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How can I overcome my fear of the dentist?

Many people are afraid to go to the dentist. This fear is usually caused by a previous bad experience. A learned fear can be replaced by a new behaviour with the right attitude and the correct care. Avoiding a dental visit makes the anxiety worse and isn’t good for you overall health. It is a good idea for a person to purposefully think of going to the dentist as something good that they are doing for themselves and to better their health. As a patient, the feeling of loss of control is a factor of their anxiety. An informative, kind and competent dentist can help you learn to be relaxed. Make the commitment to better your oral health. You may be surprised to discover that the dental visit you have been avoiding isn’t so bad after all!

Why are dental checkups important?

There are several important reasons to visit the dentist on a regular basis rather then only on an emergency occasion. Usually at the check-up appointment, the dentist will examine you by ordering radiographs and doing a thorough medical history. The dentist will assess your mouth for any abnormalities, as well as assess your jaw joint and all your teeth. If there are problem areas, these can be detected and corrected before they get bigger. In cases of gum issues, remember that some of these changes if not addressed early are very difficult to treat. For children, their first dental visit should be when the first tooth erupts. This should prevent dental problems from starting in the child. Advances in technology have made it uncommon to find kids who don’t like going to the dentist. Remember the old age – prevention is the best medicine. This applies to Dentistry as well.

How can my child keep their teeth clean at school?

There is no reason why a child can’t clean his or her teeth at school. During recess, or at lunch break, a child can easily bring a small toothbrush and toothpaste and brush their teeth after a snack or meal. If the child does not have a toothbrush, they can rinse their mouth with tap water that will wash away food, but also dilute the amount of bacteria that causes cavities in the mouth. It has also been shown that snacking on peanuts and cheese can also reduce cavities. In addition, chewing on sugarless gum can increase saliva flow, reducing the amount of bacteria and reducing the incidence of decay.

How can I improve my smile?

A dazzling white smile helps you look and feel confident. If your smile is making you self-conscious, your dentist can help you achieve a winning smile. Do you feel you have to keep your lips closed when you smile? What is holding you back from giving a full smile? It is because of unattractive spaces, cracks, crooked or discoloured teeth? Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve a bright beautiful smile. Composite resin bonding or veneers can fill in spaces or fix cracks. Adult orthodontics is becoming increasingly popular to straighten teeth, bring your bite into alignment and improve both the appearance and function of your teeth. Tooth whitening systems can give you a brighter, whiter smile and reverse the effect of aging, coffee, tobaco and other stains on the tooth enamel. If you would like to improve your smile, talk to your dentist to discover what can be done to enhance your appearance. You may find that one simple procedure can give you the look you have been longing for!

What does my insurance cover?

This is a question that is frequently asked by our patients. This is not an easy question to answer. It depends on what your company has negotiated with the insurance company. Our dental office is not part of this relationship and as such we are not given your coverage information.

I have missing teeth, what can I do?

There are basically 3 different methods of replacing missing teeth. First is the implant. This involves a titanium screw directly placed into the bone. The artificial tooth is then placed on top of the implant. Second is the bridge, here the teeth that are on either side of the missing teeth are used to hold the artificial tooth. This is then cemented in. Third is the partial denture that is held in place by the existing teeth. This is not permanently cemented in. The particular method chosen depends on various factors including, which teeth are missing, existing bone condition and of course one’s budget.

Can I refer my friend to The Dental Centre?

We are accepting new patients and the greatest compliment our patients can give us is the referral of their friends and family. We would be more than pleased to care for them in our office.

How does smoking affect one’s dental health?

You may want to know about the following quick facts about smoking:

  1.  Smokers are three times more likely to loose teeth than non-smokers.
  2.  If you smoke, you are four times as likely to have periodontal disease as someone who has never smoked.
  3.  Smokers are three times more likely to die of heart disease than non-smokers.

Smoking causes BIG trouble for your teeth and gums by killing cells inside your mouth. These dead cells accumulate as plaque and increase your risk of gum disease. Some of the chemicals present in tobacco weaken your mouth’s defensive cells, leaving you susceptible to infections. In addition, smoking stains teeth, causes bad breath, and limits your body’s absorption of calcium. Smokers should talk to us today!

