Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is laser dentistry?

Laser dentistry offers a highly effective alternative to painful and noisy drilling procedures. Lasers can now be used to perform a variety of functions, including tooth restoration, and periodontal surgery (which we currently refer to specialists). Dental lasers can also remove plaque and dental decay from a cavity-affected tooth, preparing it for filling. A light beam can also help harden bonding material. Laser dentistry can effectively reshape gums, remove excess or affected gum tissue in gum disease sufferers and remove bacteria from between diseased gums and teeth.


Maintenance of your new veneers

Brush and floss as you normally would. Don't be afraid that you will damage your veneers by doing so. Non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended. A good home care regimen will insure the best aesthetic success of your veneer.

You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold after placement of your veneer. This is due to the amount of enamel left on the tooth after preparation. Sensitivity is totally normal and should dissipate in one to two weeks. If sensitivity persists, please call our office. If you are a known clincher (bruxer), please be sure to let us know. We may recommend a night guard for you to wear to minimize stress placed upon your teeth while you sleep.

Will porcelain veneers look like normal teeth?

When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. Because they are thin, light can shine through them and they take on the natural colour of the underlying tooth. It might appear thicker if there is discolouring to start with, but it still looks normal.

How durable are porcelain veneers?

With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for over a decade. We strive to ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelain and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.

How does bonding of veneers work?

The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin, shaded to blend with your tooth's colour is applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. After hardening the resin with a curing light, the resin is trimmed, smoothed, and polished to a natural appearance.


The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single visit and can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. However, since the composite used is not as strong as your natural tooth it might not be the treatment of choice for all cases. It will depend on the area, size and strength of the bite (grind). We also look at the financial implications when choosing a treatment. If damage does take place, it is relatively easy to repair in one visit. Bonding typically lasts several years before repair is needed.

What is gum disease's impact on general health?

While systemic conditions can increase your risk of developing gum disease, the reverse is also true. There has been a greater awareness of the link between periodontal disease and the appearance of other systemic conditions. For instance, the increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and the possible effect on pregnancy. This underlines the need for a comprehensive approach to the treatment of gum disease, as the impact it has on general health can be significant.

Cardiovascular disease

Several researchers have found evidence linking periodontal disease with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. The researchers found that men with periodontitis were 25% more likely to develop some form of coronary heart disease. Conditions such as arthrosclerosis and thromboembolisms were particularly prominent. The risk was especially high for men under 50 years. It was also significant that heart disease was the most common condition shared by periodontitis patients. Patients with valvular heart disease are also at risk of developing infective endocarditic. Dental procedures that result in soft tissue bleeding (even brushing) could cause bacteria present on the gums to infiltrate the blood stream (bacteraemia), providing opportunity for the blood born bacteria to be lodged on heart valves or other damaged heart tissue. This can lead to extensive heart damage.


Periodontal disease in pregnant women is receiving considerable attention as a potential risk factor for the occurrence of pre-term low birth weight (PLBW) babies. It is now widely held that PLBW caused by the transfer of bacterial products can be associated with periodontal infection. It may also be that periodontal infections can serve as reservoir for certain bacteria that may threaten the health of the fetal placenta.

New approach to disease management

Over many years various forms of gum treatments have been promoted. These included different surgical techniques and antibiotic regimens. However, these complex treatments all had limited success in patients that were unable to show effective plaque control. This demonstrated the importance of adequate cleaning techniques and highlighted the role each individual has in the effective management of his or her own gum health. Numerous studies have shown the similar results that surgical and non-surgical treatments have achieved. Many individuals achieved radical improvements in their gum health purely through improving their ability to clean effectively.

This has led to a shift in the emphasis of treatment from a surgery-based approach to a more conservative patient-centered approach that can be managed on a day-to-day basis. Where it was once of importance to remove all forms of bacteria from below the gums and root surfaces surgically, treatment is now focused on assisting an individual to clean more effectively. The goal of surgery is therefore to render previously inaccessible sites more accessible to routine cleaning. Some well-managed patients could also gain from more complex surgery if gum disease is in its advanced stages.

