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Spruce Ridge Dental Blog

Frequently Asked Dental Questions

October 22, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:57 am

Spruce Grove’s Dental “Destination”

Why are dental check-ups important?
Dental check-ups allow us to evaluate the current condition of your mouth. Through the use of our digital x-rays and a visual examination, we are able to detect potential problems within the oral cavity and to formulate a treatment plan designed for your specific needs.

Is there a regular interval for examinations and cleanings that I should follow? Every year? 6 months? Is it different for children?
Dental check-ups are usually done once a year to detect any subtle changes within your mouth. Dental cleaning intervals will be determined by our dental hygienist after your first hygiene appointment depending on the amount of hard deposits on your teeth. We recommend every six months for children and their teeth are changing more so than adults. We like to ensure that they are developing good oral habits to take care of their new teeth that are coming in and look for possible concerns as their adult teeth are erupting.

What should I do before a dental check-up? Not eat certain foods?
Before your check-up or cleaning, you don’t have to do anything fancy. We suggest that you brush and floss your teeth as you would normally do, this way we can assess how effectively you are cleaning your teeth and make suggestions if necessary.

After check-ups and cleanings is there something I should expect? Bleeding gums, sore gums, etc?
Depending on your current oral habits and how long it has been since your last dental cleaning, your gums may be sore and may even bleed a little bit. This is normal. However, the better you can keep things clean on your own, through effective brushing and daily flossing, this will be very minimal after your next appointment.
Regular cleanings (with ultrasonic scaler to enhance patient comfort)

Why are regular cleanings important? I brush and floss.

During your dental cleaning, the hygienist removes calculus or “tartar” – which is the hard deposits that form on your teeth that cannot be removed by brushing. These deposits, if left of the teeth for extended periods of time trap bacteria and can cause tooth decay and gum problems. Our hygienist also checks your gums for these problematic conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Is the dental procedure different for children?
Children tend to have less of these hard deposits on their teeth. Often a regular cleaning for a child is just polishing their teeth and perhaps a small amount of hand scaling if there is some tartar build-up.

What do you mean by regular?
A standard cleaning is often recommended every 3-6 months. Our hygienist will discuss which regimen is right for you.

 

What are dental white composite fillings?

White fillings are metal-free, plastic-based restorations. These fillings can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth. This filling material is placed by cleaning the decay out of the tooth structure, applying a cleaning gel to the tooth follow by a bonding agent that directly bonds the filling material to the tooth structure. We then place the composite filling material and shine an ultra-blue light which hardens the filling material in a matter of seconds.

How long do they last?

Like any style of filling, composite restorations are durable and depending on the depth of the cavity and with ideal bonding to the tooth surface, these fillings will last for several years.

Are there other options? What about porcelain or metal?
We do offer amalgam or “metal” fillings; however, these are normally used only when a composite filling cannot be placed. Sometimes when the filling is large, porcelain filling (inlay or onlay) is the best option.

Is there any mercury in there composite fillings?

No, there is no mercury in composite fillings.

We offer a take-home, custom-tray method of tooth whitening. This is done by taking impressions of your teeth and fabricating trays specifically for your teeth. You then place gel in the trays and leave on your teeth for the amount of time directed. Amount of time may vary depending on the type, and strength of gel selected.

Is it safe?
Teeth Whitening is a safe procedure, however, some sensitivity afterwards is completely normal. The use of desensitizing toothpaste will help with this sensitivity.

How long does it last?
Results may vary depending on your personal habits. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea and wine all stain the teeth; however, you can simply “touch-up” your whitening whenever you notice your teeth are picking up stain.

How many treatments do I need?
Amount of treatments vary depending on the amount of stain that is present of your teeth. On average, one should start to notice an improvement after the first 2 or 3 applications.

Crown and Bridge Treatment What is a crown and bridge?

A crown is a cap that is placed over the entire tooth that protects a tooth that requires more strength followed by a root canal or one that cannot be restored with basic filling material. A Bridge is used when one or more teeth are missing. A bridge is a grouping of interconnected crowns. It will replace missing teeth and support surrounding teeth. A Bridge is held in placed by 2 crowns on each side of the missing tooth.

Is it expensive?
Price may vary; however, most insurance plans cover a portion of this treatment.

Can you tell me if it’s covered under my plan?
We can send a preauthorization to your insurance company to determine if, and how much of the treatment will be covered.

Extractions:
What do you do to reduce the pain of extractions?
With any extraction, local anesthetic will be placed around the tooth that will be extracted. Although one may be able to feel some pressure, we work gently and will give you breaks to relax if needed to make this procedure as painless and as comfortable as possible.

I gag easily, how can you help me?
If you have a sensitive gag reflex, let us know. Sometimes after the local anesthetic is administered the reflex weakens. We can also give you a break during the procedure as well to relax.

