Not sure what’s involved in your treatment? Find out all you need to know.
Your first visit to Clarity is the perfect opportunity to decide whether we are the right practice for you. It’s really a chance for us to get to know each other. We believe achieving better oral health is a partnership and by working together, we can achieve happier and healthier smiles. Your first visit will typically look like one of the following:
- A check-up: We’ll assess and charter all your teeth whilst also checking the health of your cheeks, tongue and gums. X-rays will typically be taken to allow us to see what’s happening below the teeth and gum line. These are taken in the chair and are super quick. We recommend finishing with a polish to desensitise the mouth.
- Check-up and treatment: This is everything included in a check-up but you may be coming to us with a concern as well e.g. toothache. If this is the case, we’ll address the issue with in chair treatment alongside the check-up.
- Emergency treatment: If you’re in need of emergency treatment, we’ll assess and treat you at your visit. Depending on the issue, X-rays may be recommended.
Please see dental examinations and X-rays for what to expect during your first appointment.
This is also called a check-up. A dental examination is an opportunity for us to get to know you and your teeth better. We will ask you a range of questions so we can start to get a better picture, making sure we discuss any dental concerns or questions you may have.
We’ll then take a look inside your mouth – not just at your teeth but also your jaw and the soft tissue (gums, tongue, palate and cheeks). We will chart a digital record of your teeth and note down any relevant medical history.
In the absence of recent X-rays, we are likely to recommend new X-rays be taken at your initial examination. It’s a quick and simple process and allows us to get the full picture. If everything looks fine, we’ll see you in 6 months for another check-up. If treatment is needed, we’ll provide you with a recommended treatment plan, including costs and recommended time frames.
If this is your first appointment then it’s also a perfect opportunity for you to decide whether we are the right practice for you. We believe achieving better oral health is a partnership. By working together, we can achieve healthier and happier smiles.
X-rays (also called radiographs) are like a dentist’s secret superpower. They allow us to see what the eyes alone can’t. They are essential in helping us diagnose and treat dental problems, often before they become more serious and sometimes before you’re even showing symptoms.
At Clarity, all X-rays are taken on site and are digital. There are two main types of dentist X-rays: Intraoral and OPG. We also have a 3D CBCT xray, which is used when enhanced imagery is required for certain oral surgery, endodontic or implant surgery treatment.
An Intraoral X-ray is the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth. These X-rays allow us to:
- Find cavities
- Evaluate decay
- Look at the roots of a tooth
- Check the health of the bony area around the tooth
- Help diagnose periodontal disease
- See the status of developing teeth
An OPG X-Ray is a panoramic full mouth X-ray. It is helpful in showing the number and position of all teeth, including those that have not yet grown. OPGs are used:
- To highlight problems with the jaw bone and the TMJ (the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull)
- Before orthodontic treatment
- Before implant surgery
- Before wisdom teeth removal
- Before root canal treatment
- To see sinuses immediately above the upper back teeth
Bespoke Smile Design
Bespoke Smile Design is the perfect way to transform your smile. If you’re self conscious when you smile or cover your mouth when laughing, then this might be the treatment for you. It’s one of the most rewarding treatments that we offer because we see an instant change in our patients’ entire demeanour. We love seeing our patients confidently sharing their new smiles – and it’s hard not to when they see the results!
Bespoke Smile Design with Dr Dilly is a thorough process. It starts with a consultation to understand what you want to achieve and why. Dilly will ask you to bring in pictures of what you have in mind and will then assess your teeth and work with you to design your bespoke smile.
When designing, the factors that Dr Dilly takes into account are your gender, your facial features and the position of your lips in relation to your teeth. Dilly will then discuss what is possible to ensure that the end result is both aesthetically pleasing to you and in proportion with your face for a natural look. In the consultation there will be a discussion on how this look will be achieved using either crowns, veneers or a combination of the two.
If following this consultation, you would like to proceed, you can book in your treatment. Please bear in mind that the process will take one day.
You will arrive in the morning with the preparation taking approximately 2-3 hours. You will then be able to go home to return in the afternoon. During this gap, Dr Dilly will be designing, processing and hand finishing the crowns / veneers on site. When you return in the afternoon, your crowns / veneers will be set in place and you will leave the day, with your new smile.
For a further breakdown of the design and manufacturing process please click here for information on Crowns.
