Oak Tree Ballarat Dental is a family oriented dental clinic. We strive to ensure that all of your family requirements are able to be met within our own facilities, including:
- Crown and Bridge (CEREC)
- Dental Implants
- Braces (Orthodontics)
- Extractions (Including Wisdom Teeth)
- Routine Dental Check-up and Clean
- X-Rays and Imaging
- Children’s Dentistry
- Resin Composite Restorations (White Fillings)
- Periodontal Treatment
- Root Canal Treatment
- Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Devices
- Mouth Guards
- Night Splint
- Teeth Whitening
Crown and Bridge (CEREC)
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth or when a tooth is weakened by a heavy bite. A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement.
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium screws that are fused with the jaw bone, in a process called osseointegration, to replace missing roots. The screws are then restored with a porcelain crown to complete the missing tooth.
Teeth may need to be moved in both adults and children for the following reasons:
- Unfavourable bites that may be causing trauma to your teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Uneven teeth
- Teeth with spaces or gaps
- Missing teeth
- To facilitate the placement of an implant/bridge.
At Oak Tree Ballarat Dental, we believe it is unacceptable for our patients to suffer extended periods of toothache. Where a dental emergency arises, we believe it is a dentist’s duty of care to serve the community through the provision of contemporaneous treatment. Dental trauma or tooth infection should be treated in a timely manner to prevent unnecessary tooth loss or suffering.
Our phone lines remain open even after our surgery is closed to cater for patients who are experiencing dental emergencies. Please contact our surgery on (03) 5342 9633 and we will strive to resolve your dental emergency as soon as possible.
Please contact the Oak Tree Ballarat Dental phone line after-hours if you experience any of the following:
- Loss of fillings
- Severe pain
- Dislodgment of teeth
- Facial trauma
- Other emergency situations.
We will endeavour to make an appointment for these types of emergencies ASAP.
Extractions (Including Wisdom Teeth)
Teeth may require extraction/removal for several reasons including:
- Unrestorable advanced stages of dental decay
- Major trauma to the tooth
- Large, deep cracks
- Extra unnecessary teeth (supernumerary teeth)
- Malformed teeth or those with major structural defects
- Severe forms of gum disease (periodontal disease)
Routine Dental Check-up and Clean
We generally recommend 6 monthly visits to the dentist for routine examinations and professional cleaning. This frequency level works well for most people. Some patients require more frequent dental visits for optimal care. These patients include those with gum disease, a genetic predisposition for plaque build-up or cavities, or a weakened immune system.
Also, keep in mind that certain life events, particularly those that cause stress or illness, may cause changes in the mouth that may require more frequent visits to the dentist.
At the other extreme, people who have taken great care of their teeth and gums, and have gone years without any problems may be able to lengthen the time between visits. Ask one of our dentists at our Ballarat dental clinic what visitation schedule works best for your state of dental health.
The three biggest reasons that most strongly support the twice-yearly visitation schedule are:
- So that your dentist can check for problems that you might not see or feel
- To allow your dentist to detect early signs of decay (decay may not be visible or cause pain until it reaches more advanced stages.)
- To treat and detect other oral health problems found such as gum disease, soft tissue diseases, oral thrush and various lesions including mouth cancers. (generally, the earlier a problem is found, the more manageable it is.)
The following oral health care activities usually take place at the typical dental check-up visit:
Your dentist will first conduct a thorough medical, dental, social, family and diet history. This will give us crucial advice about suitable treatment options for you as well as finding methods to help improve your general oral health. Your dentist will then complete a physical examination of your gums and teeth, document any changes in your overall health and use of any medication.
Your dentist will often clean and polish your teeth, talk to you about oral hygiene, and answer any questions you might have about home care products. Your dentist will diagnose any oral health problems and make treatment recommendations.
Cleaning — Although home-based tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, only a professional clean by a dentist can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove the hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) that builds up on teeth. Dentists use a series of metal hand and ultrasonic scalers, which provide deep cleaning above and below the gum line.
Polishing — After your teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface. The polish contains fluoride, and is applied using a small rotating rubber cup or brush attached to the dental hand piece.
