Frequently Asked Questions

Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns are made out of a variety of different materials to suit your needs and budget. Permanent crowns can be made up of materials such as:  Lava Plus zirconia, Porcelain-fused-to-metal, and ceramic.

Lava plus Zirconia crowns have the ability to be matched to adjacent teeth colour, translucency, characteristics and shape to meet aesthetic requirements due to its chemical composition and laboratory processing.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns also have the capacity to be colour-matched to your natural tooth and can incorporate precision attachments where clinically appropriate.

Ceramic or porcelain crowns are also available on site using our CERECÔ machine. Depending on clinical diagnosis restorations can be completed in one visit with no impressions or temporaries.

Preparing a tooth to accommodate a crown is generally a 2 visit process. The initial visit consists of the dentist examining and preparing the tooth and placing a temporary restoration. This may involve taking x-rays and the use of anaesthetic. The second visit involves the removal of a temporary crown and placement of the crown on top of your natural tooth ensuring the crown is the perfect fit.

There are numerous reasons as to why you may need a dental crown such as decay, large broken fillings, preservation of natural teeth, placing a crown on top of a dental implant or for aesthetic reasons. However, it is best to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors to correctly determine if a crown is recommended for you.

Similarly to your natural teeth the longevity of the dental crown depends upon how well you take care of it. Maintaining regular dental check-ups and cleans and carrying out regular brushing and interdental cleaning at home is essential as the appliance cannot be removed and therefore needs to be clean and fresh at all times. Super floss is an effective tool which keeps the area under your bridge plaque free and is available upon request when vising our practice. Depending on each case dentists may give you additional tools and recommended techniques which can assist with plaque build-up.

The cost of a dental crown can depend upon a variety of different factors which can be clarified upon initial consultation with one of our dentists. If finance is of concern you may be able to apply for financial services of a third party financing company to develop a payment plan which best fits your budget.

Veneers

The incidence of decay on teeth which have veneers is unlikely if correct and thorough oral hygiene routines are followed. These routines include regular visits to the dentist and at home comprehensive brushing and interdental cleaning. However, cavities can occur if you have a high sugar diet and unsatisfactory oral hygiene.

The veneer itself is a long lasting material which can be functional up to 20 years, however if the teeth or gum tissue has changed for example the development of periodontal disease the veneer may debond. However with any change to the gums it Is recommended to book an appointment to better treat the problem before the veneers longevity is compromised.

Porcelain veneers should never stain due to their chemical composition. However, to avoid other permanent teeth from staining it is recommended to minimize the behaviours which lead to staining and continue to practice good oral hygiene habits and maintenance routines.

Porcelain veneers are a permanent restoration which can last a considerable amount of years providing you practice good oral hygiene habits and routinely visit the dentist. Another factor which contributes to the permanency of veneers is the clenching and grinding habits both voluntarily and involuntarily. In order to prevent this from being an issue it is recommended to wear a night guard.

The material used when creating veneers is porcelain which is a material with best matches’ natural teeth on the market. The translucency, shade, shape, shine and characteristics can all be matched in order to ensure that the veneers which are placed are best suited to your smile both functionally and atheistically.

The procedure of veneer preparation is very similar to that of a crown however more of the natural tooth is reserved. The first appointment for veneers consists of modifying the existing tooth to better accommodate the veneer and taking an impression for the laboratory to create the most appropriate veneer. Approximately 2 weeks later the veneer is the inserted and cemented.

Teeth Whitening

The shade colour majorly depends upon each individuals physiology. Generally our patients achieve results up to 8 shades brighter and whiter.

The longevity of the achieved shade of your teeth depends largely upon lifestyle choices outside of the dental practice. It is recommended that certain extrinsic factors such as drinking coffee and smoking may lead to staining or the appearance of the teeth whitening to lessen. Teeth can appear to look yellow as we age and this is a natural process. However, a shorter course of teeth whitening may be completed in future to top up the previous teeth whitening result.

Yes, although stains from smoking can sometimes be more stubborn to remove however our treatment is often effective for most smoking stains. Upon consultation the dentist will be able to advise you of your best options to treat smoking stains.

