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Frequently asked questions...
Are you a preferred provider for any private health fund?
We are not affiliated with any private health fund. We have made a conscious decision to not be controlled by the insurance companies, because we believe that our relationship is directly with our patients, and not with any third parties.

We will provide you with an itemised statement at the end of each appointment, where you can take the statement to your health fund to get a rebate. The amount of rebate depends on your level of cover and on which health fund you are with.

Preferred provider dentists get paid only a maximum amount for each item by the insurance companies. The amount is generally very low. Therefore, dentists who are preferred providers tend to recommend and do a lot more treatment that you may or may not need, because they need to be able to cover their costs with the low pay they get from the insurance companies. Some preferred provider dentists have also been known to try performing treatment as many and as quickly as possible in each appointment, in order to get more pay from the insurance companies. This usually results in lower quality of work.

We are here to provide our patients the best quality and the best value of treatment. We are here to help our patients achieve their dental goals properly and accordingly. The wellbeing of our patients is our priority

Do you have HICAPS?
We do not have HICAPS. A lot of people do not realise that having a HICAPS terminal actually costs the practice a lot more expenses. We currently have an EFTPOS terminal with Commonwealth Bank, in which we are paying 60% less in monthly rental fee than if we had HICAPS terminal.

Another example is when a patient uses Visa or Mastercard. Commonwealth Bank charges 30% less than what HICAPS would. Therefore, the cost difference to our practice is quite significant.

Therefore, we prefer to keep our costs down, and to also not do the work for the insurance companies. We prefer to keep our fees in line with the Australian Dental Association average and provide best quality and best value for treatment, rather than having to pass on extra costs to our patients.

The other factor is that there are about 50 different health funds that are associated with HICAPS. Each fund has different rebate rates, and the rates also depend on what level of cover the member is in. Each health fund also recognises different item numbers for certain procedures. Thus, the variables are quite substantial. HICAPS do not provide us with clear guidelines about these variables, and so there is always a higher risk that you would not get the maximum rebate that you are entitled to. For this reason, we feel more confident that our patients would get their maximum rebate entitlements when they actually claim the procedures themselves directly with their health funds. This would eliminate all the variables, and prevent any shortcomings that would affect the patients.

Are you expensive?
We are not the cheapest, but we are also not the most expensive out of all the dental practices in the area. Our fees reflect a number of factors, including the levels of experience and skills that our dentists have, the standard of service that we provide, and the advanced technology that we offer for diagnoses and treatment. We promise that you will find us the best value for money.

When you need dental treatment, we will provide you with a written itemised quote that breaks down the estimated fees, number of appointments, and item numbers of what you require. This treatment plan can also be taken to your private health insurance to check the amount of rebate that you will receive for each treatment item. Therefore, you will always be well informed of what to expect when it comes to your dental needs.

When should I start bringing my child to the dentist?
We recommend bringing your children to the dentist when they are between 2 and 3 years of age for their first visit. We make their first encounter as fun and playful as we can. They get to have a ride up and down on the dental chair, and they can explore safe dental instruments, such as the mouth mirror and air-water sprayer. We then count how many teeth they have, while checking the health of their teeth, gums and mouth. Children need to have a wonderful and joyful experience with their first visit to the dentist, and we can make sure that they do.
Does my child need braces?
The primary purpose of braces is to correct the alignment of the teeth and bite in order to minimise the risks of tooth decay, gum disease, jaw joint dysfunction, and excessive tooth wear among others. In addition to these, braces also create beautiful broad smiles. As a general rule, braces can be placed on children when they have no more baby teeth, which is usually between 13 to 14 years of age. However, often the problem is not the teeth being crooked, but the jawbones being too narrow and/or misaligned. Therefore, we would prefer to orthodontically assess children when they are between 7 and 8 years of age, to identify what the problem is. Problems with the jawbones are best to be treated when children are still in their prime growth period, and most of the time removable plates are used in treatment. Some children may even avoid the need for braces if they were treated early enough with removable plates.
Can teeth be straightened without braces?
There are alternatives to braces, depending on what the initial problem is that is causing the crooked teeth. Invisalign™ is one of those alternatives, where sets of clear plastic aligners are custom made to straighten adult teeth over a period of time. They are almost invisible, comfortable to wear, removable and easy to clean. On the other hand, for children with jawbone problems, in which they are too narrow and/or misaligned, removable plates may be indicated for treatment. By treating them early with removable plates, often they can avoid the need for braces. Talk to us about what is best suited for your particular situation.
What toothbrush should I use?
The type of toothbrush to use depends on personal preference. The most important is to use toothbrush with the softest bristles. Medium and hard bristles tend to damage the integrity of the gums over a period of time. Circular motions and massaging the gums with the toothbrush are also indicated. Electric toothbrushes are a great option, as they do all the work for you and tend to clean much more superior than manual toothbrushes. Just remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day with correct technique and soft bristled toothbrush.
What toothpaste should I use?
There are numerous brands of toothpaste available on the market. Any of them are fine to use, as long as they contain the correct amount of Fluoride, which has been researched to strengthen the enamel of teeth. Anti-sensitive toothpastes, such as Sensodyne, are great options for people who have sensitive teeth. Not only they should be used when toothbrushing, but they can also be applied directly on teeth whenever they feel sensitive.
Should I be mouthrinsing?
Mouthrinsing is a good addition to toothbrushing and flossing. It cleanses your mouth and can wash out trapped food debris from between teeth. There are several brands of mouthrinses available out there. The most popular ones are Listerine and Colgate Plax.

