Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I schedule periodic dental checks?

On average, it is advisable to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a check-up. The recommended number of annual visits may be more for those who are prone to gum disease or dental caries.

Periodic dental check-ups allow the dentist to monitor the progress of your dental health through oral examinations. During the examination, various parts of your oral cavity – including teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue, and soft tissue regions – will be investigated for any signs of abnormalities or underlying concerns. This is necessary for detecting early symptoms of conditions that require immediate intervention before they develop into more serious conditions.

Is professional dental cleaning necessary for a person who brushes and flosses regularly?

While important to maintaining proper oral hygiene, regular tooth brushing and flossing are not enough to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. The dentist uses specialized tools to access hard-to-reach regions such as the tiny gaps between your teeth and under the gum line to remove plaque and bacteria that normal brushing and flossing cannot. This helps to prevent sticky plaque from forming or hardening into calculus, both of which can have detrimental results for your teeth. In addition, the dentist can administer fluoride treatments to further protect your teeth enamel against tooth decay.

Is x-ray radiation harmful? How often should I have x-rays taken?

It is important to put the risk of dental radiation into proper perspective and context. The amount of radiation exposure from a dental x-ray is comparable to the amount you get from less than a day’s worth of background radiation that we are constantly exposed to – from the sun, earth and naturally radioactive substances produced in our own body. It is almost the same amount of radiation you get from traveling in an airplane for one to two hours. In other words, the risk is very minute and insignificant. On the other hand, the benefits of dental x-rays in helping to detect decay, cavities, lymphoma, cysts and even oral cancer in obstructed regions can be highly beneficial to a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

Nevertheless, as healthcare providers, we exercise extreme caution when sending patients for x-ray diagnostics, and do so only when necessary.

I have a fear of visiting the dentist. What should I do?

There are many reasons why a person may be fearful of dental visits but the most common one is associated with the perceived pain and discomfort during treatments. The good news is, modern dentistry has gifted mankind with a host of minimally invasive techniques and anaesthetics that are designed to optimise patient comfort. At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we are happy to provide these services for nervous patients. If you still feel uncomfortable about the idea of dental treatment, please let us know what your concerns are so we can better cater to your specific needs.

Which private health insurance are accepted at your clinic?

As part of our efforts to make our services as accessible and affordable as possible, Molonglo Dental Surgery accepts all major private health funds. In so doing, we also hope to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses and maximise your savings when you opt for treatments here. If you are unsure about a specific health fund, please call us to check if it is accepted at our clinic.

To make life a little easier for you, our clinic is also fitted with HICAPS terminal to facilitate on-the-spot claims and speedy electronic transfers! That means no troublesome form-filling or long waiting queues are necessary. Just show up at our counter with your private insurance membership card and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does fluoride help to prevent tooth decay?

The benefits of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay are widely acknowledged and endorsed, including by the Australian Dental Association. A naturally occurring substance found in the earth’s crust and our water supplies, fluoride helps to limit the production of corrosive acid that erodes the teeth’s natural protective enamel. It also prevents mineral loss and replenishes calcium to decaying teeth. Depending on your dental condition, the dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment to supplement your fluoride intake. Typically administered in the form of a gel, fluoride treatments are particularly useful for people with dry mouth conditions, gum disease or a history of cavities.

Why do baby teeth require fillings when they will fall out anyway?

Left untreated, tooth decay in milk teeth can lead to other complications like bite problems, eating difficulty and infections. It can even make the child’s future permanent teeth more susceptible to decay. The only reason for leaving a decayed milk tooth alone if it is close to falling out, bearing in mind that the last baby tooth for most kids falls out around the age of 12. Otherwise, you will be increasing the child’s risk for infections, toothaches and unsightly teeth.

When should I start bringing my child to see the dentist?

Professional dental care is very important during the formative years of your child’s dental development. You may start bringing your children to see a dentist when all their milk teeth have arrived, usually when they are around 3 years old.

