Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Dentistry

What is an Abscess?

An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (center) of the tooth and cause an abscess. Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see your dentist right away.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks, ice cream or even when brushing or flossing. Several factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity including cavities, gum disease, a fractured tooth or worn enamel. The good news is that it can be treated. Your Dentist would be happy to discuss options with you.

Do white toothening toothpastes work?

Whitening toothpastes, like all other toothpastes, contain carbamide peroxide to remove surface stains. Whitening toothpastes may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpastes. While whitening toothpastes can make your teeth appear a little lighter, by getting rid of stains, they do not actually bleach your teeth. Whitening toothpastes are ideal for people who smoke, drink coffee and tea and eat certain foods that can stain your teeth. Whitening toothpastes are also good to use after you have undergone a teeth whitening procedure to keep surface stains from building up on your teeth. If you decide to use a whitening toothpaste, be sure that it contains fluoride for extra protection against tooth decay.

What is tooth decay?

Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

What is a Root Canal?

A Root Canal is a dental procedure to fix a tooth by removing the pulp chamber of the tooth (not the roots of the tooth) and filling it with a suitable filling material. A root canal is usually performed when the tooth cannot be filled or restored any other way because the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. Today, with modern technology and better anaesthetics, root canal treatments are no more painful than having a filling.

What Causes bad breath?

According to dental studies, about 85% of people with persistent bad breath also known as halitosis have a dental condition that is to blame. These conditions could be one or more of the following:

  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral cancer
  • Dry Mouth (xerostomia)
  • Bacteria on the tongue

If bad breath is the cause of a dental condition, mouthwash will only mask the odour and not cure it. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems. Seven key ways to prevent bad breathe are, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, regular dental check ups, using a mouth rinse, brushing your tongue, avoiding tobacco and drinking water.

How often Should I Floss my teeth?

You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing in between your teeth removes food debris and plaque from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps to prevent a heart attack or stroke.  When flossing, be sure to gently insert the floss in between the teeth, without snapping, which could damage the gum tissue. Gently move the floss up and down into the spaces between the gum and teeth. Floss the sides of all of your teeth, even if there isn’t a tooth next to another one. There are a number of dental products available that are designed to make flossing easier.

How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque which causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Make sure that the toothbrush fits inside of your mouth so that you can easily reach all areas. When brushing, use gentle up and down strokes, brushing all sides of the teeth. Always brush your tongue to remove any bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.

How often should I get a checkup?

Most children and adults should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental check ups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check up. The government also provides benefits for dental examinations and scale and polishes. To find out your entitlements please view


What do braces do and why do people need them?

Braces move teeth. If your jaws are not lined up, or your teeth are not straight, then braces will move your teeth into their correct positions. People get braces for medical or cosmetic reasons.

What are appliances?

Appliances are another name for removable braces.

How much do braces cost?

Orthodontic costs vary widely depending on the severity of the problem and the type of treatment. For an accurate costing you would need to make an appointment with our Orthdontist.

How do braces straighten your teeth?

Braces are pieces of metal or plastic that apply pressure to the teeth, moving them into their correct positions. “Fixed” braces (such as brackets) are glued to your teeth.

What does supernumerary mean?

Extra teeth, that are not meant to be there.

Do braces hurt?

Fixed braces will initially hurt when you first get them for 2 or 3 days. The pain will dissipate after that. If pain continues for more then a week, then contact your orthodontist. Your mouth will ache for about an hour after your braces are tightened. Removable braces just ache a little when you first get them.

What happens when you get braces?

First an X-ray will be taken of your teeth, and then a set of impressions will be made. This involves biting down onto a paste which hardens to make the shape of your teeth. These impressions are used to make the braces. At the next appointment, if you are getting removable braces, you will be presented with these new braces, and instructed on how to wear them. If you are getting fixed braces they will then be attached to your teeth. Brackets and molar bands will be glued to your teeth, and an archwire will be fitted.

Can I play a musical instrument with braces?

Yes, you can play the instrument of your choice with braces on your teeth. It may take a few days getting used to playing with the braces on.

What happens when your braces are adjusted?

At a regular appointment, usually around 6 weeks apart, you will go to get your braces adjusted. With fixed braces, this involves removing the archwire and replacing it with a newer one. The new one will probably be a slightly different shape than before to help move the teeth to a new position. If you have removable braces , the “adjustment” involves bending the wires of the brace, to apply more (or less) pressure to the teeth in selected areas.

What age do you get braces?

You can get braces at any age. Braces are most common around the 10-13 age group. Adult braces are becoming more and more common, around 25% of braces wearers are Adults.

What foods can I not eat with braces?

It is a good idea to avoid the following kinds of foods, as they may damage the braces:

  • Chewy foods: Hard rolls, Licorice
  • Crunchy foods: Popcorn, Ice, Crisps.
  • Sticky foods: Caramels, Chewing Gum.
  • Hard foods: Nuts, Confectionery (sweets)
  • Foods you have to bite into: Corn on the cob

What are six month braces?

Adults may be interested in limited orthodontic treatment to improve their front teeth.There are a number of companies that market systems to non orthodontists eg six month braces,6 month smiles, power prox braces, fast braces.

We can provide such a service but to a specialist standard and also at lesser cost- average price range €3500 to €4000

Please contact us for a free assessment to determine suitability.