Questions & Answers

Q?

Why should I visit the Dentist?

a.

Regular checkups are important for cleaning, the detection of cavities and periodontal examination. Plaque and tartar can build up in areas that are not easily reached through home maintenance. These can be removed during a dental check-up to prevent cavities and gum disease.

While semi-annual visits are sufficient for cleaning and detection of cavities, patients' needs do vary and patients should discuss the frequency of visits with their dentist.

Patients should also contact their dentist immediately, if their gums bleed, teeth become hypersensitive to temperature or pressure, or in the event of tooth pain or abscess.

Q?

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

a.

Removing your wisdom teeth if they are not painful or causing a problem is optional. However, the surgery is often less complicated at a younger age (14-21 years old). During a consultation, your dentist can help you decide if removing your wisdom teeth is the right option for you.

Q?

What is the difference between a grey filling and a white filling?

a.

White fillings are made with composite resin; they are glued to your tooth in thin layers. Each layer is hardened with the help of a special light. When the last layer is hardened, we shape the filling so it looks and feels natural.

Silver fillings are made with mercury, silver, copper and tin. These fillings have been used on people for more than 150 years and are easy to put in place. Studies have shown that silver fillings do not cause illness.

Q?

My gums bleed when I floss; should I stop flossing?

a.

Bleeding gums is a disease and, like any other disease, needs to be treated. Gums sometimes bleed when you first begin to floss. Bleeding usually stops after a few days but if bleeding persists, you should contact your dentist.

Q?

What is orthodontics?

a.

Orthodontics is that discipline of dental medicine that deals with the position of the teeth and the jaw, specifically with their development and with correcting anomalies if any, and this with a functional and esthetic purpose.

Your dentist can therefore detect and correct any problems related to the function and/or alignment of your teeth and jaw. Your dentist or orthodontist can also improve the appearance of the face and the functioning of the joints.

Some of these problems are hereditary but can also have been caused by an accident or trauma, or may simply have developed through time.

Thus, if you notice that your teeth are crowded, it is important to consult your dentist in order to avoid chronic irritation of your gums, muscular tensions or chewing problems.

If you have a bad occlusion, misaligned teeth, teeth too widely spaced, an upper or lower jaw that is too projected forward, or lips that don’t close completely, orthodontics is probably for you.

Q?

What is periodontal disease and the treatment?

a.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a serious bacterial infection that destroys the gums and the surrounding tissues of the mouth. Progression of this disease leads to tooth loss. It has been found that the bacteria found in periodontal disease are the same bacteria found in heart disease and stroke.

The disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs.
Even if often subtle, the condition is not entirely without signs.

Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. They include:
• Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
• Red, swollen, or tender gums
• Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
• Loose or shifting tooth
• Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down

Q?

What is a dental abcess?

a.

A dental abcess is a bacterial infection that may be painful or not, and that usually contains pus. This kind of infection is found near the root of a tooth and/or on the gum.

For an abcess to grow, the tooth must be fractured or there has to be a dental carie that has reached the pulp. A dental abcess left untreated can reach the jaw bone and cause serious complications.

Q?

What is Gingivitis?

a.

Gingivitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis begins with plaque, a clear sticky substance that forms on your teeth every day. Plaque contains bacteria that multiply and if plaque is not removed, it then becomes harder, what we call tartar or calculus. The gums swell and usually you will see them turn more red in appearance. It is also possible to note that your gums will bleed when brushing and flossing.

Gingivitis is a disease that can go unnoticed because it does not usually cause any pain or discomfort. The good news is that gingivitis is a disease that is avoidable and also reversible.

Q?

At what age should my child consult a dentist for the first time?

a.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants by a dentist within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by ONE year of age. The goal is to have a dentist examine and detect any potential problems before they occur in your child’s mouth. An exam every 6 months afterwards will ensure that the dentist notices any small problems easily.

Q?

What is the importance of follow-up visits every 6 months?

a.

The exams are important and their frequency varies between 6 months, 9 months and 1 year. At a young age, it is recommended to do an exam, often with the help of x-rays, every 6 months since changes in primary teeth are faster (a small carie on a baby tooth can quickly become serious, for example an abcess and cause pain that can be avoided with children).

Then, the frequency of visits is determined by your dentist. This allows to inform you of potential problematic areas, it evaluates the bone and gingival condition of your teeth as well as the presence of caries. An oral cancer screening test is also practised and only takes a few moments.