Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions to assist in your dental query. If you don’t see an answer to a topic you are concerned about, we recommend getting in touch with the team to help provide you with a more personalised service on your dental needs.

Fill out our online enquiry form, Call us today on 03 359 8300 or email us at reception@nwdental.co.nz

How often should I see a dentist?

The frequency of recommended dental exam recall is dependent on the condition of your teeth and gums. Most patients require annual recalls.

If you have high rates of decay or gum disease you may require more frequent recall periods of six, or even three months.

“Less (often) is more (expensive), more or less!”

Why do I need dental exams?

“A stitch in time saves nine!”

It is way easier (and cheaper) to deal with early decay or gum disease than wait until the disease has progressed.

If a problem is left undetected and untreated, a tooth may eventually need to be extracted.

Are dental x-rays safe and needed?

Yes and yes!

Modern digital x-rays have way less exposure than old style x-rays.

Our machines are checked regularly and are audited to confirm they are safe.

X-rays are required to see parts of the teeth, (eg under the gums) that we cannot see directly in the mouth.

I’m embarrassed about my teeth and haven’t seen the dentist in a long time. Will the dentist tell me off?

No way!

Check out our vision statement;

“Teamwork and high quality care,

Customised to our patients’ wants and needs,

Delivered with compassion and respect.”

I’ve had a bad experience and am very nervous about seeing the dentist. Can you help?


Our friendly team are here to help you!

We can discuss the options for treatment with you.

We can provide pain free dentistry with the use of local anaesthetics.

If required, we can arrange for treatment with some form of sedation or general anaesthetic for anxious patients.

Why might I get lots of fillings?

There are many reasons why patients get fillings.

And, it’s not always your fault!

You may have been born with weak teeth, or have a saliva problem that doesn’t protect your teeth.

Or, there may be a problem with your diet or with the way you’re cleaning your teeth.

We can help you address all of these problems.

What are early signs of dental trouble?

Pain, bleeding gums, food traps, sharp teeth and more.

But beware, sometimes you will not notice signs or symptoms when insidious problems are developing.

How can I replace a missing tooth or teeth?

There are a number of options for replacing missing teeth, depending upon your individual circumstance.

Sometimes we can replace a tooth with a bridge that is attached to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.

We may be able to make one of several different types of removable denture or plate to replace teeth.

We may also be able to place a fixture into your bone and build a tooth on top.

This is a fixed replacement called a dental implant.

Do I need to floss?

It is recommended that you clean between your teeth once a day. Using floss, interdental brushes or a water pik are the most effective ways to remove plaque from between your teeth.

Why do my gums bleed?

Normally, this is a sign of gum disease. Gums may be irritated by plaque build-up, and become inflamed, and then bleed when you brush or floss.

There are other reasons why gums may bleed, such as;

  • Inadequate flossing or cleaning between the teeth
  • Acute infection
  • Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that happens when plaque builds up on teeth. Plaque is a sticky form of bacteria that can cause inflammation to the surrounding gum tissue.

Gingivitis is very often caused by poor oral hygiene. If left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease. Both gingivitis and periodontal disease can be a serious issue which should be addressed by a dentist or hygienist.

Does smoking affect my gums?

Yes! It can often lead to gum disease by affecting the bone and gum surrounding your teeth. Smokers are more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease. Smoking can cause tooth loss.

Why is it important to see a Dental Hygienist?

Dental Hygienists (Oral Health Therapists) are specially trained to work as part of the dental team.

They are specifically trained to work with preventive dental health, and treat gum or periodontal disease. They can also work with you to customize good healthy home care routines and practices.