If a patient has lost a tooth, many teeth or are unable to wear their dentures, we are able to help function with the use of dental implants. Dental Implants can replace a single tooth, a few teeth or help keep dentures ‘locked in’ tight and can improve function.
Root canals are done on the cases that are deemed possible to be accomplished by the practitioner.
Otherwise, if the anatomy is complex, a referral will be made to an Endodontist (root canal specialist) in the area to perform root canals. Also extractions are performed routinely, save those that carry an anatomical complexity, and those again will be referred to an Oral Surgeon if required.
The dentists both perform all types of routine fillings for teeth with full head and neck exams as part of check-ups.
Many routine fillings and repairs necessary to keep the teeth in place and the patient comfortable, are performed on a daily basis. Not only do the teeth of the patient matter but the whole body’s health is of conern to the doctors. Thus a full head and neck exam is performed on the patient annually- here we are able to assess the health of the vital structures of the head and neck.
Often the dentist will be the first member of the health care team to highlight issues with respect to their cardiovascular health, diabetic control, acid refulx, thyroid problems, and muscular issues
They will spend time and effort to help the health of the individual in ALL respects- including speaking to physicians regarding medications, potential need of sleep studies, the care and management of oral and other cancers. Also x-ryas are required to ensure a complete check-up. However, these images are only taken as needed, and the office has digital x-rays which decrease exposure by 75% of the previous methods.
The risks of teeth whitening
Considering whitening (bleaching) your teeth? Before you do, discuss the possible risks of teeth whitening with your dentist – especially if you plan to whiten your teeth using an at-home bleaching system.
Risks associated with tooth whitening include tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Dentists may be able to predict if you will have problems with or sensitivities to the procedure. They also may be able to help you alleviate sensitivity by recommending certain procedures and toothpastes designed to treat sensitive teeth. Dentists can also check for signs of root damage caused by teeth whitening and treat the condition if detected in time.
Why do teeth change color and become darker or more yellow? The internal portion of teeth normally darkens over time. In addition, personal habits – such as tobacco use or drinking coffee, tea or wine – can cause staining. Certain medications also can discolor teeth.
Teeth cleaning by your dental office can often remove any external stains – and it promotes good oral health. Be sure to visit your dentist for a thorough cleaning and examination before you decide to whiten your teeth. You may find that a professional cleaning is all it takes to give you a whiter, brighter smile.
To bleach or not to bleach?
Generally, teeth whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients. As a rule of thumb, yellow-colored teeth respond well to whitening, while brownish-colored teeth don’t respond as well. Gray stains caused by smoking, taking tetracycline or fluorosis (ingestion of too much fluoride) most likely will not be dramatically changed by teeth whitening.
Likewise, teeth whitening may not enhance your smile if you’ve had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will not match your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding on other teeth.
Is bleaching a good option for you?
Before you decide to whiten your teeth, here are some issues to consider:
- What does your dentist advise? Not all stains can be lightened by over-the-counter or professional bleaching, and your dentist will be able to give you guidance. If you have sensitive teeth, gum disease or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage tooth whitening.
- Is bleaching worth the cost? Tooth whitening procedures in the dental office are not typically covered under Delta Dental plans. Always check your specific plan coverage before undergoing any dental procedure or treatment.
- Should you have professional treatment or use an at-home bleaching system? Bleaching can be performed by your dentist in the office or at home. (The Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations.)
Although over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments are less expensive, they may require a longer treatment period, and the risks of gum irritation or damage to previous dental work are increased. If you want quicker and more reliable results, you should ask your dentist about in-office teeth whitening or laser teeth whitening. In-office whitening may require more than one visit to the dentist’s office. Results from a dentist-supervised whitening procedure can last anywhere from one to five years (depending on your eating, drinking or smoking habits).
Whether or not you decide to whiten your teeth, keep in mind that good daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and regular checkups and cleanings go far in keeping your smile bright and healthy.
Dental fillings are used to treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.
Dental fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser will be used to remove the decayed area. The choice of instrument depends on the individual dentist’s comfort level, training, and investment in the particular piece of equipment as well as location and extent of the decay.Next, your dentist will probe or test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish it.
Several additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings and are as follows. After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers. Next, a special light that “cures” or hardens each layer is applied. When the multi layering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.
What Types of Dental Filling Materials Are Available?
Today, several materials available for dental fillings. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-colored, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings. There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as glass ionomer. This material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.
The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, your insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation assist in determining the type of filling best for you.
