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Asked Questions

If we haven't answered your question already give us a call at (08) 9376 6798

  • What will the Clinician do in the consultation?
    At the first appointment, your Clinician and the team will complete a comprehensive history and examination. This includes a complete review of your medical and dental histories, and if necessary obtain imaging, clinical photographs and study models. Following this exam, the Clinician will discuss your diagnosis, and formulate a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. Subsequent appointments will be scheduled according to your needs.
  • How long will my first appointment be?
    We are a busy practice and try our best to run on time. However, on occasion we accommodate urgent cases and may be delayed on the day. A typical initial appointment is 40 minutes, but we ask you to allow at least 1 hour for your consultation in case we need to spend a little longer with you to provide the best care.
  • Can I claim through Medicare?
    Unlike medical services, Medicare does not provide a rebate for most dental services. However, your Private Health Insurance Fund will typically provide a rebate if you have dental cover. The extent of your cover depends on the type of policy you have selected, so we are unable to advise on the rebate that you will receive. We recommend that you contact your Private Health Insurance Fund prior to your appointment to determine your level of cover.
  • Do I need a referral?
    While a referral from your medical, dental or allied health practitioner is useful and maybe a requirement for claiming; a referral is not essential.
  • Will I need scans or imaging prior to my appointment?
    You do not need any prior imaging done before your consultations, however if you have had any previous scans or imaging, we would request a copy of the reports. We do not offer imaging services on site. If your Clinician requires further imaging or investigations, you will be referred accordingly.
  • What treatment plan options do I have?
    At Perth Oral Medicine and Dental Sleep Centre we offer a range of treatment options, individualised for your needs. This includes but is not limited to exercises, oral appliance therapy, biopsy, injectables, laser therapy, sleep devices, medication including botulinum toxin and surgery if necessary.
  • Is there a “discount” for Health Care Card /Pensioner Card holders?
    Health Care Card and Pension Card Holders attract a 10% courtesy reduction on our fees.
  • How soon can I get in with a Clinician?
    As we are a busy practice, we encourage you to call us on 9376 6789 and one of our friendly staff will confirm the earliest availability of our Clincians. We do our best to find a date, time and location that is mutually suitable.
  • What do I need to bring before the consultation?
    Please complete and sign the New Patient Form and submit it online or email it back to us prior to your appointment. We also kindly request that you bring any existing oral appliances, and previous consultation, biopsy and imaging reports to the appointment with you.
  • Why does my jaw hurt?
    Jaw pain can often result due to a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Sometimes it jaw pain may even be associated with jaw joint noises such as jaw clicking or crunching. Common causes of jaw pain can include injury to the jaw (e.g whiplash, long dental appointments, clenching/grinding of teeth) and generally require specialised treatment.
  • Does splint therapy work for TMJ?
    Splint therapy, also known as occlusal or dental splints are often used as part of the management for TMJ disorders and jaw pain. There are many different splint designs, depending on the diagnosis of your TMJ dysfunction. While we do not understand the full extend of how splint therapy works, most patients find splint therapy useful in reducing pain and jaw stiffness.
  • Why does my mouth still hurt after tooth extraction?
    Most people will experience some pain from the mouth after tooth extraction, which generally improves as the extraction site heals. However, some individuals may develop jaw pain after a tooth extraction. This can be because of injury to the jaw from a long dental appointment or the forces used during a tooth extraction. A small number of individuals may also find the extraction site may still hurts, even after it is healed. This may be due to underlying nerve dysfunction, called “phantom tooth pain” . In such situations, seeking advice from a Clinician at the Perth Oral Medicine and Dental Sleep Centre will be useful in improving your pain.
  • Are migraines and TMJ related? My migraines have improved after jaw treatment -is that normal?
    Research does show that chronic migraine sufferers have improvements in the frequency and severity of their migraines when their temporomandibular dysfunction is treated. Whilst temporomandibular dysfunction does not cause migraines it appears treatment for temporomandibular dysfunction can improve migraine sufferer’s quality of life.
  • What does nerve pain in my face feel like?
    Many people describe pain differently but common descriptive words include electric shock type pain, tingling or burning pain. It commonly doesn’t respond to over the counter pain relief medication.
  • Can I just have surgery to fix my jaw joint?
    The temporomandibular joint is a complex joint and surgery is often not the best option. Conservative therapies often work better for long periods of time and patients often do not require surgery to fix their joint.
  • Can nerve pain be caused by stress?
    Stress often will worsen a person’s pain whether it be nerve pain, musculoskeletal pain or pain from other diseases. Working to reduce stress levels is just one of the vital steps in improving and maintaining a painless state.
  • Is Botox poisonous?
    Botox whilst derived from the highly toxic botulinum toxin, Botox itself is very safe. The reasons for this are due to its tight regulation in manufacturing and in use. This stringent regulation over the manufacturing of it can result in Botox however it also results in a very safe product being delivered to the patient.
  • I already have a dental splint. Will this treat my sleep apnoea?
    A splint and a mandibular advancement appliance are very different oral appliances. They treat different conditions. A splint is usually used to assist in the treatment of tooth grinding, jaw clicking and/or jaw pain. Some splint designs may actually exacerbate snoring. A mandibular advancement appliance is specifically use to treat snoring and/or sleep apnoea. It may also assist in reduction of tooth wear due to grinding as the teeth are usually covered by the appliances.
