Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some of the most commonly asked questions. We encourage you to use the form to the right if you have any questions about the services we offer, problems you may have encountered, treatments you are unsure about or products you use.
As a reward, we offer the best question of the month the fame and fortune associated with being recorded on our website and the gift of a superb electric toothbrush on completion of your first appointment or health check.

It doesn’t matter whether teeth were lost through accident, disease or caries, dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement for many patients. Your dentist will inform you which implant treatment is most suitable for you.

Dental implants can be used when:
* A single tooth is missing – implant crowns
* Several teeth are missing – implant bridges
* All teeth are missing – implant bridges or dentures

You can eat whatever you want – your teeth are strong and stable. They look like your own teeth and they feel like your own teeth, too. You know that you have chosen the best solution and can smile a confident and beaming smile.

Implants provide an efficient long-term solution – When you maintain good oral hygiene, your implants can last your whole life. This makes implants an efficient and economic long term solution.

Dental implants support your health – When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone and gum starts to resorb, and increasingly so if you lose several teeth. Implants protect healthy teeth, protect from bone loss and helps you keep your natural look.

A dental implant is a titanium “root” that is placed into the jaw bone to support a crown to form an artificial tooth. Titanium is a bio-compatible material and does not cause allergic reactions. The implant is usually inserted into the jaw bone under a local anesthetic, and the bone grows onto the implant and integrates with the surface.

Implant supported teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth.

When the natural roots of teeth are lost, bone resorption in the jaws may occur. These problems can be avoided by inserting dental implants.

You must brush and clean the ball of the mini implants and surrounding gum as if they were your natural teeth.  As with natural teeth, food and bacterial debris (plaque) must be removed after meals.

The ACCESS™ toothbrush has been specifically designed for optimum cleaning of the mini implant fixtures.  Ultrasonic cleaners are ideal for ensuring that the retaining fixtures are kept clean and free from food impaction and debris.  Use either mouthwash or a 50-50 peroxide solution in the ultrasonic cleaner.  Do not use effervescent cleaners, as they may deteriorate O-rings.

Call us if your denture does not remain firmly in place.

The mini implants and the O-ring fixtures must be clean and free from debris.  Grasp the denture with both hands and lightly seat the denture, feeling that the O-rings are resting above the ball head of the implants, then press down firmly and equally on both sides.  You will feel the denture snap into place.  If you have trouble seating your denture, first make sure that the implants and denture are absolutely clean.  Second, make sure that you feel the implants resting over each socket.  A light touch will give you the best results.  Remember to push downward equally on both sides.  If you are still experiencing difficulty, see if a spouse or family member can assist you in placing the denture.

Leave the denture in place for the first 48 hours after mini implant placement.  You should not experience any excessive bleeding.  There will be some mild discomfort, but this should be minimal and controlled by the pain medication you have been given.  If needed, take the pain medication only as directed.  The denture should feel secure.  You may eat as soon as you wish to, but avoid excessively hard or sticky food for a period recommended by your dentist.  Upon removing the denture, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.  We also recommend using an ACCESS™ mini implant toothbrush that you can purchase from our surgery.  It has been specifically designed to clean your implants and gently stimulate the surrounding gum tissue.

Cases for the Inman Aligner vary depending on the degree of crowding and level of compliance but most cases are completed in 6-18 weeks.

Yes. All orthodontic treatment needs to be retained or will run the risk of relapse and Inman Aligner treatment is no different in this respect.  You may have a clear removable retainer or a fixed retainer wire on the back side of your teeth.

If you have mild to moderate crowding or protrusion of you front teeth you may well be a suitable candidate for Inman Aligner treatment. Only a certified Inman Aligner dentist will be able to confirm suitability of each individual case.

Inman aligner treatment represents excellent value for money. The cost of treatment may vary depending on the number of visits required and complexity of the case. Following a consultation with your Inman Aligner doctor, you will be given an indication of costs and treatment time.

Compliance is paramount. The Inman Aligner will only work if you wear it every day for the treatment time. Ideally patient should wear the Inman Aligner for 20 hours a day maximum. Any less and the treatment could take longer to complete.
It should always be removed before eating and you should clean your teeth and your Inman Aligner before you refit it back into your mouth. It is okay to take your aligner out for photos, special occasions and eating as long as this is not for longer than a few hours.

The Inman Aligner will affect your speech for a week or two. You will however acclimate to the appliances over time and be able to speak fine with them in place.

As with any orthodontic appliance, the Inman Aligner can feel a little uncomfortable for the first few days. After a week, most patients are used to their Aligner and have no problems wearing it.

