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How often should I visit the dentist?

Once your oral health is stabilised then yearly visits to see both the dentist and the Hygienist are recommended. For most people we advise a visit to the Hygienist at the half year between seeing the Dentist.

When should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth, either with a manual or powered brush and clean between the teeth twice a day i.e. morning and before bed.

Should I Floss?

You should clean the narrow ‘gap’ between teeth to protect the teeth and gums twice a day with either: floss or interdental brushes or soft ‘toothpicks’

Will my treatment be expensive?

Dental treatment can be costly if there has been a lot of decay and ‘gum’ issues develop but once your mouth is stabilised, costs are low. Then your regular active maintenance will not be expensive. 

Remember in New Zealand as there is minimal contribution from government health funding you do have to pay the whole cost, unlike your Doctor. (We hope this will change in the future as the current Government promised more funding in 2020 but have yet to deliver.)

The ‘other side of the coin’ to financial cost is the physical and psychological cost of having ‘bad’ teeth and gums.

Can I spread the cost of treatment?

We offer a variety of payment options. Most treatments are paid in full as they are done, but we also have patients making payments to build up credit for treatment and we have links to third parties so you can finance the treatment over a longer period.

Help! I have missing teeth!

A lot of people have lost teeth due to various circumstances creating a gap between teeth or even a few at the back of the jaw.

Don’t be worried, we have three main ways of replacing missing teeth. One way is a removable prosthesis or partial denture - we have a visiting specialist Des Reddy for this.

Another is a fixed prosthesis or dental bridge bonded to the teeth either end of the ‘gap’ using a crown or a clasping wing.

A third way is to place a titanium implant in the jaw then attach a crown to the implant.

What filling material is used?

Waiheke Dental Centre has only used white composite filling material since 2004. We use composites which are superior to the old ‘black’ metal mercury amalgam. Composite is bonded to the tooth so doesn’t need a destructive retentive preparation. Composite is durable and can even be repaired if worn. Composite behaves similarly to natural tooth unlike metal. Additionally we only use biocompatible composites.

What can be done for a very broken down tooth?

If a tooth is very broken by decay or tooth fracture it can be directly rebuilt with composite filling which gives a quick and inexpensive solution but it will not last as long as other solutions. A medium cost solution is an in surgery resin-ceramic overlay which has good longevity. A crown or overlay will give the best long-term solution. It’s fabricated in a dental laboratory following shaping of the tooth and the taking of an impression of the prepared tooth. A few weeks later the temporary cover is removed and the crown bonded on. This is option more costly and requires two or three visits.

I have bleeding gums. Why and what to do?

Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation or infection of the gums due to an unhealthy bacterial biofilm (‘plaque’) and frequently calcium deposits on the teeth (‘tartar/scale’).

If not treated then the gums and underlying jawbone will recede. The simplest solution is to improve your brushing and interdental hygiene followed by a visit to the Hygienist to have the hard deposits removed.

Can I get my teeth whitened / bleached?

Yes, if your teeth are darkened you can, in most cases, have the teeth whitened or bleached. This is done by the Hygienist either with custom made trays that you then use at home over about two weeks, or in surgery in a longer appointment. The process is safe and won’t harm the teeth. If you are interested in this contact us.

Can something be done about ‘black triangles’ because I’m getting ‘long in the tooth’?

It is a common thing for ‘black triangles’ to appear as the gum ‘triangle’ between the teeth and below the contact disappears due to gum and jaw recession.

This can occur due to ‘gum’ disease, aging and some orthodontic treatments. A simple and cost effective solution we provide is to bond white composite filling to both teeth in the triangle using special plastic formers.

Another alternative is ceramic veneers where the teeth are cut and shaped on the lip side of the teeth and an impression sent to a dental laboratory then the veneers bonded on a few weeks later.

Can you straighten crowded teeth?

If your teeth are crowded and tilted then they can be realigned with orthodontic treatment. This gives improved function, less wear and a better looking appearance.

The treatment can be with removeable or fixed appliances. Age is no barrier with various treatments possible from an early age through to your senior years!

What if I am anxious about dental care?

Dental anxiety is something that affect a number of people.  We can help you overcome or at least cope with this. See our dental anxiety section.

More Questions?

If we have not been able to answer your question here, please do contact us so that we can assist you.

Ask Dr Mike

Dr. Mike Stevens
Dr. Mike Stevens