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Risk factors of having missing teeth

May 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:27 pm

Have you ever thought that missing teeth may not be such a big deal as long as it’s not visible and nothing bad is happening? You may reason the cost, pain or time may not be worth replacing it. But what many people don’t know is that having one or more missing teeth can cause major problems to your oral and medical health in the long term.

missing teeth

Each tooth is essential to the proper alignment of the bite. All present teeth support one another from shifting as well as the gums and the jawbone. When a tooth is lost and is not replaced with a dental implant or bridge, it causes the teeth next to it to shift and tilt into the empty space. As a result, all other teeth will begin to shift into available spaces. The teeth above or below a gap can also start growing downward (or upward) since they have nothing to chew against and can loosen and eventually fall out. With missing teeth, all remaining teeth will be more susceptible to decay and gum disease. A domino effect occurs that can lead to TMJ with pain and headaches being a common side effect.

Present teeth help support the jawbone by applying pressure when food is being chewed. This provides a stimulus to the bone cells and keeps the bone cells from dissolving. When a tooth root is absent, the bone cells begin to die off. If several or all teeth are missing, the entire jawbone deteriorates and dramatically affects the appearance of the face. This really makes someone look much older than they really are. If you decide get a dental implant at a later time, a bone graft may need to be done to hold the implant since some of the bone may have already dissolved.

The problems from having missing teeth occur very slowly making it difficult to notice whether any change or damage is occurring. Bone loss from one missing tooth can be seen through an X-Ray. Make an appointment as soon as you can to avoid future problems and treat any missing teeth.

Gum Disease

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:38 am

Gum Disease

Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease, and is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually pain free, many patients do not know they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque (a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth). If the plaque is not removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it will continue to build up and create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
  • Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.

Certain factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing periodontal disease, including:

  • Smoking or using chewing tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Old fillings
  • Pregnancy

While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Edson, Hinton, Grande Cache Dental Cleanings

Treating Gum Disease

Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Typical treatments include:

  • Non-surgical treatments such as at home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
  • Periodontal surgery and laser gum surgery
  • Dental implants

Preventing Gum Disease

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for maintaining your health and the health of your smile. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.

How to know if sedation dentistry is right for you?

May 19, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:02 pm

Consultations may help you determine if sedation dentistry is the right choice for you. You can easily book a consultation with our office, but here is some information to consider before then.

Sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry may be a good choice if:

· You don’t want to be aware of what’s happening during a procedure and you want to minimize you memory of the dental work

· You do not think you would otherwise get much needed work done because of your own anxiety, discomfort or fear of pain

· You have fear of a specific procedure, and you know that fear would not dissipate with pain control medications

· You have a mental or social disorder that interferes with dental care

Sedation dentistry Foothills Dental may not be a good choice if:

· You dislike relinquishing control or have difficulty trusting others

· You have a fear of drugs or potential side effects

· You worry sedation might interfere with your judgment about dental work

· You believe that you can overcome nerves if your dentist just communicates a bit more and goes slowly

If you’re considering sedation dentistry, be sure to ask some key questions.

IV sedation is one of the most stable forms of anesthesia. But some dental offices may offer a variety of sedation drugs. Be sure to ask about the options before you submit to sedation.

You should also ask:

· If your dentist has had dedicated training in oral sedation

· If your dentist is affiliated with any local hospitals, in case there is a need for emergency care due to a reaction to sedation

· About the risks associated with the sedation planned for you.

You may find it helpful to review this more complete list of questions from the American Dental Association.

Sedation is becoming a more common practice in dental care, and many patients find it relieves anxiety and helps them receive dental work they may have avoided otherwise. It can also be helpful for children who have an intense fear of the dentist; with sedation dentistry at Foothills Dental, a child may have a more relaxed experience in the dental office, preventing long-term anxiety or fear in the future.


Sedation Dentistry to help with Anxiety

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:21 am

Different people feel different levels of anxiety surrounding dental care. Some people have no fear and actually enjoy getting their teeth cleaned. Other people may experience anxiety or have trouble sleeping the night before an appointment, but ultimately they’ll visit the dentist. The most extreme category of people has a dental phobia that prevents them from getting the care they need.


