Do You Need Help?
Listed below are just some of the most Frequently Asked Questions that we get here at Molloy Dental.
If your query is not shown here please contact us directly and we will be happy to help. Either email us from our contact us page or telephone 01 862 1877
It's been a long time since I've visited the dentist. What do I need to do?
Don’t worry we don’t judge! Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years, it’s never too late to get back into a healthy routine. At Molloy Dental we will be delighted to see you whenever that is, we can arrange for you to have a thorough and educational exam appointment then a cleaning with our hygienist. We have been taking care of people just like you for well over 20 years, so take advantage of our experience! We’re here to help!
Why did the dentist ask questions about my general health?
At Molloy dental we will ask you about your medical history. This includes asking you about your general health, previous illnesses you may have had and we will explain how these may affect your dental appointments.
Our dentists will enquire about any medication you are taking and also ask of any allergies you might have. Certain medications can affect the decisions that we will have about your care, it is all designed to give you the best possible results at each visit.
Why do my gums bleed?
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque (bacteria) at the gum line this is called gingivitis. If not removed regularly, this will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and bone disease known as periodontitis, as well as bad breath and a taste in your mouth. The main reason for bleeding gums is poor brushing technique but it can also be related to pregnancy and some other diseases. Here at Molloy Dental we recommend brushing and flossing at least twice a day and getting your twice a year dental visit in, to stop your gums from bleeding. Certain medicines also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. If changing your oral care habits, your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t help your gums stop bleeding, you definitely need to give us a call to make a dental appointment for an examination, if you have cover under your PRSI, then the first one will be free each year.
What does a Dental Hygienist do?
A dental hygienist specialises in prevention, as well as treating dental disease. This is relevant for both your dental health and your general health. Recent research shows that there is a clear association between poor dental health and various systemic diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Patients with diseased bleeding gums will release significantly higher levels of bacteria into their bloodstream, this bacteria can travel to other organs in the body leading to chronic problems. A hygienist’s role is to help to prevent the progress of all types of dental disease. They can do this by helping you in a number of ways:
- Treatment and elimination of gingivitis (swollen gums) by scaling and polishing.
- Treatment and maintenance of periodontal disease (more advanced gum disease) by deep cleaning techniques.
- Advice on your dietary habits suitable for your requirements and lifestyle, top of the list is reduction of sugar frequency during your day.
- Oral hygiene instruction, help with brushing and flossing, always tailored to your needs
- Our hygienist Eileen will take the time to ensure your mouth is at optimum health by doing all of the above and more, using gentle cleaning techniques; under local anaesthetic where necessary.
I think that I might be pregnant is that important?
If you think there is a chance you might be pregnant, it is always better to err on the side of caution and tell us before you begin treatment. Pregnancy will not prevent you from having dental treatment, but it will allow us to best tailor your treatment plan to suit the stage of pregnancy that you are at. We would also not take dental x-rays, during pregnancy, but experts agree that x-rays may be taken, where necessary, in the case of an emergency but this is strictly limited.
Does Whitening really work?
Yes, it does but you need to look at the concentration of either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in the products you are using, as over the counter products have legally less concentration in them than the product that we at Molloy dental can provide, therefore the procedure might sound the same but the outcome will be much better from us.
Other reasons why results from whitening might differ are influenced by many factors, such as previous trauma to your teeth, exposure to certain medications when the teeth were forming as a child, drinking tea or coffee, smoking, and the natural aging process. Not all teeth respond equally well to whitening.
In general, whitening is more successful on lighter (yellow) coloured teeth than on darker (grey/brown) coloured teeth; and whitening will not lighten existing dental restorations, such as tooth-coloured fillings, veneers, crowns or bridges.
Before whitening, it is important to consider how much of your existing dental work might have to be replaced following the treatment in order to achieve the desired results.
Obviously at Molloy Dental we just want you to get the best result so we will advise you as to whether you are suitable or not and we can determine if you are going to be a good candidate for whitening, it is better to know before rather than after.
My dentist tells me I have a cavity and that I need a filling. But why doesn't my tooth hurt?
At Molloy Dental we will show you your teeth, using an intra oral camera, so this will help to show and explain why you might need a filling.
Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until the decay reaches close to the nerve, the problem with this can be that if the nerve get populated with bacteria then the only solution might be extraction or root canal treatment, so don’t wait for things to hurt! It is best to get a thorough dental exam, and diagnose and treat problems early. Waiting, often makes problems more difficult and more expensive to fix.
Why might my teeth be sensitive to cold?
If the white enamel area of your tooth is worn down or gums have receded this can cause the tiny tubules in the dentine (root surface) to be exposed. This exposure allows hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks or just cold air to get into the center of your tooth which upsets the nerve causing pain.
