A: If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile. Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile. There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic Procedures: Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking. Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present. Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession. Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth. Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed. Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances. Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!
A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile. Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:Severely discolored or stained teethUnwanted or uneven spacesWorn or chipped teethSlight tooth crowdingMisshapen teethTeeth that are too small or large Getting veneers usually requires two visits. Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile. With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers. The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond. Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.
A: Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile. Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored. It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth. Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright. The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems: Home teeth whitening systems: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouthguard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth. The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30 minutes, or overnight while you sleep. It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening. In office teeth whitening: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately. It may require more than one visit, with each visit lasting 30 to 60 minutes. While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth. A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened. Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one week. Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!
A: In recent years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin, zinc and mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems. In truth, we rarely place amalgam restorations anymore. This is due to the vast improvement of composite resin (white) filling material in recent years. These new tooth-coloured restorations not only look much better esthetically, but they actually bond to the tooth and help to strengthen it. White fillings also expand and contract with temperature more similarly to a natural tooth, therefore minimizing cracking of teeth over time. In contrast, amalgam restorations do not bond to the tooth, and expand and contract with temperature like a metal – much more than the tooth. Think of a glass jar with a metal lid you can’t get off – you put it under hot water so the metal expands and the lid comes off. It’s the same thing with your tooth – you’re putting a metal inside the glass (the enamel) which over time acts like a wedge and causes the remaining tooth to fracture. We don’t advocate replacing amalgam restorations only because of their mercury content, however we will replace restorations at your request. There have already been countries in the world that have banned the use of mercury containing amalgams for dentistry, and these materials are regulated as hazardous waste requiring special disposal units, so we elect to use composite resin as our main restorative material. There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored) and porcelain (the most esthetic and inert dental material). We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which is the best option for you.
A: As your dental office we offer comprehensive, professional dental health care. Another ally in maintaining good oral health is dental insurance. Unfortunately many benefit plans are rapidly changing, and this can cause misunderstandings about your coverage and ultimately impact your oral health. Here are some facts about dental insurance that every patient should know: Dental insurance is a contract between you, your insurance company and your employer. Your employer may have selected an insurance plan based on a 2001 (or earlier) fee schedule. In many cases our fees are higher than your dental plan. The amount of benefits you are entitled to is related to the plan your employer has purchased and not to the value of the dental services received. You are ultimately responsible for what your plan does or does not pay for. We are more than happy to assist you in understanding your dental insurance, but please bring the latest information on your plan with you to your next appointment.For all dental treatments, we ask that you pay the day of service and we will submit your claim on your behalf as a courtesy. For many plans you will receive your benefit cheque in two weeks or less. Only you as the patient can choose the level of dental care and the level of dental health that’s right for you. Remember, the insurance provider will never have to smile with your teeth…
A: Veneers are a great option to correct chipped, stained, crooked, or discoloured teeth. They can be made of porcelain or resin. Porcelain has the best, most natural appearance and maintains its vibrant appearance for many years. Porcelain veneers cost approximately $1000 per tooth. Resin, also referred to as white filling or ‘bonding’ is much less expensive (approximately $300 per tooth) but is not as natural in apparance, stains more easily, and needs replacement every few years. For these reasons, the majority of patients choose porcelain. Long term they are the same cost (or less) than resin. A consultation with us is the best way to determine what is right for you.
A: Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent. What may cause bad breath? Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums. Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat. Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away. Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath. Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist. What can I do to prevent bad breath? Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning. See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit. Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria. Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist aboutantiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem. In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.
A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids. Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time. Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss. Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
A: You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health. These include: Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.