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Spruce Ridge Dental Blog

Dental Crowns and Bridges

November 27, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 2:31 am

Crowns (cap) are restorations that is placed on teeth that have lost a lot of their structure. There are various types of crowns, ranging from full porcelain to full metal crowns. Your dentist will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each kind for you.


Crowns may also be used to securely attach a bridge if the structure of the surrounding teeth is inadequate. A bridge is a dental appliance that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are designed to be cosmetically appealing and to restore proper occlusion. Like crowns, bridges are fully customizable and made of various materials, including porcelain and metals. Although not as permanent as a cap, bridges are bonded to the surrounding teeth and only removable by your dentist.

What are the steps to make a crown?

Both a crown or bridge requires two appointments.  The first appointment, you are given freezing so that you are completely comfortable.  Than the teeth are prepared and an impression is taken and sent to a lab.  You will leave the appointment with either a temporary crown or a bridge.  Care instructions will be given to you and sometimes medications are prescribed.  Within a few weeks, the lab will return the fabricated crown or bridge.  You are numbed and the temporary  is removed.  The real crown or bridge or tried onto your teeth to ensure it fits well and the colour matches with the rest of your dentition.  Once you are happy with the final result, the restoration is bonded onto your teeth.  You can now eat, drink, floss and brush your crown or bridge just like your other teeth.

Both crowns and bridges are created to match the color, height, texture, and overall appearance of your teeth. Most crowns and bridges will last for life, eliminating the need to replace them unless they fall out or become loose. You may prolong the durability of your crowns and bridges by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Gum Disease In Children

November 26, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:13 am
Chronic gingivitis. aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis are types of gum disease in children.

Types of periodontal diseases in children

Chronic gingivitis is common in children. It usually causes gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is both preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However, left untreated, it can eventually advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease.

Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found in teenagers and young adults and mainly affects the first molars and incisors. It is characterized by the severe loss of alveolar bone, and ironically, patients generally form very little dental plaque or calculus.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin around puberty and involve the entire mouth. It is marked by inflammation of the gums and heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus. Eventually it can cause the teeth to become loose.

Signs of periodontal disease

Four basic signs will alert you to periodontal disease in your child:

Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time
Gum Disease
Swollen and bright red gums
Gum Disease
Gums that have receded away from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots
Bad breath
Constant bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing

Importance of good dental hygiene in adolescence

Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

As a teen progresses through puberty, the tendency for the gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Advice for parents

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of periodontal diseases. Therefore, it is important that children receive a comprehensive periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. Be aware that if your child has an advanced form of periodontal disease, this may be an early sign of systemic disease. A general medical evaluation should be considered for children who exhibit severe periodontitis, especially if it appears resistant to therapy.

The most important preventive step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child. There are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:

  • Establish good dental hygiene habits early. When your child is 12 months old, you can begin using toothpaste when brushing his or her teeth.   When the gaps between your child’s teeth close, it’s important to start flossing.
  • Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
  • Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

Dental Bonding

November 25, 2017

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

Dental bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling “bonds” with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

dental bonding

Tooth  bonding can also be used for teeth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.  Dental bonding can be used to close front gaps called diastimas.  It can also be used to fix fractured teeth to restore the health, function and appearance of your smile.

Your tooth is first cleaned with a blue conditioning agent.  Then some dental de-sensitizer is applied and a glue or bond is placed on top.  Afterwards, a composite material (also known as dental bonding) is placed.

It comes in different shades of colours so that the right colour can be used to match with your specific tooth shade.  A shade tab with a wide range of colours is used to choose the perfect colour match for your dentition

This method is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, dental bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The dental bonding generally can be easily patched or repaired in one visit.

This material can stain due to consumption of coloured food and drinks such as red wine, coffee and chocolate.  If you plan to whiten your teeth, the bleaching does not whiten the dental bonding.  Therefore, you may need to replace the material after the whitening if they do not match with your bleached teeth.

Malocclusion Treatment

November 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:17 am

A malocclusion is an incorrect relationship between the maxilla (upper arch) and the mandible (lower arch), or a general misalignment of the teeth.  Malocclusions are so common that most individuals experience one, to some degree.  The poor alignment of the teeth is thought to be a result of genetic factors combined with poor oral habits, or other factors in the early years.

