Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have dental checkup regularly?

Dental visit is recommended to be done at least every 6 months. Oral diseases frequently do not show any signs until they have become complex. When it has reached this stage, the treatments require more costs and will need a longer time to treat. During the 6-monthly regular checkup, dentists will do thorough examination on the status of oral health, recommend the best treatment and maintain oral good condition.

What is caries and what causes it?

Dental caries is tooth decay caused by bacterial action which allows acid attack on the tooth surface. Decay may lead to tooth cavity, causing pain and uncomfort. Several factors that lead to caries include unhealthy eating habits such as high dietary sugar intake, inadequate and poor brushing technique.

How to prevent caries from happening?

The method of avoiding dental caries is pretty simple. Here are 5 tips on maintaining a caries-free oral cavity:
Brush your teeth twice per day especially before sleep

  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • Rinse after eating
  • Floss everyday
  • Do regular check-up with a dentist
Why do i have bad breath in the morning?

While sleeping, our body produces less saliva. This will result in production of sulphur which causes the bad smell from the mouth. Normally, the bad breath will be gone after brushing the teeth. If it continues even after brushing, you should make an appointment for a dental visit for a checkup.

Do i need to floss?

It is very important to floss to maintain good oral hygiene. Food debris tends to get stuck in between the teeth and brushing will not remove them. When food particles accumulate, it will cause formation of plaque which can harden to form calculus. When calculus is present on the tooth surface or inside the gum, it could not be removed by brushing but need to undergo scaling or root planning.

Should i use toothpaste with fluoride or without fluoride?

Every patient should use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is a type of mineral found organically in food such as fish, spinach, and milk. Fluoride helps in protecting our teeth surfaces from acid attack which may cause tooth decay & tooth cavity. It strengthens the tooth structure and makes it less susceptible to bacterial action

When and why does my dentist take dental x-ray?

Your dentist will require your teeth to be taken x-ray when there is suspected disease or conditions which could not be seen with naked eyes. Such conditions include:

  1. Dental caries
  2. Bone disease
  3. Gum infection
  4. Area of pus
  5. Tumor  
What should i do when my teeth is sensitive?

Using sensitive toothpaste may help lessen the hypersensitivity. Use it as your toothpaste while brushing, and also apply the toothpaste using your finger on the sensitive teeth before going to sleep. Avoid eating acidic food & drinks such as lime. If this method does not decrease the pain, you should go and see the dentist.

Why does my gum bleed when brushing?

Most of the time, it is caused by inflammation of the gum. When plaque is accumulated at the gum area, the bacteria produces toxin which causes gum to be swollen, reddish and easily bleed. In this condition, you may realize that your gum bleeds during brushing. However, if it bleeds spontaneously during your normal activity, you might need to go and check with the dentist.

What can I do about bleeding gums?

Gum infection is frequently caused by inadequate brushing which leads to poor oral hygiene. Therefore, it is important for the patient to continue brushing with correct technique, at least twice per day. Do not be afraid to brush at the bleeding area. Flossing should also be done everyday to remove bacteria more effectively. Consult the dentist for the best management of the condition

Why are my teeth not as white as before?

Teeth staining is mainly caused by dietary habit and usage of tobacco. Beverages that may cause darkening of teeth include coffee and tea, especially when they are consumed hot. The tea and coffee themselves may leave dark colours, and the high temperature causes expansion and contraction of the tooth, which results in teeth to change colour. Smoking habits expose patients to tobacco staining, which also darkens the teeth

What is periodontal disease? How do I know if I have periodontal infection?

Periodontal disease is a condition which results from infection towards the gum and supporting structures which are the bone. The infection usually starts from swollen and bleeding gum, and when it worsens, it may lead to bone breakdown which eventually causes tooth loss. Signs of periodontal disease are:
1. Bad breath (halitosis)
2. Inflamed gum
3. Loose tooth
4. Sensitive teeth
5. Pus around tooth area
6. Discomfort while chewing
7. Bleeding gum

Why does my gum bleed more than normal during pregnancy?

In a pregnancy state, it is common for patients to meet a disease where gums will be swollen, reddish and painful. This condition is named as pregnancy gingivitis. If a patient encounters this problem, she should emphasize more and her brushing and make sure that the oral hygiene is in optimum state. The disease should not be ignored as it may cause a more severe gum disease and contributes to disturbance in the fetal development.

I am pregnant. Can I do dental treatment?

You may do simple treatments such as scaling and polishing any time during pregnancy. However, the best time to do any elective treatment is during the second trimester which is 14 to 20 weeks. Some procedures such as x-ray radiation need to be done with precaution, and there are medications which are contraindicated during pregnancy therefore it is important to let the dentist know about your pregnancy status.

What is the correct way for my denture care?

Denture should be cleaned using a brush and cleanser at least everyday and should be rinsed everytime after eating. Do not wear it while sleeping. After taking it out, make sure that it is kept properly in a water-filled container at a room temperature. It is very important to clean the oral cavity after taking it out to maintain a clean environment inside the mouth.

What can i do and not do after tooth extraction?

It is normal to have bleeding and pain after the extraction. Make sure to replace the gauze pads every half an hour and eat the painkillers before the anaesthesia wears off. Avoid eating when you are still numb as you might injure your tongue or cheek. Do not rinse, drink using straw and smoke for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Take soft food and avoid taking hot food and beverages. Avoid eating or brushing at the site. Have a good rest and avoid heavy physical activities.

I want to wear braces but i am afraid to extract my teeth. Can I not take out my tooth?

