Frequently Asked Questions?

What is "minimal intervention dentistry"?

At Hart Dental we practice "Minimal Intervention Dentistry" which represents a conservative approach. Rather than prescribing fillings for "all" decayed areas, management initially focuses on cause related factors and the more advanced lesions whilst closely monitoring, clinically and radiographically, the remaining non-cavitated lesions at regular intervals. This is a widely respected and practiced approach relying on the ability of non-cavitated lesions to remineralise and become inactive, thereby delaying or better eliminating the need for invasive dental restorations in the future. However the underlying causative factors responsible for the initial carious lesions must first be controlled!
It is recommended that intraoral films be taken 2 yearly and extraoral films 5 yearly. This is based on the need to minimise exposure to radiation and also cost.

Do you treat Health Care Card holders?

Hart Dental is a private clinic. Health Care card holders should direct their enquiries to the government operated clinic on North Terrace in the city. Ph 8222 8222

Why is dental treatment so expensive?

It is partly the duration and level of study required to become a dental practitioner, in fact the Melbourne University B.D.S. course is being increased from five to seven years. The ongoing need for continuing education, the infrastructure and staffing necessary to perform dental procedures to a high standard, coupled with high material and laboratory overheads, it is no wonder that dentistry is costly.
However, in the long-term, maintenance associated with dental care is significantly less expensive than those attached to owning a motor vehicle and it is easier to cope without a motor vehicle than it is without teeth.

Will I feel any treatment?

There have been significant advances in pain control and there is no reason for patients to experience discomfort during dental procedures. At Hart Dental we offer Inhalation Sedation or Happy Gas for the young and anxious. When indicated, the dentist can also prescribe oral medication to help manage apprehension prior to and during treatment.

Do you offer Payment Plans?

We provide a printed quote for all treatment recommended. As unforeseen circumstances arise sometimes at the last moment, we generally quote for these too! So there aren’t any unexpected additional fees once you get to the receptionist after treatment.

Accounts are due on the day of treatment.  We accept cash, Visa and Debit Cards. For patients with private health insurance, HICAPS is available. We do offer financial arrangements with prior approval and are organised to suit your individual budget & interest free via direct credit.

Do you have a Hygienist/Therapist?

Our Dental Hygienists and Therapists are trained to work in conjunction with our dentists to optimise provision of dental care. They are specialists in preventative dentistry and dentistry for children and young adults

Hygienists can:

  • Instruct in, and organize the supervision of plaque control routines

  • Record periodontal changes

  • Perform dental polishing and periodontal root planing

  • Apply fluoride, desensitising agents and fissure sealants

  • Polish and recontour restorations

  • Remove calculus (Hardened Bacteria)

  • Take dental radiographs and impressions 

  • Remove sutures

  • Administer dental local anaesthesia

  • Removal of Ortho bands /  cement

Therapists can:

  • Detect Caries

  • Treat pulp exposures in an emergency

  • Prepare and restore cavities in deciduous and permanent teeth of preschool and school children by direct placement materials

  • Restore prepared cavities in permanent teeth in adults by direct placement materials

  • Extract deciduous teeth

  • Take dental radiographs and impressions 

  • Remove sutures

  • Administer dental local anaesthesia

  • Polish and recontour restorations

     

Do you practice Infection Control?

We practice the latest techniques for all clinical procedures in accordance with the Australian Dental Association Infection Control Standards and Guidelines.
This includes protective eyewear, disposable masks and gloves, instrumentation sterilized utilizing the latest hospital grade steam autoclaves with all surfaces and laboratory work decontaminated according to accepted protocols. All instruments are tracked after sterilisation procedures.  Latex free gloves are also available for those patients with an allergy to latex.

Do you provide non-amalgam dentistry?

At Hart Dental we do not use amalgam in children, pregnant or breast-feeding mothers or patients specifically requesting non-amalgam dentistry. However, as non-metal derivatives are usually weaker and more technique sensitive and have less longevity than their metal counterparts, patients need to be educated with respect to indications and limitations of the various materials available, particularly patients who grind or clench their teeth. We do not recommend or condone complete amalgam (mercury) removal, but patients requesting non-amalgam dentistry will be managed according to contemporary or case specific amalgam replacement protocols.

Why aren't you a “Preferred Provider”?

A recent study showed the major funds have not significantly increased their rebates since 2004 and for more complex work their dental rebate limits have not increased since 1994! Health Fund rebates have failed to keep pace with costs associated with dental care the range of services claimable in a calendar year have also become restricted, resulting in dissatisfied and disillusioned Health Fund customers.

In an attempt to regulate cost blowouts and stop people dropping out of private health care cover, health funds are actively engaging health care providers, including dentists, on a contractual basis in an attempt to maintain the profitable side of health insurance, namely ancillary care.

