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frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I visit my dentist?

Its best to assume that you should have a dental check-up every six months, but some people may not need to go so often and others may need more frequent checks.

Vard Dental will suggest when you should have your next check-up which will be based on your requirements.

The time between check-ups can vary from three months to 12 months depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems.

After your check-up, we will recommend a date for your next visit. Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you can wait before your next check-up.  So people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 6 to 12 months, but those with more problems will need check-ups more often.

A lot of our patients choose to have their checkups on a scheduled regular basis in line with the thinking that prevention is better than cure.

What treatment am I entitled to under PRSI?

Under the PRSI system patients are entitled to a dental examination free of charge each year.

What treatment am I entitled to under Medical Card?

Under the Medical card system patients are entitled to a dental examination, 2 fillings and any number of extractions each year.

What dental treatment are children entitled to?

The HSE operates the Schools Screening Services which aims to screen children in Second, Fourth and Sixth Class. Unfortunately due to restrictions in the public service, these target classes are not always reached.

Why do my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk of, or already have gum disease.  Make an appointment with Vard Dental so that we can examine your teeth and gums and provide you with an oral care plan.

Bleeding, redness, and painful or sore gums are symptom of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) that arises due to a number of different causes and may occur during brushing or flossing. The soreness can be accompanied by swelling of the gum tissues. Most commonly, gingivitis is the result of plaque build-up on the teeth around the gum line. Without adequate removal, the plaque hardens to become tartar, which worsens gingivitis and can, over time, lead to receding gums and even damage the bones of the jaws.

Vard Dental can provide you with a treatment or oral care plan for you to follow, which will relieve the symptoms of gingivitis, and, through regular follow ups to remove plaque, should remove the re-occurrence of bleeding completely.

Gingivitis can be reversed by your thorough removal of plaque daily and regular professional cleaning.  If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss.

I’m really unhappy with my teeth…

Everyone is unique and everyone can have a different reason for being happy or unhappy with their teeth.

Come in and talk to Vard Dental about your teeth and we can help you to remain happy with your teeth or to help you be happier with your teeth.

Read on to hear about some of the treatments which have helped others to be happier with their teeth…

  • “Bridge the gap” – there are a number of different ways to “bridge the gap”. They include restoring a tooth, to providing a denture, to building up the teeth.   Call for an appointment so that we can discuss the best approach for you….
  • Stop the wear and tear of grinding – We can provide you with a night splint (sometimes called a mouth guard) which will reduce the wearing of teeth from grinding.
  • Repair the wear and tear of grinding – There are a number of different restorative treatments which you can elect to have e.g. cosmetic bonding.
  • Whiten your teeth – We can provide you with a whitening kit. A whitening kit consists of a custom made tray, which is unique to you, together with whitening gel.  Dentists (along with anyone registered with the Dental council) are the only approved providers of whitening kits and in line with providing excellent customer service; VardDental will provide you with a whitening kit, information and advice which provides you with the tools to whiten your teeth to a level that you want to maintain.

I think my breath smells bad?

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is a common problem.  Bad breath is usually preventable.  If any of the following factors are contributing to your halitosis, Vard Dental can identify them and work with you on a treatment or oral care plan….poor oral hygiene, gum disease, tooth decay, mouth infections.

Is now the right time to restore my broken tooth?

YES – the right time is now! Or at least come in to Vard Dental and let us examine your broken tooth and talk with you about the restoration option that you can choose e.g. Fillings (either silver or white), Composite veneers, which is commonly known as bonding, Porcelain veneers or Crowns.   An examination which, will include an xRay, will allow us to identify if a root treatment or an implant is required.

Should I use a night guard?

A night splint is a good idea if you are grinding your teeth.  It can prevent further wear and tear of your teeth and it can also protect any restorative work which you decide to get us to do for you. If you have damage from grinding, consider restoring your teeth by availing of our bonding service.

What are the different parts of the tooth?

Crown: The top part of the tooth and the only part you can normally see.  The shape of the crown determines the tooth’s function.

Gum line: where the crown and the gums meet.  Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up in the gum line.

Root: the part of the tooth that is embedded in bone.  The root usually makes up two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place.

