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Mouthguards for Sport, Sleeping and Snoring

Mouthguards for Sport, Sleeping and Snoring

Everything you need to know about custom mouthguards, including where to find Sydney’s best mouthguards

Sports-related injuries account for 40% of all dental injuries in New South Wales. And yet, only 36% of people wear a mouthguard during contact sports.

These statistics from the Australian Dental Association highlight a pretty alarming issue. Too often, our Sydney dental clinic sees injuries that a mouthguard could have prevented.

Dental accidents can lead to expensive, prolonged issues, including:

  • Damaged nerves
  • Chipped and broken teeth
  • Gum trauma
  • Tongue and lip damage
  • Broken or missing teeth
  • Ongoing jaw pain and headaches

But before you head to the chemist for a boil-and-bite mouthguard, it’s worth considering the benefits of a custom mouthguard fitted by one of the Sydney’s leading dentists.

Unlike an over-the-counter mouthguard, a custom mouthguard provides protection and comfort for you to play, train, or even sleep better. That’s right – there are different types of  mouthguards for teeth grinding, sleep apnoea and snoring during the night.

Types of mouthguards

Sports mouthguard

Custom sports mouthguards protect teeth, gums and jaw bone from impact injuries. They are specially designed to fit the wearer’s mouth, accounting for the size, shape and individual bite characteristics.

Anti-snoring mouth guard

Custom anti-snoring mouth guard (mandibular advancedment splint)

A custom anti-snoring mouth guard is a type of nightguard. It is used for people to alleviate snoring by repositioning the jaw in order to open the airway. A custom anti-snoring mouth guard is a hinged device that covers both the upper teeth, and the lower teeth. It functions by repositioning how the upper and lower jaws fit together. In most cases, it moves the lower jaw forward, in order to open up the airway. An unobstructed airway then alleviates snoring.

How is an anti-snoring mouth guard fabricated?

Like a custom night guard, a custom anti-snoring mouth guard is fabricated in a dental laboratory from a mold that is taken of the teeth. Our dentists will then prescribe the adjustments and instruct the lab on how to fabricate the anti-snoring mouth guard. It is then fitted, adjusted and dispensed to the patient.

Night Guards

Custom fabricated night guards

Custom night guards are mouth guards that are worn at night, that are made in a dental laboratory. They are fabricated based on a mold that we take of the mouth, and a prescription with specific instructions that we send to the laboratory.

What are custom night guards used for?

There are two main reasons to wear a custom nightguard. They are to prevent damage to the teeth and jaw joint when clenching grinding, and to treat a TMJ disorder. 

The most common reason is to prevent trauma to the teeth and jaw joints, due to clenching or grinding at night. A person that clenches or grinds their teeth at night can cause trauma to the teeth and jaw joints. Clenching and grinding of the teeth can put more load on the teeth and jaw joint than they are able to handle. This can cause wearing away of the tooth enamel, and can also result in chips, fractures and cracks of the teeth. This load can also cause damage to existing tooth restorations, such as dental fillings and dental crowns. The excessive load can also cause pain to the jaw joint due causing a TMJ disorder. A night guard is able to able to protect the teeth and jaw joints from this kind of damage.

The other main reason to wear a custom night guard is to treat an existing TMJ disorder. A custom fitted a night guard may be able to relieve some of the pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ disorder.

What causes a patient to clench or grind their teeth?

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Unbalanced bite
  • Mal-aligned teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Airway obstruction

Is a custom night guard worn on the upper teeth or on the lower teeth?

A custom night guard may be worn on the upper teeth or the lower teeth, but not both. Our dentists at Pitt St Dental Centre will advised you the appropriate one to use.

How long should my custom night guard last?

The duration of time that a custom night guard remains functional, in order to achieve the goal of protecting the teeth and jaw, depends on how much a patient clenches and grinds. We have had patients that need to replace their night guard once per year, and some patients where their night guard have lasted for many years without replacement.

We instruct our patients to bring their night guard into our office whenever they come in for their usual checkups and teeth cleanings. We evaluate the night guard to make sure that it is still functional. When a night guard shows wear such as pitting or indentations, we advise patients to have it replaced. These indentations allow the teeth to lock into one place, reducing the effectiveness of the night guard.

