Category Archives: Dental Care

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When do you need a dental crown?

When your tooth has a minor cavity, the go-to treatment is usually a filling. But if your cavity has progressed to the point where there is too much damage or decay for a filling treatment to be successful – yet you still have sufficient healthy tooth structure – then an inlay or onlay treatment can be used to restore your tooth.

However, what if your entire tooth is severely damaged all the way to the gum line, and there isn’t too much of it left to support a filling, inlay or onlay? Well, a dental crown may be the solution.

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are actually prosthetic teeth. They look and function just like a real tooth, and are designed to fit over the remaining tooth’s root structure. Once fitted and bonded into place, crowns can last for up to 30 years, depending on the wear and tear that the crown is subjected to. For example, if you have tooth grinding issues or like to munch on hard foods like ice, you may reduce the life of your crown significantly.

Good oral care and hygiene is an important factor also, to prevent any decay around the gum line that may compromise the crown’s stability.

Clinical research supports their use, and test results show that crowns have a higher success rate than other tooth restoration treatments, in terms of appearance, durability and function.

Dental crowns are an effective dental solution for a range of severe tooth issues, including:

  • Teeth severely damaged by tooth decay
  • Worn or eroded teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Strengthening and rebuilding teeth after root canal treatment
  • Modifying or enhancing the cosmetic appearance of teeth
  • Capping dental implants or bridges


What are dental crowns made of?

Brwons-plains-Choice-Dental-crows-materialsTypes of crowns are usually classified by what materials they are made of. These include all-porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, metal alloys, resin and stainless steel. When choosing which type of crown is best for you, you and your dentist need to consider factors such as durability, strength, cost-effectiveness, temporary vs permanent restorations and cosmetic enhancement.

Contact us

At Choice Dental, we can help restore your damaged and decayed teeth back to their original appearance, health and function with dental crowns. If you would like to find out more information about crowns, or to book a consultation with one of our dentists, call us on 07 3809 3320.


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Does your smile have a missing tooth?

Having a tooth gap because of a missing tooth is problematic enough. But if you are missing a tooth at the front of your mouth, it may be quite obvious to others when you smile or talk.

For some, a gap in their smile has character, but for others, it may be an embarrassment to the point where they become self-conscious, and try to suppress their smile and other facial movements. If you are in the latter category, then it may be time to start smiling freely and confidently once again.

Fortunately, our dentists can help you with a range of tooth replacement solutions.

Depending on your suitability for treatment, you can choose from the following dental options:


  • Dental implants* look, feel and function just like a natural tooth. Implants are a fixed, permanent solution for missing teeth. They are comprised of a titanium post which is surgically inserted into your upper or lower jaws where your missing tooth was, and a crown which is attached onto the post. Essentially, getting an implant is the equivalent of getting a brand new tooth.

  • Dental bridges are prosthetic porcelain dental appliances that are reinforced with metal and are used to replace missing teeth. A bridge is basically made up of a prosthetic tooth that matches the tooth you have lost. Hollow crowns are attached to each end (or side) of the prosthetic tooth. These crowns actually support the prosthetic tooth in your mouth, and are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth once prepped act as abutments (or anchors) for the bridge appliance.

  • Partial dentures are a removable dental appliance that can replace one or more teeth in the upper or lower jaw. They can be made to fit precisely into the gap or may be attached to surrounding teeth via metal clasps. Partial dentures are usually soaked in a cleaning solution as you sleep at night, and are ready for you to wear when you wake in the morning. They take a little while to get used to, and may need checking and adjusting every six months by your dentist.

To find out more about how we can replace a missing tooth in your smile, call our friendly team on 07 3809 3320.

*AHPRA advises that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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Types of tooth sensitivity symptoms

When most people think of tooth sensitivity, they think of teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages. For most, the go-to solution for this type of tooth sensitivity is to gently brush with desensitising fluoride toothpaste. While this treatment option is excellent, not all cases of tooth sensitivity respond to it. That’s because there may be other causes, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Here are some common types of tooth sensitivity symptoms, and their links to underlying oral health issues:

    • Sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks – this is the most common type of tooth sensitivity. It usually means that wherever the sensitivity occurs, the enamel in that area is worn, and the dentin and nerve within the tooth are exposed. There are several brands of desensitising toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Try using a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated mouthwash, and avoid sweet or acidic foods and beverages. If symptoms persist, visit your dentist. Other causes include tooth decay, recessed gums and tooth grinding, which all require different dental treatment.
    • Lingering sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks – if your sensitivity lasts longer a long time, like minutes or hours, book a dental visit as soon as possible. You’ve probably got more serious oral health issues at stake, such as a tooth pulp infection, an abscess, deep decay or physical trauma. In the case of dying or dead tooth pulp tissue, root canal treatment may be required to save the tooth.
    • Post-dental treatment sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. Dental treatment can irritate tooth pulp tissue, and teeth whitening treatment may result in increased tooth sensitivity – though only temporarily. Try mild pain medication, and if sensitivity lasts longer than a few days, see your dentist.
    • Acute pain when biting down and chewing on food. This type of sharp stabbing pain may mean you may have a chipped or fractured tooth that is moving against your tooth pulp and nerve. Other possible causes are tooth decay and a loose filling. Seek dental attention as soon as possible, to have your dentist diagnose the problem before the condition worsens.
    • Acute, lingering, non-specific pain in an area that includes more than one tooth. If you can’t pinpoint the source of pain in a localised area, and if the pain is constant and spreads, you may have a tooth infection with infected tooth pulp. See your dentist as soon as possible. In the case of dying or dead tooth pulp tissue, root canal treatment may be required to save the tooth.

      Browns Plaints sensitive teeth


    • Constant strong pain and swelling in an area of gum that is sensitive to touch and pressure. Your tooth pulp may have an infection or abscess that has spread into the surrounding periodontal tissue. See your dentist as soon as possible. Over-the-counter pain medication can help minimise the pain until you are treated.
    • Dull ache in the upper teeth and sinus pressure. The sinus area shares the same nerves as your upper teeth. As such, the source of pain and discomfort in this area may be difficult to identify, since you can mistake one for the other. That means upper tooth pain may be a result of sinus congestion from a cold or flu. However tooth grinding and clenching (bruxism) may also be a possible cause. Consult either your dentist or doctor to diagnose your condition, if symptoms persist.

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What causes tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is the common term used to describe dentin hypersensitivity (in your teeth) and root sensitivity. Symptoms include sensitivity to a variety of stimuli including:

  • hot, cold, sweet, sour or acidic food and beverages
  • brushing and flossing
  • breathing in cold air

If you experience sensitive teeth, there are a number of ways to decrease sensitivity and improve your oral health, such as a low-abrasive, desensitising toothpaste and fluoride varnishes. To find out what the best treatment is for your tooth sensitivity, you have to identify why your teeth are sensitive in the first place.

In cases where sensitivity occurs in the dentin of your teeth, you may simply need to strengthen your teeth’s protective enamel to prevent tooth sensitivity and enamel erosion. However, tooth sensitivity may be a sign of more serious oral health issues. In any case, if you are suffering from extreme sensitivity, the best way to diagnose and treat this oral condition is to consult with your dentist or hygienist.


The following factors may cause tooth sensitivity:

  • Acidic foods.
  • Tooth grinding and regular wear-and-tear.
  • Tooth whitening toothpaste.
  • Over-brushing and wearing down your protective enamel.
  • Mouthwashes containing alcohol and other chemicals.
  • Gum disease and receding gums that expose root surfaces.
  • Tooth decay and cavities from plaque and tartar build up.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Post-treatment secondary infections

Tooth sensitivity is usually a symptom of other oral health issues, no matter how sensitive your teeth are. It is important to maintain good oral care and hygiene to help prevent sensitive teeth issues. Consult with your dentist or hygienist for the best way to treat your sensitivity if it lasts longer than 30 seconds – and enjoy an ice cold drink this summer.

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Sports mouthguards for kids & teens playing sports

Mouthguards are now the norm for kids playing contact sports!

The typical kid or teenager in Australia goes through the most physically active period of their lives while they are at school. Those who participate in organised sport spend 7 hours a week (on average) training and playing in games.

There’s just one down-side. Spending 7 hours a week playing a contact sport, puts them at risk of experiencing a physical impact or blow to either their head or body.

choice-dental-sports-mouthguardWith regard to oral injuries, a blow to the mouth or chin may knock out or fracture a tooth on the playing field – a traumatic experience for the victim. There are further complications that may follow this type of injury, such as recovering from surgery, future oral health complications, unexpected dental fees, and missing out on games until the oral injury has healed.

Fortunately, the risk of oral injury and even concussion can be reduced or prevented by wearing the right mouthguard, and being aware of any safety hazards at your sports venue. Mouthguards are essential safety gear in almost all contact sports and activities, including:

  • Contact sports with the possibility of contact and collision between players, such as rugby league/union, touch footy, soccer, hockey, polo, basketball, netball, boxing, wrestling, judo/other related martial arts, cricket, baseball and volleyball.
  • Non-contact sports involving hazardous equipment/venue and complex physical movement, such as skiing, gymnastics, acrobatics, athletics, cycling, diving and squash.
  • Complex recreational or leisure activities with a high risk of a strong blow, fall or impact, such as rock climbing, mountain bike riding, rollerblading and skateboarding.

Play it safe and make sure your kid wears a custom mouthguard. They can help prevent tooth fractures/chips/dislocations, soft tissue cuts and other types of oral injury.

As well as reducing the risk of oral injury, a proper mouthguard can also give kids and teens more confidence – and less fear – to give it all they’ve got when playing their sport! To get one for your child, visit Choice Dental to have their very own safety mouthguard custom-made at our practice – for a perfect fit and maximum protection.

To read more about the benefits of custom mouthguards in a previous post, click here:

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What is a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is the most serious type of oral infection. They are usually the result of poor oral health, and a lack of proper oral care and hygiene.

Dental abscesses usually start as minor tooth or gum infections, but end up spreading to tissue and bones of your mouth, throat, jaw or face – if left untreated. They can seriously affect your health causing symptoms of fever, chills, sweats, nausea and/or vomiting in the case of severe infections.

Dental abscesses can affect other parts of your body

A severe abscess in the roots and gums of your upper teeth may potentially lead to a brain abscess – due to the brain’s close proximity. If your lower teeth and gums are infected, swelling caused by a dental abscess may constrict or block your airways.

Your heart and lungs also are also at risk of bacterial infection and inflammation caused by oral bacteria from a dental abscess.

If pathogenic oral bacteria penetrate the heart via the bloodstream, it may trigger infective endocarditis. Endocarditis is an inflammation of the heart valves and inner linings of the heart. This condition can permanently damage your heart.

If your lungs are infected by oral bacteria, you are at higher risk of pneumonia and other bacterial chest infections. Clinical research has found links between poor oral health and the development of lung infections and diseases. Researchers have discovered fine droplets containing oral bacteria could be inhaled from your mouth and throat, and transmitted to your lungs.


The two types of dental abscesses:

  • Tooth abscesses (periapical abscess) occur at the end of your teeth roots when your tooth nerve is dead or dying from infection. The resulting abscess can spread to surrounding teeth and jaw bones.
    Swelling may be experienced around the affected tooth, and in the surrounding areas of the head and neck. Sharp, throbbing pain, chewing difficulties, tenderness and hot/cold tooth sensitivity may be experienced. Emergency dental treatment usually involves prescribed antibiotics and follow-up dental treatment.
  • Gum abscesses (periodontal abscess) develop in spaces and pockets deep between your teeth and gums. The visible signs of a gum abscess include drainage of pus, redness and swelling of the affected area. Extreme pain and difficulty opening your mouth may be experienced.

    Gum abscesses can be drained, cleaned and treated by your dentist or dental hygienist quite easily.


Seeking emergency treatment for a dental abscess

Don’t wait until your gums are red, swollen and draining pus before seeing your dentist. If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, call your dentist as soon as possible.

If you experience symptoms of fever, chills, sweats, nausea and/or vomiting seek medical care at a hospital emergency department immediately.

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Dental Implants – the permanent solution to missing teeth

If you have one or more missing teeth, there are good reasons why you should correct the problem. You will be able to chew more effectively and avoid possible oral health complications, such as teeth shift and bone loss. And your smile will be noticed – for all the right reasons!

There are a few dental options for correcting missing teeth. They include bridges and dentures, but the best option is a dental implant. Dental implants are the most natural looking and functioning tooth restoration treatment available. What’s more, they are designed to last a lifetime.

What are dental implants?

Unlike bridges and dentures which are dental devices that are attached to surrounding teeth, or worn by the user, dental implants are the equivalent of having a brand new tooth.