Your teeth will be noticeably whiter at the end of the treatment as the whitening results are immediate. However, there are numerous factors which cause teeth to be less white, such as lifestyle choices and/or certain antibiotics which may still be in the system.

Occasionally some patients may experience sensitivity during the treatment, however, it is temporary and the sensitivity will pass within a few days after the treatment.

Teeth whitening has no effect upon restorative materials such as fillings, veneers or crowns. For this reason it is recommended for you to discuss all of your treatment plans and options upon consultation so that you can match the shade of a restorative treatment to the shade of your whiter teeth.

Dental implants

Dental implants are an option often advised to people who are seeking treatment options for missing teeth or alternatives to loose fitting dentures. Dental implants are made out of a titanium screw which is then inserted into the jawbone. Titanium is used in as it induces Osseo integration which is the process of bone fusing to the implant. This titanium creates a strong, sturdy tooth root ready for the replacement crown or bridge.

Missing teeth in the oral cavity can cause significant consequences. The surrounding teeth can move out of place leading to crooked or unpleasant gaps in your smile, the opposing tooth will continue to grow into the gap and as a result causing further damage. Additionally, if at home oral health behaviour are not being followed thoroughly, decay and gum issues could arise leading to loss of other teeth, or overloading other teeth to compensate for the gap can cause tooth fractures or other jaw problems. It also noticeably affects chewing and therefore diet which can become irritating or painful overtime. Upon consultation, treatment options and consequences of each will be discussed as Dental excellence understands the importance of having a natural smile and functional teeth.

Dental implants are more durable and stronger than a denture as they undergo a biological fusing process which imitates the function of a natural tooth. This cannot be found in removable dentures as they are attached to the outside of the gum. Further, dentures restrict the natural process of comfortable eating which leads to a lack of jaw stimulation and therefore bone disease. Dental implant allow for a sense of rehabilitated self-confidence and everyday practices such as eating, speaking and smiling become comfortable and no longer restricted.

Dental implants are permanently fixed to the bone under the gum and therefore are a great anchor for dentures to attach too. It is important to remember each case is different and treatment options will become available upon the day of consultation; however it is possible to have the implants placed in order to aid the support and stabilization of the dentures. This process is called All-On-4. 4 dental implants are inserted into the jaw bone and the denture is reformed to better accommodate the anchoring implants. For more information on All-on-4 treatment please give our rooms a call on 8223 4400.

Dental implants are extremely aesthetically and functionally designed to imitate the purpose and appearance of natural teeth. The shade of the tooth is very carefully selected by the dentist to best match the existing teeth. Because of this very specific shade matching process the end result is often hard to tell apart from natural teeth.

The success of dental implants varies from each individual and their follow up care and precautions, however for a healthy individual who follows strict oral hygiene habits and good health dental implants are extremely successful.

Dental implants are not selective of age and can help patients at almost every age. On rare occasions some medical conditions may compromise the implant procedure and therefore an implant may not be an option, however the dentist will assess your suitability upon the day of consultation. If you think you may be not be eligible and have a few questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

The implant procedure begins with the administration of local anesthetic to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible and there are no painful sensations for the entire procedure as your safety and comfort is of upmost importance to us. After the treatment there may be some swelling and discomfort, however this is normal and on the day we will send you off with the appropriate medication, oral health products and helpful advice along with our practice number and after hours number if you do have any queries. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss other sedation options. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email with your concern.  

Given each individual case is different the dentist will be able to provide you with this knowledge on the consultation date. Factors such as the number of teeth involved, the current oral health situation, age and medical conditions all influence the date of which a tooth can be inserted onto the implant.

All-On-4

All-On-4 dental implants are a permanent set of teeth which feel act and look natural. Due to the anchoring of the dental implant there is a sense of stability which allows for an increased biting forces which cannot be achieved by a standard denture. The All-On-4 procedure ensures that when placing the new teeth there is no sliding or looseness causing discomforts like dentures do. There is no covering of the roof of the mouth, or nightly removal of the dentures and no sticky and messy adhesives.

