FAQ

Have a question? Check these to see if your question is answered! If it’s not, feel free to contact us and ask!

Is there parking available?

Yes! There is secure paid parking below the building at 140 Elizabeth Street. There are also meters around the city you can utilise. If you don’t wish to drive, the practice is easily accessible via public transport.
If transport is a concern, one of our dentists has two university aged children who are available to pick up and drop off patients during the holidays. If you need this arranged, please let us know.

How often should I be going to the dentist for a check up?

We recommend visiting the dentist every six months. This allows us to detect early signs and symptoms of dental issues before they develop into something more serious. 

What constitutes a dental emergency? What do I do if I think I am experiencing a dental emergency?

If you think you are experiencing a dental emergency, try to remain calm and contact us immediately. It is essential to book an immediate appointment as seeing our dentists quickly will increase the chances of them being able to fix the issue. The following can be classified as dental emergencies:

  • Broken and cracked teeth
  • Gum swelling
  • Teeth that have experienced trauma
  • Toothaches
  • Lost or damaged fillings
  • Dislodged crowns or bridges.

What will happen at my first visit?

At you first visit we will start by asking you to fill in a medical history form. This will give us an idea of your general health, your age, any illnesses which may affect your teeth or mouth, and any medication you might be taking. It is important to let us know what is going on in your life as there may be affects on your teeth which you are unaware of. Also, there is information we need to know which can have an affect on the treatment we carry out. Following this, we will check your teeth. We will note how many you have, any wear or cracks, decay, leaking or damaged fillings, and stains. This may take some time. The next step is to check everything around your teeth including the gums and bone in your jaws. We check the connection of the gums to the teeth and all the surfaces inside your mouth including your tongue, roof and floor of the mouth and the first part of your throat. We will take X-rays to check for decay between your teeth and under fillings as well as infections which can be present in the bone around teeth with very large fillings. All this will usually take about one hour. 

How much will it cost?

We can let you know when you call to make your appointment how much the first visit will cost.  For any further treatment we suggest as a result of your examination appointment, we will always provide an estimate of cost prior to your visit. This will allow you to make an informed decision on your treatment before we start. An informed decision means you know the reasons for the treatment, alternative treatments, and all costs. Our treatment estimate will include the item numbers to describe the treatment. This will allow you consult with a health fund to determine their how much they will reimburse you for the treatment.

Why do I need x-rays?

Dental X-rays, or radiographs as they are also know, allow us to see inside teeth and inside the jaw bones. Dental fillings and crowns unfortunately do not last forever. The average lifespan for a good filling is 7-10 years. A good crown will last on average 12 years. The major cause for replacement is decay underneath. If the decay is detected early, the restoration can be replaced without much damage to the teeth. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to see under fillings or crowns, so the X-rays are essential for us to tell you your mouth is truly decay free.  Dental X-rays also provide much more information on the health of the bone around the teeth, presence or abcess of infections, assess the condition of wisdom teeth, dental injuries, and dental and oral neoplasia. We also use dental X-rays to assess teeth to see if they are strong enough to support expensive crowns, bridges, and veneers.

What if something goes wrong?

Unfortunately things sometimes go wrong. Fillings and teeth can break. Teeth can ache and become painful. Dentures can be lost or broken. Please call us straight away if something goes wrong. It is part of our job. Many years ago people did not keep there teeth as long as they do these days. In addition to this we are all living longer. The end result of this is that there are a lot more teeth around for a lot longer. When we chew and grind on teeth for many years the chance of them breaking increases. We go to a great deal of trouble to check your teeth for problems when we examine them. Unfortunately we can not predict if a tooth will break as we can not see cracks in them. Cracks do not show up on X-rays either. This is the one thing which we can’t foresee.

Why do teeth or fillings break?