When should I consider an extraction instead of getting work done on my tooth?
Our dentist will always give you options available for each tooth that requires extensive treatment and will assist you when to consider having an extraction instead of having work – such as a root canal done.

Sports guards

Will the shape of my mouth change with time?
Depending on your age, the shape of your mouth will change with time.

Should I get a new guard at regular intervals?
Children will require a new guard more often than an adult as their mouth is constantly changing. The jaws are growing, different teeth are exfoliating and new ones of different sizes are erupting, because of this, a child may need a new mouth guard in a few months where as an adult may be able to use theirs for years.

Is it covered by my insurance?
Mouth guards are not usually covered by insurance, however at our office we offer a fair price as it is very beneficial to have one made for you or your child. We also offer a 6 month warranty on our mouth guards.

Root Canal Therapy

What do you do in this procedure?
A root canal is needed when the nerve of the tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels) is removed using small hand and rotary files and the space is filled with a thermoplastic filling material called “Gutta Percha” which restores the tooth. Afterwards, we can place a composite or amalgam restoration and then eventually place a crown on the tooth once the infection or discomfort has subsided.

Who should consider this treatment?
A root canal is needed when the nerve of the tooth is affected by decay or infection.

Night guards (Occlusal guards) 

What are these used for?
Night guards are used for those that clench or grind their teeth, especially at night.

I have sleep apnea, would this help?
A night guard may help improve sleep apnea, as clenching can activate muscles in the jaw which change the size of the airway. However, it may be a good idea to go to a Sleep Clinic that specializes in correcting sleep apnea.

What is a denture treatment?
Dentures are fabricated to replace teeth when either all of the teeth on either the top or bottom are missing. A partial denture can also be made to replace several missing teeth when a bridge or implant is not wanted or required.

How do I take care of my dentures?
It is very important to keep your dentures clean. Brush your dentures with a non-abrasive tooth paste or denture cleaner. It is a good idea to take your dentures out and allow your gums to “breathe” to keep them clean and healthy. When you do not have your dentures in, keep them in a cool, moist environment, such as a glass of water or a mouth rinse or denture cleaner.

What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium post that replaces the roots of missing teeth that are used to support crowns, bridges and dentures.

Is it covered by my insurance?
Sometimes insurance will cover a portion of an implant, however most insurance plans do not. Some plans will cover the cost of the crown that will cover the dental implant. We can send a preauthorization to your insurance company to determine if they will cover any portion of this treatment.

Who should consider this treatment?
Those that are interested in replacing missing teeth and have adequate bone levels and healthy gums to support and hold the implant are ideal candidates for dental implants. Our dentist will do a thorough oral examination and consultation to determine if this treatment is right for you.

Gum surgery

When would gum surgery be recommended?
Gum surgery is recommended when the gums have receded to an unhealthy level.

Is this done at a hospital or at the dentist’s office?
This procedure can be done in a dentist’s office depending on severity. If the procedure is more severe, the patient may be referred to a Periodontist which is a dentist with special training specifically in helping to restore gum tissues and perform gum surgery.

Do I need someone to drive me there and back?
It is best to have a responsible adult to drive you to the office in back following oral surgery.

Is it covered by my insurance?
Depending on the insurance provider, gum surgery may be covered. We can send a preauthorization to determine if your insurance company will cover this procedure.

What can I do to not let things get to this point?
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean is the only way to prevent gum disease. Brushing twice a day with a soft or electric tooth brush and flossing daily are extremely important as well as having regular cleanings as suggested by our dental hygienist in preventing gum disease.

Home Care

October 21, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:25 am

A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients.  Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal.  Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

 

home care

Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  1. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  4. 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.

home care

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  3. 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.

Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.

Dental Implants

October 20, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:49 pm

Dental implants can last a very long time with proper placement and diligent patient maintenance. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants are so natural-looking and feel like your own teeth.

Under proper conditions and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since dentists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do dentists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own.

Dental implants

What are the Uses of Dental Implants?

  • Replace single or multiple teeth without affecting natural teeth.
  • Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures or a Bridge

Every way you look at it, dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth.

Esthetic  Dental implants look and feel natural. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they help prevent bone loss and gum recession which may be caused by bridgework and dentures.

Save Natural Teeth  With the placement of dental implants, your natural teeth do not need to be ground down for a bridge. This preserves your natural teeth which is the goal of modern dentistry,

Confidence and Reliability  Dental implants will improve your smile, function and confidence as the restoration would be fixed on your implant. So you don’t have to worry about it getting loose while you are talking or eating. The success rates of implants are high and are a great option for replacing missing teeth.

Are you a good candidate for dental implants?