There is also a unique product, called Listerine Whitening. It is a pre-toothbrushing mouthrinse, where by rinsing your mouth with it would make it easier to brush away the surface stains off your teeth. This results in more effective toothbrushing.

For people who suffer from gum diseases, there are several h3er mouthrinses that are helpful in controlling the problems, such as Savacol. These mouthrinses should only be used as directed by the dentist, as they could often be too h3 for healthy teeth and gums.

Why do my gums bleed?
The most common reason for gums to bleed is when there are build-ups accumulating on the gumline or in between your teeth. These build-ups are called calculus when they are hard, or plaque when they are soft. The build-ups irritate the gums, and over time they cause the gums to bleed. The dentist will then need to clean the build-ups off, and the patient will then need to practice excellent oral hygiene routine to heal the gums up and control the bleeding. Thus, regular professional cleaning is recommended to avoid prolonged accumulation of build-ups and prevent gum disease.

Other reasons for bleeding gums include toothbrushing too hard, pregnancy for women, and even stress. It is important to use a soft toothbrush with correct brushing technique, floss in between your teeth regularly, and have dental check-ups periodically.

Why are my teeth sensitive?
There are a number of reasons for sensitive teeth. One is when you have receding (shrinking) gums, resulting in exposed root surfaces of your teeth. The roots of teeth are not covered by h3 enamel, and so they are more sensitive to temperature when exposed. Another is if you have gum disease, where the gum tissues are inflamed and soft, resulting in sensitive teeth. Dental cavities (holes on your teeth) can also cause sensitive teeth, especially if they are deep and close to the nerves of the teeth. Worn teeth can also be sensitive as the enamels are thinner. Also, some teeth can be naturally sensitive for no particular reason. There are a number of treatment options that can be done for sensitive teeth, depending on what the cause of it is. Let us know about your sensitive teeth when you come to see us, as we will be able to assess and recommend the right solutions for you.
Why do I need to floss my teeth?
Flossing is an effective method of cleaning in between your teeth. Toothbrushing alone is not going to clean these areas, because the toothbrush cannot fit in between teeth. Food debris can get trapped easily in between teeth and they need to be cleaned out thoroughly to prevent build-ups that can cause gum disease and dental decay. If the gaps between your teeth are quite large then using interdental brushes is a great way to clean. These brushes are like mini bottle brushes that can be used to effortlessly clean in between teeth. Cleaning between your teeth should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
How often should I have a dental check-up?
We usually recommend dental check-ups every 6 or 12 months. Most dental problems do not cause pain until they are too deep. It is easier to treat these problems when they are still early and small. Therefore, early detection of dental problems is always better. Complex dental problems are difficult to alleviate, can be debilitating to your overall health, and are far more expensive to treat.
Why do I need dental x-rays?
Small dental x-rays are required every two years. The purpose of these x-rays is to check under the surfaces of your teeth and existing fillings for any hidden problems or dental decay. Early detection of these problems is advantageous in order to avoid pain, complex and expensive treatment.

Dental x-rays are also required in root canal therapies to check the lengths of the roots. They can also be used to check for other problems, such as infection, bone loss, root cracks, etc. Large x-rays of the head and neck region are usually indicated for people who are having orthodontic treatment.

