St Leonards Dental Centre

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Gum Treatment

Early intervention usually reverses symptoms of gingivitis and can help prevents its progression to a more serious gum problem and tooth loss. 

Regular visit to your Dentist or Dental hygienist  accompanied with proper daily oral care and cessation of tobacco use can give you the best chance of success in gingivitis treatment


There are few medical reasons why our breath stinks, it could be from a sinus infection, strep throat, acid reflux, and could be an underlying medical issue that causes a long-lasting unpleasant breath. 
The mouth has been commonly described as the “gateway to the body,” so if you believe your bad breath is caused by your general health, visit your doctor and express your concerns. 

Having a dry mouth from certain medications, salivary gland problems or simply breathing through your mouth are also possible causes for bad breath. However, it could also be a warning sign of gum disease which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque

Healthy normal gums don’t really bleed. Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis or gum inflammation. It's a common and mild form of gum disease, and it's caused by a buildup of plaque along the gum line. If you have gingivitis, your gums may look red, swollen, and irritated. They may also bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.

Mouth Guard

Use a toothbrush with antibacterial soap after every use to get rid of the bacteria that may have
been present in the mouth guard. Always give a good rinse then dry before storing in a clean dry

Occasionally disinfect the mouthguard with Hydrogen Peroxide 3% to keep bacteria at bay.

For children, a sports mouthguard should be check during regular dental visits to ensure that the
mouthguard is still correctly fitted in the teeth. At some stage, it might need adjustment or
replacement as your child’s dentition change.

For adult mouthguard, it should be reviewed yearly to make sure the fit is still correct and to
check the physical condition of the mouthguard.

The Australian Dental Association recommends wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard when
playing or training for:


  • baseball
  • basketball
  • BMX bike riding
  • boxing
  • cricket (wicket keeping or batting without a helmet)
  • football
  • hockey
  • horse riding
  • in-line skating
  • lacrosse
  • martial arts
  • netball
  • rugby
  • skateboarding
  • snow ski racing
  • soccer
  • softball
  • squash
  • trampolining
  • water polo
  • water skiing

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) highly recommends the use of customs fitted mouth
guard over the pre formed over the counter mouth guard for proper coverage, thickness and
best possible protection of the teeth, gums and jaw.

Grinding /Bruxing and Occlusal Splint

Over time, deep grooves will eventually form in the splint caused by the opposing teeth rubbing on the splint.  Wearing the occlusal splint every night relieves the pressure on the jaw joints and protects your teeth against the damaging force of bruxism. 

Without an occlusal splint biting surface of the teeth can be worn down which can lead to tooth sensitivity. It also increases the risk of having broken teeth or filling and even tooth loss.


No, you can't use your sports mouth guard for night grinding.  Each appliance has it own purpose and design. A mouthguard is a protective barrier and is worn to help cushion a blow to the face, minimising the risk of injuries to your lips, tongue, face, and jaw and broken teeth.

While an occlusal splint  is worn to protect teeth from teeth grinding during sleep


Your splint should always be kept clean. Use a soft toothbrush, soap and rinse it with cold water after every use and always dry the splint before storing it to the case provided to prevent bacterial growth. Occasionally, use Milton's solution to help keep clean and fresh.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

As with any medical treatment, there are possible complications or side effects to dental sleep therapy. There are three primary side effects when using the device; tooth discomfort, TMJ (jaw joint) or muscular discomfort, and tooth movement or bite changes.

The side effects and complications of using COAT ( Continuous Open Airway Therapy ) are still considered minor and mostly, patients' discomfort will subside after a week or two after using the appliance. Minor complications like salivation and dry lips are also possible.

The SomnoDent oral sleep appliance treats obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by advancing the lower jaw which keeps the airways open. The appliance is custom-made to fit your mouth and consists of upper and lower splint that cover your teeth and will be titrated to advance your lower jaw throughout the treatment process.

As your jaw moves forward it in turn helps open your airway allowing you to breathe easier and sleep more comfortably for longer periods of time, helping you to reach deep, REM sleep.

A growing number of men and women have discovered SomnoDent to be the perfect solution for ending snoring, treating sleep apnea and/or improving sleep quality. It is an ideal alternative treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea or for those who have severe OSA, yet are unable or unwilling to tolerate CPAP therapy and/or surgery.

It is proven that SomnoDent devices are effective in many patients. There could be an instance where the device is not right and working, or is not meeting your therapeutic needs. If you think your sleep apnea symptoms are getting worse always contact your Dentist for any advise or recommendation throughout the course of the treatment process.

