Frequently asked questions

What age should I bring my child for the first visit?

  • The Australasian, American and International Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommend a child's first dental visit should be conducted within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 1 year of age. At this visit the parents will obtain anticipatory guidance in regards to their child's oral health.

Seeing the dentist at an early age will help in creating a positive experience at the dentist. Waiting until a child has a dental problem before visiting the Paediatric Dentist may result in the requirement of extensive dental treatment.

My child has chipped his/her tooth. Does he/she need an appointment?

  • Yes, it is important that the tooth is looked at even if your child isn’t in any discomfort. We will screen for any soft or hard tissue damage caused by the trauma, provide advice for healing and cleaning and discuss what needs to be monitored.

My child is nervous about the first visit. What should I tell him/her?

  • It will help if you can explain to your child that we will be looking at their teeth. We may take some pictures or brush their teeth. We have a variety of methods to make your child feel at ease.
  • Always use positive language when talking about the dentist. Do not use the dentist as a punishment.
  • Please feel free to browse our website and Facebook page to meet our staff and view pictures of our rooms.
  • We also have social stories available if this will assist in preparing for your child’s visit to the dentist.

Do I need a referral?

  • No, you do not need a referral but if you have one please bring this along.
  • We also love referrals from family and friends.

Why can’t I have the treatment completed at the first appointment? We had a consultation at the GP dentist.

  • The first visit to Prime Childrens Dental Care is usually for planning purposes. As an introduction to our procedures, we will examine your child’s teeth. This gives your child the opportunity to become familiar and comfortable with our staff and environment. We will possibly require x-rays or other tests to complete our examination.
  • The first visit allows us to speak with you regarding your child’s needs. It also gives us an opportunity to assess your child’s ability to cope with treatment if required. Treatment will only be carried out on the first visit in exceptional circumstances.

Do you have happy air?

  • Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas” or “happy air” is one option that may be offered to help your child feel more comfortable during certain procedures. Nitrous oxide is safe and effective when mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose. Within a few short minutes of breathing through their nose your child should start to feel the relaxing effects of the nitrous oxide. Your child will be awake and able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have.

Does my child need the fluoride treatment? Why? What is fluoride?

  • Fluoride is not an artificial compound or some sort of medication, but rather a naturally-occurring mineral that’s found in rocks and soil, vegetables and grains, as well as in fresh and salt water.
  • Fluoride is crucial in combatting tooth decay. It gives teeth extra strength so they’re better able to resist the bacterial acid attack that causes tooth decay and it slows the growth of bacteria in your mouth known as plaque which leads to tooth decay. It’s use has resulted in a significant decrease in dental decay.

What type of toothpaste should my child be using?

  • Teeth should be cleaned twice a day throughout life. Junior toothpaste can be started near a child’s second birthday. A child may be introduced to full strength fluoride toothpaste around their sixth birthday but depending on their needs and risk factors it may be recommended earlier.

What is better - an Electric Toothrush or Manual Toothbrush? Do you sell Electric Toothbrushes? Where can I get them? How much are they?

  • We recommend an electric toothbrush after age four if your child can tolerate it. We do not sell them but we can recommend one best suited for your child and suggest a local supermarket or pharmacy.

How can I brush properly? He won’t let me brush.

  • We suggest a parent staying involved with the brushing and flossing until the age of 10 or until your child has the dexterity to complete brushing and flossing satisfactorily. There are many ideas to make brushing fun and effective. We are happy to share ideas personalised to your child.

What type of floss is better? Can my child floss on his/her own?

  • We recommend any brand of floss, but some people prefer waxed floss. There are many tools including floss wands, flossettes and floss handles that can aid flossing. Once a child has adequate dexterity, they can floss on their own.

Why does my child need x-rays (radiographs)? He/she had x-rays (radiographs) at the Orthodontist.

  • The benefits of radiographs are well known. They help dentists diagnose common problems, such as cavities and some types of infections, before they are visible in the mouth. Radiographs allow dentists to see inside a tooth and beneath the gums to assess the health of the bone and supporting tissues that hold teeth in place.
  • There are a number of radiographs a dental professional can request. The type of radiograph needed will depend greatly on the type of care the patient needs to receive.
  • The most common radiographs taken at Prime Childrens Dental Care are:
    • Bitewing – This radiograph offers a visual of both the lower and upper posterior teeth. This type of radiograph how the teeth touch one another and helps to determine if decay is present in or between back teeth.
    • Occlusal – Offers a clear view of the front of the upper or lower jaw. This kind of radiograph highlights children’s tooth development to show the primary and secondary front teeth and possible pathology.
    • Panoramic - Shows a view of the teeth, jaws, nasal area, sinuses and the joints of the jaw, and is usually taken when a patient may need orthodontic treatment to correct misplacement of teeth.
    • X-rays taken by an orthodontist are great for the purposes of orthodontic treatment, but not for cavity detection.

