Serving Yaletown since 1999
Accepting New Patients
Phone: 604-801-6669
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FAQ’s

Why is visiting the dentist so important?

Visiting the dentist regularly not only will help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but also will help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

• Helps prevent tooth decay
• Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
• Prevents bad breath — brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth
• Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
• Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
• Strengthens your teeth so you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?

Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:

• Professional teeth whitening
• Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
• Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers

What should I expect at my first appointment?

One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer and make X-rays of your teeth as needed. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

Is clenching my teeth dangerous?

Clenching your jaw excessively when you are stressed or during sleep is very common but can damage teeth and lead to headaches, joint problems and tooth fractures. Untreated, clenching and grinding your teeth can cause hypersensitivity to hot and cold, fractures, and even loosen teeth. Early diagnosis and treatment can ward off pain before it starts and help you avoid the problems associated with this condition.

Do pregnant women have special dental needs?

The changes that arise in a woman’s dental health when she is expecting may be surprising and unexpected. For instance, pregnancy gingivitis is common and is caused by increased levels of hormones. Gums may become puffy and bleed easily. Contact us with any questions about pregnancy and your dental health.

What happens if I lose a back tooth?

If a back tooth is lost, it can have a significant affect on one’s appearance. Teeth shift when the missing tooth is no longer there to support the others, creating changes in your bite. A sinking or puckering may also become obvious between the cheeks and mouth, and lips may look thinner and straighter. There are many options for replacement; bridges, implants, or partials may be a good option. Talk with us about what option will work best for you.

Bone loss in the jaw will always follow the loss of a tooth and can cause facial changes, speech changes and diet changes. Dental implants can restore normal eating and speaking abilities and enhance facial appearance.

How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?

ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least once!

Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. This will help prevent cavities. Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and lead to oral cancer).

Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.

Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist at least every six months.

How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for cavities or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.

How often should I brush my teeth?

According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should be brushing your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that when you brush your teeth, you use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth two times a day for two to three minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children should change their toothbrush every three to six months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions, as you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with severe gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks in order to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of gum (periodontal) disease. Common signs of gum (periodontal) disease:

• Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
• Chronic bad breath
• Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
• Extreme tooth sensitivity
• Receding gum line
• Abscessed teeth

When do I bring my child to see a dentist?

Once your child’s first tooth erupts it’s recommended that you come in to see the dentist, or at least make sure you speak with your dentist to ensure you know how to care for your child’s teeth, and what things to be cautious of. You should also bring your child to the dentist if you notice anything ‘odd’ like a dark spot, or if your child avoids chewing or eating certain foods because perhaps a tooth hurts. If your child has a fall that can also cause damage and should be investigated further.

The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months old and no later than one year old. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

It is best to be positive about your child’s first visit and avoid phrases like ‘it won’t hurt’, or tell them if they don’t let you brush the dentist will have to take their tooth out. Their first visit should be a fun, social visit. Even if you don’t like the dentist try not to transfer that to your child. Perhaps having another family member come with them would be a good idea. Talk about the positive, that they might get to have a fun ‘ride in the chair’ and ‘play with the magic straw and squirt gun’, or watch the ‘TV in the ceiling’. We all want your child’s first visit to be a positive one.

Is Fluoride necessary for adults?

Most adults will benefit from fluoride treatments. When your teeth are polished a minute amount of fluoride rich enamel is removed, and the application of fluoride following the polishing helps to re-establish that fluoride seal. Fluoride also acts to help re-mineralize any de-calcified areas and areas of sensitivity, like exposed roots and also has a bacteriostatic property, which means it keeps bacteria from multiplying.

If it has been a long time since you’ve had any cavities, and you have few or no dental fillings, no root exposure or sensitivity it may be OK for you to forgo the fluoride on occasion.

Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount ofradiation exposure from a full mouth of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation by using a lead apron or drape when taking dental x-rays, aswell as using digital technology. Digital x-rays help improve diagnosis, use significantly less radiation (60-90% less compared to traditional film x-rays), allow you to see enlarged clear x-ray images to better understand your treatment recommendations, and are beneficial to the environment by eliminating toxic film processing solutions.

How often dental x-rays should be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary radiographs/x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are recommended annually to detect cavities. Panoramic radiographs are recommended to give an overview of the jaws, and are particularly useful when examining wisdom teeth or the developing teeth. This x-ray would be reassessed only every five years or so unless there is a specific issue of concern, like unexplained pain or erupting wisdom teeth.

Do over the counter whitening methods work? Are they safe?

There is a complete aisle of over-the-counter whitening products out there. For the most part they contain the same solution as the dentist-dispensed products but in a much lower concentration. This means you will likely have to use the product for much longer than you would a dentist-dispensed system.

Other things to consider when assessing the effectiveness of over-the-counter whitening methods is how long it is in contact with the tooth. If the solution is in contact with saliva, it will quickly be washed away. If it’s only in contact with your teeth while brushing, it’s going to take a very long time to see any difference. A tray-based system holds the solution against the tooth preventing the saliva from diluting it.

With the strip type over-the-counter whiteners, remember that the strips are a fixed length, so if you have a broad smile the teeth at the strip may not cover the ‘corners’. Another concern with the strips, especially if teeth aren’t perfectly straight is that if the strip isn’t carefully creased into the ‘dip’ between the teeth you will end up with dark strips between the teeth. The strip may also extend on to the gum tissue, which can lead to sensitivity and temporary discolouration of the gum tissue.

Generally over-the-counter whitening products are safe but using them with out first having a dental consultation could result in issues of sensitivity if cavities or root exposure are present. There are things that can be done in conjunction with whitening to help reduce any sensitivity. As well, it is important to realize that existing fillings and crowns will not change colour when you whiten your natural teeth, so if your filling currently matches your tooth colour and you lighten your teeth, your filling is then going to be obvious and you will be looking at the additional cost of replacing or polishing it.

What if I have gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are colour-matched to the rest of your teeth.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important for patients receiving orthodontic treatment to visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Can dentist really give Botox?

In 2007, The College of Dental Surgeons of BC included Botox® as part of the scope of practice of cosmetic dentistry in BC. Dentists are more familiar than any other medical professional with the nerves and muscles of the face and oral cavity. They are more comfortable with injections than most physicians as they are a part of their daily routine. Dentists who provide Botox treatments for their clients have had additional training with respect to dispensing and administering the product.

How do I schedule my next checkup?

Simply call our practice or visit our website and follow the link under “schedule an appointment”. Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know, and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.

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