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Protect from cavities

Protect your family from cavities


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Free gums

Free your gums from disease.


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Poor dental health

Poor dental health is correlated to diabetes and respiratory diseases


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Welcome to Sandalwood Dental

“Use your smile to change this world, but don’t let poor teeth change your smile”.

Dr. Puneet Kamboj (Your Reason To Smile)


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Your Dental Health affects more than your smile. It affects your entire body


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No important conversations happen without a smile. Let Dr. Puneet and her team give you another reason to smile

Your ancestors had to use ground-up chalk, charcoal, or ashes to protect their teeth and gums for diseases like plaque and gingivitis. Today, you have all the means to maintain your oral hygiene and your radiant smile.

Dr. Puneet Kamboj, BDS, DDS, Rejuvenate Your Smile

About Our Practice

Here at Sandalwood Dental, we look at the big picture! Our purpose is not just to provide you with a remarkable Oral Hygiene, but also to consistently protect your entire body from diseases that could be caused due to poor hygiene. We insist on periodic consultations to make sure your family will not only have a great smile but also a great reason to keep smiling.

Holistic care

We educate our patients on the best ways to protect their teeth and gums at home.

Customer Support

We take up fewer patients and appointments. Our focus is to spend more time with each patient and answer all their questions.

Best Infrastructure

We use the best devices and infrastructure in the industry. Our hygienists are obsessed with all-things-dental and constantly keep updating their skills.

Our Services

We provide many exciting services that will leave you with a bright, white smile on your face!
Restorative & Implant Dentistry

a.Fillings

When teeth get damaged due to caries, the decayed portion is removed and teeth are restored with fillings.

  1. Composite Resin – tooth colored filling
  2. Silver amalgam

b.Implant Crowns

This method of tooth replacement can be very esthetic and functional for a period of time. However, a tooth supported bridge does not replace the bone that previously surrounded the root. When more than one tooth is missing, there are three common treatment options: the traditional tooth supported bridge, a removable partial denture and an implant supported bridge. In this situation the benefits of implant supported teeth are even more obvious since they look, feel and function just like natural teeth

Cosmetic Dentistry

a. Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Laminate Veneers, or simply "veneers", are custom-made porcelain wafers that the dentist places over the fronts of the teeth to enhance their appearance and also to repair damage. Veneers can dramatically change a person's smile and help improve their self- confidence.
In the 1920's and 30's, actors, actresses and other performers would often go to the extreme measure of having their teeth extracted and dentures (false teeth) made to improve their smile. Fortunately, this radical procedure has given way to veneers, a far more conservative approach. Veneers are what give many Hollywood movie stars that dazzling smile we see on the silver screen.
Veneers can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, "correct" a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections, and create a more attractive or youthful looking smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel. The dentist then takes molds (impressions) of the mouth. Temporary veneers are then placed for the patient to wear while the permanent veneers are being made. The procedure usually takes between one and a half and two hours.
Next, the laboratory carefully crafts the porcelain into veneers. In about two weeks, the veneers are ready for the dentist to fasten to the fronts of the teeth. This process improves the teeth's appearance and strength.

b. Crowns

Crowns are used when large fillings wear out, when a tooth is cracked, or when making cosmetic improvements to the teeth. A filling cannot strengthen a tooth, and sometimes there is not even enough tooth structure for a bonded onlay. A crown is placed over a tooth, replacing most of its enamel. It surrounds the tooth, giving it strength and providing a strong, durable biting surface. Placing a crown requires two office visits. During the first visit, any decayed material is removed and the teeth are shaped to receive the crown. After taking an impression of the prepared tooth, a temporary crown is placed for a short time; while the laboratory creates the permanent crown. On the second visit, the temporary crown is replaced with the permanent crown and the bite is checked and adjusted if needed. The crown and its bond to the supporting tooth are extremely strong. You will be able to use the crowned tooth exactly as you would any other tooth.

Indications for a crown:
  1. Large fillings involving half to three quarters the tooth or more, resulting in a weakened tooth increasing likelihood for fracture.
  2. Endodontic therapy (root canal treatment), this weakens the tooth increasing likelihood of fracture, this is especially true for posterior teeth (premolars and molars).
  3. Cracked teeth in which the crack is deep enough and in a direction which can lead to pulpal death or tooth loss.
  4. To improve the contours and appearance of existing teeth.
  5. Teeth that are unfillable with little or no tooth structure to hold a filling above the gum line.
  6. To correct the occlusal plane (chewing surface alignment).

To provide contours to receive removable appliances. Porcelain fused to metal crown is perhaps the most common form of crown, and is used where aesthetics and durability are required. PFM crowns give you good fit and esthetic.

c. Bridges

A bridge bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been, with artificial teeth. Unlike a partial denture, a bridge is fixed and cannot be taken out of the mouth. It uses the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth space, for support.

A bridge has several advantages:
  • They fill the unsightly spaces left by the lost teeth.
  • They help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing tooth or teeth. When a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth may shift position. The tooth opposite to the lost tooth may begin to extend out of its socket. Shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to cavities and also leading to permanent bone loss, hence loosing more teeth.
  • They correct an altered bite, hence improving the functioning of the temporomandibular joint - the TMJ or jaw joint.
  • A Bridge improves the chewing ability and speech, which is usually altered due to missing teeth!
  • It reduces the stress on the other teeth and muscles of the mouth/jaw, which may be caused by chewing on one side only!
  • A bridge helps maintain the natural shape of your face and may help support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older.

