As an established dental clinic for over 20 years, we are familiar with many of the most common questions. If you have a question that is not covered below please don’t hesitate to call our Patient Care team who will be happy to help.
Ideally, it is best to take your child to the dentist when he /she is between 6 to 12 months of age. This allows the dentist to anticipate and potentially prevent problems, rather than treat them. In addition, the dentist will assess your child’s carries risk, evaluate adverse habits and customize a program specific for each child.
There is no set rule. It is generally recommended that children visit the dentist every six months. Because children’s dental needs differ, your dentist is best able to suggest a schedule of visits for your child. Taking your child to the dentist regularly can prevent serious disease. Regular dental visits can save time, money and your child’s teeth.
A paediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behaviour, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. Although a general dentist also can address your child’s oral health care needs, a paediatric dentist is geared to care for children and to put them at ease. If your child has special needs, care from a paediatric dentist should be considered.
We are believers in prevention and recommend that adults have a check-up and cleaning every six months. Ultimately we are concerned about the health of your gums and teeth. Our dentists are trained to identify issues and implement treatment before small concerns become big problems. Don't wait for your teeth to hurt before scheduling an appointment.
It is very important that teeth whitening is done by a registered dentist as this will ensure that it is a safe process. It's always best for a dentist to assess your oral condition before whitening. At Smilefocus we offer either home bleaching or in-chair whitening. Your dentist will explain both processes to you in detail.
Modern dentistry has progressed hugely in the area of pain relief, technology and equipment. We understand people can have a real phobia about the sounds, smells and feelings of dental visits, often stemming from childhood. We strive to change perceptions; our aim is to change your thinking so that you welcome the experience and the patient care at Smilefocus. We focus on ensuring all our patients have a positive experience from their first visit onwards.
Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Dental implants are basically titanium screws fixed into the healthy bone, onto which a crown is placed after healing. Dental implants are a great permanent solution to missing teeth; they look and feel like your natural teeth.
Dr Stephanie Salanitri has been treating children for more than 20 years. Qualifying from University of Queensland and then practising with Queensland Health, Dr Stephanie continued post graduate studies in paediatric dentisty. She is an exceptionally qualified and experienced practitioner who is well-loved by many of our younger patients!
Her experience and skills include:
- Development of preventive programs
- Treatment of dental trauma
- Treatment of dental developmental abnormalities
- Complex restorative treatment
- Orthodontics – interceptive, removable, fixed
- Minor oral surgery such as surgical exposure/removal of impacted teeth
- Behaviour management
Orthodontics are the geometry of teeth. A dentist may refer a patient for orthodontic treatment for a variety of reasons: crowding, spacing, profile improvement, impacted, missing or crooked teeth, or crossbite – but the common factor is that your teeth need to be moved into position through the use of braces to correct malignment and bite, for long term good health.
Yes, orthodontics are suitable for most people, and at any age too. Orthodontics is most successful when carried out in children whose teeth and bones are still actively growing but there has been a big increase in adult orthodontics in recent years.
A specialist orthodontist has had extra years of training and is the best person to achieve lasting results. It is easier to clean teeth (avoiding decay and gum problems) if they are correctly aligned and it will lead to a more confident, aesthetic smile.
The first appointment will take approximately 30 minutes. A brace will not be fitted at this session but we will assess your problems, discuss the orthodontic treatment plan that will be necessary and the optimum time to start treatment. We will take into account your own concerns, your dental development and your oral hygiene. For those who are ready to start treatment immediately, we will make an appointment to take dental records which includes dental modelling, photographs and possibly some x-rays.
There are two types of orthodontic braces, fixed and removable. Different combinations of braces may be used to treat individual cases. Often a patient can choose their preferred option between removable braces such as Invisalign, or fixed braces, including metal, ceramic and lingual options. For more information see Orthodontics.
Orthodontists and dentists share many similarities. Both strive to achieve beautiful healthy smiles. Dentists cover a broad range of oral health issues including cavities, gum disease, broken and missing teeth. Orthodontists are dentists who continued their training for an additional three years in an accredited university focused only on tooth and jaw alignment.
Orthodontists only do orthodontics and that makes them most qualified to provide the most comprehensive and efficient treatment options when it comes to straightening your teeth. Dentists working with orthodontists results in the best overall dental health.
In order for patients to make informed decisions regarding treatment, it’s important to be aware of a few key differences between orthodontists and dentists:
- Dentists complete a General Dental Degree
- A general dentist is similar to your family doctor and is very important for overall dental health. They provide a wide range of services from dental cleanings to repairing teeth.
- Dentists are not trained at university in putting on braces or working with clear aligners
- Most dentists will refer patients requiring orthodontic treatment to a certified orthodontic specialist
- Orthodontists complete a dental degree then a three year specialist degree
- Orthodontists are specialists in facial growth and dental development. Proper early intervention can reduce the need for orthodontic treatment and improve results
- Orthodontists are specialists in tooth and jaw alignment
- Orthodontists offer many types of treatment including retainers, clear aligners and traditional braces and will help pick the right one for you. Dentists often only offer one brand or type of aligner or braces
- Both dentists and orthodontists play a valuable role in keeping your teeth healthy and looking good
You can do either. Online you can request a particular dentist, day and/or time, you can let us know if you want insurance direct billing, and what treatment you are looking for. We do need a phone number so we can follow up with you to confirm.
Come 10 minutes before your appointment to fill in the registration form. That helps our dentists see all our patients on time.
If we’ve seen you before we have certain medications the dentist can prescribe. Our Patient Care Coordinator will check with your dentist and arrange the medications for you if appropriate. If you are new to Smilefocus we will ask you to check with your medical doctor for the medications.
If you would like us to submit your insurance forms for you, you will need to bring your insurance membership card with you.
Your first visit with us for a dental checkup and clean will be for 60 minutes. Most often for a first visit the doctor will suggest x-rays to create a baseline of your oral health. If you have x-rays from within the last two years, you can forward these to us in advance.
Every six months for an oral examination and professional teeth cleaning is recommended. You should try to have at least one oral examination and professional cleaning every year. It is important to remember that identifying any little problems before they become big ones will be less hassle, and less cost in the long run.
When we eat foods that contain sugar or simple carbohydrates, acid is produced from the oral bacteria (or plaque as it is commonly known) that is present. This acid weakens the enamel leading to a loss in minerals and over time this leads to dental decay. Avoid snacking on sugary, refined or acidic foods as these provide ample fuel for acid-forming bacteria. Your teeth need at least a 2 hour gap between consumption to remineralise. Drink water. This provides a buffering effect and helps keep your mouth hydrated.
Parents with a history of multiple fillings and active cavities are associated with children with high decay rate. Not only do the children acquire their parent’s bacterial flora through the exchange of saliva, but they share similar habits of their family members, such as snacking at high frequency on food, confectionery or drinks containing acid and sugar. Limiting flavoured, sweetened drinks to mealtimes will reduce exposure time with teeth. Anyone with high risk of developing cavities can have this risk level changed and lowered, by changing their habits.
Members of the same families may also have different susceptibility to cavities e.g. one child’s teeth may not have been affected by milk feeds given in the middle of the night but a second child may have serious cavities. This is because caries is a multifactorial disease. It is the interaction between bacteria, available food, tooth quality, tooth surfaces and alignment (crowded teeth vs spaced teeth) that may trap food. Food trapped and left in the mouth decompose to form acid and destroy the tooth.
Regular check ups with professional cleaning helps reduce your likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease. Make your appointment today!