Some people scream when they see spiders, and others are terrified of heights. But what if your biggest fear was visiting the dentist?

Just thinking of the scraping and the saliva filling up your mouth might be enough to send you running from the dentist’s reclining chair.

Dental phobias and fear of pain may be keeping some of you from the dental chair, but your oral health is too important to overlook. Luckily, certain dental offices have an answer for patients with extreme dental phobias.

Dental care is a little easier to handle with the help of sedation. We offer patients several sedation options, including intravenous sedation, oral sedation and nitrous oxide gas. Our dentists will work with you to determine which option is best for the patient and the procedure.

Sometimes IV sedation is called “sleep dentistry,” though you will not actually be sleeping. Instead, you’ll be immensely relaxed, but conscious. With IV sedation, you’ll need assistance to and from our offices, and you’ll need a friend or family member to supervise you for several hours afterward. Even hearing the phrase “root canal” can frighten some hypersensitive people, and if you’re one of them, call our staff to inquire about sedation options.

Oral sedation can help patients with extreme dental anxiety. Oral sedation might be best for you if you’re uncomfortable with needles. We administer oral sedation as a pill that you would take before your appointment. Oral sedation allows you to slip into a deeply tranquil state while remaining conscious, similar to IV sedation. Make sure to secure a ride to and from your appointment.

We also offer the option of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is milder than IV and oral sedation, and it’s completely safe, even for children.

“It has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious – keeps all natural reflexes – when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen,” according to information provided by The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Talk with your dentist about IV sedation, oral sedation and nitrous oxide if you or your child feels uneasy about your next dental procedure. Don’t let your fears of the periodontal scaler keep you from a clean, healthy mouth.

Orthodontics and Dental Treatment Go Hand in Hand

May 18, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:03 am

Your dentists at Spruce Ridge Dental Centre have one goal in mind: deliver you the best results to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong.


Your general dentistry provider keeps your teeth clean, watches your gums and bones, takes X-rays to detect any underlying issues, screens you for oral cancer and monitors your complete oral health. Your dentist also monitors and corrects improper bites, improper jaw alignment and crooked or crowded teeth.

Your dentist is instrumental in keeping your teeth healthy and decay-free, and can straighten your teeth and reinforces your bite.

Crooked Teeth Isn’t Only an Aesthetic Issue

Lots of our patients want straighter teeth to improve the look of their smiles. You may notice that crooked teeth show shadows and reflect light less evenly than straight teeth. Flashing a smile with straight teeth signals a healthy smile and improves your self-confidence, but straight teeth improve more than just aesthetics. Aligned teeth are easier to clean than crooked teeth. Think about your normal flossing routine. You may have crooked or crowded teeth that are difficult to get between. Your gums may suffer from lack of attention because of crooked teeth. Gums that don’t get proper attention can become inflamed, and put you at risk for gingivitis or even periodontal disease.

Reaching Your Proper Jaw Alignment

Your dentist understands how your teeth, facial muscles and jaws work together to create a perfectly functioning jaw. Your bite could hinder you from speaking and chewing optimally. Dentist can correct bite issues and help shift your jaw to its proper position.

Dental Care During Your Orthodontic Treatment

Traditional braces make it difficult for you to floss and brush properly. There are tools on the market to help you clean your teeth well, including special flossing picks, flossing threaders and specialty toothbrushes made for your braces. The fact remains that braces inhibit you from brushing every surface of your teeth. The brackets can cause discoloration from months of food particles sticking to them. You may be interested in teeth bleaching after your orthodontic treatment to restore your teeth to a bright white smile by whitening Your teeth.

It’s important for you to continue regular visits to your dentist while you undergo orthodontic treatment. Your hygienist can remove any lingering food particles and check your teeth and gums for signs of plaque and decay. Proper dental care is even more important than usual during your road to a straighter smile.