Moderate malocclusion commonly requires treatment before it leads to stress fractures, gum recession, sensitivity and TMJ issues.


The following are three main classifications of malocclusion:

  • Class I – The occlusion is typical, but there are spacing or overcrowding problems with the other teeth.
  • Class II – The malocclusion is an overbite (the upper teeth are positioned further forward than the lower teeth).  This can be caused by the protrusion of anterior teeth or the overlapping of the central teeth by the lateral teeth.
  • Class III – Prognathism (also known as “underbite”) is a malocclusion caused by the lower teeth being positioned further forward than the upper teeth.  An underbite usually occurs when the jawbone is large or the maxillary bone is short.

Reasons for treating a malocclusion

A severe malocclusion may lead to skeletal disharmony of the lower face.  In a more extreme case, the orthodontist may work in combination with a maxillofacial dentist to reconstruct the jaw.  It is never too late to seek treatment for a malocclusion.  Children and adults alike have completed orthodontic realignment procedures and have been delighted with the resulting even, straight smile.


Here are some of the main reasons to seek orthodontic treatment for a bad bite:

  • Reduced risk of tooth decay – A malocclusion often causes an uneven wear pattern on the teeth.  The constant wearing of the same teeth can lead to tooth erosion and decay.
  • Better oral hygiene – A malocclusion can be caused by overcrowding.  When too many teeth are competing for too little space, it can be difficult to clean the teeth and gums effectively.  It is much easier to clean straight teeth that are properly aligned.
  • Reduced risk of TMJ – Temporomandibular jaw syndrome (TMJ) is thought to be caused by a malocclusion.  Headaches, facial pains and grinding teeth during sleep all result from the excessive pressure to the temporomandibular joint.  Realigning the teeth reduces pressure, and eliminates these symptoms.

How is a malocclusion treated?

A malocclusion is usually treated with dental braces or Invisalign.  Our dentist takes panoramic x-rays, conducts visual examinations and bite impressions of the whole mouth before deciding on the best course of treatment.  If a malocclusion is obviously caused by overcrowding, the orthodontist may decide an extraction is the only way to create enough space for the realignment.  However, in the case of an underbite, crossbite or overbite, there are several different orthodontic appliances available, such as:

  • Fixed multibracket braces – This type of dental braces consists of brackets cemented to each tooth, and an archwire that connects each one.  The orthodontist adjusts or changes the wire on a regular basis to train the teeth into proper alignment.
  • Removable devices – There are many non-fixed dental braces available to treat a malocclusion.  Retainers, headgear and palate expanders are amongst the most common.  Retainers are generally used to hold the teeth in the correct position whilst the jawbone grows properly around them.
  • Invisalign® – These dental aligners are removable and invisible to the naked eye.  Invisalign works in much the same way as fixed dental braces, but do not impact the aesthetics of the smile.  Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.

If you have any questions about malocclusions, please contact our office.

Crowns (Caps)

November 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 1:10 am

Dentist Hinton, Grande Cache, Edson


A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Dentist Hinton, Grande Cache, Edson

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

Tooth Whitening Treatments

November 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 4:39 pm

What should you ask your dentist about tooth whitening?

You may want to start by speaking with your dentist about tooth whitening. Our dentists can tell you whether tooth whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not effect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.Tooth Whitening

What is in-office bleaching?

If you are a candidate for bleaching, your dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in his or her office. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 30 minutes to one hour.

During chairside bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.

A number of in-office bleaching agents have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

Lasers have been used during tooth whitening procedures to enhance the action of the tooth whitening agent. No tooth whitening products using lasers currently are on the ADA list of Accepted products.

What are at-home procedures and products?

There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by your dentist or purchased over-the-counter.

Bleaching solutions. These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. These products typically rely on percent carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent, carbamide peroxide comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, 22%).

Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used for about twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your dentist, he or she can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed home-use 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal.

You also may want to speak with your dentist should any side effects become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In many cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation-either from a tray that doesn’t fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with your dentist.

Toothpastes. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives.

“Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

How should I choose a whitening product?

When selecting a tooth whitening or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance-your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

Dental Veneers

November 21, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 7:34 pm

Veneers are durable, life-like and can be customized to give you the attractive smile you have always wanted.