Cast Gold Dental Fillings
Advantages of cast gold dental fillings:
- Durability — lasts at least 10 to 15 years and usually longer; doesn’t corrode
- Strength — can withstand chewing forces
- Aesthetics — some patients find gold more pleasing to the eye than silver amalgam fillings.
Disadvantages of cast gold dental fillings:
- Expense — gold cast fillings cost more than other materials; up to 10 times higher than cost of silver amalgam filings
- Additional office visits — requires at least two office visits to place
- Galvanic shock — a gold filling placed immediately next to a silver amalgam filling may cause a sharp pain (galvanic shock) to occur. The interaction between the metals and saliva causes an electric current to occur. It’s a rare occurrence, however.
- Aesthetics — most patients dislike metal “colored” fillings and prefer fillings that match the rest of the tooth.
Silver Dental Fillings (Amalgams)
Advantages of silver dental fillings:
- Durability — silver fillings last at least 10 to 15 years and usually outlasts composite (tooth-colored) fillings.
- Strength — can withstand chewing forces
- Expense — is less expensive than composite fillings
Disadvantages of silver dental fillings:
- Poor aesthetics — silver fillings don’t match the color of natural teeth.
- Destruction of more tooth structure — healthy parts of the tooth must often be removed to make a space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.
- Discoloration — amalgam fillings can create a grayish hue to the surrounding tooth structure.
- Cracks and fractures — although all teeth expand and contract in the presence of hot and cold liquids, which ultimately can cause the tooth to crack or fracture, amalgam material — in comparison with other filling materials — may experience a wider degree of expansion and contraction and lead to a higher incidence of cracks and fractures.
- Allergic reactions — a small percentage of people, approximately 1%, are allergic to the mercury present in amalgam restorations.
Tooth-colored Composites Dental Fillings
Advantages of composites dental fillings:
- Aesthetics — the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.
- Bonding to tooth structure — composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support.
- Versatility — in addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
- Tooth-sparing preparation — sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling.
Disadvantages of composite dental fillings:
- Lack of durability — composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings (lasting at least five years compared with at least 10 to 15 for amalgams); in addition, they may not last as long as amalgam fillings under the pressure of chewing and particularly if used for large cavities.
- Increased chair time — because of the process to apply the composite material, these fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings to place.
- Additional visits — if composites are used for inlays or onlays, more than one office visit may be required.
- Chipping — depending on location, composite materials can chip off the tooth.
- Expense — composite fillings can cost up to twice the cost of amalgam fillings.
In addition to tooth-colored, composite resin fillings, two other tooth-colored fillings exist — ceramics and glass ionomer.
Ceramic Dental Fillings.
- These fillings are made most often of porcelain, are more resistant to staining than composite resin material but are also more abrasive. This material generally lasts more than 15 years and can cost as much as gold.
- Glass ionomer is made of acrylic and a specific type of glass material. This material is most commonly used for fillings below the gum line and for fillings in young children (drilling is still required). Glass ionomers release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. However, this material is weaker than composite resin and is more susceptible to wear and prone to fracture. Glass ionomer generally lasts five years or less with costs comparable to composite resin.
What are Temporary Dental Fillings and Why Would I Need One?
Temporary fillings are used under the following circumstances:
- For fillings that require more than one appointment — for example, before placement of gold fillings and for certain filling procedures (called indirect fillings) that use composite materials
- Following a root canal
- To allow a tooth’s nerve to “settle down” if the pulp became irritated
- If emergency dental treatment is needed (such as to address a toothache)
Temporary fillings are just that; they are not meant to last. They usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within a month. Be sure to contact your dentist to have a temporary filling replaced with a permanent one. If you don’t, the tooth could become infected or you could have other complications.
What is dental teeth cleaning (scale and polish) and why have them?
Dental teeth cleaning involves removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.
If the scale, or calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.
Also it leaves your teeth feeling lovely and smooth and clean, which is nice when you run your tongue around them. Actually, come to think of it, there’s nothing worse than someone you fancy running their tongue around your teeth and finding a piece of spinach or something! Still, if they’re hungry…
The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis (or prophy for short). It’s a Greek word which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease.
How are dental cleanings done?
The dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. The instruments which may be used during your cleaning, and what they feel like, are described below.
Commonly used first is an ultrasonic instrument which uses tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a proper temperature. The device typically emits a humming or high pitched whistling sound. This may seem louder than it actually is because the sound may get amplified inside your head, just like when you put an electric toothbrush into your mouth.
The ultrasonic instrument tips are curved and rounded and are always kept in motion around the teeth. They are by no means sharp since their purpose is to knock tartar loose and not to cut into the teeth. It is best to inform the operator if the sensations are too strong or ticklish so that they can adjust the setting appropriately on the device or modify the pressure applied.