Scale and Clean
The trusty scale and clean – you either love it or you hate it.
The lovers of the scale and clean enjoy the satisfying feeling of the high-speed handpiece removing all the food debris, calculus and plaque that even the best home brushing can’t remove. Then there’s the therapeutic and systematic polish, gently buffing your teeth back to their shiny best.
If you’re not a fan, you recognise it’s a necessity and deep down know it’s good for you, even if you’d rather not!
Whatever camp you fall into, you can’t deny that incredible ‘ping’ feeling afterwards as you not only feel the smoothness of the clean but you see it too!
We recommend a scale and clean every 6 months and this can be added onto your check-up appointment at time of booking.
We need to include information about periodontal cleans
When we talk about fillings, unfortunately we’re not talking about sandwiches or donuts. For us, it’s a method of restoring a damaged tooth back to its biting best. We don’t use amalgam (the silver material of days gone by); we use a white composite material…so the untrained eye wouldn’t even know you had any fillings!
Depending on the tooth and the patient, we may or may not need to use a local anaesthetic. Don’t worry, there’s no extra charge if we do.
The first step is to remove the decay. We then place a band around your tooth to ensure its natural shape is mimicked perfectly by the composite material (that’s where our skill comes in). We then apply the filling and set it in seconds using a curing light. Then, all that’s left to do is ensure there are no sharp edges and that your bite is, as it should be. A polish and a rinse and your tooth will be happily restored. It’s that simple!
Teeth are taken out for many reasons – infection being one of the main culprits. Other reasons can be if the tooth is simply not salvageable or to make space for orthodontic work.
There are three ways to remove your tooth but we can only decide the best method for you once we’ve seen your X-ray of the root.
The first method is a simple extraction and the cheapest, mostly used for front teeth. The second method is a sectional extraction slightly more costly than the first method. This procedure is favoured for molars as it’s a lot gentler for you. The third method is a surgical extraction which is used when there simply isn’t enough tooth remaining to use the first two methods.
Following an extraction, we’ll pack the area, take you through your post-extraction management plan and prescribe antibiotics and pain relief if necessary.
If baby teeth (known to us as ‘deciduous teeth’) are causing issues, then it’s sometimes best we extract them. Thankfully they have small roots so we also always use the first method of extraction which is quick and simple. What’s more, we have a fixed and reduced fee for baby teeth extractions.
Wisdom teeth (known to us as ‘third molars’) earned their name because they appear much later than the other teeth, presumably at an age when we’re all a little wiser!
For wisdom teeth, we always take an OPG (a full mouth X-ray) so we can have a good look at the anatomical structure surrounding your wisdom teeth. From here, we will let you know whether these can be extracted in-chair (most common) or if they appear impacted, we will refer you to a local maxillofacial surgeon, who will carry out the procedure, which may require general anaesthetic.
The root canal is like the bad boy of the dentist world! Its reputation instils widespread fear, with many patients convinced they’ll need one, especially if they haven’t been to the dentist for a while. Well rest assured, we’re here to tell you that a root canal does not live up to its reputation, in fact we’ve had many a patient fall asleep during treatment. We like to think this is down to our expert technique and not our conversation!
We understand that the perceived cost of a root canal can also cause panic. At Clarity, the cost of a root canal treatment is determined by the number of canals your tooth has. Don’t worry, when your tooth is diagnosed as requiring a root canal procedure, you will be provided with an upfront quote so there are no surprises. This gives you time and space to make a decision on what you would like to do with that tooth – save it (root canal) – or take it out (extraction). Either way we will always respect your decision.
So what is a root canal?
A root canal is a tube within the tooth that contains the nerve and the blood supply. A root canal procedure is simply removing the nerve from the tooth. Why? Because the nerve is causing pain. The nerve does this when it’s dead or dying (it becomes hyper-sensitive in this state). In order to save the tooth, we need to remove all the dead or dying tissue.
A root canal procedure takes part in two stages. At the first appointment, we locate and measure the canals in the tooth. Next, we shape, clean then disinfect the root canal system. Once dry, we place in antibiotic paste and temporise the tooth for a week or so.
At the second appointment, as long as the tooth is symptom free, we clean out and disinfect the root canal system again. We then dry it and seal the system with a rubber sealant taking an X-ray to confirm that the seal is complete. We end the procedure by placing a filling for a period of three months.