Prevention — Your dentist may offer additional instructions for you to follow at home, based on the results of your exam. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for instructions about brushing or flossing, or general questions about your teeth and gums.
X-Rays and Imaging
At Oak Tree Ballarat Dental, we strive to provide all our patients with tailored and individual care. Access to the most recent x-ray technology aids us in our ability to reach appropriate diagnoses and formulate the best treatment plan suited to your needs. They help our dentists to see parts of your teeth and jaws that cannot be seen from a visual examination. At our practice, we are fortunate enough to have several types of different x-ray facilities, each type providing different information to your dentist.
- Digital Intra-Oral X-rays: These are simple x-rays that are taken while you are seated in the dental chair with the simple push of a button.
- OPG: These are full mouth scans taken in our x-ray room, often useful for identification of wisdom teeth, scanning for any bony abnormalities, and checking for development of teeth in your child.
- Cone Beam CT: This technology produces instant high-quality 3D images of a specific region in your mouth to create a virtual simulation of your anatomy.
X-rays can be used to:
- Detect and monitor early signs of decay
- Detect and monitor the depth of decay to understand appropriate treatment options
- Detection and monitoring of gum disease (periodontitis)
- Monitoring and treatment planning of wisdom teeth
- Planning for orthodontic treatment
- Planning for dental implants
- Detect bone lesions, diseases, oral cancer, or other abnormalities
Is it safe to have x-rays?
We often get asked about harmful radiation with dental radiographs. While it is true that dental x-rays contain radiation, we practice the ALARA principle. ALARA is an acronym for As Low As Reasonably Achievable. This is a radiation safety principle for minimising radiation doses and releases of radioactive materials by employing all reasonable methods. ALARA is not only a sound safety principle, but is a regulatory requirement for all radiation safety programs. This is achieved in the following ways:
- Clinicians are competent in taking excellent radiographs to prevent the need for unnecessarily retaking scans
- Digital x-ray is used to minimise radiation dose
- If recent x-rays are available at other dental surgeries, where appropriate and possible we seek out copies to minimise extra x-rays
- We use the fastest radiographic film consistent with providing the diagnostic information sought (‘E’ speed or greater) to ensure the least possible radiation dose to our patients
- We use rectangular collimation to significantly reduce radiation doses
- Our dentists wear radiation monitoring devices to ensure the exposure of scatter radiation is negligible
- Our x-ray room has been built with lead-lined walls, door and glass viewing panel for the safety of our patients and staff
- We are able to offer intra oral radiography, OPG (full mouth x-rays) and 3D scans to allow us to better diagnose, treatment plan and treat dental problems.
Although x-rays get a bad reputation for emitting radiation, radiation is present in the environment. Background radiation originates from both natural and artificial sources including cosmic (sun) radiation, air, terrestrial sources, food and water and smoking. Plane travel significantly increases your exposure to background radiation.
To put things into perspective, here are some comparable radiation dose statistics:
- 1 dental x-ray is equivalent to 8 hours of background radiation
- 1 OPG (jaw x-ray) is equivalent to 28 hours of background radiation
- 1 chest x-ray is equivalent to 4 days of background radiation
- 1 flight from Australia to Europe is equivalent to 15 days of background radiation.
As always, our dentists are always here to put your mind at ease, so should you have any concerns or questions about dental x-rays, don’t hesitate to ask!
Kids are precious to us at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental and it is important to our team that they are healthy, confident, and most importantly happy. We understand that going to the dentist can be confronting for some children, so our team take time, care and patience to ensure that each and every child feels comfortable and safe.
It is important to us that we earn your child’s trust before any dental work (including a check-up) is attempted. We achieve this by:
- Getting to know young patients and building a relationship with each individual child in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe.
- Creating a welcoming and comfortable environment and tailoring education and learning in a way that is enjoyable for the child and encouraging them to develop excellent tooth maintenance skills at home.
- Involving children in the decision-making process to help them feel in control.
General Anaesthetic (Sleep Dentistry)
Although our dentists will strive to treat most cases within our own facilities, there are situations when it may be more efficient and appropriate to treat our patients under general anaesthetic. These situations include:
- Very young patients who require extensive or complex dental treatment
- Anxious patients who would prefer to have dental work done while they are asleep
- Patients who require multiple extractions such as wisdom teeth removal
- Patients with disabilities and special needs.
