Frequently Asked Questions

I hate the dark line around my front crowns, it wasn’t there when they were first fitted.

You probably have PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) crowns and the dark line that you can see is the metal substructure of the crown, onto which the porcelain layer is bonded (hence the name). At the time of fitting this join between the crown and your tooth was probably hidden underneath the edge of the gum. Over time your gum has shrunk back a little, exposing the join line.

The alternative is all porcelain crowns which tend to look more natural as they transmit light in a similar way to normal tooth enamel. In some cases the bite against the lower teeth is so close that only a PFM crown will do the job. We can give you advice on your particular situation.


Should I have my amalgam fillings replaced?

No.  If you seek replacement of quite satisfactory amalgam fillings for reasons, such as a concern about the effects of mercury, you may create problems that otherwise would not have occurred, such as possible damage to or weakening of teeth; sensitivity or pain after the filling. However, amalgam fillings do need to be replaced for other reasons including recurring decay, fracture, endodontic treatment and appearance.


What should I do if brushing or flossing makes my gums bleed?

If you have not been flossing regularly then the gums will be inflamed and will bleed more easily. Bleeding gums are common but not OK. In a healthy state gums do not bleed. Bleeding is often an indication that the gums are inflamed. The inflammation is generally a response to the bacteria on the surface of the teeth. The surface inflammation is Gingivitis. The bleeding may also arise from Periodontitis or traumatic cleaning. Bleeding gums are sometimes associated with serious medical conditions. Please give us a call; our friendly dentists will check bleeding gums for you.


I’d love to whiten the colour of my teeth. Does whitening damage the enamel at all?

No, it stays just as strong. Some people experience sensitivity but this is usually easy to control. Call us if you would like to discuss different options to whiten your teeth.


What is the best way to whiten the teeth?

There are many excellent ways to whiten the teeth and all have advantages and disadvantages. Since each case is different there is no one best way.

When staining is present on the surface, our dentists can professionally clean the teeth, often producing a fresher, whiter appearance.

On the other hand, when staining is actually in the tooth, below the surface, there are a number of ways to whiten the teeth. Sometimes simply replacing old, worn out fillings that are failing at the edges can produce better looking front teeth. Alternatively, when the enamel is heavily stained, crowns or facings may be the best option. Our dentists have access to continuing education in the latest dental techniques and they can give advice as to the best choices for you.


How can I close the gaps between my teeth?

Depending on the situation, gaps can be closed either with orthodontic treatment or by bonding or by porcelain veneers. This requires analysis to make sure the teeth are property proportioned and fit the frame of the lips and the size of the face.