The All-On-4 procedure is an implant of 4 teeth placed in a specifically constructed arch which allows for an increased retention and support of your natural bone.

The All-On-4 treatment procedure is a permanent alternative to dentures, therefore upon completion of the treatment you will have a set of non-removable natural looking teeth inserted into your mouth permanently.

The all-on-4 procedure is a very sophisticated technique which requires further training and an advanced skill set. Our principle dentist Dr Renu Karn has undergone this additional training and withholds her precise expertise in implants and general dentistry.

The All-On-4 technique has been cleverly designed to accommodate both upper and lower sets of all-on-4 reconstruction.

The All-On-4 procedure is usually completed under local anesthetic, however if you have further questions about other sedation options please send us an email or give our practice a call. After the procedure you will be given care instructions, the appropriate medications and oral hygiene products to ensure you are well equipt with the appropriate tools to take care of your new implants. As with any surgery you can expect some post-operative discomfort or swelling, however this is normal and on the day we will send you off with the appropriate medication, oral health products and helpful advice along with our practice number and after hours number if you do have any queries. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss other sedation options. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email with your concern.

The best way to determine your eligibility for the All-on-4 treatment is to book a consultation appointment where the dentist can better assess your individual case and current state of oral health. At dental excellence we also use innovative 3D technology to assess bone density and health to ensure upon treatment day implant techniques are executed to ultimate precision for each and every individual.

The benefit of opting for All-on-4 technology is the natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance of the inserted dental bridge at the end of the treatment. The look and strength of the bridge imitates healthy natural teeth making your smile look exactly like a natural smile would.

LANAP

Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque which leads to damage to the gums often diagnosed as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gum disease can begin with redness and swelling which leads to bleeding, however, often there are no symptoms which indicate that the gums are unhealthy. If the condition is left untreated it can worsen and bone disease can develop leading to lose or falling out teeth.

Gum disease has been associated with a number of factors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • And ethnicity.

However, due to the bacteriological nature of the disease it is infectious and communicable and can be passed on. On the other hand, if thorough oral hygiene behaviors are not practiced as regularly as recommended by your oral health professional gum disease can occur.

Traditionally, those diagnosed with moderate to extremely advanced gum disease have undergone a surgical procedure which has been described as highly invasive and painful. The procedure entails the gums to be cut in order to reach the tartar and bacteria deposits under the gums. The bone is then reshaped using drills and the gums are repositioned and sewn together using stitches.

Our cutting edge Laser Assisted Gum Treatment can help stimulate regeneration of the connective tissue and bone between the gums and teeth. The heat of the laser also causes instant clotting in the gum tissue, sealing the gums and creating a physical barrier against invading bacteria. With no cutting or stitches required, you’ll experience less pain, less risk of infection, shorter appointment times, and easier, faster recovery.

Your laser treatment begins as you are given a local anaesthetic to ensure your complete comfort. A tiny laser fibre (about the thickness of three hairs) is then inserted between the tooth and the gum to clear away infection, reduce inflammation, and trigger an immediate healing response. Dr Renu Karn may prescribe an oral antibiotic as a precaution against infection, and in most cases you will feel well enough to go back to work immediately following your treatment. We recommend you adhere to a soft diet for a day or two, but your recovery period will most likely be less than 24 hours.

As with other forms of periodontal therapy, the main goal of laser therapy is to stimulate regeneration of connective tissue and bone between the gums and teeth. Additionally, during treatment the heat of the laser causes instant clotting in the gum tissue that actually works to seal the gums and create a physical barrier to any new bacteria that might invade the gums in the future. Laser Assisted Gum Treatment therapy is also an excellent approach for patients who want to improve the aesthetics of their gum line with treatments such as cosmetic crown lengthening and tissue re-contouring procedures. For our patients who are candidates for laser therapy, other welcome benefits include less-painful treatment without cutting or stitches, less risk of infection, shorter appointment times, and an easy and fast recovery.