There’s no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature’s mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They’re made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.


You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it’s necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.  To have veneers made you will require a number of  appointments at the dental office.  The first step involves taking an impression of your teeth so that the veneers can be “waxed” to show you how the final result will look like.  You will have an input on the shape and contours so that you can personalize them.  Once you are happy, your teeth are prepared to create space for the veneers.  A final impression is taken and sent to the lab to custom fabricate your restorations.  You will have temporary veneers in the meantime so that you can “test drive” and see if you like them.  Changes can still be made at this time to improve the colour, shape, size and contours.  Your feedback is important to us!  The final step involves removing the temporaries and trying in the real ones.  If you are 100% happy with them, they will be bonded on.


Your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth it.  Regular hygiene scaling appointments are required to keep them clean.  Recurrent caries due to bacteria that sits underneath the gums is one of the main reasons that cause them to fail.  Of course, home brushing and flossing is also very important.

If you have any questions about veneers ask our dentists.

How Gum Disease Affects The Rest of Your Body

November 20, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 3:13 am

Gum disease can affect your heart and body health in a number ways.  Healthy gums are essential to healthy teeth. Your gums give your teeth a firm foundation, and together with your bone, they hold your teeth in their sockets.

gum disease

Periodontal disease is preventable, and with the right tools and knowledge you can even reverse gingivitis, or early gum disease.

How You Get Periodontal Disease

Plaque is a clear or yellow biofilm containing bacteria,   and it forms daily on your teeth and at the point where your teeth and gums come together. You can remove this daily plaque formation by regular brushing and flossing. Plaque that isn’t removed turns into tartar, and simply brushing and flossing cannot detach tartar. Your gums may grow infected where the tooth meets the gums, also called the point of attachment.

gum disease

You may first notice some bleeding when you floss and brush, which signals early stages of gum disease, or gingivitis. You can still reverse gingivitis with routine dental cleanings and exceptional oral hygiene. If you don’t treat your gingivitis, the bacteria grow in small pockets between your teeth and gums. The infection will make your gums tender and swollen, and your gum tissue will begin deteriorating. These symptoms occur when gingivitis advances to periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease and Your Oral Health

Periodontal disease is harmful to your gums and teeth. You may notice your bite has changed, and your teeth have trouble fitting together. You may experience pain when chewing food and your teeth may be sensitive. Gum disease can make your breath foul and make your gums swollen, tender and sore. Your gums will redden and often will bleed.

Severe cases of gum disease may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and form pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets, and your gums may continue to pull back. Some of you may have experienced loose teeth from this, and some of you may have even lost teeth to periodontal disease. Dental implants can restore the missing teeth you’ve lost to periodontal disease.

gum disease

Periodontal Disease and Your Total Body Health

Periodontal disease can put you at risk for diseases that affect other parts of your body, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases and certain types of cancer. Scientists are still searching for the exact link between heart disease and periodontal disease, but it’s proven that periodontal disease puts you at higher risk for heart disease and strokes. Diabetic patients have an interesting relationship with periodontal disease. Your elevated blood sugar levels make it harder for you to remove plaque. In turn, your periodontal disease can make it difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should understand that gum health is essential to their health.

“Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers,” according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

Periodontal disease can also cause you to have a preterm or low birth weight baby, and some research has shown periodontal disease to be an increased risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

gum disease

Preventing Your Periodontal Disease

Pay attention to your gums. Have your gums changed color? Do your gums bleed when you floss and brush? Are your gums swollen or tender? Gum disease can create other changes in your mouth, including bad breath and sensitive teeth. You should schedule an appointment with your general dentist if any of these issues applies to you.

Straight teeth are less likely to hide bacteria and form plaque. Aligning teeth will make it easier for you to brush and floss, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile. Traditional braces bring their own oral hygiene obstacles, but there’s an alignment answer that will let you continue your flossing and brushing regimens.

