offered at our
Brampton Dental Office
Dental sealants, usually applied to the chewing surface of teeth, act as a barrier against decay-causing bacteria. Most often, the sealants are applied to the back teeth, e.g., premolars and molars.
Applying composite tooth bonding is a restorative procedure that uses tooth enamel-coloured composite resin (plastic) to repair teeth that are decayed, chipped, fractured or discoloured. Tooth gaps can also be closed. Unlike veneers, which require laboratory work, bonding is done in the dental office.
Fillings and Repairs
Dental fillings and repairs use restorative materials used to repair teeth which have been compromised due to cavities or trauma.
Often when a tooth has become infected or abscessed as a result of decay or an injury, it is possible for your dentist to save your tooth by performing root canal treatment. During the root canal treatment, an opening is made in your tooth to access the infected nerve, which is then removed. Following root canal therapy, your dentist may place a temporary seal or a permanent filling over the tooth. Most teeth that have root canal treatments will require a crown to support the remaining tooth structure.
When a tooth has been damaged by decay or through an accident, rather than remove the tooth completely, it is possible to fitacover–known as a crown or cap – over the remaining tooth. Under local anesthetic the tooth is reduced in size by the same thickness as the final crown, which will be cemented onto the tooth. An impression of your teeth and gums is then made and a temporary cap is fitted over the tooth until a permanent crown can be made. During your next visit, your dentist will remove the temporary cap and cement the crown onto your tooth.
Replacing a Lost Tooth
There are three main types of artificial teeth and each one is designed for a particular circumstance.
Dental implants are made by surgically placing one or more small metal posts beneath the gum directly into the jawbone. Implants are integrated with the surround- ing bone and serve as anchors to which replacement teeth can be attached.
For an implant to be successful there must be enough quality and quantity of bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone and the closeness to the sinus. If bone is lost in that area for reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss there might not be enough bone to place an implant. In such cases a sinus lift surgery may be necessary. Sinus lift surgery can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants. Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form. In one common technique, an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone. This bony piece is lifted into the sinus cavity, much like a trap door, and the space underneath is filled with bone graft material. Your periodontist can explain your options for graft materials, which can regenerate lost bone and tissue. Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to 12 months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed, an additional healing period is required. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented. Undergoing sinus lift surgery has been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure. (AAP)
A removable or partial denture replaces all lost teeth in the arch. By clasping the remaining adjacent teeth, the denture is held in place. Where none of the natural teeth remain, a complete denture is required. In the case of a complete upper denture, suction helps hold it in place.
A bridge or ‘fixed bridge’ is a replacement appliance that is cemented to adjacent teeth and cannot be removed. Typically, the two remaining healthy teeth on either side of the lost tooth are prepared for crowns. A unit consisting of a false tooth and two crowns on either side is custom made to fill the area where the tooth has been lost. The appliance is then cemented into place.
Symptoms of gum disease may include, shiny, red, puffy or sore gums, a change in gum colour, gums that bleed every time you brush, chronic bad breath, a metallic taste in your mouth, or gums that are red around the base of teeth. The good news is that gum disease is almost always preventable. Home prevention should include twice-a-day gentle brushing and flossing between the teeth and gum-line. For best results floss first, then brush. Pay attention to the areas where your teeth and gums meet. Clean every surface of every tooth - the chewing surface, the cheek side and the tongue side. Brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Don’t “rush your brush.” A thorough brushing should take at least two or three minutes. Daily flossing removes plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach, preventing the build-up of tartar along and under your gums. The Ontario Dental Association recommends that frequency of dental visits be based on individual patient needs. It advises, however, that a minimum of twice yearly visits are in the best interest of the oral health of the majority of patients in Ontario. Your dentist can spot gum disease in the early stages, even before you notice any symptoms. Your dental team will help clean your teeth to remove built-up tartar before it causes gum disease.
Two cavity problems are unique to adults: root cavities and cavities at the edges of fillings. You can help prevent cavities in three easy steps: brush and floss regularly; eat a balanced diet and avoid sweets. Use a fluoride toothpaste recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, and ask your dentist if a fluoride treatment would be a good idea.
Tension and Grinding
Many people clench or grind their teeth, especially during sleep — this is called bruxism. Over a long period of time, bruxism can wear down tooth surfaces. The main cause is muscle tension brought on by stress.
To help prevent grinding, simply try and relax. Become more conscious of when you clench your jaw and avoid biting on pencils and pens. Your dentist may be able to help you with a custom-fitted night guard or can recommend relaxation exercises to help you deal with stress
Food for Thought ... and Healthier Teeth
A balanced, nutritious diet is good for your general health as well as your dental health. Without the right nutrients, your teeth and gums can become more susceptible to decay and gum disease. Sugar is one of the main causes of dental problems. The average Canadian eats the equivalent of 40 kg (88 lb) of sugar each year. Here are a few ways to reduce your sugar intake, and help your teeth at the same time.
• Try to choose sugar-free snacks such as milk, fruit, vegetables, nuts, plain yogurt, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, cheese, melba toast, juice and salads.
• Add less sugar to your coffee or tea or try sugar substitutes. Try to avoid sugar-sweetened soft drinks and look for fruit juices and drinks with no added sugar.
• Pay attention to the list of ingredients when you are grocery shopping. Honey, molasses, liquid invert sugar, glucose, and fructose are all types of sugar.
• When you do eat sweets, there are things you can do to avoid harming your teeth: avoid sticky sweets that cling to your teeth and are harder to brush away; eat sweets with a meal, not as a snack, to improve the flow of saliva, which helps wash away and dilute sugar; and carry a travel-size toothbrush and use it after eating sweets.
• If you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth with water or eat a fibrous fruit such as an apple or raw vegetables. Or chew a piece of sugarless gum. Trident gum, which is the first chewing gum to be recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, contains DentecTM(Xylitol). Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is found in plants, in fruits, such as raisins and strawberries and in vegetables such as lettuce, onions and carrots.
Why Should I Visit the Dentist?
Regular checkups are important for cleaning, the detection of cavities and periodontal examination. Plaque and tartar can build up in areas that are not easily reached through home maintenance. These can be removed during a dental check-up to prevent cavities and gum disease.
While semi-annual visits are sufficient for cleaning and detection of cavities, patients’ needs do vary and patients should discuss the frequency of visits with their dentist.
Patients should also contact their dentist immediately, if their gums bleed, teeth become hypersensitive to temperature or pressure, or in the event of tooth pain or abscess.
For more information visit: http://www.oda.on.ca