measurements from X-rays and imaging.
Cleansing for infection-free reshaping of the root canal.
Rubber root canal filler and sealer into the reshaped root canal.

How long does root canal treatment take?

Treatment time can vary according to the number of root canals needing treatment.
Treatment duration may extend from one to two hours.
Individuals requiring root canal treatment need to be committed to saving their tooth for the preservation of existing tooth structure. 

Is root canal treatment painful?

Patients experience some tenderness and discomfort around the treatment site as healing progresses. 
The discomfort gradually subsides and so does the pain initially felt prior to treatment.
You may be prescribed with anti-inflammatory medication to reduce post-treatment discomfort.
Patients should immediately contact the clinic if symptoms continue or become severe. 

What can be expected after root canal treatment?

Tooth sensitivity, discomfort and pain subside once the inflamed or infected dental pulp is removed. Temperature changes while eating or breathing should no longer cause tooth sensitivity. Root canal treatment replaces the pulp with filler and seals the treatment site, protecting the tooth structure and existing dental health. Teeth located at the rear of the mouth may require a dental crown for stronger tooth structure, particularly for normal chewing activity. Front teeth may be restored with white composite fillings or a dental crown after root canal treatment. Discoloured or stained front teeth may also be whitened.


How often should you brush?

At the very minimum, we recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day; first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It would of course be great if you brush half way through your day. 

How long should I spend brushing?

To do the job properly, assuming you have a full set of teeth, it should take you between 2-3 mins to complete. Unfortunately, many people don’t spend enough time brushing their teeth and this inevitably means that areas are either not cleaned properly or are forgotten about altogether!

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Usually every 3 months or when the bristles start to bend or curve away from the brush.

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