Composite fillings, tooth-coloured fillings or white fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to medium size fillings that need to endure moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth.
In order to place this filling, the dentist cleans all decay from the tooth and applies bonding material on the inside of the prepared area. Then composite resin layers are placed that harden with the help of a special light that the dentist holds over the tooth. To finalize the dentist shapes and polishes the filling so it looks and feels natural.
Composite fillings will be the same colour as your natural teeth and they are placed in one appointment. Some of the disadvantages are that they can fracture more easily and cost more than the amalgam (metal) filling. Also, recurrent decay is more of a problem than with amalgam or gold fillings.
Tooth colored filling can also be fabricated in other materials, like glass ionomer and porcelain. The decision on what would works best for you depends on many factors such as number of cavities present, your oral hygiene habits, your diet, etc
Veneers are thin, custom made shells that cover the front side of teeth. They are a very good option to treat permanently stained teeth; chipped, decayed, worn, spaced or crowded teeth. There has to be enough tooth structure to support them. Your dentist will be able to advise if veneers are the correct treatment option for you.
What to expect?
A thin layer of enamel is removed form the front part of your teeth to make space for the veneer. An impression is taken and sent to the lab where your custom veneers will be made. Temporary veneers are placed and will be removed at your final appointment where the veneers will be cemented permanently.
A crown, sometimes called a cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely covers your tooth and protects it from further damage. Crowns can also be used to cover a discoloured tooth, to attached bridges and to cover a dental implant. A tooth that has been fixed with a crown looks and works very much like a natural tooth.
If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.
How a crown is done
Local anesthetic is placed
To make room for the crown, the dentist files down the tooth that needs to be restored.
An impression of the filed-down tooth is taken and sent to the lab. This impression is used to custom make your final crown. The crown is built using metal and/or porcelain. The final crown will be the right shape and colour for your mouth.
Until your final crown is ready, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth that needs to be restored. The temporary crown is made on the same appointment and It protects your tooth until the final crown is ready. A temporary crown may not have the same shape and colour as a final crown.
On your next visit, the dentist takes off the temporary crown and inserts the final one. He checks to make sure the crown is the right fit, shape and colour and that our bite or occlusion is correct. Only then will the crown be cemented permanently.
These is a general vision of how a crown is made, but you may need special or different care. Others treatments like gum treatment, root canal or orthodontic treatment may need to be performed before the crown placement.
A crown could take over 2 visit to be completed.
Types of crowns
Crowns could be made from various types of materials. Depend on your needs the dentist will suggest a material, or combination of materials.
Metal crowns are made of gold or precious metal alloys. These types of crown long last, however their appearance is not natural.
Composite crowns look very natural. They tend to wear more quickly in comparison with the porcelaine ones, and they can stain more easily.
Porcelain crowns look the most natural. They are more brittle than metal or composite and may chip more easily.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns This is hybrid construction where a porcelain cover the metal substructure. These crowns provided both good aesthetics and strength.
Caring for your crown
Crowns are strong and generally last for about 10 years or longer if you take good care of them. Brush and floss your crown, just like you clean your natural teeth. Crowns may not be as strong as your natural teeth. So like your natural teeth, remember not to bite down on hard objects or use your teeth to open or cut things. Regular dental visits and professional cleanings are also important for maintenance and monitoring.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges can help restore your smile and regain adequate function.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist. It will resemble your natural teeth and will allow you to speak and smile with confidence.
How a bridge is done
1. The dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth (or teeth). If the teeth aren't healthy enough to support the bridge other options like implants can be surgically placed.
2. An impression of your teeth will be taken and the model is sent to the lab where it is used to custom-make the artificial teeth
3. In the meantime your dentist will place a temporary bridge.
4. On the following appointment the temporary bridge is removed and the custom bridge is fitted and checked. Once approved by the patient and doctor it is cemented to the supporting teeth or implants.
Types of bridges
There are different types of dental bridges. The dentist will recommend the one that is appropriate for you.
Traditional bridges are used if there are natural teeth on each side of the gap where the tooth is missing. With a traditional bridge, healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns.
Implant bridges are placed when there are not enough teeth to support a traditional bridge or when there are several missing teeth. A custom-made bridge is anchored to the dental implants. With an implant bridge, dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone. Implant bridges can also be used when all your teeth are missing.
Resin-bonded bridges, also known as "Maryland" bridges, are used when the missing teeth are in the front of the mouth. This type of bridge involves an artificial tooth fused to metal bands and cemented to the back of your natural teeth.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are healthy teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This procedure involves anchoring the artificial tooth over one or more of your natural adjacent teeth.
Caring for your bridge
Like natural teeth, bridges need to be brushed and flossed every day. Our team will show you proper hygiene techniques to use around and under the artificial tooth (or teeth). Regular dental visits and professional cleanings are also important for maintenance and monitoring.
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium that is placed in your upper or lower jaw bone, under the gum tissue to support or hold one or more replacement teeth, in the form of a crown or bridge. Implants are fixed to the bone and do not move.
With implants you can replace one tooth, several teeth or all your teeth. Now a days, implants the first restorative option for people who have lost one or more teeth due to cavities, infection, periodontal disease, trauma or injury.
Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Dentures are artificial replacements for missing teeth that reestablish function and aesthetics. I
Types of Dentures
Partial dentures are also called removable dentures. They are indicated when several teeth are missing teeth or when those remaining are not strong enough to support a bridge. Partial dentures are made up of one or more artificial teeth held in place by clasps that fit onto nearby natural teeth. The denture can be removed for cleaning and sleeping.
Complete dentures are commonly called full dentures or “false teeth”. These dentures are indicated when all natural teeth are missing. Complete dentures are removable as they are held in place by suction. Conventional dentures are made after teeth have been removed and immediate dentures are made previously and placed the same day that your teeth will be removed.
Overdentures are a variation of the complete dentures. They fit over natural teeth or implants and offer more retention and stability. In the case of natural teeth these are reshaped and might need a root canal treatment. In the case of an implant supported denture implants need to be surgically placed previously and the denture will be made to attach to them.
Caring for your Dentures
Partial or complete dentures need to be cleaned every day just like natural teeth. Otherwise, plaque and tartar can build up on your dentures and natural teeth and cause caries, stains, bad breath and gum problems.
To clean your dentures:
Remove them and run them under water to rinse off any loose food particles.
Brush them with a denture brush or regular soft-bristle toothbrush and apply denture cleaner or soap. Tooth paste is not recommended because is too abrasive for your denture. Be careful not to damage the plastic or bend a clasp. Always hold them over the sink to avoid dropping them.
Rinse well and place back in your mouth.
Clean and massage your gums with a soft toothbrush or a damp cloth.
Always remove your dentures overnight to give your tissues a chance to rest.
Soak them in warm water with or without denture cleanser. Never use hot water for soaking.
See your dentist regularly and at least once a year. Your mouth is always changing, so you might need an adjustment or reline.
Sometimes in order to save a tooth your dentist will recommend a root canal treatment, this could happen if a tooth is severely damage, decaying tooth or an infected tooth (abscess)
To complete this procedure the dentist must remove the pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerve, blood vessels), clean a prepare the root canal system and then filled and sealed with special materials. Sometimes this procedure will be performed by an endodontist. It could take 1 to 2 visit to complete. Local anaesthesia wil be used (freezing)
An extraction is the removal of a tooth. A tooth can be extracted due to disease, trauma or crowding.
An extraction could be considered simple or surgical if the procedure involve to cut the gum or removes bones to get better access to the tooth that need to be extracted.
If an extraction is indicated, the dentist will first numb the area. Once the procedure is complete you must follow all post operative instructions provided by the dentist, to reduce any complications. A small amount of bleeding is considered normal in most of the cases.
It is very important that a clot forms in the site of the extraction to stop the bleeding, reduce pain and encourage healing.
During the first 24 hours:
Bite on a gauze for 30-60 minutes. Some bleeding is normal. If there still is heavy bleeding after 1 hour, repeat with a clean gauze.
Don’t smoke for the next 72 hours.
Avoid rinsing, spitting, sucking on candy or drinking through a straw for 24 hours.
Follow the diet your dentist suggests. Avoid hot drinks, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
Brush your teeth gently, avoiding the site of the extraction.
Apply an ice bag to the area, on ad off every 20 minutes.
Take the medication as prescribed.
Limit your activities and elevate you head with pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.
Follow up with the dentist as needed.
After the first 24 hours:
Brush and floss normally, gently around the area of the extraction.
Start eating normally as soon as it is comfortable.
Moist heat can be applied to the are to reduce pain and swelling.
Gently rinse 2-3 times/day with warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water). Do this for 1 week after the extraction.
The last four molars to erupt are called Wisdom teeth or Third molars. They will appear between the ages of 17 and 25 approximately.
Some discomfort is normal when they are emerging but if you feel any pain visit your dentist immediately.
Wisdom teeth that are healthy, in the correct position and easy to maintain do not need to be extracted. However most times this is not the case.
There are different reasons why wisdom teeth tend to be removed:
Not enough space for them to erupt.
They're pushing and damaging your second molars.
They're impacted or trapped in your jaw bone (bone impaction).
They're impacted or trapped under the gum (soft tissue impactation).
They're partially erupted (partial impactation).
They're erupting in the wrong position.
They have cavities and /or gum disease and are difficult to keep clean.
Extraction is indicated for orthodontic reasons.
The dentist will assess and monitor the eruption of your wisdom teeth clinically and with the aid of a panoramic radiograph (Xray). If the extraction is indicated it is best to remove wisdom teeth earlier than later as they will have less developed roots and the extraction will be easier. Leaving wisdom teeth impacted or partially erupted can lead to disease, infection, cyst formation, damage to the second molars, damage to the jaw bone, among other complications. Some times a surgery is needed and a referral to a specialist could be recommended.
Night guards are indicated for people who grind their teeth. Grinding, also known as bruxism or clenching can lead to a variety of serious problems on the teeth like excessive wear and tear, fractures, headaches and jaw joint pain. Stress, anxiety and others factors are the cause of the grinding.
