Shop 49, Centro Lutwyche, QLD 4030

(07) 3857 2411

Dental FAQs

Dental FAQs

If you have any burning questions, check to see if they have been answered on our Dental FAQs page. Just click on the question that you would like to know the answer to and read our response. We have done our best to address commonly asked questions. If you’re question hasn’t been answered feel free to contact us with our ‘Ask Dr McCarthy’ box. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Of course, if you would like a proper diagnosis, it is best to book an appointment and see us. That way we can give a thorough and considered analysis.

How often should I be attending check-ups?

Here at Lutwyche Dental, we recommend regular check-ups every 6 months. This way we can monitor any changes in your smile and asses the progress any previous dental work you may have had in the past. Learn more.

How can a dental X-ray benefit me?

There are a number of situations where the use of radiographs (x-rays) is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. This is because often times the problem with the tooth cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Here are a few things radiographs are used for:

  • Locating the source of toothaches
  • Determining where decay is hiding
  • Assessing whether the underlying bone has been damages by gum disease
  • Locating wisdom teeth if they are developed and seeing if they have impacted
  • Determining the length and shape of the roots for root canal therapy
  • Monitoring the success of a root canal treatment

The human eye cannot see the areas where many dental problems first begin. Radiographs however can reveal what is happening beyond the surface of the tooth and under the gums.

Are there any radiation hazards with dental x-rays?

Present-day radiological procedures use:

  • digital technology
  • high-speed film
  • filters to eliminate unnecessary exposure
  • devices that restrict the x-ray beam to a specific area

For even further protection, the dentist places a protective apron over your lap and chest or gives you a shield to hold under your chin. Thanks to these extra precautions, we have been able to ensure a safe environment for your wellbeing.

What should I expect after I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Some swelling and discomfort can be experienced for a few days afterwards, especially if surgery was needed. We will ensure you have all the instructions and assistance you need for your recovery.

Any stitches are removed around 5-7 days later by which time any soreness should be almost passed. After 10 days, healing should be well on the way.

Learn more.

Are there any complications that could happen during my wisdom teeth removal treatment?

Occasionally the blood clot in the extraction site breaks down earlier than normal producing a ‘dry socket’.

To resolve this, dentist places a special dressing in the socket to remove the symptoms and help promote healing.

Learn more.

What is the best age to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Generally we suggest that wisdom teeth should be removed (if necessary) no later than early twenties. At this age the procedure is much simpler because the bone around the teeth is softer and the roots are usually not fully developed. Learn more. 

What should I do in a dental emergency?


If your tooth ache won’t go away, the first thing you should do is book an appointment with your dentist. In the meantime rinse your mouth with water to clear away any debris that could be worsening the ache and floss between your teeth.

If your mouth is swollen, put a cold pack against your outer skin and take pain relief if needed. Ensure you take the pain relief as directed on the label don’t lean it against the tooth – this will most likely make it worse.

Knocked out tooth

Pick the tooth up by only the crown (top part) and clear away and debris. The best way to clean it is by gently sucking it clean. Alternatively you can rinse it in milk but try avoiding rinsing it in water as it damages the cementum (glue) that keeps the tooth in the mouth.

After sucking it clean, try carefully putting it back in its socket first. If it can go back in you have a much greater chance of keeping the tooth. If the tooth cannot be replanted, hold it in the mouth inside the cheek or put it in a glass of milk.

Go to the dentist within 30 minutes of the accident. This is critical for successful replanting.

Broken tooth

Firstly you should try and find the particles of the tooth that have broken free and try not to swallow any of it. If the parts are quite large, we may be able to bond some of them back. Clear away any debris and place a cold pack against your face to minimise the swelling. Seek dental help immediately.

Your emergency is our priority

Depending on the nature of the problem, there are a few different solutions to a dental emergency. For all dental emergencies, contact us immediately on 3857 2411 at our Lutwyche Dental practice. Our practice hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday 8am – 6pm. Friday 8am – 4pm. Saturday Mornings by appointment only.
Tuesday & Thursday evening available by appointment only until 8pm

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

Sometimes for those who do not floss on a regular basis it may take a couple of times before your gums are accustomed to flossing. By not flossing regularly the gums will more likely become inflamed and bleed easily however if bleeding persists book an appointment with our dental professionals. Learn more. 

What causes tooth decay?

When bacteria collects in your mouth and mixes with sugar, it creates a kind of acidic substance. This eats away at the enamel of the teeth, causing decay. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar so as it settles on your teeth it becomes more active and damaging.

This is how plaque is created and it hardens and turns into tartar if it isn’t removed by brushing and flossing. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist so make sure you are attending regular check-ups to ensure your teeth remain free of decay. Learn more.

Why could I need a crown?

When a tooth has suffered severe damage or decay, a crown is used to restore the tooth back to full functionality and appearance. Made from strong porcelain materials, a crown is a natural looking imitation of the top of the tooth and can also be used in procedure where a tooth has fallen out.

Although they cannot replace the root of the tooth, a crown can be used in bridge treatment as the aesthetic restoration. Learn more.

When should I take my child to the dentist?

You can bring your child along to the dentist around their first birthday.

This is so you can get your little one accustomed to the dental chair and we can provide education for parents on how to best go about teaching your child about oral health, brushing and flossing. If your young one doesn’t snack at night and has a healthy diet, you won’t need to return until they turn 2. From here on in we suggest visits every six months so we can monitor their progress. To find out more about your child’s oral health, view our Family Dentistry treatment page.

What is preventive dentistry?

As the foundation of quality and lasting oral health, preventive dentistry aims at preventing damage and maintaining your smile. Learn more.

How can I replace my missing teeth?

Depending on how many teeth you have lost, you can replace your missing teeth here at Lutwyche Dental with one of the following treatments:

  • Dentures – these can be partial or complete dentures and replace teeth when there is more than one missing
  • Bridges – this can be used to replace one tooth or more and uses a variety of different methods

To find out more, view our treatment pages here.

How can I whiten my teeth?

Whitening your teeth starts with making sure you are brushing and flossing correctly. If you are brushing twice daily and flossing once days then you’ve already got a good foundation for a bright smile.

Next you need to be attending regular check-ups. During your regular check-up we will clear away tartar and plaque with a scale and clean. This is a method or removing build-up which can appear as surface stains.

Thirdly ask us to assess your smile. If you are applicable for whitening treatment, we can offer you two different treatments or a combination of the treatments listed below:

  • Professional chairside whitening
  • Pola Day+Night take home whitening kits

Alternatively if you are not applicable for whitening treatment you may wish to consider porcelain veneers as a treatment instead.

To find out more about how you can achieve a whiter brighter smile, view our cosmetic treatments here.

Where can I park when I come to my appointment?

Parking is easy with free undercover parking available beneath Lutwyche City Shopping Centre (off Chalk Street). Simply head up the escalators and we’re right around the corner (just inside the Lutwyche Road entrance).

How can a dentist stop me from grinding my teeth?

Clenching and grinding of the teeth is known as bruxism.

The tell tale sign of bruxism can be evident on the ends of your teeth. Take a look in the mirror and examine them closely. If you notice damage on the tips, you could be a victim of problem grinding. Generally patients who suffer from bruxism do it during the night when they have little to no control over their problem.

The splint is a small mouthpiece worn on the teeth during sleep and is an effective solution for Bruxism. It looks a lot like a mouthguard but is constructed of a much harder material that prevents teeth grinding against each other.

Learn more. 

Do you have a dental emergency?

We provide same day appointments for dental emergencies, if you are in urgent pain and require the help of a dentist, get in touch as soon as possible.

Call Us Today