Are radiographs safe?

  • We use digital radiography and our machines are one of the fastest and safest on the market. The radiation doses are minimal:

1 set of bitewing radiographs is equal to the 1 average day of background radiation and 1 panoramic radiograph is equal to the radiation exposure on a flight from Perth to Melbourne.

Are you a PP?

  • There are several reasons we will not affiliate with a health fund at this time. Most importantly, our goal is for the relationship to remain between our dentists and our patients, regardless of health fund. This means we do not discriminate treatment codes, costs or service according to health fund, but provide each and every patient with the same care. We are proud to maintain a high level of care and products and this would not be possible at the “no-gap” rebates provided by some health funds. We hope this gives you a little insight as to our choice to remain independent at this time.

How much will my health insurance cover?

  • We can use Hicaps on the day of your consultation to obtain an approximate rebate.
  • If you are covered with Bupa we can print your treatment plan for you to take your closest branch or email it to them.

How much will Medicare cover?

  • We can use the Medicare schedule to advise you of rebate amounts.

Are you open Saturdays? When is the next after school appointment? When is my appointment?

  • We are open Monday to Friday. We are at Southbank Day Surgery on Monday. We are in Joondalup on Tuesday and Thursday and Wembley on Wednesday and Friday.

When can the treatment under General Anaesthetic be done? What will my gap be? Can my child return to school the following day? Will Dr Lobo or Dr Wong complete the treatment? Does my child need to have a GA? Can’t you do it in the chair?

  • A GA will be scheduled within 2-6 weeks from the time of your initial consultation.
  • We can use Hicaps on the day of your consultation to obtain an approximate rebate.
  • If you are covered with Bupa we will print your treatment plan for you to take your closest branch or email it to them.
  • Most children return to school the following day.
  • A GA is recommended based on the child’s age, behaviour, nature and amount of treatment required. For the safety of the child and operator sometimes a GA is the best option.

They are only baby teeth; do they need to be restored?

  • Not only do primary teeth help children chew and speak, they also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded.
  • If a tooth has decay and is left untreated it can spread to the nerve of the tooth. This can cause pain and infection. The infection can spread outside of tooth and this is not healthy.
  • Starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

Do crowns have to be silver?

  • For a growing child, stainless steel crowns are recommended. Research has shown that stainless steel crowns have the best long-term results.

My dentist does ‘no gap’ dentistry. Can I go there for the cleans? Can we return to SDS? My child has an appointment with SDS next week. Do I need to come to you also?

  • At Prime Childrens Dental Care we pride ourselves in the high quality of work we perform. Drs Lobo and Wong are Specialist Paediatric Dentists and complete extensive training in paediatric dentistry.
  • At the School Dental Service, recalls and care provided can be irregular.
  • Here at Prime Childrens Dental Care all of our team have had training in paediatric dentistry and our equipment is especially designed for children.

My child’s adult tooth has erupted and the baby tooth is still there. Do I need to make an appointment?

  • Usually baby teeth become loose as the replacement adult tooth in the bone begins to push its way out. Most commonly, once the baby tooth root is resorbed by the replacement adult tooth, the baby tooth becomes very loose and falls out on its own, or with a little help from the child. Every once in a while, the adult tooth will push its way in the mouth, but won’t completely resorb the baby tooth root. When that happens, the baby tooth doesn’t get quite loose enough to fall out at the normal time. On rare occasion we are concerned that keeping the baby tooth will affect the overall health of the mouth and we will recommend the extraction of the baby tooth. We also extract these teeth out if they become symptomatic or if there is an aesthetic concern.

What are Fissure Sealants? How long do they last?

  • A fissure sealant is a strong resin based or glass ionomer cement material which is applied to the deep grooves or fissures. Tooth preparation is not often necessary before a fissure sealant is placed. A fissure sealant provides a protective barrier against tooth decay and can prevent the need for fillings.
  • A fissure sealant may require modification over time due to wear and tear on the biting surfaces of the teeth which may be caused by grinding or dietary choices.

Can you recommend an adult dentist?

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