Frequently asked questions

Emergency dental questions

What can I do in the case of an emergency?
What should I do if a tooth has been knocked out?

Practice questions
What are the practice opening hours?
How do I book an appointment?
Are you taking on new patients?
Can I park at the practice?
How much will my treatment cost?
Are your fees the lowest in Melbourne?
Do you autoclave all your instruments?
What payments do you accept?
Why are you not a Health Fund Preferred Provider Dentist?
What do Oral Health Therapists do? How can they help me?

Dental treatment questions
Will it hurt?
What is gum disease?
At what age should my child attend for a visit?
What are white fillings?
Why do I need dental x-rays? Are they safe?
What is a dental crown, porcelain veneer, dental implant?
Why, and how often should I have dental visits?
What can I do about my broken tooth?

Whitening treatment questions
How do you get rid of staining?
How can I whiten my teeth? What methods do you promote?
Will teeth whitening work for me?
Why not over the counter teeth whitening?

Hygiene product questions
Should I use a power electric toothbrush?
What is the best toothbrush?
What is the best toothpaste?
What to look for when buying a power electric toothbrush?

What can I do in the case of an emergency?

We're a dentist that will do our best to see patients with genuine dental emergencies on the day they contact us via our Balwyn North dental practice telephone 9859 8517.

For existing patients of the practice requiring emergency help outside surgery hours, please telephone 0413130422. Alternatively, you may wish to try the Kew Emergency Dental Clinic on 9853 1855, or the Royal Melbourne Dental Hospital on 1300 360 054. Both alternative emergency clinics operate at extended hours and are available on Sundays and public holidays.

If you have suffered a sporting injury, or other significant trauma, or a significant swelling, please call us immediately or report to your nearest hospital.


What should I do if a tooth has been knocked out?

Time is critical in the case of a tooth being knocked out. The chances of a tooth surviving decreases dramatically if the tooth is not replaced after 30 minutes, meaning it's very important to call us, or to report to your nearest hospital, or to visit your local doctor.

Here are some steps to follow as a general guide
1. Find the tooth.
2. Check to see if tooth is clean or dirty. If the tooth is clean; place back into the socket by carefully holding the crown only. (tip: use the adjacent teeth as guides to how to place the tooth back) If the tooth is dirty; rinse tooth with milk before placing back into the socket.
3. Ask the individual to support the tooth in the socket with light gentle pressure.
4. If you have difficulties replacing the tooth, immerse the tooth in a sealed container filled with milk, or ask the patient to carefully cold it in their cheek. (important: do not wash or immerse the tooth in water as water's properties will harm the tooth significantly)
5. If you are only able to present to a hospital or a local doctor for the emergency treatment, you will need to call us promptly to schedule a follow up appointment. Such an examination is required to ensure the tooth is correctly repositioned, no damage has been suffered by the jaw bone, and to begin the long term management of the reinserted tooth.


What are the practice opening hours?

We are open at our Balwyn North dental rooms Monday to Friday from 9am - 5.45pm.


How do I book an appointment?

Simply telephone us on 9859 8517, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., use our online form, or call by to meet our friendly dental team.


Are you taking on new patients?

Yes, new patients are always welcome to our dental practice. Our entire dental team is proud to be able to share with you our passion in providing our exceptional level of health care.

The best compliment our existing dental patients provide us regularly is a referral of a family member or friend. If you have been referred by an existing patient, then please let us know so that we can be sure to thank them.

Related: Information for New Patients


Can I park at the practice?

Yes, there is parking onsite for our patients.

There is also an abundance of car parking in Balwyn North within a minutes stroll in and around our rooms. We are adjacent to the Burke Road and Doncaster Road junction at Balwyn North with medical practices, pharmacies and supermarkets; where parking is also available.

Our dental rooms here in Balwyn North is well serviced by public transport.  The North Balwyn number 48 tram, buse routes 200 and 207 stop right in front of our dental practice.  Bus route 548 is a couple of minutes walk from our practice.


Click to view the practice map


How much will my treatment cost?

