Dr Ben Dunster
General Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We welcome all of your questions because we want you to feel completely confident in choosing us to care for your family’s oral health.

Here are some of the most common questions we receive along with detailed answers to help. If your question is not listed here, we welcome you to contact our clinic and one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to help.

Other

Our team undergoes advanced training regularly to ensure that we stay up-to-date with the latest requirements for infection control. Following the standards outlined by the Australian Dental Association and the Communicable Disease Network Australia provides both patient and employee safety. 

  • Proper hand washing techniques
  • Protective safety wear – gloves, masks, safety glasses
  • Sterilisation protocol
  • Disposal and transfer of sharps
  • Disposal of clinical waste

In addition to following these rigid guidelines, our team has received proper training and have management skills to keep our patients safe and eliminate the potential spread of disease. We also have the appropriate immunisations as a preventive measure.

We not only sterilise our instruments but also follow a rigid procedure of sterilisation phases that includes proper bagging and batch records for each instrument in our clinic with indicators showing that proper temperatures are reached for patient safety.

Our clinic also uses disposable items, when applicable, to make your procedure even more safe and personalised.

You could say we have cleanliness down to a science, and since we practise proper protocol and keep accurate records, you can feel confident that your health is safe with us.

If you ever have any questions about sterilisation or the processes we use, let us know. We would be happy to show you around and explain everything so that you feel confident in the care we provide.

The short answer is no!

Many Mums ask if fruit juice drinks are healthy for my children, especially as they have no added sugars, and they are marketed as healthy?

This is also the case for fruit chews.

They all contain a lot of sugars, including natural sugars. They can be very acidic, and will dissolve the enamel at the same time, making the baby tooth more prone to dental decay.

Dental decay in children is still a major problem. It may cause pain to your child, which makes the child harder to treat, and it can become a costly exercise.

 

Parents can help prevent tooth decay in children by -

  • Brushing / flossing their child’s teeth to the age or 7-8 yrs.
  • Limiting the sweet snacks during the day
  • Limit the consumption of sugary drinks / sodas / sports drinks.
  • Keep your regular dental checkups to help prevent developing problems
  • Sending your child to school with water and not fruit juices / poppers / cordials

 

Please ask us if you have any other questions. Our job is to help prevent dental decay.

Preventive and General Dentistry

At Dr Ben Dunster’s Hornsby dental clinic, we focus on prevention and early treatment to provide the highest benefit to our patients and make it possible for the families in our community to enjoy optimum oral health and confidence in their appearance.

Part of the preventive care we provide includes digital dental x-rays taken on a regular basis to help both Dr Ben and Dr Clint diagnose many conditions before they cause a dental emergency, like a toothache.

We also understand patients’ concerns regarding the safety of dental x-rays. We have implemented digital technology at our Hornsby surgery for improved safety and accuracy. Digital x-rays emit up to 80% less radiation than film x-rays and provide the highest resolution images available.

As part of your check-up and clean, we may recommend x-rays to ensure that conditions such as decay, bone loss, fractures and even cysts or tumours are not present. Dental conditions often do not present with symptoms until they are well advanced and therefore more costly and invasive to treat. Without x-rays, we can only see part of what is happening with your oral health.

We recommend x-rays based on your oral and medical health histories. If you ever have concerns regarding the necessity of safety of any treatment we provide, let us know and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

Treating bad breath can be a 3-stage process. It may require different home care regimes, seeing a dentist or gum specialist for intensive cleaning and maintenance, and possibly seeing a General Doctor to treat underlying medical conditions.

Lifestyle changes and home care:

  • Brushing your teeth after you have eaten is one of the most important ways to help prevent bad breath. This removes plaque, bacteria and toxins that can emit odours.
  • Flossing your teeth at least once per day will remove the plaque that gets stuck between the teeth, where the tooth brush bristles can reach.
  • Cleaning dentures, dental appliances, splints will also help reduce the plaque and bacteria that are retained in the mouth
  • Cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper or brush will help remove the plaque and bacteria from the tongue, reducing the smells
  • Changing your tooth brush regularly is important.
  • Using antibacterial mouth wash / toothpastes will help reduce plaque build up
  • Changing your diet will help eliminate the smells created by food. e.g. onions / garlic
  • Drinking appropriate amounts of water per day to reduce dehydration, will help with dry mouth, and the smells that come with it.

