Frequently Asked Questions

Teeth Whitening

Do you have discoloured teeth?

Sometimes, even the best oral habits and daily brushing and flossing can’t prevent the discolouration of your teeth over time.

 

What causes discoloured teeth?

Teeth discolouration can be caused by a variety of factors, including coffee and wine drinking, smoking and age.  During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discolouration.

 

Should I be whitening my teeth?

Not everyone’s teeth are suitable for whitening. If your teeth and gums are not in a healthy condition before you whiten, the procedure may cause more damage.

 

How can I find out if my teeth are suitable for whitening?

The safest way is to visit us at the Brisbane Smile Centre and will make an assessment of your teeth and gums to determine your suitability for treatment.

When assessing your teeth for whitening, the dentist will:

  • Ensure your mouth is healthy before whitening commences
  • Look for grey or yellow discolouration and diagnose the cause of any discolouration
  • Discuss with you the best method to whiten your teeth
  • Advise if there are factors which may influence the whitening process (e.g. antibiotic staining)
  • Assess whether your fillings, crowns and veneers need replacement (as these won’t change colour)
  • Identify areas of gum recession
  • Discuss possible tooth sensitivity and how it may be managed
  • A professional cleaning may be advised to help the treatment penetrate deeper and more evenly.

 

Is teeth whitening safe?

Years of extensive research and clinical studies confirm teeth whitening under the supervision of a dental professional is safe.

 

How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth Whitening is not a permanent procedure it depends on your personal habits such as if you are a smoker, drink tea, coffee and red wine. Your newly brightened smile can be maintained with good dental hygiene habits, routine dental checkups and cleaning.  It is also recommend to use the take home whitening trays to touch-up the whitening as required.

Glamsmile Veneers

 

Before starting GlamSmile Porcelain Veneers Treatment

Do I have to have my teeth cleaned before the procedure?

It is recommended to have a full exam and clean as healthy and clean teeth are a pre-condition for a successful result.

 

I have a gap between my front teeth. Are veneers a solution for me?

Yes! If the opening is not too large, veneers can close the gap perfectly.

 

I have tried to whiten my teeth, but I was disappointed about the result. Are veneers a solution?

Yes, veneers offer a permanent solution for seriously discoloured teeth.

 

My teeth are crooked and overlap. Do I have to wear braces or are veneers a solution for me?

GlamSmile veneers can change the shape, size and alignment of your teeth, making your teeth look more even and symmetric. Dr Cassimatis will need to analyse your teeth and he can advise you if you are a good candidate for GlamSmile

 

I see that GlamSmile veneers look just like traditional porcelain veneers yet they cost a lot less. How can that be?

Advancements in veneer production and delivery technology have made it possible for GlamSmile to create a full arch of high quality porcelain veneers that can be placed quickly and easily and with absolute precision in about one hour.

Traditional veneers are far more labour intensive. With traditional veneers the natural teeth are ground down in preparation of the veneers. Next, temporaries are prepared and fitted. Weeks later, each individual veneer is placed one at a time.

From start to finish, the traditional veneer placement process takes many times longer to complete than the GlamSmile procedure. It is this time saving feature that makes GlamSmile veneers a much more affordable veneer solution.

 

Can any dentist provide the GlamSmile procedure?

No, unlike traditional porcelain veneers only a limited number of specifically trained dentists are able to do the GlamSmile procedure. Brisbane Smile Centre was the first dental practice to achieve GlamSmile certification in Brisbane. This ensures you get the best possible results.

 

Glamsmile Porcelain Veneers Treatment

Is it painful and safe?

In most cases there is little or no tooth preparation so it is not painful. Teeth remain intact and unchanged, therefore the treatment is completely safe.

 

How many veneers will be fitted?

Depending on how broad your smile is, 6, 8 or 10 veneers will be fitted on the top and or the bottom. If you only choose upper veneers, the lower teeth will usually be whitened.

 

How many visits to the dentist are required?

Just two short visits to our practice.  During the first visit photographs and mouth impressions will be made. The veneers are then placed during the second visit.

 

What does a treatment with veneers cost?

Make your dream smile a reality without the high cost! Now everyone can afford to experience the confidence and joy of a stunning smile. Finally, it’s smile design based on your desires, not your budget.

GlamSmile custom designed porcelain veneers can be yours for a fraction of the price of traditional porcelain veneers. Although we would need to consult you first in order to quote your individual situation please call the Brisbane Smile Centre for a consultation. We also offer finance options with Mac Credit or GEM Visa.