Invisalign: An Attractive Alignment Option

Our office offers Invisalign to patients who don’t want traditional orthodontic treatment with metal and wires. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners that guide your teeth gradually into alignment. You change the aligners yourself, which provides lots of flexibility to live life your way. You can take the aligners out to eat, floss and brush. Our patients love being able to remove their aligners for a special occasion, and they are able to keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their treatment. Your dentist can evaluate your mouth to see if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment. Sometimes they suggest you to do implant operation.

Peri-implant Diseases

May 16, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:19 am

Peri-implant diseases are inflammatory conditions affecting the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants. Similar to a natural tooth, bacteria can build up on the base of the implant, below the gum line. Over time, the bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed, damaging the tissue and if not caught early, causing the bone structure below the implant to deteriorate.

Peri-implant diseases are classified into two categories.

In peri-implant mucositis, gum inflammation is found only around the soft tissues of the dental implant, with no signs of bone loss. Generally peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to peri-implantitis. Evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early

implant diseases

Peri-implant mucositis

In peri-implantitis, gum inflammation is found around the soft tissue and there is deterioration in the bone supporting the dental implant. Peri-implantitis usually requires surgical treatment.



Signs of peri-implant diseases are similar to symptoms of gum disease: red or tender gums around the implants, or bleeding when brushing. And just like your natural teeth, implants require regular tooth brushing and flossing and regular check-ups from a dental professional. Other risks factors for developing peri-implant disease include previous periodontal disease diagnosis, poor plaque control, smoking, and diabetes. It is essential to routinely monitor dental implants as part of a comprehensive periodontal evaluation.

The up side to dental implants is they function just like your natural tooth. The down side is, they are capable of becoming diseased just like a natural tooth. With a proper oral health routine, your dental implant can last a lifetime.

Get Your Children Ready for Their First Dental Visits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:28 am

Your children may have some natural nervousness surrounding their dental visit, but sometimes parents actually exacerbate that nervousness. Visiting the dentist for the first time can be an exciting and overwhelming trip. Your children will probably have many questions about the dentist and about their oral health. Our Hinton family dentistry practice has brainstormed some tips to prepare you and your children for their first trip to the dentist.


Be Positive

Your child’s first dental visit should be pleasant and happy, with a focus on good oral care and nutrition tips. Discuss the dental visit with your children, and answer their questions openly, honestly and positively. You don’t have to discuss root canal treatments or iv sedation; these procedures don’t pertain to your child. Instead keep the discussion focused on your child’s tooth and gum health. Tell your children their teeth and gums are important to everyday life. Healthy teeth and gums help your little one speak, smile and chew food. It’s important to keep your child’s primary teeth healthy, since they are the placeholders for future permanent teeth. Your Hinton family dentist wants your child to enjoy superb oral health throughout life, and the earlier those tooth-healthy habits begin, the better.

If you have frequent dental anxiety, be cautious not to subconsciously pass those fears along to your child. Your children are perceptive to your feelings, and you don’t want them to pick up on your anxiety.

Be Prepared

Our dentists at Foothills can give you a good idea of what to expect at your child’s first visit. Ask any questions you may have ahead of time. That way, there won’t be any surprises for you or your little one. Once you know what to expect, tell your child what to expect. Many first-time dental visits are mainly meet-and-greets that allow your child to get familiar with the dentist and the dental staff. Your dentist will tell you what he plans to do during your visit. He will probably inspect your children’s mouths to be sure their teeth are developing normally, and he may do some light cleaning. Your hygienist will most likely discuss proper at-home oral care. You should feel comfortable asking your child’s dentist and hygienist questions about oral care. We’ve talked before about choosing the best dentist for your family. Your family dental care is an essential component to your family’s oral health, and you should take time to find a dentist you like and trust.

Teach Good At-Home Habits

Once your children understand how important oral health is, they will probably develop an interest in oral care. You can kindle this interest by making flossing and brushing fun. Let your children choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Many respected companies sell toothbrushes and toothpaste with fun children’s characters. Giving your little ones a choice about their toothbrushes may make them more inclined to actually use them.

