MERCURY OR SILVER fillings release minute amounts of mercury vapour, especially with chewing. Some of this mercury may be absorbed by the body, reach various organs and, in pregnant women, cross the placenta. Health Canada states "Whenever possible, amalgam fillings should not be placed in or removed from the teeth of pregnant women and should not be considered for restoring the baby teeth of children. New amalgam fillings should not be placed in contact with existing metal devices in the mouth, such as braces."
COMPOSITE RESIN are filling materials that match the natural colour of your teeth and are now most commonly used. Where the biting forces present on the tooth requiring treatment are a concern, dental ceramic is a preferred alternative to composite resin.
DENTAL CERAMICS - The ceramic material that dentists use most often is porcelain. Dental ceramics are the material of choice when long-lasting esthetic restorations are desired, in high-stress areas, such as your molar teeth, it may be possible to restore your tooth using a porcelain-fused-metal crown in high strength porcelain available. Ceramic and porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations cannot be shaped directly in the mouth. After preparing the tooth to accept the restoration, your dentist makes an impression of your teeth and places a temporary filling in the prepared cavity. Your first appointment ends at this point, and your dentist sends the impression to the dental laboratory. The dental laboratory uses the impression to fabricate a restoration which is then returned to your dentist to be fitted and cemented to your tooth at a second appointment.
Your natural teeth are the best teeth you will ever own, and your dentist will do his or her utmost to make sure that you don't lose any. But you also have to do your own part, by brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly. If a tooth is lost, it's important to have it replaced with a partial denture, bridge or implant. The loss of one tooth will result in tipping, drifting, upward or downward movement of adjacent or opposing teeth. This will result in spaces opening between your teeth where by food becomes lodged making cleaning difficult and eventually causing decay, loss of bone between the teeth and pain in the gums. The loss of several teeth can cause a reduction in chewing efficiencies and can lead to the collapse of your bite causing stress on your jaw joins, facial muscles and a reduction in facial height. This creates an older facial appearance with noticeable facial lines. Your teeth may become loose due to gum disease or, if you fall, play sports, or receive a blow to the mouth. This is a serious problem; you should speak to your dentist about a replacement.
WHY IS IT TIME FOR YOUR DENTAL CHECK UP?
Everybody needs regular preventative checkups. We recommend twice yearly check-ups for everyone. Even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, your teeth and gums still need regular care from a dental professional. Only your dentist has the training, clinical skills and knowledge to diagnose your oral health condition and to advise you on appropriate treatment and care.
During your checkups, your dentist who has the medical training, expertise and the greatest opportunity will look for early signs of oral cancer and many other diseases. Your dentist will also look for gum disease, cavities, eroded fillings, tooth fractures and oral infections. He or she is trained to catch small problems before they become big ones, and can often provide treatment for a problem right away.
By diagnosing early, we can treat problems sooner and less invasively.
It is proven that proper and regular cleaning every six months can reduce your chances of developing gum disease, a probable contributor of heart disease. We will examine with the help of radiographs, your teeth and gums to detect decay and or gum disease, evaluate possible cosmetic enhancements to your smile, polish and clean your teeth, give fluoride treatments and provide brushing and flossing instructions to maintain your oral health.
No matter how carefully you take care of your teeth and gums, or how carefully you look for signs of problems, there are a number of oral health conditions that only your dentist can see. These conditions include: the deterioration of fillings, crowns and other restorations; decay around existing fillings; root decay, root wear, early signs of gum disease; periodontal pockets caused by gum disease, hairline tooth fractures; and impacted wisdom teeth.
Your oral health care is a life long commitment; prevention is the best possible care.
WHAT HAPPENS AT YOUR CHILDS' FIRST DENTAL VISIT?
Often, the first visit is simply an introduction to our office. Since every child's comfort level at the dentist is different, we asses each child individually and proceed at the appropriate rate. We understand how very important it is to build a child's trust. As your child's comfort level grows, gentle cleaning and instruction on how to clean your child's teeth at home will also be included.
Your childs' first visit to the dental office is very similar to that of the GP. It is to ensure that all is well with your baby. We will gently look at the jaw and tooth development, examine oral hygiene and ensure your child's proper growth. We will note and discuss habits such as finger and thumb sucking, night bottle feeding and juice bottle sipping which can not only effect your child's jaw and teeth development but can cause tooth decay and loss of tooth enamel. We will help in maintaining your child's oral hygiene and examine for the first signs of tooth decay and provide fluoride treatments.
IS THUMB SUCKING A PROBLEM?
Although thumb and finger sucking are quite normal for infants, they can affect your child's jaw and teeth development. We advise stopping the habit early in the infant stage. The older the child is the harder it will be to stop the habit. When the habit is carried on it ma ybe necessary to have braces to correct teeth and jaw abnormalities. If your child has trouble stopping the habit, your dentist can make and place an appliance that would help stop the habit.
BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY IS PREVENTABLE
Babies who sleep with a baby bottle filled with any sugary drink or who are breast-fed for long periods as they sleep are highly susceptible to tooth decay.
ADVANTAGES OF TOOTH SEALANTS
Sealants are light cured composites, which are placed on the chewing surfaces of a molar. The material flows and seals the deepest parts of the pits and grooves where plaque and sugar accumulate causing cavities. Studies show us that 99% of the chewing surfaces of all molar teeth are filled by the age of 65. Sealants are a protection to prevent this from happening. Sealants provide protection for your child's' teeth at an early age when they have not mastered good oral hygiene and eating habits are not ideal.
WILL FREEZING BE NEEDED?
