Commonly asked Questions

Here at Greenacre Dental we get asked certain questions regularly.  Here are some of the most common.  Of course, if you’re curious about something and don’t see the answer here, don’t hesitate to contact us.


My gums bleed when I brush, is this healthy?

No, bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. Please schedule an appointment to visit us so that we can assess your particular situation. However, incorrect or aggressive brushing technique can cause bleeding. Smokers and diabetics are particularly at risk.


What should I do when I have toothache?

If you are suffering from a persistent toothache you should schedule an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as possible. In the meantime make sure your teeth are clean and debris free; floss between your teeth to remove any left over food particles. If you have a facial swelling antibiotics may be needed to be prescribed.


Why do different health fund offer different rebates?

At Greenacre Dental we bill to your private health insurance but we do not know details of your specific account or schedule. It is always best to call your refund to receive answers regarding private health insurance. However, most funds allocate a balance between your level of cover and your premium – other factors like waiting periods, limits or promotions may also influence your cover. When choosing a fund, select one that best suits your consumer and dental needs.


Will whitening harm my teeth and gums?

No, teeth whitening  or bleaching has been around for many years now and the research carried out has proven that it is safe for your teeth and gums as long as the procedure is carried out as directed. Special custom made retainers will be made which facilitates the whitening process.


Should I have teeth whitening before or after my crown, bridge or implant?

If you are considering teeth whitening, then you should discuss this with us before we proceed with any major dental cosmetic work. We suggest that whitening is carried out first, so that any restorative work can match the shade your teeth will be after your whitening procedure.


What do I do if I have an accident and knock out a tooth?

Make sure you only handle the crown (the top part) and not the root, gently rinse in milk or hold in your mouth next to your cheek. Every minute the tooth is out of your mouth, means there is less chance that it will live –if you are brave try to replace it in the socket otherwise get to a dentist within 30 minutes.


What is root canal treatment?

When the pulp (the inner living part of the tooth) is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it becomes inflamed. If left untreated, the pulp(nerve) will die and become gangrenous, forming an abscess that can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth root.

Root canal treatment is the removal of the diseased pulp tissue, which will enable the body’s defence system to repair the damage caused by the infection and allowing the tooth to be saved from extraction. Root canal treatment is performed commonly over several appointments .Once treatment is complete it is advisable to place a crown to prevent any future fractures.


Are electric toothbrushes better than manual brushes?

If you are brushing incorrectly, it doesn’t matter what kind of toothbrush you use. Using a manual toothbrush with the correct technique can be just as good as the electric version. In reality most people, despite their best efforts, do not brush with the perfect technique needed for manual brushing. For this reason, we recommend electric brushes, as technique is not quite as critical.


What age should my child first starting visiting the dentist?

There is no designated age to begin visiting the dentist though we like to familiarise children with our surgery and a dental routine as early as possible.


I have recently cracked my tooth but do not know why as I have healthy gums and look after my teeth.

A toothache caused by a cracked tooth without associated cavities or gum disease can cause severe sharp pains. Usually teeth break due to aggressive chewing or biting on hard objects like lollies, nuts, stationary or bottle lids. Bruxism or grinding can cause teeth to crack, despite having great oral hygiene.

Old amalgam (mercury) fillings predispose teeth to cracking. A tooth filled with amalgam is at a much higher risk of cracking than an unfilled tooth or a tooth filled with modern materials like resin or ceramic.


I’ve heard amalgam fillings are dangerous. Is this true?

Based on current research, there is so evidence to prove dental amalgam to be harmful. As a dental material, it is completely safe. It has been abandoned in most practices due to its unappealing colour (cosmetic reasons) rather than a hazardous profile.


What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the newest technology in correcting crowded or misplaced teeth without the need of conventional orthodontic brackets and wires (braces). A series of clear (invisible) aligners are worn which slowly corrects and straightens your teeth. Only an invisalign accredited dentist can provide such treatment.


I often get headaches and jaw pain. Should I see a dentist ?

Headaches and jaw pain can be caused from bruxing. Bruxing is the clenching and grinding of teeth. Typically done at night, it’s often related to stress or trauma. Missing teeth and an unbalanced bite can also contribute to the problem. Often a night guard (splint) can relieve the pain and headaches by retraining your jaw muscles and preventing you from bruxing.


How safe are dental x-rays?

Exposure to radiation can cause damage, that includes exposure to the sun, minerals in soil, home appliances, and some dental x-rays. At Greenacre Dental, we use digital x-rays which produce very limited radiation to the specific area. We also carry lead-line full body aprons  which protect from stray radiation. Additionally, law states that x-rays apparatus must be regularly checked, to which we adhere.

If you have any other questions, please call our surgery on 9750 2080

Dentist Greenacre Dental Surgery Practice Sydney Dr Chris Papastavros