 

After Glamsmile Porcelain Veneers Treatment

Can veneers break or crack?

GlamSmile veneers are of an exceptional quality. However, you have to take care of them, just as you would your natural teeth. You have to avoid point-to-point contacts. For instance, biting your nails is absolutely forbidden. If a veneer breaks or cracks, the single veneer can be replaced.

 

How long do the veneers last?

Nothing is forever: not crowns , not dental bridges and neither are veneers. However, experience shows us that they can last 10 to 15 years. Of course, it depends on your personal dental hygiene and if you take good care of your veneers, you can probably keep them much longer.

 

What if I get caries on one of my teeth?

No problem: we can handle it on the inside or from the bottom.

 

How can I best take care of my veneers?

To protect your stunning white teeth, conscientious dental hygiene is a main factor. Brushing your teeth correctly twice a day is indispensable and flossing is also part of the daily routine. You  should also visit us every six months for your check- up and cleans.

 

Can I still eat anything I want?

With veneers you can still eat everything. You only have to avoid point-to-point contact.

 

Dental Implants

What is a Dental Implant?

A Dental Implant consists of a titanium fixture (or screw) that is surgically placed into the jaw bone. Over time, this fixture integrates with the bone and becomes fixed. This fixture acts as a tooth root. A porcelain crown is constructed to be attached to this fixture. The crown is the visible part of a tooth that is seen in the mouth.

 

How long is Dental Implant Treatment?

Dental Implant therapy may span over the course of 3 – 6 months, depending on the complexity of the case. It takes time for bone to integrate with the titanium fixture. Once the implant is fused you are ready to proceed with the crown component of the treatment and this should take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete.

 

How do you look after your Dental Implant?

It must be understood that regular maintenance and review is required. A hygiene regime is advised and must be adhered to by the patient at home and regular visits to your dentist are required. Radiographs are required normally every 18months to detect any change underneath the clinically visible surface.

It is normally advised that a patient has a Check Up and clean every 6 months – Implants cannot decay, however, they can become loose, fractured or suffer from gum disease, so it is important that any problems be detected early for action to be taken and treatment to be more successful.

 

How much do Dental Implants cost?

The cost of the treatment depends on the number of implants you require and whether you need any additional procedures before you are ready for the dental implant such as a bone graft. The cost is usually broken down into two stages, firstly the cost of the implant surgery and then secondly the cost of the crown restoration.

Dental implants may require a higher initial investment, but their longevity, can make them more economical in the long run and they also give a superior aesthetic result.

Orthodontics

 

How long will orthodontics take?

Every treatment is different, but as a rough guide treatment traditional braces take between 18 months to three years, Fastbraces can take between 3 to 12 months.

 

How much will it cost?

Costs vary by the length of treatment, and also by the type of treatment used. A written quote is provided before treatment starts. An initial deposit is paid and then a monthly payment plan is available for the duration of the treatment. Fastbraces usually cost less than the traditional braces because they take less treatment time.

 

How do braces work?

Dr Cassimatis will glue tiny brackets to the front of the teeth and connect them with a wire. Then he adjusts or changes the wire every four to six weeks, as the teeth are slowly pulled into position.

Your child might also have to wear rubber bands (connecting top teeth to lower teeth to add pinpoint pressure) or headgear. Once the braces come off, you will need to wear a retainer, to keep the teeth in place.

 

Do braces hurt?

Much less than in the past with the older style braces. Gluing the brackets to the front of the teeth eliminates the need to force metal bands around each tooth, as was necessary with the braces of decades past. And the wires used today are more flexible, particularly those made of alloys, such as nickel titanium, so they apply pressure more gently.

Some patients complain of soreness for a day or two after their braces are tightened, but an over-the-counter painkiller such as panadol can usually ease the discomfort. If the gums or cheeks become raw or irritated from rubbing against the brackets, we can provide wax to smooth things over until the tissue heals.

Dental Crowns

What is a crown?

Crowns are coverings for the entire visible part of the tooth. A crown may also be called a ‘tooth crown’, ‘tooth cap’ or a ‘dental cap’ and is a great way to restore teeth which are heavily broken down

 

How long is the treatment for a dental crown?

The treatment for a crown usually involves two appointments.

At the first appointment any old fillings in the tooth are removed and the tooth is reshaped for the crown.  An impression is taken of the prepared tooth and sent to the dental lab so they can manufacture the crown.

Dr Cassimatis will make a temporary crown for while you are waiting for the permanent crown.  The laboratory usually takes about 10 days to make the crown.

