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.
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 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 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.
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)
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.