Our sincere desire to take care of our patients extends to the fair and reasonable dental practice fee schedule we set. We provide clear, upfront, accurate estimations of dental treatment costs. It means much more to The Smile Team dentists that we keep our word, than to surprise you with extra costs.

The cost of a regular dental appointment is generally less than the cost of regular car servicing. Our fees for a full comprehensive examination is $165 inclusive of two dental x-rays, a gum disease check, teeth charting, oral cancer screening, jaw joint and muscle inspection, as well as a dental bite assessment. A thorough hygiene clean accompanying this is $145 with fluoride protection. The fees are less for teenagers and children.

(tip: to best way to reduce the overall cost of dental treatment for you and your family is through regular dental checkups and diligent home care)


Are your fees the lowest in Melbourne?

The old adage of "you get what you pay for" is no where more appropriate than it is for today's dental care. Dental care costs vary depending upon the number of sterilization procedures carried out to protect each patient, the quality of the fillings/medications used, the time/care taken planning for your appointment, the time/care taken to comprehensively carry out the examination/treatment, the quality of the laboratories used to construct dentures/crowns, the amount of training that the dentists and our entire team attend regularly, just to name a few.
You will always find more expensive or cheaper fees, but we guarantee that you will not find better value for money than at The Smile Team dentist.

We are here to assist your dental health for the long term.   


Do you autoclave all your instruments?  What infection control procedures do you take?

All the instruments in our dental practice are either autoclavable or used only once.

So yes, we autoclave all our instruments, and dispose of single use equipment each and everytime. Keeping you protected is of the highest importance to us.

During the autoclaving procedure steam penetrates enclosed items at extreme temperatures for a set amount of time. We keep a constant tracking process of sterilization steps to ensure successful sterilization. All sterilization procedures are according to the Australian Dental Association and the Dental Board of Victoria guidelines.


What payment options do you accept?

 We are pleased to be able to assist you in direct health fund rebates through our HICAPS setup. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and Bank Cheques.

Payment is expected on the day, unless arranged before hand.


Why are you not a Preferred Provider Dentist?

Without oversimplifying the answer we hope to provide some clear information below.  We encourage health funds to our patients if the situation suits, but getting glasses to wear from a Preferred Provider Optometrist and receiving dental treatment from a Preferred Provider Dentist is like comparing apples and oranges. 

It's just a name

Firstly, Preferred Provider Dentists are 'Preferred Providers' not based upon treatment ability, patient satisfaction nor training.  The 'Preferred Provider' title is given by a health fund to any dentist that enters into an agreement with the health fund to provide treatment at a set treatment fee determined by the health fund.  Any dentist can therefore become a Preferred Provider Dentist by signing such a contract with the health fund. In return, the provider dentist can gain more patients as they receiving marketing from the health fund under a Health Fund Preferred Provider title.

Good or bad?

You might be thinking that this arrangement is good for patients like yourself based upon price, but as the old business rule goes that; a business can only ever be above average in two of the following three aspects; service, quality, price.  

Great dental service relates to such things as the the time or care taken to plan or follow up on your appointment, the time or care taken to comprehensively carry out the examination or treatment, the time or care to make the right diagnosis for you, the ability to adjust to your need as an individual, the amount of training that the dental team attends regularly.  

Great dental treatment quality relates to such things as the level of sterilisation procedures carried out to protect each patient, the brand proven quality of the fillings or medications used,  the quality or safety of the laboratories used to construct dentures and crowns, the amount of training that each dentist attends.  

When a health fund sets the price based upon their own commercial needs, service and quality of dental treatment may be consistently below average as a compromise.  This is bad. This is the reason why The Smile Team is proud not to be a Health Fund Preferred Provider Dentist.

The Australian Dental Association suggests dentists not to be a Health Fund Preferred Provider Dentist

We are not a Health Fund Preferred Provider Dentist, nor are we likely to be in the future. We agree with the Australian Dental Association statement "Health Funds set their rebates at a level that suits their commercial needs. Those rebates are not related to any recognised fee scale." On whether or not dentists should join a health fund “It’s the wrong time to be compromising in your values…”. 