No, because no tooth structure is removed, a local anesthetic (freezing) is not necessary.
HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
Sealants last an average of 2-5 years and can be reapplied at that time. Unfortunately, if there is already some decalcification present the sealant may not hold and a restoration will be required.
WHEN SHOULD SEALANTS BE DONE?
We recommend them as soon as the first molar erupts in the mouth at around six years of age.
MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR DENTAL INSURANCE
Most people understand that employer sponsored dental insurance plans run on an annual basis and benefits not used by December 31 are lost forever. Few however understand the best way to get the best value from their insurance plans. As a result, many people needlessly delay treatment and even ignore the problems because they worry that they can't afford the cost.
In our office we work closely with out patients to help them fully understand their dental insurance coverage and maximize benefits of their insurance plans as it relates to their dental needs. Although insurance is a form of payment and not treatment, utilizing insurance benefits in a timely manner will get the greatest value from your insurance plans and reduce your out of pocket expense.
Dental Insurance can be a complex field, but we're here to help. Please feel free to call or stop by our office to learn more about your dental insurance coverage.
Recently, the focus of dental plan coverage has begun to change; Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the costs of doing business, including the costs of providing their employees with comprehensive health and dental benefit packages. In response, plan carriers have developed new dental plans, with reduced coverage. You may be required to pay an annual deductible or to make co-payments. Unfortunately, some of these new plans may include restrictions that could seriously impact your oral health.
It is also important to remember that you are a partner in your oral health. Treatment and care decisions should be made by you and your dentist based on your actual needs, independent of your dental plan coverage.
Your dental plan is not a treatment plan.
Remember, the purpose of the dental plan is to assist you in paying for dental treatment; most plans do not cover the entire cost of all treatment required.
WHAT IF MY DENTIST RECOMMENDS A TREATMENT THAT MY PLAN DOES NOT COVER? DOES THIS MEAN THAT TREATMENT IS NOT REALLY NECESSARY?
Treatment decisions should be made in consultation with your dentist. You should be aware of what is covered in your dental plan, but you should not let this factor alone determine your care. Only you and your dentist can decide the treatment plan that's right for you.
WHAT IF MY DENTIST RECOMMENDS ONE TYPE OF TREATMENT BUT MY PLAN WILL ONLY COVER A LESSER QUALITY OF CARE?
Some dental plans restrict coverage to the least expensive procedure that can be used to treat a particular dental problem. However, that least expensive procedure may not provide the best long-term solution to your dental problem. You should base your treatment decisions on your dental needs and not on the coverage in your dental plan.
WHAT IS DIRECT REIMBURSEMENT?
Although most plans will accept payment to be made to the dentist, some may not. Hence, you will be required to pay for your treatment and get reimbursed by your insurance plan. If you don't have dental benefits we have payment plans that can help you pay for extensive treatment.
SO WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?
By taking care of your dental health you are making a long-term investment in your own well-being and that of your family. If you have a good dental plan that covers most of the costs associated with your dental care needs, you are indeed fortunate. In the long term, you and your family will benefit greatly by making an ongoing commitment to be a partner in your oral health.
Did you know that Gum disease is linked to heart disease? Research has shown that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease which may lead to a heart attack. The gum inflammation of gum disease creates a path for the bacteria in plaque to enter your blood stream. This bacteria travels throughout the body and may be a factor in numerous conditions.
Gum Disease is the most common dental problem experienced by adults. It generally develops slowly, is often painless, and is more apparent in middle age than old age.
Gum disease is usually caused by plaque, an invisible bacterial film that forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning, it hardens into a substance called tartar (also known as calculus), which cannot be removed by brushing. If you allow tartar to accumulate on your teeth, a bacterial infection may develop below your gum line. This infection leads to bone loss and deep pockets between your teeth, which are not easy to clean. High levels of bacteria can live in these pockets and you will need aggressive cleaning treatments. Unless this infection is treated, it can destroy the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, your teeth will become loose and may fall out.
SIGNS OF PERIODONTAL/GUM DISEASE
Include gums that have receded or are swollen and bleeding. Also the teeth may look longer and have black triangular anesthetic spaces between them. Teeth may also become loose and abscesses may develop in your gums. Patients with periodontal disease will require more frequent cleaning therapies, usually every 3-4 months to be able to maintain gum health. In a small minority of patients, however, keeping gum disease in check is a constant challenge, even though you may have perfect plaque control and little calculus build-up. Referral to a Periodontist may be required.
Two types of decay/cavities (also known as caries) tend to be more prevalent in adults: root decay and decay at the edges of the fillings. Years of brushing too hard and the natural effects of aging can cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth. These roots have no protective enamel coating and are less resistant to decay than the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Decay can also develop around a filling. When a filling breaks down, the seal between the edge of the filling and your tooth is destroyed, allowing food particles or moisture to be trapped between the edge of the filling and your tooth, promoting decay.
Provided you look after them, your teeth and gums will look good and stay healthy for life.
Bad breath is caused by anaerobic bacteria which often collects on the tongue, teeth, throat, and periodontal pockets in the gums and produces volatile sulphur products. A white coating on the tongue is evidence of excessive bacteria.
Dry mouth is caused by medications, exercise, dieting, alcohol or alcohol based mouth rinse, smoking and mouth breathing during sleep creates an environment where bacteria thrive. Also acids in foods such as coffee also decrease oxygen and cause bacteria to thrive.
TREATMENT OF BAD BREATH
* Brush and floss your teeth properly
* Clean your tongue either with a brush or hygiene cleaner
* Drink plenty of water to flush out unwanted bacteria
* Use non alcoholic based mouthwashes
* Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva