How bonding is done?

Your dentist places a matrix between your problem tooth and its neighbour. A matrix is a thin, clear plastic film that protects other teeth from stray composite resin.

Your dentist will then prepare the tooth by brushing it with a mild chemical. This will make the tooth a little rough, and help the bond better adhere to the enamel of your tooth. A composite resin has been chosen to match the colour of your natural teeth, so that the bonding blends in with your teeth. Your dentist puts composite resin on your tooth in layers, and a light is used to harden each layer, as the dentist goes along. After the last layer of composite resin is hardened, your dentist will shape and polish the resin so that it makes a nice form to your tooth. The finished tooth will look natural and feel smooth. You will return to the dentist so s/he can examine the bonding, and polish it if needed. The bonding may wear down over time, which may lead your dentist to suggest a touch up with more composite resin.

What does teeth whitening involve?

This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits:

1. Impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to make custom soft plastic trays after we decide that this is appropriate for you.

2. You will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening gel solution inside either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching. You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

What types of fluoride treatment are available?

Fluoride is the most effective form of tooth decay prevention available. It is a naturally present mineral in almost all food and water sources.

Fluoride treatment works in two ways:

Topical fluoride: This strengthens the teeth once they have emerged by infiltrating the enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be found in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth washes, and gels. We generally recommend that adolescents have anl application of fluoride twice a year at their dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride: This treatment strengthens the teeth that have emerged as well as those that are growing under the gumline. Systemic Fluoride is also available as a supplement in drop/gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or GP. Typically, fluoride drops are used for babies, and tablets for children. It is important to watch the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much is ingested while the teeth are still growing, fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may occur.

What is the difference between All-On-4 and Mini Implants?

Like All-on-4s, mini implants are designed for immediate use, with little recovery time necessary following your appointment. Even better, mini implants can be placed without a bone grafting assessment, and they’re a great option for patients who are unable to withstand an invasive procedure. What makes them different is that they are primarily designed for replacing the lower row of teeth instead of both upper and lower rows.

All-on-4 dental implants are ideal for replacement of a complete row of teeth, whether the top or bottom row. As you can tell by the name, only four, strategically placed implants are needed. The dentist will take into account your existing bone density when deciding if this method is appropriate for your case.

How do I know I have an impacted tooth?

Your dentist will examine your mouth and x-rays to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted or will not grow in properly. Impacted teeth may cause problems that can lead to infection, adjacent tooth resorption, gum disease, cysts, or tumors.

Symptoms of impacted teeth:

  • Pain and stiffness of the jaw
  • Infection in the mouth
  • Headaches
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth
What kinds of sedatives are available?

The most widely used dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on the patient’s needs. Before using any sedative, the dentist must analyse the medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.

Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood, and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. It relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. Some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are minimal side effects that come with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is a good alternative for people who don’t like needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. Most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or sounds associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken before the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.

I'm having a dental emergency, what do I do?
Any dental emergency such as an injury to the teeth or gums can be considered serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem will increase the risk of permanent damage, and the need for more extensive and expensive treatment later on may be necessary.

Here’s a quick summary of what to do for some common dental emergencies:

Toothaches: First thing to do is thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm water. Secondly, use floss to remove any food particles. If your mouth is swollen, use an icepack on the outside of your mouth or cheek. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Chipped or Broken Teeth: Save any and all pieces. Rinse your mouth using warm water and rinse any tooth fragments. If there’s bleeding, use a piece of gauze for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding ceases. Apply an icepack to the outside of the mouth, cheek, or lip near the broken/chipped tooth to keep the swelling down and relieve pain. See your dentist right away.

Knocked Out Teeth: Retrieve the tooth, hold it by the crown and rinse off the tooth root with water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub the tooth or detach any tissue fragments. If it’s possible, try and put the tooth back in place. Make sure it’s the right way and never force it into the socket. If it isn’t possible to insert the tooth, put it in a small container of milk (or cup of water that contains a pinch of table salt, if milk is not available). In all cases, see your dentist as soon as possible. Knocked out teeth with the highest chances of being saved are those seen by the dentist and returned to their socket within 1 hour of being knocked out.

Lost Filling: For temporary use, push a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will be painful) or use over-the-counter dental cement.

Lost Crown: If the crown gets separated from the tooth, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you are able and bring the crown with you. If you are unable to see the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use cotton to apply clove oil to the sensitive area. If possible, re apply the crown to the tooth. Before that, coat the inner layer with dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help temporarily secure the crown.

