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Specialist services in dentistry range from dental emergencies, sleep apnoea, neuromuscular dentistry and more areas that our local teams may be able to assist you with. Depending on where you are located, some services may be more easy to access than others, but we always recommend getting in touch as we’re happy to help however we can.
Dental emergencies can occur at any time and because of this, we at Totally Smiles offer evening and weekend appointments across our more than 50 practices nationwide.
Emergencies can be distressing and we aim to help you be prepared so that you know what to do if an emergency happens. How you react in the minutes following a dental emergency may determine if you keep or lose your tooth.
Here are some of the top dental emergencies and urgencies that we see and what you should do about them:
A toothache may not sound like a dental emergency until you have one. Pain associated with a toothache can be quite intense. It is important to clean out the area where the pain is coming from as soon as possible. Use a combination of brushing, rinsing with mouthwash, and flossing to remove any debris from around your teeth and gums that may be causing the problem. Contact us immediately.
Chipped or Cracked Tooth
If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water. If there is any bleeding, apply pressure using a clean gauze or cloth. An ice pack to the affected area may also be used to reduce swelling. See the dentist as soon as possible for an examination, especially if you chipped or cracked your tooth through an injury.
Knocked Out Tooth
It may be possible to restore a knocked out tooth if you can keep the tooth in good condition and get to a dental office within 60 minutes. You should rinse your mouth out with warm water. If possible, try to place the tooth back into your mouth in the right direction and hold it there until you can get to the dentist. If you cannot get your tooth to fit back into the space, then place the tooth in a cup of milk or warm water with salt in it to preserve it. You can also use a cold compress to reduce swelling.
An abscessed tooth is a sign of a serious infection in your mouth. If you have severe swelling of your gums or cheek, it is important to contact us immediately or seek treatment at the local hospital emergency room. A medical professional can give you a shot or prescribe medication to fight the infection.
Emergency appointments are available and we are dedicated to seeing you as soon as possible. Whether you are at home or on holiday when your emergency arises, you can rest assured that you will receive the same exceptional experience from one Totally Smiles centre to another.
If you have a dental emergency contact your local Totally Smiles practice.
A better smiles for a better life – Dentures Direct is South Australia’s premier denture services with 18 private denture clinics conveniently located in metropolitan and regional areas, a mobile service and emergency after hours service.
Dentures Direct is where you are treated by specifically trained and licensed Dental Prosthetists with over 40 years’ experience. We aim to help you, our patient, improve your dental health and appearance so you can find the way to a healthy smile and a better life by creating all types of natural looking dentures that once expertly fitted, will restore your smile and transform your appearance.
At Totally Smiles, part of our job in delivering excellent dental care to all Australians is to debunk old myths surrounding dentistry and certain dental procedures such as root canal treatments. Our innovative and modern technology, partnered with our “no surprises” approach to your treatment, work hand in hand to provide you with exceptional dental care.
What is root canal treatment?
Root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) fixes problems with a tooth’s soft core or dental pulp. Dental pulp lies within the tooth, extending from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root. It contains nerves, connective tissue, and blood and lymph vessels which provide oxygen, nutrients, and feeling to the tooth. It also regulates the growth and development of the tooth during childhood.
Root canal treatment involves removing inflamed, diseased, or dead pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals of a tooth and replacing it with a filling in order to prevent the tooth from being extracted.
When is root canal treatment necessary?
Root canal treatment is recommended in cases of:
The symptoms of damaged, diseased, or inflamed dental pulp requiring root canal treatment include:
A diagnosis for root canal treatment is made on the basis of symptoms reported by the patient, an examination of the tooth, and x-rays of the tooth.
What are the benefits?
The main aim of root canal treatment is to save a tooth that would otherwise be extracted. Retaining natural teeth is considered the best solution from a dental perspective and prevents the need for replacement teeth, which can be time-consuming, painful, and costly.
If a tooth requiring this type of treatment is ignored, widespread gum and connective tissue infection may result, as well as loss of the tooth. It is advisable to visit us at the first sign of any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Is it painful?