Dental implants feel, appear and function just like a normal tooth. They consist of two parts joined by a post (abutment):

  • The top visible part of the dental implant is the crown. Crowns are colour and shape matched with your surrounding teeth so that they blend right in – completing your smile.
  • The bottom part, beneath the gum line, is an implant which effectively replaces the tooth root with an artificial one. These implants are made from titanium – which is a bio-safe material that integrates with your jaw bone naturally and permanently.

In the first phase of treatment, your dentist performs the dental implant procedure by surgically inserting the titanium implant into your jawbone. Then you wait for a few months to allow healing and bone integration. When the implant has bonded firmly to your jaw bone, you are ready for the second phase of your dental implant treatment – the placement of the crown.

The crown is prepared earlier in a dental lab from an intra-oral scan or a dental mould of your teeth. So all your dentist has to do is join the crown to the titanium implant via the connecting post (abutment) in a single treatment session.


How are dental implants better than bridges and dentures?

Dental implants are firmly integrated into the jaw bone, giving them strength and stability. They also keep adjacent teeth in place.

Bridges, on the other hand, can cause damage to supporting teeth that have the potential to shift. If you’re wearing dentures, they may slip or even fall out as you eat or talk. And then there is the nightly routine of removing dentures before bed!

However, dental implants aren’t for everyone. You need a healthy jaw bone to hold the implant/s so a dental consultation is necessary to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implant treatment.

For more information about dental implants, or to book a consultation, call our friendly team here at Choice Dental on 07 3809 3320.

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Transform your smile with veneers

What are veneers?

Veneers are dental restorations applied to the front surfaces of your teeth. They look and feel completely natural, and are very durable.

What are two types of veneers:

  • Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin porcelain pieces that fit onto your teeth. They are custom made by highly-skilled lab technicians. Your tooth surfaces are prepared and buffed to ensure that the veneers fit perfectly. When your veneers are ready, they are fitted and checked for colour, shape and position. Once approved, they are ultrasonically cleaned then bonded permanently onto your tooth.
  • Composite veneers (bonding) involve the use of a tooth-coloured resin material which is applied directly on your teeth, and formed into the desired shapes. After the composite resin is hardened with a curing light, your bonded teeth are finished and polished.

What problems do veneers fix?

Veneers are a popular dental treatment option to restore, repair or change teeth that have damage, defects or irregularities. They can be used to enhance or change the shape, size, colour and position of teeth.

They are a versatile dental treatment option that can be used for a wide range of “smile issues”, such as:

  • straightening slightly misaligned teeth
  • closing small gaps between teeth
  • correcting crooked, uneven or poorly-shaped teeth
  • correcting mismatched teeth
  • restoring and straightening worn edges
  • repairing chips and breaks
  • renewing externally or internally stained tooth surfaces

It’s no wonder that veneers have a well-earned reputation as an “instant orthodontics” treatment!

Can anyone get veneer treatment?

First, you will need to book a dental consultation. Your dentist has to check your suitability as a candidate for veneers. Your teeth need to be healthy, and free from any oral health issues, before receiving veneer treatment. However, minor cavities can usually be repaired while your veneers are being prepared.

What are the benefits of veneers?

  • Veneers are stain resistant and durable. While teeth whitening treatments require regular touch-ups, veneers don’t change colour for several years.
  • Veneers have a very natural life-like appearance, and are very strong.
  • Porcelain and composite resin are bio-safe materials that do not affect gum tissue.
  • Your smile confidence, self assurance and well being will improve.
  • Veneers are a versatile dental treatment option that can be used for a wide range of “smile issues”.

Before and after veneers treatment

choice dental before and after veneers treatment

For more information about veneers, or if you would like to book a consultation, call our friendly team at Choice Dental on (07) 3809 3320.

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Daily oral health care for children with disabilities

It is important to understand a child’s special needs and abilities, when planning and adapting an oral health care routine that ensures their oral health is free from tooth decay, disease and pain.

To successfully provide this care may require a lot of time, research and the ability to adapt standard oral health care practices to suit a child with an intellectual, behavioural or physical disability.

While dental visits are an essential part of oral health care for a child with a disability, the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums is to have an effective oral health care routine in place – one that is maintained and/or supervised daily.

Teaching kids how to apply toothpaste to a brush, brush, rinse and floss may work for some, but for other children, continuous supervision may be necessary for their entire life. And for children with severe disabilities, daily oral health care and hygiene may have to carried out by the caregiver each time.