Generally, the laser procedure is less invasive and more comfortable, as there is less painful procedures involved and there is no need for any cutting, suturing or sewing.

Before your laser treatment you will be given a local anesthetic to eliminate any possible discomfort. During the procedure a tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of three hairs) is inserted between the tooth and the gum to clear away infection, reduce inflammation, and will trigger an immediate healing response in the tissue.

You’ll most likely feel well enough to go right back to work after your treatment. A soft food diet for a day or two is recommended, but most patients are able to eat anything they want right after the procedure. Best of all, your likely recovery period will be less than 24 hours.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in Australian adults. This is because when left untreated, periodontal disease can destroy the fibres and supporting bone that secure your teeth, leading to tooth loss and other serious diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, periodontal disease management and excellent oral health are very important in maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.

CEREC FAQ

CEREC™ is the acronym for Chairside Economical restoration or esthetic ceramics or ceramic reconstruction. The CEREC™ technology is used to create a customized crown, veneer or inlay/onlay which fits exactly to your tooth within the same appointment time. Generally, a dental restoration is sent off to a dental laboratory which then takes up to 2 weeks before the crown is inserted and a total of 2 separate appointment times with the addition of a temporary crown. With CEREC™ technology there is no need for a temporary crown or a second appointment. The tooth is prepared and the new crown, veneer or inlay/onlay is inserted on the same day allowing for a convenient and durable placement in just one day.

Ceramic restorations are a durable and long lasting restoration which can last many years.  If looked after profusely. Oral hygiene at home is very important as thorough brushing, flossing and other habits the dentist may have recommended become absolutely essential. Regular visits to the dentist are also a MUST as well as managing or noting nay clenching or grinding of the teeth which could potential cause damage to the restoration. As a result of good oral health and behaviors your ceramic restoration should remain strong and attractive for many years.

The most prominent benefit from using the CEREC™ technology is the same day experience. The convenience of having an issue solved within the same appointment whilst still receiving the best of quality result is outstanding. Another benefit is the unique nature to the CEREC™ technology. Because the machine is programmed to make a restoration unique to your mouth and tooth structure, it eliminates the need for a temporary crown. Another benefit is the material used to make the restoration is a non-toxic ceramic material which does not weaken the tooth or cause an increase in sensitivity.

Yes!  We use the best of the best materials for all our restorations which are strong, accurate, aesthetically pleasing, biologically compatible and have a great bonding strength.

PST

The time frame which it takes the pinhole surgery technique™ (PST™) procedure to complete is dependent upon the amount of teeth which are being treated. Traditional gum surgery can take up to 2 hours for one tooth due to the amount of cutting and suturing which is involved. However, with the PST procedure you can have up to 10 teeth restored in just one visit.

One of the great things about the Pinhole Surgery Technique™ procedure is the minimally invasive nature. There is marginal bleeding or swelling leading to a decreased amount of pain than what is experienced with traditional gum surgery.

Due to the manipulation of the gum tissue, the foremost concern is inflammation and swelling. We will provide you with a reusable ice pack which is to be used for the next 48 hours in short increments and pain medication to take home as a precaution if there is any pain after the anesthetic wears off. After the procedure it is extremely important to follow the post-operative care instructions given and explained by the dentist to ensure optimum results after the procedure.

Receding gums and exposed roots are not ideal for a number of reasons. Generally teeth all have a protective coating which protects the softer and more important parts of the tooth such as the nerves from bacteria and decay. However, exposed roots lack this protective layer and therefore there is a higher chance of developing decay and if left too long it could cause lots of pain and discomfort. Receding gums can also damage supporting tissues and bone structure surrounding the teeth which can ultimately result in the loss of one or more teeth.

It is always important to take notice of your oral condition even if you don’t experience any pain as most issues are silent diseases which cause lots of damage with minimal symptoms. If you want to know what to look out for or to determine your treatment options you can schedule a one on one appointment with Dr Karn to ensure that you are not at risk to gum disease or begin treatment planning.