In some instances,the Dentist will need to evaluate the appliance and make necessary adjustments. However, alternative treatment options will be discussed if you think that the appliance is not working for you as you may have a serious case of OSA.

Tooth Extractions

To avoid dislodging the blood clot, don't  do vigorous rinsing after the procedure. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently  with a salt solution, made with half a teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces warm water.  Gentle brushing of the teeth is essential to prevent bleeding.

After extraction soft diet is advisable and avoid smoking, strenuous activity  in the next 24-48 hours . When sleeping try to prop your head up with pillows to reduce chance of further bleeding.

How many days does it take for a tooth extraction to heal?

The soft tissue will usually heal in 3 -4 weeks but it is advisable to relax for at least 48-72 hours before returning to  normal physical activity or any strenuous  exercise. Avoid smoking as it can delay the healing process

To be on the safe side, don't brush or rinse the mouth in the first 24 hours after the tooth extraction procedure. When brushing after 24 hours do it with care and don't allow the toothbrush to get close to the extraction site to prevent bleeding. Also,  no prolong rinsing of water or mouth rinse in your mouth.


It is best to eat after the numbness wears off but for the next 24 hours after tooth extraction, a soft diet is advisable like soup, yogurt, pudding, Jell-O. You can ease into a more normal diet when you feel comfortable doing so. 

Composite Fillings

Unlike the old amalgam fillings, composite restorations allow patients to eat right after getting the procedure done. However, dentists do recommend the patients to eat only after the numbness wears off to reduce the risk of accidentally biting your l cheek,  lip, or tongue. Though composite resin material is very strong, avoid eating crunchy, hard, or sticky right after getting the procedure.

Over the years, composite resin material has developed significantly. They are quite strong and can last for many years. Many composite fillings nowadays last at least 5 years. There are many occasions in which they can last more than 10 years

Composite restoration/fillings do not last forever. It can be break or loosen after along period of time. The everyday chewing, /grinding can break and weaken the existing composite filling. 

The retention of plaque on the tooth can risk recurrent decay around the existing composite filling. 


Root Canal Therapy

Ideally YES.  Placing a crown after RCT is recommended in most situations to prevent fracture and to restore the normal function of the tooth.

Root Canal treatment usually last as long as natural teeth if done properly and restored appropriately. Proper oral hygiene also contributes to the longevity of the treatment.

A root canal procedure sounds terrifying but with today's new materials and technology, it's normally not far more different than having a deep filling. There's little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb your tooth and gums so you're comfortable during the procedure.

Root canal treatment usually needs 2-3 dental visits and it involves 4 stages of treatment. 

 Local anesthetic will be administered before the procedure.

Stage 1: Diagnosing the Infected Pulp.
Stage 2: Getting rid of the Infected Pulp.
Stage 3: A new Root Canal Filling is Placed.
Stage 4: The Tooth is Restored.


​Wearing dentures may feel strange and getting used to it takes patience and time.It is normal to feel that it seems too big but once your muscles adapt to the new prosthesis you will start to be comfortable with it.

For some people the adjustment period takes a week while for others it takes a little longer. Multiple denture adjustment is possible however we will be happy to assist you through your difficulties and discuss the best options to get used to eating and chewing with your new dentures.

Yes, you can wear your dentures at night but it is preferable to remove the dentures before going to bed to give your gums a chance to ease up from the applied pressure of the denture during the day. 

At the beginning, you may encounter a slight difference in your speech. You may experience slurring, lisping or in some instances excessive salivation but once you get used to the dentures these speech issues will be resolve.

Reading loudly is a great exercise to quickly restore normal speech.


Dental Crowns

It is possible to have tooth decay or a cavity to form at the border of the tooth and the crown due to poor or improper oral hygiene practice.

Proper oral hygiene care and regular dental visits can help prevent unexpected dental problems.

After your permanent crown or bridge is cemented, usually you can eat within an hour. However, avoid hard or sticky foods for the meantime resume normal brushing/flossing habits and follow oral hygiene instructions given by your Dr Labalan.

The average crown or bridge should last about 5-7 years. A well-done crown or bridge can last longer than 10 years provided that the person has good oral hygiene and comes to the dentist at least twice a year for examinations, cleaning, and follow-up care.

Crown sensitivity is extremely common and usually subsides within 1-2 weeks.

Cleaning the dental bridge is important to prevent oral health complications like gum disease and tooth decay.

