Often referred to as preventive dentistry, dental cleanings performed by a registered dental hygienist, are designed to help you avoid gum disease, cavities, and enamel wear – which often leads to sensitivity. Your hygienist will remove built up plaque and tartar along and below your gum line, then follow up with polishing and flossing your teeth. A thorough dental exam, x-rays and a cleaning are usually performed as part of your regular oral care routine. If early signs of cavities and gum disease can be reversed, then patients can look forward to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
What if instead of visiting the dentist to face the drill, you received a quick and painless treatment that actually helps prevent cavities? Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps rebuild tooth enamel and can reverse early signs of tooth decay. Professional fluoride treatments usually come in the form of a gel, foam or varnish and can be applied with a swab or brush or placed in tray and held in your mouth for a few minutes. Now that’s something to smile about!
Dental sealants are coatings placed on the chewing surface of your child’s permanent back teeth – molars and premolars – to help protect them from decay. The sealants are ‘painted’ on and then hardened using a light. A simple, painless procedure that can make a world of difference in the fight against tooth decay!
A “filling” is done when your tooth has a cavity. This means that the bacteria in your mouth have caused an area or areas on your tooth to decay. Sometimes it’s very obvious and sometimes only an x-ray can detect it. Composite or tooth-colored filling material is now widely used for fixing your teeth, but amalgam or “silver” filling material is still a safe option for certain situations. Dr. Paul assures you that if you are diagnosed as having a cavity, you will be shown where it is and why it needs to be fixed.
Root canals, sadly, have a bad reputation. But in fact, they are a wonderful last attempt to save your natural tooth! If the soft tissue inside your tooth known as the pulp, is inflamed or dies due to either a big cavity or trauma from an accident, then a root canal can potentially save it. The pulp is removed first then the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. Lastly, the canals are filled and sealed and you’ll be back to smiling, biting and chewing with ease in no time! To say performing a root canal is Dr. Paul’s favourite treatment might sound strange, but it’s because he knows how important it is to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. When done correctly, getting a root canal is as simple and painless as getting a filling!
Did you know that tooth extraction is a fairly standard dental procedure? Extractions are performed for a variety of reasons; decay has reached deep into the tooth, infection has destroyed a large portion of the tooth or surrounding bone, baby teeth don’t fall out in time for permanent teeth to come in, braces or other orthodontic treatment may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that will move into place, and wisdom teeth, also called third molars are often extracted if they are causing problems. Although it can seem a little nerve-wracking, Dr. Paul has performed thousands of these over the years and can tell you that with a gentle approach and a little finesse, the tooth can come out very nicely!
Most often we think of oral surgery as only involving extractions. However, it also includes procedures such as gum grafts, bone grafts, reshaping of teeth to accept crowns, veneers or bridges, and impacted wisdom teeth extractions. Dr. Paul has the knowledge and experience to perform all of these procedures but rest assured, if you have a more specialized problem, we will make sure you are attended to by someone who cares just as much as we do.
Even though we think everyone is wonderful as is, we also know that nothing helps to improve confidence like a beautiful smile! There are many affordable ways to achieve this; composite veneers, porcelain veneers and crowns. Dr. Paul is always happy to review these options with you because he loves to see you smile!
Sometimes our natural teeth need a little help to regain their strength and esthetics. A crown is a ‘covering’ placed over your own tooth to provide strength and support after a root canal has been performed or if there has been significant loss of tooth structure due to decay and multiple fillings. A bridge can be placed when 1 or more of your teeth are missing and the space or spaces can be replaced with an artificial tooth or teeth anchored to your own teeth.
Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas, as it is commonly referred to, is an excellent option for young children and anxious adults. It is colorless, odorless and is effective as a sedative because it relaxes patients with the pleasurable feelings it emits. It works quickly and its effects are reversible. Before you know it, your procedure is complete and you’re off to enjoy the rest of your day!