Enamel: the outermost layer of the tooth.  Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, yet it can be damaged by decay.

Dentine: the layer of the tooth under the enamel.

Pulp: the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are.  If tooth decay reaches the pulp (gone through dentine) you usually feel pain.

What are the different types of teeth?

Every tooth has a specific job or function…

Incisors: the sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth used for cutting food (four upper and four lower).

 also called cuspids.  These teeth are shaped like points and are used for tearing food.

Premolars: also called bicuspids.  They have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are used for crushing and tearing food.

Molars: used for grinding and have several cusps on the biting surface.

Why do I need a dental check-up?

A Vard Dental check-up aims to help you keep your mouth healthy. It will allow us to see if you have any dental problems. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

What happens during a Dental check?

At each check-up, Vard Dental will:

  • Examine your teeth, gums and mouth which may include x-rays.
  • Conduct an oral cancer check.
  • Ask about your general health and any problems you’ve had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit.
  • Ask about, and where appropriate provide advice on healthy habits or identify habits which may be causing oral health problems e.g. smoking.
  • Identify any potential problems which may be starting and suggest appropriate treatments e.g. tooth decay.
  • Identify the root cause of any pain or problem which you may be experiencing and suggest appropriate treatments e.g. an untreated cavity.
  • Listen to your concerns about your teeth e.g. you might want to restore a chipped tooth.
  • Provide you with an overall treatment plan which will address both the immediate issues, treat potential problems and outline treatment which can help to restore your teeth.
  • Provide advice on your teeth-cleaning habits
  • Discuss with you a date for your next visit.

Why do dentists need to know about my general health?

At Vard Dental we aim to ensure that treatments are carried out safely and efficiently and hence we ask you questions about your general health, previous illnesses and how they may affect your dental appointments.

We are also interested in hearing about any medication you are taking and will ask about any allergies you might have as a precautionary measure, aimed at ensuring we can carry out treatments effectively.

Should I tell my dentist if I am pregnant?

Being pregnant will not prevent you from having dental treatment carried out, but at Vard Dental we prefer to know so that you can choose to have or defer any elective procedures (procedures that are not absolutely necessary) until after the pregnancy is over.  While experts agree that x-rays may be taken, where necessary e.g. in the case of an emergency, the taking of dental x-rays is also best avoided.

What is plaque?

Plaque is a soft sticky, bacteria- laden substance which is normally white and hence is difficult to see.   During your Vard Dental check up, we will advise you if you have a plaque build- up and give you information about how to floss and brush to avoid plaque building up again.  If plaque is not removed it will harden into tartar (also known as calculus).  Vard Dental will remove plaque and tartar during a check up but sometimes deep cleans are required to completely remove unwanted plaque or tartar build-up.

Why is plaque / tartar harmful?

If plaque is not removed it can lead to gum disease, a cavity or cavities.  Plaque bacteria on the tooth surface continually attract bacteria and create an unhealthy environment of a diverse population of bacteria and their by-products.  Plaque bacteria react with sugars and starches to create acid which attacks the tooth enamel.  Weakening the tooth enamel is the start of tooth decay and creates cavities.

Why should teeth whitening only be carried out by a dentist?

Only dentists can offer teeth whitening using peroxide.  Teeth whitening are perfectly safe when carried out by a dentist.  Based on a thorough examination of your mouth, and knowledge of your oral health, Vard Dental will discuss your whitening options.

It is generally accepted, within the dental industry, that the most effective and predictable teeth whitening results for surface stains are achieved by using the tray system.  If your stains are more internal to the tooth making them more likely to be difficult to treat, we will advise you.

Why should I floss?

Flossing gets in between the teeth.  Normal brushing doesn’t clean in between the teeth completely.  It is important to carry out flossing at least once a day.

Vard Dental will demonstrate flossing to you.  There are different types of floss (waxed / unwaxed). Small  interdental brushes of different sizes can be used, which we, at Vard Dental, will talk to you about so that you can decide which type works best for you.

What is the correct way to brush my teeth?

At Vard Dental, we recommend that you brush 2 minutes twice a day with toothpaste.