Over-the-counter vs custom mouthguards

Over-the-counter night guard from a chemist

Mouth guards that can be bought in a drug store are severely inferior to a custom night guard. Because they are not custom made, they can be big and bulky, and feel uncomfortable.

Additionally, over-the-counter night guards, including heat moldable devices, are made out of soft materials. Our custom night guards are made out of a hard bite plate that cannot be clenched into. Over-the-counter night guards can cause an increased urge to clench and grind, as is a natural response to have any chewy material in the mouth. This is especially exasperated in times of stress. Although it may work minimally to protect the teeth, it can cause more damage to the TMJ joint, as one clenches and grinds more.

Over-the-counter mouthguards don’t offer the same level of protection as customised sports mouth guards and we often see detrimental injuries with those mouthguards.

Additionally, a majority of the over-the-counter nightguards contain BPA, which is a known carcinogenic. Over time, these materials release toxins into your body, as you teeth grind them into small fragments.

For all of the above reasons, we always suggest getting a custom night guard versus an over-the-counter night guard.

Can I use a custom mouthguard with braces?

You might be surprised to hear the answer is yes; you can get a custom mouthguard for braces.

Custom mouthguards prevent injuries to your teeth, gums, tongue, lips and cheek, as well as your braces. This is true for contact sports and sleeping alike.

Do I need to visit a Sydney dental clinic for a mouthguard?

Yes, only a professional dentist can make a custom mouthguard or splint.

What is involved in making a custom night guard?

Each custom night guard is different and fabricated to specifications unique to each patient specific needs. The first step is to have a thorough examination to identiy your needs. We then take a digital scan of the patient’s teeth and gum. This scan is then sent to our local Sydney dental laboratory with a prescription with specific instructions on how to make the night guard.

The mouthguard or the splint is then fabricated out of a BPA-free material. This produces a mouth guard that fits to the exact shape of our patients’ teeth. We then have our patients return to fit and adjust the night guard. During our evaluation of the night guard, we ensure that there is even load on both jaw joints, and that the bite is even everywhere.  We then adjust the nightguard accordingly. Once the nightguard is fitted and adjusted, you will get instructions for the care and use of your night guard.

You will be instructed to wear your night guard every night. You will also be instructed to bring your night guard with you to our office during your normal dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointments for re-evaluation.

Whether you need a custom-made mouthguard for contact sport, training, grinding or sleeping, Pitt Street Dental Centre is on your side. Schedule an appointment to get professional, high-quality advice on Sydney’s custom mouthguard and splints.

Recover Your Smile with a Full Mouth Restoration

Recover Your Smile with a Full Mouth Restoration

Full Mouth Reconstruction commonly refers to the restoration or rebuilding of all one’s teeth in the upper and lower jaw. Full mouth reconstruction does not only apply with one who is completely edentulous (missing all teeth) and in need of full dentures. Full mouth reconstruction will allow the dentist to repair multiple problems in the mouth at one time.

Patients do not need to worry since we will sit down with each patient and go over all of the details with that specific patient’s procedure. With full mouth reconstruction, each patient will need a treatment that is slightly different than another. By customizing the treatment to each individual, the dentists at Pitt St Dental Centre can help ensure that the patient is completely satisfied with the result. There are multiple reasons as to why a patient may need full mouth reconstruction, including trauma, infection and long-term wear.

What is a Full Mouth Restoration?

A full mouth restoration, also known as full mouth rehabilitation, bundles multiple dental treatments into one tailored package.

The goal of a restoration plan is to rebuild your confidence, brighten your smile and treat any underlying oral health concerns.

Depending on your personal needs, your dentist may combine cosmetic dentistry treatments with orthodontic procedures to address underlying issues and aesthetics together.

Reconstruction Methods

At Pitt St Dental Centre in Sydney,  we will ensure that each patient receives the best full mouth reconstruction for his or her needs. We can reconstruct a mouth with a variety of dental tools and options at our disposal. The tools, options and restorations for a full mouth reconstruction include:

The look of the teeth, in relation to the face, lips, and mouth, their size, color and proportion, are one of the fundamentals factors in the success of full mouth rehabilitation cases.

