FAQ

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Dental Records

A patient’s dental records and x-rays are the property of the dentist. They are a professional’s working notes used in the planning and performing of treatment.

You may seek access to the information held about you and the dentist will provide this access without undue delay. This access might be by inspection of your dental records at the time of appointment or by special access or copying of information at other times. There will be no charge made for requesting this information but there may be fees levied just to cover the costs associated with the processing of this request or the copying of information. Under some state regulations, the owner of the x-ray equipment is required to provide a copy of an x-ray on receipt of a written request from the patient, but at the expense of the patient.

If you are changing dentists, you could give written or verbal permission for your new dentist to seek a copy of a record of your treatment from your previous dentist, or request your current dentist to forward them on to your new dentist. It is far better for all records to be forwarded directly from dentist to dentist to prevent the loss of these important records during your move. Some dentists provide a summary of relevant treatment which is usually all that is needed by the new dentist.

Dental Emergency

Toothache – Very persistent toothache is always a sign that you need to see a dentist as soon as is practical. In the meantime, you should try to obtain relief by rinsing the mouth with water and trying to clean out debris from any obvious cavities. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped within the cavity (especially between the teeth). If swelling is present, place a cold compress to the outside of the cheek, and rinse with warm salty water. Take pain relief if necessary, using pain medicines that you know you are safe with. Remember, no pain relief tablets will work directly on the tooth. They must be swallowed as directed. If placed on the tooth, they can cause more trouble (especially aspirin).

Braces or retainers – If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball or a piece of gauze or soft wax. If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue or gum tissue, DO NOT attempt to remove it: Let the dentist do it. If there is a loose or broken appliance, GO TO THE ORTHODONTIST OR DENTIST.

Knocked out tooth – If dirty, rinse tooth in milk holding it by the crown (not roots). If not available use water (few seconds only) or have patient suck it clean, then put the tooth back in the socket if possible. If the tooth cannot be replanted, place it in milk or in the patient’s mouth inside the cheek. Go to a dentist within 30 minutes if you can. Time is critical for successful replanting.

Broken tooth – Try to clean debris from the injured area with warm water. If caused by a blow, place a cold compress on the face next to the injured tooth to minimize swelling. Try to find all the bits that are missing and bring them to the dentist, keeping them moist. Some broken bits can be bonded back onto the teeth almost invisibly. Go to the dentist as soon as practical

Bitten tongue or lip – Apply direct pressure to bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compress. If bleeding doesn’t stop readily or the bite is severe, go to the dentist or hospital.

Objects wedged between teeth – Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss in carefully so as not to cut the gums. If unsuccessful, go to a dentist.

Do you bulk bill?

We offer bulk billing for children aged 2-17 years who are eligible for Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme and for those holding a DVA Gold Card.  Medicare may be able to advise whether you are eligible for services at a public dental hospital or clinic if you are seeking bulk billing outside of these schemes.

Do I really need to floss?

When we brush, the toothbrush cannot physically reach the in-between areas of our teeth. Plaque is left behind which can lead to tooth decay. We use floss to clean the plaque from these in-between areas. Flossing helps keep our gums in good health. We recommend flossing daily. Talk to your dentist.

Health Fund Rebates

There are hundreds of health funds in Australia, and each offers different levels of cover and rebate. Health funds do not communicate with us regarding their rebates, however, our dentists can provide you with a treatment estimate after consultation. This will include the information and item numbers required by your health fund to assist you with information on rebate. At Sunshine Dental Group, we have the electronic HICAPS system which means that when we swipe your health fund card you can claim your rebate on the spot and just pay the gap to us on the day of your visit. We are preferred providers for BUPA , HCF and CBHS

I have a toothache. Can I just go to the doctor and get antibiotics for it?

While antibiotics may provide temporary relief for your toothache, it is best to see your dentist who will thoroughly check your mouth and treat the cause of the pain. Antibiotics DO NOT resolve the cause of the pain.

I play a contact sport. Do I need a mouthguard and is a mouthguard from the chemist OK to use?

It is important to wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports both during games and at training. Your dentist  will take a mould of your teeth in order to make an accurately fitting mouthguard that will adapt well to your teeth and gums. You will find it is more comfortable to wear and will provide better protection for your teeth than a mouthguard bought from the chemist.

My health fund has suggested I see a “preferred provider” dentist for a better rebate. What does this mean?

Preferred provider dentists are bound by the restrictions imposed upon them by the health fund they are contracted to. Our dentists pride themselves on providing you with the treatment you need – not just what the health funds are willing to pay for under their rules. This means you receive the best quality of care, tailored for you and your individual needs.

Payment Requirements

Dentists, as anyone who provides a service, are entitled to determine their own terms. Many dentists expect payment on the day of treatment. If you are a new patient to a practice, it is usually expected that you be prepared to pay for the first visit at least, before you are approved for any account facilities. This is no different to any other business. If you are applying for an account, you may be expected to supply enough information to establish your identity and offer some commitment to pay for the treatment. Often the large laboratory costs incurred by dentists for such things as crowns and dentures will be asked to be paid at the commencement of treatment. Your dentist will inform you of your obligations in this regard.

Why should I have regular dental check-ups?

Regular checkups will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and allow early detection of problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer. This will help to prevent the need for costlier and more complicated treatment if problems are detected early. We can also discuss how you can effectively care for your mouth at home.

When should a child have their first dental visit?

We recommend that your child have their first dental visit by age two. This will allow us to discuss proper care for your child’s mouth and help foster a lifetime of good dental habits.

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