Home / FAQ’s

We treat everyone as we treat our friends and family.

We are kind and considerate of your emotional needs and we are always gentle.

We base our treatment on careful diagnosis and conservative care.

We thoughtfully apply a fair fee for the quality of service we provide.

We work as a team to help you attain the best health outcomes possible for you.

At The Dentist Pukekohe, we understand that patients are concerned with the cost of dental treatment especially when the treatment is unexpected. In order to make paying for dental care as easy as possible, we offer a variety of payment options.

As a service to our patients, we have teamed up with GemVisa to offer six months interest-free payment options (subject to spends over $250.00), so that you can pay for your dental treatment over time. If you require any further information regarding GemVisa, please contact our friendly team.

We accept  Long term interest-free using GEM Visa and Q-Card,  All major Credit Cards and EFTPO, Farmers Card, Cheque and Cash

ACC & WINZ Quotes

We offer free ACC and WINZ quotes and undertake treatment.

ACC may be able to help towards your treatment costs if you have a dental injury caused by an accident or a sporting injury. You will be required to fill out an ACC Claim form outlining the accident details, which is then completed by one of our Dentists and sent to ACC on your behalf. In most cases, we can treat you on your first visit and charge you part of the normal fee and ACC usually covers the rest of the costs. The amount ACC contributes depends on your age and the condition of your mouth and teeth prior to the accident. If further treatment is needed, your Dentist will discuss this with you and can show you the ACC Schedule of Dental Treatment Cost Contributions.

If you require an implant through ACC, you will need to have a complete arch (no missing teeth) and a five-year history of regular dental appointments.

You may be eligible for a $300.00 emergency dental grant from WINZ if you are on a benefit, pension, or student allowance. We will assess your dental needs and give you an estimate of costs for any urgent dental care you require. You will then go to your local WINZ office to discuss whether this grant can be given to you with your case worker.

Think about your car. I f you drove your car and didn’t care for it with a service or a WOF it would eventually breakdown, probably be costly to fix and you could do irreversible damage.

Hygiene and annual dental checks are like that. Hygiene is the service and dental checks are the WOF. During these appointments we can see any changes to your teeth and gums, and if you need a filling, for example, we are able to help sooner rather than later so you avoid further pain and experience at a later stage.

Once a tooth is very sore, it can mean that the nerve in the tooth has died and the options are to then remove the tooth or root fill it. Both come at a high biological and monetary cost.

We do see people who are very inconvenienced by these problems that show up just before a holiday or an important celebration. We don’t wish to worry you, just suggest that prevention is better than cure…and even the cure is then a comprimise!

We are often asked this question and the answer could be different for everyone!

What we have found over the years is that when people come to see us regularly, we are often able to help them avoid some problems that cause others a lot of pain and expense. Our infrequent visitors do come back when they are in pain, and we are sympathetic, there is no judgement here….its just that the treatment could often have been avoided if we had had the opportunity to sort a broken tooth or filling out sooner. It costs you less pain, suffering and expense in the long run.

The system that we find suits many people is a 6 monthly hygiene visit with a dentist. On the yearly visit to the dentist, your dentist will also examine your teeth, with x-rays taken about 18 monthly or 2 yearly dependant on your risk of disease.

This allows your dentist to examine the jaw, soft issues and teeth and detect anything that is abnormal. She will also remove deposits from around the gums so that the gums are less inflamed. The importance of this is that this inflammation produces inflammatory products in the blood stream that have an influence on other parts of your body. This is how the problems of the heart, diabetes and low birth weight babies are linked to inflamed gums….so we know this is important.

So in answer to the question above, we recommend a hygiene visit 6 monthly for most people. Even with good tooth cleaning habits we all leave some plaque behind that hardens to form tater which causes inflammation in the gums. Few of us clean our teeth perfectly every day!….and we see that lack of pain in the mouth does not necessarily mean that a problem is not brewing only to rear its ugly head at some stage!

Intravenous Sedation is a technique using a sedative, given using a vein in your arm to relax you. We continue to use more sedative as it is needed throughout the procedure, so that treatment is very smooth and comfortable for you. You will not have a clear memory of the time you are sedated although you remain conscious throughout the procedure and the time seems to pass very quickly.

You need to have an empty stomach, so do not eat or drink 4 hours before your appointment time. You must have someone to take you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

You cannot drive for that same day. When you do arrive home, you need to rest and probably sleep for a few hours. Take care not to make any important decisions or sign any legal documents on the day, after being sedated as you may not have a clear memory about this later.

Some people worry that they will say things that they would not normally say. We can reassure you that this does not happen.

Please check the following points.

  • Ensure that we know your full medical history and any drugs or natural remedies that you are taking.
  • No food or drink after 4 hours before your appointment.
  • Arrange to have a family member or friend to take you home and remain with you for the rest of the day.
  • Wear loose clothing so that we can roll your sleeve up beyond your elbow because we will use a vein in your arm.
  • Please use the Rest Room before your appointment.
  • We will usually ask you to pay for your treatment before you are sedated because you will not have a clear memory of this afterwards.
  • You will be asked to sign a form to reassure us that you have read and understood the information above, to download a copy of this form click here, print it out and bring it with you to your appointment.
  • After your procedure, we will ask you to rest awhile and allow some of the sedative to wear off. One of our team members will show you and your care giver to the lift and escort you to your car safely.

What can I do to help my child when they are teething?

  • Soothe sore gums with a teething ring, or massaging with a clean finger or cloth.
  • Teething gels may help sore gums but look carefully at the ingredients.
  • Teething biscuits can contain sugar, and may contribute to tooth decay.
  • Do not “sweeten” a teething ring or pacifier by applying sugary food or drink. Honey is sometimes suggested which is not a good idea.


Fill bedtime or comfort bottles with water only. Acidic or sugary drinks can cause decay not only for the effect directly on the teeth but also the effect on the balance of the bodies mineral levels.


Encourage a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and remember that fruit has sugar in it too.

Limit sugary and processed foods, include as many raw, organic vegetables as possible. Remember that processed foods contain a myriad of ingredients that challenge our bodies. Many children react badly to colours, flavours and preservatives. READ the labels carefully and google the ones that you are not sure about….it is worth the effort.

If your child does eat sugary foods, try to limit this to one event and do not spread small amounts throughout the day. Encourage brushing afterwards and remember that sweet and processed foods will have an effect on the overall balance of the body.

Use water rather than juice. Juice is too sweet and not what our body’s need.

Bone broths are a lost tradition that are incredibly healing especially on the gut. Google the benefits and learn about this if you are not already familiar with the concept. Look up some simple recipes, they are easy to make. Remember to season them or they can be bland to start with.

Check the teeth regularly yourself for signs of decay. This looks like white or yellowish-brown marks on the teeth and if it has progressed far you will see a cavity. These cavities will often catch food in them which will alert you to the problem as well.



  • After teeth erupt, brush with a child’s toothbrush twice daily, especially before bed.
  • Be a good role model, children learn by imitation.



This has been a controversial issue for a long time. We do not recommend the use of fluoride. We advise products that are safe for infants and children that do not contain fluoride or foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulphate.

Fluoride is not a nutrient for the body, it inhibits many enzymatic processes in the body. There is evidence that flouride alters the solubility of dental enamel which is why it has been used to enhance dental health…the effect on the rest of the body also needs to be taken into account.

We love seeing children and families! We have seen many children grow up into adulthood with healthy teeth that require minimal maintenance. Starting regular 6 monthly dental visits from an early age can enable us to identify any dental problems early and encourage good self-care as they age.

Pregnancy does the strangest and most amazing things to your body. Some of these effects can also impact on your dental health….. and your dental health can impact on your developing baby.

Recent research has revealed that women with periodontal or gum disease are seven times more likely to have low birth weight pre-term babies. It is understood that bacteria from diseased gums produce an enzyme that can trigger an early labour.

It is crucial for expectant mothers, and even women who are thinking about becoming pregnant, to maintain their dental health with regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene. When we catch problems early we can avoid some particular concerns. When the baby arrives you are busy so this is a good thing to take care of beforehand.

It is wise to avoid drugs and x-rays during pregnancy. If it is essential that you have an x- ray, we use lead shields routinely for protection and digital x-rays that reduce radiation exposure to %10 that of film xrays.