We believe that there is no room for cutting corners on your health. You will always find more expensive or cheaper fees, but we guarantee that you will not find better value for money than at The Smile Team. 

What do Oral Health Therapists do? How can they help me?

Oral Health Therapists are dental experts in University trained dental health professionals with focused training in both children’s dental care and general preventive care for adults. They are dental experts in smartly identifying and managing developing issues before they become problems, leading to positive and pleasant dental experiences. Through excellent preventive dental care, there is a reduced need for the old fashion cycle of drill and fill dentistry. Oral Health Therapists form an integral part of a modern dental care team alongside the dentist.

Oral Health Therapists are Dental Board of Australia registered to carry out a comprehensive range of treatments for ages 25 and under. They have the knowledge and skills obtained through their university training to provide very high standards of treatment for children, including extensive behavioural management skills to make your child feel at ease. Marina, Linh and Maggie wonderful with children and together with our friendly team will create a very happy and playful environment with stickers, helium balloons, video games, DVDs.

Our Oral Health Therapists are also active participants in promoting good early childhood dental awareness in the community. They have visited multiple kindergartens to provide complimentary information sessions and packs to benefit children in the eastern suburbs.

Creating a positive dental experience is very important to begin a lifetime of good dental health. Dental problems can start at a very early age. Even the baby teeth that grow in the mouth from the age of 6 months can have an important role to play on the final health and alignment of the adult teeth. There are also ever changing challenges to the health of the teeth at varying age groups into adulthood. We recommend that your child has a dental check up from the age of 2 upwards.


Will it hurt?

Every member of our highly trained dental team is fully aware that the mouth is a sensitive area, and we treat it accordingly.
- We explain what we are doing so that there aren't any surprises
- Frequent rest periods during dental treatment.
- Every injection is given with a pain minimization techniques
- We give you complete control during dental treatment.

Here are a number of ways we make your dental treatment as comfortable as possible;
- Every dental treatment room has a beautiful garden outlook through floor to ceiling windows
- A relaxing patient lounge with coffee, teas, up to date magazines, Foxtel TV or DVD's, iPad with internet and games for the kids (you're welcome to come earlier for your appointment to get comfortable)
- An open spacious, purpose built practice dental room design.
- The latest Planmeca dental chairs with body contouring seats and DVDs.

Our practice prides ourselves on providing pleasant and modern surroundings. Our team members are very friendly and caring. Our main goal is to provide the best dental experience you have ever had.


What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the inflammation caused by plaque and tartar build up which releases toxins into the gum area. When the tissues supporting the teeth break down due to the inflammation, the teeth may have to be removed. Because of this process, gum disease (and not decay) is the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults today.

An important thing to remember is that gum disease doesn't usually cause pain until the disease is in the advanced stages. Symptoms include; red swollen gums, bleeding gums when brushing, bad breath, tartar / calculus buildup, shrinking gums, receded gums, loose teeth that move

How can I fix gum disease?

Your dental treatment will depend on how advanced the gum disease is. The most common form of treating the gum disease is through a hygiene clean to remove all the plaque and calculus from above and below the gum margins. For severe cases, multiple cleans are required. At times, dental specialist care with a Periodontist (gum specialist) can slow or stop the devastating consequences of loosing many teeth.


At what age should my child attend for a dental visit?

Our dental team recognise the importance to making your child's dental experience fun and enjoyable through iPad games, stickers, balloons and Children's DVD's in the chair. Lifelong dental health begins with important early steps, and first impressions are everything.

The best time for a child to have their first dental visit is when they have their baby teeth at 18 months of age to 2 years of age. A simple and quick examination will allow us to introduce the child to good dental habits and identify risk factors. Some children are happy to show us their teeth early, others may take a few visits. We will always encourage your child to become comfortable in the dental setting at their own pace, never being forceful.

From the age of 6 we can start to detect issues with the alignment of the teeth and the development of the facial jaw structures. An assessment with an Orthodontist (specialists that align teeth) may be recommended from this age onwards.