What food and drinks should I consume to maintain good dental health?

Keep your teeth strong by choosing calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Get your vitamins: Vitamin C (found in red and green pepper and citrus fruits) and Vitamin D (found in milk) helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphorous which keeps teeth and gums healthy looking. Cola, orange and lime sodas can cause decalcification on the enamel of your teeth. Cola has the highest sugar content and if you drink a lot of it, you may be susceptible to more cavities. Although saliva promotes remineralization, this beneficial effect cannot overcome the damage caused by exposure to soft drinks. So, please choose milk or water to quench your thirst.

Finally, chewing sugarless gum after meals can reduce the rate of dental decay. It increased the flow of saliva to help wash your teeth. After eating a meal, the acidic value of saliva increases. Chewing gum neutralizes your saliva. The maximum effect occurs when gum is chewed three times a day directly after meals. Brushing your teeth after each meal is best but if you don’t have time, chew a piece of sugarless gum!

How important are dental plans?

Do you have a dental plan? Then use it! You’re lucky to have one! It is important to understand your dental plan. What is your maximum? How many recare appointments are covered per year? Is there co-payment or a deductible? If you have a dental coverage booklet, we can help you understand it or we can give you an Insurance Coverage Information Form so you can call your insurance company to find out your coverage. If you have any concerns about your dental plan, talk to us today.

I’m worried I may get decalcification spots on my teeth once my braces are removed…how does this happen and how can I prevent it?

If you have braces, you need to take better care of your teeth now more than ever. Plaque can accumulate around your brackets and cause decalcification. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, you could develop white decalcification spots on your teeth. When you finally get your braces off, you don’t want to see white spots when you smile. Parents should supervise children to ensure they maintain and carry out thorough dental cleaning and the prescribed treatment plan.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are made of titanium metal which is very biocampatible with your body. The implants are surgically inserted anchors placed in the jaw to hold artificial teeth or dentures. The metal implant acts as a post that serves as a ‘root’ for the new tooth. Once inserted, the implants look and feel natural.

If you have lost one or more teeth and want a lasting, fixed solution, implants may be a choice for you. They are custom made for your mouth and they allow you to chew more efficiently. They are more convenient since you don’t have to take them in or out like dentures. Implants also help maintain your jawbone. If you think implants may be a solution for you, please call us.

What should I do if I grind my teeth at night?

Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience from grinding your teeth may consist of: sensitive teeth, cracked teeth, mobility of teeth, soreness of facial muscles after sleep, and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain. There are several theories to the causes of teeth grinding, including stree, neuromuscular disorders, and chemical imbalance. Treatment for night grinding requires a proper assessment of your oral health, including your gum, bone, teeth, TMJ and lifestyle by your dentist. Treatment acrylic night guard to be worn during sleep, muscle relaxation medications, and bite adjustment to maximize proper occlusal equilibrium. Call us today to book an appointment!

Should you have wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth can create problems in your mouth. Only your dentist can determine whether or not extraction is the right solution for you. Wisdom teeth extraction is recommended in the following cases: They become decayed. The gums overlying impacted wisdom teeth become infected. They are causing problems for adjacent teeth. Most often, wisdom teeth can be removed with local anesthetic.

Do dentures need to be checked?

YES, the reasons are plenty. Foremost, it is very important to note that like everything else in life, our possessions if used need maintenance. The mouth is not any different. Whether you have your own teeth or false ones, constant up-keep is important for long happy wear.

Who needs braces?

When jaws are growing and adult teeth are coming in, teeth can often be guided into proper position easily with an orthodontic appliance. The key is timing. With timely treatment, we can lesson your son or daughter’s orthodontic needs. Your dentist could recommend an orthodontic consultation for your child as young as age 6.

What is Periodontal Disease? Can it be prevented?

Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, ligaments and jawbone and is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Periodontal disease begins at an early age, as plaque begins accumulating. You can prevent this from happening by brushing, flossing and visiting your hygienist regularly. Periodontal disease is usually painless. It is important to know the signs of its progress stages. Healthy gums are pink, do not bleed and are firmly supported by teeth and bone.