A bridge procedure is usually completed in two to three office visits, since it is fabricated in the laboratory. It can be made of different materials; gold, metal, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal.

d. Teeth Whitening

Whiter Teeth at your convenience- whether your teeth are stained, naturally dark or just need that extra shine- whitening is the answer. Sandalwood Dental Clinic offers a teeth whitening at office.

e. Bonding

Cosmetic bonding can breathe new life into your smile. It is used to restore your broken, chipped or discolored teeth. It can also be used to eliminate gaps between your teeth. While cosmetic bonding costs less than veneers, the results may not last as long, as bonded teeth are less durable than teeth with porcelain veneers, however they can be a great choice in creating the smile you've always wanted.Utilizing a natural-colored enamel like material, the doctor can add a new layer to your teeth, correcting minor imperfections, improving surface color, and even creating straighter teeth. Bondings can also be important in improving teeth with a "thin" or "sharp" appearance. The doctor adds some natural enamel thus creating a perfect smile. However, bonding cannot replace veneers totally, some patients are more suited for veneers - to determine the best choice for you schedule an appointment today.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

Alleviate unnecessary pain or discomfort

Crowns

Crowns are used when large fillings wear out, when a tooth is cracked, or when making cosmetic improvements to the teeth.
A filling cannot strengthen a tooth, and sometimes there is not even enough tooth structure for a bonded on lay. A crown is placed over a tooth, replacing most of its enamel. It surrounds the tooth, giving it strength and providing a strong, durable biting surface.
Placing a crown requires two office visits. During the first visit, any decayed material is removed and the teeth are shaped to receive the crown. After taking an impression of the prepared tooth, a temporary crown is placed for a short time; while the laboratory creates the permanent crown. On the second visit, the temporary crown is replaced with the permanent crown and the bite is checked and adjusted if needed. The crown and its bond to the supporting tooth are extremely strong. You will be able to use the crowned tooth exactly as you would any other tooth.

Indications for a crown:

  • Large fillings involving half to three quarters the tooth or more, resulting in a weakened tooth increasing likelihood for fracture.
  • Endodontic therapy (root canal treatment), this weakens the tooth increasing likelihood of fracture, this is especially true for posterior teeth (premolars and molars).
  • Cracked teeth in which the crack is deep enough and in a direction which can lead to pulpal death or tooth loss.
  • To improve the contours and appearance of existing teeth.
  • Teeth that are unfillable with little or no tooth structure to hold a filling above the gum line.
  • To correct the occlusal plane (chewing surface alignment). To provide contours to receive removable appliances. Porcelain fused to metal crown is perhaps the most common form of crown, and is used where aesthetics and durability are required. PFM crowns give you good fit and esthetic.

Implant supported Crowns -

This method of tooth replacement can be very esthetic and functional for a period of time. However, a tooth supported bridge does not replace the bone that previously surrounded the root. When more than one tooth is missing, there are three common treatment options: the traditional tooth supported bridge, a removable partial denture and an implant supported bridge. In this situation the benefits of implant supported teeth are even more obvious since they look, feel and function just like natural teeth

Canal Treatment

The goal of root canal treatment is saving the tooth! Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, sometimes our teeth are irreparably damaged (damage to the pulp - often from a deep cavity or trauma to the tooth/ broken tooth). If left untreated the pulp (nerve and blood supply of the tooth) gets infected. As the infection grows it damages the bone around the tooth sometimes causing pain and swelling or darkening of the tooth. The pain may refer to the entire face / head. Some teeth however do not show any symptoms and can flare up any day from a dormant infection!
Rather than doing an extraction, we attempt to save the tooth by performing a root canal treatment.
Root canal therapy consists of making a small hole in the tooth and then removing the tiny dead nerves, blood vessels and debris from each canal in the tooth. The roots are then shaped, disinfected and filled with an inert material. We use rotary endodontics which helps in better cleaning and shaping the canals making sure no decay or infection is left behind in the canals, it also helps us work efficiently giving you the direct time advantage.
Root canal treatment typically requires a series of appointments. However, at our office we can complete this procedure in one visit! This means you are numbed once and lesser missed work, school or family time!
Root canal therapy is not complete without a crown, which will help in preserving remaining tooth structure from further damage.

Sports Mouth Guard -

Mouth guards should be a part of every athlete's uniform. They are as important as knee pads, helmets, and other athletic protective equipment. They protect the teeth, lips, gums, and tongue. They also can prevent children from concussions and jaw fractures. Many organized sports require mouth guards to prevent injury to children. A majority of times trauma to the mouth occurs when athletes do not wear mouth guards, especially in unorganized sports activities. Mouth guards should be worn while playing any sport that involves contact or the possibility of falling (especially basketball, baseball, and soccer). This includes not just organized sports at school, but also activities with friends.

Space maintainers -

A Baby tooth stays in place until a permanent tooth is ready to take its place. Sometimes, however baby teeth are removed due to severe decay or get knocked out accidently. In such situations, space maintainers encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, and save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into position. If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, the teeth beside the empty space may tilt or drift into that space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When this happens the permanent teeth can come in crowded or crooked due to the lack of space. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.
Teeth Whitening
Veneers
Porcelain Laminate Veneers, or simply "veneers", are custom-made porcelain wafers that the dentist places over the fronts of the teeth to enhance their appearance and also to repair damage. Veneers can dramatically change a person's smile and help improve their self-confidence.
In the 1920's and 30's, actors, actresses and other performers would often go to the extreme measure of having their teeth extracted and dentures (false teeth) made to improve their smile. Fortunately, this radical procedure has given way to veneers, a far more conservative approach. Veneers are what give many Hollywood movie stars that dazzling smile we see on the silver screen.
Veneers can be used to improve a wide variety of cosmetic dental problems. They can whiten stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, "correct" a crooked smile without the need for braces, repair chips and imperfections, and create a more attractive or youthful looking smile. The procedure usually involves removing only a thin amount of the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel. The dentist then takes molds (impressions) of the mouth. Temporary veneers are then placed for the patient to wear while the permanent veneers are being made. The procedure usually takes between one and a half and two hours.
Next, the laboratory carefully crafts the porcelain into veneers. In about two weeks, the veneers are ready for the dentist to fasten to the fronts of the teeth. This process improves the teeth's appearance and strength.

General Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry

Regular Checkups including cleanings and cavity detection No one has perfect dental home care. With professional cleanings and supervision, you can feel more confident about the health of your teeth and gums. You can consult with us on any concerns you may have regarding your oral health.
Dental Prophylaxis is designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease. The purpose of polishing tooth surfaces is to make these surfaces smooth which makes it more difficult for plaque and debris to accumulate on your teeth to cause decay or gum disease!
The sticky accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and gums is called plaque. Plaque forms continuously and should be removed daily with regular brushing and flossing. If plaque is allowed to build up, tartar (calculus) forms, which cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in these calculus deposits.
The regular cleanings will remove these deposits and give you a "clean slate" for your home dental care and instruct you in the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
The dentist examines your mouth/ teeth to make sure it is in good health. We use digital technology to help in accurate diagnosis, lesser exposure to x-rays and of course faster results (less waiting time for you!!)

Fluoride Applications -

Topical fluoride is probably the most important source of prevention of tooth decay. Topical fluoride reaches the teeth directly. Fluoride makes the tooth more resistant to decay. Fluoride will combine into the tooth structure to make enamel more resistant to acid attack. It is toxic to bacteria stops the bacterial from producing acids that cause tooth decay. Fluoride use can also encourage demineralization or replace minerals in the tooth surfaces that have been demineralized or broken down by bacterially produced acids which can help in repairing early decay or damage before it causes a cavity.
Fluoride treatments may begin after the age of three. Topical fluoride gel works on the outer surface of a tooth and is NOT taken in internally so a child can not overdose on fluoride. Fluoride rinses can be used after the age of six, especially in children who are drinking soft drinks and/or wearing braces. They can cut decay by about 30% if used daily. We apply fluoride gel to all children after they have had their teeth polished. We use fluoride in a foam form instead of gel because the "advantage of foam use is that less foam is required for adequate coverage of the teeth. This may reduce fluoride exposure and retention by the patient. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste provides additional reduction of cavities even if children live in areas with fluoridated water.

Technology

Digital X-rays

The digital x-rays are not only convenient and fast, but they also increase the accuracy of diagnosis. Have you ever wondered about the safety of the radiation when taking the x-rays? While regular x-rays are still considered safe, the digital x-rays are only 10% as strong as the regular ones. In other words, digital x-rays cut down 90% of the radiation. So leave even slightest of concerns at home.

  1. Low Radiation Levels 90% less exposure
  2. No Dental Film
  3. No Waiting
  4. Viewable on Computer Screen
  5. Better Clarity
  6. More Accurate Diagnosis

Preventive Dentistry

a. Examination

The dentist examines your mouth/ teeth to make sure it is in good health. We use digital technology to help in accurate diagnosis, lesser exposure to x-rays and of course faster results (less waiting time for you!!)

b. Scaling & Polishing

The sticky accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and gums is called plaque. Plaque forms continuously and should be removed daily with regular brushing and flossing. If plaque is allowed to build up, tartar (calculus) forms, which cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in these calculus deposits.
The regular cleanings will remove these deposits and give you a "clean slate" for your home dental care and instruct you in the proper techniques for brushing and flossing

c. Dental Prophylaxis

Dental Prophylaxis is designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease. The purpose of polishing tooth surfaces is to make these surfaces smooth which makes it more difficult for plaque and debris to accumulate on your teeth to cause decay or gum disease!

d. Fluoride treatment

Topical fluoride is probably the most important source of prevention of tooth decay. Topical fluoride reaches the teeth directly. Fluoride makes the tooth more resistant to decay. Fluoride will combine into the tooth structure to make enamel more resistant to acid attack and decay. It is toxic to bacteria stops the bacterial from producing acids that cause tooth decay. Fluoride use can also encourage remineralization or replace minerals in the tooth surfaces that have been demineralized or broken down by bacterially produced acids which can help in repairing early decay or damage before it causes a cavity.
Fluoride treatments may begin after the age of three. Topical fluoride gel works on the outer surface of a tooth and is NOT taken in internally so a child can not overdose on fluoride. Fluoride rinses can be used after the age of six, especially in children who are drinking soft drinks and/or wearing braces. They can cut decay by about 30% if used daily. We apply fluoride gel to all children after they have had their teeth polished. We use fluoride in a foam form instead of gel because the "advantage of foam use is that less foam is required for adequate coverage of the teeth. This may reduce fluoride exposure and retention by the patient. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste provides additional reduction of cavities even if children live in areas with fluoridated water.

e. Sensitivity treatment

Application of topical agents to block dentinal tubules which cause sensitivity.

f. Sealants

Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth -- usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) -- to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by "sealing out" plaque and food.

g. Space Maintainers

A Baby tooth stays in place until a permanent tooth is ready to take its place. Sometimes, however baby teeth are removed due to severe decay or get knocked out accidently. In such situations, space maintainers encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, and save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into position. If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, the teeth beside the empty space may tilt or drift into that space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When this happens the permanent teeth can come in crowded or crooked due to the lack of space. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.

h. Night guard & Mouth guard

A Baby tooth stays in place until a permanent tooth is ready to take its place. Sometimes, however baby teeth are removed due to severe decay or get knocked out accidently. In such situations, space maintainers encourage normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, and save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into position. If your child loses a baby tooth too soon, the teeth beside the empty space may tilt or drift into that space. Teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. When this happens the permanent teeth can come in crowded or crooked due to the lack of space. If left untreated, the condition may require extensive orthodontic treatment.
Mouth guards should be a part of every athlete's uniform. They are as important as knee pads, helmets, and other athletic protective equipment. They protect the teeth, lips, gums, and tongue. They also can prevent children from concussions and jaw fractures. Many organized sports require mouth guards to prevent injury to children. A majority of times trauma to the mouth occurs when athletes do not wear mouth guards, especially in unorganized sports activities. Mouth guards should be worn while playing any sport that involves contact or the possibility of falling (especially basketball, baseball, and soccer). This includes not just organized sports at school, but also activities with friends.