What are white fillings?

White coloured dental fillings are typically made out of either a plastic and glass composite resin mixture, or porcelain.  At The Smile Team Balwyn North dentist we have progressed away from using amalgam restorations(silver fillings).  The dark amalgam fillings have positives, but are associated with making teeth appear darker and also encourage cracking of teeth over time time.  Many Scandinavian countries have banned the use of amalgam restorations altogether due to the environmental impact of the material.

Major technological developments over the past 20 years now enable us to place strong tooth coloured restorations instead of the older amalgam or metallic/grey fillings. This means better aesthetics, making it much harder (if at all possible) for others to spot a filling in your smile. 

We will be happy to discuss with you the best options in improving your smile to obtain your goals.

Why do I need dental x-rays? Are they safe?

We recommend dental bitewings (small xrays taken to show between teeth and under fillings) to be taken once every 2 years in order to detect areas that are difficult or impossible to see visually in the mouth. If there are areas of greater concern then we may choose to take an xray for a specific tooth so that we may see the entire root of the tooth. If there are several areas of concern such as wisdom teeth in the four parts of the jaw, then an OPG (panoramic x-ray which shows all teeth) will be more suitable.

The Smile Team uses the latest advanced computerized technology in taking digital dental x-rays to minimize the radiation to about 70% less than that of traditional dental x-rays.

The radiation from each individual Bitewing x-ray is equivalent to the same amount of radiation each and everyone of us receives from one day of natural background radiation (extremely tiny). Despite this, our entire team is dedicated to limiting the amount of radiation every patient receives at our dental practice to only what is absolutely necessary.

What is a dental crown, porcelain veneer, dental implant?

A dental crown is a restoration for a weak or previously heavily treated tooth. It is like a cap that encases the whole tooth. It is recommended for teeth which have large restorations and are likely to break or to improve the appearance of a badly discoloured tooth. Dental crowns are stronger than fillings and help reinforce the structure of the tooth.

Dental crowns can be made out of different materials and depending on the tooth and the individual may be porcelain or gold for example.

The process of making a dental crown involves the dentist firstly preparing the tooth and taking an impression of the preparation and then allowing the dental technician approximately 2 weeks to custom make the crown for you. In the mean time you will have a temporary dental crown placed on the prepared tooth. When the dental crown is finished the dentist will remove the temporary dental crown and cement the final strong custom made dental crown on your tooth.

Porcelain veneers are generally half the size of dental crowns. They are all porcelain, and used on the front teeth to improve the colour and shape of the teeth.

Dental implants are artificial teeth that replace one or more missing teeth. Dental implant treatment are more natural than dentures, and are better for your remaining teeth than dental crowns. Implants provide you with teeth again, that are in some ways stronger than your existing teeth. Dental implants is a recent advancement in dentistry, but the success rate of implant treatment (in the range of 95%) is one of the highest for any form of dental treatment.

How often should I have dental visits?

Depending upon your oral health risks, we will recommend examinations either once or twice a year. Our aim is for your mouth to be healthy and stable so your teeth last a lifetime with a minimum of worries, complications, and cost.

Why should I have regular dental visits?

Dentistry's greatest progress over recent decades is in preventive dental care techniques. There is no reason why a healthy set of teeth cannot stay filling free for a lifetime if the correct approach is taken together by you and us. One of the most satisfying aspects of our work is to be able to give you the all clear at examinations. By having regular dental examinations, we aim to assist you in identifying risk factors and take the necessary actions.

By the time you can notice discomfort in a tooth, it's possible that dental treatment can become more complicated. Dental decay doesn't happen overnight, and if we can identify this early, we can save you time, discomfort, and cost.

Why does it feel like that every time I visit a dentist more dental treatment is required?

