dental fillings new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Composite Fillings

Sapperton Dental in New Westminster has compiled a list of top questions regarding Composite fillings. If you need immediate treatment or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our dental clinic at: (604) 544-0894

1. What are the advantages of composite fillings?

Most patients who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. Your dentist can create a filling that is personalized to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your teeth after decay is removed to prevent breakage of the remaining tooth structure. These fillings also help to prevent sensitivity that can occur after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.

2. What are the disadvantages?

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if you drink tea, coffee or other staining foods. Dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if you are particularly concerned about tooth color.

3. Why should we choose composite fillings over metal fillings?

The most obvious answer is appearance. All-white fillings will not compromise your gorgeous smile. Another benefit of composite fillings is that they require less removal of healthy, tooth structure, allowing for more conservative restorations.

4. How can I know if composite fillings are for me?

There are various factors to consider when choosing a material for your fillings. Patients with composites may also be more prone to post-treatment sensitivity. Composite fillings can be stained by coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods, and the fillings will not respond to teeth whitening treatments. However, your dentist can put a protective coating on your fillings to reduce staining if this is a concern.

5. What is the cost of composite fillings?

Prices vary, but composite fillings average about one-and-a-half to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference.

6. What is the process of composite fillings?

Following preparation, the composite is placed in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the composite is shaped to fit the tooth. It is then polished the composite to prevent staining and early wear.

7. How long does it take to get a composite filling?

There are many factors that can determine just how long it will take to get a composite filling, including the size of a cavity or fracture, its location, and how many fillings you need. Patients should be prepared to sit in the dentist’s chair for up to one hour or more for a filling.

8. Can my old fillings be replaced by composite fillings?

Many people opt to remove metal fillings and replace them with composites for purely aesthetic reasons. If your old repair starts to crack or leak, you should definitely have the filling updated.

9. Can you eat after a composite filling?

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings allow patients to eat right after getting the procedure. However, dentists do recommend that patients only resume eating after the local anesthetic wears off. It can be quite difficult to eat when your lips and mouth are numb! Plus, you do not want to run the risk of accidentally biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. While composite fillings are very strong, you should probably opt out of chewing anything too crunchy, hard, or sticky right after getting the procedure.

10. How to make your composite fillings last longer?

Many patients see their composite fillings lasting for about ten years. But if you take really great care of your fillings, they may be able to last you longer than that — and even a lifetime! In order to help your composite fillings last longer, you should always see your dentist twice a year for regular dental cleanings and exams, brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, and eat a variety of healthy food to boost your oral health.

dental implants new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Who should get dental implants?

Dental implants are not for everyone, but certain conditions and circumstances may make dental implants the better option:

  • Having more than one missing tooth
  • Having a jawbone that has reached full growth
  • Having ample amounts of bone to secure the implant
  • Having healthy oral tissues
  • Being unwilling or unable to wear dentures

How expensive are dental implants?

Dental implants require a significant investment but hold up over time to make the process worth the price. Surgical fees often cost $2,000–5,000 for a single tooth, on top of the price of required materials the procedure. However, ignoring the need for an implant costs much more over time. A missing tooth or prolonged use of dentures leads to bone and gum decay, while also exposing more surface area of the surrounding teeth to continuous wear and tear. Eventually, issues such as nerve exposure and bone loss cause increased discomfort for the patient. The corrective procedures done at this point are exponentially more painful and expensive for a patient. Dental implants prevent bone loss and allow patients to live a much more comfortable life.

Why do people choose dental implants instead of other options for missing teeth?

Dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural-feeling replacement for missing teeth. Unlike many other tooth replacement options, dental implants do not slip or click when talking, laughing or eating, making for greater confidence in social situations. Dental implants are also considered a healthy option because they help to maintain the jawbone, keeping the facial structure intact.

How long will dental implants last?

