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FAQ’s

Why should I come to this dental practice?

The Reef is a patient-focused practice where our priorities are your oral health and your dental experience. We have no contractual agreements with companies whose sole focus is financial gain and want to make stipulations about how we deal with patients. This is why we offer health insurance rebates for all providers and have decided not to partner with any particular health insurer. Our dentists are experienced and skilled, and practice modern, evidence-based care in a sleek environment designed to make patients feel calm, comforted and at ease.

Which areas does this practice service?

The Reef Dental Centre provides care to any and all patients, regardless of where they live. If you live south of the River and you want to see our dentists because you have heard about the exceptional service we offer, we would love to have you! However, patients who find our location most convenient typically reside in Ocean Reef and its surrounding suburbs, including Iluka, Connolly, Currambine, Kinross, Mindarie, Clarkson, Kallaroo, Mullaloo, Heathridge, Joondalup, Edgewater and Padbury.

Why do I need to see a dentist regularly?

When you own a car, you know that you need to get it serviced every 10,000 kilometres to keep it in tip-top shape.  When you forego your car’s regular service schedule, it’s likely your car won’t get the basic maintenance that keeps it running, and littly nigling issues that could be fixed quickly and cost-effectively eventually become big issues that cost more than the car itself to fix. Odd as it may sound, your oral health is no different than your car.

While modern dentistry has developed to such a point that we can use computers to take 3D images of your tooth and complete dental restorations with near-perfect accuracy, this falls into the category of reactive treatment. To eliminate the need for expensive reactive treatment, we encourage you to consider positive habits that reduce the risk of developing issues that require such treatment, and that is where preventative dental care factors in. Visiting your oral health professional every six months is an important part of managing your overall oral health. It enables you to gather valuable information about where oral hygiene improvements can be made and makes it possible to address any minor dental concerns before they become larger, more painful issues.

Do I need X-rays every time I go to the dentist?

No, you certainly do not require dental X-rays every time you visit us. We will suggest dental X-rays only when we require more information to diagnose a dental problem. Just as X-rays help your doctor to diagnose the extent of a bone fracture, dental X-rays help provide information about regions we cannot see, which then enables us to give you a comprehensive set of options regarding any treatment you may require.

Do you do cosmetic whitening?

Yes, we offer both in-chair and at-home whitening treatment options to our patients. It’s important to understand the risks and expectations that come with whitening packages, which is why we will perform a comprehensive examination to determine if you are an eligible candidate for tooth whitening. There is a great deal of misinformation and incorrect claims surrounding tooth whitening, which is why we advise all patients to be aware of whitening packages that aren’t issued by trained dentists. 

How do I book your new patient special?

If you have never visited our dental practice before, the easiest way to book this new patient appointment is online via our website or via the “Book Online” link on our Facebook page. Simply follow the prompts and select “New Patient Special” in the drop-down menu. If you cannot find a suitable time from those offered via the online booking portal, please contact us on (08) 6401 3158.

If I can’t make it to my appointment, will there be a fee?

If something comes up and you can’t make your appointment, please contact us by phone on (08) 6401 3158 as soon as possible. Although we monitor our email account regularly, we may not see your email immediately if you need to cancel your appointment. Please be mindful of other patients when it comes to cancelling your appointment. If we don’t receive adequate cancellation notice, this will likely prevent other patients, who may be in pain and require an urgent appointment, from getting in to see us. As a result, cancellations within 24 hours of a scheduled appointment or on the day of an appointment may incur a cancellation fee.

Do you have HICAPs?

Yes, we do. HICAPs makes it possible for us to send through your health insurance rebate claim from our system when you pay for your appointment, meaning you won’t have to make the claim separately at a later time.

Which health funds do you accept?

We accept all health funds. While some dental clinics will partner with certain health insurers, we have reservations about the ethics of such partnerships. As a result, we’ve chosen not to affiliate ourselves with any singular health fund, because we know that these types of provider-insurer partnerships often come with financial stipulations that eventually impact the attention and level of care each patient receives.