  • You are in reasonably good general health and your periodontal health is stable.
  • Your jaw must have enough bone to support the implant. Bone volume can be increased with procedures like bone grafts and sinus elevation surgery.
  • There must be enough space to place the tooth over the implant.
  • You must understand what the treatment can offer.
  • You cannot wear your denture or chew well with your denture because they are loose, cause pain or are embarrassing.
  • You have loose or uncomfortable dentures and want to secure your denture.

Replacing a Single Tooth

Even a single missing tooth can have a huge impact on your overall oral health, causing remaining teeth to shift and contributing to decay and gum disease. Dr. Andrew Madej and Dr. William Vu can restore the tooth to its original form with a dental implant, which is the only tooth-replacement option that replaces the tooth, as well as the tooth’s root. A single titanium post anchored in the jawbone serves as the tooth’s root, and a custom-designed crown replaces the portion that shows when you smile. Implant-supported crowns look and feel natural, and they help prevent the jawbone deterioration that accompanies tooth loss.

What are the advantages of a single-tooth implant over a bridge?

A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. The other common treatment for the loss of a single tooth, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, requires that adjacent teeth be ground down to support the cemented bridge.

Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, the bone is better preserved. With a bridge, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

In the long term, a single implant can be more esthetic and easier to keep clean than a bridge. Gums can recede around a bridge, leaving a visible defect when the metal base or collar of the bridge becomes exposed. Resorbed bone beneath the bridge can lead to an unattractive smile. And, the cement holding the bridge in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that anchor the bridge.

Replacing Several Teeth

If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

What are the advantages of implant-supported bridges over fixed bridges or removable partial dentures?

Dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported bridges replace teeth without support from adjacent natural teeth. Other common treatments for the loss of several teeth, such as fixed bridges or removable partial dentures, are dependent on support from adjacent teeth.

In addition, because implant-supported bridges will replace some of your tooth roots, your bone is better preserved. With a fixed bridge or removable partial denture, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth root may begin to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

In the long term, implants are esthetic, functional and comfortable. Gums and bone can recede around a fixed bridge or removable partial denture, leaving a visible defect. Resorbed bone beneath bridges or removable partial dentures can lead to a collapsed, unattractive smile. The cement holding bridges in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay teeth that anchor the bridge. In addition, removable partial dentures can move around in the mouth and reduce your ability to eat certain foods.

Implant Bridge

How will the implants be placed?
The implants are placed into your jaw. Over the next two to six months, the implants and the bone are allowed to bond together to form anchors. During this time, a temporary teeth replacement option can be worn over the implant sites.

Often, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implants and attach extensions. These small metal posts, called abutments, complete the foundation on which your new teeth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.

There are some implant systems (one-stage) that do not require this second step. These systems use an implant which already has the extension piece attached. We will advise you on which system is best for you.

Finally, replacement teeth, or bridges, will be created for you and attached to the abutments. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.

Replacing All of Your Teeth With Implants

If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

What are the advantages of implant-supported full bridges and implant-supported dentures over conventional dentures?
Dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported full bridges or dentures are designed to be long lasting. Implant-supported full bridges and dentures also are more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing you to retain a more natural biting and chewing capacity.

In addition, because implant-supported full bridges and dentures will replace some of your tooth roots, your bone is better preserved. With conventional dentures, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth roots begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

In the long term, implants can be more esthetic and easier to maintain than conventional dentures. The loss of bone that accompanies conventional dentures leads to recession of the jawbone and a collapsed, unattractive smile. Conventional dentures make it difficult to eat certain foods.

How will the implants be placed?
The first step is to place the implants into your jaw. Then, over the next two to six months, the implants and the bone are allowed to bond together to form anchors for your artificial teeth. During this time, a temporary teeth replacement option can be worn over the implant sites.

Often, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implants and attach extensions. These small metal posts, called abutments, along with various connecting devices that allow multiple crowns to attach to the implants, complete the foundation on which your new teeth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.

There are some implant systems (one-stage) that do not require this second step. These systems use an implant which already has the extension piece attached. Your dentist will advise you on which system is best for you.

Depending upon the number of implants placed, the connecting device that will hold your new teeth can be tightened down on the implant, or it may be a clipped to a bar or a round ball anchor to which a denture snaps on and off.

Finally, full bridges or full dentures will be created for you and attached to your implants or the connecting device. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.

Implant Overdentures with Implants

Do you avoid foods like steak and apples because of uncomfortable dentures? Do you wish you could eat, smile, and speak with confidence again? Implant overdentures may be the solution for you. With implant overdentures, Dr. Andrew Madej and Dr. William Vu anchor the denture in place with strategically-placed dental implants. After the procedure, your dentures will no longer slip or click, and you can eat a healthy diet of hard-to-chew-foods. Implants will also stimulate jawbone growth and help fill out the facial profile for a more youthful appearance.

