Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you accepting new patients?
A: “Yes! Our office continues to grow and accept new patients. Walk-ins and emergencies are also welcome. Call us to schedule your appointment.
Q: Are bleeding gums a sign of a problem?
A: “Bleeding after brushing or flossing can be unsettling. It can also be a sign of an otherwise mostly silent disease — periodontal disease. Periodontal disease or gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. It is a build-up of bacteria from plaque and tartar that can inflame or infect gum and bone.
Periodontal disease causes deep pockets to form in tissue between the gums and teeth. This sometimes gives the appearance of puffy or receding gums. During dental exams we routinely examine your gums. There are a number of treatments for bleeding gums and periodontal disease, including removing plaque and tartar below the gum line.
These treatments performed in a dental office are called scaling and root planing. They allow the gum to heal and become healthy again. We recommend daily brushing and flossing as well as regular checkups and cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease.
Q: Fillings: silver or white, what is the difference?
A: “Many of us who grew up before the time of fluoridated water have a mouth full of silver fillings. These fillings known as amalgams have proven to be extremely durable restorations but they are not very aesthetically pleasing.
Fortunately, recent advances in dental materials have made it possible to use tooth coloured filling materials. These materials can be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and are used to achieve long lasting and attractive restorations. In our practice, we use tooth coloured materials for almost all of the fillings that we place. Additionally, we use these materials to replace old amalgam fillings that have started to deteriorate or that detract from the appearance of our patients’ smiles.
Q: Can I replace an old crown that looks unnatural?
A: “Many of our patients have asked us about replacing very old crowns that have deteriorated or crowns that do not blend well with their natural teeth. We will ensure that the shade is matched and the crown is shaped precisely for a very natural, indistinguishable appearance that is also functional.
Q: What can dental bonding do for my teeth?
A: “Dental bonding is a simple, painless and affordable procedure that has many uses including:
Bonding involves the application of a tooth-colored resin. The dentist prepares the tooth for bonding by placing a mild solution on it to roughen the surface. Using a shade guide, the dentist selects a shade that closely matches your tooth and then mixes and tints the resin. The resin is applied in thin layers and then hardened with a LED or Halogen light. The dentist then shapes and polishes the resin to smooth it and give it a natural look.
- Repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- Closing spaces between teeth
- Reshaping teeth
- Covering badly stained teeth
The procedure usually takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. You can even get several teeth bonded in one visit. No special techniques are needed to care for bonded teeth – just maintain good oral hygiene.
Q: What should I do if I lose a tooth?
A: “Having a tooth knocked out is one of the most serious dental emergencies. It can be caused by accidental falls, sports-related trauma, car accidents and even by biting into hard food. However, the damage can be fixed. If you act quickly, there is a good chance the tooth can be saved.
Immediately contact our office when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If your dentist can put the tooth back in place within an hour, there is a good chance that the supporting tissues will reattach and hold the tooth in place.
If you can find the tooth after the accident or injury, bring it with you when you seek medical help. Pick the tooth up by the crown – this is the part of the tooth that you see in the mouth – and avoid touching the root end. Do not wrap the tooth in tissue, gauze or scrub the tooth, this will damage the delicate cells on the root needed to attach the tooth back to the gum. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (or water, if milk is not available) to keep it moist. Remember: get to a dentist as quickly as possible. The chances of saving the knocked out tooth are much greater if seen within an hour.
Q: Is it important to have an oral infection treated?
A: “Sometimes the body’s immune system will fight and heal infections on its own but often it needs some help. When it comes to oral infections such as tooth and gum infections only your dentist can make that call. This is why it is so important to have infections and abscesses examined by a dentist.
Oral infections are a serious health matter. Symptoms include tooth, gum and jaw pain, lumps or pus-filled abscesses and weeping or bleeding gums. Left untreated, they can affect your overall health.
Your dentist can diagnose an infection during an oral examination. They will feel your gums, gently tap your teeth and take x-rays to determine the extent of the infection and whether it has spread.
If your dentist feels the infection is harmful or your body is not fighting it effectively they may prescribe antibiotics. Your dentist will also want to treat the underlying cause of an oral infection to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Causes may include tooth decay, periodontal disease, tooth cracks and weakened fillings.
Do not ignore the signs of oral infection. Practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis and have your mouth and teeth examined by a dentist.
Q: What exactly are crowns and bridges and are they right for me?
A: “A dental crown is a custom-designed, tooth-shaped restoration that is fitted over the prepared surface of a damaged tooth to recapture the appearance and function of the tooth. A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth and is usually attached securely to the existing teeth on either side of the gap. Recent developments in dental techniques and materials have allowed dentists to provide crown and bridge restorations that are virtually indistinguishable from a person’s natural teeth in both form and function.
If you suffer from lost teeth or teeth that are badly damaged by decay or from an accident, crowns or bridges may be able to repair their appearance and preserve their function.