This is probably the biggest myth surrounding root canal treatments. In reality, it’s your tooth that hurts, and it hurts because of the infection or decay. We make sure the area around your tooth is thoroughly numb even before we start working. You might feel some pressure or discomfort during the actual procedure or some pain afterwards once the anaesthesia has worn off, but we are always respectful and sensitive to our customers’ unique needs and strive to make you feel as comfortable and at ease as possible.
Laser dentistry allows the treatment of decayed enamel and gums by directing an extremely focused light beam to alter or remove small amounts of tissue, eliminating the need for hand-held instruments like scalers and drills during treatments.
Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive treatment option and is popular with children and nervous customers who are uncomfortable visiting the dentist.
Laser treatments also have a shorter and more comfortable healing time compared to traditional procedures, making them a popular option for eligible customers.
Laser dentistry can be effective in treating:
Neuromuscular Dentistry is a correction of jaw misalignment.
During treatment, your dentist will determine the optimal position for your jaw and work to adjust how the upper and lower teeth come together through the use of restorative dentistry, tooth shaping or orthodontics.
Symptoms of a neuromuscular disorder can include:
At Totally Smiles, part of our job in delivering excellent dental care to all Australians. Part of our operations is focused on delivering mobile dentistry to rural and remote communities, including providing school visits.
Totally Smiles Mobile Dentistry School’s Programme aim is to improve dental service access and educate families in oral health in local communities in NSW, VIC and ACT.
The School’s Programme has been developed with the aim of providing dental services right where they are needed. The mobile dental clinics, with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, provide free dental services, particularly, to schools in disadvantaged and low socio-economic parts of Australia. The most parts of the country in need of such services would be the rural parts of the country, where the communities are incapable of seeking regular dental services because of the cost implications.
The wide-ranging dental assessment and treatment services are taken to those in need right where they are. For instance, the dental services are being provided in the rural schools servicing the children from disadvantaged and low socio-economic backgrounds. The services are critical towards the objective of closing the barriers to dental health care by ensuring that even those who are incapable of accessing, are provided with the critical services. To achieve these objectives, we are also striving to service school-going children in rural and remote parts of the country.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
Our School’s Programme will take the trouble out of visiting the dentist by bringing our dentists to your school.
This Scheme is administered by the Department of Human Services under Medicare. The program commenced on 1 January 2014 and provided access to benefits for basic dental services to around 3.4 million children aged 2-17 years.
Dental services covered by the CDBS include:
The total benefit entitlement is capped at $1,000 per child over a two-year calendar period. Any remaining balance will not be carried forward at the end of the second year. Benefits will cover a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Benefit are not available for orthodontic or cosmetics dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital. Child Dental Benefits Schedule services will not count towards the Medicare Safety Net or the Extended Medicare Safety Net Thresholds. Information contained in this document was extracted from Medicare http://www.humanservices.gov.au/
The total benefit entitlement is capped at $1,000 per child over a two-year calendar period.
We assess eligibility at the beginning of each calendar year and it’s valid for the entire year. Children who become eligible later in the calendar year will have their eligibility backdated to begin from 1 January of that calendar year.
Myofunctional Therapy is a type of specialist oral facial muscle therapy using measurement and exercise to correct deviated swallowing or ‘tongue thrusting’. Myofunctional Therapy can be effective in developing a proper relationship between muscles of the face, mouth and throat.
Benefits of the therapy include the ability to eat, speak, breathe and sleep normally.
If you would like to find out if Myofunctional Therapy is right for you, contact your local Totally Smiles practice.
At Totally Smiles, we are dedicated to helping all Australians achieve the dental health they deserve. We will go the extra mile to provide exceptional dental care, including helping our customers with common disorders such as teeth grinding and TMJ.
Do you grind your teeth at night?
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common condition that affects both adults and children. It occurs when a person grinds or clenches their teeth, usually while they’re sleeping. In many cases, the person does not even know that they are doing it until their parent or partner mentions it.