Dental implants last upwards of forty years if taken care of properly. They often last a lifetime for patients that regularly brush, floss, and follow the dental recommendations made at their check-ups. While a dentist cannot guarantee the long-term success of a dental implant, the dentist can provide guidelines and suggestions to better care for your teeth. These suggestions are based on proper hygiene procedures, your own genetic history (including diseases that run in your family), and your nutritional habits. Following the recommendations put in place by your dentist ensures the implant has the best chance to last the rest of your lifetime.

What Are Common Side Effects and Complications? What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

Dental implants are one of the most successful procedures in dentistry, with an average success rate of 95%. Dental implant failure occurs most frequently in heavy smokers, as the toxins and nicotine inhibit the body’s healing process. In fact, the success rate for smokers drops dramatically, to 50-70%.

Like any minor oral surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection, inflammation, and pain, but your dentist will discuss how these can be managed for your specific situation. If there is no available bone to place the implant, then bone and gum grafting procedures may be required, which can increase the cost of your treatment. However, the upfront investment can pay off in the long term.

Does the body ever reject an implant?

Very rarely does a person’s body reject a dental implant. The jawbone readily accepts the implant, and the few rejections that do occur are caused by rare allergies to the titanium alloy that makes up the implant. Another reason for implant failure comes from the patient’s care after surgery. Without great oral hygiene, regular teeth fail and eventually fall out. A dental implant is no different. Taking care of your teeth, even the implants, prevents gum decay and structural failure in the long run.

What is the process for getting a dental implant?

Your dentist, who should be a credentialed dental implant expert, will place the implant into the jawbone. As you heal, your implant will fuse with your natural jawbone. Once the implant bonds with the jawbone, a small connector is placed on top of the dental implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.

What’s the Recovery Time for Dental Implants?

The procedure happens in several steps: first implant placement and then the placement of the crowns. While the implants need anywhere from six to 16 weeks to secure in the mouth, there should be little to no downtime. You may feel mild soreness or swelling for the first few days, but these can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications and shouldn’t affect your daily routine. Your dentist may also suggest a soft or liquid diet for a few days to a few weeks. Once the implants have healed, the crowns will be placed.

Does the surgery require time off?

Most people go back to work the day after the surgery, although it depends on your individual experience and the difficulty of the surgery. Some people prefer to take a day off to completely recover and allow their mouth to rest after the procedure.

How Do I Take Care of My Dental Implants?

Dental implants should be treated like your natural teeth, with daily brushing and flossing, and twice a year check-ups. Your dentists may suggest investing in an electric toothbrush and a water flosser. With the right care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

porcelain veneers new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Veneers

What happens to my teeth after veneers, and will I ever get cavities? The integrity of veneered teeth is only marginally compromised, and the veneer is bonded to the existing teeth. There is no higher incidence of decay provided the veneers are properly cared for as previously mentioned with regular flossing and brushing with toothpaste. In general, it is good dental advice to keep your sugar consumption low and confined to meal times to prevent decay.

How long will porcelain veneers last? They can last from seven to twenty years. While the veneer itself is inert and non-living, the tooth or teeth to which they are attached and the surrounding gum tissues are living and may change. For example, gum line shrinkage may expose or reveal root surfaces. If a veneer comes off it can generally be rebonded. If it chips it can sometimes be rebonded or otherwise replaced.

How Do I Choose a Dentist for Porcelain Veneers? As with any elective procedure, the most important factor in choosing a doctor is experience. While any dentist can offer porcelain veneers, not all have additional training in cosmetics. This is where things can get tricky and research (before and after pictures) becomes even more important.

Do Porcelain Veneers Look Fake? Individual results vary, but the goal is for the porcelain veneers to look and feel like a person’s own teeth, only better. To avoid the too-straight, too-white appearance that many associate with obvious veneers, intentional imperfections like slight rotation, subtle discoloration, and grooves can be made to imitate natural flaws.

A successful case is the result of great teamwork between a dentist and lab technician. The dentist must design the case for long-term success and the ceramist must create custom works of art to give a beautiful and natural look. Cosmetics is not taught in dental school, so it’s important to find a dentist that has extra training and certification showing this education. Experience counts.”

