Require more information? Read through our list of frequently asked questions and answers below:
We have an after-hours agreement with Mkem to provide a telephonic consultation and necessary prescription if required. Loock Dental will phone you back during business hours to schedule an appointment for follow-up treatment.
We are contracted in with all major providers
You should book an appointment for a dental examination if you experience one or a combination of the following symptoms. Dr Loock can help you identify the problem and prevent the spread of infection or a serious physical problem developing:
- Bad breath that doesn’t get better with brushing or mouth wash
- Sores in your mouth that won’t heal within 5-7 days or that recur
- A dull or sharp pain in your jaw
- If your gums swell up, feel painful or bleed recurrently
- Teeth that feel sensitive when you eat
- A mouth that feels continuously dry
We do regular dental check-ups because it helps us to get to know our patients’ teeth and gums and recognise areas that may be weak or vulnerable that we need to keep an eye on. We practice preventative medicine which means we want to prevent problems before they develop or treat them before they become more serious.
This is both healthier and cheaper than treating a major dental problem. We believe that regular teeth cleaning by our oral hygienist, as well as regular check-ups (every 6-12 months) will help us help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
We recommend that children start seeing Dr Loock and his team from the age of 2 when most children have developed most of their milk teeth. If they become comfortable with a dentist from an early age it will be easier to treat them as they grow older. Dr Loock can also check that their teeth are developing normally and encourage proper care and maintenance by making them feel part of the story.
Cavities are caused by harmful bacteria that damage the tooth surface and tooth enamel. When we eat a lot of sugar, fizzy drinks, refined foods etc., this is food that helps the bacteria to multiply and cause more damage to out teeth. While regular brushing helps prevent cavities, adjusting your diet to eating more raw foods (fruits and vegetables) and cutting down on sugar will also help.
Medical technology is very sophisticated these days and X-rays can be taken without compromising your health. Your dentist will take X-rays to determine the state of your teeth from the inside. This is an excellent diagnostic tool and not something you should be concerned about.
Dr Loock recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles, as hard bristles can damage your tooth surface with over brushing that causes erosion of tooth enamel.
The best practices for a healthy mouth, teeth and gums is to brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day and no more than 3 times for 90 seconds to 2 minutes at a time.
Electric toothbrushes are also excellent, as long as you don’t push down to increase the pressure too much while brushing. This can also erode enamel and hurt gums.
Get a new toothbrush every 3-6 months.
Most toothpastes will rid your mouth of bacteria and acids from food and drinks which cause tooth decay. If you want a non-fluoride option, many health stores carry toothpastes and powders made with natural ingredients. Note that these don't all have approval from dental associations. Speak to Dr Loock about recommended options and he can help you find something that works for you.
If cold or hot food or drinks make you cringe, pick a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Always inform us if you have sensitive teeth or if you develop a tooth sensitivity.
Absolutely. Flossing is an essential part of good dental care because the floss rids our mouths of leftover food stuck between our teeth which can be a major cause of tooth decay. Trapped food that is decomposing in your mouth is a major health hazard, and it also makes your breath smell. Over time trapped food causes a plaque and tartar build up that causes disease and loosens your teeth in the gum bed.
Floss at least twice a day before brushing. Don’t be alarmed if your gums bleed a little, this is normal. If there is excessive and continued bleeding, visit Dr Loock so that he can determine if there is a more serious underlying problem.
A mouthwash aids with cleaning and freshening breath but should never be an alternative to brushing. A good mouthwash will enhance your oral hygiene. Never swallow mouthwash and don’t let children use it until they are old enough to spit it all out after rinsing.
Fillings protect your teeth from further decay and replace tooth area that has decayed over time. First your dentist will numb your mouth with a local anaesthetic. The cavity area is prepped and cleaned usually via drilling to ensure the area is prepared for the filling to be inserted. Fillings are made up of composite materials. They are soft when inserted and then harden as they dry. Fillings usually last many years but your dentist will keep an eye on the area and let you know if they require maintenance.
Check with us for advice before you buy any over the counter remedies, especially if you have dental work or dark stains. And don't keep using them, or you could damage your teeth. Stores sell many whitening products, and you can get take-home gels and trays from your dentist, but neither is as strong as procedures done in a dental office, where a more thorough and long-lasting procedure can be done. Speak to Dr Loock about your options.
Teeth that look unsightly or are very irregular or stained can be covered over with caps, veneers or crowns. They look like real teeth and are built around the root and inside of your original tooth. They are attached using a special medical adhesive (cement). Veneers and bonding improve your smile by sticking a layer of smoother and whiter materials like porcelain or resin to the natural tooth. Talk with Dr Loock about which fix is right for you.