Looking for a Good General Dentist? Read this first

Are you looking for a great dentist in Maroubra?

Dr. Jamie has been looking after families and professionals in Maroubra for nearly 12 years now since he moved from the UK.

He is very proud of the number of patients that refer their friends and family to him, and, believes this crucial fact is the best indicator of whether someone feels looked after, cared for and that has faith in his ability.

Aside from performing quality dentistry, he is both enthusiastic and gentle: always taking the time to clearly explain any problems, discuss options you might have available and he’ll always make time to answer any questions you might have.

Whether you are 9 years old…19…39 or 90, you will feel immediately at ease, and confident you have selected an excellent dentist who will look after you for the years to come.

We can all agree, the dentist isn’t everybody’s favourite place, but that said, things have come a long way and with good communication and the latest techniques and technology, we can make the experience…well not exactly say enjoyable, but surprisingly OK.

What is the “slippery slope” of dentistry, and why is this concept so important?

A couple of years ago Dr Jamie coined a phase “the slippery slope” in relation to dentistry.
It’s something he always talks to people about, since it puts a lifetime perspective on where the patients’ teeth are now.

Dentistry is an irreversible invasive procedure.
Once you have had a dental filling, you are always going to have a filling. The only inevitable thing that will ever happen, is that at some point in the future the filling will fail and you will need a new and slightly larger filling.

Fast-forward this scenario a few decades and there may not be sufficient tooth left to hold just a filling and an inlay or onlay or crown will be required.

The larger a filling gets, the more chance the nerve inside the tooth becomes affected. About 20% of teeth treated with dental crowns will become non vital and end up requiring a root canal- assuming that they haven’t already had one.
Patients will sometimes opt for removing the tooth, rather than having a root canal, and then they either fill the space with an implant or a bridge, or they may choose to leave it – after all it’s only one tooth.

If the same thing happens with another couple of teeth…well, before you know you‘re either up for many thousands of dollars worth of crown and bridge work, implants or a combination, or you begin wearing a partial denture.
If you do have a denture, the next time a tooth has a problem, you may decide to just take it out and add it to the denture.

Fast forward again another couple of decades, and you can see how you could end up wearing largely false teeth.

This is ‘the slippery slope’ … without really thinking, it’s so easy to become a victim.

The key fact here, is that the more work that you have carried out in your mouth, the more that can actually go wrong, make that, the more that will go wrong.

It is for this reason, Dr Jamie’s treatment philosophy has a grounding in prevention – the more you help yourself and the quicker you fix the problems (with Jamie’s help if necessary), the better it is in the long run for both your health and your pocket.

There used to be insurance companies in the UK that would set your premium based on the amount of dental work you’d had done. Why… because it is the best predictor of needing further work: it tells them how you look after your mouth, how at risk you are for problems and how much current work can require replacing.

Is there any good news?

The good news is, at whatever point you start caring for your teeth properly and adjusting your risk factors, you create a plateau on the slope. So when’s the best time to start caring, the answer is right now; no matter where your starting point is.

Those of you with almost nothing wrong, or who have children with no problems, are in the perfect position to get into good habits early and take the expense and time of dental treatment off the table… for life. Everyone else trust me when I say you don’t need a crystal ball as a dentist to see what’s coming.

So how do you change the environment and what do you need to do?

We don’t know what we don’t know, so seeing a dentist you trust regularly is really important.

“A lot of my older patients have all their own teeth; gone are the days where everybody will be wearing dentures when they get old.
My favourite example is a very special little lady, who has been going to the dentist since the age of 4… she is now 86.
Sure she has a few fillings and a couple of crowns … but that’s it.
She has been to the dentist every 6 months for her whole life, seeing one dentist for the best part of 40 years, then the next dentist who took over the practice for another 35 years and myself for the rest.
Amazing don’t you think!
If that isn’t an advert for going to the dentist, I don’t know what is”.

How can you defy the ‘slippery slope’?

“Catch things whilst they are small: If you are being seen every 6 months for a check and clean, then when something starts to happen, it can be dealt with quickly and easily with a simple treatment.

Feel a niggle – get it checked.

Don’t leave things for 2 or 3 years because that potential small filling, can easily become a root canal and a crown or worse an extraction.

Next tip, if you do need to have a tooth removed then fill the space properly; suck it up and get an implant or a bridge, pay it off, do whatever you need to do.

Why, because in doing so, and spending that money, you will begin taking serious care of your tooth, and it will serve you well for years to come.

If you don’t’ bite the bullet,’ your missing tooth or teeth will set in motion a series of changes: the balance of your bite is disrupted; the teeth either side can move; the tooth above the problem retains its eruptive mechanism and will begin to grow down and change the way your teeth are able to move across one another; the contacts between your teeth will change, creating food traps that make the teeth more vulnerable to decay; plus as an added bonus- sensitivity and gum disease may well develop.

Remember also, that your teeth support your cheeks and facial profile so taking them out will have an impact on your facial profile and create the effect of premature ageing.

We have all seen someone with no teeth, without their dentures, and how the skin folds in and creases.
Fix that missing tooth as soon as you can.

‘Prevention’ is the next slippery slope defying act, and this can come in many forms: wearing a night splint to protect against wear from grinding; wearing a proper dentist fitted mouthguard for sport, reducing the risk of injuries; brushing properly to avoid wearing down your gums; flossing and using interproximal brushes (of the correct fit) to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease; choose an appropriate and kind diet for your teeth (not high in sugar or acid); use fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist every 6 months:
things will change massively!

