Frequently Asked Questions

If your specific question has not been answered here, please contact us at Richmond Fine Dentistry and we’ll find the answer for you.

Why do I need to see the dentist if I am pregnant or planning to become pregnant?

Pregnancy is an important time to see your dentist for both you and your baby. The surge in female hormones during pregnancy can affect your dental health, and cause problems like bleeding or swollen gums. Cravings, stomach upset and vomiting can all affect the teeth through altered diet and exposure to stomach acid, and it is important that a dentist picks up any problems before they develop into decay or tooth damage. A baby's teeth start to form before they are born, so a nutritious diet and good dental hygiene during pregnancy will ensure that mothers and baby’s teeth will be healthy and strong.

How can I fix missing teeth?

Loss of a tooth or multiple teeth can have a very negative impact on the aesthetics or appearance of the mouth and its ability to function correctly. The spaces left where a tooth has been lost or is missing can be replaced by a full or partial denture (plate), bridgework or an implant(s). A denture is an appliance that replaces teeth. You remove it to clean it and it may be replacing all the teeth (full denture) or some of them (partial denture). A bridge is an appliance permanently fixed in the mouth to replace missing teeth. It uses remaining teeth to support the new artificial tooth or teeth. A conventional fixed bridge consists of crowns that are fixed to the teeth on either side of the missing teeth and false teeth rigidly attached to these crowns. An enamel bonded bridge uses a metal or porcelain framework, to which the artificial teeth are attached, then resin bonded to supporting teeth. A dental implant can be thought of as an artificial tooth root that is submerged into the jawbone. A dental implant is fabricated from a very strong, biocompatible material placed in a simple procedure that, generally, is as convenient as a tooth extraction. After an initial healing period, during which the implant is buried in bone and left undisturbed under gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small metal post that secures and supports the artificial tooth. The implant material is extremely biocompatible. The bone grows to the implant and bonds to it, which makes the implant very strong.

When is the best time to bring my child to the dentist?

When your child's first tooth starts erupting is an ideal time to make a visit to the dentist. They can sit on your lap if it makes them more comfortable, and we will make their visit as fun as possible. Starting young is a good way to gently introduce them to the dental surgery’s sights, sounds and people.

Why do I need mouthguard protection for sport?

Dental injury or trauma can disfigure, be painful and is time-consuming and costly. Prevention is better than a cure. Up to 15% of dental injuries occur when playing sport, and cycling accounts for another 45%. A custom-fitted mouthguard made by your dentist is a smart way to help prevent injury.

How can I make my mouth feel healthier, cleaner and fresher?

If you’re not 100% happy with the condition or feel of your mouth then often a visit to your dentist and dental hygienist can fix the cause of the problem. A fresher feeling can be achieved after a professional cleaning to remove any built up plaque, tartar and staining, especially if you smoke, drink coffee, tea and red wine. If it’s old fillings that you’re not happy with anymore, then your dentist can restore or replace it.

How can dentistry stop my jaw from hurting?

TMJ is the abbreviation used for the jaw joint and is short for ‘temporomandibular joint’. It can be felt by placing your fingers just in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth. A TMJ disorder (or TMD) may affect one or both joints, often causing pain and limited jaw function. Symptoms usually arise in early adulthood, but children and the elderly can also be affected. Most symptoms of TMJ disorders or pain are mild and do not need treatment. TMD can be caused by missing teeth, wrongly shaped fillings or crowns, or grinding and clenching teeth at night. This is where your dentist can help, by correcting tooth problems or fitting you with a splint to where when you sleep. TMJ disorders can sometimes be treated with a series of head and neck exercises. 1. Place the top of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, as when making a ‘clucking’ sound. Keeping the tongue in this position, relax the jaw and take a deep breath through the nose, ensuring that the lower rib cage and abdominal area expand as the air is breathed in. 2. With the tongue as for exercise 1, open and close the mouth in a relaxed manner making sure the tongue does not loose contact with the roof of the mouth. 3. With the tongue as for exercise 1, hold the chin between the thumbs and the index finger of both hands. Without moving the jaw position, apply gentle resistance to: - The opening and closing movements of the jaw. - The sideways movements to the left and the right. - Clasping the hands behind the neck bend the head forward, trying to keep the neck still. - Stretch the shoulders in a backward and downwards direction. - Shunt the head backwards on the trunk as far as possible. Use the finger tips of both hands on the upper lip for assistance. Repeat each exercise 6 times, and perform the whole routine 6 times per day.

What can I do about ugly amalgam fillings?

White fillings have been used in front teeth for decades. In recent times, scientists have developed strong white filling materials for back teeth to be used as an alternative to the dark colour of amalgam. There are also a range of alternatives including ceramic inlays, porcelain crowns or veneers that will enhance the strength of the tooth and create pleasing aesthetics.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss or brush?

If you are experiencing bleeding when you brush or floss it is most often a symptom of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums as a result of an overgrowth of plaque bacteria at the margin where the tooth and gum meet and just under the gum margin. The bleeding is a symptom of gingivitis and is one of the ways your body lets you know there is something wrong. If you are experiencing bleeding gums from brushing or flossing it is best to see your dental hygienist for a thorough professional cleaning and have a personalized home care routine put together for you to achieve and maintain a healthy oral environment.