 

Regular Dental Check ups:

During your examination, the dentist will be looking at your oral health.

We are assessing the areas of plaque and calculus build up, how much there is and what is it doing to the gum and tooth tissues.

Plaque and bacteria can cause dental decay, and gum disease. This needs to be treated to maintain a healthy mouth.

A sign of gum disease is bleeding, swollen and sore gums. Sometimes there is even pus coming up from around the teeth. This all produces bad breath.

Tooth decay / poor fillings / poor fitting dentures need to be replaced or repaired as they can harbour plaque and bacteria that produce bad breath.

 

Once everything has been assessed, the dentist with give you treatment options that are specific to your dental needs.

Often only a clean and oral hygiene instruction is required to get you back on track.

In some cases, a referral to a gum specialist (periodontist) is required. Generally, this is because the gum disease has caused bone loss, causing the teeth to get loose. Or there are hard to get areas, where specialists have the correct instruments, techniques and surgeries that further help the patient.

Once gum disease is under control, and the oral health has improved, then the bad breath will be under control.

 

Sometimes the dentist may refer you to your General Doctor to assess your medial health / conditions.

Underlying diabetes, kidney and liver conditions can cause bad breath.

The dentist will give you advise on what to do if they think this is the case.

The short answer is no!

Many Mums ask if fruit juice drinks are healthy for my children, especially as they have no added sugars, and they are marketed as healthy?

This is also the case for fruit chews.

They all contain a lot of sugars, including natural sugars. They can be very acidic, and will dissolve the enamel at the same time, making the baby tooth more prone to dental decay.

Dental decay in children is still a major problem. It may cause pain to your child, which makes the child harder to treat, and it can become a costly exercise.

 

Parents can help prevent tooth decay in children by -

  • Brushing / flossing their child’s teeth to the age or 7-8 yrs.
  • Limiting the sweet snacks during the day
  • Limit the consumption of sugary drinks / sodas / sports drinks.
  • Keep your regular dental checkups to help prevent developing problems
  • Sending your child to school with water and not fruit juices / poppers / cordials

 

Please ask us if you have any other questions. Our job is to help prevent dental decay.

Bad breath can be caused by a great array of factors, some on their own, and a mix of the different causes.

Commonly it is caused by,

  • different foods that we eat, such as onions and garlic.
  • Smoking and alcohol.
  • From your stomach or digestive system
  • Dry mouth caused by stress, dehydration, medications, smoking and drinking.
  • Bad dental health, gum disease, poorly cleaned dental appliances / dentures.
  • Plaque, badly cleaned teeth
  • Yeast infections
  • Diabetes
  • Sinus infections/ pneumonia/ bronchitis/ post nasal drip
  • Mouth, nose and throat conditions
  • Acid reflux

 

There are many causes, so it can be a process of elimination to determine the cause.

 

Bad Breath can have a huge impact on a patient’s lifestyle, and can cause anxiety and lowered self-esteem.

 

When you ask this question, a dentist will follow it up with a number of questions to work out why you may have bad breath, and the prevention options

Questions such as

  • When and how long have you had it?
  • How do you clean your teeth / dentures / dental appliances?
  • Do you Floss?
  • What is your medical history?
  • What medications and supplements are you taking?
  • Do you have any health conditions?
  • Are you a mouth breather, and do you snore while asleep?
  • Do you have any allergies or sinus issues?

 

From here the dentist will examine your mouth, to form a diagnosis and a treatment plan that best suits you.

 

Crowns and Bridges

A dental crown, sometimes called a cap, is a dental restoration designed to repair and protect a tooth when it develops certain conditions or suffers from damage.