The safest period for dental work is the second trimester, however if we can avoid treatment for you we do. We do not use amalgam at Sanctuary, and we would not remove an amalgam filling while you are pregnant if can possibly avoid it. It has been proven that mercury from amalgam fillings crosses the placenta and can also be found in breast milk. It is very interesting to note that many European countries have banned the use of mercury amalgam fillings completely.

There is an increased risk of gingivitis during pregnancy. This is caused by bacterial plaque compounded by hormonal changes and can be reduced by regular flossing, brushing and a visit or two to your gentle dentist at our dental clinic. We can also advise some safe products for you to use. Waterpiks are helpful too.

Changes in your diet due to nausea or cravings, can lead to an increase in tooth decay. Snacks that are low in sugar and high in fibre, help to prevent decay and promote general health.

Erosion of the tooth surface may occur if there is frequent vomiting of gastric acids due to nausea or morning sickness. A low-acid diet is advised, limit fruit juices, sports drinks and soft drinks and foods that produce acidity in the body such as sugars. After an acid attack, rather than brushing, rinse with plain water or a bicarbonate of soda solution (half a teaspoon in half a glass of water). Brushing teeth while they are softened by acid will cause further erosion.

Gagging can sometimes occur when brushing your teeth. If so, try using a small toothbrush and very little toothpaste.

At birth, your baby does not have decay causing bacteria in the mouth. These are passed on, usually by the parents by kissing and contact later. It is essential for parents to maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the transfer of these bacteria. Disease in your mouth may influence disease in your children’s mouth too.

Take care when your baby arrives that you have a nutritious diet while you are breast feeding. Take some time to look after yourself and avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrate and devoid of nutrients.

Hypoplasia is a condition where the enamel of the tooth does not form properly. It can be the result of a hereditary condition, or it can the result of environmental factors such as:

  •  lack of vitamins A,C or D.
  • infections such as measles or chicken pox.
  • fluoride
  • local infection or trauma.

These teeth are sometimes pitted and have brown and white patches on them. Which teeth are affected depends on what stage of development these teeth we going through at the time of exposure to the environmental problem. Front permanent teeth and first molars are developing before the age of one year and premolars are developing about the age of three years. First molar teeth are the most commonly affected teeth.

These teeth can be sensitive and sometimes… but not always, more prone to decay. The challenge to covering these affected areas of the tooth is that our filling materials don’t bond to the abnormal enamel surface so well. Although these teeth can need to be refilled from time to time, they usually manage well into adulthood without too many problems. I like to manage them very conservatively. (Yvonne Vannoort)

Dental amalgam is 50% mercury and it has been proven that mercury is toxic to the body. The argument that the levels of mercury from dental fillings are so low that it cannot cause harm does not make sense. There is no level of mercury that can be called safe; it is more toxic than lead, cadmium and even arsenic.

For many years the protocol has been to immediately put unused amalgam in an unbreakable and tightly sealed container. It is then recommended to be put under water straight away, so the vapour given off is not breathed or touched by dental personnel. Why should it then be implanted into teeth to be in contact with the human body continuously, and for many years?

Many European countries have recognised the health hazards of mercury amalgam and have eliminated its use entirely. This has influenced the advice from authorities in New Zealand to issue warnings to the Dental profession to avoid its use for pregnant women especially in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Removing mercury-amalgam from your mouth

At The Dentist, we ensure that this is done safely and in the most comfortable manner possible. We will discuss this with you so that you are understand that we take all the necessary precautions to remove your amalgam safely.

We discuss this question often at our dental clinic. Conventional dentistry is quite pro root filling teeth. While most, but not all of our dentists at our dental clinic do root fill teeth, are very cautious about this. We are aware that some bodies do not tolerate root filled teeth well. In fact a root filled tooth must be a challenge to some degree, to EVERY body. The question is…where is your bodies tipping point? Our bodies tipping point is complex, it will be influenced by our genetics and the expression of our genes, our age, our unique exposure to toxins in our environment and also the exposure of our parents, our nutritional status, our hormonal and emotional balance and even our spiritual beliefs.

The wish and need to retain a tooth can be strong, it can be a front tooth that is difficult and essential to replace or a last remaining back tooth that is critical to chewing. In these situations we understand that we are making a compromise whichever way we turn. We will endeavour to listen carefully to your views, inform you as best we can and support you whatever decision that you believe is best for you

Yes. We do see a number of people at our dental clinic that come for another opinion about treatment that they have been advised from another dentist.

