Q & A

Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I too old to get braces?

Adults can get braces at any age (Actor Tom Cruise had braces at age 40).

This is possible because throughout life, your bone is constantly remodelling. Braces and other orthodontic procedures take advantage of this natural process. When constant pressure is placed on a tooth, surrounding bone remodels as your teeth move into the corrected position.

Using Invisalign clear aligners, our dentists can correct the position of your teeth without causing the embarrassment or discomfort often felt when wearing metal braces. The Invisalign system is only used by specially trained dentists and orthodontists to align your teeth and give you a great smile. The dentists at Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental are accredited Invisalign dentists and regularly attend continuing education courses on the latest advancements in this exciting area of dentistry.

Are root canal fillings painful?

No. However, teeth that are very painful often require root canal treatment to stop the pain and maintain the tooth in your mouth. The dentists at Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental take all precautions to ensure your experience is comfortable. In fact, once the infected tooth has been cleaned, root canal fillings can often be performed pain free without anaesthetic.

Deep decay, cracks, or excessive trauma which damages the nerve in the centre of the tooth, causes the tooth to become infected or inflammed if left untreated. Your body’s immune system tries to fight the infection, and the build-up of fluid in the area can lead to intense pain in the jaw and around the tooth.

In these circumstances, root canal therapy is the only way to maintain a healthy, pain-free tooth. Of course, regular attendance at your dentist will ensure you have the least chance of ever enduring toothache due to severe decay and an infected root canal system.

Whilst our dentists use all of the latest advances in dentistry to ensure your appointments are as comfortable as possible, root canal treatment is a complex procedure and usually takes more than one appointment to complete. This is to ensure that all of the infection is removed from inside the tooth, and ensures a successful root canal filling.

Do dental implants hurt?

Patients almost always report that there was far less discomfort from the implant placement than when they had the tooth or teeth extracted. At Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental, the actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is usually done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours later, you might expect some discomfort. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Usually, only very mild analgesics are recommended for a day or two. There are exceptions to every rule, and some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and bruising may also develop. Most patients report being surprised at how little discomfort or swelling they experienced.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are currently the closest thing dentists can offer to your natural tooth. Once your body has integrated with the implant, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many implants have been in place for more than 30 years.

I have chalky teeth which decay easily. Is it because I don't have enough calcium?

Calcium is an important mineral used to form enamel, the very hard outer coating of your teeth.

Like most nutrients that your body uses, calcium is transported in your blood from sources of calcium in your body. Bone is the main store of calcium, and when your diet is low in calcium, blood vessels in your bones transport calcium to the places where it is needed.

Despite common misconception, pregnancy and breast feeding, your body’s requirements for calcium, and bone conditions such as osteoporosis, are not directly related to the mineral content in your teeth.

Fortunately, there are no blood vessels in the hard enamel of your teeth, so it is almost impossible for calcium to be transported from your teeth to your body through your blood stream.

The main reason for chalky teeth is erosion caused by an acidic environment in your mouth. This is usually produced by bacteria which grow on the plaque in your mouth. Acidic drinks like alcohol, cola and fruit juices, and other acidic substances can cause the enamel on your teeth to soften and dissolve, starting the process of tooth decay. See your dentist at Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental to learn the best way to save your teeth and prevent them from breaking down in the future.

I hear my amalgam fillings are bad for my health, should I have them removed?

At Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental we use white, tooth-coloured materials to complete your restorations. Contrary to the opinions of many anti-amalgam advocates, the presence of amalgam fillings material does not cause ill-health. This is a view supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), and an exhaustive amount of evidence-based scientific research. However, there are some very good reasons to replace these fillings with beautiful white fillings. Amalgam restorations are unsightly and for cosmetic reasons can be replaced. Amalgams can also often lead to cracking of your natural tooth. Bacteria will be able to leak into the tooth leading to an area of further decay. Replacement avoids further damage to your tooth.