In the case of your Inman Aligner no longer fitting, you should contact us immediately and we will diagnose what remedial action is needed to bring the treatment back on course. This may involve moving back one or two stages in treatment to a previous aligner or possibly some additional treatment.

No. Braces can be uncomfortable or even painful at first, and may hurt for a couple days after each monthly adjustment. But after a few months, patients hardly notice their braces at all.

No. They may not be exactly enjoyable, but they’re less noticeable, less painful and more efficient than you remember. You can now get clear brackets or Invisalign for a less noticeable look and even “traditional” metal brackets are much smaller than in the past. New heat-activated wires move teeth with constant, more gradual pressure, so each adjustment hurts less and teeth realign more quickly.

Some people may get braces for mostly cosmetic reasons but there are also a number of health benefits to straighter teeth. Straight teeth are easier to clean well, which reduces tooth decay and gingivitis. Correcting the bite also fixes many structural problems, which can reduce jaw pain and make chewing less painful.

This is a subjective choice, but braces can still be quite effective for adults and modern styles are much less noticeable than the braces that many adults remember. In fact, about 20% of patients with braces are over 18. Many adults decide to get braces because they couldn’t afford them as a child and now can, or because their teeth have shifted with age. Getting braces, even as an adult, can give you decades of more attractive straight teeth and correct serious structural problems, so many people see them as a worthwhile investment.

On average, most children wear braces for 1 to 3 years, but this can vary greatly for each person based on growth and the severity of the problem. It also depends on the cooperation of that patient, including maintaining good oral hygiene, wearing auxiliaries such as rubber bands as directed, avoiding damaging food, and keeping all of their follow-up appointments.

The ideal age to commence treatment is between the ages of 10 and 14, when a child’s mouth and head are still growing and the permanent teeth are erupting. However, braces can still be effective in older teenagers and adults.

In the case where your Invisalign aligners no longer fit, you should contact us immediately and we will diagnose what remedial action is needed to bring the treatment back on course. This may involve moving back one or two stages in treatment to a previous aligner or possibly some additional orthodontist treatment.

This depends on the outcome of the Invisalign treatment. Some patients might need a removable clear retainer or a fixed wire retainer placed on the back side of their teeth. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.

Invisalign Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing and flossing.

No. Unlike traditional orthodontics, you can usually eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your Invisalign aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favourite foods and snacks, unless instructed otherwise by your orthodontist or dentist. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to reinserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.

Like all orthodontic treatments, Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp or minor speech impediment caused by the aligners should disappear.

Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of Invisalign treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that the Invisalign aligners are working – subsequently moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.

After or during the initial consultation for Invisalign, your treating orthodontist or dentist will need to take x-rays, photos and moulds of your teeth. These records will be sent to the USA to be used to manufacture your custom made aligners. This process will take approximately 6 weeks (from the time your records are sent to the USA to the time treatment can begin).

Many patients are being treated with some form of combination of braces and Invisalign. You should consult your orthodontist or dentist to determine the best treatment for you.

Almost all teenagers over the age of 14 are eligible for treatment with Invisalign as long as their second (twelve year old) molars are fully erupted.

Align Technology defers to the professional judgment of the treating doctor in determining how Invisalign can be incorporated into the treatment plan. Align Technology almost never rejects the cases submitted by our doctors, as we currently accept over 98% of all cases we receive but only an orthodontist or dentist who has been Invisalign trained can determine if Invisalign is an effective option for you. Three types of tooth movements have found to be less predictable achieved with Invisalign alone: severe derotations of cylindrical teeth; complex extrusions; closure of large spaces usually associated with extractions of teeth other than lower incisors. With more Invisalign experience, doctors may improve the ways they manage the treatment and increase the predictability of these movements.

If your insurance policy has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to a similar extent as conventional braces as Invisalign is normally prescribed for a full course of orthodontic treatment. However, as medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should check with their health fund.

Invisalign is a premium product compared to traditional braces. It uses state of the art technology to create a series of customised aligners for each patient and has significant patient benefits. The cost of treatment is determined by the prescribing orthodontist or dentist and is based upon the complexity of treatment required and the schedule of fees charged. Invisalign treatment is usually similar or slightly more than the cost of adult ceramic braces.

The length of time for Invisalign treatment is dependent on the severity of each individual patient’s orthodontic issues. Treatment may vary from anywhere between six months to two years with an average treatment taking around 12 to 14 months.

There are four primary benefits of Invisalign:
1) Invisalign is nearly invisible – you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
2) Invisalign is removable – you can eat and drink what you want in treatment; you can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
3) Invisalign is comfortable – there are no metal brackets or wires to cause mouth irritation: no metal or wires also means you spend less time in the doctor’s chair getting adjustments.
4) Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start – so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.

