General Dentistry Questions

Does River Street Smiles provide bulk billing for dental care?

Yes, we provide bulk billing to patients eligible for the Child Dental Scheme, patients with government vouchers and DVA cardholders. We outline the various payment plans here.

What is a dental treatment plan?

A dental treatment plan is a schedule of procedures, appointments and the costs involved in restoring and maintaining oral health. This is used when multiple treatments are required (e.g. crowns and fillings). Dental treatment plans also help spread charges over time by breaking up costs into manageable, monthly payments.

What are plaque and tartar?

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. When you eat or drink, the bacteria in the plaque turn the sugar in the food into acid. The acid changes the pH in your mouth, causing minerals in your teeth to dissolve in your saliva and be lost. This weakens the teeth and is what we call “tooth decay”.

Both plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums. This “gum disease” can eventually lead to the gum line receding, loosening the teeth. In severe cases, teeth may fall out. Regular removal of the plaque (by you) and of the calculus (by us) helps to stop this from occurring.

How does my dentist assess whether my teeth are suitable for Zoom Whitening procedure?

Your dentist will check for things like enamel thickness, receding gums, existing sensitivity, existing tooth decay, existing restorations (e.g. fillings, crowns and veneers), any other oral diseases or conditions. He or she will also evaluate the cause of discolouration including diet and ageing and determine whether it is on the surface or inside the teeth.

Is it true that traditional mercury fillings make people sick?

Nowadays filings are made of white ‘composite’ material, they are metal free, look better and are as long lasting as amalgam filings. However, dental amalgam, also known as ‘silver fillings’, have been used as a reliable, efficient, long-lasting and safe filling material for over 100 years. While you may have seen or heard commentary suggesting that the use of dental amalgam fillings is dangerous, this Australian Dental Association fact sheet addresses the myths that surround current concerns, and outlines the reasons why this method does not present any health risks.

Why do crowns cost more than fillings?

There are a number of reasons why a crown is more expensive than a filling, including: they are more complicated to create, a crown usually requires two visits to your dentist, laboratory fees are incurred in its preparation, the porcelain materials used are more expensive, and a temporary crown is required before the permanent crown in adhered in place.