However, establishing a daily oral health care routine, no matter what level of disability the child has, will be of great benefit to their oral health and wellbeing.

Caregivers face many challenges when implementing oral care into their child’s everyday life. Here are some guidelines that help make the task of maintaining a disabled child’s oral health and hygiene easier and more effective:

  • Conduct your child’s oral health care routine in a place that is comfortable and puts your child at ease. Ensure lots of space for children with physical or mobility issues.
  • Prepare all dental utensils (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste and towels) in advance so that when oral cleaning takes place, you can focus fully on the job at hand.
  • Keep the oral health care routine consistent – that means same time, same place and same cleaning steps. This way, your child knows what to expect each day, and gets into the right habit.
  • Be patient, build trust and don’t rush the cleaning steps.
  • Provide lots of positive feedback to motivate your child into participating with more enthusiasm in the cleaning session.
  • Make brushing teeth fun for your child by introducing some props, such as puppets and toys, and playing a music CD to brush along to.
  • Always review your child’s oral health care routine to determine what cleaning methods and strategies work best, and what could be improved.
  • Make a note of any physical or behavioural difficulties your child is experiencing during cleaning, and consult with your dentist to work out the best solution.

oral health care for children with disabilities

Lastly, a quick word about toothbrushes.

If your child finds it physically difficult to grasp and handle a toothbrush – adapt it to suit their disability. Improvisation is the mother of invention. So, try to understand how your child’s hand/eye coordination and motor skills work, and then alter their toothbrush handle to suit.

For example, placing a thick rubber band around their hand and toothbrush can stop it from slipping out. You can also try attaching a pencil grip around the toothbrush handle to provide your child with a better grip.

Don’t forget your dentist – they can provide you with information about specialised dental products that may be of benefit to your child.

With persistence, patience and the right strategy – not to mention heaps of TLC – you can create a successful oral health care routine for your child for life.

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Choice dental special needs dental care

Oral health problems faced by children with special needs

Children with special needs include those with intellectual, emotional or physical disabilities, as well as those with chronic and complex medical problems. Meeting the oral health care requirements for these children can be a difficult task – not only for them but for their caregivers and dentists as well.

There are many serious oral health issues that are linked directly to certain medical conditions that affect children with disabilities.

The following oral conditions can occur in children with special needs:

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) affects children with cerebral palsy and other severe or profound levels of intellectual disability. Severe tooth wear from grinding can result in teeth being worn flat or tooth abrasion – which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Dental trauma (injury) is most common in children who experience seizures, uncontrolled protective reflexes or poor muscle coordination.
  • Dental/oral anomalies are abnormal variations in the development of teeth that are linked to inherited defects or spontaneous genetic mutations. Tooth anomalies include malformed, missing or extra teeth. They can affect children with ectodermal dysplasia (a genetic disorder that affects teeth, hair, nails and sweat glands), Down syndrome or cleft lip and/or palate.
  • Early onset periodontal disease may be experienced by children with immune response and connective tissue disorders.
  • Early, late, stagnant or erratic tooth eruption may happen to children with growth disturbances in their tooth formation and development.
  • Malocclusion (misalignment of upper teeth with lower teeth) and teeth crowding create problems for oral health care because affected teeth and their interdental spaces are harder to clean. Children with developmental disorders, craniofacial anomalies, muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities may be affected.

Choice dental special needs dental care

In addition to the oral health conditions associated with a specific health disorder or disability, children with special needs may require assistance when going to see a dentist for their oral health care.

Children who experience physical disabilities may need help with physically accessing the dental environment, such as the dental chair. If that child experiences involuntary movements or reflexes, then safety measures need to be taken to ensure that they can receive dental treatment safely – especially when a dentist is using potentially harmful dental tools on a patient who cannot sit still.

For children with intellectual or behavioural problems (e.g. autism spectrum disorders), even the thought of visiting a dentist and entering a dental treatment room may cause them anxiety and distress.

If a child has a serious medical condition, such as HIV/AIDS or cancer, safety and preventative measures need to be in place before or during dental treatment.

It is vitally important to take into consideration all the needs of a child with a disability when planning, adapting and providing their oral health care. And don’t forget your family dentist who can support and guide you all the way.

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