Q. How often should I visit my dentist?
A. You should visit your dentist at least once a year, more often if you have difficulties.
Remember under the PRSI and Medical Card dental schemes you are entitled to a free oral examination once a year!
Q. I have a medical card what treatment am I entitled to?
A. Generally, you are entitled:
- One Oral Examination in a calendar year
- Two Fillings in a calendar year(Of which have not been filled within the last five years.)
Most other treatment has been limited to high risk patients i.e. patients who are suffer from a medical condition or emergency circumstances. Your dentist will apply to the HSE for approval for your treatment.
Q. I think I may be pregnant, does my dentist need to know this?
A. If you think there is a chance you might be pregnant, it is always wise to inform your dentist before you begin treatment. Being pregnant will not prevent you from having dental treatment carried out, but most dentists prefer to defer any elective procedures (procedures that are not absolutely necessary) until after the pregnancy is over. This is particularly the case during the first and third trimesters. The taking of dental x-rays is also best avoided, if possible, during pregnancy, but experts agree that x-rays may be taken, where necessary, in the case of an emergency.
Q.Why do my gums bleed every time i brush my teeth?
A. The most common reason why gums bleed is due to the teeth and gums not being cleaned thoroughly enough. If you leave bacteria-containing dental plaque sitting on the teeth beside the gums, the bacteria infect the gums themselves.
Q.Is tooth whitening a safe procedure?
A. Tooth whitening is a procedure that should be carried out by a dentist only. There are many reasons for this. Hydrogen peroxide is a substance that should be handled with care and this should only be done by a qualified dentist. Any staining on your teeth may be due to an underlying condition and your dentist may diagnose this
Q.I think i have broken a piece of filling in my tooth what should i do?
Unfortunately sometimes fillings for whatever reason may fall out or become chipped or broken.
There are many reasons for this including biting down suddenly on something hard such as a hard boiled sweet. Symptoms can vary from none at all to sensitivity to hot and cold or tenderness on chewing. A lost filling will always feel much bigger to the tongue
- If you are having sensitivity try avoiding eating or drinking in that area, similarly if it is painful on biting.
- The use of toothpaste can help with the sensitivity by rubbing some fluoride toothpaste on the tooth in question.
Q. How safe are mercury/amalgam fillings?
A. Dental amalgam has been used on patients for over 150 years. All available world-wide research indicates that amalgam is not harmful to health. This view is endorsed by the International Dental Federation, the International Association for Dental Research, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and many dental associations, including the American, British and Canadian.
No Government or reputable scientific, medical or dental body anywhere in the world accepts, on any published evidence, that dental amalgam is a hazard to health.
Dental research is ongoing in a wide variety of areas, including filling materials, in the search to provide the most up to date and safest treatments to the public at large.