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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions

How is DP Dental different?
  • Global boutique practice with clients from all over the world.
  • Dental practice engaging in continual education.
  • Focus beyond just the teeth and the gums. Looking at oral conditions and the influences on airway and the overall health of the person.
  • Always seeking to solve issue by looking at the root cause of the problem.
  • Believe first in prevention, then early intervention and being minimally invasive.
  • Believe in the importance of educating our patients.
How safe are dental X-rays? There is very little risk in dental X-rays. According to The Radiological Society of North America and American College of Radiology, exposure from a dental X-ray is approximately equivalent to 1 day of environmental background radiation (i.e. walking under the sun). How often should I see a dentist? Patients are usually advised to visit the dentist every 6 monthly, unless prescribed by your dentist.

Questions on Children's Dentistry

How soon should you bring your child to see the dentist? At DP Dental, we recommend bringing your child to see the dentist before the teeth come out. What does it mean when my child’s tooth turns into an opaque dark colour? Discolouration or darkening of a tooth usually results from a tooth that has been traumatized from an injury and caused damage to the nerve. This discoloration usually happens 2-3 weeks after the accident. If the tooth turns gray, brown or black, it is because the blood capillaries are damaged. Baby teeth usually do get lighter over time (about 6 months on average), and if the tooth doesn’t bother your child you can leave it alone. A pink tooth, however, indicates either internal resorption, or the presence of blood pigments within the tooth. The pink tooth needs to be monitored closely by our doctors or Oral Hygiene Therapist. Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use? The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. How long should a parent brush or help brush a child’s teeth? It takes many years before children develop the fine motor coordination they need to do a good tooth brushing job. Some dentists advise that parents brush their children’s teeth until the child can neatly write his or her own name. Other dentists suggest parents use their own judgment, but to consider between ages 6 and 8 as the time for kids to take on the job of keeping their teeth clean and healthy. General rule: A smear or pea sized drop of fluoridated toothpaste can be used when the child can spit effectively. Are hard candies or sticky ones bad for my child’s teeth? Candies, hard or chewy, are bad for several reasons. The hardness and stickiness can break teeth, loosen fillings, and yank out crowns. The sugar content allows bacteria to proliferate and create cavities. And most importantly, candy creates an acidic environment in the saliva, which becomes a breeding ground for deep decay. How do I make my child’s diet safe for his teeth? Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches to within MEAL TIME will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. You can also ask our Oral Hygiene Therapist about your child’s diet to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth. How can parents help prevent tooth decay? Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits. How do dental sealants work? Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years. Are baby teeth really that important to my child? Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. A missing baby tooth at a young age leaves a gap, which may be closed up by shifting of neighboring teeth, causing the permanent tooth to have no space to erupt. What should I do if my child has a toothache? First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible. What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth? The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, soak the tooth in cold milk and take your child and the tooth immediately to a dentist. My child has a permanent tooth coming out behind / in front of the baby tooth, and the baby tooth is not falling out. Is it a problem? In most cases, the baby teeth will fall out naturally. We advise parents to refer to the following chart for the age gap during which the baby teeth should fall out. If your child is within the age bracket, you can wait for the baby tooth to be pushed out by movement of the permanent tooth, or perhaps by asking your child to bite on an apple. If, however, the child complains of pain or bleeding, come see our Oral Hygiene Therapist to help with removing the tooth.

Questions on Dental Emergency

What should I do in the case of a dental emergency? The most important you should do is to try and remain calm. The next thing to do is assess whether the accident (e.g. tooth gets knocked out) involved hitting the head or causing the person to be unconscious; call a physician if necessary, then attend to the teeth. If there is any bleeding, clean the oral cavity with clean gauze, then check around the person for broken/missing teeth. If any teeth are missing, do look for them in case they can be reinserted into the tooth socket. What if I have knocked a tooth out? If your permanent tooth is accidentally knocked out due to trauma or sport injury, do not panic. Prompt and effective management of the avulsed tooth within the first 20 to 40 minutes can save the tooth. Here are some simple measures that you can do:
  • If the tooth is dirty or contaminated, gently rinse the tooth under running tap water. Do not scrub or brush the root surface as it may have living periodontal fiber and cells. Hold the tooth crown while rinsing.
  • After cleaning the tooth and your mouth, try to re-plant (insert) the tooth into its socket again.
  • If it is not possible to re-plant the tooth back into its socket on the spot, place the tooth in milk or saline water. Alternatively, you can bathe the tooth with your own saliva by placing it on the inner side of your cheek.
  • See a dentist immediately for emergency treatment.
  • In all cases, see your dentist as quickly as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.
My tooth hurts, what should I do? Prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication may temporarily relieve the pain. In case the toothache is originating from the gums, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and use dental floss to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth or in the gum pocket around the tooth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. What should I do if I have swelling in my gum? If there is swelling, pus or a pimple-like protrusion near the root of your tooth (on the side of your gums), an abscess has formed. Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are a serious condition that can damage tissue and surrounding teeth, with the infection possibly spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated. Because of the serious oral and general health problems that can result from an abscess, contact us immediately to receive treatment or antibiotics. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus toward the surface, try rinsing your mouth with mild salt water several times a day. I feel sharp, sudden pains inside my tooth at night, what should I do? If you are getting spontaneous, sharp throbbing pain during the night, it could be due to nerve damage. Please arrange to see our doctors as soon as you can; in the meantime, try sleeping in a sitting position. The nerve and pulp chamber doesn’t get filled with blood and fluid as much when upright, and usually you feel less of the throbbing pain. What should I do if I have fractured (cracked) my tooth? Fractured teeth can usually be restored so there is no need to panic. If the tooth is painful, avoid hot or cold and avoid eating or biting on that side i.e. relieve the tooth from extremes of temperature and pressure. Pain-free treatment is usually available by contacting us quickly. What should I do if my tooth broke / chipped? Save any pieces. Rinse the mouth using warm water; rinse any broken pieces. If there’s bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep any swelling down and relieve pain. See our doctors as soon as possible. What if I have lost a crown? Keep your crown safe so it can be re-cemented as soon as possible to avoid damage or the need for root canal treatment. Contact us immediately. If the crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with toothpaste or preferably denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue! What if I have broken my denture? Broken dentures can usually be repaired relatively easily. Please resist the temptation to glue them together yourself as this often makes a repair very difficult. Do not use super glue. Contact us to schedule the repair. I bit my tongue / was hit in my cheek, now there’s bleeding, what should I do? Injuries to the soft tissues, which include the tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips, can result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, here’s what to do:
  1. Rinse your mouth with a mild salt-water solution.
  2. Use a moistened piece of gauze or tea bag to apply pressure to the bleeding site. Hold in place for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. To both control bleeding and relieve pain, hold a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see your dentist right away or go to a hospital emergency room. Continue to apply pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be seen and treated.

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