After the 3 months, once the tooth is symptom free, we put a crown onto the root canal tooth to protect the tooth against fracture.
Crowns and Bridges
Think of a crown as a hat for your tooth. They’re ideal for cracked teeth or root-canal treated teeth which are weaker and therefore prone to fracture. Your crown is made and fitted over 2 appointments on the same day.
At the first appointment which takes around 45 minutes to an hour, Dr Dilly starts by selecting the shade of your crown. He does this both by eye and via the use of a digital shade selection machine, to ensure your finished crown blends in effortlessly with the rest of your teeth. Your tooth is then prepared, which means we take approximately 1mm from around the tooth to create space for the crown material. Your upper and lower teeth are digitally scanned to ensure the crown fits comfortably in the mouth. You are then free to go and return in the afternoon for the fit.
After your morning appointment, Dr Dilly uses your scans to design your crown using our CAD Cam machine. This design is then sculpted from a ceramic block using our milling machine. We use ceramic blocks instead of porcelain for two main reasons: Ceramic is both tougher and more resilient, meaning it can withstand a lot more flex. And our crowns are metal free.
Once the ceramic block has been milled, it is then hand polished and anatomical refinements are added. After this, the crown is ready for the last step in the construction process – the furnace.
After your tooth has been fired in the furnace, it is removed and cooled. It is then cleaned and the internal surface is etched and primed, basically made ready to bond to your tooth.
When you return in the afternoon, Dr Dilly will etch the surface of your tooth and apply dental adhesive. Then your crown will be affixed into place with dental cement. Dr Dilly will ensure the crown is properly fitted and your bite is comfortable.
Bridges are an effective way of replacing a lost or missing tooth with a ceramic tooth replacement. The process is exactly the same as for the crown – just instead of capping an existing tooth, we’re putting in a whole new one.
Ceramic veneers are a great way to improve your smile, without using braces. If you’ve got crooked, twisted, chipped or gappy teeth which you’d like to change, then veneers are a great solution. They are best suited for your front 6 – 8 teeth. The choice of whether veneers or crowns are better, really depends on the condition of your teeth. If your teeth have experienced more damage, a crown will be recommended.
Veneers are like thin, custom-made masks for your teeth, which covers the front of the tooth. Ceramic veneers are tougher, resist stains well and give a more natural appearance but often require more of the tooth to be trimmed before applying them. We recommend a consultation to determine if your teeth are suitable for veneers. If so, we’ll happily chat through the options so you can decide what’s best for you. Please note we only proceed with veneers if oral hygiene is good as it’s vital to have a strong foundation. If it’s not, then we make that the priority and partner with you to make that happen first.
Our Bespoke Smile Design procedure often uses veneers. The veneer process is the same as crowns.
At Clarity, we use two systems for teeth whitening: In-Chair and Take Home. But first, we recommend a dental examination with a scale and clean. This is essential for us to assess if whitening will be suitable for you. For instance, if you have any fillings, veneers or crowns on your teeth (especially visible ones) then we need to let you know that they will not change colour! This doesn’t mean you can’t have whitening, but we believe it’s best we are clear on expected results upfront. Whatever option you choose, the scale and clean is required as it means you’ll get better results for your whitening.
Many patients start with In-Chair Whitening for the instant result it gives, then they may move onto Take Home Whitening to top-up as desired.
We use Philips Zoom which takes around 1 hour 30mins for your teeth to go a possible 8 shades whiter.
We start with preparing your mouth for whitening by applying a layer of advanced whitening gel to your teeth. To speed up the whitening process, we then use the Philips Zoom blue LED lamp onto your teeth. This process is repeated 3 – 4 times until you’ve reached your desired shade. The results may vary from patient to patient and factors such as skin complexion also influence results.
This option is popular if you are time poor and looking for instant results. However, it does cost more than the take home system.
We use the Pola Day system with the high strength gel that is only available from dental clinics.
Just like for the In-Chair Whitening, we do recommend a check-up and dental clean prior to starting the Take-Home Whitening. If you are opting for this system, then an impression of both your upper and lower teeth will be taken (usually at your clean appointment). From these impressions, we make your personalised trays on site. When you return for your fit appointment, we ensure the trays are comfortable. We then provide you with a 4 pack of high strength whitening gels and ensure you’re clear on the instructions.