In recent years, 3D Cone Beam CT scans are becoming more commonly used in dentistry. These scans are extremely advanced in technology. They are used mainly for dental implants and orthodontic cases, and they can be very useful in diagnosing complex problems, such as jaw joint therapy and neuromuscular dentistry.

My child’s mouth is always open, is this normal?
Having an open mouth posture means that your child is a mouth breather. Mouth breathing can cause long term health problems as well as dental problems. Each part of our bodies has its own purpose. The purpose of the nose is to breathe, but that is not the purpose of the mouth. From a dental perspective, mouth breathing can result in dry mouth (which leads to higher risks of gum disease, dental decay, and fragile oral soft tissues) and low tongue position (which leads to narrow upper jawbone, open bite, dental crowding, narrow smile, vertical growth tendency, or longer faces).

The air that travels through the mouth is not filtered by follicles that are present in the nose. Hence, mouth breathers tend to breathe in more dusts and allergens into their bodies. This can consequently cause the tonsils and adenoids to enlarge as an inflammatory response, leading to possibly obstructing the upper airway (the airway through the nose). Inside the lungs, the “dirty” air can disrupt the proper oxygen and carbon dioxide balance that the bloodstream needs. The organs inside the body are all supplied by the bloodstream to function properly. If the bloodstream is delivering contaminated supplies then these organs will not function ideally.

Breathing right is breathing through the nose. As you can see, mouth breathing can lead to several potential problems dentally and medically. There are a number of methods available to train children (or adults) to breathe right and eliminate the bad mouth breathing habit. Dr. Donny Mandrawa has studied breathing extensively and is able to provide guidance to mouth breathing problems.

My child is grinding at night, is this normal?
Teeth grinding in children can be a result of a number of factors. The most common cause is when the child is not breathing properly through the nose. When sleeping, the mouth would naturally want to close. However, with mouth breathers, they have a habit of breathing through their mouths, and so they would try to go against nature during sleep. As a consequence, mouth breathing children tend to grind their teeth during sleep as they try to work against nature and open their mouths. Once they are successful in opening their mouths, they have a tendency to snore until their mouths close again and they begin to grind again. This cycle can continue numerous times during sleep, and it can interrupt with sleep throughout the night, where these children may wake up feeling tired constantly almost every morning.

Another cause of grinding in children is eruption of new teeth, in which the gums feel uncomfortable due to the process. This type of grinding tends to cease naturally once the teeth have erupted completely. Children can also grind when they are under stress. It is important to be able to recognise children who are under stress and to discuss the issue with appropriate people who are able to help them, such as teachers, carers, etc.

Thus, teeth grinding is something that can be detrimental for children. Being able to breathe right is one of the important factors in solving the problem of grinding. Referrals to medical doctors and Ear Nose Throat surgeons may be indicated if there is suspected upper airway obstruction. Grinding can obviously damage the teeth, and can indirectly affect the stability of the jaw joints in the long term. Nevertheless, we are here to help in assessing, treating and guiding you with problems of your children grinding their teeth.