These dental procedures may be involved, dependent on the condition:

  • Teeth professional cleaning and periodontal maintenance.
  • Crown lengthening to uncover healthy tooth for crowns and bridges construction.
  • Orthodontic repositioning of teeth and or maybe in severe cases orthognathic surgeries.
  • Gum contouring for pink aesthetics.
  • Porcelain Veneers, crowns, inlays, onlays, and bridges.
  • Restoration of any cavities.
  • Restoration of endodntically treated teeth.
  • Implant placement as a way to replace missing teeth and preserve the remaining bone structure and better aesthetics.
  • Temporary restorations for new occlusal bite accommodation and relief of temporary mandibular joint.
  • Soft tissue and bone graft could be needed for support in some cases that needs reconstruction and massive defects.

These are only a few of the possible treatment options. The difference between a full mouth reconstruction and cosmetic dental care is that a full mouth reconstruction is a necessity and not a choice. Our team is skilled in full mouth reconstructions and will make sure the final product is to the patient’s liking.

Some patients may have concerns over the price of full mouth reconstructions and avoid the necessary treatment. The longer one goes without the necessary treatment, the great the pain and risk. For instance, an adult who loses a tooth and does not seek treatment will allow the jaw to weaken over time. If the jaw weakens enough, then there will not be a way to install a dental implant in the gap.

In other cases, a gap can become infected just as a tooth can; especially if the individual does not keep it clean. The full mouth reconstruction process will take multiple appointments to customize the restoration and then install it. However, it will be worth it since the restoration will give back complete functionality of the teeth. We will be careful and precise during the installation process, making sure that each restoration is complete to perfection.

Who is a good candidate for a full mouth restoration?

Your dentist might recommend a full mouth rehabilitation plan for many different reasons. In general, if you have overlapping cosmetic and general dentistry needs, you could be a candidate for a comprehensive restoration plan:

  • Missing teeth due to gum disease or trauma
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Decay or enamel breakdown
  • Misaligned and miscoloured teeth
  • Chronic jaw pain or headaches
  • Damage to multiple teeth
  • Gum health concerns

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to restoring your smile. Instead, we prioritise your needs to tailor a suitable treatment plan.

How to Choose a Dentist for Full Mouth Reconstruction in Sydney

Full mouth reconstruction is an extensive treatment, you must select a dentist or dental practice with the experience and technology needed to carry out your treatment plan successfully.

Here are a few questions to consider when narrowing down your options and identifying the best dental care team:

  • Does the dental practice have extensive knowledge and experience in periodontics, implantology, restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry? Your choice must have the capabilities to coordinate and integrate these disciplines for successful full mouth dental reconstruction.
  • Is it a reputable practice?
  • Does the dental office have proper diagnostic equipment and modern technology? The right tools ensure your dental team can accurately assess your oral health and diagnose dental issues.

What are the Steps Involved in a Full Mouth Reconstruction?

While the exact steps of each full mouth reconstruction plan vary by patient, treatment can usually be broken down into this simplified outline:

Consultation & Assessment

The full mouth restoration process begins with a thorough assessment of your needs and goals. During this initial stage, your prosthodontist will complete a comprehensive examination and any necessary diagnostic imaging to detect all oral health concerns. Our facility is equipped with conventional and 3D digital imaging technology for optimal diagnostic analysis.

The consultation will also concentrate on reviewing your medical and dental records, discussing your desired outcome, and identifying treatment objectives. Once all relevant information has been collected, the treatment planning process can begin.

Improving Oral & Dental Health

The first treatment objective is always to address disease, decay, and damage that may be affecting the health of your gums, teeth, bone tissue, and body. Establishing good overall periodontal and dental health is the foundation for successful reconstructive, restorative, and/or cosmetic procedures performed later in your treatment plan.

Reconstruction & Restoration

When disease is no longer present in your bone tissue, gums, and/or teeth, the reconstructive and restorative dental work included in your treatment plan can begin. Depending upon the specific procedures you are undergoing, this phase of treatment can require just a few visits or a series of appointments. At Pitt St Dental Centre, our focus is always on performing the highest quality work possible, from bone grafting and implant surgery to the precise design and fabrication of restorations.

