Why should I have regular dental check-ups?

Regular checkups will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and allow early detection of problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer. We can also discuss how you can effectively care for your mouth at home.

When should a child have their first dental visit?

We recommend that your child have their first dental visit by age one. This will allow us to discuss proper care for your child’s mouth and help foster a lifetime of good dental habits.

Do you bulk bill?

We offer bulk billing for children aged 2-17 years who are eligible for Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits and for those holding a DVA Gold Card.  Medicare may be able to advise whether you are eligible for services at a public dental hospital or clinic if you are seeking bulk billing outside of these schemes.

If you have been issued a voucher from Metro North or Metro South Oral Health Service, you may be eligible to receive treatment as a public patient here at Clarence Dental with Dr Schlamm.  Please see our Bulk Billing page for more information on bulk billing services offered at Clarence Dental Centre, or call us to discuss your eligibility to access public oral health services.

Do you offer services under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

Yes, we do offer treatment under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), bulk billed to Medicare so you pay no out of pocket cost for eligible children aged 2-17 years old. Benefits cover a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canal treatment and extractions.  Benefits are capped at $1000 over 2 years as per Medicare’s terms and conditions relating to CDBS.  Please be sure to bring your Medicare card with you to each appointment so that we can bulk bill Medicare.  For further information on CDBS and eligibility please contact Medicare.

I have private health insurance. How much will I get back from my fund after a visit to the dentist?

There are hundreds of health funds in Australia, and each offers different levels of cover and rebate. Health funds do not communicate with us regarding their rebates, however, our dentists can provide you with a treatment estimate after consultation. This will include the information and item numbers required by your health fund to assist you with information on rebate. At Clarence Dental Centre we have the electronic HICAPS system which means that when we swipe your health fund card you can claim your rebate on the spot and just pay the gap to us on the day of your visit.

My health fund has suggested I see a “preferred provider” dentist for a better rebate. What does this mean?

Preferred provider dentists are bound by the restrictions imposed upon them by the health fund they are contracted to. Our dentists pride themselves on providing you with the treatment you need – not just what the health funds are willing to pay for under their rules. This means you receive the best quality of care, tailored for you and your individual needs.

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by the interplay of several factors. A diet high in sugar and acid, together with plaque left on teeth, will create an environment where “holes” can develop. Another factor of importance is the amount of saliva present. Many medications as well as caffeine and alcohol dry the mouth leaving the teeth susceptible to decay.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush?

Ineffective cleaning, where plaque is left on teeth, causes your gums to become inflamed. As a result they bleed easily when you brush or floss. This condition is known as gingivitis. This does not mean you should avoid cleaning the area that is bleeding. In fact, you need to pay extra attention to cleaning well (but gently) to improve the health of your gums. Healthy gums do not bleed. While most of us have gingivitis at various times in our lives, some of us are susceptible to a more aggressive type of gum problem – periodontal disease. Your dentist may refer you to a specialist if you are found to have active periodontitis.

For more information on periodontal disease click here

Do I really need to floss?

When we brush, the toothbrush cannot physically reach the in-between areas of our teeth. Plaque is left behind which can lead to tooth decay. We use floss to clean the plaque from these in-between areas. Flossing helps keep our gums in good health. We recommend flossing daily. Talk to your dentist about flossing technique and other methods to clean between your teeth.

What is the best kind of toothbrush to use?

A toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles is usually best. With any kind of tooth brush proper technique is essential to keeping your teeth clean. Electric toothbrushes that oscillate are also very effective. Your dentist can talk to you further about a toothbrush or brushes to suit your individual needs.

I play a contact sport. Do I need a mouthguard and is a mouthguard from the chemist OK to use?

It is important to wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports both during games and at training. Your dentist  will take a mould of your teeth in order to make an accurately fitting mouthguard that will adapt well to your teeth and gums. You will find it is more comfortable to wear and will provide better protection for your teeth than a mouthguard bought from the chemist.

I have a toothache. Can I just go to the doctor and get antibiotics for it?

While antibiotics may provide relief for your toothache in the short term, it is best to see your dentist who will thoroughly check your mouth and treat the cause of the pain.

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