Sinus Augmentation

A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. If you’ve lost bone in that area due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, you may be left without enough bone to place implants.

Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form. In one common technique, an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone. This bony piece is lifted into the sinus cavity, much like a trap door, and the space underneath is filled with bone graft material. We will explain your options for graft materials, which can regenerate lost bone and tissue.

Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed, an additional healing period is required. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented.

Sinus augmentation has been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure.

Ridge Modification

Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. This defect may have been caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury or trauma. Not only does this deformity cause problems in placing the implant, it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain.

To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. We will tell you about your options for graft materials, which can help to regenerate lost bone and tissue.

Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.

Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Ridge modification can enhance your restorative success both esthetically and functionally.

Mouth Gaurds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:23 am

Mouth guards should be worn by anyone who participates in sports, whether for pleasure, in youth or adult leagues, or even on a professional level – knows that losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a player; sustaining a serious injury is, particularly when that injury is preventable.

Mouth guards

That’s why it’s so important for adults and children who are active in sports to wear protective gear such as helmets, shin guards, knee and elbow pads, and mouth guards. Wearing a mouth guard can prevent serious injury and save a lot of pain. Each year this simple safety measure prevents more than 200,000 oral injuries among athletes.

Facial and head injuries can be sustained in nearly every game, from “contact” sports such as hockey, football, soccer and basketball, to “non-contact” sports like baseball, gymnastics, bicycling or skateboarding. Damage to the teeth, lips, tongue and jaws are frequent occurrences in both children and adults.

General dentists see more injuries to the mouth as a result of playing sports than from almost any other single cause.

Although more research is needed, mouth guards may help prevent serious injuries such as concussions. The literature has shown that mouth guards definitely help prevent fractured jaws and teeth, severe cuts to the cheek and tongue (often requiring surgery for repair), and traumatic damage to the roots and bone that hold teeth in place.

Mouth guards are designed to help cushion the mouth, teeth and jaw, preventing significant damage where sports injuries are most prevalent. While mouth guards are not required equipment in many sports, wearing one is an important precaution for athletes of any age and ability.

Mouth guards

For a mouth guard to be most effective, it is essential that it fit properly and stay in place during vigorous activity and the various positions the sport requires. Your dentist can determine what appliances (braces, retainers, bridgework, dentures) would be affected by wearing a mouth guard. Because growth spurts occur in the mouth just as they do elsewhere in the body, it’s especially important for child’s mouth to be evaluated by a dentist before selecting a mouth guard.

Different sports involve different levels of risk and potential injury. With the help of your dentist, you can select the right type of mouth guard for you or your child’s sport of choice.

All mouth guards are not created equal. Depending upon the design and materials used, mouthpieces will vary in fit, protection, ease of maintenance and longevity. Listed below are several types of mouth guards. Consult your dentist before you make a decision.

Custom-Made.

Formed by your dentist from a cast model of your teeth, these custom-made guards are designed to cover all the teeth and are shown in the literature to be the best type of protection. These mouth guards can cushion falls and blows to the chin. Custom-made mouth guards may be slightly more expensive than commercially produced mouthpieces, but they offer the best possible fit and protection and are the most comfortable.

Mouth-Formed.

These guards are generally made of acrylic gel or thermoplastic materials shaped to fit the contours of your teeth. They are placed in boiling water then attempted to be formed and molded to the teeth. They are commercially produced and do not offer the same fit and protection as a custom fitted mouth guard made from a model of the mouth.

Ready-Made Stock. Commercially produced, off-the-shelf mouth guards are the least expensive, but also the least comfortable and the least effective protective mouthpieces. These rubber or polyvinyl pre-formed guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. They offer no attempt at fit whatsoever and are not recommended in the dental literature.

Like all sports equipment, proper care will make any mouth guard last longer. Keep your mouthpiece in top shape by rinsing it with soap and water or mouthwash after each use and allowing it to air-dry. With proper care, a mouth guard should last the length of a season. The condition of the mouth guard should be checked before each use, particularly if the athlete has a tendency to chew on it. Mouth guards may be checked by your dentist at your regularly scheduled examinations.

Wearing a Mouth Guard Makes Good Sense.

If you or your children participate in sports, make sure that you are informed about the most common injuries that can occur during play and take appropriate steps to be protected. Always wear a properly fitted mouth guard when you play. Do not wear removable appliances (retainers, bridges, or complete or partial dentures) when playing sports.

Staying in shape – and intact – is an integral part of an overall strategy for all sports. Protecting against injuries will keep you in the game. Keep your competitive edge. Protect both your general and oral health for your best performance on and off the field.

#20 - 4 Spruce Ridge Drive, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 4S3 CA
Dr. Mark Southwood Spruce Grove, AB dentist. (780) 962-5538 (780) 962-4485 spruceridgedental@hotmail.ca