How much will I get back from my health fund for my first visit?

With our new patient special, those with relevant dental cover as part of their health insurance won’t have any out-of-pocket costs for their first 60-minute appointment with us. Provided you aren’t experiencing any pain, this appointment will include a consultation, comprehensive examination, and all X-rays and photos required for this appointment. If you don’t have health insurance, or if your health insurance doesn’t include dental cover, then this initial appointment will cost $99. 

Do you bulk bill?

Yes. We bulk bill patients eligible for the Child Dental Benefit Schedule. If you want to know if your child is eligible, please contact Medicare on 132 011. However, we do not accept Medicare payments for adults. If you hold a Health Care Card or a pensioner concession card, you are eligible for subsidised public dental care through the Dental Health Services. To find your nearest clinic, please call (08) 9313 0660.

What options are available to me when it comes to payment after my appointment?

Unless you are approved for a zipMoney repayment plan, payment will be required immediately after your dental appointment. We do not carry cash on our premises, so we encourage patients to make payments via EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard, American Express or immediate bank transfer. If you have health insurance, please remember to bring your health insurance card so we can process your claim immediately via the HICAPs terminal. Once we have processed your health insurance claim, you will need to settle the gap. If you forget your health insurance card, unfortunately we will not be able to process your claim and you will need to pay the full amount owing and then contact your health insurer to claim your rebate. 

I have a sore tooth and I need it to stop! How much will it cost?

We understand that dental pain and infections can be severe, which is why they are considered dental emergencies. We make every effort to see any patient with a dental emergency on the same day they contact us. If you are in pain, please contact us on (08) 6401 3158 as soon as possible so we can get to the root of the problem and help you manage this pain. Appointments relating to pain relief will never incur a cost of more than $250 per tooth. 

I can’t afford my dental treatment right now. What can I do?

We know that when dental problems are left untreated, they become worse over time. Without treatment, a small dental cavity that only requires a simple filling can very quickly progress to a dental infection requiring complex treatment that usually involves a higher cost. We are committed to making sure everyone can get the dental care they need, regardless of their financial situation, which is why we have partnered with zipMoney to make interest-free payment plans available to patients who need immediate treatment but are concerned about the cost of any such treatment.

How much does a filling cost?

The cost of your restoration (filling) depends on the nature of the dental problem, tooth number, cavity size (involved tooth surfaces), restorative difficulty and, most importantly, choice of restorative material. The total cost for a tooth restoration can range anywhere from $65 to $1899. In cases where you require management of tooth pain or if you have a dental infection, additional costs will be involved for other treatments, such as a dental extractions or root canal therapy. However, we are committed to full transparency so that you will always be aware of costs before commencing any treatment. After an initial consultation, we will provide you with a treatment plan and a quote outlining the requirements of the tooth in question.

If there is a cheaper option for fillings and crowns, why shouldn’t I just go with that option?

Many people don’t realise that fillings and crowns are not guaranteed for a lifetime. However, how often you need to have such work re-done is dependent on your oral hygiene habits and dietary factors (including sugar and acidic intake), as well as the type and quality of the materials used. Composite resin (white plastic filling), ceramic restorations and gold all have varying structural properties. Provided you have excellent oral hygiene and enjoy a relatively healthy diet, ceramic and gold materials will always last a significantly longer period of time. While we always advocate the use of higher quality materials because of the better outcomes associated with such materials, we will always give our patients options that include short-term (one month to two years), medium-term (three to seven years) and long-term solutions (nine-plus years) so they can make an informed decision about which option best matches their needs and budget.

Where is my crown made?

Our crowns, veneers, inlays, onlays and dentures are all made by highly skilled and locally trained technicians in Perth. We use only materials certified in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and we base our choice of materials on the gold standard supported by and used in extensive dental literature.

My face is swollen. What should I do? 

If it’s during business hours, please contact us immediately on (08) 6401 3158. If it’s outside of business hours, please attend the emergency department at the Joondalup Health Campus as soon as possible.

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