  • I am so happy that my snoring is gone with my mandibular advancement appliance! How do I know that it is helping my sleep apnoea?
    There is scientific evidence that these oral appliances work. However, whether the appliance is suitable for you will be based on your history, examination and sleep study results. The Australian Dental Association and Australasian Sleep Association endorse the current guidelines by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which recommend mandibular advancement appliances as first line therapy for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. These appliances may also be used in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnoea who refuse or cannot tolerate CPAP. The only sure way to know that the appliance is helping your sleep apnoea is to have a treatment sleep study – where you wear it during the sleep study so the results can be analysed to assess its effectiveness.
  • I found CPAP too hard to travel with. Can a mandibular advancement appliance be used instead?
    CPAP is the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea. If CPAP is working well, you should continue using it. A mandibular advancement appliance may be used for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. Also a mandibular advancement appliance may be used if you elect not to use CPAP or cannot tolerate CPAP. A mandibular advancement appliance can be easily carried in your pocket and hence easy to use when travelling. Also, it is convenient when there is no access to power to use CPAP.
  • How do these appliances work to help my snoring and sleep apnoea?
    These appliances work by assisting breathing during sleep by repositioning and stabilising the lower jaw (mandible) and tongue in a forward position. This helps prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat and thus keeps the airway open during sleep. In turn, this promotes adequate air intake (oxygen) to prevent your airway from vibrating (snoring) and obstructing (sleep apnoea).
  • The mandibular advancement appliance I had made at Perth Oral Medicine and Dental Sleep Centre is more comfortable compared to the one I got from the pharmacy! Why didn’t the pharmacy appliance fit as well?
    There are over 100 appliances available on the market. Most of them have not been scientifically tested and are not recommended. The best appliance for you will be based on your history, examination and sleep study. Furthermore, appliances that are custom-fitted and adjustable are significantly more comfortable, durable and effective compared to the “over the counter” or “boil and bite” appliances. The non-custom fitted appliances are cheaper and tempting to trial. Unfortunately, they are quite uncomfortable and not a good indication on how a custom-fitted and adjustable appliance will feel. At the Perth Oral Medicine & Dental Sleep Centre, we have 6 different appliance designs for various clinical scenarios.
  • I am so glad that I was able to have a mandibular advancement appliance made, even though I have a denture. Will it work for someone who has missing teeth but does not wear a denture?
    The newer appliances can now be fitted against upper dentures and a minimum of 4 teeth on the lower jaw is required for adequate retention. Also, these appliances may be fitted on implants for good retention. Missing teeth and gum disease are not absolute contraindications for the use of a mandibular advancement appliance.
  • How long does it usually take to get used to a mandibular advancement appliance?
    These appliances are generally comfortable to use to bed and compliance among patients is good. Initially it can be a little uncomfortable as your jaw is postured forward. This discomfort typically resolves as you accommodate to the appliance with ongoing use. Occasionally, there may be teeth and gum sensitivity or soreness which is typically overcome with adjustments to the appliance.
  • It took me a couple of weeks to get used to my appliance. Should I expect any other side-effects?
    The vast majority of patients have little or no side-effects. A small percentage of patients have minor side-effects such as excessive saliva, jaw tenderness, pressure on teeth and bite changes. Most side-effects are temporary and disappear after a day or two or with simple adjustments to the appliance. Long-term complications may or may not be fully reversible once therapy is discontinued. Given the potential for side effects and complications, it is recommended you seek the care of a clinician at Perth Oral Medicine and Dental Sleep Centre who is experienced in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine.
  • I’ve been wearing my mandibular advancement appliance for a year now, and it has been great! How long will I be able to continue to use the same appliance?
    These appliances typically last 5 years. In some cases, the appliance may last longer if well maintained. In few cases, the appliance may break or deteriorate if a patient clenches and grinds their teeth during sleep. Most times, the appliance may be sent back to the dental laboratory for repair. Some manufacturers provide warranty on their appliances for breakages and deterioration from customary use. The warranty is typically 1 year depending on the appliance.
  • Are mandibular advancement appliances for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea covered by private health insurance?
    Yes, private health insurance rebates under dental cover do apply for these appliances. You may choose to contact Perth Oral Medicine & Dental Sleep Centre for the relevant item numbers to check with your health fund.
  • What is involved in having a mandibular advancement appliance fitted at Perth Oral Medicine & Dental Sleep Centre?
    At the first consultation you will undergo a thorough history, examination, and discussion regarding the suitability of the appliance, potential side effects and expectation for successful use. If necessary, you may require radiological evaluation. Following discussion, if you choose to proceed with treatment, you will have impressions of your teeth (casts) and a bite registration to determine the optimal jaw position to design and fabricate a customised and adjustable appliance. Approximately 4 weeks later, your appliance will be fitted, and you will be shown how to adjust it for maximum benefit. Instructions on how to clean the appliance will be provided. The first review appointment to monitor your progress will be 4 weeks from the fit of the appliance and then irregular review appointments if necessary, until the maximum benefit (such as improvement in snoring, tiredness and lethargy) of the appliance is achieved. Once your appliance has been titrated optimally, a treatment sleep study may be requested by your sleep physician to determine the objective success (such decrease apnoea events and increase oxygen saturation) of your appliance. At every appointment at Perth Oral Medicine & Dental Sleep Centre, your referring doctor will receive a report detailing your progress. It is important that the appliance is checked at least every 12 months whilst you wear it, to ensure that any potential side effects can be minimized.
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