Endodontic Dentistry

a. Root Canal Treatment

The goal of root canal treatment is saving the tooth! Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, sometimes our teeth are irreparably damaged (damage to the pulp - often from a deep cavity or trauma to the tooth/ broken tooth). If left untreated the pulp (nerve and blood supply of the tooth) gets infected. As the infection grows it damages the bone around the tooth sometimes causing pain and swelling or darkening of the tooth. The pain may refer to the entire face / head. Some teeth however do not show any symptoms and can flare up any day from a dormant infection!
Rather than doing an extraction, we attempt to save the tooth by performing a root canal treatment.
Root canal therapy consists of making a small hole in the tooth and then removing the tiny dead nerves, blood vessels and debris from each canal in the tooth. The roots are then shaped, disinfected and filled with an inert material. We use rotary endodontics which helps in better cleaning and shaping the canals making sure no decay or infection is left behind in the canals, it also helps us work efficiently giving you the direct time advantage.
Root canal treatment typically requires a series of appointments. However, at our office we can complete this procedure in one visit! This means you are numbed once and lesser missed work, school or family time!
Root canal therapy is not complete without a crown, which will help in preserving remaining tooth structure from further damage.

b. Apical Surgery

The teeth are held firmly in place by strong roots that extend into the jawbone. The central chamber or pulp of the tooth is composed of soft tissue which extends into the root to form the root canal. The tooth's nerve and blood supply feed from the surrounding tissue through the root canal and into the pulp chamber in the crown of the tooth.
A root canal treatment is a surgical procedure where the infected or damaged pulp of a tooth is removed and the canal and pulp chamber filled and sealed. Root canals are routinely performed to save an infected tooth and prevent further damage. Recent data from the American Association of Endodontists indicate that 95% of the more than 14 million root canals performed each year are successful.
For the smaller percentage of cases where the root canal fails, patients will have leakage and infection at the tip or apex of the root. When symptoms such as pain and inflammation continue after a root canal, your surgeon may recommend an apicoectomy. In an apioectomy, the apex of the root is removed and then filled and sealed. Treatment of infected roots is important both to relieve current symptoms and to avoid the spread of infection which can damage other teeth and oral health.
There are several reasons why a root canal fails and an apicoectomy is necessary:

  • Small Adjoining Root Branches – Diagrams tend to represent the root system as simple pathways. In reality, roots are complex and may contain many smaller branches or additional canals. Infection can persist when very small or inaccessible branches cannot be cleaned and sealed.
  • Blocked Root Canal – In some cases, debris left by a previous root canal treatment blocks effective access to the canal. Further treatment by a traditional root canal is no longer possible.
  • Narrow or Curved Root Canals – In some cases, the root canal is shaped so that endodontic files cannot reach into the root tip. Without full access and complete cleaning, infection can continue or recur.

Prosthodontic Dentistry

a. Complete Dentures

Complete denture replaces all the teeth in the mouth upper or lower.

b. Partial Dentures

Partial denture replaces the few missing teeth in the mouth.

  1. Cast partial dentures
  2. Acrylic partial dentures

c. Immediate Dentures

Provided right after extraction of the teeth

d. Implant supported Dentures

At Sandalwood Dental Clinic we work closely with you to select the appropriate shape, shade and color of the teeth and gums to be crafted into your dentures.

Periodontic Dentistry

a. Pocket Reduction Surgery

Pocket reduction surgery (also known as gingivectomy, osseous surgery and flap surgery) is a collective term for a series of several different surgeries aimed at gaining access to the roots of the teeth in order to remove bacteria and tartar (calculus). During this procedure the gums are lifted back and the tarter is removed. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. The gums are then placed so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth. This method reduces the size of the space between the gum and tooth, thereby decreasing the areas where harmful bacteria can grow and decreasing the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.

b. Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures. In addition, crown lengthening procedures can also be used to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue. Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue. This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the entire gum line, to expose a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing smile.

c. Splinting

Teeth become loose because of lost gum tissue, injury, orthodontic treatment or pressure caused by tooth misalignment. Loose teeth are uncomfortable, especially when you try to eat food or chew gum. The feeling of the tooth pulling away from the gum is enough to send chills down your spine. It seems like an eternity, waiting for either the tooth to become loose enough to be extracted or strong enough to no longer be a problem. Periodontal splinting attaches weak teeth together, turning them into a single unit that is stable and stronger than the single teeth by themselves. The procedure is most commonly performed on the front teeth. It is as simple as using composite material to attach, or splint the loose teeth to the adjoining stable teeth. Tooth splinting is a common procedure that has gained popularity due to its effectiveness.