  • Dental decay
  • Replacing a filling
  • Protection after root canal treatment
  • Aesthetic improvements
  • Fractures and cracks
  • Worn teeth

In most cases, patients prefer a porcelain crown customised to match the colour and shape of surrounding teeth. In some cases, we may recommend a porcelain and metal blend or a full gold crown, depending on your unique needs and the location of the tooth in question. Anterior teeth almost always have tooth-coloured crowns while posterior teeth can benefit from metal or porcelain blends for patients with active bruxing (teeth grinding) habits.

The application of a dental crown can reduce discomfort and extend the life of your tooth by decades when cared for properly. While dental crowns themselves cannot decay, the area around the gumline is still susceptible, and good oral hygiene will extend the life of your crown and improve your dental health.

If you suspect you need a crown or have an oral health condition that requires the expertise of an experienced dentist, we invite you to get in touch. Our Hornsby dental clinic is conveniently located near the train station, so you can pop in before or after work for an evaluation.

Dental Emergencies

At Dr Ben Dunster’s dental clinic, we have noticed that many patients avoid the surgery for fear of pain. Dental anxiety is sometimes due to a traumatic experience in the past or because patients learned to fear the dentist from their parents.

You will be happy to know that today’s dentistry prioritises patient comfort more than ever before. Both Dr Ben and Dr Clint have a gentle approach when providing treatment and when developing a rapport with patients. They value how you feel while you are with us and will strive to make each dental visit comfortable while also providing a bit of fun with some friendly banter. Getting to know our patients and developing long-term relationships based on trust and respect is one of our core values.

Everyone is different, and how patients respond to anaesthetic also varies widely. We may apply a topical anaesthetic before numbing the area to minimise discomfort. Most patients say they barely felt anything. Dr Ben and Dr Clint will also check in periodically after applying anaesthetic to make sure you are completely comfortable before beginning. They will also check in during your procedure to make sure you stay completely comfortable.

We will explain treatment before beginning and answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment.

Extractions and Wisdom Teeth

When it comes to oral health, pain is typically a sign that something is wrong and requires your immediate attention. Most dental conditions do not present symptoms until they are well advanced, making your routine dental visits an essential part of your health regimen.

Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last permanent teeth to erupt. While most people have four, it is not uncommon to have three or fewer.

Wisdom teeth usually become painful when they are impacted, or growing in at an atypical angle. This occurs because there is often limited space at the back of the mouth for them to erupt normally. Sometimes, wisdom teeth become painful yet erupt without incident, but since they are more prone to decay and periodontal disease due to their location at the back of the mouth, they become problematic.

If you experience painful wisdom teeth or any other pain inside your mouth, we invite you to call and arrange a booking so that Hornsby dentists Dr Ben and Dr Clint will have the opportunity to evaluate your condition, make an accurate diagnosis and provide all of your treatment options.

We prioritise patient comfort and will provide gentle treatment to solve your problem so you can get back to your routine and eat comfortably.

Teeth Whitening

Stained teeth may cause you to hide your smile or avoid smiling altogether. Stained teeth are nothing to be ashamed of, as it is a natural part of ageing, but with the standards society has today and the permanence of digital images, you might want a solution. At Dr Ben Dunster's, we offer professional teeth whitening to help our patients enjoy greater confidence with a brilliant smile.

Both in-chair and take-home whitening systems provide excellent results when performed under the supervision of an experienced dentist. 

With in-chair whitening, you will notice an improvement in the colour of your teeth in one visit that lasts about an hour or so.

Take-home teeth whitening options are often less expensive and are just as effective when you follow treatment protocol for about two weeks.

You might feel tempted to purchase commercial whitening products. You might achieve subtle results using these products, but since they are not customised, side effects such as sensitivity and gum irritation are common. Professional teeth whitening gel is also much more efficient and eliminates abrasive polishers, commonly found in whitening toothpaste.

To learn more about the whitening products that will give you the best results, we welcome you to contact us to arrange a consultation.

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