As a practice with a practice philosophy of preventive dental care, we strive to minimize the amount of treatment that you require. It's important to know that not all dental treatment has the same level of priority. For this reason, for all dental treatment procedures we propose we will truthfully inform you of whether the treatment is urgent, beneficial over the longer term, or completely optional

Dental studies show that three types of individuals will be more prone to having more significant and costly treatment than on average.
Group 1. An inbalance of diet and oral hygiene.
Group 2. Patients with a history of multiple, and or large fillings.
Group 3. Irregular attenders to a dentist.

What can I do about my broken tooth?

It is a common occurrence that a tooth or filling breaks through decay or wear and tear. What happens next depends on each individual tooth. If the break does not involve the nerve of the tooth (keeping in mind sensitivity does not necessarily mean the nerve is exposed), a simple filling may be all that is required. If the tooth already has a large filling or area of decay and the cavity involves the nerve, a filling may not be enough.

Different cases may need different treatments including dental crown, root canal filling, or removal with a dental implant replacement.

It's a good idea to have a broken tooth repaired as soon as possible even if it doesn't give you any discomfort. A broken tooth is a potential trap for food and debri that can also lead to adjacent teeth developing decay.

How do you get rid of staining?

Staining on teeth may be from different sources and therefore require different methods to remove or disguise. Some superficial stains from coffee, tea, smoking, tartar may be removed with a simple professional clean.

If the stains are deeper like some smoking stains, naturally yellower teeth, or discoloured patches on teeth, the treatment may involve whitening, or placing restorations over the tooth to disguise the problem by bonding tooth coloured filling, porcelain veneers or crowns. There are many ways to fix these problems. It really depends on the cause and what method is best for your situation.

How can I whiten my teeth? What methods do you promote?

After a check up or consultation to determine if teeth whitening is suitable for you, there are two recommended whitening options you can select from.

The first method is usually called chair side teeth whitening. We are pleased to bring you a the latest system of America's number 1 tooth whitening system: the Zoom Whitespeed. This usually takes 1 to 1 ½ hours and involves painting a specially formulated gel on your teeth and using the Zoom Advance Power light to activate the gel. This is done for three cycles depending on the original shade of your teeth and the desired shade.

The second method is usually called home teeth whitening. This involves having custom made trays to fit your teeth and then over a 5-14 day period home teeth whitening gels are placed the tray and then fit the tray onto your teeth for 3 hours a day. This is also a very effective way of teeth whitening but will require more time and energy on your behalf.

Related: Teeth Whitening


Will dental teeth whitening work for me?

Whitening may give different results for different people. Each patient has a different potential to benefit from teeth whitening.

There may be barriers as to why whitening won't work every time. By having a thorough assessment we can identify whether you are a good candidate for teeth whitening, and overcome certain barriers.


Why not over the counter teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening products include teeth whitening tooth pastes, teeth whitening rinses, teeth whitening pens, teeth whitening strips, teeth whitening gels. Although all these products are likely to work to some degree and share some basic mechanisms to improve the colour of teeth, supermarket products must also be limited in their concentrations because they are available to everyone. This in general means that they will not work as effectively, nor last as long.

Products that are available for purchase over the counter are generally three to six times weaker than what we can provide you if you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. A consultation is important because there are multiple causes to teeth discolourations. By having a look together at your teeth, we can identify the right solutions to improve their appearance.

Through a supervised course of teeth whitening, we can help to maximize the ability to whiten your teeth without harming your teeth and gums.


Should I use a power electric toothbrush?

For most patients, switching to an electric toothbrush creates a reduction to the amount of plaque bacteria present in the mouth.  Check out our detailed answer in our Blog section.


What is the best toothbrush?

A soft comfortable toothbrush that has a small to medium head is usually a good start when looking for a toothbrush.  We have tried lots of toothbrushes, and have our favourite.  Check out our detailed answer in our Blog section.

What is the best toothpaste?

What toothpaste is best for you depends upon a number of factors such as; Do you have sensitivity?  Have you had frequent decay?    Check out our detailed answer in our Blog section.

What to look for when buying a power electric toothbrush?

There are many models of power electric toothbrushes.  Some functions are definitely handy to have.  Check out our detailed answer in our Blog section.


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