Questions to ask a dentist


Here are the best questions to ask your dentist. In this article we have compiled 16 of the best questions clients at Smile Forever have asked us over the years. If you have any questions call (08) 9321 3071 for a booking.

How can I improve my smile?

One of the first questions we get asked is about cosmetic dentistry and smile enhancements. When our clients ask us how to improve their smile, we happily provide recommendations on dental and cosmetic procedures that will help overcome any issues they may have. These include dental implants, veneers, bonding, gum lifts, teeth whitening and crowns.

What should my oral hygiene routine be?

The best questions a client can ask to improve the long term health of their gums and teeth relate to oral hygiene. Every client should ask this question because it is not always the same for everyone. At the bare minimum we recommend that in addition to brushing teeth twice a day, it is important to clean between your teeth once a day, with an interdental cleaner like floss or an interdental brush.

How often should I have a dental check-up, scale and clean?

We love this question and recommend that you have a dental check-up, scale and clean every six months. If you have receding gums and it is difficult to floss correctly, we recommend that we see you every four months.

How can I get my teeth whiter, quickly?

The popularity of teeth whitening has grown significantly and some methods are better than others. It is best to ask your dentist for advice. For whiter teeth there are some basic things we recommend. In addition to regular brushing, flossing and professional dental cleanings to get rid of the yellow tartar (calculus), we recommend you avoid stain causing food and drinks, quit smoking if you smoke, practice good oral hygiene, use a fluoride toothpaste, use a mouthwash, brush your tongue and limit your sugar intake.  If you require a quicker result to whiten your teeth ask about our professional ZOOM rapid in-the-chair procedure or the professional take home kits we have approved at Smile Forever Dental.

Do I have any dental health conditions I should know about?

We carefully examine the dental health of our clients and advise them of any current or predicted conditions they need to know about. Advancing age puts many clients at risk for a number of oral health problems. These range from darkened or yellowing teeth, dry mouth, diminished taste, root decay, gum disease, tooth loss, uneven jawbone and teeth grinding.  More common issues would be minor cavities (tooth decay), however we can also detect more serious issues such as oral cancer. Did you know that more than 40% of adults report having felt pain in their mouth within the last year, and more than 80% of people will have had at least one cavity by age 34.

Do I need any dental treatments?

This is a good question to ask, and at Smile Forever Dental we will proactively advise you if we recommend any dental treatments or procedures that will improve your dental health and enhance the appearance of your smile.  We will provide you will the options that we recommend and are happy to provide a quote so you can make an informed choice.  We recently undertook some cosmetic dental surgery for a lovely lady who will be celebrating her 70th birthday this year. Her family were delighted to see how happy she was with her new radiant smile. We believe that everyone deserves to look their best and improve their teeth every day of their lives.

Why should I have dental X-rays taken? And how often should I get them?

At Smile Forever we use X-rays for a comprehensive examination of your teeth. There are many dental conditions that can’t be detected with a visual examination so the information from the X-rays help us identify problems to provide accurate treatment plans. X-rays also help us to monitor any changes happening to your teeth and jaw bone between appointments.

We recommend that adult patients have bitewing X-rays every 2 to 4 years and a full mouth x-ray (OPG) every 4 years. For those with a higher risk for dental caries, we recommend doing it every six to 18 months.  Bitewing X-rays show details of the upper and lower teeth in one area of the mouth. Each bitewing shows a tooth from its crown (the exposed surface) to the level of the supporting bone. Bitewing X-rays detect decay between teeth and changes in the thickness of bone caused by gum disease.

Could my medication and vitamins interfere with my dental treatments? 

Many medications – including vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations – can affect oral health and interfere with some dental treatments. We recommend our patients share their medical history with us; including a list of all medications and supplements they use, to determine if any of these have an effect on your dental health. This will also allow us to tailor your treatment accordingly.

Do I need this treatment now, or can I wait?