Using an interproximal brush (piksters) is an easy and a quite effective way in removing plaque and food traps.—just gently do a backward forward movement under the bridge to push away the plaque and food particles under the bridge.

Super Floss is another ideal dental product for cleaning crown and bridge.

Gently move the spongy floss between the gum and the base of the bridge, use a soft back-and-forth motion to remove plaque and food particles -under the false tooth. Then wrap the spongy floss around the real tooth at the other side of the bridge, slide up and down to clean the adjacent tooth surface.

Porcelain Veneer

Porcelain veneer has long-lasting stain-resistant properties. It can retain the same beautiful, bright white shade of your teeth for years after bonding. However, you need to be conscious of your eating/drinking lifestyle and follow the recommended proper hygiene and maintenance to maintain the look of a lasting teeth whitening treatment.

Porcelain veneer is durable and long-lasting. Usually, veneers last at least 10 -15 years or even longer if designed and properly bonded. Dental hygiene, eating habits are some common factors that can affect the durability of the veneer. It is recommended to practice good oral hygiene care and regular visit to your Dentist for follow-up and maintenance to maximise the lifespan of the treatment.

Porcelain veneers are durable and long-lasting. However, it is still important to be cautious of what you are eating in order to protect and prolong the lifespan of the porcelain veneers.

Dental crown and veneers are the two most common dental procedure to restore, improve the appearance and function of teeth

Crowns covers the entire teeth like a cap. A veneer is a thin shell of  porcelain material that is bonded to the front of your tooth with less tooth preparation needed for the porcelain veneer to be bonded

Tooth Whitening

The concentrations used in tooth whitening is proven to be safe and have been shown no evidence of softening or stripping of the enamel. However, it is common to some patients to experience some sensitivity of their teeth in the days and weeks after their procedure.

If you experience tooth sensitivity, you can use toothpaste for sensitivity or tooth mousse to relieve the sensitivity.


To maintain your teeth after zoom whitening, observe proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Floss at least once a day to help remove any plaque that builds up over time. and occasional touch-up treatment can help maintain long-lasting radiance.

Try to avoid food and liquid  that will stain your teeth such as coffee, tea, red wine  

Visit your Dentist /Hygienist regularly for regular check-up and clean 

Most Zoom patients’ results last for quite a while. However, results may vary depending on each individual’s lifestyle and oral hygiene practices. If good oral hygiene is maintained, and things such as coffee and red wine, smoking are kept to a minimum, Zoom results can last up to 2 years or more.

Zoom in-chair whitening procedure takes about 90 minutes. The procedure begins with a preparation period followed by 15-minute bleaching sessions (up to three 15-minute exposures, depending on comfort and results). Postoperative instructions will be discussed to complete the procedure

Dental Implants

Dental implants have proven to be a safe and effective solution for replacing teeth for over 30 years. Made from materials that work well with the human body, dental implants serve as a strong and safe foundation for replacement teeth.

Any risks and side effects are rare and easily treated. These can include:

  • Infection
  • Injury or damage to other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus problems if upper-jaw implants protrude into sinus cavities.

Although uncommon and usually minor, it is important to contact your Smile-approved dentist if you experience any of these side effects.

Once healed, dental implants should be painless and comfortable. Immediately after surgery, however, discomfort and mild pain is expected to last up to a week. Your dentist may prescribe you something for the pain and to avoid infection; otherwise, over-the-counter painkillers can help to manage the pain.

If cared for correctly, your dental implant should last a lifetime. The artificial replacement tooth attached, however, be it a dental crown, bridge or denture, does have a lifespan, which is generally between 5-15 years depending on how well it is cared for.


Dental implants are the replacement of missing teeth from root to crown. to mimic the function of natural teeth.

Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that will straighten your teeth sequentially. Each aligner is worn for two weeks. Aligners must be worn for 23 hours of the day. Aligners can be removed for eating and cleaning only!


The length of treatment depends on the severity of the case and can only be determined by your dental practitioner; however, the average case takes about 9-18 months.

The cost varies depending on the current state of the teeth, please visit us for more information.

  • Straight teeth
  • Less uneven wear on teeth
  • Whiter teeth
  • Invisible
  • Removable
  • Easy to clean

In the event that an aligner is lost, you should inform your dental practitioner right away. Dependent on your treatment progress, your dental practitioner may tell you to go back and wear the previous set of aligners and will then order a new set of aligners to replace the ones that were lost, or have you move to the next set of aligners immediately.

Not finding what you need?