For the majority of patients, all procedures can be performed in-house by our highly trained and experienced dentists. Furthermore, world renowned dental technicians and ceramists help make this phase of treatment incredibly convenient and efficient. Our lab offers a wide range of options and materials—from traditional to state-of-the-art—which helps us custom-tailor your restorations to suit your dental needs, budget, and aesthetic goals.

Completing your New Smile

When your final restorations are ready, your dentists will check the fit and appearance before completing the final steps of your treatment. If there are last minute adjustments that need to be made, your prosthodontist can walk over to the lab and consult with one of the ceramists to discuss any changes. It is not uncommon for these revisions to be made quickly while you are still in the chair.

Whether you are having your final restorations cemented in place, fixed to your healed dental implants, or snapped into position—your health, comfort, satisfaction, and appearance are our top priorities.

How Much Does Full Mouth Reconstruction Cost?

The overall price for full mouth reconstruction depends on the specific details of each individual’s custom treatment plan and the expense of all restorations. These factors can cause the cost of full mouth rehabilitation to vary widely from patient to patient, making it important to schedule a personal consultation with one of our Sydney’s leading dentists to receive an accurate price estimate.

When you are choosing a dentist to perform a full mouth restoration, we urge you not to decide based on who offers the lowest price. Rather, we encourage you to choose based on qualifications, experience, results, reputation, and, most importantly, trust. We welcome complex cases and take pride in our facility, which houses everything we need to deliver premium care from start to finish.

If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover a portion of your full mouth restoration treatment. The members of our friendly office team are happy with your payment options. Many of our patients opt to set up a payment plan agreement. Our hope is that we can help make the quality dental care you need more accessible, convenient, and affordable.

Ready to Restore your Smile?

Here at Pitt Street Dental Centre, we focus on our patients’ comfort. If you believe you might need a full mouth restoration or simply want more information, book a consultation with our wonderful Sydney dentist.

We’ll give you the confidence to crack a smile every single day.

Book your consultation.

The Rising Trend of Eco Dental

The Rising Trend of Eco Dental

By today’s standards, it’s essential that individuals and businesses are doing as much as they can to reduce environmental impact and operate in as eco-friendly a manner as possible. In terms of dentist offices, that’s where the term ‘eco dental’ comes into play.

Eco dental, or eco-friendly dentistry is an approach designed to make every aspect of the dental experience as environmentally conscious as possible.

Want to know more about eco dentistry, and learn about how it could benefit you as a patient? Read on for our comprehensive guide to the rising trend of eco dental treatments in Australia.

What is eco dental?

Named because of its focus on sustainability and environmental health benefits, ‘eco dental’ refers to oral health care and treatments that are delivered using materials and technologies that are eco-friendly and designed with environmental impact in mind.

The term ‘eco dentistry’ has been trademarked in the United States by the Eco-Dentistry Association. Dental practices can apply for official eco dentistry certifications, or can simply incorporate eco-friendly procedures into their practices.

Benefits of eco dental

The following are benefits you’ll reap if opting for eco dental treatments and procedures:

Less exposure to radiation

As eco dental practices utilise digital radiography technology, the need for a traditional X-ray is eliminated. Digital radiography exposes patients to 90 per cent less radiation than a traditional X-ray, so you’ll benefit from less exposure to these harmful radiation waves.

Fewer disposable materials

Instead of discarding of multiple bibs, head rest covers and surgery gowns every day, eco-friendly dental practices use appropriate sanitisation and high quality washing machines to reduce waste and eliminate the use of disposable paper covering products.

Metal-free dental treatments

For many, a common fear is a dentist’s clunky metal tools or fixtures. If you’d rather a more natural-looking treatment, an eco-dentistry may be for you. As well as receiving a comfortable and natural-looking restorative within your mouth or on your teeth, you’ll be protecting the environment from copious amounts of metal waste.

Why eco dental is the right choice

As well as the above benefits, there are plenty of deciding factors if you’re considering seeking treatment from an eco-friendly dentist. As well as different treatment techniques and technologies, eco dental practices make conscious choices to ensure everything within their building is abiding by environmentally sound practices. This means you may spot energy-efficient light bulbs or low flowing sinks and toilets to conserve water. Other, less noticeable changes may include paints that decrease the amount of toxins in the air.

Finding out whether your current dentist abides by eco-friendly dental techniques is easy – simply ask them during their next visit, or check their website for information about environmentally conscious treatments and features.

