North Brisbane Dental Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

If you are looking for a dental clinic that welcomes families and provides quality care, you have come to the right place. We understand that choosing a dentist to care for your family's smiles is a big decision, and we and welcome all of your questions.

Here are some of the most common questions we receive here at North Brisbane Dental Clinic. If yours is not listed here, we welcome you to telephone us for a personalised response.

Other

In this great little video, Dr Kristine El-Atem explains how to floss your teeth properly. We find many of our patients often avoid flossing because they're not quite sure how to do it correctly. Check out this video to learn more about how to protect your teeth and gums.

 

Are you concerned that you may have bad breath? Or have you tried to get rid of this embarrassing problem with no success? Here, Dr Brodie Hill explains some of the most common causes of bad breath (halitosis) and how to eliminate them.

Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors, including dental caries, gingivitis, periodontal disease, plaque, tongue debris and reflux. Once correctly identifies, all of these issues can be effectively managed. There's no need to live with bad breath!

 

By the time a tooth actually begins to cause pain, the problem is usually quite severe, and has been there for a long time. Most types of dental disease do not cause any pain at all, and are not easily visible, which can give you a false sense of security.

For example, if you have a cavity (decay / caries) form in a tooth, it will usually take months or years for it to actually cause you any pain. This is why it is crucial to maintain regular visits to the dentist so that any problems can be intercepted early on. Nipping a problem in the bud early is cheaper and less painful than waiting for it to start hurting.

 

Yes! We have a dedicated disabled carpark and wheelchair ramp. Our surgeries are arranged so that we can perform all dental treatment while you remain in the comfort of your wheelchair if required. We also have a fully accessible bathroom.​

Dental X-rays (or radiographs) are an essential part of the dental examination. Without them, your dentist can see approximately 80% of the surfaces of your teeth. So around 20% of your teeth are invisible to the naked eye. X-rays are needed to see this hidden 20%, as well as to check underneath any existing dental work (fillings or crowns) you may have. 

Having said that, x-rays are not required for every single checkup. While we advise you have your teeth checked and cleaned every 6 months, we recommend x-rays every 2-3 years, depending on your level of caries risk and any symptoms you may have.

At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we use state-of-the-art digital x-rays, which means the radiation exposure for each x-ray is less than what you would be exposed to by flying on a plane to London!​

It shouldn't! At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, our dentists are kind and gentle. We've all been on the receiving end of dental treatment and certainly remember how nerve wracking it can be, even when you have complete trust in your dentist. If you're in the hands of a dentist who doesn't really care if they hurt you or not, it's going to hurt. When you're in the hands of a dentist who cares, we take the extra effort to do things more gently. In the right hands (ours!) dental treatment can be completely pain free.

We take our time when preparing patients for their procedures – both in the consultation and treatment. We explain everything thoroughly and review medical history records for our patients to ensure that we can provide comfortable treatment.

Every patient receives dental work of utmost precision and excellence with a minimum of discomfort. Anaesthetic takes a bit longer to reach full effectiveness for some people than others. We make sure to leave plenty of time to achieve maximum comfort for your procedure.

We put our patients in charge. If you ever feel uncomfortable or like you need a break, you can simply let us know and we will stop and address your concerns. If you feel any discomfort at all, at any time, please do let us know so we can rectify that. For complex procedures, such as root canals, we use the latest equipment for faster and more precise treatment. 

We understand that many people feel apprehensive about dentistry. Our friendly and professional team puts even our most fearful patients at ease. For patients who need a little help relaxing, we also offer nitrous oxide sedation. Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that is safe for most patients. It leaves the system quickly so you will feel normal within a few minutes after your appointment.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Absolutely! Dental veneers are a great way to improve your smile. There are different types of veneers, with different applications. Veneers can be made of resin or ceramic, both of which look amazing when used properly. Some people want veneers to completely change their smile, which we can definitely do. In other cases, people want to keep their smile basically the same, but just make some small improvements. Veneers can do all of this when used correctly. If you'd like to see some of our handiwork, check out our smile gallery

