Frequently Asked Questions*

How much does it cost for dental work?

Everyone has unique teeth and dental problems. Trying to provide a cost guide can be difficult. Many factors go into how much a dental visit costs including its:

For more details on cost see check up, broken tooth, painful tooth and extraction. Other FAQs

Price Guides (general guidance only) and this may vary although we try and follow these guides:

How much does it cost just for a clean?

A clean refers to the removal of build up on your teeth. Before cleaning your teeth, we need to determine your oral health condition to work out the appropriate next step for your mouth. It is not possible to clean teeth without assessing your gums as this may lead to unnecessary or outright wrong treatment. Best treatment always follows appropriate diagnosis (decision about your gum health).

What does this mean? 

After an assessment of your gums, we will be able to advise you on whether you may need a regular 6 monthly clean or a more complicated, intensive gum disease treatment. Sometimes a specialist needs to be consulted to achieve the best level of care.

As an example, one has to diagnose someone with cancer before commencing treatment otherwise the wrong medication or dosage may lead to later re-occurrence of or a non-successful treatment of the cancer. 

Why do I need x-rays?

X-rays are images/pictures of your bone, teeth and sometimes include soft tissues like your gums. X-rays are taken as a screening tool to check for things such as:

Should I get private health insurance?

Private health insurance in Australia can be summarised into two board categories, Private Hospital Insurance and Extras Health Insurance. Private Hospital Insurance helps with costs of private elective procedures and hospital stays including your choice of doctors while extras health insurance  assists with areas of medicine not wholly funded by the Australian Government such as optical (glasses), dentistry and physio. 

Are there tax advantages for Private Health Insurance?

Yes, only Private Hospital Insurance. The Australian Government introduced the Medicare Levy Surcharge to promote and encourage those with high incomes to get private hospital cover to reduce the burden on existing public health infrastructure. See Medicare Levy Surcharge tab below.

Is it worth getting Extras Insurance?

Extras Insurance reduces the out of pocket costs for your treatment and can help minimise sudden unexpected costs. It can help with budgeting for your health care costs. Although, you rarely get the money back entirely that you put into holding extras health insurance. If you are good at budgeting it is better for you to put aside the relevant amount instead of paying insurance for when you have extras' expenses for dentistry. 

What is the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

The Australian Government introduced the Medicare Levy Surcharge to promote and encourage those with high incomes to get private hospital cover and reduce the burden on existing public health facilities.

How does the Medicare Levy work? 

Medicare Levy is imposed on most of us at a rate of 2% to support and fund medicare.

For those of us who earn over $90,000 as singles (or $180,000 as couples), an additional medicare levy surcharge is applied of 1-1.5% for those without Private Hospital Insurance.

Private hospital insurance can help you play less though reducing the additional surcharge fee but not the underlying fixed rate of 2 percent as shown in the table below (as at 1 April 2016)

Do I need to keep private hospital insurance cover for the full year to reduced the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

The Medicare Levy Surcharge is pro rata meaning every day you hold the private hospital insurance you receive a benefit of playing less tax. However, you will pay the surcharge for each day you do not hold hospital insurance according to your income at rates listed in the table below.

How does the Medicare Levy Surcharge work for my family?

Private Hospital Insurance must cover the family including dependent children to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Please note singles and couples are subject to family tiers. Income threshold for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes increases by $1500 for each 'dependent' child after the first. For more information on whether your child is a 'dependent' for tax purposes and/or if you want more information about Medicare Levy Surcharge levels, please talk to your accountant or check with the ATO. The Australian Government sets the Medicare Levy Surcharge levels and this is subject to change. The above table shows the levels as they apply from 1 April 2016. 


What does tooth whitening do?

Tooth whitening can be a highly effective, yet very simple way, of lightening the colour of teeth. It cannot make a colour change, but lightens the existing colour. For more information see Australian Dental Association

What does the procedure involve?

