Dental Education

This is an education centre dedicated to providing our patients with additional information on various dental concepts and the services our office can provide.

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Expand the topics below to get a more broad understanding of available dental procedures and treatments.

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Your first dental visit: Generally, the first visit includes an overall assessment of your child’s teeth and gums. Your dentist may want to take x-rays to examine facial bones and search for hidden decay. They may also recommend a cleaning and fluoride treatment.

Tooth Development: Your child’s first set of teeth are called "primary teeth". These teeth are important. They assist in a child’s chewing abilities and speech development. Maintaining the health of their primary teeth may reduce the need for future orthodontic work. Regular brushing should start with the first tooth; it is a good idea to clean your child’s gums with a washcloth even before the teeth appear. To avoid baby bottle decay, do not let your child sleep with a bottle. Baby bottle decay occurs when sugary liquids found in milk, formula or fruit juices are exposed to the teeth for long periods of time. When sleeping, saliva decreases. This allows these sugars to pool around the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth uses these sugars to create acids that damage the teeth.

Thumb sucking: In most cases thumb sucking is not harmful and most children will outgrow it by age 5. It becomes a problem when it is allowed to continue while permanent teeth are developing. The jawbone in children under the age of 8 is still soft and pliable. Thumb sucking can reshape the jaw and cause misalignment. Upper teeth will flare outwards while lower teeth are forced inwards.

Orthodontics: It is generally recommended that children have an orthodontic assessment by the age of 7. Since the jaw bone is still soft and pliable up until the age of 8, early assessments allow for corrections in alignment which may be much more difficult to correct later on.

A crown (often called a cap) is an artificial cover that is placed on an individual tooth to restore a decayed or damaged tooth to its normal shape and size. This procedure is often necessary when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. It is also useful for protecting teeth that are cracked or broken. A crown can also be used to change the shape of a tooth, to correct a bite or for cosmetic problems. Crowns may be made of gold, other metals or porcelain, which makes them durable and strong so replacements are needed less often.

Crowing is quite an aggressive form of treatment because the entire tooth surface must be reduced and replaced with an artificial material. But because of its strength and resistance to chewing stress, a crown is functionally superior to other esthetic procedures. Crowns are not permanent and may need to be replaced after 5 to 15 years.

Crowns and Bridges - Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease; help correct some bite issues; and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene. A bridge may last for as many as 10 years or more.

Dental Bridge - A dental bridge is a false tooth, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth.

Fixed Bridge - The two crowns attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth are known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.

Cantilever Bridge - In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space.

Missing teeth can compromise your health, eating habits, speech and appearance. Replacing missing teeth maintains the integrity of your facial structure and reduces the risk of deterioration/resorption of the bone surrounding the root from the previous tooth.

The preferred method of tooth replacement is dental implant treatment. Dental implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth. Implants are made from titanium and are placed in the upper or lower jaw where natural teeth have been lost. Living bone will band permanently to titanium and your system will not reject your implant like other foreign bodies.

Implants can be used to replace a single tooth; support a bridge to replace several missing teeth; support a bridge when all teeth are missing; and provide secure fixation for a removable denture.

In cases where several or all teeth are being replaced, it is not necessary to have an implant for each missing tooth. Commonly 5-6 implants can be used to replace 10-12 teeth.

Denture patients will benefit with confidence in knowing your dentures are secure; improved speech and denture comfort; improved biting pressure which allows you to eat any food with confidence; and no need for denture adhesives.

Root Canals - Root canal therapy fits under the special dentistry area known as endodontics. Endodontics literally means dentistry within the tooth itself. Endodontic treatment restores your tooth to a comfortable state by removing the damaged tissue and replacing it with a substance that will help preserve the function of the tooth. The sooner you get treatment the better. Your risk of losing the damaged tooth is decreased, your pain can be relieved and your dentist may prevent infection from spreading further.

Gum disease is a common dental problem that may result in tooth loss. It includes gingivitis and periodontitis. One or several teeth can be affected. To reduce the risk of periodontal disease, regular dental care is recommended.

Causes of gum disease include: smoking and tobacco use; genetic; poor oral hygiene; hormonal changes (pregnancy and puberty); stress; medication; and diabetes.

Gingivitis - If plaque is not properly removed from the tooth, it can irritate the gums around the teeth, leading to gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums).

Periodontitis - When gingivitis is not treated it can advance to periodontitis, which involves the destruction of bone and structures supporting the teeth. Eventually, teeth can become loose.

Healozone™ can clean most small cavities without freezing, drilling and filling where applicable.

Healozone™ is painless and done within 60 seconds. It’s shown to desensitize teeth to the cold in appropriate cases.

Laser technology can be used for many purposes and is safe to use in treating kids and adults. It can be used to remove sub-gingival tartar; to detect decay, remove decay and do fillings; to treat cold sore on lips; to remove fibroma in mouth; and for gum and bone surgeries.

Laser technology allows the dentist to work faster with more precision and often without freezing depending on the procedure. It reduces bleeding during surgery, accelerates the healing time, and reduces risk of infection due to the sterilization effect of the laser.

Veneers are most often custom made from porcelain and fit precisely over your existing teeth. Even though veneers are thin coverings, they are extremely strong and durable and will generally not need to be replaced for 4 to 12 years. While they are not suitable for every patient, veneers are a cosmetic alternative for a variety of dental conditions of the front teeth including, diastemas-spaces between the teet; broken or chipped teeth; unsightly, stained or washed out fillings; permanently stained or discolored teeth; and misshapen or crooked teeth.

Those who have bite problems or have a tendency to grind their teeth may not be good candidates for veneers. However, veneers are great alternatives for people who want to give their teeth a “smilelift” to improve their appearance.

Applying veneers is a virtually painless procedure, sometimes done with no anesthetic. Veneers chip less than bonded restoratives and are less expensive than crowning, which saves on dental bills over the long term.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in and the ones least needed for good oral health. They develop when most individuals become adults (which are near 17 years of age). Our wisdom teeth may not have enough room to fit in our mouths properly. Therefore, problems may result if these additional teeth attempt to emerge. Cramped for room, these impacted teeth grow in many different directions and removal may be recommended by your dentist to prevent potential problems. The removal may be done in your dentist's or oral surgeon’s office or in a hospital. The type and length of the surgery will depend upon how developed your wisdom teeth are.

The Zoom! Is a safe, effective and fast whitening procedure. Zoom! Chairside whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results. The Zoom! specially designed light and whitening gel work together to gently penetrate your teeth, breaking up stains and discoloration.

To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily and occasional touch-ups with Zoom! Weekender or Nite White gel. These are professionally formulated products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest, available only through your dental professional.

As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom! is not recommended for children under 13 years of age, pregnant or lactating women.

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