Oral Surgery

a. Extractions

  1. Tooth extraction may be required for many reasons. Sometimes teeth are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth) and may need to be extracted for proper bite. The tooth may be too badly damaged, or decayed to be saved by root canal therapy. Sometimes the tooth may be loose from advanced periodontal disease (gum disease).Infection from tooth decay or gum disease circulates throughout the body. traction of the diseased tooth removes the source of infection and significantly increases your overall feeling of well-being.
    Depending on the tooth extracted, the space left behind needs to be replaced with a false tooth (bridge, implant, partial), if not, it may cause surrounding teeth to shift resulting in a bad bite!

b. Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars and they are the last teeth to erupt. If there is room for them and the tissues around the teeth are healthy then wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Removal of wisdom teeth becomes necessary when they are unable to erupt properly. They may only partially erupt, grow in sideways or remain trapped below the gum and bone. Poorly positioned wisdom teeth can cause many problems. Partially erupted wisdom teeth often create a gap between the tooth and the gum which can be very difficult to clean. Bacteria are then able to grow undisturbed, leading to infections. The result can be swelling, jaw stiffness, pain and even illness. The pressure from erupting wisdom teeth may also cause pain in the general area. A more serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts develop around impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in destruction of the jaw bone and surrounding teeth. Removing the problematic tooth/teeth will usually resolve the problem(s). Often times, your dentist will recommend removing wisdom teeth before any problems develop.
Prior to having any teeth extracted, an X-Ray is necessary to see the roots of the tooth. Depending on the position of the tooth and its roots, Sandalwood Dental may extract them. The extractions will be carried out under the appropriate anesthesia (i.e. local anesthesia). You will be given written instructions for homecare and the more diligent you are the less likely you are to experience any complications.

c. Implants

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

Make an appointment with us today!

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FAQ

Cavities

Does Sandalwood Dental take X-rays?

X-rays help us see problems in the early stages of development; this helps us treat problems long before they become serious. If we catch a cavity early, we may be able to treat it without even having to fill or restore the tooth. If decay is not detected soon enough, you may not know you have a problem until it is causing you some pain or discomfort. Major tooth restoration may be needed to repair a tooth if the decay has advanced enough. X-rays reveal:

  • Cavities between teeth, under the gums and around old fillings.
  • Bone loss due to periodontal disease.
  • Problems below the gums, such as long or crooked tooth roots.
Does sugar cause cavities?

Plaque forms on your teeth daily. When sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque it produces acids that damage the enamel on your teeth. Although decreasing sugar intake will help, it is impossible to avoid sugar completely as it is naturally found in many of our foods, including fruits and vegetables. In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums you must brush and floss daily using good techniques to ensure the best results.

Cosmetic

How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.

Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

Cosmetic Procedures

Teeth Whitening Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking. Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.

Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.

Porcelain Veneers Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.

Porcelain Crowns (caps) A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.

Dental Implants Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.

Orthodontics Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.

Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!

What are my options if I have missing teeth?

With many state-of-the-art dental treatments and prevention options available in dentistry today, there are fewer reasons for having to extract (remove) teeth. When something does go wrong with a tooth, we try to do everything possible to restore the tooth to its original function. Removing a tooth is the last option because we know that removal may lead to severe and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the tooth is not replaced.

Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when it does happen. Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth. If teeth are lost due to injury or have to be removed, it is imperative that they be replaced to avoid cosmetic and dental problems in the future.

When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth. Also, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on. These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems. These problems and movements do not result immediately, but will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.

Options for replacement of missing teeth:

Removable bridges – This type of bridge is a good solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, especially in complex dental situations where other replacement options are not possible. They are usually made of tooth-colored, artificial teeth combined with metal clasps that hook onto adjacent natural teeth. Removable bridges are the most economical option for replacing missing teeth, but may be the least aesthetically pleasing. This is because the metal clasps on the appliances are often impossible to completely conceal.

Fixed bridges – This type of bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is anchored (cemented) permanently to a natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed (not removable) and it is very sturdy. The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will have to be crowned (capped) to hold the bridge in place.

Dentures – This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth.

Implants – Are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth. They may also be great to support ill fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, durable, and are the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option.

If you are missing teeth, ask us if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.

Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:

  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large

Getting veneers usually requires two visits. Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.

With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers. The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond.

Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

What can be done about old, unattractive, or discolored fillings?

Most of us have fillings in our mouths that date back many years and some may have even been placed during our childhood. These fillings may now be old, dark, and unattractive, making us feel self-conscious when we smile, laugh, and talk. Old fillings are not only unattractive, they may also be defective. When a filling is old, the margins (space between the tooth and filling) may eventually open and allow bacteria and food debris to enter, potentially causing dental decay.

Your dentist can check your fillings and evaluate if they are defective and need replacement. Also, if you simply want to replace fillings that are unattractive, you and your dentist can decide which ones should be replaced first and what replacement options would best suit you. There are many state-of-the-art dental filling materials and procedures available today that are quick, painless, and cost effective for replacing old, unattractive or defective fillings.

Options for replacing old, unattractive, or discolored fillings:

Composite (bonding) fillings – These are tooth-colored fillings that can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. They are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth and are one of the best ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.

Crowns (Caps) – These types of restoration are used when a tooth is too damaged and cannot be repaired with a filling or other type of restoration. A crown is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure and can be made of gold, porcelain, and other tooth-colored materials.

Inlays/Onlays – These restorations are custom made fillings. They can be made of composite resin, porcelain or gold and are made by a dental laboratory and placed by a dentist. Inlays/onlays are usually best for the posterior chewing surfaces of teeth and are utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective/unattractive fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.

Porcelain veneers – Used primarily in the front teeth, veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted and permanently cemented to the front surface of teeth. They are a great solution for fixing discolored, pitted, shipped, malformed, or slightly crooked teeth. Veneers are also used if you have unwanted spaces. Veneers are very durable, natural looking, and do not stain. This makes veneers a very popular solution for restoring a smile impaired by old, unattractive fillings.

