780 476 3188, 211 Londonderry Mall, Edmonton, AB

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

  1. Do I need a dental checkup?
  2. What is involved in a dental check up?
  3. What is gum disease?
  4. Why do I need x-rays?
  5. What causes tooth decay and if it doesn't hurt, why do I have to get a filling done?
  6. What is a crown and why do I need it?
  7. What are sealants?

Do I need a dental checkup?

Yes. Everyone needs regular dental checkups. Your dentist is trained to detect potential problems and provide appropriate treatment. Even if you brush and floss daily, your teeth and gums still need regular cared from dental professionals. The goal is to prevent disease, prevent decay and prevent tooth loss. The frequency of checkup depends on the individual but as a general rule regular checkups are recommended every 6 months.

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What is involved in a dental check up?

The basic elements of a checkup included: review of dental and medical records and past x-rays, overall examination of the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and palate, x-rays if necessary, monitoring of blood pressure, professional cleaning including scaling if indicated and polish, fluoride treatment, counseling on hygiene and home care, diagnosis of cavities and recommended treatment options.

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What is gum disease?

Gum disease is also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease and is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. It is caused by plaque which constantly forms and hardens on the teeth forming calculus. This plaque and calculus irritates and inflames the gums. This chronic condition if left untreated will destroy the fibers that attach the teeth to the underlying bone, resulting in loosening and eventually loss of teeth. Underlying conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, dry mouth, smoking, aging and irregular dental care can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing plus the removal of hardened calculus on the teeth by the Registered Dental Hygienist can help prevent this from occurring.

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Why do I need x-rays?

X-rays allow the dentist to check areas of the teeth and tissue otherwise invisible during any oral exam. They will show cavities, location and condition of existing fillings, the condition of the tooth root, unerupted teeth and underlying bone. Done properly, x-rays are completely safe. Digital x-rays available in our office reduce the amount of radiation exposure even further than the traditional dental x-ray. Even so, you will be asked to wear a protective lead apron to eliminate unnecessary exposure. You should inform your dentist if you have recently had multiple medical x-rays or you are pregnant.

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What causes tooth decay and if it doesn't hurt, why do I have to get a filling done?

Tooth decay is caused bacteria in the mouth that feed on sugar to produce acid. This acid destroys the enamel layer on the tooth creating a cavity. You may not experience any discomfort at this point. If left untreated however, the bacterial acid will continue to destroy more tooth structure until it reaches the nerves and blood vessels (pulp). At this point you will experience discomfort such as sensitivity to temperature and pressure, swelling and possible abscess. A root canal and possibly a crown will become necessary at this point or loss of the tooth. The monetary cost as well as the loss of tooth structure is much less when a cavity is small than when it is left until you are in discomfort.

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What is a crown and why do I need it?

If a tooth becomes damaged but not lost a crown maybe suggested by your dentist to protect the remaining tooth from further damage. Cases where a crown maybe indicated include a tooth that has been root canalled , has a large filling, is broken down, badly stained, misshaped or out of alignment. Crowns can be made of different metals, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. They will generally last 10 years or more if good oral hygiene and tooth care are taken.

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What are sealants?

Sealants are made of a polymer resin that are applied to the chewing surface of teeth and bonded using ultra violet light. They provide a protective coating between the acids in the mouth and the tooth enamel. Sealants are less expensive than a cavity and maintain tooth structure.

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Please contact our office if you have additional questions or concerns.

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