Although you are not likely to hear the actual grinding of your teeth, there are several other symptoms that you may notice including morning headaches, earaches, and sore jaw muscles.
Treatments for teeth grinding
If you think or know that you are grinding your teeth, your first step should be to see the dentist. Our experienced staff will evaluate your teeth and look for wear and tear that is often caused by bruxism.
We may prescribe an occlusal splint, also known as a night guard, bite plate, or talon splint. This plastic device comes in many different designs and is worn over teeth while sleeping to reduce the wear and tear on teeth. It is custom-made to fit the specific contours of your mouth so that it is as comfortable as possible to wear.
If the dentist identifies significant damage to your teeth caused by grinding, you may require some form of cosmetic surgery to restore your teeth to their original condition.
Why teeth grinding should be treated
If not dealt with properly, teeth grinding can loosen or crack your teeth and, in rare cases, cause tooth loss. Untreated, this condition can also cause damage to your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) in your jaw.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint (one in front of each ear) connects the jaw to the skull. Damage to this joint is called TMJ syndrome or disorder and it can cause pain and discomfort, restricting jaw movement.
TMJ disorder is fairly common and may be caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding, an injury, dental issues such as an uneven bite, or other diseases like gout or arthritis.
Symptoms of TMJ
Can TMJ be treated?
Fortunately, TMJ responds well to home remedies. You can try the following to relieve the symptoms of TMJ:
If these do not work, the dentist may recommend prescription medication, cosmetic injections, physical therapy, and in rare cases, surgery.
We take a “no surprises” approach and our trustworthy team will always give you clear explanations about your options before drawing up a treatment plan suited to your unique needs.
Periodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry focused on gums and the surrounding supporting structures of teeth and implants, like jaw bones.
Periodontists often educate customers on the importance of gum health and work to reduce inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding structures.
Periodontal treatments can include:
Sedation dentistry is when dental care is practiced on customers who have been sedated. This type of treatment is used for nervous customers suffering from dental anxiety.
Levels of sedation can include:
Sedatives are generally provided in the form of a local anaesthetic that numbs the immediate area to help ensure you’re comfortable during treatment.
At Totally Smiles, we know that having good oral health impacts overall health. This is why we take our role seriously as part of our customers’ healthcare team, all working hand in hand towards helping our customers achieve their best selves.
What is sleep apnoea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep and leads to the narrowing or total closure of the upper airway. During sleep, the body’s muscles relax. In individuals with OSA, this causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to sag and lessen or completely obstruct airflow.
OSA sufferers typically fall asleep and snore until the airway narrows or closes. The lack of oxygen causes them to gasp and they become semi-aroused from sleep in order to reopen the airway. With airflow secured, they return to sleep. This alternation between sleep and semi-arousal continues throughout the sleeping period. OSA sufferers may experience hundreds of these apnoea episodes per night but they are unlikely to remember them. It is often the partners of OSA sufferers that first notice the symptoms of OSA, which include:
If undiagnosed and untreated, OSA may be a contributing factor in systemic and pulmonary hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, increased motor vehicle accidents, and mortality.
How can dentistry assist with sleep apnoea?
Dental intervention can form part of the treatment plan for people with OSA. One of the main forms of dental treatment is the provision of a customised dental appliance known as a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAD).
The Mandibular Advancement Splint is a small device, similar to an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouthguard that is placed on the tops of teeth during sleep. It gently moves the lower jaw forward, bringing the tongue with it, thereby preventing the soft tissue at the back of the throat and the base of the tongue from collapsing back into the airway and obstructing airflow.
What are the benefits of Mandibular Advancement Splints?
Mandibular Advancement Splints offer a number of important benefits to people with OSA. They are:
Mandibular Advancement Splints are most commonly recommended for people with mild to moderate OSA. Our experienced dentists, in consultation with a sleep physician, will confirm your suitability for a Mandibular Advancement Splint.