As you can see, there are various options for replacing old, unattractive fillings.

These treatments will provide strong, natural, and long-lasting replacement solutions to enhance the health and beauty of your smile.

What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.

Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.

It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.

Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.

The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems:

Home teeth whitening systems: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouthguard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth. The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30 minutes, or overnight while you sleep. It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening. In office teeth whitening: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately. It may require more than one visit, with each visit lasting 30 to 60 minutes. While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth. A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened.

Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one week.

Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!

Insurance Coverage

My dentist is recommending treatment (I know nothing about). What should I do?

Ask questions. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes we feel embarrassed to ask simple questions. There is no need to feel that way.

You will feel much better, and be able to make a better decision, if you understand the dental procedure that is recommended to you. If you don’t say anything, your dentist may think that you already understand.

Here are some tips when asking questions. Ask:

  • If you can see any pictures of the procedure or what it looks like when it is done;
  • How many times your dentist has done this procedure in the past;
  • How much it will cost;
  • How long it will take;
  • If it will need to be redone in the future;
  • If there are alternatives to the procedure and if so, what are the pros and cons of each option.

The final decision about how and when to proceed with any treatment is yours. To help you understand what is involved in the treatment, your dentist may give you some printed material to read.

If you have already left the dental office without asking questions, call back later. Be careful about getting information from unknown sources, including sources on the Internet. Some of this information may not be reliable.

If, after all of your questions have been answered you are still uncertain, you may wish to get a second opinion from another dentist. Often, a second opinion will give you confidence that your dentist has planned the right treatment for you.

What’s the difference between the bleaching I can do at home with a kit from the store and the bleaching that my dentist does?

Dentists have been doing what’s called “non-vital” bleaching for many years. Non-vital bleaching is done on a damaged, darkened tooth that has had root canal treatment. “Vital” bleaching is done on healthy teeth and has become more popular in recent years.

Vital bleaching, also called whitening, may be carried out in the dental office or the dentist may instruct the patient on how to do the bleaching at home. There is also a wide variety of products for sale in stores. Not all products are the same and not all give you the same results.

Different products, including those used by dentists, may also have different risks and side effects.

Here is an overview:

Whitening toothpastes with abrasive ingredients are really not bleaching products at all, but work on surface stain only. These products are sold in many stores.

Some whitening toothpastes do contain a chemical ingredient (or “bleach”) that causes a chemical reaction to lighten teeth. Generally, they have the lowest amount of “bleach.” They may not whiten as well as stronger products, but they have less chance of side effects. These pastes are brushed onto teeth and rinsed off, like regular toothpaste.

Bleaching kits sold in stores stay on your teeth longer than toothpaste and contain stronger bleach.” These store-bought products do not come with the added safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects. They also come with a one-size-fits-all tray that holds the “bleach” and is more likely to leak the chemical into your mouth.

Dentists may use products with stronger “bleach”, but they give patients careful instructions to follow. They are also trained to spot and treat the side effects that patients sometimes report during bleaching. In addition, if a tray is needed to apply the “bleach”, dentists supply custom-made trays. Because products used by dentists are strong, they tend to produce the best results.

Patients should be aware that the long-term use of whitening or bleaching products may cause tooth sensitivity or tooth abrasion. Please consult with your dentist before using a whitening or bleaching product.

Why doesn’t my dentist just accept payment from my insurance company? I don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford to go to the dentist. What can I do and why does dentistry cost so much anyway?

Dental plans, offered by many employers, are a means to help you pay for your dental treatment. Most Canadians enjoy dental plans and the insurance companies that provide them are actually benefit carriers. Carriers reimburse patients based on the level of coverage decided by the patient’s employer. When you visit the dentist, it’s the dentist’s role to make a treatment plan based on your oral health needs. Your needs may be different from what is covered by your dental plan. It is your right to decide whether or not to go ahead with any treatment.

You should not decide based on what your plan covers. If you agree to have the treatment, it’s your responsibility to pay for it. It is the responsibility of the benefits carrier’s to reimburse you for the amount covered by your dental plan.Many dentists are willing to contact a patient’s benefits carrier, on a patient’s behalf, to find out if a treatment is covered. The patient has to pay the portion
that’s not covered and the dentist may offer a payment plan to help.

I don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford to go to the dentist. What can I do and why does dentistry cost so much anyway?

If you do not have a dental plan and cannot afford to pay your entire bill at once, ask your dentist about a payment plan. If you cannot afford care, even with a payment plan, contact the nearest:

  • Social services agency to see if you qualify for government-funded dental care
  • Dental school where senior dental students provide treatment at a reduced cost

Dental services may seem expensive. In Canada, we don’t have to pay directly when we visit a doctor or hospital, so we may not realize the high cost of providing health services. Overhead costs are high for dentists. They have staff, equipment and other operating costs.

The good news is that you can avoid costly dental treatment by brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly for a check-up. Regular check-ups cost money, but they are less expensive than fixing serious dental problems that stem from neglect.

Medical Process & Insurance

Do I really have to go to the dentist every six months? Do I need x-rays at each visit?

How often you go for a check-up depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a check-up every six months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I floss every day?
  • Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
  • Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
  • Do I smoke?
  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
  • Is my overall health good?

The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for check-ups.It’s worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers.
Do I need x-rays at each visit?
How often you need to have x-rays also depends on your oral health. A healthy adult who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years probably won’t need x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays.If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist.Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; they are a vital tool for your dentist to ensure that small problems don’t develop into bigger ones.

Are X-rays safe?

