Dr Charlie Kahwagi has endeavoured to answer the most common questions they receive on this page.
How Do I Become A New Patient?
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to start now. Many people have avoided dental treatment due to past bad experiences or fear. Be assured that we will treat you with the highest care and respect and ensure your visit is as pleasant as possible to get your dental care back on track.
What does a dental clean involve?
When you have your teeth professionally cleaned, any unwanted plaque will be removed in order to prevent the onset of gingivitis and periodontal disease. A professional clean is the only way in which hardened tartar and plaque that has built up on the teeth can be removed.
When brushing, why should I spit and not rinse?
It is recommended that once you have finished brushing your teeth, that you spit and not rinse because rinsing washes away the fluoride that helps to protect your teeth.
Am I too old for orthodontics?
Twenty years ago, orthodontics was stereotypically the domain of teenagers. Now, there are plenty of options for adult orthodontics. From discreet treatments like clear aligners, to clear braces and lingual braces, having straighter teeth is now an easier and more lifestyle friendly option.
Why are regular visits to the dentist important?
By visiting the dentist regularly, your dentist can not only assist with maintaining oral health, but they can also check for oral cancer and gum disease.
Why is it important to clean between your teeth?
Plaque can build up in between your teeth and since brushing doesn’t remove it, it is recommended to use a floss or interdental brush to get into those hard to access areas.
What Teeth Whitening Options do you Offer?
From in-chair whitening, to take-home kits and dental veneers, Dr Charlie Kawhagi and the Lara Smile Group team provide patients with options to suit their needs.
- In-chair whitening can brighten your smile up to 8 shades in an hour.
- Take-home whitening kits can take up to a couple of weeks depending on how you want to proceed with the treatment.
- Dental veneers are a great way not only to whiten your teeth but also conceal any chips or cracks.
What are lingual braces?
Lingual braces are attached to the backs of the teeth, which means that they are almost invisible. Lingual braces make use of wires and brackets to move the teeth into new positions.
How long do lingual braces take to work?
The duration of your treatment with lingual braces will depend on a number of factors, including the particular issue you would like resolved and its severity. In most cases, treatment takes between 18 to 36 months to complete with lingual braces, although this depends on the complexity of the case. When you come in for a consultation, Dr Charlie Kahwagi will assess your orthodontic issue and let you know what you can expect from your treatment plan, including how long you can expect to have to wear your lingual braces.
How should I take care of my lingual braces?
When wearing lingual braces, it is very important that you practise a high level of oral hygiene. It is essential that you brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and a soft round-bristle toothbrush is recommended. Remember to floss every day to ensure that you remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth, and rinse with a fluoride rinse regularly to strength your teeth.
How are lingual braces similar to traditional braces?
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in that they utilise wires and brackets to move your teeth. They differ from traditional braces in that they are attached only to the backs of the teeth. This means that lingual braces are much more discreet than traditional metal braces. In fact, most people won’t even know that you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. There is also less risk of irritation to the lips and cheeks than traditional braces.
Do lingual braces fix overbites?
Yes, lingual braces can be used to resolve a number of orthodontic issues, including overbites. The best way to know whether or not you are a suitable candidate for lingual braces is to come in for a personal consultation with Dr Charlie Kahwagi. He will perform a thorough assessment and let you know what orthodontic treatment option is best for you, depending on your particular area of concern. In many cases, lingual braces are an effective option for those who would like to resolve an orthodontic issue but would prefer to avoid traditional, metal braces.
Do lingual braces affect speech?
Lingual braces are attached to the backs of the teeth, which can sometimes cause patients to lisp for some time while they adjust to the treatment. In most cases, however, patients adapt to the feeling of their lingual braces within a week or two. The more you practice speaking with your lingual braces, the quicker you can expect to adjust to the feeling, and the faster your speech will return to normal. If you are concerned about adjusting to your lingual braces, we encourage you to chat to Dr Charlie Kahwagi about your worries. He will be able to advise you on the best ways to get used to the treatment.
Do I need braces?
If you suffer from issues such as crowding, ‘gappy’ teeth, malocclusion, crookedness, a misaligned bite, or a misaligned jaw, it is possible that you would benefit from orthodontic treatment in the form of traditional metal braces. The best way to determine whether or not you need braces is to come in and see Dr Charlie Kahwagi for a personal consultation. He will perform an orthodontic assessment and identify any issues that need to be repaired. He will then advise you on the treatment plan that is best suited to your particular needs.
Can braces correct overbite?
