Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on your question of interest to read answers.
1. Toothache after-hours or on a weekend?
Please dial the emergency number and the Dentist on duty will take your call. Please note there are no telephonic consultation charges, but call out charges do apply and must be settled at the practice at the time. All major cards are accepted. A “Call out Charge” is anything after working hours. See the working hours of Eden Dental.
2. How much will it COST?
This is the most difficult question to answer, as it depends on what needs to be done. Our staff can give an “indication ONLY”, as the patient has to be assessed. This is not done just to incur costs or to see the patient, but because there is no simple or straight forward answer. I will try and give 2 examples:
Example 1: patient phones in and asks how much it will cost to fix a hole in their tooth? The following are possibilities depending on how badly decayed their tooth is, ranging from the lowest to the highest cost, and accordingly more appointments and time. There may also be complications as well at each stage.
- Remove the tooth
- Surgically remove the tooth
- Simply filling the tooth
- Reinforcing the tooth with pins
- Root treating the tooth and filling the tooth
- Root treating the tooth and placing a post and a crown on the tooth. This has an independent laboratory cost as well.
Example 2: I broke my denture, what will it cost to fix? Again numerous factors come into play.
- Simple fracture
- Fracture with missing teeth
- Denture fractured because it is loose and needs a reline
- Denture was broken because their dog got hold of them or because they dropped them. This varies from a simple break to remaking the dentures.
- The above also depends on what type of denture it is. In other words, is it a metal base, a flexible denture or only an acrylic denture. Is it a partial or full denture, and does it have clasps and what material are those made of ?
3. Do you accept medical aid and will my Medical Aid pay ?
The Third Party Funders and Medical-aids environment has changed drastically over the years, with most of them instituting “SCHEME RULES & REGULATIONS”. Basically this means that each funder will exclude certain treatments (treatment Codes) or reimburse the dentist or the patient differently.
Having said that we are contracted to most medical aids/medical insurance companies, however it is important to understand that YOU the patient needs to know what your medical aid covers as you are ultimately responsible for any outstanding accounts or shortfalls. Most people think that because they have a medical aid that all the procedures are covered. In today’s day and age, the benefits are being reduced because of the economic and political climate and there are many rules and regulations that will apply to you depending on which scheme and benefit package you have contracted to. Your broker or medical funder will help you as well. The practice will advise you where possible, but cannot be held responsible for any shortfalls or misunderstandings. Each medical aid will charge/pay a different rate for the same procedure by the same dentist [Competition Act]. Eden Dental will charge that specific scheme rate for General Dentistry. For “SPECIAL DENTISTRY: the practice will charge over the rate just for the actual procedure. This is due to the fact that the materials and resources spent with the machinery and equipment that we use to deliver a good service would result in a loss for the practice. Special Dentistry is considered as follows:
- Crowns and Bridges
- All types of Dentures
- Root canal treatment
- Periodontal treatment
- Certain laser therapies
- Laughing gas
- 3-D scans. CBT Scans ( Cone Beam Technology Scans)
In most of these cases there will be a laboratory cost which although charged out by us, is an independent business altogether. We have the luxury of having a laboratory next to the practice which is beneficial for both the patient and us, based on the fact that we can give a quicker turn-around time and in some instances the very same day. It is particularly helpful when a difficult case can be addressed immediately.
Certain “Managed Healthcare” companies, Dental Insurance and “Lower Covered Plans” will also have other rules applying to what and how they pay”. Again please consult your medical aid and understand your medical plan.
The web page does explain the above in greater detail.
4. Do you offer teeth whitening/bleaching?
Yes! We do offer the latest in Laser whitening/bleaching and we have 3 different treatment modalities. [in chair bleaching, bleach trays and “Take Home Kits”. Laser bleach almost reduces all the sensitivity associated with conventional whitening.
5. I was told I need a dental crown, why is it advisable?
A crown is needed when your tooth is heavily filled and needs to be reinforced to accept the strong biting forces. It is also used in the front teeth for correct function and a pleasing aesthetic look.
6. There are so many oral care products on the market, how do I know which are best for me?
The easiest is to ask your dentist. Eden Dental Centre does keep a range of products that we have tried and tested ourselves. We do offer this range without profit for your BENEFIT. We realise that product prices have risen sharply in the last few years due to the decline of the Rand against the major currencies.
7. I suffer from fear of visiting the dentist, what should I do?
The Dentist has never been much liked, but I assure you that the staff at Eden Dental are very friendly and helpful and will try to make your visit as pleasant as possible. We can use “laughing gas” and other means to reduce your fear or anxiety. Please advise and ask the receptionists about the “Laughing Gas”.
8. a) How safe are dental x-rays? b) Are they necessary?
- Dental x-rays are as safe as we can possibly make them. You get more radiation exposure in one day out in the sun, than you get from dental x-rays. We are also surrounded and exposed to radiation from natural sources such as granite in the ground and more recently with cellular phones and masts. However at Eden Dental we have also moved over to DIGITAL X-RAYS [at great expense]. With the newer digital x-rays there is even less exposure to radiation. However we still take even further precautions by maintaining a certain distance and covering the patient with a lead apron. We generally refrain from taking x-rays on pregnant women where possible.the latest studies show that this is inconsequential, but we tend to be more conservative, although this again varies according to the situation. Example: if a patient has an abscess and we need to do some diagnostic tests.
- X-rays are necessary as they feed the dentist with important information, not only about the tooth but also the surrounding structures such as the bone. All too often the cavities or holes are in-between the teeth where the dentist cannot see.
9. My child requires extensive dental treatment. Are all procedures done at your rooms, or do you work in conjunction with some sort of theatre/day clinic?
We pride ourselves in being a Family Dental Centre, and therefore child dentistry is at the heart of our practice. The child will be assessed according to their needs and their best interest will always be the deciding factor as to where they get treatment. We can use Conscious Sedation or treat them in a Day Clinic in Edenvale.
10. How often should I have a routine "check-up" and cleaning?
It is advisable to have what we call an examination [check-up] every six months. In this way, we are able to assess and prevent further problems.
11. I have heard about the use of lasers in dentistry, where is it used?
Eden Dental Centre does make use of a Diode Laser. This is a wonderful tool using the latest technology and has multiple uses. It is used in surgery [reduced pain and improved healing], tooth whitening [reduces sensitivity], pain and healing management.
However, there are other types of lasers utilised in dentistry.
12. What is a cavity?
A cavity is where the tooth has been eaten away to form a “hole in the tooth”. This usually causes toothache but may lead to further complications involving the nerve, the gums and the bone structures surrounding and holding the tooth.
13. How does smoking affect oral health?
Eden Dental Centre does have a program to help smokers quit.
Smoking can lead to the following problems:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Increased build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Increased loss of bone within the jaw
- Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches inside the mouth
- Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss
- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer.
14. I have been told I grind/clench my teeth in the past, any recommendations for protecting my teeth?
There are many reasons for grinding your teeth[called Bruxing]. Usually, stress-related, but also sinusitis, cavities or gum problems will cause bruxing. There are also habitual bruxes.
Most patients believe that they do not grind their teeth. The latest studies indicate that we humans grind or brux our teeth as a STRESS RELIEF MECHANISM. Bruxing does not necessarily occur at night only either.
We treat these patients with a specialised protector called an orthognathic bite plate.