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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Luckily for most of us these days, a visit to the dentist is a pleasant experience and can even be fun! For some adults, it is a more difficult experience. You may have questions, fears or memories that make you unsure of picking up the phone and booking your appointment with our friendly receptionists. If this sounds familiar, the information below may be of some help. Be assured that if you still have any questions, help is just a phone call away.

I remember when I was a child, going to the dentist wasn’t a pleasant experience. The waiting room looked old and had that ‘dentist smell’, the receptionist wasn’t happy, and the dentist wasn’t very gentle!

It is very important to us that your experience at Ferrari Dental Care is completely the opposite to this.

To help achieve the best possible experience for you, we provide pleasant and welcoming surroundings, our dental team are friendly and caring, and we stay up to date with the latest techniques. Our goal is for your experience here to be the best you have ever had!

We use the following techniques to make your treatment as comfortable as possible:

  • Sensory Blocking Injection Technique – a special technique developed in the USA for injections you don’t feel. It is very successful for children, although we also use it routinely for adults
  • Ceiling Televisions – each of our treatment rooms has a TV placed above the patient’s chair. While patients are having the treatment done they can enjoy a film from our movie collection
  • Neck cushions to increase your comfort during treatment
  • Gentleness – we are very aware that the mouth is a sensitive area and we treat it accordingly
  • Air Abrasion – a stream of air and powder which removes decay in small cavities, often without the need for an injection
  • We give you control during treatment – you are welcome to stop treatment whenever you like for any reason
  • We explain what we are doing so that nothing comes as a surprise
  • Frequent rest periods during treatment

Our aim is for your mouth to be healthy and stable so your teeth last a lifetime with a minimum of worries. That’s why we recommend an oral health examination every 6 to 12 months to try and avoid major problems and cost.

Please call our Front Office if you need any information regarding the cost of your dental care. We can also provide you with a written estimate for any work we suggest that you have done. We will explain the options to the proposed treatment, and include the cost of these on the estimate.

Our goal is to provide you with an exceptional quality of care at an affordable price. Dentistry in this day and age is not cheap, but with routine dental examinations and good home care, you can help to reduce the overall cost to you and your family.

Health Fund rebates vary considerably depending on the fund involved, the level of cover, and the type of treatment received.

The rebates given by the funds are generally based on a percentage of an average of fees charged for each service across the entire dental profession. The rebate is usually a fixed amount and may not take into account variations of treatment complexity between different patients or frequency of use.

For example, a scale and clean maybe a 5-minute procedure for one patient, and an hour procedure for another, depending on the amount of tartar and gum infection present. Obviously, the longer procedure would cost more, however, the rebate from the health fund would be exactly the same. It is understandable that some patients become disappointed or confused by this.

It is also important to remember that dental care, unlike medical treatment, is not subsidized by the Government from your taxes. There is no Medicare cover for dental treatment.

This means that dental care will usually be expensive even if you have health fund cover. However, prevention is always better and less costly than cure, so please don’t leave it until you’re having problems. Your health is more important!

Your health fund may have suggested to you that if you see a ‘Preferred Provider’ dentist, you may only have to pay a small amount or nothing at all for treatment. A Preferred Provider is a dentist employed by a health fund who agrees to charge the patient a set fee for each treatment. In return, the health fund helps to make the dentist busier by sending patients to them.

The only requirement to become a Preferred Provider dentist is that you agree to charge a certain fee that is usually below the average fee normally charged. There is no requirement to deliver a certain standard of care or quality of treatment. One can understand how compromises could be made in such situations.

We are not Preferred Providers or are ever likely to be. Our mission is to deliver exceptional care to our patients and we believe that we offer you value for money. We encourage you to take out health cover if you think it is appropriate. However, remember that the health funds don’t really have the same level of interest in your health that you and your dentist has.

Yes, we do. Any cancellations or change of appointments require 24 to 48 hours notice. You can let us know either by calling us on (03) 9439 2411, email reception@ferraridentalcare.com.au or you can leave a message on our answering machine if you are calling outside of business hours.

If an appointment is cancelled or changed without sufficient notice a short notice fee may apply.

Yes, we do! We sterilise our instruments using an autoclave. An autoclave is a device used to sterilise equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam for a set amount of time. Our autoclaves have printers on them that print a record of each cycle. We track each cycle and all critical instruments. Each cycle is personally checked by the dental assistants to make sure instruments have been processed correctly. We test our autoclaves everyday and we have licensed technicians service them regularly to ensure they are working to full potential and to Australian Dental Association regulations.

Instruments that are not autoclaved are single use only and they are disposed of after use. Disposable instruments account for one-third of all instruments used. You may be surprised to learn that around 35 items are autoclaved or disposed of after a simple procedure such as your six monthly examinations, scale and polish. You can understand how this increases the cost of dentistry, both from materials and staff costs. However, your health is of prime importance and we will do our utmost to ensure it.

Our infection control procedures are firmly implemented according to the latest industry regulation. We welcome any questions you may have about our infection control procedures.

There are a number of different types of filling materials used in our office, including composite resin, glass ionomer, porcelain, amalgam and metals such as gold. As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages of each, depending on the situation involved. White fillings include composite resin and glass ionomer.