We are happy to give our opinion and reasons for our suggestions. We can also give you a written estimate of the costs. You are then able to consider your options and decide what is best for you. Bring any x-rays with you if you have them available although it is sometimes necessary to take more that are clear and up to date.

Dentist’s opinions about required treatment do differ significantly sometimes and although this can be confusing it reflects that we are all different. Our experiences, training and priorities can be different, you need to make decisions that feel right for you.

Tooth decay is a sign that something is wrong with our body. Something is out of balance. We fill decayed teeth if we can because if we leave them without treatment they usually continue to decay. Why?… because we have not understood what has caused the decay in the first place. The risk is that we fill the decay and the problem continues…and there are more cavities to fill later.

So what is out of balance? The tooth is made of minerals, calcium and phosphorus. When these minerals are leached from the tooth, it softens and bacteria invade causing a cavity. Why are the minerals lost to the tooth structure? It can be an acidic attack on the surface, soft drinks are very acidic, and bacteria produce acids that leach these minerals from the surface too. These are the local effects in the mouth.

The systemic effects are also important and often overlooked. For example, soft drinks we all know are high in sugar and when you drink these the body needs to balance the acidity of the sugar in the blood. This is another reason why the minerals are leached out of your teeth and bones. Chronic exposure to high levels of sugar will cause tooth decay even when the sugar and acidic bypasses the teeth, e.g. when you drink through a straw.

When you combine this with diets that are not very nutritious and low in minerals and vitamins, the body is not in balance. Add to this poor digestion so that the available nutrients are not well absorbed, and the natural bacterial flora in the gut is compromised by challenges such as ingestion of antibiotics, chlorine in the water that changes the gut flora, food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome…..and the body is definitely not in balance!

So to avoid tooth decay, the answer is always to eat nutritious foods and ensure that your digestion is healthy so you can absorb the nutrients well. Look after your gut bacteria with foods that promote a healthy flora in your gut. And lastly, clean food remnants and plaque from your teeth with good oral hygiene techniques.

Because it can reduce tooth decay, and it is a natural sweetener!

  • Xylitol reduces decay because plaque bacteria cannot digest it.
  • Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in many fruits and vegetables. It is often manufactured from birch trees and rice husks that are rich in xylan.
  • It looks and tastes like sugar and has 40% less calories.
  • It has a low Glycaemic index and is digested independently of insulin this makes it suitable for diabetics.
  • Xylitol has been shown to have positive health effects not only in the mouth, but also on ear infections in children, as it inhibits some of the bacteria involved in these infections.
  • Xylitol has been shown to be safe in many long term studies, and confirmed safe by all major regulatory bodies worldwide.
  • The dental benefits are for anyone, and especially those who have decay, or dry mouth.
  • It reduces plaque and the ability of the plaque to stick to the tooth surface.
  • It increases saliva. Saliva is important because it has minerals that protect the teeth.
  • Caution: Xylitol does have a laxative effect in large doses!
  • You can order a variety of xylitol products from www.annies.co.nz

We understand that dentistry is costly and that many people are particularly concerned about this. Here are some ways that we can help.

We diagnose carefully and ensure that what we plan for you is absolutely necessary.

We have no interest payment plans over 12 months through GE finance so that you can have the treatment that you require now and you don’t have to wait while problems are getting worse with time. Some conditions do apply for GE finance.

We can prioritise your treatment so that the urgent work is done first and the less urgent things done later, i.e/ the work is done in stages.

We work with you to help prevent dental problems in the future by having a Continuing Care plan specific to what you need.

Yes, absolutely. That’s how we want you to feel. We do spend some time with you discussing what we think you need and giving you your options. We like to be sure that you understand those options available to you and that you also understand the implications of the choices that you make. Knowledge of what you need will help you be in control as well as help you to plan ahead, and put financial plans in place.

Well yes you can and some people do. The thing is, infections can be quietly getting worse without you necessarily being aware of them. These infections then affect your body by challenging your immune system continuously.

The toothache that comes later (rather than sooner), can often be prevented by more simple treatment earlier. We do endeavour to take away the barriers to treatment that make it hard for you to seek the help that you need, when you need it most.