FAQ

Q: Do you still use silver fillings?

A:Dental amalgam (silver) fillings have been around for over 150 years and continue to be used in modern dentistry. Unfortunately over the years, amalgam's reputation has been tarnished mostly by unfounded media reports. The World Health Organisation and the International Dental Federation have released a joint statement confirming the safety of dental amalgam as a filling material. There is no scientific evidence of any kind linking dental amalgam to ill health.

As a modern dental practice we offer our patients a variety of restorative materials including amalgam, composite, glass ionomer, porcelain and gold. Your dentist will advise and discuss with you the best option for your individual circumstance.
Which material we use will be your choice but make it an informed decision.
 

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Q: Why do I now need a crown and not just a filling?

A: Very large fillings are likely to be weak, unstable and to leak over time leading to recurrent decay and replacement with even larger fillings. This process of patching or replacing already large fillings is what we call "patchwork dentistry". In most situations, patchwork dentistry ultimately leads to the loss of the tooth, or at minimum to very expensive methods of repair. A crown can strengthen a weakened tooth and help to give it the best long term strength and prognosis.
 

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Q: Why am I seeing a hygienist/therapist for my scale and clean?

A: At Cottesloe Dental we place a heavy emphasis on the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist will specify an appointment with a hygienist/therapist for you to receive more specialised oral care, while they address your complex restorative needs. Dental hygienists and therapists are trained in the cleaning and maintenance of the teeth and gums. They will provide evaluation and assessment of your gum condition, scale and polish the teeth, deliver individual oral hygiene instruction and, if needed, apply fluoride solutions to help prevent tooth decay. Our Oral Hygiene Department works closely with our dentists to offer you an individually tailored preventive program to help you keep your teeth for life.

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Q: What age should I bring my children to see the dentist?

A: At Cottesloe Dental we believe in making your child’s visit to the Dentist as enjoyable as possible. We approach all treatment in a non-threatening and minimally invasive way, where possible. Most children look forward to their dental visits!

We encourage you to bring your children in with you to your check-up appointments from very early on. This introduces them to the dental environment and the Dentist in a non-threatening way and allows your child to have confidence when it is their turn.

Most children will have all of their baby teeth between 2-3 years of age. It is during this time that they should have their first 'official' check-up.
 

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Q: Why do I need an x-ray?

A: Dental radiographs (x-rays) show the structures of your teeth and mouth that cannot be seen visually during your clinical examination. We routinely take x-rays every 2-3 years to check for decay. Some areas of your teeth have thicker outer enamel surfaces making detection of decay, by looking clinically only, very difficult. X-rays also allow us to see the very early signs of decay which means we can start treatment early – sometimes without having to do a filling!
From time to time there are other more specific reasons to take an x-ray, for example, infection or to check on wisdom teeth. Dental x-rays require small radiation doses (even smaller now that we have digital x-rays!) however, we never take them unnecessarily.
 

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Q: My dentist has advised a fissure sealant, what is that?

A: Fissures are the grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth. Often, if these grooves are deep, food and bacteria can be trapped and this can lead to decay.

Modern preventive dentistry now allows us to flow a white or clear sealant material into these grooves to seal them. Sealants do not harm the tooth and are ideally placed in childhood when a permanent tooth has fully erupted into the mouth.

The procedure does not involve any injections or drilling and it can be done by your dentist or therapist.
 

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Q: Why is Cottesloe Dental not a preferred provider?

A: In recent years some health funds have introduced preferred provider schemes which claim to decrease your out-of-pocket costs. At Cottesloe Dental we have chosen not to participate in any of these schemes. These schemes mean your health fund can dictate which dentist you can see. It does not decrease your premium or increase your annual limits.

In February 2008 the WA Branch of the Australian Dental Association examined HBF’s Preferred Provider Scheme and stated "...that despite increasing ancillary contribution income, the ancillary benefits paid total has dropped significantly with substantial surplus balances, ...HBF has not increased dental rebates across the board for 14 consecutive years.'" (ADAWA Newsletter February 2008 pg 10.).

Remember, the health fund is just a business and the preferred provider scheme is a business decision. We strongly believe preferred provider schemes are not in the best interest of our patients. We believe it should be your choice to see whichever dentist you please. Ultimately it is your decision, but be aware there are health funds out there doing the right thing by their customers and the dental profession. Just ask our office for further information.

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Q: Does Cottesloe Dental participate in the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

Yes we do!  The Child Dental Benefits Schedule aims to assist families with the cost of basic dental services for children aged 2 - 17 years of age.  This Schedule commenced on 1st January 2014 and the total benefit entitment is capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period.

Cottesloe Dental bulk bills patients who are eligible for this Schedule and services can include x-rays, scale & cleans, fluoride treatment, oral hygiene instruction including dietary advice and fissure sealing.

The Child Dental Benefit Schedule is means tested, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) or a relevant Australian Government payment.

For further information and to check your eligibility please visit the Department of Human Services website.