  • Use a soft or medium toothbrush with a small head. Using a small head will help you to reach into all areas of the mouth.
  • Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle along the gum line.
  • Use gentle circular movements observing where the bristles are brushing. Aim to get the bristles of the tooth brush in between your teeth.
  • Clean all teeth surfaces – outside, inside, top of teeth and along the gum line.
  • Vard Dental also encourages you to brush the top of your tongue and inside your cheeks gently.

If your gums bleed, don’t stop brushing.  Bleeding gums may be the first sign of gum disease and thorough brushing can help reverse this.  If bleeding persists, you should get in touch with us so that we can diagnose and treat the root cause of the problem.

How will I know if I have a cavity/cavities or tooth decay?

Cavity or cavities is another name for tooth decay.   Tooth decay is caused by sugars which generate acids that attach to the dental enamel causing damage and erosion which eventually destroys the tooth.

A cavity or cavities may be a number of different colours from yellow /brown to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complications may include inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, tooth loss, and infection or abscess formation.

There are three main types of cavities:

  • Coronal cavities are usually found on chewing surfaces or between the teeth
  • Root cavities occur on the exposed part of tooth roots
  • Recurrent cavities is decay which can form around existing fillings and crowns

Cavities should not be left untreated as they can destroy your tooth which in turn can kill the nerves at the centre of the tooth, leading to an abscess, which can only be treated by extracting the tooth or having a root canal treatment.

What should I do if I’ve lost or broken a filling in my tooth?

Call Vard Dental (01 2855 841) or email us for an appointment david.vard@varddental .ie

It’s important to visit us as soon as possible.  We will advise you on the most appropriate treatment to repair the filling.

There are many reasons why teeth/fillings  chip or break  including biting down suddenly on something hard such as a hard boiled sweet. Symptoms can vary from none at all to sensitivity to hot and cold or tenderness on chewing. A lost filling will always feel much bigger to the tongue.

Before your visit to the dentist……

  • If you are having sensitivity try avoiding eating or drinking in that area, similarly if it is painful on biting.

Rubbing a toothpaste designed for sensitivity on the impacted area can help with the sensitivity .

My crown has fallen out. What should I do?

Call Vard Dental for an appointment or email us as

It is important to visit us as soon as possible.  We will examine the damage and discuss your options re restoring the tooth.

Crowns are normally placed on teeth that have broken down or had been decayed and may already have had a root canal treatment.

There are many reasons why a crown may come loose or fall off. This can possibly happen if there is a problem underneath the crown such as decay or if the tooth has been traumatised.

Before you visit us….

  • Try to hold onto the crown whether it’s a temporary or a permanent crown.
  •  If you are having sensitivity, try to avoid eating or drinking in that area, similarly if it is painful on biting.
  • Rubbing a toothpaste designed for sensitivity on the impacted area can help with the sensitivity.

What causes sore jaw joints? What can I do?

The chewing muscles around the mouth can become tender and inflamed from excessive grinding while asleep.  It is a common problem.  To ease the tension or spasm in the muscles try applying a hot and cold press to the area and also do simple jaw exercises.

But it is important that you contact us as we can examine you to confirm the problem and recommend a treatment.  A standard treatment would be a night guard for use during sleeping to prevent your teeth contacting during grinding.

Vard Dental will make an impression of your teeth and from that impression we will provide you with a well -fitting night guard (night splint or mouth guard).  We will also advice you on pain management to help relieve your symptoms.

I’m constantly getting mouth ulcers. What should I do?

There are many reasons why mouth ulcers occur e.g. poor diet, stress, chipped filling rubbing against the gum or tongue, weather changes.  Most people will experience mouth ulcers at some stage of their life.

Simple, small ulcers will usually heal within 7 days.

You should contact us for an appointment if you have recurring or longer lasting ulcers.  Vard Dental will examine your mouth to determine the best course of treatment and if necessary we will provide you with an appropriate prescription.

Before you visit us:

– Use warm salty water or a mouth rinse to help with the discomfort.
– Try to avoid spicy or acidic foods.

Apply an appropriate gel to the impacted area.

Call (01) 2855 841

or book your appointment online

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