  • Composite resin is the most popular of the white fillings, and is also known as ‘plastic’ or ‘bonded’ fillings. The advantages of composite fillings include: Colour matching to help blend the filling into the natural tooth and seem ‘invisible’, can be used for front and back teeth, can be more conservative than amalgam fillings and they do not contain mercury. Disadvantages include: A composite filling takes more time to place and costs more than amalgam or glass ionomer fillings, they are not as strong as amalgam fillings, they are not as successful in patients who are prone to decay or who have poor enamel, and will slowly stain over time.
  • Glass ionomer fillings are made out of a special material that contains fluoride. This is extremely useful for patients who have poorly formed enamel, or who are prone to decay. The fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth structure and protect it from decay. Glass ionomer is also relatively inexpensive and is easy to place. The disadvantages are that they are not very strong, and are less aesthetic compared to composite fillings.

Sometimes fillings may not be strong enough and your dentist may suggest a crown. Crowns are commonly made from porcelain covered metal and can be made from alloy metals or gold. The porcelain is colour matched to your surrounding teeth and looks just like a natural tooth while maintaining strength.

Today, white fillings can be used exclusively if you wish, however, you need to be aware of their advantages and disadvantages. We are happy to discuss your particular needs with you to help you decide which is best for you.

Amalgams, or ‘silver’ fillings, are made from a number of materials including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They have been used for over 160 years in millions of people around the world. Although they are used less frequently today, they still play an important role in modern dentistry.

Some reports in the media say that mercury in amalgam leaks into the body and causes health problems. While it is true that very small amounts of mercury do enter the bloodstream, it is removed by the kidneys and excreted in the urine. It is also true that small amounts of mercury (and other compounds) are found in many of the foods we eat, and are excreted in the same way. Providing the amounts are very small, there are no health problems associated with them.

The use of amalgam continues to be supported by the World Health Organization, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Dental Association, to name a few. These organizations are very careful and precise in their research and recommendations for medical practitioners throughout the world, and would not continue to support a material that was harmful. Furthermore, they have no financial benefit in recommending certain materials and so are unbiased in their conclusions.

As dentists, we want the best for our patients’ health. We must be guided by proven and reliable sources of information on which to base our dental treatment plans for you. A couple of reports in the media that are not backed up by proven scientific research are not valid reasons to change treatment protocols.

Amalgam continues to be used by most dentists because it still has some advantages over alternative materials. It is strong, generally lasts a long time, is less expensive and it seals out decay very well. Composite resins are definitely improving all the time, but still have some disadvantages compared to amalgam, especially for large fillings in back teeth. Patients are requesting more and more white fillings for their teeth, which is perfectly acceptable as long as you understand their limitations. An informed choice is the best way to decide and we are happy to discuss this with you.

All our teeth are designed to balance against each other and to support the jaw joints. When a tooth is lost due to decay, gum disease, or accident, the surrounding teeth can tilt or move and cause serious problems.

The most common problems are tilting and over-eruption. Tilting is when the adjacent teeth tip over into the space left by the missing tooth. This predisposes these teeth to gum disease because they are more difficult to clean. The jaw joints can also be affected because the tipped tooth disrupts the bite.

Over-eruption is when the tooth directly above or below the missing tooth moves out of its socket into the space. This exposes the root of the tooth which makes it more susceptible to decay and gum disease. The over-erupted tooth can also disrupt the natural movements of the jaw and cause jaw joint problems, including ‘clicking’, earaches, headaches, and nighttime grinding (bruxism).

Therefore, when back teeth are lost it is usually recommended they should be replaced. The use of a partial denture, bridge, or implant can restore the bite back to its correct situation and avoid future problems. This is easier and less expensive to do than to wait till you have problems, particularly as some of these problems cannot be resolved.

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults today. It begins when the tissues around the teeth start to break down due to inflammation. The inflammation is caused by plaque and tartar build-up which release toxins into the gum recesses. If allowed to continue, the supporting tissues around the teeth break down to such an extent that the teeth have to be removed.

Symptoms of gum disease can include; bleeding gums when brushing, bad breath, red and swollen gums, excessive tartar build up, receding gums, loose teeth or teeth that change position. It is important to note that gum disease does not usually cause pain until the disease is in the advanced stages.

Treatment depends on how advanced the gum disease is. The most common form of treatment is a thorough scale to remove all plaque and calculus, followed by repeat cleanings at determined intervals. You may also be recommended to see a Periodontist (gum specialist) in more advanced cases. The aim is to prevent progression of the disease and to reverse it where less damage has been done.

The important thing to remember is that if you have gum disease, you don’t have to lose your teeth. With the advanced treatment procedures available today, you can feel assured that most of your teeth can be saved.

Firstly, find the tooth and make sure it is still intact. Be careful when handling the tooth and only touch the crown (top portion) of the tooth, never the root. The root surface has a membrane which is very delicate and it is extremely important not to damage it, as this will decrease the success of saving the tooth.

Many people may be uncomfortable inserting the tooth on their own. If this is the case be sure to transport the tooth to the dentist or doctor in saline, milk or saliva as soon as possible. Avoid the tooth drying out. Water is not recommended. You may also place the tooth between the cheek and gum for an adult. The mouth is the best place for the tooth and provides protection against bacteria. The patient can rinse out their mouth with water then apply pressure with a tissue or gauze to stop any bleeding if needed.

If you feel comfortable inserting the tooth, gently push the tooth back into the socket and hold it there with light pressure. Even if the tooth his been successfully reinserted, you should still see a dentist in case any further treatment is necessary.

Studies have shown if the tooth is replaced within 30 minutes, there is an 85% chance the tooth will survive.

Prevention is always best. Make sure mouth guards and protective gear are always worn for contact sports and helmets are worn while cycling, skateboarding, and skiing.

Call the team at Ferrari Dental Care on (03) 9439 2411

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