Another great way to instill dental care habits in your children is to let them see you care for your teeth. Children enjoy mimicking the people they love, and your oral care habits could inspire your child to pick up the floss and go to work. Discuss your child’s specific oral care needs with your dentist. For children with healthy teeth, we recommend flossing once daily and brushing at least twice daily. Make sure your child doesn’t snack after nighttime brushing. For best oral health you should go to sleep with clean teeth, otherwise sugars from foods can linger on teeth and encourage plaque and cavity production.

Contact our practice to set your child’s first dental appointment. We strive to make your family as comfortable as possible while providing excellent oral care. We look forward to meeting your little ones.


May 15, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 11:03 pm

Sealants (also termed pit and fissure sealants, or simply fissure sealants) are a dental treatment intended to prevent tooth decay. Teeth have recesses on their biting surfaces; the back teeth have fissures (grooves) and some front teeth have cingulum pits.


A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth.  More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves.  Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay.  A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.


Reasons for sealants:

  • Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.

What do sealants involve?

Sealants are easily applied by our dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.

The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry.  A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth.  The teeth are then rinsed and dried.  Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions.  Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.


Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

Teeth Whitening

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 12:17 am

I have sensitive teeth. Can I still get professional teeth whitening?

Sensitive teeth can make teeth whitening with over-the-counter products completely out of the question. This sometimes leaves patients wondering if whitening their teeth is possible at all.

We have good news, though!


Teeth Whitening


Many professional teeth whitening options have added desensitizing ingredients to make it easier for everyone – even those with sensitive teeth – to enjoy whiter, brighter teeth!

In addition to making it possible for people with sensitivity, professional products have a number of advantages over OTC whitening kits. Your whitening treatment will be customized for your needs so that you can reach your whitening goals safely and comfortably. Plus, you have the added benefit of professional guidance every step of the way.

Whitening is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to improve the appearance of your smile, and our patients are often amazed at the transformation that occurs just from whitening alone! Of course, if you do have other aesthetic concerns that you’d like to address, we are happy to discuss additional cosmetic dentistry options as well.

If you are interested in having your teeth professionally whitened, please call our office to schedule a teeth whitening consultation. We will examine your teeth, discuss your goals, and determine the teeth whitening option that will give you the results you want.

Periodontal Gum Treatment

May 14, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 2:47 am

Gum disease can affect many people.  Having regular cleanings and checks will help to minimize your risk of gum disease.  It is recommended that people brush twice or three times a day and floss before going to bed.  When we clean our teeth at home, it is difficult to clean underneath the gums where bacteria and toxins can habour.  People who have gum disease, have a higher risk of heart disease since bacteria can travel through the blood circulation and reach the heart.  When you come in for your professional cleanings, we have the instruments to reach underneath the gums and debride the bacteria, plaque and tardar to keep your teeth and gums health!

Gum disease

Root planing: We use ultra-thin tools to smooth the surface of your teeth from debris. In areas where the tooth has separated from the gums, the aim is for the gum to reattach to a cleaned, smooth root surface. When the tooth has a smoother surface, it is more difficult for bacteria and plaque to reattach to the tooth.

Gingival grafts: When the gums have receded or appear to be fragile, it may be necessary to graft a small amount of tissue to the receded gum line. This helps to regenerate gum tissue to cover up the exposed root surface of the tooth to reduce your risk of sensitivity and root caries.

Gingivectomy: In severe cases of gum disease where the gums have pulled away from the teeth and there are deep pockets of bacteria, it may be necessary to remove portions of the diseased gum tissue completely. This is performed under local anesthesia and may be done with a laser to reduce recovery time.

Crown lengthening: This procedure is performed when there is not enough natural tooth surface available to support a filling or a crown. This can occur if a tooth is broken or if a filling falls out of a tooth that is extensively decayed. We remove bone tissue and reveal more of the natural tooth so that the restoration can be supported.

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