As systemic conditions also play a significant role in disease development, the effective multi-disciplinary management of these conditions is also of utmost importance. Some supplements that could be very useful include vitamin C, co-enzyme Q10 and the tissue salts ferrum phosphate, calcium sulphate and silicea. Ora-salts could be a useful mouthwash. Because of the importance of cleaning effectively, we should all be aware of good cleaning techniques. This is of even more importance in the 15% of people who are at greater risk of developing destructive forms of periodontitis. The dental hygienist is a very valuable source of information in this regard. Through regular visits to a hygienist, anyone can be shown how to clean effectively in their own unique circumstances. A hygienist is also able to assist in cleaning some of the areas that individuals might find more difficult to access. Through regular check-ups, your dentist would also be able to identify specific risk areas, thereby enabling more effective disease management. However the most important aspect of disease management still lies with the individual. It is critical that each individual takes responsibility for his or her own oral health. Through good oral hygiene most people are capable of significantly influencing the progression of oral disease. By using all the resources available, this has become easier for everyone to achieve.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping, is a cosmetic form of dental treatment used to improve the general look of a person's teeth. It is primarily used in cases where the individual has what is commonly known as 'gummy smile'. This is a condition in which the gums cover too much of the teeth, usually the front teeth, and this can leave the length of the teeth looking too short, which can affect a person's desire to smile.

The Procedure (we currently refer to a specialist)

To begin with a local anesthetic is used to take away feeling from the area where the procedure is to commence. The scalpel or laser device will then be used to trim away at the excessive gum that is covering the front teeth. As well as cutting away at the gum, the dental practitioner will also work to reshape the gum that is to remain in place. The healing process is relatively quick, but will be made faster if the laser device is used, as it works to seal blood vessels, in order to prevent excessive bleeding once the procedure is complete.

There are certain instances in which the removable and reshaping of the gum is not enough. If this is the case then the dental practitioner may need to remove some of the bone in which the teeth are rooted. This will be down to the judgement of the dental practitioner, should they think the gum will reform too far down on the teeth. This may seem more daunting to some than the mere removable of excessive gum, but it is just as simple a procedure. Once treatment is complete you may be prescribed with veneers or crowns to help improve the look of your smile.

What are the possible risks?

Although the vast majority of gum contouring procedures are performed safely and effectively, as with all surgical procedures there are some risks involved. For instance, if too much gum tissue is removed then it may cause the mouth to heal incorrectly. This may cause swelling and will require another procedure to correct it. In rare cases where too much gum tissue is removed there may be a longer recovery period. You should consider the implications of such risks before you decide to go ahead with the treatment.

Does my medical aid pay the dental fees, or must I?

It depends. The account is always the patience's responsibility. We do however in most cases submit and claim directly from the medical aid (our fees are above what some medical aids cover). The access needs to be paid on the day of the consultation as well as everything that the medical aid does not cover, or if the patient is a private client (without a medical aid).

What is Illegal whitening?

It is an illegal practice for spa's and beauticians to offer teeth whitening services at reduced prices, only qualified dental professionals are allowed to offer this services.

Non-professional procedures and clinically unproven teeth whitening tips can often lead to unsatisfactory results, you should look for a whitening procedure that is:

  • Fast and convenient
  • Long lasting
  • Low sensitivity
  • Proven to be safe and effective
  • Performed by an experienced Dental Professional

Book a session

Contact one of our friendly receptionists to make an appointment:

Big Bay Practice:

Seaside Village - Tel: 021 554 5853
Cnr Cormorant & Otto du Plessis Drive
- A/H: 082 855 1225
Big Bay
Business Hours:
Monday – Friday: 08h00 – 17h00


Our Mission

We are committed to providing high quality, state –of-the-art dentistry for all patients. We are enthusiastic, honest, and committed to aiding our patients both educationally and restoratively so that they maintain their optimum dental health.

Our Vision

The possibilities for enhancing your smile and teeth are endless!!

Get in touch!