As oral and general health are very important to us at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental, our dentists are happy to treat you or your child under general anaesthetic at the Ballarat Day Procedure Centre if it is decided that this is in the patient’s best interest.
Treatment under general anaesthetic allows:
- Treatment to be conducted comfortably and efficiently and to the highest quality, as general anaesthetic will eliminate any issues with cooperation, communication or anxiety
- Alleviation of concerns about young children developing a dental phobia from a young age that may lead to avoidance of the dentist in the future, especially when treatments required are extensive and complex
- Treatment of all of your child’s teeth under one general anaesthetic session
- Treatment of dental emergencies such as tooth aches, infections and swellings in children who are unwilling or unable to cooperate or adults who are highly anxious or have special needs.
Resin Composite Restorations (White Fillings)
At Oak Tree Ballarat Dental, we offer a range of different filling types. Resin Composite is a tooth-coloured material that is frequently used by our dentists. The advantages of this material include:
- Aesthetic and extremely natural-looking fillings that blend in completely with the rest of the tooth
- A bonding or “gluing” effect to the tooth structure to ensure the filling material will stay in place for a long time
- Good physical properties that can take the pressures of chewing and eating
- Insoluble material that is insensitive to dehydration
- Placed directly into cavities for an efficient and time saving treatment option.
Healthy gums are the foundation of a healthy mouth. Gum disease is a common condition that is largely undiagnosed and overshadowed by other oral conditions, such as decay, because it is mostly a painless disease. Untreated gum disease can lead to:
- Loose teeth
- Gum recession
- Sensitive teeth
- Moving/shifting teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Tooth loss
Our dentists at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental will screen and diagnose various types of gum disease and discuss the appropriate treatment and preventative measures to ensure stability of your gum health.
Root Canal Treatment
Inside the hard layers of the tooth is the pulp, which is a soft tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Root canal treatment refers to the removal of infection or painful pulp tissue, cleaning and disinfecting of the pulp chamber and filling up the space with an inert filling to minimise the chance of reinfection.
Dentures are removable artificial prostheses made of acrylic and metal to replace missing teeth. We work with the highest quality dental technicians in the construction of dentures for our patients.
Our skilled dentists will ensure our patients are given the most natural and comfortable smile even in cases of full dentures. We will work with you to create dentures that are comfortable, natural and stable.
Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Devices
Snoring and OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) are increasingly common conditions amongst our patients. While there are often medical causes for these conditions, it is important to understand the oral factors that can contribute to or exacerbate these issues.
Our dentists at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental are trained in the diagnosis and fabrication of appliances or mouthguards that can help relieve the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea, by helping patients to position their jaw in a way that opens up the airway and to allow for better breathing.
Mouth guards are critical for our patients who participate in contact sports. Unfortunately, trauma to the front teeth is far too common, with 1 in 4 patients under the age of 18 sustaining some kind of trauma to their front teeth.
At Oak Tree Ballarat Dental, we want you to be able to participate in physical activity without the risk of damage to your teeth, and hence we offer mouth guards in-house. This is a very simple and straightforward procedure, and yet is very effective in protecting your mouth from injury.
Unfortunately, about 1 in 5 people grind or clench their teeth. This may be related to the way the teeth bite together, or may be a stress-induced behaviour that causes undue pressure on your teeth and can lead to:
- Fractured teeth
- Worn teeth
- Damage to the jaw joints
- Muscle aches
- Pain when opening
- Locked jaw
- Limited opening.
In order to protect your teeth at night time when grinding is common, our dentists will create special mouth guards that can be worn during sleep. The manifestation of problems from grinding as listed above can often lend itself to complex management procedures. If you experience these symptoms, following a thorough examination and diagnosis, our dentists at Oak Tree Ballarat Dental will endeavour to find and eliminate the problem and recommend certain exercises to help with jaw/muscle pain.
At Oak Tree Ballarat Dental we offer:
- Teeth whitening on single teeth (for example, discoloured teeth that have been traumatised in the past or internal bleaching)
- Take home teeth whitening