You can start your whitening on the day you receive your trays and gel. Trays are required to be worn for 1 hour per day until desired results are achieved. The pack you receive tends to last around 2 weeks, depending on how much you are using.
If you want to go whiter and you have finished your pack, then you can simply purchase individual whitening gel from Clarity, at a cost of $25 each. This whitening option also gives you the freedom to top-up throughout the year, as long as you are keeping your trays stored in a safe place. This option is popular if you are not in a hurry for results.
There’s a multitude of clear aligner systems out there. At Clarity, we use Clear Aligners. They’re designed using advanced software to ensure they fit you perfectly and deliver the exact tooth movements needed to achieve great results. They’re also compatible with our in-practice CAD CAM system, which means we have greater control over the process, meaning better results and cost savings for you.
Clear Aligner treatments are designed to make anatomically correct movements that ensure long lasting results. The customised aligner treatment plans are developed to achieve optimum results in the shortest possible time.
If you’ve had a tooth removed and would like to fill the gap, so to speak, then implants can help. A dental implant looks and functions like a normal tooth complete with a root, albeit artificial!
There are two main stages to the implant process.
The first is a titanium screw, which is placed in the bone in the site of the missing / lost tooth. This is followed by a period of three months to allow the implant to fully integrate with the bone. If the location of the missing tooth is highly visible like your front tooth, then you can opt for a temporary denture with one tooth affixed, so no gap is visible.
The second stage occurs three months later. At this point the implant is tested to ensure that it can fully support a replacement tooth, known also as an implant crown. This handcrafted implant is fitted. Then you simply look after your new implant as you would a normal tooth.
Dentures are a removable appliance used to replace missing teeth – be that one, several or all. Not only can they help with chewing and speech that can be impacted by missing teeth, they also give support to lips and chin whilst improving the overall appearance of your smile. Please note, if you need a partial denture (to replace one or several teeth), we do that at Clarity. For full upper or lower dentures then we will refer you to a prosthetist located in Mornington. For missing teeth, there are several solutions, so we recommend coming into Clarity to discuss yours during a consultation.
During your consultation, your suitability for dentures will be assessed. We’ll look at all your existing teeth, existing restorations (crowns, fillings…etc), gum health and bite. If we identify any issues like decay or teeth that require extraction, it will always be recommended that these are addressed before the denture process begins.
Dentures are made in stages and for this reason, we generally allow 3 – 5 appointments. The only exception is an ‘immediate denture’ when a tooth is extracted and a denture is fitted immediately to replace the tooth. As part of the denture process, we will discuss the different options for keeping dentures in place – be that metal or acrylic clasps that are anchored around neighbouring teeth. Sometimes a fixative glue will be recommended. Metal clasps are stronger than acrylic but many people prefer the look of tooth coloured acrylic clasps. It’s just worth considering ongoing costs if the acrylic clasps need repair. Once your dentures are fitted, we will take you through a comprehensive aftercare plan to ensure you’re comfortable both with the dentures in place and how to look after them.
If you’re playing sports like football, soccer, netball, basketball and cricket, then your teeth can be in the firing line! And no goal or score is ever worth that dental injury – no matter how good it feels at the time! Our custom-fitted mouthguard is designed to fit the contours of your mouth, balance your bite and allow normal speech and breathing but most importantly it spreads and absorbs impact reducing the risk of dental injuries whilst you’re out on the field, court or pitch.
An anti-snoring device is similar to a retainer. It works by repositioning the jaw when you’re sleeping which helps to reduce the likelihood of snoring. Popular with partners!
Teeth grinding (also known as ‘bruxism’) is a common problem that happens most often at night. Teeth grinding and clenching can lead to a myriad of health issues, from facial and jaw pain to grinding down teeth and even broken teeth if left untreated.
Unfortunately it’s a condition we’re seeing more and more frequently in the practice, perhaps because every day stress is more prevalent than ever.
There are two options if you find yourself suffering the symptoms of teeth grinding. The first is a custom-made occlusal splint (a hard plastic appliance that fits over the top teeth, like a mouth guard but far more discreet and streamline) to be worn at night. Whilst this doesn’t stop you grinding or clenching your teeth, it does protect your teeth from fracturing and breaking.
A second option if you’re still experiencing pain after wearing the splint is a muscle relaxant. This is used to release the masseter muscle in the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), the hinge connecting your jawline to your skull. It can be really effective in relieving pain and tension caused by ongoing teeth grinding.