What are dental implants?
If you have lost a tooth, the most ideal way to replace it is with a dental implant. This titanium fixture is surgically placed into your jawbone under local anaesthetic. Then time is given for the bone to heal around the fixture, which usually takes 12 weeks. Once it has healed, then a porcelain crown is attached to the dental implant, and you have your tooth back. It is independent and does not rely on other teeth. It is comfortable and has no gap under the tooth, unlike a bridge. It is fixed permanently and does not need to be removed, unlike a denture. It needs to be cleaned just with normal toothbrushing and flossing. It seriously feels like a natural tooth. If you feel that this is the treatment option for you, The Dental Gallery can assess your suitability for a dental implant, and perform the overall treatment accordingly.
My dentures are always loose, especially when I eat. How can I make them stable?
Dentures being loose are a very common problem, especially that of lower dentures. There are expensive options available to stabilise dentures, by using full dental implants. However, at The Dental Gallery, we are conscious of the fact that full dental implants can be very expensive to stabilise dentures, because multiple dental implants are usually required to achieve success. Therefore, we offer the option of using 3M Mini Dental Implants. This type of dental implants are smaller in size but are made of one piece of titanium, resulting in amazing strengths. They are comparably straightforward to place and the existing denture can be modified immediately to click onto the dental implants. Thus, the entire process may only take up to three hours, and your dentures will be extremely stable for you to instantly use afterward. By utilising this system, the costs of denture stabilisation using dental implants can be reduced by 50-70%, depending on your particular needs. To find out more, discuss your queries with Dr. Donny Mandrawa, and he will be able to assess your suitability to have this form of treatment.
Can I whiten my teeth?
Teeth whitening has become a popular cosmetic treatment in dentistry. Whitening your teeth can create a smile that is fresh and bright, and improve your overall confidence. At The Dental Gallery, we use a state-of-the-art whitening system, called Brite Smile. On average it improves the colour of your teeth by 8 to 9 levels (there are 16 levels in a tooth colour chart). The procedure is completed in the chair by one of our dentists or oral health therapist, and the result is immediate. Teeth with yellow-based discolouration tend to improve the best with whitening. Keep in mind, however, white fillings, porcelain restorations and metallic materials do not change colour with whitening. Before you decided on having teeth whitening done, it is crucial that you have the health of your teeth and gums examined first by a dentist, to assess your suitability for the treatment. Teeth whitening is a hazardous procedure that needs to be handled professionally by qualified dental practitioners. Make sure that you are in safe hands and not put yourself at risk.
What is an Oral Health Therapist?
Oral Health Therapists are university-qualified dental practitioners, who treat children under 18 years of age. They are able to perform all types of dentistry on children, including examinations, fillings, extractions, take x-rays, cleaning, etc. In addition, Oral Health Therapists are also registered to perform periodontic (gum) treatment on adults, including scaling, cleaning, gum therapy, administering local anesthetics, etc. Thus, they are a valuable member of the dental team, and support the dentists in helping patients achieve optimal dental health.
Are white fillings better than silver metal fillings?
The purpose of fillings is to restore the natural structure of teeth that have been lost due to dental decay, gum disease, dental erosion, or tooth breakages. Fillings can be white or metal. Any fillings will wear down over time, so they need to be checked periodically to assess when they need to be replaced. X-rays are required every two years to show the areas under existing fillings.

White fillings are mainly made of composite resin, and metal fillings are mainly made of amalgam. White fillings are glued to the natural tooth structures and are of same colour to teeth. Amalgam fillings rely on mechanical retention, and because metal expands over time, they can cause cracks on teeth. Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, which can be dangerous to health in high amounts. The amount of mercury in amalgam fillings, though, has been shown by researches to be low enough to not cause any health issues.

Nevertheless, at The Dental Gallery we do not offer amalgam fillings. We fill teeth exclusively with white fillings, because we see them as better in their properties and aesthetics.

Should I be drinking bottled water or tap water?
The water supply in Melbourne area is fluoridated. With the right amount, fluoride is a chemical that strengthens the enamel of your teeth. Thus, drinking tap water frequently is good for your teeth, because it has the correct concentration of fluoride in it that helps to protect your teeth.

Most bottled water does not contain fluoride. Thus, they may not be beneficial for your teeth. However, if you do prefer to drink bottled water, make sure that you use fluoridated toothpaste everyday to brush your teeth, and avoid high sugar and high acid diet. There is bottled water available that has added fluoride, but they can be very difficult to find.

Should I be wearing mouthguard for sports?
Mouthguards are always recommended for sports because of the risks that accidents could happen. Customised mouthguards are better than generic ones that are available from the chemists or sport shops. Mouthguards are more effective when they are especially made to fit your teeth snugly and comfortably, as their purposes are to absorb the impact of trauma and protect your teeth from injuries. If you have braces, there are mouthguards available that can fit over your braces.
I get frequent headaches. Can this be related to my teeth and jaw joints?
Frequent headaches can be related to the teeth and jaw joints. Tooth infections, wisdom tooth impactions, and severe gum inflammations have the potential to cause headaches if left untreated. However, the most common causes of frequent headaches from a dental perspective are severe grinding of teeth, clenching of teeth, imbalance bite, sleeping disorders, and jaw joint dysfunctions. Having any of these conditions can result in over-tension of muscles in the head and neck, causing frequent headaches. The headaches mainly occur on the sides of the head (temple area), or at the very back of the head (right above the neck), and they can lead to neck and shoulder pain as well.

Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialized field that assesses and treats the dental aspect of these problems, by balancing bites and jaw joints using various treatment modalities. Do keep in mind that these problems can also be related to problems in other parts of the body, such as obstructions of airway, postural and spinal disorders, and even past injuries. It is not uncommon that a number of health practitioners need to simultaneously assess and treat the patient, in order to get the patient healthy, and they can include medical doctors, Ear Nose Throat surgeons, physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and sleep physicians among others.