There are two reasons for these early visits: One is to familiarize your child with the clinical surroundings and the experience of receiving treatment in a dental chair so that he or she can adapt sooner than later, and the other is to prevent the highly prevalent occurrence of childhood decays and cavities. Known as dental caries, this common dental ailment affects millions of preschoolers all over the world. In fact, tooth decays and cavities are more common than any other chronic childhood ailments, including diabetes or asthma.

What causes dental decay and toothaches?

There is a reason why tooth decays are commonly blamed on over-consumption of sweet and sticky foods like candy and toffee. That’s because the bacteria that cause tooth decay thrives on the sugary residue that gets stuck inside the grooves of your teeth.

By stripping away its calcium, the sugar-feeding bacteria – named Streptococcus mutans – destroy the tooth’s enamel structure. Compounding the problem, the bacteria produce a sticky substance known as plaque that spawns enamel-destroying acid. The combined effects of acid erosion and calcium deficiency lead to a breakdown in tooth structure, resulting in cavity holes. When the tissue and nerves inside the tooth get exposed and irritated as a result of cavities, it can cause pain in the tooth.

My child had a fall and lost a tooth. What do I do?

If the child’s tooth has been completely knocked out, the first thing you need to do is recover the tooth. There is a good chance you can try to salvage the tooth if it is placed back in the socket within an hour of being knocked out.

To do so, gently rinse the tooth while careful not to remove any attached tissues. Holding the tooth by the crown, try to gently insert the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of milk and contact us immediately. If the tooth in question is a baby tooth, do not attempt to reinsert the tooth. In any case, you should bring the child to see the dentist as soon as possible.

Does root canal hurt?

Although a root canal treatment involves an intricate process, it does not hurt as much as what some might think. When people talk about “root canal pain”, they are more likely talking about the pain that comes from having an infected pulp. Instead of causing the pain, a root canal treatment actually helps to relieve the pain.

Part of the treatment process is to remove the infected nerve and pulp that is causing the pain and to prevent the infection from spreading further. (For more information on Root Canal treatment, please go to Root Canal page). Nonetheless, we do provide a few anaesthetic options to help patients cope with the procedure and to help For patients who wish to replace their existing amalgam fillings, we also provide a service for safe amalgam removal. Molonglo Dental Surgery is proud to be able to provide a non-toxic alternative that promotes the health and wellbeing of our patients. As cosmetic dentists, we are also happy to offer White Fillings as the preferred aesthetic choice for those who look after their appearance.

Why should I replace my amalgam fillings?

People who opt to replace their amalgam fillings with white composite fillings usually cite the appearance and health factors as reasons.

In terms of appearance, they complain about the silver-coloured appearance of amalgam fillings resembling a dark spot on their teeth. This compares unfavourably with composite fillings that blend in seamlessly with the other teeth, allowing for a more natural-looking smile.

Other patients are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the mercury content found inside amalgam fillings, which remains a controversial subject within the dental profession.

If you are thinking of replacing your existing amalgam fillings, we do offer safe amalgam removal services. (For more information on Safe Amalgam Removal/ White Composite Fillings, please go to insert link to White Composite Fillings page). The decision really depends on your individual preference.

How much does a check-up and professional cleaning cost? I do not have private health insurance.

New patients visiting Molonglo Dental Surgery for the first time are entitled to a promotional offer of $250.00 for a check-up and clean session. This offer covers your dental check-up, clean, fluoride treatment and, if required, 2 free x-rays. This offer includes a complementary oral hygiene kit and oral cancer screening. Please refer to the promotion page to find out more.

How much does a root canal treatment cost?

Root canal treatment costs can vary depending on two main factors: which is the tooth that requires treatment; and the number of canals the tooth has.

An initial consultation costs between $75 – $110. During the session, the dentist will investigate your issue and tailor a treatment plan for you. We will provide a detailed cost breakdown for the treatment, and if you prefer, recommend payment plans to make it a little bit easier.

How much does it cost to extract a wisdom tooth?

It depends on the position of the tooth that needs to be removed. Surgical extraction is a complex treatment. Call surgery to find out more and they can assess if an appointment is required so dentist can give an accurate quote.

I have private health insurance with Medibank private/Bupa. How much will they cover if I opt for professional cleaning at your clinic?

That depends on the level of dental cover you have on your health fund.