Can Veneers Be Removed? Because some tooth structure and enamel are removed prior to placing veneers, this is considered an irreversible treatment. Veneers may be replaced, but removing them for good will leave your teeth permanently scarred, at high risk for damage, and unhealthy looking.

What are the advantages of porcelain veneers over other types of cosmetic dental bonding procedures? Porcelain veneers are superior to other types of cosmetic dental bonding procedures in several ways:

  • Veneers look very life-like
  • Veneers are highly stained resistant
  • Since porcelain is a ceramic, stain-producing products such as coffee, tea, and red wine will roll right off the surface of your teeth. This means after your porcelain veneers are placed, you don’t have to worry about making changes to your lifestyle to accommodate your beautiful teeth.

If my teeth are reshaped for veneers or crowns, what will they look like? Will they be sensitive? Generally, cemented restorations, such as crowns or veneers (see the procedure section), will require two visits: one to shape the teeth and one to cement the restorations to the teeth. Between visits, your dentist can place attractive provisional restorations to help prevent sensitivity, allow limited function, and provide a nice smile. These temporaries are designed to be in your mouth for a limited time, but should be comfortable and natural looking until your new smile is completed.

Do porcelain veneers stain with normal things like tea, coffee and wine? Porcelain veneers should never stain; however; if your teeth have a propensity to stain you should try to avoid or minimize the behaviours that lead to staining and look after them as recommended above with normal hygiene and maintenance procedures.

How do I get veneers to match my other teeth? This concern will be addressed by your dental professional. Most people get their veneers in a whiter shade than their natural teeth and then under tooth whitening to create a matching esthetic.

How do I take care of my veneers? Once applied to your teeth, porcelain veneers should be treated just like your natural teeth. Don’t miss your twice-annual visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning and dental exam. And be sure to brush and floss daily to clean your teeth properly. There is no special treatment needed to care for your veneers.

invisalign

Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

What are aligners made of, and what do they look like? The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor.

How do the aligners straighten teeth? Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position. During each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, a process that is mapped out in advance by your doctor, specifically for your situation. When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. The main difference is that Invisalign not only controls the force but also the timing of the force application. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.

Is Invisalign really effective? More than 3 million patients have been treated with Invisalign worldwide with great success. The aligners move teeth just as effectively as traditional metal and wire braces.

What are the other primary benefits of Invisalign comparing to Traditional Braces? Invisalign aligners are removable and you can eat whatever you want. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.

Avoid Pain and Irritation. The metal wires in traditional braces are notorious for causing pain, discomfort, and mouth sores. And since the treatment is long-term, patients are forced to live in discomfort for months. Invisalign straighteners are made of smooth plastic that is carefully molded to your teeth for a comfortable, pain-free fit. Some people might experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This discomfort typically goes away in a couple of days.

Visit the Dentist Less Often. Traditional braces require frequent visits to the dentist for tightening and correction. And since they compromise your oral health, you might also need more cleanings and intensive treatments. Patients who choose Invisalign straighteners instead typically only need to see a dentist every four to six weeks. That is an easy commitment to fit into a busy schedule.

How much does Invisalign cost? We know cost is a big question for anyone considering orthodontic work. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. However, as with other medical treatments, only your Invisalign-trained doctor can determine the cost, based on your specific needs. Other factors may include your treatment goals, the difficulty of your case, how long you are in treatment, where you live, and additional factors determined by your dentist or orthodontist. Also, check your dental insurance plan—Invisalign treatment is covered by many dental insurance policies. And many doctors can offer flexible and affordable monthly payment plans as well.

Can I go to any dental for treatment with Invisalign? While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, special training is needed. All orthodontists and dentists interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training to become qualified and proficient in the various requirements for treating patients before treatments will be accepted from their office. More than 82,000 dentists and orthodontists worldwide are already trained to treat patients using Invisalign.

Will Invisalign still work if I am an adult/older? Many adults are choosing to get their smiles into alignment – in fact, nearly one-quarter of our orthodontic patients are adults! While traditional braces are becoming more accepted for both adults and kids, Invisalign is a great option for adults who may not want the full “braces” experience and would prefer a lower-profile, nearly invisible option.

