+64 9 414 7733
At Dental on the Shore we understand that your oral health and well-being is an important aspect of your general overall health and wellness.
We provide comprehensive dental care ranging from emergency care, family dentistry, full mouth rehabilitation treatment and aftercare maintenance.
We are a unique practice comprising of three dentists, a specialist periodontist, hygienists and our support staff.
We work closely with other dental professionals such as the orthodontist, the endodontist, the oral surgeon and the prosthodontist. We also refer patients to the hospital should you require hospital-based care. We only use NZ dental laboratories.
In addition we provide a referral-based care for other general dental practices in Auckland.
Your first visit as a new patient may be for a “general check–up” (general dental examination) or an emergency visit with the dentist, or perhaps a specialist consultation with the periodontist.
We will ask you to complete a confidential general health questionnaire, this is to ensure your care is carried out in a safe and controlled setting.
Remember to bring a list of your current medications and remember to advise the dentist if you take any supplements or herbal remedies as many of these can cause bleeding issues. Please advise us if you had experienced adverse reaction to any medication.
Once we have gathered all the necessary clinical information, we will present our findings and formulate a problem list for you.
This process begins when we ask several you questions regarding your general health, your toothbrushing routine, your nutritional habits and we will ascertain if there are behavioral/lifestyle factors which may have contributed to your dental problem. We will enquire about the exact nature of your dental problem.
We will carry out a full mouth examination which includes a visual assessment of the condition of your soft tissues inside the mouth such as the palate, the back of your throat (the oropharynx), the tongue and the floor of the mouth. We will note down any abnormalities around the face, head and neck area. Should there any abnormal findings we will discuss it with you and arrange a referral to the appropriate doctor. It is not uncommon for the dentist to pick up on previously unknown concerns which warrant a proper medical assessment.
We will record existing restorations (fillings or crowns) and previous treatments on a dental chart. We will probe the gums around the teeth (this is called a periodontal screening probe) and we will take small check up xrays (posterior bitewings).
The posterior bitewing xrays will show if you have any tooth decay (dental caries) on the surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth not visible to the naked eye. In the early stages of tooth decay, acid produced by the bacteria in the mouth will start to dissolve the mineral content of the tooth surface. If this is still confined to the outermost enamel layer, conservative management such as daily flossing to remove the bacteria and a re-mineralizing paste may reverse the situation and there is no need open up the tooth to remove the decayed area – this means that there is no need for a filling or restoration. Conversely if the bitewing xray show a deep hole tracking very close to the dental pulp, you will need to remove the decayed area and a filling will be placed to plug up the hole, afterwards there is a high probability that the tooth can be sensitive or symptomatic. We will discuss with you how to manage a tooth with a deep filling. The posterior bitewing xrays will also show the level of your jawbone surrounding your teeth. Bone loss can indicate the presence of gum disease (periodontitis). This will need treatment and long term maintenance management to retain the supporting bone which provides the foundation for the tooth. Patients can lose teeth due to severe periodontal infection.
A periodontal screening probe around several front incisors and back molar teeth will detect any serious problems with your gums. Anatomically the tooth pokes through the gums much like a tree with its tree trunk and branches above the ground and its roots extending below the ground surface, the tooth also has a root or roots below the gum surface. You are supposed to have a small gap or pocket of 1-3mm between the gums and the neck of the tooth, this portion of the gums is called the gum margin or the gingival margin. You should be able to clean the gingival margin with proper toothbrushing. If however you do not clean the gingival margin thoroughly, the bacteria will accumulate and create an infection in the gums. Superficial infection and inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. Once the infection tracks into the deeper supporting structures into the ligament, this is called periodontitis and it can loosen the base support of the tooth and puts the long term survival of that particular tooth in jeopardy. Typical signs of gum infection are bleeding gums which are swollen, red and may be tender to touch. Bad breathe or halitosis can indicate the presence of gum infection. Click the link below to find out if you are at risk of gum disease.
Your dentist will advise you how to treat and manage periodontitis.