A.You are already exposed to low levels of radiation from the environment on a daily basis. This is caused by natural sources of radioactive substances: in the earth, from the sun and from naturally occurring radiation in our bodies.This is commonly referred to as background radiation. The amount of radiation you receive during a single X-ray is equivalent to a few days of background
radiation. In addition to the low levels of radiation used, we target the X-ray machine only at those areas we need to review in order to ensure that you have healthy teeth. We also cover your body with a lead apron, providing you with additional protection.

Does my dentist need to wear gloves and a mask, and how do I know he or she is using clean tools?

Your health is very important to your dentist. One of the ways that your dentist helps you stay healthy is by preventing the spread of germs. One of the best ways to do this is to use barrier protection such as gloves and masks. Your dentist and other dental team members also wash their hands regularly. In addition, they sterilize equipment used in the dental office and clean the furniture
and fixtures in the examining rooms. This system is referred to as “standard precautions.” It means that every patient is treated in the same way because patients don’t always know if they’re sick. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

I want to find a new dentist. How can I find one, and how can I get my records transferred?

The first step in choosing a new dentist is to list your needs, which might include:

  • Location
  • Hours of practice
  • Language(s) spoken
  • Generalist or specialist practice
  • Ask your family and friends if they can recommend a dentist. Other members of your community, such as your doctor, may be able to offer suggestions. Some provincial dental associations have Web sites that allow you to search for a dentist in your area (see “Other Resources” below).

Yellow Pages advertising may also prove helpful. It will list each dentist’s location, and may include other details that will help you in your search. Once you have narrowed your list to two or three names, call the dentists to see if they are accepting new patients. This initial call may also give you some sense of the office environment, but there’s nothing like the first visit to help you decide if it’s a good match for you.

How can I get my records transferred?

Original dental records belong to the dentist who provided the treatment, and not the patient, because dentists have to keep all of their records for a period of time, as set out by their provincial dental regulatory body. Once you have selected a new dentist, you can request that a copy of your records be transferred from your former dentist.

You may be required to sign a release form from your former dental office and you may also be charged an administrative fee for having your records copied and sent to another dental office. If you have questions about the records transfer process in your province, ask your dentist or contact the provincial dental regulatory body.

How can I get my records transferred?

Original dental records belong to the dentist who provided the treatment, and not the patient, because dentists have to keep all of their records for a period of time, as set out by their provincial dental regulatory body. Once you have selected a new dentist, you can request that a copy of your records be transferred from your former dentist.

You may be required to sign a release form from your former dental office and you may also be charged an administrative fee for having your records copied and sent to another dental office. If you have questions about the records transfer process in your province, ask your dentist or contact the provincial dental regulatory body.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

It’s important to get an early start on dental care, so that your child will learn that visiting the dentist is a regular part of health care. The first step is to choose a dentist for your child.

It may be your own dentist or one who specializes in treating children (called a pediatric dentist). Once you have selected a dentist, call the office to find out at what age he or she prefers to see child patients for the first time. CDA encourages the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age.

It’s important to make the first visit a positive experience for your child – one reason why it’s best to visit before a problem develops. If you think there is a problem, however, take your child to the dentist right away, no matter what age. If you are a nervous dental patient, ask your spouse or another family member to take the child for the appointment. If your child senses that you are nervous, he or she may feel nervous too. When you talk to your child about going to the dentist, explain what will happen without adding things like “it won’t hurt” or “don’t be scared.”

Be sure to get an early start on regular dental care at home. Start cleaning your child’s mouth with a soft damp cloth before teeth come in and continue with a soft toothbrush once he or she has a first tooth. Limit the number of sugary treats you give your child, and focus on healthy food choices from the very beginning.

Oral Hygiene

How common is gum disease?

It is the most common dental problem, and it can progress quite painlessly until you have a serious problem. The end result is bone loss and the loss of teeth. Even though you may brush and floss regularly, regular visits to the dentist will help detect gum disease in the early stages.

How does fluoride help my teeth?

Tooth enamel is hard but also has microscopic pores. Sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque, which forms on your teeth daily, to produce acids that seep into the enamel’s pores. This causes the enamel to demineralize and become weak, contributing to the formation of cavities. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and speeding up the natural remineralization process. This keeps your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride also fights cavities by reducing the amount of acids that are produced by plaque.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental : disease. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

  • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

Is there anything I should do before my appointment?

There are a few things that you should keep us informed about in order to ensure that we are most effective when treating you. Please keep us informed about:

  • Whether your teeth or gums are more sensitive to heat, cold or sweets.
  • Any changes in your gums, such as changes in colour, tenderness or bleeding when you brush or floss.
  • Whether your floss catches on rough edges of teeth that causes the floss to tear.
  • Any changes in the skin on the inside of your mouth, such as changes in colour.
  • If you clench or grind your teeth, or if your neck and jaw muscles are tense or sore.
  • Whether you have any allergies.
  • If you are pregnant.
  • Whether you are taking any medication.
  • If your medicine has changed since your last check-up.
  • Any health problems or medical condition that you are being treated for.
  • Any other changes in your general health.
There are so many different toothbrushes. Which one should I buy?

The brand of the toothbrush is less important than the type of brush, and how often you brush your teeth. We recommend that you have a soft-bristle brush. This type of brush will effectively remove plaque and a soft brush will not damage your gums. We also recommend that you brush at least twice a day. The condition of your brush is also important, as when the bristles begin to bend over it is time to start using a new brush. When the bristles on your toothbrush are bent over they lose their ability to remove food and plaque. It is the tip of the bristles that clean your teeth the best.

What if I am already in the early stages of gum disease?

If you already have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to get better. That’s why in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment is:

  • Regular cleanings in our practice.
  • Brushing twice a day.
  • Flossing once a day.
What should I do if I have bad breath?