If you'd like to know more about veneers and how they can brighten your smile, call us on 3632 8100, or click above to book an appointment with one of our dentists.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our practice. You want to straighten your teeth, but you're not sure whether you should get braces or Invisalign. This is a question that really needs to be answered in person, as the decision is often not a simple one. In this video, Dr Georgia Sheahan explains some of the main pros and cons to each type of treatment. It's important to remember that one is not better than the other. Both conventional braces and Invisalign have their place in modern orthodontic treatment, and the decision as to which treatment to go with should be tailored to each individual person. Our dentists offer complimentary orthodontic consultations, so if you'd like to find out more, please call 3632 8100, and take the first step to straighter teeth!

Braces and Invisalign

Once you've had your teeth straightened, whether with braces or Invisalign, they will always want to move back into their original position. This is known as relapse, and it's a huge problem in orthodontics. Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, your dentist will fit retainers for you. They may be glued in, removable, or a combination of the two. These retainers must be worn for life. This sounds like a big commitment, but once you get used to it it's easy.

Watch this video to see what happened to Dr Georgia when she go slack with her retainers. Why do dentists always make the worst patients?

 

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our practice. You want to straighten your teeth, but you're not sure whether you should get braces or Invisalign. This is a question that really needs to be answered in person, as the decision is often not a simple one. In this video, Dr Georgia Sheahan explains some of the main pros and cons to each type of treatment. It's important to remember that one is not better than the other. Both conventional braces and Invisalign have their place in modern orthodontic treatment, and the decision as to which treatment to go with should be tailored to each individual person. Our dentists offer complimentary orthodontic consultations, so if you'd like to find out more, please call 3632 8100, and take the first step to straighter teeth!

This varies depending on the individual case. Most of the time, we wait until all the primary teeth have fallen out before beginning orthodontic treatment, but that is not a black and white rule. There are certain issues that are best dealt with earlier to avoid complications with the bite and jaw.

For example, children who experience overcrowding can benefit from expanders or orthodontic plates to guide their jaw and teeth development. This allows us to make room for all of their adult teeth without the need for orthodontic-related extractions. 

Dr Georgia Sheahan is passionate about orthodontics and the many health benefits that properly aligned teeth offer. Not only are straight teeth attractive, but they are also healthier and easier to keep clean.

Some common orthodontic conditions include:

  • Uneven spacing
  • Overcrowding
  • Protrusion
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

Orthodontics can also improve the facial structure, support healthy speech development, and make eating more comfortable.

Opting for interceptive orthodontics may reduce future orthodontic treatment time and complexity for your child. At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we offer comprehensive orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages – children and adults alike.

Ortho consultations are complimentary, so it's helpful to contact us to arrange an appointment to learn more about how orthodontics can benefit you or your child.

Many of our older teen and adult patients who want to straighten their smiles would like an alternative to brackets and wires. I

nvisalign clear braces are an innovative and comfortable way to move teeth without affecting the appearance of your smile.

  • Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners.
  • You wear each set for about two weeks.
  • You should remove them to eat and clean your teeth.
  • Wear them most of the day – about 22 hours.
  • Invisalign aligners are smooth and comfortable.
  • They are crystal clear and barely noticeable.

To prepare for treatment, we will take impressions of your teeth and plan for their ideal alignment. Dr Sheahan will send models of the teeth, x-rays, and treatment recommendations to our lab where your aligners will be created.

We will book regular appointments to monitor your progress.

To learn if you are a good candidate for Invisalign orthodontic treatment, we welcome you to contact our surgery, located in Wooloowin, to arrange a complimentary consultation with Dr Georgia Sheahan. She is passionate about the health and cosmetic benefits of Invisalign and enjoys helping patients achieve a more comfortable and healthier smile with high-quality dental care.

Yes. Dr Georgia Sheahan and Dr Brodie Hawker have completed post-graduate education in orthodontic treatment and are pleased to be able to offer this treatment to all their patients. There is no age limit on orthodontic treatment: It's never too late to straighten your teeth! Orthodontics may involve braces, plates or Invisalign treatment.

