FAQ and Info.

Frequently asked questions about your treatments.


I haven’t been to the dentist since forever, can you still help me?

This is very very common in New Zealand.  We practice blame-free dentistry and will not tell you off for the condition of your teeth.  We have seen everything so do not feel embarrassed – this is what we do and we are here to help.

We will listen to what you want to achieve and treat you with compassion and respect.  Restoring a smile is very satisfying for us.

I am terrified of the dentist, can you still help me?

This is often triggered by something not going so well in the past.  We have excellent pain relief and will do everything we can to make you comfortable and feel at ease.  How we do our job has changed a lot over the last little while.  Dentistry has never been this good.

What will it cost to get my teeth done?

Have a look in The Prices section to see what your first visit will cost.  We are happy to provide cost estimates and indicate how long it might take for any subsequent treatment.  There is a huge range of treatment options these days.  Depending on what you want your teeth to do, how long you want them to last, how comfortable you want them to be and what you want to spend are important things to consider.

Can’t I go to Asia and get this done way cheaper?

Probably.  Lower living costs, less regulation and lower standards all contribute to cheap dentistry offshore. Condensing extensive treatment into a very short period of time carries a lot of risk and follow up is very difficult on the other side of the world.  You can probably build a house for cheaper in Northern Thailand too.

Remember a lot of the stuff we do is irreversible and you have to keep it inside your mouth.  Consider things like reputation, training and resources when choosing a dentist.

If my mouth is in a bad way can it affect the rest of my health?

Yes.  Good oral health is crucial to maintaining whole body health.  There is a wealth of data linking untreated mouth disease (decay, infection, gum disease) to other major problems like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  I am a strong believer in prevention so your teeth last a lifetime.  I am a big advocate for healthy living.

I have amalgam in my mouth, is it poisoning me?

Amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper.  Danger times of the amalgam is during placement and removal.  There is not good evidence that amalgam is bad for you or causes anything bad to happen.  It does cause stress fractures in teeth and is pretty unsightly.

There are much better materials around now to put in teeth and I have not used any amalgam for a number of years now.


anxiolysisThe aim of anxiolysis is to make you relaxed and sleepy so we can get on with doing a good job.  For many people it also has an amnesic effect meaning you may not remember all of the appointment.  It is not a general anaesthetic and will not make you go to sleep but many people often fall asleep.

The medication works better if you do not eat for four hours before having the medicine.  You will need to bring an adult with you who can drive you back home and look after you for the rest of the day.  It is very important not to drive, operate machinery, sign any legal documents, look after young children or breast feed for 24 hours after the appointment.

Like any medication, it carries some risk.  I am happy to talk you through these.  We need to make sure you are breathing properly and use a small monitor on your finger to measure your oxygen levels.

wisdom-tooth90% of people have wisdom teeth and about 33% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth are a problem because they can cause decay, gum disease or resorption of the tooth next door.

Sometimes the tissue surrounding the tooth gets inflamed or infected (pericoronitis) or a cyst can grow.

The most common treatment of an impacted wisdom tooth is remove it. There are risks with removal which I discuss with every single patient. The removal of lower wisdom teeth can cause a change of sensation to the lower lip and tongue if nerves get bruised or damaged. The risk is small and we can assess that risk from X-rays and advise accordingly.

If we think you are a risky case we might refer you to our local oral surgeon.

Instructions for Use

  • teeth-whiteningFloss and brush teeth before bed
  • Syringe a small amount of bleach into the trays onto the side that touches the front / smiling side of your teeth
  • Take care not to get any bleach outside the tooth that will touch the gum
  • Insert trays and leave overnight (4-8 hours)
  • Remove trays, rinse mouth thoroughly and brush teeth
  • Rinse and clean trays

Continue until desired shade is achieved.

Sensitivity is normal during bleaching, it does go away again.  If sensitivity is bad, stop bleaching until it resolves before continuing again.  Less contact time for the bleach may also be required (2-4 hours).

A sensitive toothpaste may help.

A “top up” bleach of a few nights may be required every 6 months or so.

After bleaching, using GC Tooth Mousse Plus may help maintain long term colour.  It also strengthens teeth and reduces sensitivity.  Tooth Mousse is available at Bay Dental Care.

Tooth Extraction

tooth-extractionOn the day of the surgery

  • Do not rinse your mouth out on the day of the extraction
  • No vigorous exercise
  • No hot drinks, cold drinks are OK
  • If there is bleeding of bright blood, bite firmly on the gauze provided for 15 minutes.  Some dilute bleeding is normal.
  • Use pain relief as directed

The day after the surgery

  • The day after, begin warm salt water rinses (¼ tsp salt in a tumblr of warm water) after every meal and before bed for 5 days
  • Brush your teeth as normal as possible

Sutures used are dissolvable.

If you notice swelling, a cold ice pack on the side if your face may help with this.

Smoking is very disruptive to the healing process and you are advised not to.

Sometimes a dry socket can occur following tooth removal.  They are more common in smokers, if the extraction was difficult or if there was infection.  If the socket pain is getting worse and not better 4-5 days following an extraction, you may need a dry socket dressing.

Book An Appointment

Come and visit the team at Bay Dental Care and see how we can get you smiling again.