Protect your teeth with Pitt Street Dental

Here at Pitt Street Dental in Sydney, we utilise a range of high quality, eco-friendly dental technologies to make your treatment as optimal and environmentally conscious as possible. Call our dental centre on (02) 9223 4767 to book an appointment.

Does Your Child Need an Athletic Mouthguard for Sports?

Does Your Child Need an Athletic Mouthguard for Sports?

Mouthguards protect against injury to the teeth, jaw, neck and brain. These injuries don’t discriminate when it comes to age – so ensuring your kid is wearing a mouthguard while playing sport is one of the most effective and safe ways to make sure they are protected from potential accidents.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to kids and mouthguards, including the types of mouthguards available, the types of sports we’d recommend mouthguard use for, and the overall benefits of wearing a mouthguard while playing sport. 

What ages and sports should use mouthguards

Generally, kids aged between 8 and 12 are the most affected by lost or damaged teeth while playing amateur or competitive sport. Sports including hockey, basketball, soccer, rugby, football, baseball and lacrosse are common contact sports where mouthguards are recommended – but non-contact activities including mountain biking, rock climbing or skateboarding also provided good opportunities for mouthguard use for protection.

The different types of mouthguards

Depending on your budget and your child’s sport, there are three types of mouthguards you can purchase.

The first two, pre-formed mouthguards and ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards, are both available at general sport stores. Pre-formed mouthguards come ready-to-wear and are ‘one size fits all’ in design. These are a good choice if you’re in need of a mouthguard in a short time frame. ‘Boil and bite’ mouthguards are slightly more customisable, as they can be softened in boiling water and then adjusted to fit your child’s teeth.

For maximum comfort and protection, opt for the third option, a custom fit mouthguard. These are made using specialised materials in a dentist’s office, and while they’re more expensive than the other two types, they are comprehensive and more safe and protective. 

Benefits of wearing a mouthguard while playing sport

Above all, the biggest benefit you’ll receive from wearing a mouthguard is protection of your mouth and face in case of injuries while out on the field. A mouthguard acts as a shock absorber that protects your teeth and jaw from potentially breaking. While wearing a mouthguard, you’ll also be protected from accidentally biting your lips or tongue when the injury occurs.

Other benefits of wearing a mouthguard include the prevention of neck or brain injuries, and peace of mind to your child that they’ll be protected in case of a freak injury or accident while playing sport.

What mouthguards can help you avoid

Dental injuries are easily prevented (or their impact is lessened) by the use of a mouthguard while playing sport. If they don’t wear a mouthguard, your child could run the risk of teeth dislocation, nerve injury, lost teeth, chipped teeth, required tooth repositioning or root fracture. All of these injuries require immediate medical attention and can be extremely painful.

Protect your teeth with Pitt Street Dental

Want to make sure your child is safe and protected during their next game? Here at Pitt Street Dental in Sydney, we’re focused on the prevention of injuries sustained during sport. Our highly trained team provide expert sports dentistry services through custom mouthguard creation to ensure sports players’ mouths are as protected as possible. Book an appointment for a new mouthguard moulding at Pitt Street Dental Centre today.

6 Different Types of Toothaches and When to be Concerned

6 Different Types of Toothaches and When to be Concerned

We’ve all experienced some kind of tooth pain before – but how well do we understand it? Differentiating between the myriad of tooth pain categories is crucial in understanding whether you may need urgent dental treatment.

So if your tooth pain knowledge is a little rusty, we’ve compiled this handy list that explores the different types of tooth pain, and the source of each tooth pain in case you think you may be experiencing it and need advice.

Sharp pain

Typically a result of damage on your tooth, sharp tooth pain could indicate space in crowns or cavities, broken cusps or decaying along your gum line. To rectify this pain, seek attention from a dentist as quickly as possible – the faster you see one, the less likely it will develop into a more serious problem.

Dull pain

Whereas sharp pain is an indicator of physical tooth damage, dull pain represents damage within your teeth, usually pertaining to your nerves. A dull toothache can be spontaneous, but you may notice it flaring up when consuming food or drinks at hot temperatures. To eliminate dull pain, your dentist may recommend a root canal. See them for a check-up first.