Broken Braces and Wires: If a wire snaps or protrudes out of a bracket and is poking your cheek, tongue, or gum, use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a better position. If you are unable to move the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a cotton ball, or gauze until you can get to an orthodontist.

Loose Brace Brackets: Temporarily reattach loose brackets with orthodontic wax. Another option is to place the wax over the braces to provide an obstruction between cheek and bracket. See your orthodontist as soon as possible.

Abscess: Abscesses are infections that place themselves around tooth roots or between the teeth and gums. Abscesses are serious infections that can harm tissue and surrounding teeth, with the possibility of infection spreading to other parts of the body if left untreated.

See your dentist as soon as possible if you find a pimple-like mound on your gum that is typically painful. In the meantime, to ease the pain and draw the pus to the surface, try a salt water rinse, several times a day.

Soft Tissue Injuries: Injuries to the soft tissues (tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips) can cause bleeding. To control the bleeding, follow these steps:

  • Rinse your mouth with a salt-water mixture.
  • Use wet gauze or a tea bag to apply pressure to the trauma site. Hold for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • To control bleeding and pain, use an icepack on the outside of the mouth or cheek for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t cease, see your dentist immediately if possible, or go to the emergency room. Keep the pressure on the bleeding site with the gauze until you can be treated.
What causes bad breathe?
There are many causes of bad breath but there are 4 causes of bad breath that are very common.

  • Dry mouth – a dry mouth is the ultimate petri dish for bacteria growth. Too much speaking, smoking, alcohol consumption and snoring are a few causes for dry mouth. Most people have bad breath in the morning from a lack of saliva production during the night.
  • Foods – Bad breath can become worse by when consuming onions and garlic because they contain smelly sulfur compounds. Dairy, meat and fish contain dense proteins which are used as a food source by sulfur-producing bacteria that cause bad breath. Refined and processed sugars also provide a life source for bacteria. Coffee and juice can contribute to bad breath because they are acidic and provide the bacteria with optimal breeding standards
  • Poor dental hygiene – Inadequate oral care leads to a buildup of bacteria on the teeth and gums. This in turn leads to gum disease which can cause halitosis because the proteins from bleeding gums and infected oral tissue provide breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria.
  • Illness and disease – Those who suffer from diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory tract infections or metabolic disorders are more likely to have chronic bad breath due to dry mouth. Sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip and polyps affect the airways and potentially cause halitosis. Antidepressants, high blood pressure medications and antihistamines can cause bad breath because they inhibit saliva production.
Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. At our office we take necessary precautions to limit your exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. We use lead apron shields to protect your body and also modern, fast film that reduces exposure time.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on your individual needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients and is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect any new dental problems.

Why straighten teeth?

The benefits of proper jaw and teeth alignment go far beyond appearance. In general, straight teeth are easier to clean, lessening the risk of decay and other dental problems. Recent studies have repeatedly shown a link between orthodontic treatment and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. A proper bite allows proper chewing, which lessens the risk of digestion problems.

What causes improper bites?

Most bite problems are genetic in origin. Some cases are caused or worsened by thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use, poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition, or injury.

Who can benefit from Orthodontic Treatment?

Patients of all ages can enjoy the aesthetic and health benefits of treatment. The pre-teen and teen years remain the most popular time for treatment, since the jaw is still growing. However, around 30% of today’s orthodontic patients are over 18. Treatment in adults may take slightly longer, but will still yield great results.

What is involved in Orthodontic treatment?

After a detailed assessment that may involve bite impressions, x-rays and physical examination, and discussion of the lifestyle and needs of the patient, an orthodontist creates a treatment plan that may include:

Fixed braces – a bracket affixed to each tooth, attached by wires, often with elastic bands on the brackets to further guide specific teeth. The orthodontist attaches the braces, and adjusts them at regular intervals over the treatment period. Modern braces can be quite discrete in appearance.

Invisalign™ – a series of custom-molded clear aligners that are virtually invisible when worn.

Headgear – a removable appliance that sits in the mouth, fastened around the head with straps.

Headgear is worn for a portion of each day, from 12-20 hours. It is often used for interceptive treatment in younger patients.

Retainer – a custom-molded, removable dental appliance used to ‘retain’ proper alignment after braces are removed, often worn at night.

Let us improve your smile – talk to us about orthodontic treatment options to suit your needs.