General Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry

Oral health is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Dental cleaning and checkups will help maintain oral health and prevent dental disease. Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems, as infection from tooth disease can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.

Oral Healthcare Maintenance

Oral health maintenance or preventive dentistry is caring for your teeth to ensure they are always healthy and to avoid problems like gum disease, cavities and other dental issues. Caring for the health of your teeth includes daily brushing and flossing. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three months. Flossing helps to clean the spaces between your teeth. If you are wearing braces, you still need to floss, but you would need threaders to help you get in between the brackets. Flossing daily is recommended for everyone.

Dental hygiene removes plaque, tartar and stains to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Routine cleanings are the best way to prevent gum disease.

Your dental hygienist may also provide fluoride to resist decay, scaling, polishing and/or restorations. They will assist you with proper brushing and flossing, nutrition counselling and treatment explanation.

Bad Breath
Halitosis, or bad breath, is one of the most frequent reason for visiting the dentist. Causes include infrequent brushing and flossing, gum disease, dry mouth, smoking and diet. Your hygienist may suggest using a tongue scraper, chewing sugarless gum, gargling with mouthwash and drinking lots of water.

Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by bacteria found in plaque. As the bacteria spread below the gumline, the gums and bone around the teeth begin to break down, and can lead to loose teeth. Quite often, symptoms do not appear until the late stages, which is one reason why regular hygiene visits are encouraged. Possible early signs include: receding gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, bad breath, sores in mouth or loose or separating teeth.

By examining your X-rays and probing, your hygienist can tell how much bone loss your periodontitis has caused. Once your stage of periodontal disease has been determined, your hygienist will work with your dentist to personalize a treatment plan, which may include homecare, Soft Tissue Management or a referral to a periodontist.

Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is a very common concern. Symptoms often arise after drinking hot or cold drinks or foods and sweets. Sensitivity is easily treated with fluoride. Your hygienist will often suggest using a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth.

Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, certain diseases and infections and medical treatments. It can also be a result of nerve damage, dehydration and lifestyle (smoking or chewing tobacco).

Symptoms include: frequent thirst, dryness in mouth, sores in mouth, cracked lips, dry and red tongue, problems speaking or trouble tasting, sore throat and bad breath.

Your hygienist will discuss home care solutions to help combat dry mouth.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer starts in the cells of the mouth, tongue or throat. Oral cancer screening is usually a routine part of a dental examination. In this exam, your dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and inside your mouth. Your dentist will also look for sores or discolored tissue in your mouth.  We also use a Veloscope UV light to detect any irregular cells.

Fillings

Bacteria lives on your teeth. Every time you eat something you are feeding the bacteria. After they eat, they produce a very strong acid that eats away at your teeth. If you don’t remove this sticky layer of bacteria (known as plaque) by brushing and flossing, the bacteria will keep destroying your tooth structure until you get a hole in your tooth. These holes are known by many names, such as tooth decay, cavities, and dental caries.

To restore a decayed tooth your dentist will repair the hole in the tooth with a hard, tooth-like material known as a dental filling.

Once we have restored your teeth with tooth-coloured materials, these restorations will serve you well for several years. The material used contains small “filler” particles of glass like material for strength and wear resistance.

Bruxism Appliance (Grinding Appliance)

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. Some people are not even aware that they do this and may unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day or at night while they are sleeping. The evidence is often wear on their or headache and neck pain symptoms.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

At Callander Bay Dental Dr. Swaida and Dr. Agha perform wisdom tooth extractions. This procedure can be done with or without sedation depending on whether you are having all of your wisdom teeth pulled at one time or if you are at high risk for complications.

If you have any infections, surgery will usually be delayed until the infection has cleared up. Your doctor or dentist may have you take antibiotics to help heal the infection.

Before removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don't eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery so that you are prepared for the anesthetic.

To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.

After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.

Crowns

If your tooth is damaged but not lost, a crown can be used to restore its shape, appearance and function. You may need a crown if you have a root canal, a large filling in a tooth or a broken tooth.

A crown, also called a cap, is a hollow, artificial tooth used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. The crown restores the tooth and protects it from further damage. Crowns can also be used to cover a discoloured or misshapen tooth. A tooth that has been fixed with a crown looks and works very much like a natural tooth.

How a crown is done

  • Your dentist gives you a local anesthetic
  • To make room for the crown, your dentist files down the tooth that needs to be restored
  • An impression of the filed-down tooth and nearby teeth is taken
  • This impression is used to custom make your final crown
  • The crown is built using restorative material (material used for fillings) based on the impression
  • Until your final crown is ready, your dentist places a temporary crown over the tooth that needs to be restored
  • The temporary crown is made from an impression of your tooth before it was filed down
  • 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, your dentist takes off the temporary crown and puts on the final one
  • Your dentist checks to make sure the crown is the right fit, shape, colour and bite
  • If it is, your dentist cements the crown into place

These are the steps dentists most often follow in making a crown, but your tooth may need special care. You may need orthodontic treatment, gum treatment or root canal treatment. It may take more than 2 visits to your dentist, or your visits may last longer.