American Association of Periodontology→
Photographs of your gums and teeth will also be taken to show you the clinical condition inside your mouth. You get to see what we see when we perform a visual examination. The absence of pain or discomfort is not a good indicator of health. Many clinical problems which may be obvious to the naked eye or detected with the aid of xrays often do not cause pain or discomfort in the early stages of the disease. Early detection permits early intervention to retain the tooth or teeth.
Healthy gums should be pink and firm with a scalloped margin. There should be no signs of redness. Well-maintained fillings should have an intact margin and be easy to clean with a toothbrush. The dentist will want to monitor teeth with significant cracks as overtime a significant portion of the tooth structure may come apart. Discolourations of grey/brown can indicate tooth decay. It is common to find wear facets on tooth surfaces, these should not be a major concern unless you have excessive wear for your age. Sometimes there can be a discrepancy between the upper and lower arches when you bite together leading to overloading on one tooth or a group of teeth.
We recommend taking a panoramic view xray if you haven't had one taken before or in the past 5 years.
The panoramic xray gives the dentist a view of the TMJ joints, the sinus areas, the roots of the teeth and the location of the inferior alveolar canal (a large canal in the lower jaw carrying a a major nerve and blood vessel to supply the gums and teeth in the lower jaw). These antatomical structures are not visible on regular small check up xrays. The panoramic xray is prescribed if you have problems with your wisdom teeth. It is also often taken for a younger patient (around 7-13 years old) to check on the development of their adult teeth. We also take this xray if you present with a traumatic injury to the face, occasionally you may see jaw fractures in these xrays. The panoramic xray is taken outside the mouth and can be useful for patients who cannot tolerate xrays in the mouth.
Although the panormaic xray is a very useful diagnostic tool taken on a comparatively very low exposure xray setting, it has some disadvantages. It does not give a detailed close-up view of the roots of the teeth nor does it give a 3-D image therefore other imaging may be required.
The panoramic radiograph is sometimes referred to as an OPG.
Following an initial assessment based on the above your dentist will advise if you require more specific xrays or special tests. For example your dentist may need to perform a cold test on a tooth. He or she may ask to do a percussion test (tapping the tooth). If you require detailed assessment for full mouth rehabilitation, impressions may be taken so that we have a set of study models for treatment planning purposes. For more complex cases often the dentist will require a second visit to present all of your treatment options and to discuss the associated procedural fees. Note that there may be additional fees for certain special tests, your dentist will discuss this with you if such tests are indicated.
Processing dental information may be quite daunting. Your dentist can assist you in weighing up the pros and cons of each option but ultimately the decision to undertake any treatment or course of care rests with you.
We often find that if we can give our patients a framework of information they can incorporate any new findings and make cohesive sense to guide their decision making process – at the present time and in the future should they require any other treatments.
Primary care is any treatment or procedures to get rid of infection and pain. This is the most basic of care. It usually involves the removal of tooth/teeth or root canal treatment. It may include care after a sporting accident to the face. Treatment for acute gum disease may be considered as primary care. It is not possible to undertake any further treatments to reconstruct the teeth or cosmetic treatments if you have infection or pain in the mouth.
Secondary care is related to any necessary repair work such as fillings/restorations which although not urgent and possibly not causing discomfort they should be completed to prevent further deterioration of your teeth or gums. These appointments can be scheduled to when it suits you.
Full mouth reconstruction treatments to rebuild your bite so that you can eat properly or to enhance your smile is considered to be tertiary care. These cases take time to plan properly and it involves careful discussion prior to treatment. Aftercare and maintenance is a significant component of tertiary care.
Maintenance phase. Once you have achieved health it is important to maintain health. We will advise you in your particular case, what this will involve.
At Dental on the Shore we work closely with other dental professionals such as the orthodontist, the endodontist, the oral surgeon and the prosthodontist. We have a referral system to the hospital should you require hospital-based care. We only use NZ dental laboratories.
In addition we provide a referral-based care for other practices in Auckland. We look forward to assisting you in your care.
The clinical information presented in this website is a broad summary and interpretation of the current scientific and clinical literature. Please be aware that new literature is being published all the time and you should seek professional advice tailored to your individual case.