At Seaford Dental we use a home whitening system called SDI Pola Day, which uses the active ingredient Hydrogen Peroxide, which is very safe and effective.

First the dentist records the 'before' colour of your teeth so we can see the difference clearly when your treatment is finished. Then we make you a custom bleaching tray by taking an impression of your mouth (see picture below).

At home you place a small amount of whitening gel in the tray, and then wear it for 1-2 hours a day over 2 weeks or until the desired result is achieved.

If your teeth become sensitive consult your dentist and if advised you may need to stop or take a break for 2-3 days before starting again.

How long does the procedure take?

The impression appointment takes around 15 minutes, and then you will need a further appointment try in your custom made trays to check for good fit. Then you can continue the treatment at home.

Will I be happy with the results?

Treatment results will vary for reasons including original shade of your teeth and for many other factors. Teeth will darken over time. The amount depends on how well you maintain your oral hygiene with brushing and flossing, and if you smoke, drink tea, coffee or wine. Note, that some people have little or no whitening effect with a course of whitening treatment.

What about whitening toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste are abrasive and can remove external stain from your teeth. However, they are very abrasive and long term use causes damage to your teeth. We DO NOT recommend the use of these toothpastes.

When might whitening not work?

Whitening works on lightening the colour of your existing teeth. Whitening only works on your natural teeth and not on crowns or fillings or denture teeth. 

Are there any risks?

All medical and dental treatments involve some risk. At Seaford Dental, we use the latest in techniques and thoroughly assess your suitability before we whiten your teeth. However side effects of whitening may include, but are not limited to:

Can anyone have it done?

Whitening is not available for people including those who:

Night guard

Why do I need a night guard?

A dentist may have told you that you grind your teeth. Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth that isn't part of normal chewing is called 'bruxism'. It can happen at night or day, but during sleep people have no control over it.

What causes it?

The exact cause is unknown, but studies have shown that it is likely a combination of factors, including:

How is it diagnosed?

An accurate diagnosis is very important to make sure you get the right treatment. During your general check up your dentist will assess your teeth, any tooth wear or fractures, your bite, jaw, x-rays and any pain you are having. Sometimes, plaster molds are needed to examine the way teeth fit together.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Your dentist may be able to see if you clench or grind your teeth, although sometimes it may go untreated for a long period of time. Some of the symptoms include:

A little bit of grinding now may not seem like a big deal now, but 5-10 years of grinding can dramatically change your smile and appearance.

What can I do if diagnosed?

Treatment involves removing the cause if possible (reduce stress, illness) including behaviour therapy. Further to this, your teeth can either be maintained to stop further damage or restored to their original state as much as possible through rebuilding.  

Stabilisation to reduce future wear of your teeth

Night guards, are the main treatment for bruxism. A night guard is a small plastic covering worn over your teeth at night/day to open the jaw and prevent further grinding.

In some patients, the action of wearing a guard makes them stop grinding, while others will continue to grind through the guard.

In severe cases of bruxism, referral to a specialist dentist may be required.

How can the damaged teeth be repaired?

Treatment depends on the severity of the grinding. Fillings, crowns or inlays can be used to replace lost tooth structure. If the grinding has exposed a tooth's nerve, or teeth have cracked, root canal treatment may be required to keep the teeth. In severe cases, extractions may be necessary.

How do I use my guard?

The first few weeks you wear it are like wearing in new shoes. if will feel strange and you might wake up with it out or even thrown across the room! But over time you will get used to it and won't be able to sleep without it.

Most people wear their guard only at night, but you can use it at any time you are stressed or notice you are clenching.

Two things can happen when you wear a guard. Either you will continue to grind through the soft plastic, and need be a constant wearer, or you will break the habit after 3 months or so and only need to wear the guard sporadically in times of stress.

Always try to bring your guard with you to your dental appointments and reviews so your dentist can review your clenching or adjust it to fit new fillings as needed.

How should I clean my guard?