Bridges

A bridge, also called a “fixed bridge” or a “fixed dental prosthesis,” is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It extends across an area that has no teeth and is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between 2 crowns. (A crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits over a natural tooth or a dental implant). The bridge is held firmly in place by your own teeth on each side of the missing one(s) or by dental implants. A bridge is permanent and cannot be removed.

How a bridge is done

  1. If you have healthy teeth on each side of a missing tooth (or teeth), your dentist files down the 2 healthy teeth to prepare them for the bridge. If you don’t have healthy teeth or enough teeth to support a bridge, then dental implants may be surgically placed. A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. The implant acts as an anchor to hold an artificial tooth or bridge in place.
  2. Next, your dentist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions (molds). The model is used to custom-make the artificial tooth (or teeth) and 2 crowns as one piece. This piece is called a bridge.
  3. Meanwhile your dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
  4. During your second visit, your dentist removes the temporary bridge and places the custom made bridge in your mouth. The crowns are either cemented to your 2 healthy teeth or attached to your dental implants on each side of the missing tooth (or teeth).

Types of bridges

There are different types of dental bridges. Your dentist  will recommend the most appropriate one depending on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth) and the condition of your teeth, mouth and gums.

Traditional bridges are used if there are natural teeth on each side of the gap where the tooth is missing. (As an alternative to a bridge, your dentist may suggest a single implant to replace a missing tooth between 2 healthy teeth. An implant will prevent you from having to get your healthy teeth filed down in preparation for the crowns.)

Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal)

When the nerve of your tooth becomes infected, a successful root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than having to pull it out. Keeping your tooth helps to prevent your other teeth from drifting out of line and causing jaw problems. Saving a natural tooth avoids having to replace it with an artificial tooth.

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic treatment, is the process of removing infected, injured or dead pulp from your tooth. The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. This system is filled with soft dental pulp made up of nerves and blood vessels that help your tooth grow and develop.

When bacteria (germs) enter your tooth through deep cavities, cracks or flawed fillings, your tooth can become abscessed. An abscessed tooth is a tooth with an infection in the pulp. If pulp becomes infected, it needs to be removed. An abscessed tooth may cause pain and/or swelling. Your dentist may notice the infection from a dental x-ray or from other changes with the tooth. If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause serious oral health problems.

How is a root canal treatment done?

  • The dentist gives you a local anesthetic (freezing)
  • To protect your tooth from bacteria in your saliva during the treatment, the dentist places a rubber dam around the tooth being treated
  • The dentist makes an opening in the tooth to reach the root canal system and the damaged pulp
  • Using very fine dental instruments, the dentist removes the pulp by cleaning and enlarging the root canal system
  • After the canal has been cleaned, the dentist fills and seals the canal
  • The opening of the tooth is then sealed with either a temporary or permanent filling

After a root canal treatment, your tooth has to be restored (fixed) to look, feel and work as much like a natural tooth as possible.

What else should I know?

Root canal treatment may be done in 1 or 2 appointments. After root canal treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first week or two. Bad pain or swelling are NOT common. If this happens, call your dentist.

You can still get a cavity or gum disease after a root canal treatment. Root canal treatment does not protect your tooth from other types of damage. With proper care and regular dental visits, the tooth could last as long as your other teeth. Most of the time, a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, there are cases where everything possible has been done to save a tooth and still the tooth must be extracted (pulled).

Root canal retreatment

Most root canal treatments are successful. But in some rare cases, a second root canal treatment is needed. This is called retreatment. When retreating a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out, and the canal is recleaned, reshaped and refilled.

Dental Implants

If one or more of your teeth are missing, there are a number of ways to replace them. An alternative to bridges, partials or complete dentures may be dental implants. Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth. They are comfortable and look like natural teeth.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.

Who can get dental implants?

If you are in good general health, have healthy gums and have enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant, dental implants might be right for you. If your jawbone has shrunk or if it has not developed normally, you may be able to have a bone graft to build up the bone. A bone graft is a way of adding new bone to your jawbone. Your dentist or dental specialist will tell you if bone grafting can be done.

How dental implants are done

    • Your dentist or specialist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you.
    • During the first stage of surgery, your dentist or specialist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place.
    • As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
    • During the second stage of surgery and once the tissue is healed, your dentist or specialist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement. tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
    • An artificial replacement tooth is made and your dentist or specialist attaches it to the abutment. It may take several appointments to properly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
    • When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
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