Feel free to contact our offices if you would like more information on crowns and bridges.
Q: So what is ‘Cosmetic Dentistry’ and what types of treatments does it involve?
A: “Have you ever wondered what you would look like if you had a more attractive looking smile? Providing people with a means of achieving their best smile is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about.
More and more people today are booking appointments at out clinics not because they are having dental problems but because they want to smile more confidently. In many cases, these smiles begin with teeth that are crooked, stained, chipped or missing all together. From simple teeth whitening to full smile reconstruction the end result in most cases is a healthy and attractive looking smile that provides a greater sense of self-confidence and enjoyment of life.
If you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, ask us about what specific treatments in cosmetic dentistry would benefit you.
Q: What are Dental Implants and what does the procedure involve?
A: “Dental Implants are part of a tooth replacement treatment. They are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. These implants are metal posts or frames usually made of titanium that are surgically placed under your gums. They then fuse to the bone of your jaw and act as roots. Replacement teeth called crowns that are made of porcelain are then attached to the implant. They will fit securely to your gums because they are held in place by bone allowing them to look and function just like natural teeth.
Once the implants are in place, your dentist will typically wait a few months to proceed with crowns – temporary appliances are available for you to wear while you wait.
Give us a call today to set up an appointment to find out if dental implants are right for you.
Q: What is oral cancer screening? Why is it important?
A: “Oral cancer is a serious but treatable disease. If detected early, oral cancer which includes tongue, lip and mouth cancer have an 80 to 90% survival rate. Regular dental checkups are vital in screening for and identifying oral cancers.
While some people are at higher risk, oral cancer can affect anyone at any age. Disease symptoms include white or red patches, lumps in the mouth or on the lips, as well as loose teeth, aching jaw, difficulty swallowing, mouth sores that refuse to heal and unexplained gum bleeding.
Q: Why is it recommended to come for a check up every 6 months?
A: “Well, you might be surprised to learn the extent of what really goes on during your regular check-up. In addition to cleaning and polishing all the visible and hidden surfaces of your teeth, we also check for many potential problems. Tooth decay, oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease are just a few examples of problems that can have serious consequences if left undetected.
We recommend that our patients visit our office at least twice each year to ensure their optimal oral health and to help avoid serious and costly problems in the future. In certain cases, we may even recommend 3 or 4 visits per year in order to properly treat conditions that require more regular attention.
Maintaining regular dental appointments isn’t just good for your teeth, it’s an important part of your overall health.
Q: What are the benefits of adult orthodontic treatment?
A: “Did you know that 25% of orthodontic patients today are adults?
Orthodontic treatment can close gaps in teeth and correct crooked, crowded or protruding teeth. It greatly enhances the appearance of your smile and can also address the oral health problems that result from a poor bite and crowded teeth.
Standard braces are the most recognized orthodontic treatment method. Braces are traditionally made of metal but can also be made from clear or tooth-coloured materials.
Invisalign is a great alternative to braces. It straightens teeth more comfortably and in a shorter time than braces. Invisalign uses clear, removable aligners that are custom-fitted to your teeth. The treatment is usually completed in less than one year.
Orthodontic treatment is not just for teens. At any stage of life you can correct the alignment of your teeth and attain the smile you have always wanted. Talk to us to learn more.
Q: When should I bring my child in for their first visit?
A: “Recent studies have shown that by the age of three a child is already at risk of having cavities which can be caused by something as innocent as putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. Along with taking our first look at your child’s oral condition this first appointment is also largely focused on the parents and helping them to establish a good oral hygiene program and diet for the child. We believe that a child should have his or her first dental visit by the age of 3. It is a little known fact that a child’s primary teeth are vital to the long-term health of their permanent adult teeth. The premature loss of primary teeth as a result of accidents or decay can cause serious problems including poorly spaced and crooked adult teeth. As a result, it is just as important to care for a child’s baby teeth as it is for the adult teeth that follow.
Q: What age will my children loose their teeth?
A: “A child’s tooth (primary teeth) begin to loosen and fall out to make room for permanent teeth at about age 6.
The first baby teeth to fall out are typically the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) and the two top front teeth (upper central incisors) followed by the lateral incisors, molars and canines. Molars typically fall out between ages 9 and 12 and are replaced by permanent teeth by about age 13.
Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, the teeth beside it might drift into the empty space. Teeth in the opposite jaw might also move up or down to fill the gap. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.
Some children are excited to lose their baby teeth, while others are nervous about this childhood milestone. If your child wants you to pull out a loose tooth, grasp it firmly with a tissue or piece of gauze and remove it with a quick twist. If the tooth is resistant wait a few days and try again. If you’re concerned about a baby tooth that doesn’t seem to loosen sufficiently on its own, check with your Dentist. He or she might recommend a wait-and-see approach or an extraction in the dental office.
When your child start to lose his or her baby teeth, reinforce the importance of proper dental care. With proper care you can help your child’s permanent teeth last a lifetime.