The earliest stage of gum disease is Gingivitis. Gums may be red, tender and swollen and may bleed when brushed, flossed or examined. The next stage, Moderate Periodontitis, occurs when gums begin to separate from the teeth. Gums may develop abscesses and tooth roots are exposed to plaque. Bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth are common. With Advanced Periodontitis, the bone supporting teeth is destroyed. Teeth will become loose and eventually need replacement. Don’t let this happen to you! A proper dental hygiene program and an awareness of the early symptoms are your best defence. Let us know if you have experienced these warning signs.

Why does gum surgery need to be performed?

Gum surgery is usually suggested to save teeth in cases of chronic or advanced periodontal disease. Periodontal disease refers to the loss of supporting jaw bone around teeth. The jaw bone not only holds the teeth in place but also provides the teeth nutrient. Therefore, it is imperative that the jaw bone be maintain in good health with good home care and regular visit to your dentist. Sometimes this may not be enough and surgery is required to prevent further bone loss. Many other complications such as tooth decay, mobility of the teeth, sensitive teeth, bleeding, pain and loss of your teeth can be due to bone loss. For these reasons, your dentist or gum specialist may recommend gum surgery. Please ask us if you would like more information.

What are crowns?

Your teeth are comprised of two main parts. The Crown is the part that you see above the gum and the Root is the part below the gum that holds your tooth firmly in your jawbone. When the crown of the tooth becomes weakened by decay, root canal therapy or fractures, it can be restored and strengthened by an artificial crown. Artificial crowns are covers that fit over a damaged or badly stained tooth. They look natural and require only the same care necessary for your natural crowns.

What is bonding and what is it used for? What happens during bonding?

Bonding is a procedure that is used in dentistry. Bonding does not refer to just white filling as may have been thought. It is important to note what is being bonded. It could be white filling material (composite) or crowns, veneers or even silver amalgam fillings.

Bonding is an excellent method of restoring teeth especially when used for cosmetic purposes. Bonding can bring back that million dollar smile. However, one must note that if bonding composites, they require maintenance just like everything else and may need replacement from time to time.
Bonding procedures vary but essentially comprise the following steps. The tooth is first prepared by a mild acid treatment then the bonding agent is applied (liquid) which penetrates the prepared tooth. This is then subjected to a curing light that hardens the bonding agent. Then whatever is being bonded is applied and cured in a similar fashion.

What are root caries?

Root caries are a major concern for seniors. When gums recede as you age, the tooth roots are exposed to bacteria and are more vulnerable to decay. Unlike teeth, which are covered by enamel, the tooth roots are covered by softer material called cementum. Majority of seniors with receding gums, taking medications that reduce saliva flow suffer more with root cavities. If left unchecked, tooth root caries may cause pain, infections, and loss of teeth. Hence, it is important for seniors to see their dentist regularly to help prevent root caries and other dental problems.

What precautions is The Dental Centre taking to make sure that I am protected from harmful x-ray radiation?

Everyone, including the dental staff, is concerned about being exposed to radiation. You should know that the amount of radiation used to expose dental x-rays is actually quite small. We take every precaution to protect our patients from radiations. You should be awar that at our office, we use digital x-rays which have 80% – 90% less radiation. We also use a lead apron to cover the patient’s neck, chest, and thighs and use fast speed films to decrease the amount of exposure. We would never recommend an x-ray without good reason such as determining infection, cavity, bone loss and so on. If you have concerns about dental x-rays, please talk to us.

What is preventive dentistry?

The most important service we render is a plan for preventative dentistry. Our recommendations will include advice on home care and information that can help you to maintain optimum dental health. All our patients are recalled at periodic intervals for preventive examinations and for the cleaning of their teeth.

I’ve heard that gum bacteria and heart disease are related. Is this true?

Recently a number of studies have demonstrated that periodontal disease is associated with a 19% increase in risk of future cardiovascular disease, maintenance of blood sugar levels for diabetes and premature and low birth weight babies. When you have periodontal disease, the increased presence of bacteria in your mouth is unhealthy. Prevention is the best method of treatment. Visit us regularly for therapeutic periodontal scaling and develop a routine of good oral hygiene to keep bacteria counts low.