The below list of Frequently Asked Questions have been compiled from real life questions answered by Dr. Dinesh Singham and the team at Absolutely Dental. Do you have a dental query? Contact us.
Q1. What sort of teeth whitening procedures do you use?
A1. We utilise an at-home tray whitening system. It involves having the teeth cleaned and some moulds made of the teeth. We then make some custom fitted trays which are used at home with our dental "bleaching" gel. It’s best to come in to assess whether it would be appropriate for your teeth. The cost is $499 and this allows for additional top up whitening at your 6 monthly regular cleaning visits.
If you already have retainers, these can most likely be used.
Q2. Do you bulkbill, (i.e. no out-of-pocket expense)?
A2. Dentistry is unfortunately not a Medicare-covered health option – similar to optical or physiotherapy so there is no Medicare fee, and therefore no bulk billing. The Government do however have Teen Dental and Chronic Care schemes, (which are closing on the 31st of December 2013, and 1st of December 2012 respectively). Depending on your level of treatment required, a payment plan could be arranged.
Q3. How much it is to get an assessment and proposed treatment plan?
A3. We charge $85 for a consultation. With this we will be about to give you a guide as to what you require. A comprehensive examination with any necessary x-rays plus de-scaling and polishing of your teeth will cost $295.
Q4. Do you accept the Teen Dental voucher from Medicare?
A4. Yes we accept the vouchers. You will have to pay for the appointment and claim back the money from Medicare. There is no out of pocket expense.
Q5. Do you do gold work? I.e. fully gold tooth/teeth.
A5. Yes we still do gold crowns where required and full gold teeth for cosmetic purposes. It's a gold alloy and is a great material - it just doesn't look like a tooth. A consultation is recommended first where your requirements can be discussed.
Q6. What is the approximate cost of a tooth removal without private health insurance?
A6. It’s hard to say without an x-ray but generally between $250 and $395 depending on the complexity. It’s best to get to them before they become painful as the bigger the holes get, the harder they will be to remove.
Q7. Is it very expensive for full implants top and bottom?
A7. This is a tough answer to give without firstly seeing the patient. To begin - a consultation is the best first step to discuss your needs. To give a ball park figure, the price can range from around $6,000 for implant retained dentures up to $25,000+ for fixed teeth that cannot be removed.
Q8. I know I need a tooth pulled out, but I am way past “scaredy cat” stage with my fear. What can you do to even get me in the door?
A8. There's not a lot we can do to get you in the door. When you are here, however, we can do our best to relax you. We have the option of using our drug free sedation system called NuCalm. We can also offer some sedative tablets such as Valium to help take the edge off. We also utilise “the Wand” anethesthetic system. It is the most comfortable system on the market and makes the dreaded needle virtually, if not totally painless! If your phobia is too extreme, the option for a general anesthetic might be needed. I would recommend a consultation first to assess your teeth and phobia, (where no dental work is physically completed – just a discussion had), then we can plan things from there as well as give you estimates.
Q9. How much notice do you need for a consult and are you open on weekends?
A9. We can usually get you in within a week for a consultation. If you want something done, we keep appointments free for those with toothaches every day. If you phone at 8am, you should be able to get one. Weekend appointments are also available on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm if required.
Q10. I have lots of spaces where I have had extractions – what are the options for replacing the missing teeth?
A10. There are generally three ways of replacing missing teeth. Two of these options are "fixed" options - implants and dental bridges. The third option is removable - a denture. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.
Dental Implants – these are a stand alone option that doesn’t rely on other teeth to support the missing tooth replacement. They are the most natural type of tooth replacement but require a surgical procedure to place the implant and time for the dental implant to “fuse” in place. It can take between 3-12months before a tooth is replaced though a temporary denture can be worn in the interim. The approximate cost is $4500 for the implant placement and crown
Dental bridges – These rely on the two teeth either side of the missing tooth to be utilised to secure the bridge. Extra hygienic maintanence is required to keep the bridge clean and complication a complication of the natural teeth can affect the longevity of the bridge.
Q14. My 7 year old son starts football soon. Do you make mouth guards for little guys?
A14. It’s great that you are looking at protecting his new teeth! Yes we make custom fit mouthguards. Since his mouth is growing and teeth erupting, its best to get the moulds of his teeth a week before he first needs it. We have a great range of colours as well.
Q15. What is the average cost for a tooth extraction? I have several I think need to come out.
A15. It's best to come in for a consultation first so we can assess your needs. The average cost of an extraction is $265 + the $85 consultation and any radiographs. What I recommend is that you come in prior to your consultation and pick up a referral for a full mouth X-Ray which is done at QLD X-Ray, (http://www.qldxray.com.au/) That way we will have more information for you to make the most out of your consultation.
Q16. Do you still have the free dental days? Is there any difference in price for disability pensioners?
A16. At this stage, we don't know when the next free day will be. Unfortunately, since our costs and expenses are the same, we are not able to offer any price differences.
Q17. Just wondering if you have HiCaps or are you a Medibank Private or MBF preferred provider?
A17. Yes we have HiCaps which allows you to claim your health fund rebate on the spot. We are not preferred providers for MBF or Medibank but can still claim the rebates for these two health funds via the HiCaps machine.
Q18. Do you use mercury in your clinic?
A18. I'm assuming you are asking about dental amalgam and my preference is to use composite resin for fillings and not to use amalgam. I find about 1 or 2 occasions a month where composite resin would not be appropriate and my patients offered the choice of amalgam to restore their tooth. Composite resin is a tooth-coloured filling material that is bonded to a tooth. You can see a couple examples of it being used in our photo/album section here.
Q19. I have had work done at another dentist – are they able to send through my patient records?
A19. We can request patient records from another dentist no problem. The best option is to visit our surgery, and collect a form which you will need to fill out to request these records. We can then send this form on your behalf to your previous dentist, or you can post/deliver it yourself. Having existing records available is very advantageous as this will enable us with a better knowledge of your overall oral health history and may assist us in your treatment.
Q20. I have top are bottom dentures. The top dentures are great however some years ago I had all bottom teeth removed because of gum disease. Consequently, I don't have enough gum now for denture to grip. What do you suggest?
A20. This is a very common problem. The issue with lower full dentures is they are unable to get "suction" like top dentures because the tongue gets in the way. My suggestion would be to get two or three implants placed on the lower jaw which will secure your lower denture so they can't slide around anymore.
Q21. How much does a dental appointment cost and can I pay it off rather than pay upfront?
A21. The cost of a consultation is $85. During this consultation, your teeth can be assessed, a treatment plan developed and various payment options available can be discussed.
Q22. How much does it cost for each tooth missing?
A22. I get asked this a lot which is understandable. My answer is "it depends". How many teeth are you looking to replace and where are they? Sometimes 4 -6 implants can be used to support up to 12 teeth. Single tooth solutions start at $4,300 to replace a missing tooth. With multiple teeth it gets more complicated to give an estimate without first assessing your teeth.
Q23. I am a part of the CBHS (Commonwealth Bank Healthfund) and was wondering if I am covered by your practice with them? Also could you please let me know how much it would cost for a clean and de-scale?
A23. We can claim any rebates due through our Hicaps machine. The amount varies from health fund to health fund, although we have patients from the CBHS fund that have been happy with their rebate. The cost is $295 for a full examination and clean which is inclusive of any X-rays we need to take.