Tooth sensitivity is a very common complaint among our patients. Brushing too aggressively with a hard brush and certain toothpastes which are more abrasive than others, can cause the tooth to wear down quicker, leading to exposed dentine and sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing formula type of toothpaste, if that doesn’t help then at Molloy Dental we can place white filling material in the abrasion cavities (worn bits near the gum line) this stops the communication of the hot and cold into the center of your tooth allowing the nerve to calm down and the pain to stop.
If a tooth is very sensitive for more than three or four days it may be that there is a hole in the tooth that requires restoration, it’s best to get a x-ray or just an examination from us at Molloy Dental to determine the extent of the problem.
Wisdom teeth why do they need to be removed?
They’re the last teeth to erupt at the very back of your mouth. Usually, they start to arrive between the ages of 17 and 25.
Occasionally, though, they find their way out much later in life so as such there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to these wisdom teeth. Some never erupt at all, if that is the case then they tend to cause no problems.
Thanks to evolution, as our brains are getting bigger our jaws are getting smaller, but unfortunately our teeth aren’t quite keeping pace evolution wise.
Most of our jaws only have room for 28 teeth but with the four wisdom teeth we end up with 32. Essentially this means that the last teeth to erupt, which are the wisdom teeth, sometimes have nowhere to go, this is why they get stuck and impacted, potentially damaging our other healthy teeth, which is why to protect the teeth that there is room for, we sometime have to remove the 4 wisdoms.
I have just had a tooth knocked out what should I do?
If you can get to a dentist immediately then do so, getting to a dentist within 30 minutes can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Where possible only touch the crown, not the root.
Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage the cells necessary for bone reattachment and long term prognosis. If the tooth has fallen in dirt then gently rinse the tooth under room temperature running water to remove dirt.
Do not scrub. The best thing to do is to replace the tooth into the socket where it came from and try and bite together to get it back as close as possible to its original position. It is important not to let the tooth dry out. If it is not possible to replace the tooth or to store it in the mouth of the injured person, then wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.
Are electric tooth brushes better than manual ones?
This is probably the most frequently asked question asked by our patients at Molloy Dental, without sounding smart the best tooth brush is the one that you use! There is no point having all the bells and whistles if it stays in the cupboard not charged, so there is definitely a personal preference when choosing.
Electric tooth brushes are usually more costly than the manual versions, but it has been proven that electric tooth brushes do a 20% better jobs if all variables are the same. The electric brush head is constantly rotating and thus cleaning as you move it around your mouth, this additional action shifts away more of the food and plaque debris left in your mouth.
Many people unknowingly press too hard with their brush be it manual or electric, this action can cause wear at both the tooth’s surface and the gum area, this recession leads to increased sensitivity. Some modern electric toothbrushes have sensors, which will flash red or stop working if you press too hard, which is very useful and may save you on your dental bills.
What tooth paste do we recommend?
Whatever you think tastes good, the more you like it the more you will use it – please just make sure it contains fluoride as this will help reduce cavities. If you have sensitive teeth then a sensitive toothpaste will help reduce the pain!
I was told I need a crown - why will a filling not work?
A crown is a jacket or hat that fits over a tooth that has been prepared. A crown is constructed by a technician that makes each one bespoke for each tooth that requires restoration. If a tooth is badly broken down, a crown is often the only option. A crown encapsulates the damaged portion of the tooth underneath it, so it strengthens a tooth that otherwise might just break under normal biting forces and would need to be extracted.
Crowns also allow the dentist to alter the shape and the size and colour of the tooth which give a natural appearance, looking just like a real tooth. Years ago heavily filled teeth were just left to break and then they were extracted when that happened, now we can crown them and extend both their functional life and their aesthetic life.
I am worried that I have oral cancer what should I do?
The main risk factors are tobacco and alcohol and these need to be reduced or eliminated. You should regularly visit us, when we examine you we look at the hard bits – the teeth and bones, also we look at all the soft bits looking for changes in tissue colour or lumps or bumps. Dental exams allow detection early which is the key to a successful outcome if cancer develops. If you notice changes in the appearance or texture of your tissues in your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms in the list below then contact Molloy Dental at once:
- A sore or irritation that does not heal after approx. three to four weeks
- Any tissue colour changes like red, dark purple or white patches or lesions.
- A swelling, thickening, crusty, hard or small eroded area like an ulcer.
- Difficulty in swallowing, mastication, speaking, moving the jaw or tongue.
- Change in how your teeth close together.
- Pain, tenderness or persistent numbness in the mouth or lips.