We understand how expensive dentistry can be and know that many patients may find it challenging to pay for treatments. When we provide a treatment plan, we will provide a quote and let you know how much it will cost, including any health rebate you are entitled to. We will also advise you as to whether you need the treatment urgently, or not. We can also discuss a payment plan. Your oral health is our priority so will help you find a solution to prevent you from avoiding important treatments completely. Delaying necessary treatments can result in more severe diseases and expensive treatment in the future.

Would lifestyle changes help my teeth?

We love it when patients see our advice about lifestyle changes to improve their oral health as many daily choices we make have a significant impact on dental health. It is important to know that your oral health is directly linked to your overall health too, so that the healthier your mouth is, the healthier you will be as a whole. We can provide a general health check of your mouth and advise you about lifestyle habits, including your dental hygiene, care of your teeth and diet. Making changes today and help you prevent future health problems.

What are my future dental risks?

We take the time to thoroughly examine your teeth and gum, and provide a sound picture of your overall oral health. It is important for you to understand any future dental risks, and we will advise you of potential issues that you may develop in the future. Every client of Smile Forever receives a tailored treatment plan and customised advice on how to avoid future dental problems.

Are my dental problems hereditary?

We sometimes get asked of dental problems are in the genes. Although poor lifestyle choices can cause many dental problems, some issues are actually hereditary. You may be more susceptible to gum diseases, tooth decay, misaligned teeth and other issues, depending on your DNA. It is helpful for you to advise us about any known genetic issues you have so we can work with you to ensure the best course of action.

How much information should I be updating my Doctor about my dental procedures?

We tell our patients that communicating oral complications and symptoms to your doctor can help detect and address specific health concerns accurately and efficiently.  It is always a good idea to keep your GP in the loop. Due to the connection between your oral health and your overall wellbeing, health conditions and side effects from prescribed medications, can often reveal themselves in your teeth, tongue and gums. We will alert you to anything specific that you should communicate to your Doctor. Note too that your medical history may impact our approach or your eligibility for certain procedures, so keep us up to date about your health complications and medications so we are fully informed.

Why do I have to brush my teeth when my dog doesn’t have to?

This may surprise you but just like us, it is ideal to brush your dog’s teeth at least twice daily. For many dogs, once brushing becomes a part of their daily routine they will begin to expect and enjoy it. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.

Is my filling going to melt if I drink hot soup?

The short answer to this is, no a filling will not melt if you drink hot soup. However, fillings can fall out if they are old, or the tooth has decayed or fractured. You can lose a new filling if the cavity wasn’t thoroughly cleaned out and prepared, or there was biting and chewing trauma to the tooth. Fillings, like a natural tooth, can deteriorate over time and need regular care and good oral hygiene.

How do you keep up to date on the latest procedures and technology?

Under the leadership of Dr Jason Condello, our team stay up to date with the latest procedures and technology as we want to ensure our patients are receiving the best possible care.

What are your payment methods? Do you have any payment plans and policies?

We are aware that dental work can be expensive. If you require a complex procedure, we will generate a quote for you once we have designed a treatment plan. We can work out your out-of-pocket expenses based on your expected Health Fund Rebate.

We don’t believe in encouraging our patients into medical loans which offer incentives and attractive terms as they are typically laced with large interest rates and financial penalties in the event of default. In the long run the client ends up paying much more. On large treatment plans, we can space out the payments over the course of treatment so you don’t have a large upfront expense.

We pride ourselves on open, honest communication, so you’ll know exactly what will be done during your treatment and how much it will cost.

Tips on brushing and flossing your teeth.

Here is a video with Dr Jason Condello demonstrating the best way to brush your teeth, using an electric toothbrush.

How to Brush your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush

Here is a video with Dr Jason Condello demonstrating how to floss properly.

Correct Method of Flossing Teeth with Smile Forever Dental

For another useful article from the Australian Dental Association about teeth flossing click HERE.

Call us on 08 9321 3071 or click HERE to book an appointment.