By becoming a “preferred provider”, the dentist concerned agrees to accept the terms and fees as set down by the respective health fund. This effectively guarantees the customer a fixed and predictable treatment gap. There are, however, problems with "managed care";

Overheads of a preferred provider will be similar to a non-preferred provider. The only way for Hart Dental to continue operating would be to reduce time spent per procedure, utilize cheaper more inferior materials employ fewer inexperienced staff. In summary, standards drop whilst treatment failure and patient dissatisfaction increase. Like most things, one gets what one pays for. At Hart Dental we attract many new patients and not because of fee structure, but rather the high standard of care for which we are renown.

Such schemes assume all dental providers are the same and that the only factor influencing choice is "cost". This is a limited viewpoint of a very complex dentist-patient relationship, with other factors such as Trust, Quality and Care playing equal if not more important roles when choosing a dentist. “Preferred provider” schemes remove patient rights to having their treatment performed by a clinician of their own choosing. Hart Dental remains a committed Non-Preferred Provider.

Which is the best Health Fund?

Some funds are better value than others. The closed funds such as Police Health, CBHS, and Teachers Health are good for eligible patients. Look for non-for profit health funds if you can’t join a closed one as they pay a higher rebate.

You can choose who you want to see. Choice has done a survey of 25,000 private health care products and there is probably one more suited to your needs, especially if you are with one of the larger funds. Check out their website at www.choice.com.au/ or ask us what we would recommend.  

Does Medicare cover any treatment?

The Child Dental Benefit Scheme was introduced January 2014 after the Teen dental scheme ceased. Benefit of $1000 over a 2 years period can be used for some dental services. These are bulk billed for children between the ages of 2-17years. Services include exam, x-rays, hygiene visits, fillings, fissure seals, extractions and root canal treatment.

What dental products can I buy from you?

Hart dental supply you with a range of carefully selected dental products to protect your teeth and help keep them healthy and clean

We supply

  • Cleaning Aids (Electric/Manual)- Tooth brushes, floss, interproximal brushes.
  • Fluoride Supplements and Mouth Rinses
  • Calcium / Phosphate Supplements – Tooth Mousse  
  • Antiseptic Mouth Rinses  - Chlorhexidine rinses
  • Bleaching Supplements  - Zoom Whitening
  • Dry Mouth Medications – Oral Balance , GC Dry mouth gel
  • Skin and Mucosa healing cream  - Dr Wheatgrass

For a complete list see Products

Place & pay for an order over the phone & pick it up on your way home!

What causes gum disease?

Periodontitis or severe gum disease is inflammatory bacterial disease, the severity of which is a function of bacterial mix, tooth anatomy and host resistance, the latter greatly influenced by a history of smoking, stress, medical Conditions, occlusal overload and / or genetic predisposition. Chronic bacterial colonization of supporting tissues results in irreversible destruction of the periodontal ligament that surrounds teeth, which in turn signals loss of bone volume, pocketing and / or recession of gingival tissues and increased tooth mobility. Other than occasional bleeding when brushing, the process is often painless. Depending on the extent and severity of involvement, specialist periodontal management may be indicated on a 4-6 3-4 monthly basis, or if less severe, may be managed in house by our hygienist. Treatment is aimed at elimination of all bacterial deposits on a regular basis both at home, and with the support of regular professional maintenance, oral hygiene instruction, mouthwashes and occasionally antibiotics. The disease process is otherwise often progressive in nature, irreversible and a common cause of tooth loss.

Gingivitis or mild gum disease is also bacterial in nature but represents an inflammatory condition confined to the marginal soft tissues only and is reversible assuming good plaque control. Left uncontrolled in susceptible individuals, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.

What is Clenching or Grinding?

Bruxism is becoming an ever increasing problem and associated dental breakdown typically presents as being localised, bilateral and advanced in nature. Once teeth are stabilized and the condition is controlled, usually via an occlusal splint or night guard, emphasis is placed on trying to harmonise the relationships between teeth, joints and the neuromusculature so as to distribute occlusal force as well as possible, thereby improving overall treatment prognosis. This, however, does not necessarily prevent the condition, otherwise linked to compromised sleep patterns. Once one learns the habit, one tends to retain the habit and hence, for many, continued splint compliance is often strongly recommended. 

Can medications affect teeth?

Medications, smoking, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs can significantly contribute to oral complaints. Side effects include dry mouth, bruxism, erosion, ulcers and hyperacidity. Although difficult to control, these effects can be minimised by patient education and the use of medicated mouth rinses, gels, specially formulated toothpastes on a regular basis.
As denture patients depend heavily on saliva for denture retention, stability and comfort, artificial saliva substitutes can be prescribed

What is "Acid wear"?

Dental erosion (chemical dissolution of teeth through non-bacterial processes), through endogenous (gastric) or exogenous (dietary) acid is becoming more common. It's ability to soften and weaken teeth as well as possibly accelerating wear rates.

Do we repair Dentures?

If your dentures get accidentally dropped, simple repairs can often be done on the same day. We construct full or partial dentures either made of acrylic or metal framed.

Contact Us

3/240 Unley Road,

Unley, SA  5061

P: 8271 2488

F: 8172 0226.

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