Fine hand tools
Once the larger pieces of tartar are gone, the dental worker will switch to finer hand tools (called scalers and curettes in dental-speak) to remove smaller deposits and smoothen the tooth surfaces. These tools are curved and shaped to match the curves of the teeth. They allow smaller tartar deposits to be removed by carefully scraping them off with a gentle to moderate amount of pressure. Just like taking a scrubbing brush to a soiled pot, the dental worker has to get the areas clean and smooth.
Once all the surfaces are smooth, the dental worker may polish your teeth. Polishing is done using a slow speed handpiece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. Prophylaxis paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material – is scooped up like ice cream into the cup and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.
Your dentist may also apply fluoride. This is the final part of the dental teeth cleaning! Fluoride comes in many different flavours such as chocolate, mint, strawberry, cherry, watermelon, pina colada and can be mixed and matched just like ice cream at a parlour for a great taste sensation! Make no mistake though, this in-office fluoride treatment is meant for topical use only on the surfaces of the teeth and swallowing excessive amounts can give a person a tummy ache as it is not meant to be ingested.
Fluoride foam or gel is then placed into small, flexible foam trays and placed over the teeth for 30 seconds. Afterwards the patient is directed to spit as much out as possible into a saliva ejector. The fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth since the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque will have weakened the surfaces. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.
Is it going to be painful?
Most people find that teeth cleaning is painless, and find the sensations described above – tickling vibrations, the cooling mist of water, and the feeling of pressure during “scraping” – do not cause discomfort. A lot of people even report that they enjoy dental teeth cleaning and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards! There may be odd zingy sensations, but many people don’t mind as they only last a nanosecond.
Be sure to let your dentist/hygienist know if you find things are getting too uncomfortable for your liking. They can recommend various options to make the cleaning more enjoyable.
In case you may have had painful cleaning experiences in the past, a spot of nitrous oxide can often make all the difference. You could also choose to be numbed. If you find the scaling a bit uncomfortable because the gum tissues (rather than the teeth themselves) are sensitive, topical numbing gels can be used.
Basic Dental Care – Routine Dental Checkups.
The dental checkups can catch problems early, before you feel or see them, when they are much easier and less expensive to treat.
The principle things a dentist is looking for during dental checkups are cavities and gum disease along with any other oral condition which is outside the range of normal. Dental checkups include screenings for oral cancer, a serious oral disease of the mouth, lips, or throat, but highly curable if detected and treated early.
The dentist will recommend how often to have routine dental checkups. Most people should see their dentists once or twice a year. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, and other health problems. The dentist may recommend teeth cleaning to help prevent gum (periodontal) disease which affects your overall health. One of the principal causes of adult tooth loss is gum disease. If detected early during a routine dental checkup, it can be treated and reversed.
At the first appointment for a new patient, an hour will be set aside to fully review your medical history, discuss any dental concerns or questions you may have, fully analyze and document your oral health. This analysis involves taking any necessary radiographs, an exam of your temporomandibular joints, intra-oral soft tissues, full tooth-by-tooth exam, bite exam, full six point gum probing and more. At the conclusion of this new patient exam, Dr. Brenda Bubnik will sit down and work out a customized treatment plan that addresses any oral problems she saw during the dental checkup.
A dental checkup on a patient previously seen by Dr. Brenda Bubnik for a full exam involves the dentist taking a few minutes to analyze your oral health, review any needed x-rays and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Brenda Bubnik will thoroughly examine your gums, teeth and oral tissues.
The more your dentist knows about your overall health, the more effective they can be in addressing your oral health care needs. Be sure to mention:
- any new medical conditions you’ve been diagnosed with since your last visit, such as diabetes or AIDS, even if they don’t seem pertinent. Your dentist needs to know to properly manage your treatment and prevention program.
- any new medications you’re taking
- if you’re pregnant
- if you have any allergies
- any changes you’ve noticed in your teeth, such as changes in colour, looseness or position
- any changes you’ve noticed in your gums, such as bleeding when you brush or floss, or changes in appearance
- any increased sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets
- whether your floss catches on rough edges, causing it to shred
- any colour changes in the skin on the inside of your mouth
- if you smoke or chew tobacco (which increases the likelihood of oral cancer)
- if your neck or jaw muscles are tight or if you’re aware of clenching or grinding your teeth
- if you’re nervous about going to the dentist—new ways of doing things have made modern dentistry more comfortable for patients, and talking to your dentist may reassure you and help you feel more relaxed