Not all cases need tooth extraction before wearing braces. However, for best results, the orthodontist or dentist would recommend taking out the premolars (small molars). You may still discuss with your orthodontist of the treatment options available. Don’t worry, our dentists are very experienced in doing extraction!

I want to make a new denture. How long do I need to wait?

Process of making a new denture includes taking impressions, measuring the bite, try in and issuing the denture. Depending on the type of denture and natural teeth left, usually, 2 to 5 appointments are required. Visits are usually done per week and therefore, the waiting duration is in between 2 weeks to over a month. Types of denture available include conventional denture, flexible denture, and immediate denture.

What is root canal treatment and how is it done??

Root canal treatment is a process of saving a natural tooth by eliminating the bacteria inside the tooth and sealing it from any further infection. It is done by removing the pulp, disinfection of the root canal and placement of materials inside the canal. The process usually takes 2 to 3 visits to be completed, depending on types of teeth and condition of the canals. During each visit, patients will be numbed at at the tooth area so that no pain can be felt during the procedure.

What can i do and not do after tooth extraction?

It is normal to have bleeding and pain after the extraction. Make sure to replace the gauze pads every half an hour and eat the painkillers before the anaesthesia wears off. Avoid eating when you are still numb as you might injure your tongue or cheek. Do not rinse, drink using straw and smoke for at least 24 hours after the extraction. Take soft food and avoid taking hot food and beverages. Avoid eating or brushing at the site. Have a good rest and avoid heavy physical activities.

When should i first bring my children to the dentist?

Ideally, the best time to do the first dental visit is before his or her turning two years old. At this time, few teeth should have erupted and the dentist will check on the condition of the teeth. Apart from that, proper technique of brushing and effective ways of maintaining good oral hygiene will also be emphasized to the parents. Early exposure is also important for the child to decrease the probability of having dental anxiety.

What is a dental crown? How does it differ from veneer?

Dental crown is a large restoration or ‘cap’ for the tooth. It is done when there is a large cavity or only a small proportion of tooth structure is left. It encircles the tooth structure and is cemented onto the teeth by its specific substance. Several types exist such as porcelain fused metal (PFM), zirconia, and metal. Veneer, on the other hand, is another type of restoration that only covers the front surface of the tooth. It requires less time for preparation, compromises less tooth structure and is relatively easier than crown

What is a dental bridge?

Dental bridge is one of the options to replace missing teeth. It replaces the tooth by bridging the gap with a pontic (false tooth) and it is attached to the natural tooth on either side of the bridge. The natural tooth will be cemented with a crown which holds together the dental bridge. The process normally takes about 2 to 3 visits for a bridge to be completed. It stays in the mouth and can only be removed by the dental practitioners

I am having a toothache. Will the dentist take out my tooth?

Not all pain caused by teeth is indicated for an extraction. Your tooth may only need fillings or can be saved by root canal treatment. The cause of pain needs to be checked and might need to be examined by x-ray first before deciding which treatment is the best for you. Taking painkillers may help in reducing the pain, but undergoing treatment is necessary to eliminate the cause of pain.

Are there any braces which are less obvious?

There are several types of braces available in the clinic. The most common one is conventional braces which is the most widely used. To patients who are concerned about their appearance, they may use lingual braces, ceramic brackets or clear aligners. Lingual braces are only done by several dental practitioners. Ceramic brackets are less visible than conventional brackets, and clear aligners are practically invisible. You may discuss with your orthodontist on the options available at the clinic.

My dentist suggested a minor oral surgery to take out my wisdom tooth. Do i need to go to the hospital?

Do not feel intimidated by the title ‘surgery’! A minor oral surgery (MOS) can be done at the clinics and is generally not as complex as the other surgery done at the hospital. During an MOS, the patient will be given local anaesthesia to feel numb at the surgical site. You will not lose consciousness during the procedure. Then, flap is opened for better access to the tooth and extraction will be done accordingly. You may feel pain after the numbness wears off and painkillers may help reduce the pain. Your dentist will brief you before, during and after the surgical is done.

What is a dental implant? Doesn't it hurt?

A dental implant is a material replacing the root of a tooth and is one of the best options for replacing missing teeth. After an implant is placed inside the bone, a crown will be placed on top of it to give the appearance of a real tooth. The process of placing an implant will require a 3-D x-ray taken prior to the surgery. A hole will be made precisely into the bone and the implant will occupy the space. The bone will fuse into the implant and mimic a real tooth function. Compared to conventional denture or bridge, implant might be a better option as it mimics a natural tooth very closely.

Is scaling the procedure to whiten my tooth? Is it painful?

Scaling will not whiten the teeth. Scaling and polishing are done to remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) surrounding the teeth. During scaling, you may feel sensitivity especially if you have not had it done for a while. Whitening, on the other hand, is another procedure which is done to change the colour of teeth to become brighter. It is more costly and requires special equipment. It is a common practice to do scaling prior to whitening

Does the whitening effect last long?

The effect may last for as long as 2 to 3 years, depending on dietary and other habits. If a patient takes a lot of food and beverages that may stain the teeth, the effect will not stay long. It is important to avoid drinking beverages such as tea and coffee, and to not smoke right after the whitening to ensure the effects stay longer.

How long does a restoration last? What will happen if it chips off?

Depending on types of restoration, the longevity of a restoration may vary. Composite restoration closely follows the colour of real teeth, and may last at least for 5 years and up to 10 years. Amalgam which is greyish black in colour, may last up to 10 to 15 years and other types of restoration such as GIC may offer longevity up to 5 years. Crown normally may survive for a longer period, which is 10 to 15 years. Bridges last longer when there is less teeth involved. If a restoration chips off, you may go to your dentist for a repair or replacement.

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