Dental amalgam is no longer used in Norway, and has restricted use in Sweden due to environmental concerns. The Australian Dental Association takes a viewpoint similar to those associations in Germany and Austria, where dental amalgam is discouraged for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, in children, and in those with kidney function problems. The best material to replace your old amalgam restorations, and the method of amalgam removal, should be discussed with your dentist.

Advancements in materials research are constant. Composite resin restorations have become the standard material of choice due to their pleasing aesthetic properties, as well as their favourable wear properties and ability to bond to the layers of your teeth. This results in a more conservative treatment, and a stronger tooth. Heavily filled teeth, regardless of which restorative material has previously been used, should be restored with a ceramic or gold crown. These extremely strong options ensure your tooth will remain functioning for you for many years to come.

My dentures are loose are there other alternatives?

Dentures usually stay in place using the suction formed by wrapping around the contours of your gums and jaw bone, or by clipping onto your exisiting teeth.

Extra security can be achieved by clipping the denture to miniature dental implants, which are easily placed in your jaw.

Further alternatives for replacing your missing teeth involve teeth that are fixed in place. These options are never loose, and will provide you with the confidence to eat and smile without the worry that your denture may move. It is always best to complete a consultation with your dentist at Jorgensen Mutzelburg dental to discuss which option will be ideal for your situation. We are able to offer all treatment options, and our dentists take pride in providing you with the highest quality result.

My teeth used to be whiter, how can I stop them from becoming discoloured?

Teeth can become discoloured from repeated exposure to tea, coffee, nicotine, red wine, and other staining foods and drinks. Also as teeth age, the inner, more yellow layer of tooth (dentine) becomes thicker. This creates a more yellowish appearance in the tooth. Other causes of staining can occur during tooth development from certain antibiotics or trauma.

The best way to return your teeth to a more natural colour, is through professional tooth whitening treatment. Care should be taken when using some of the abrasive toothbrushes and home whitening treatments as these can damage the outer layers of your teeth.

Your dentist will be able to recommend which whitening procedure will work best for you, and how to maintain a beautiful, bright smile for life.

When should I bring my child for their first visit to the dentist?

The Australian Society of Paediatric Dentists recommend your child should have their first dental visit six months after eruption of their first baby tooth and no later than 12 months of age. Especially important in Queensland where more than 50% of children will have decayed teeth by age 5, early examination and preventative care will protect your child’s teeth now and in the future. Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental offer a child friendly environment, and our dental team is focussed on creating the best health outcomes for your family. Our dentists will always take the time to discuss treatment options with you and ensure your child receives the best care delivered comfortably.

Read more of our dentists’ advice for maintaining your children’s smile.

Why do my gums bleed?

Where your gum meets your tooth is a small fold called the “gingival crevice.” This fold, (or pocket) wraps around each tooth. By brushing and flossing perfectly each day, we are able to maintain healthy gums. However, if we ever leave any plaque around the teeth and gums, then bacteria will multiply and your body must fight this infection. This initial infection is called gingivitisand is recognised by red and swollen gums that will bleed very easily.

The way to correct this problem is through thorough oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing daily will ensure complete removal of all of the plaque growing beneath your gums, allowing your gums to become healthy again. Your dentist and hygienist at Jorgensen Mutzelburg Dental can show you proven techniques to do this. Additionally, a professional clean is recommended to remove the hardened plaque (calculus / tartar) cemented to your teeth.

Why do wisdom teeth hurt?

There are a few causes of wisdom tooth pain. The two most common are decay, and pericoronitis.

Decay causes pain as the sensitive layers of your tooth become exposed, and the living parts of your tooth become infected and inflammed.

Periocoronitis, is irritation of the gum partially covering a tooth which has not yet completely erupted into the mouth. This gum flap can easily provide a haven for bacteria when food or plaque become trapped underneath it. Consequently, the gum becomes irritated and swollen, and often can become difficult to open and close your mouth fully.

If you are experiencing trouble with your wisdom teeth, please make arrangements for a consultation to relieve these symptoms.

Didn’t find the answer?

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