Severe throbbing

Severe throbbing tooth pain is generally a sign of infection – particularly if your gums or face are swelled up. Other symptoms of tooth infection include pain while chewing or gum bleeding. Seek dental treatment as quickly as possible to help this pain subside.

Irregular pain

If you only notice your specific type of tooth pain intermittently, it’s likely there are cavities, cracks or swelling occurring on your tooth. You’ll likely only notice this when your teeth are reacting to something, for example, opening your mouth to chew something. Seek dental treatment to understand the root cause of this type of pain.

Dental abscesses

Tooth abscesses are caused by bacteria build-up that infects the pulp section of your tooth. This not only causes tooth pain, but can spur fever and a constant bad taste in your mouth. Check in with your dentist if experiencing this kind of pain – they may recommend a root canal procedure.

Hot or cold sensitivity

Though sensitivity in teeth doesn’t always equate to teeth problems, there may be an underlying dental problem you wish to seek help for. If this sensitivity is teeth-related, it could be a small decay, loose filling or a receding gum near your tooth. Using a soft toothbrush and specific sensitive toothpaste could rectify this, but if it gets any worse, consult your dentist about the problem.

Protect your teeth with Pitt Street Dental

Recognise any of these pains? Make sure you seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible. Here at Pitt Street Dental in Sydney, we provide emergency dental care 7 days a week. Our priority is providing you with emergency dental care to help you get back to your day, pain-free. If you require an after-hours dentist, call our dental centre on (02) 9223 4767 to make a same-day appointment.

Tooth Decay Stages: 5 Stages and How to Deal With Them

Tooth Decay Stages: 5 Stages and How to Deal With Them

As its name suggests, there are plenty of negative medical problems that can come with tooth decay. Between cavities, abscesses or even total tooth loss, the tooth decay process is caused by the presence of bacteria that live in dental plaque.

Tooth decay occurs in several stages, spanning from initial demineralisation to painful dental abscesses. Read on for more information about each of the stages of tooth decay, and some helpful tips on how to prevent this painful and uncomfortable process from happening to you.

Stage 1: Initial demineralisation

The outer layer of a tooth is coated in enamel. Enamel is comprised mostly of minerals, which, when exposed to acids produced by plaque bacteria, can lose its minerals and begin to decay. This stage of initial demineralisation often appears as a white spot on a tooth, and is an early sign of tooth decay.

Stage 2: Enamel decay

As the tooth decay process continues, the enamel will break down further, and the initial white spot may darken to reveal a brownish hue. At the same time, small cavities may appear in your tooth. Pay a visit to your dentist to have these cavities filled in a timely manner.

Stage 3: Dentin decay

Dentin is the tissue that sits underneath a tooth’s enamel. Dentin is soft and extremely sensitive, so by the time decay reaches the dentin layer, the overall tooth decay process speeds up. When dentin is affected by tooth decay, you may begin experiencing sensitivity on your teeth, particularly with hot or cold drinks.

Stage 4: Pulp damage

A tooth’s pulp is its innermost layer that contains blood vessels and nerves that keep your teeth healthy. Once decay reaches it, the pulp can start to swell up and place pressure on surrounding nerves. This can lead to extreme tooth pain.

Step 5: Abscess

Once tooth decay has advanced into the pulp, an infection can be caused by infiltrating bacteria. This increased inflammation can lead to a pocket forming at the base of your tooth, which is called an abscess. A tooth abscess can be extremely serious and require immediate medical treatment. It can cause severe pain into your jaw, face and neck.

How to avoid tooth decay

There are a few prevention strategies that can lessen your chance of potential tooth decay. These include regular dentist check-ups, brushing your teeth regularly and effectively, and limiting sweets or foods with a high volume of sugar. In broader terms, maintaining a healthy and structured oral hygiene schedule is vital in preventing tooth decay or other tooth damage.

Protect your teeth with Pitt Street Dental

Concerned you’re experiencing tooth decay? Here at Pitt Street Dental in Sydney, we offer a wide range of options when it comes to tooth fillings. And, once one of our highly trained dentists has completed your tooth filling, we’ll provide you with comprehensive aftercare instructions. If you’re in need of a tooth filling or repair due to tooth decay, book an appointment at Pitt Street Dental Centre today.