Cfast

Cfast™ is a cosmetic tooth aligning process which corrects the misaligned frontal teeth which can be seen when smiling. Because of this specific focus on the front teeth the Cfast™ process is much quicker than traditional orthodontics which has a responsibility to move all teeth to ensure the most appropriate bite is achieved whereas Cfast™ is purely designed for cosmetic reasons.

Every case is unique and the length between appointments will be determined by your dentist. Generally the appointments are made each month to monitor progress, make changes to your wire and ensure the best possible result. The vast majority of patients have their entire treatment completed in 4-9 months, however, each case is different and approximate removal time can be discussed with your dentist upon appointment.

Cfast and traditional orthodontics have different purposes and therefore should not be compared. Cfast™ is mainly aimed at adults and their smiling teeth for cosmetic purposes, whereas orthodontics targets teeth and jaws of adolescents.

Every patient has a different experience with the discomfort behind any orthodontic treatment; however as the Cfast forces are very light there is only minimal tenderness upon the first few days of adapting to the appliance. After approximately 7-10 days there should be little to no pain at all.

It is advised that hard or sticky foods such as popcorn, lollies or nuts do not accidentally dislodge the brackets; heavily colored foods are also to be avoided so that the clear colored brackets are not stained. However if the bracket does become loose or the brackets are stained it is easily fixed by the dentist to restore the cosmetic appearance.

One of the benefits of Cfast™ is the focus upon the cosmetic view of orthodontic treatment. Because of this teeth are not required to be extracted as space is gained by gently easing the contact points with a specially designed interproximal polishing strip. The use of these types of polishing strips are very safe and a very common procedure which is commonly used in dentistry as it does not damage the teeth. However, as each case is unique to itself, if a tooth does need to be extracted you will be consulted fully and all options will be thoroughly explored and discussed prior to any treatment.

The daily routine of cleaning your teeth will be a little more challenging but not difficult. There are modern day technologies which are specially designed for those with orthodontic appliances which help to ensure dental hygiene is thoroughly maintained. Good hygiene during this treatment is extremely important to ensure when the braces are ready to be removed your teeth are at their absolute best.

All orthodontic procedures including Cfast™ are required to wear removable aligners after the removal of the appliance to ensure that the teeth are held into position. If these retainers are not worn there is a strong possibility that the teeth will begin to move. The Cfast™ procedure includes 2 types of retainers; one fixed which is bonded to the back of your teeth which is invisible to see as well as a removable retainer which is to be worn over night to ensure your teeth do not move. Both appliances are very comfortable and can last for a number of years.

Dentures

There are two types of dentures that both serve the same function of restoring the functionality of missing teeth however the amount of teeth on the dentures makes the differentiation. A denture which replaces all the teeth on one arch is called a complete denture which rests on the top of the gums which covers the jawbones. The retention of the denture to the gums can be increased by attaching them to a dental implant. Dentures which only have a few or one tooth on it are known as partial dentures which are attached to other surrounding teeth and clipped into position ontop of the gum and bone where the missing tooth use to originate.

Dentures are made of plastic and therefore are prone to staining and building up plaque bacteria. Because of this, it is extremely important to ensure the hygiene of the denture is kept up to a good standard. In order to do this there are specialized toothpastes which are specifically made for the cleaning of dentures which is to be used in conjunction with a soft bristled toothbrush. Overnight it is best to soak your dentures in water based cleaning solution and rinse before wearing in the morning.

It is advised that overnight dentures are to be removed in order to give your gums and bone a rest from the pressure the denture is exerting from the day. If dentures are to be worn overnight, it is important to remember to find time during the next day to thoroughly clean your denture and ensure to cleanse it at night in a water based cleaning solution. You can defiantly eat with your dentures however it does take a while to get use to using them as teeth. Overtime you will adapt and become more comfortable with eating the more tricky foods.

Wearing dentures for the first time requires time for your body and brain to recognize you have a new appliance in your mouth which is supposed to be there which requires some adjustment. At the beginning, you may experience some lisping but until you adjust and settle into the denture your tongue and lips will relax and revert to your original speech patterns.