Yes, absolutely. Overbites are a fairly common orthodontic issue in children and are often treated with the use of traditional metal braces. The treatment for an overbite is usually a two-stage process. First, Dr Charlie Kahwagi will straighten the teeth with braces before adding components to the braces, which are designed to gradually shift the position of the jaw bone. Depending on the severity of the overbite, the treatment process may take between six months and two years to achieve the desired results. Dr Kahwagi will explain the process in detail when you come in for a personal consultation and orthodontic assessment.
Do braces hurt?
The process of placing braces on your teeth does not cause any pain. You may, however, feel some discomfort afterwards, and you may experience some pain for around a week or so following the placement of your braces. Dr Charlie Kahwagi may recommend some medication to help relieve any discomfort in the teeth and mouth. He will also let you know what foods to avoid during this time. Although it can take some time to adjust to new braces, most patients get used to their orthodontic appliances within a month or so.
How are braces put on?
The process of applying your braces usually takes between an hour or two to complete. First, Dr Charlie Kahwagi will clean your teeth. He will then apply special bonding glue to the surface of your teeth before attaching the brackets. When the brackets are in place, he will place the archwire. The wire will be secured in place with elastic bands. Once your braces have been applied to your teeth, Dr Kahwagi will explain how to take care of them and provide some tips for managing any discomfort you may experience as you get used to your braces.
What can’t you eat with braces?
We recommend that you avoid certain foods when you have braces. These include very hard and crunchy foods, such as popcorn, hard candy and certain hard breads. It’s also important that you avoid foods that can increase your risk of tooth decay, such as sugary sweets and drinks. Sticky sweets like toffee and caramel can also cause damage to your wires and brackets. To avoid staining, it’s a good idea to stay away from highly pigmented foods and drinks, like dark berries, beetroot and grape juice.
Are traditional braces faster than Invisalign?
Clear aligners such as Invisalign generally take less time to work than traditional orthodontic treatment like braces. It is important to note, however, that not all orthodontic issues can be treated with clear aligners. More complex cases, such as severe malocclusion, are often better treated with traditional metal braces. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, we recommend that you come in and see Dr Charlie Kahwagi for a consultation. He will be able to assess your orthodontic issues and let you know which treatment best suits your particular case.
What are clear aligners?
Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. They are virtually invisible, and do not involve any metal brackets or wires. Instead, they are made from medical grade plastic. Clear aligners are custom-made with the use of 3D technology, so they perfectly fit each individual’s mouth.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth, and work by gradually moving the teeth into their desired position. The aligners fit over the teeth much like a very thin mouth guard. An aligner tray is worn for around two to four weeks before it is replaced with a new one.
What are the benefits of clear aligners?
Clear aligners are a highly innovative orthodontic treatment, and have a number of benefits. They are very comfortable and convenient to wear and can be removed for eating and cleaning, and when playing sport.
Each set of clear aligners is customised to suit the individual, which means that your treatment plan will be tailored to your unique needs.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is a condition in which the gums become seriously infected. It is caused by bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and gums and can cause severe damage to the bones and teeth. Some symptoms of the condition include bad breath, bleeding gums, receding gums, swollen gums, pain when chewing, tooth loss, and build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants work like the roots of your teeth, as they are anchored into the jaw bone. They can be used to support a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on your needs. Because they are secured to the bone, they are a fixed and long term solution. When an implant is placed into the jaw, it fuses with the bone in a process known as osseo-integration. Once the implant has fused with the bone, an artificial tooth or crown can be placed.
Who is best suited for implant surgery?
Implants are an effective option for you if you are missing one or more teeth, as they are the only way that an entire tooth and root structure can be replaced. In order to undergo implant procedure, you should be in good general health with good oral hygiene. You should also have adequate bone structure to accommodate an implant.
Why Should I Replace a Missing Tooth?
Replacing a missing tooth helps to maintain the health of your gums, jaw and remaining teeth. Tooth loss causes the bone holding the tooth root in place to atrophy. Jawbone does not come back, and the longer you leave the missing tooth, the more jawbone atrophies and other teeth can become affected.
Replacing a tooth with a dental implant replaces the tooth root and crown, providing you with a whole tooth replacement which provides support to your jaw, gum and remaining teeth.
What is an over-denture?
While traditional dentures require suction and adhesive gel, an over-denture is specially designed to fit securely. An over-denture can be placed on either an existing natural tooth root, or a titanium dental implant, both of which will provide stability and support.
What is Dento-facial Aesthetics?
Dento-facial aesthetics is the most sincere form of smile makeover. It is a collection of treatments involving cosmetic and restorative dentistry as well as injectables. When you visit Dr Charlie Kahwagi, he will assess your oral health and listen to your desired outcome before putting a plan together to suit your needs.