It’s not rocket science but fail, and the time, cost and pain will exponentially increase”.

What are patients saying about Dr Jamie?

If you would like to read what our patients are saying, please click below:

The Top 3 reasons to look after your teeth:

  1. For your Health!
    Link with systemic diseases– there is an increasing body of scientific research linking inflammatory mediators in the mouth: from gum disease to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
  2. For your Wallet!
    Visiting your dentist regularly and staying on top of things may cost you a few hundred dollars here and there, but if you need a root canal, a crown or an implant that will set you back thousands.
  3. For your Social Life!
    Bad breath is a deal breaker- from any angle- so do your friends and partner a favour: keep things fresh and clean.

How often should you see a dentist?

Our general advice is that you should see the dentist every 6 months.

This goes for adults, children and seniors; as at every stage of life there are specific risks and conditions we need to be mindful of.

It also allows us to keep things clean, catch things early whilst they are small and to keep you on track with your hygiene.

If you start heading off at a tangent, the difference between a yearly visit to your dentist, and a 5 yearly visit can be huge in every respect.
If you suffer from gum disease, we will need to see you for a clean even more often, in order to stay on top of things: maybe even every 3 months; we need to prevent the disease progressing as best we can.

Thinking of becoming a patient with us?

We’ve put together all the information you need to decide if we are the right dentist for you.

What should I consider when choosing a dentist?

According to the various research on the subject, the following factors are considered the most important when selecting a dentist for you and your family (if you have one of course):

  1. Skill mix and experience – are you looking for a particular treatment or a general dentist?
  2. Trust and personality – look for a dentist you like, feel comfortable with and whom you truly believe has your best interest at heart.
  3. Communication, care and attention – they should take the time to explain what’s going on and why – offer you the various options for treatments including the costs. You should have the chance to ask any questions you want and they should answer you without putting any pressure on you to go ahead.
  4. Location and convenience- is it close to home or work? Can you get parking or combine it with a trip to the shops?
  5. Clinic hours and availability – what days and hours are the clinic open and is the particular dentist you want available? Maybe you need a late, or a Saturday appointment.
  6. Cost – does the Practice accept your health fund, or are they based in the City where prices tend to be higher.
  7. Good with children – obviously only necessary… if you have kids… but can make or break their experience and set up them up for life- so it’s really important.

Reach out to the dentist directly or call the office, to schedule an appointment and speak with the staff.
They should be kind, friendly and accommodating.
Get recommendations from friends and family and check out online reviews. Ultimately, like most things the best test is going in and actually meeting the dentist and having a check up: this will give you a really good sense of whether or not this dentist is going to be a good long term fit.

So what treatments do general dentists carry out?

Dentists can diagnose and fix all manner of teeth related problems, including chipped teeth, broken fillings, wisdom tooth removal, bad breath, toothache, bleeding gums, discoloured or yellow teeth, teeth that are missing or not straight and much more.
A general dentist can actually provide every type of treatment, that’s assuming they have had the proper training in that aspect of dentistry and have appropriate insurance.

There are treatments that nearly all dentists provide and then there are more specialised treatments that not everybody does.

If a dentist doesn’t perform or offer a particular treatment then they will have an appropriate specialist to refer you to.

It is also worth, that whilst a dentist can do all these treatments, it is those dentists that perform certain procedures on a regular basis that are best – hence, if you are looking for something specific, for example porcelain veneers, it would make sense to find a dentist who does a lot of them! Common sense really.

Not all dentistry is created equal and this goes for things as simple as a clean or a filling, so choose your dentist wisely!

Treatments provided by most dentists include:

  • Consultation
  • Check ups
  • Scale and polish
  • X-rays
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Full dentures
  • Partial dentures
  • Sealants
  • Teeth whitening
  • Mouthguard’s
  • Crowns
  • Dental bridges
  • Preventative Dentistry
  • Veneers– to varying degrees
  • Root canal – to varying degrees
  • Wisdom teeth – to varying degrees
  • Children’s dentistry – to varying degrees
  • Cosmetic dentistry – to varying degrees

Treatments provided by some dentists:

  • Orthodontics
  • Invisalign
  • Bone grafting
  • Gum procedures
  • Facial injectables
  • Dental implants
  • All on four
  • Full mouth rehabilitation
  • Lasers
  • Sedation dentistry
  • CT scans
  • Digital dentistry
  • TMJ therapy
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Cosmetic dentistry

How much does general dental treatment cost?

This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variants and factors: it will depend on your insurance and level of cover (if you have it).
Please see our cost and payment section for more details and each treatment page has a summary box that will give you an indication of price for that particular procedure.

Have a Question?

You can ask Dr Jamie directly:

Alternatively if you would prefer to speak with someone directly or book an appointment, please call our lovely staff at the Maroubra Dental Centre on 02 9133 4005.

Like more information?

Click the below to see our guides to:

Check out:

1. Dr Jamie’s education site; Jamiethedentist.com where you can hear him speak and read about General Dentistry in a lot more detail.
2. These other good resources:

  1. Choosing a dentist- ADA.org.au
  2. General Dentistry Procedures- Wikipedia


You can also subscribe to Dr Jamie’s monthly Newsletter for the latest information and advice on all things dental, facial and health:

Related links:

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