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. A Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from : time to time, especially in the morning. There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent. What may cause bad breath?

  • Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
  • Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs,

where they are exhaled.

  • Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
  • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications,
  • salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
  • Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
  • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
  • Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath. Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with your dentist. What can I do to prevent bad breath?
  • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
  • See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
  • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
  • Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
  • Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.

Why do I have bad breath?

Many people suffer from bad breath; in fact, 40% of the population has problems with bad breath at some time in their lives. Some reasons for bad breath may be:

  • Poor dental hygiene.
  • Eating certain foods, such as garlic or onions.
  • Smoking.
  • Chewing Tobacco.
  • Diseases, such as cancer or diabetes.
  • Dry mouth (often called morning breath).

You can help reduce the incidence of bad breath by brushing and flossing each day to remove plaque. By avoiding certain foods you can also eliminate a lot of bad breath problems. If you wear a denture or removable partial denture, it is important to clean it thoroughly everyday and remove it at night so your mouth tissues can restore themselves daily. If a bad breath problem persists then let us know and we will try to discover what the problem is and recommend a treatment.

Why do my teeth feel sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is often experienced when the surface of the tooth has been worn down. One of the most common reasons for adults is that the roots of the teeth are exposed because the gums are receding. This allows the effects of heat and cold to penetrate to the pulp where the nerves are located. The problem gets worse as you tend not to brush your teeth properly if they cause you pain. If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity, let us know so we can assess your situation and recommend the best treatment to take care of your discomfort.

Overall Health

What does heart disease and other medical conditions have to do with periodontal (gum) disease?

Many people are unaware that having periodontal disease (the destruction of gum tissue and bone that hold our teeth in place) can affect your overall health. Periodontal disease is one of the most common infections; often more prevalent than the common cold! Periodontal disease is not only the number one reason people lose teeth; it can also affect the health of your body!

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, and in its earliest stages, it’s called gingivitis. It starts when an accumulation of plaque (a colony of bacteria, food debris, and saliva) is NOT regularly removed from the gums and teeth. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins/acids that irritate and infect the gums and eventually destroy the jaw bone that supports the teeth. When periodontal disease is not treated it can eventually lead to tooth loss!

There are numerous studies that have looked into the correlation between gum disease and major medical conditions. These studies suggest people with periodontal disease are at a greater risk of systemic disease and indicate that periodontal disease may cause oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. Research suggests that periodontal bacteria in the blood stream may:

  • Contribute to the development of heart disease
  • Increase the risk of stroke
  • Compromise the health of those that have diabetes or respiratory diseases
  • Increase a woman’s risk of having a preterm, low-birth weight baby

Researchers conclude there is still much research to be done to understand the link between periodontal disease and systemic diseases, but enough research has been done to support that infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body.

To ensure a healthy, disease-free mouth, we recommend the importance of regular dental check-ups and cleanings, which include a periodontal evaluation. Also, diligent home care and a proper diet can help reduce the plaque and bacteria in the mouth.

Remember….the mouth body connection! Taking care of your oral health may
contribute to your overall medical health!

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

We’re all at risk for having a tooth knocked out. More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year! If we know how to handle this emergency situation, we may be able to actually save the tooth. Teeth that are knocked out may be possibly reimplanted if we act quickly, yet calmly, and follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the tooth and handle it only by the crown (chewing part of the tooth), NOT by the roots.
  2. DO NOT scrub or use soap or chemicals to clean the tooth. If it has dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If that is not possible, rinse it very gently with water.
  3. Get to a dentist within 30 minutes. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation.

Ways to transport the tooth

  • Try to replace the tooth back in its socket immediately. Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag or on your own teeth to keep the tooth in place. Apply a cold compress to the mouth for pain and swelling as needed.
  • If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk. You can also place the tooth under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. Keep the tooth moist at all times. Do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
  • Consider buying a “Save-A-Tooth” storage container and keeping it as part of your home first aid kit. The kit is available in many pharmacies and contains a travel case and fluid solution for easy tooth transport.

The sooner the tooth is replaced back into the socket, the greater the likelihood it has to survive and possibly last for many years. So be prepared, and remember these simple steps for saving a knocked-out tooth.

You can prevent broken or knocked-out teeth by:

  • Wearing a mouthguard when playing sports
  • Always wearing your seatbelt
  • Avoiding fights
  • Avoid chewing hard items such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard breads, etc.
When are sealants recommended?

Although thorough brushing and flossing remove most food particles and bacteria from easy to reach tooth surfaces, they do not reach the deep grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth. More than 75 percent of dental decay begins in these deep grooves (called pits and fissures). Toothbrush bristles are too large to possibly fit and clean most of these areas. This is where sealants play an important role.

A sealant is a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves or pits on teeth. Sealant material forms a protective, smooth barrier covering natural depressions and grooves in the teeth, making it much easier to clean and help keep these areas free of decay.

Who may need sealants?

Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.

Infants – Baby teeth are occasionally sealed if the teeth have deep grooves and the child is cavity prone.

Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions that are difficult to clean.

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process only takes minutes per tooth. After the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, the sealant material is “painted” onto the tooth surface, where it hardens and bonds to the teeth. Sometimes a special light will be used to help the sealant material harden.

After sealant treatment, it’s important to avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, or any hard or sticky foods. Your sealants will be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental check-up.

Combined with good home care, a proper diet, and regular dental check-ups,
sealants are very effective in helping prevent tooth decay.

Technical

Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.

The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective. The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.

Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them. However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth- colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which the best option for you is.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
  • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
  • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives. Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
  • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
  • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
  • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health. These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums. Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

How to floss properly:

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!

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