Thanks to our current promotion, you will only be charged 50% of the gap payment on your check up and clean with us.

As an example, if your health fund provider were to cover $350 out of the total cost of a check-up and clean session ($398), the gap payment would be $48. However, with our 50% off GAP payment deal, you only pay $24.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

Yes, we require a minimum of 12 hours’ notice should you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Failure to provide the 12-hour advance notice may incur a fee and/or require a deposit to secure another booking at Molonglo Dental. The surgery reserves the right to decide based on your individual circumstances.

All appointments must be confirmed by 5:00 PM on the day before your scheduled dental appointment. If your appointment is not confirmed by this time, it will be automatically cancelled. Our aim is to ensure that no one misses their appointment slot, so we will make every effort to reach you before this deadline.

Our practice will utilize SMS messages, emails, and phone calls to contact both primary and secondary contacts to confirm appointments.

If you have any special requests, such as contacting a work phone number or reaching out to a different person, please inform our reception staff, and we will update these details in your patient file accordingly.

Do you have weekend, afterhours, and public holiday surcharge?

Weekends: We believe in providing easy and fair access for patients from all walks of life, including those that can only visit us on weekends. That’s why we do not have a weekend surcharge policy. Currently Molonglo dental are among few Canberra Dentist who are open on Weekends.

Public holidays: Patients incur a nominal surcharge for appointments booked on public holidays. Please call the surgery to find out more about the charges. Molonglo Dental are among few Canberra Dentist who are open on Weekends.

Afterhours: Recognising how children are the most vulnerable to dental emergencies, we will waive extra emergency charges for kids under the age of 12.

We will reimburse 25% of your after-hours emergency callout charges, provided you follow-up on all treatment plan appointments with our clinic, following your afterhours dental emergency appointment. Please call the surgery to find out more about the afterhours emergency charges.

Can I come for my appointment first and pay later?

It depends. We offer various pay-later options such as Afterpay and Zip Pay. Whilst they are designed to make dental treatments more affordable, these flexible payment plans only cater for treatments over $200.

What other types of dental payment plans do you offer?

Besides Zip Pay and Afterpay that cater for dental treatments up to $1400 in value, we have another plan that is good for treatments that cost $2000 or more: the Humm Ezy-pay payment plan. Molonglo dental are among only handful of Canberra dentist who provide range of payment plan option to make the dental treatment cost more affordable.   Please visit payment plan page on our website to see if you are eligible.

Can I use the dental payment plans to pay for the treatments that are currently on promotion – such Teeth Whitening or Check-up & Clean?

Unfortunately, the payment plans cannot be used in conjunction with any promotional offers currently advertised by our surgery.

What can I do if I have a dental emergency but not enough funds to pay for treatment?

Our Canberra dental surgery accepts ACT health vouchers. Please call ACT health to inquire if you are eligible for the emergency service scheme. If you can secure an Emergency dental Voucher, this will help you to pay for your dental treatment here with us. Alternatively, you may visit the walk-in emergency unit in Canberra hospital.

Can I know how much a treatment would cost before I decide to opt for it?

Every patient has a unique set of dental circumstances. Before we can offer you a treatment plan and detailed cost breakdown, our dentist would need to first investigate your specific dental condition in order to determine the most appropriate type of treatment.

The cost for this initial consultation, including an oral examination, ranges from $80 – $110. After studying your dental history and the results of your oral exam, the dentist would be in a good position to recommend the appropriate treatment (with a detailed cost structure) and provide a no-obligation treatment plan for your consideration.

Can I use your dental payment plan in conjunction with my health fund (including smiles) to pay for my dental treatment?

Unfortunately, health fund benefits and payment plans cannot be used to pay for the same treatment. You can only access the payment plan option if you have no more dental benefits on your insurance cover or if you do not have private dental health insurance. Please refer to policy terms and condition for our surgery.

Can I use payment plan if I am a smiles Member?

Sorry, payment plans cannot be used in conjunction with smiles fees. The payment plan option can only be used if you have no more dental benefits on your insurance cover or if you do not have private dental health insurance. Please refer to policy terms and condition for our surgery.

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