At the second appointment the temporary crown is removed and the final crown tried in for fit, appearance and occlusion. Finally, it is cemented into place.

 

How much do dental crowns cost?

The cost of crowns vary depending on the type of crown.  Crown prices start from $1300 to $1700.

Dr Cassimatis will advise you of the cost of the crown after he has examined your tooth.

 

How long do dental crowns last?

A dental crown on average can last 15 -20 years.  However, it can last considerably longer. There are many factors that will influence how long the crown last.

  • How much of the tooth is remaining and the state of the nerve
  • The dentists experience and training.
  • How well you look after it.
  • The forces you place on it.

Dental Fillings

 

What is a cavity?

A cavity or tooth decay is a small hole in your tooth that needs to be filled.

 

What causes tooth decay?

The main culprits to blame for your cavity are certain types of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are contained in plaque and they interact with the carbohydrates and sugars in your food creating an acidic environment that dissolves the protective enamel on the outer layer of your tooth. Once the acid succeeds in eroding the enamel, your tooth is exposed, leaving just the softer dentin layer, which will ultimately cause the formation of a cavity. At this point the decay process rapidly speeds up and spreads deeper into the tooth.

Why Do I Need A Filling?

A filling is necessary to treat your cavity because if left untreated the decay will eventually grow and will enter into your nerve canal. And yes, this can be as painful as it sounds. It can also lead to more serious problems such as infection or abscess.

It could also cost you a lot more money to fix. The bottom line is you should get your cavity filled as soon as you can.

Dental Emergencies

 

Any dental emergency like an injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on.

Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some common dental problems.

 

What to do in the case of a toothache?

First, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any lodged food. If your mouth is swollen, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth or cheek. Never put asprin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible.

What to do in the case of a chipped or broken tooth?

Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.

 

What to do if your tooth gets knocked out?

Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown (the part that is usually exposed in the mouth), and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, try to put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s facing the right way. Never force it into the socket. If it’s not possible to reinsert the tooth in the socket, put the tooth in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available) or a product containing cell growth medium, such as Save-a-Tooth. In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.

 

What to do if an object is caught between your teeth?

First, try using dental floss to very gently and carefully remove the object. If you can’t get the object out, see your dentist. Never use a pin or other sharp object to poke at the stuck object. These instruments can cut your gums or scratch your tooth surface.

 

What to do if you lose a filling?

As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.

 

What to do if you have lost a crown?

If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth.

 

What to do if a orthodontic wire or bracket breaks?

If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.

Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it recemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).

 

What to do if you have an abscess on your gum?

Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Because of the serious oral health and general health problems that can result from an abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible if you discover a pimple-like swelling on your gum that usually is painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with a mild salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water) several times a day.

 

What to do if you have an injury to your tongue, cheek, lips  or gum?

Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:

Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.

Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.

To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.

If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

Fastbraces®

What is Fastbraces®?

Fastbraces® were developed to straighten teeth differently. Fastbraces® is the revolutionary system of fast, safe, easy and affordable braces that is changing the field of orthodontics.  It is a complete, non-extraction system for most cases, which provides patients with outstanding results.

 

How does it work?

Traditional braces move teeth into position in two stages, usually over a period of about two years. In the first year, the crown of the tooth is moved into alignment. In the second year, treatment addresses the position of the root of the tooth.

However, the brackets used with Fastbraces® work on a different mechanical principle altogether. The patented system uses an innovative triangular bracket and a specially- shaped square wire to correct the position of the root of the tooth, from the beginning of treatment. This combination is key in realigning the root and crown simultaneously.

 

How long is Treatment Time?

Fastbraces® Technology gently allows for movement of the roots of the teeth towards their final position from the onset of treatment, achieving root parallelism at the beginning stages, thus completing treatment from 3 months to about a year. Some patients see results in just weeks!

 

Are Fastbraces® less Painful?

University research has shown that Fastbraces® Technology has low mean frictional forces, a clear-cut reduction in sliding friction and pain reduction with fitting front and back teeth together.

 

Do I have to wear a Retainer?

With the complete alignment of the roots of the teeth, retention is needed every day for only 15-20 minutes (“Tooth Shampoo”.) Some people like wearing the retainers at night (“Teeth pajamas”). No more retainers for hours during the day for months after treatment. This is yet another reason why Fastbraces® Technology is changing the way orthodontics is done altogether.

Can't Find the Answer to your Question? Ask Dr. Tony