When we chew or bite our teeth together it places a great deal of force through the teeth. The jaw muscles are extremely powerful. Chewing and grinding is a cyclical force which means it is applied and relaxed constantly. This will happen over many years. You would be very surprised about the amount of force we put through our teeth when we are asleep. This constant force cycle causes very small cracks in teeth and fillings. The cracks are initially microscopic. As time goes by and the forces continue, the cracks slowly get bigger until the tooth or filling either breaks or the tooth becomes painful. If the tooth becomes painful it means the crack has progressed into the pulp or nerve. If this happens the tooth should be crowned immediately to prevent the pulp from dying. If the pulp dies, the tooth will require a root canal treatment if it is to be kept.

How can I tell if my teeth are healthy or not?

There are multiple factors that determine the health of your teeth and gums. To maintain their health, we strongly advise that you brush twice a day and floss once daily to remove any food bacteria and debris.
Any teeth with chips or cracks are more prone to disease and decay and should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent any from developing. Red, swollen or bleeding gums are also signs of gum disease. If you are experiencing these symptoms and are concerned, please book an appointment with us or give us a call to discuss it with you.

When should I bring my child to the dentist?

They should start having their own regular appointments after their first tooth erupts, however we recommend you bring them to your own regular appointments to expose them to the unusual sights and sounds to reduce potential dental anxiety.

I am/my child is scared of the dentist. What should I do?

It is not uncommon to be scared of the dentist or suffer from dental anxiety/dentophobia. Here at McNab Dental, we understand your concerns and will do everything we can to help you feel comfortable. If you let us know whether you or your family members experience anxiety at the dentist, we can take extra care when you come in for your appointment.There are several ways to help you with this. We will discuss this with you.

What is the difference between cosmetic dentistry and traditional dentistry?

Traditional dentistry refers to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and complications. This is done during your twice yearly appointments. Alternatively, cosmetic dentistry is a category of dentistry that focuses on the aesthetics and overall appearance of your teeth and smile. Whitening, dental implants, dentures, crowns, bridges and veneers all fit into the category of cosmetic dentistry. All dentistry should be cosmetic or aesthetic. Some procedures are carried out to correct the appearance of unaesthetic but otherwise healthy teeth.

Do I need my wisdom teeth extracted?

Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. In some cases, the wisdom teeth have enough room to sit comfortably within the mouth. However, the wisdom teeth need to be removed when they become impacted (where the tooth becomes lodged behind the tooth infront of it). This removal is often carried in a hospital by an Oral and MaxilloFacial Surgeon.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, it is possible that they are impacted. We recommend that you visit the practice have an x-ray to determine whether or not the wisdom teeth will require removal as they typically begin to erupt between the ages of 17-25.

Why do we recommend professional whitening over store-bought whitening treatments?

Store purchased whitening treatments are more cost effective but are not always safe for your teeth. They can damage the outermost layer of your teeth that acts as a barrier against bacteria known as the enamel. The most important part of the whitening process is the way in which the bleaching tray is made. Bleaching trays hold the bleach gel in your mouth during the process. The bleaching tray should create a seal at the gum margin of the tooth to prevent your saliva diluting and washing away the bleach. This make the process far more effective and safer to you. With professional whitening, you can be certain that your teeth are being treated in the safest and most effective manner to achieve the best possible result.

What should I do if I knock out a tooth?

Ring us and make an emergency appointment. Knocking out a tooth is a serious dental injury and the tooth can be saved if professional help is sought immediately.
In the meantime, handle the tooth extremely carefully and avoid touching the root (part of the tooth that was embedded in the gum). If possible, replace the tooth in it’s original position. If the tooth is dirty, hold it by the crown (upper part of the tooth) and rinse off the dirt with milk. Do not wipe it off with a cloth as you may unintentionally cause more damage. If you don’t have milk available, it is better to leave the tooth as it is to avoid causing more damage. Avoid water as it can damage the cells. Keep the tooth moist by placing it in a glass of milk or between your cheek and gum or in clingwrap if no milk is available.