Invisalign uses 3D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made aligners are produced. Like brackets and arch wires, the Invisalign aligner moves teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. Each aligner moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final desired position is achieved. The principle difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. With each aligner, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular aligner. This results is an efficient force delivery system.

Invisalign has proven to be as effective at straightening teeth as traditional braces. The level of Invisalign experience will determine how an orthodontist or dentist decides how to treat a patient. Patients with severe crowding of bite problems may require interdisciplinary treatments in which Invisalign is used in combination with other teeth straightening techniques.

Invisalign is the virtually invisible and hygienic alternative to braces that lets patients keep smiling during treatment. Invisalign uses a series of custom-made, clear, removable aligners that gradually move teeth towards the desired position. Invisalign is prescribed to patients through trained Invisalign orthodontists or dentists and only they can determine a patient’s suitability and exact treatment plan.

Being able to move your face isn’t an indication to have Anti-Wrinkle Injections. If a facial expression forms a line – that is not an indication. If when your face is at rest, there is still a line or lines showing, this is an indication that Anti-Wrinkle Injections are an option.
If there is a depletion/lack of volume, especially in the nasolabial area (around mouth) Dermal Filler treatment would be an option for you to replace this lost volume.

Contraindications for Anti-Wrinkle Injections are pregnant women and those who suffer with neuromuscular disorders.
Contraindications for Dermal Fillers are people who have shown allergic reactions to Hyaluronic products in the past or those who are receiving other facial treatments at the same time e.g. laser, chemical peeling etc.
Treatments cannot be performed on any area where there is trauma or open wounds.

After Anti-Wrinkle Injections, muscle action should start returning after 3-4 months and returned to normal in 6 months. Normally we re-treat the area between 4-5 months after the initial treatment. With repetitive use the effects of Anti-Wrinkle Injections last longer, resulting in the intervals between treatments becoming longer and requiring less injections.
Dermal Fillers last predictably for up to 12 months from the treatment date.

There’s no downtime for Anti-Wrinkle Injections or Dermal Fillers. Anti-Wrinkle Injections don’t require local anaesthetic but may cause a tiny bit of redness around treated areas and surfaces to be slightly raised for 20 minutes or so. Dermal Fillers require local anaesthetic, so patients will be numb for a while after treatment and may experience minor swelling for 24-48 hours.

There are now lots of dental practices that are providing Facial Rejuvenation treatments to their patients. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has recently changed its policy to recognise facial treatments as part of dental practice.

Anti-Wrinkle Injections can cause swelling, small spots of bruising and headaches as the most common side effects, however they have nothing to do with the product, but from needle trauma and stress surrounding the treatment.
Dermal Fillers can cause swelling, slight pain/discomfort and potentially a bit of lumpiness or redness for the first day or so.

The active ingredient in Dermal Fillers is Hyaluronic Acid which is something we have in our skin naturally, responsible for the plumpness or volume of the skin.

The active ingredient in anti-wrinkle injections is Botulinum Toxin – Type A. Botulinum is a purified and sterile protein commonly used to relax muscles, inhibit sweating and various other medical conditions.

Here at Whitehouse Dental, we use Dysport. Dysport has some added benefits including quicker onset and lasting slightly longer. Dysport begins to take effect as early as 1-2 days after treatment. Studies have shown that Dysport lasts on average 10% longer than other brands and many patients have observed the same thing.

There are three brands of anti-wrinkle injections available in Australia; Xeomin, Dysport and Botox. The active ingredient of these products is Botulinum Toxin –Type A, however the products are produced from different strains of C.Botulinum; have different chemical structures and as such have differing properties such as areas of diffusion, potency and different dilution units.

All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach.
Over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth.
None of the home use whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist’s office through chair-side bleaching or power bleaching. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted at the dentist can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

Exposure to all sources of radiation — including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays — can damage the body’s tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

Yes. A soft-bristled toothbrush works well to clean full or partial dentures. There are also brushes specially designed for cleaning dentures, which have bristles arranged to fit the shape of the denture. Avoid hard bristles which will damage the surface of the denture. Denture cleaners, hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid are suggested for cleaning, as toothpastes are too abrasive.

Denture wearers should pay attention to their mouths, even if they have no or few teeth remaining. Mouths should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture’s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under these clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay.

Sugar acts like an acid dissolving the enamel on teeth. Each time you eat a snack containing sugar, the resulting acid attack can last up to 20 minutes. The naturally-occurring bacteria in the mouth use sugar as energy to multiply and stick themselves to the surface of a tooth. Over time, this turns into plaque and continues to eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Tiny holes will eventually be made in the enamel. These are cavities. Left un-treated cavities will continue to grow.