If you would like to find out if you are a suitable case for orthodontic treatment, contact North Brisbane Dental Clinic on 3632 8100 to book your complimentary orthodontic consultation with Dr Sheahan or Dr Hawker.

General Dentistry

In this short video, Dr Brodie Hawker explains exactly how you should be flossing your teeth. 

If your dentist has advised you that you need fillings, this is because you have decay in one or more of your teeth. 

Dental decay is an infectious disease that destroys tooth structure. It occurs when the acids produced by bacteria dissolve the hard outer layer of a tooth (enamel), allowing the bacteria to penetrate the inner structures of the tooth. This results in a cavity being formed in the tooth.

Dental decay is caused by several factors, including diet (too much sugar and acids), oral hygiene (irregular brushing and flossing), and underlying medical conditions such as reflux.

Over time, metal fillings can make your smile look dark and even feel sensitive when exposed to cold air or chilled drinks. Many of our patients want to replace their metal dentistry with durable, tooth-coloured options.

If you are ready for a change, we can remove old metal fillings and replace them with resin composite designed to match the surrounding teeth. Composite comes in a variety of shades that will blend in perfectly and complement, rather than distract from your smile.

How White Fillings Work

One of the many benefits of tooth-coloured fillings is that they require us to remove less healthy tooth structure. Composite does not expand or contract like metal fillings when exposed to temperature changes.

Once all metal material or decay is removed from the tooth, Dr Georgia Sheahan, Dr Kristine El-Atem or Dr Darius Khadembaschi will apply colour-matched composite in layers to fill in the cavity and cure it with a special light. Once we fill the cavity, the dentist will shape and polish the filling for a smooth finish.

Composite can also be used to correct small cosmetic imperfection such as chips or minor gaps between teeth.

Replacing metal dentistry with tooth-coloured options can add confidence when you smile.

We provide a number of tooth-replacement options to meet the needs of our patients. Dental implants are not medically or financially possible for some patients, so having alternatives is essential. In addition to dental bridges, we also offer a number of denture options to replace a few or all of your missing teeth.

Not only do dentures make it possible to eat a wider variety of foods, but they also fill out the facial features by supporting the muscle and tissue that make up the face. 

Dentures are much more comfortable and attractive than they used to be. Dr Georgia Sheahan, Dr Kristine El-Atem and Dr Darius Khadembaschi use high-quality materials to fabricate dentures that look natural and fit comfortably.

We offer the following types of dentures at North Brisbane Dental Clinic:

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures replace teeth on the upper or lower arch when you still have natural teeth remaining. Using your teeth as an anchor, partial dentures complete the chewing surface and the appearance of your smile. Partial dentures come in a variety of materials so you and your dentist can decide on a pink resin base, a durable metal base, or a flexible option.

Complete Dentures

To replace all missing teeth at once, complete dentures use suction to attach to the bony ridge just beneath the gums. Complete dentures no longer look boxy or false as denture teeth materials have improved dramatically.

If patients have difficulty with ill-fitting dentures, we can replace or reline them for greater comfort. We also offer implant-retained dentures to secure the denture plate in place.

Mouthguards

 

In this video, Dr Louise McCallum explains how a custom made mouthguard will protect both teeth and bones during contact sport.

Paediatric Dentistry

We generally recommend age three. Some dentists recommend sooner, but we find if you try to examine a child's teeth at one or two years of age, they get scared and don't cooperate, or they may have short attention spans that make sitting still difficult. 

It's vital that their first visit is a pleasant one so we make their experience an interactive and educational one. We allow them to push the buttons on the dental chair to make it move (usually with mum or dad sitting in the chair first). They can also push buttons to turn the lights on and off and pour water into the cup. Our goal is to help them feel involved in the process of their first dental appointment. 

We let them choose the flavour of their toothpaste and provide encouragement when they correctly brush their teeth. If they are anxious or get upset, we stop straight away. We work at your child’s pace and try not to push them beyond their patience.

Every child gets a reward bag at the end of their appointment that includes a fun toy for a successful appointment.

If you’re seeking a gentle and kind family dentist in the Wooloowin area, we invite you to arrange an appointment to meet our team.

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