The best way is to brush it with your tooth brush, with water and small amount of hand soap. Toothpaste can be abrasive and damage your guard.

Protect your teeth to get a great smile


What is a crown or cap?

Crown is made of a very hard material (ceramic and/or metal) designed to restore, rebuild and/or protect your teeth like an outer shell/hat. A crown fits over the top of your existing the tooth, making it stronger and giving it the same shape and contour as your original tooth. 

Why would I need a crown?

A crown is used to restore, strengthen and protect your teeth. Teeth comprising of more than 50% filling may need a crown to reduce risk of premature filling failure and to strengthen your tooth again fracture. Other reasons may include appearance, or extra protection for teeth that have had root canal therapy.

What is a crown made of?

A crown is made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or all gold. The type we use depends on the tooth. This decision is very much specific to your tooth.

What will the crown look like?

The crown will be made to match your other teeth in most cases. The shade of the neighboring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown may be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready.

Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?

No. A local anesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling.

How long will a crown last?

The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area clean by proper brushing and flossing, or decay could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years - crowns last as long as you clean around them.

How can I make my crown last longer?

Caring for a crown is the same as for any tooth except when flossing. Push the floss between your teeth as normal, but when you are finished just pull the floss through rather than pulling it back up between the teeth as this can dislodge your crown.

It is important to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day otherwise decay can occur under your crown. It is also important to see the dentist for a professional clean every 6 months to keep you gums around the crown in the best condition possible.

Are there any complications?

As with any dental treatment, having a crown carries some risks. The following complications are listed to inform you, not to alarm you! This is not an exhaustive list.

Root Canal Treatment

What is root canal treatment?

Root canal treatment (also called endodontics) is used to save teeth that have infection or inflammation of the tooth nerve (pulp) that would otherwise need extraction. This inflammation can be due to:

Root canal treatment involves removing the infected/inflamed nerve of the tooth and disinfecting the canals/internal pipes of your tooth.

Most people prefer to have root canal treatment rather than having a tooth extracted, because no matter how good an artificial tooth is, your own tooth is usually better for biting, chewing and easier to clean too. Losing teeth can also cause nearby teeth to tilt into the space left behind, changing your bite, so chewing can be uncomfortable. Cleaning these tilted teeth can also be very difficult, leading to more decay and gum disease.

Root canal treatment usually has a success rate of 85% although this varies depending on your case. Success rates are best when the tooth is treated as soon as possible. When the infection is older, the success rate is lower.

Does it hurt?

A local anesthetic is used and in most cases it should feel no different to having an ordinary filling done.

Can I see a specialist?

Yes, you can always see a specialist. Please ask your dentist.

What does it involve?

The aim of the treatment is to disinfect your tooth. The tooth's internal structure is filled with a natural rubber filling so that the infection does not come back again.

At the first appointment, the tooth is assessed with a x-ray. Then a rubber dam (a sheet of latex) is put on the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the treatment. Let us know if you have a latex allergy.

After local anesthesia is given, the tooth nerve is removed. Any abscesses, which may be present, can also be drained at this time. The root canal is then cleaned, shaped and filled with an antibacterial dressing. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

Sometimes there is pain or discomforting lasting a few days after treatment. A mild pain reliever can help with this.

Multiple visits may be needed to finish shaping the inside of the tooth. Several xrays are needed to check the shape and the length of the root canals during treatment to get the best result.

The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled with a natural rubber filling to seal the tooth to prevent bacteria re-entering. 

Will the tooth be safe to use after treatment?

Yes. However, a large filling or crown is needed to strengthen your tooth to withstand strong biting forces during eating. Without a large filling or crown, the tooth can fracture in a away that cannot be fixed leading to early tooth loss.

Are there any risks?

As with all dental treatment, there are some risks. The following is a list of some, not all, of the possible complications:

542 Main South Road Old Noarlunga SA 5168

Call us: 08 83272737  Text us: 0466 033 499

Business Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Saturday / Sunday : Closed