Types of Night guards
Custom-made nightguards are custom made by your dentist . They are higher quality and offer a better fit, which is why they are more expensive. They can be made for the upper or lower jaw.
Boil and bite nightguards can be bought at many stores and drugstores. They are first softened in hot water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
How do custom dental night guards works?
Once is been custom made is inserted into the mouth to cover generally the upper teeth. The night guard should be feel comfortable making possible to sleep or obstruct your breathing. The material (a type of plastic) will cover your teeth to prevents them to grinding against one another
Caring your mouthguard
Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush . Do not use toothpaste.
Regularly clean the night guard in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse it thoroughly.
During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouthguard for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning or indicated if need to be replaced
Store and transport the mouthguard in a container that has vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.
Check fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends moutrhguards for children and adults that participate in sports or other recreational activities. Mouthguards or mouth protectors, minimize the risk of fracturing teeth, your lips, tongue, cheeks or jaw. They usually cover the upper teeth.
Loosing a tooth affects smiling, talking and eating. Mouthguards are a good way of preventing injury.
Types of Mouthguards
Custom-made mouthguards are custom made by your dentist. They are higher quality and offer a better fit,which is why they are more expensive.
Boil and bite mouthguards can be bought at many stores and drugstores. They are first softened in hot water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
Stock mouthguards are pre-formed and ready to wear. These are inexpensive but they often don’t fit very well, and can be uncomfortable to wear, breath and talk.
Caring for your mouthguard
Between games, it’s important to keep your mouthguard clean and dry. Here are some tips for making sure your mouthguard is always ready to go:
Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and soapy water. Do not use toothpaste.
Regularly clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse it thoroughly.
During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouthguard for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning or indicate if it needs to be replaced
Store and transport the mouthguard in a container that has vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.
Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.
Always check for signs of wear and tear and make sure it fits well.
Do you feel like you are missing a sparkle in your smile? Are your teeth yellower than they used to be? If you are thinking about whitening your teeth read the information below and if you have questions about the process don't forget to ask to your dentist or dental hygienist. They will be able to tell you if you are a candidate for whitening.
Why my teeth changed in colour?
Food, drink, tobacco use, age, trauma, specific medications could be the cause of the color change. Depending of the cause of your stain your dental provider will suggest which type of whitening is right for you.
How does teeth whitening work?
Some whitening products actually bleach, changing the natural tooth color. They contain peroxide that removes deep stains within the enamel as well as surface stains. Non-bleaching whitening products remove surface stains only.
Not all teeth respond the same to whitening agents. Yellow teeth will bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and gray tones or mottled teeth may not whiten evenly. Whitening does not work on crowns, veneers, or fillings. Any required restorations should be done after bleaching or they will stand out against your new smile.
Types of whitening
Stain removal toothpastes have more abrasive components and additional polishing agents than regular toothpastes. They only remove superficial stain and can be very abrasive to tooth enamel.
In-Office Bleaching or Whitening requires only one visit and can be performed by the dentist or dental hygienist. A protective gel or a rubber shield is applied to your gums, the whitening product is applied to the teeth and a light is used to accelerate the procedure.
At-home bleaching consists of custom trays made for you by your dentists. A syringe with whitening gel is provided and instructions are given to you on how to apply the gel at home. This procedure can take a few days or weeks depending on the shade you wish to achieve.
Over the counter whiteninging products use the same product as the one used in dental offices but at lower concentrations. There are differents options available in the market. If you are thinking to use one of these product don’t forget to always talk with your dentist before.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients will experiences tooth sensitivity. In most cases this sensitivity is temporary and the dentist will recommend products and strategies to help reduce it.
When the whitening product comes in contact with the gums or cheeks it can cause tissue irritation, also temporary.
It is important to mention that there still is not enough information to support unsupervised long-term and/or repeated use of bleaching products.
Dental x-rays are an essential part of of a dental examination and help the dentist to establish a diagnosis. Some conditions can only be assessed and/or detected with the aid of an X-ray. The frequency with which you need X-rays depends on your oral health condition, your age, your risk for disease or if you have any signs and symptoms of oral disease.
If you are new patient, the dentist may recommend X-rays to establish your current oral status and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later. If you've had recent or older X-rays taken at a different dental office we can request copies of them.
There are different types of X-rays that show different aspects of the teeth: intraoral (the sensor is placed inside the mouth) and extraoral (the sensor is placed outside the mouth). The dentist will prescribe those he feels are necessary for your examination.
With X-rays the dentist can diagnose decay that might not be visible clinically, check the extent of a cavity, check the bony area around the teeth, look at the roots of teeth, help diagnose periodontal disease and check on developing teeth, among other benefits. They are mainly diagnostic but can also be preventive.
Dental X-ray exams are safe; however they do require a very low level of radiation exposure. We follow the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonable Achievable). Leaded aprons with thyroid collar are used to minimize exposure of other areas of your body and a digital X-ray systems uses half the amount of radiation of conventional film.
If you are pregnant, make sure you mention this to your dentist. During your pregnancy radiographs are not indicated unless they are absolutely necessary. A lead apron is always used to protect your fetus from radiation exposure.