Treating Your Periodontal Disease

Depending on the severity of your case, our dental team can help treat your periodontal disease with one of the following treatments: laser therapy, root planing, gingival graft, crown lengthening and gingivectomy. Discuss your concerns with your dentist. He may recommend treat treatment specific to your periodontal disease.

gum disease

The best periodontal disease defense is a good offense – floss at least once a day, brush at least twice a day and schedule regular visits with your Hinton cosmetic dentist. Periodontal disease is preventable with the right knowledge and dental care.

Who can use Invisalign?

November 19, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 2:57 am

Almost anybody who needs correction of malaligned teeth can use Invisalign!

Invisalign can treat a range of orthodontic issues, including:
• Crowding
• Wide spacing
• Twisting
• Overlapping

Invisalign can also be used to treat mild malocclusions (problems with your bite). Some cases may require treatment with traditional braces, but dentists will discuss your individual case with you.
Invisalign is an excellent option for anyone who wants to straighten their teeth but is concerned about the aesthetics and inconvenience of traditional braces. Adults who frequently speak in front of others, meet with clients, or have other reasons for maintaining a mature and professional appearance are excellent candidates for Invisalign. The aligners can even be removed for special occasions.
It’s tough to be a teenager, and many teens are quite self-conscious about their image. Invisalign Teen can make straightening teeth simple without all the hassle of braces. Invisalign Teen is also a good option for student athletes or musicians who face challenges trying to pursue their passion with metal braces on their teeth.

The process involves taking standard orthodontic records including photos of your face, bite and teeth.  Impressions of your teeth are then made.   Digital radiographs are used to make measurements of your face and teeth.  All of these information is used to create a unique treatment plan for your specific needs.  A treatment presentation is done with you to explain in detail the process and treatment steps needed to create a healthy bite, straight teeth and a beautiful smile.  All your questions will be answered.  The company will create a virtual animation to show how your teeth will move with each aligner.  You will be able to see the end result of your smile even before treatment is started.  Once you are completely satisfied, the aligners are ordered.
Call today to schedule a consultation and examination with our dentists to find out if clear aligners is the right solution for you.

The benefits and risks of fluoride

November 18, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Spruce Ridge Dental @ 4:39 pm

Fluoride is important in strengthening teeth and helping to reduce decay.  Fluoride in proper concentration, will help to mineralize tooth enamel and develop a healthy protective shield against cavity causing bacteria.  Studies show that children in cities with fluoride in drinking water have less cavities.


Many years ago scientists started to notice that children who were born and raised in areas with natural fluoride in drinking water had fewer cavities than children in other areas. Fluoride absorbed by your body when teeth were forming (during mother’s pregnancy to early childhood) integrates into the structure of enamel and makes it stronger.

After teeth eruption, fluoride found in your toothpaste, mouthwash, or in what your dentist places on your teeth still has a positive effect on your teeth. It strengthens the enamel and reduces the chance of tooth decay.

There are two disadvantages to fluoride.  First, too strong of a fluoride concentration can cause a condition call Fluorosis which is a cosmetic condition that affects the teeth. It’s caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first eight years of life. This is the time when most permanent teeth are being formed.

After the teeth come in, the teeth of those affected by fluorosis may appear mildly discolored. For instance, there may be lacy white markings that only dentists can detect. In more severe cases, however, the teeth may have:

  • Stains ranging from yellow to dark brown
  • Surface irregularities
  • Pits that are highly noticeable

In many cases, fluorosis is so mild that no treatment is needed. Or, it may only affect the back teeth where it can’t be seen.

The appearance of teeth affected by moderate-to-severe fluorosis can be significantly improved by a variety of techniques. Most of them are aimed at masking the stains.

Such techniques may include:

  • Tooth whitening and other procedures to remove surface stains; note that bleaching teeth may temporarily worsen the appearance of fluorosis.
  • Bonding, which coats the tooth with a hard resin that bonds to the enamel
  • Crowns
  • Veneers, which are custom-made shells that cover the front of the teeth to improve their appearance; these are used in cases of severe fluorosis.

The second disadvantage is that a very small percentage of the population may have sensitivity or an allergy to fluoride.  Just like any medication, some people do have an adverse reaction to certain chemical or medication.  However, the prevalent of an allergy to fluoride is extremely low in the population.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids — formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth — attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.


Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

If you have children and live in an area that has no fluoride in its drinking water, you should consult your dentist and physician about fluoride tablets that are available for children.

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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