What if I’ve had braces, veneers, bridgework or have other special dental conditions will Invisalign aligners work with them? Please consult with your dentist about any special orthodontic cases, such as veneers, braces.

Can I just wear the aligners while I sleep? No. The aligners must be in place a minimum of 20 to 22 hours a day for the treatment to be effective.

Can I smoke while wearing the aligners? Smoking is discouraged while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become stained or discoloured.

What is the best way to clean my aligners? The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water and using the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or special cleaning tablets. It’s important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.

What happens after the Invisalign treatment is completed? Is there a retainer necessary? Wearing a retainer after any orthodontic treatment is an important step because it keeps teeth stable in their new positions. If you want your teeth to remain in their ideal position, it is best to wear a retainer as directed by an Invisalign Provider. In many cases, your last aligner will be your temporary retainer, until your retention option is determined. Your Invisalign Provider can advise you on long-term retention options.

Will Invisalign really work for Me? To find out if you’re an Invisalign candidate, first make an appointment with your dentist on the website. In addition to determining if your particular dental problem can be fixed with Invisalign, you need to assess your lifestyle to determine if Invisalign will work for you. When you select traditional braces, they remain in your mouth 24 hours a day, but Invisalign is removable for eating, brushing and flossing. You still need to wear the aligners 20 to 22 hours per day, only removing them when absolutely necessary. Wearing them only while you sleep is not enough. If you tend to lose things or are forgetful, Invisalign might not be as effective for you.

Sapperton Dental Clinic’s Everything About Invisalign

Remember, when considering Invisalign or any other clear aligners, it is important to understand that the aligners alone will not fix your teeth. Invisalign is just a tool in the hands of an experienced dentist. Only experienced dentist can successfully treat cases with Invisalign. Your dentist, and not Invisalign, is responsible for any good or bad outcomes and your satisfaction. That applies only to those cases where the patient complies with the dentist’s instructions. The treatment success depends not just on a dentist but on the patient’s compliance as well. Without due diligence, Invisalign is not a good choice for you.

At Sapperton Dental Clinic in New Westmisnter, BC, we’ve placed over hundreds of Invisalign aligners. Call our dental office to schedule a time that’s most convenient for you. All our consultations are free of charge and we will only recommend Invisalign if we think it will benefit you.

We will always discuss the retention protocol after the treatment. Remember, it is not about making your teeth straight, it is about keeping them straight for a long time. You do not want to waste your hard earned money and have crowded and misaligned teeth only a few months after treatment is completed.

Permanent retainers, in most cases, are better than removable retainers. We will make sure retainer prices are included in the total to avoid any surprises.

We will also make sure refinement prices are included in the total. If you do need some braces during the treatment, which sometimes are necessary with Invisalign for the best results, we make sure you do not have to pay extra.

If you need a second opinion, please come and bring any records you have to discuss your concerns and questions. Or you can use online services to obtain a second opinion without leaving your home. If you were ever told by your general dentist that you are not a good candidate for treatment with clear aligners, visit our Sapperton Dental Office on East Columbia Street in New Westminster, BC to gain more knowledge and peace of mind. Remember, there is nothing to lose, just gain.

Have a question that has not been answered? To begin your Invisalign journey, give Sapperton Dental Clinic a call at our New Westminster location for a complimentary evaluation and advice.

teeth whitening new westminster

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

Who should use teeth whitening? Generally, anyone with healthy gums and teeth that are looking to brighten up their smile can benefit from the professional teeth whitening system. It has been shown to be highly effective at removing stains from teeth, including tobacco, coffee, tea, tetracycline, and various other tooth stains. A professional teeth whitening system will not affect existing dental work.

Does the whitening system work on Dentures, or Veneers? The process was designed to enhance the natural whiteness of the enamel. Existing restorations such as tooth-colored fillings, dentures, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a bleaching process proceed. Clients typically apply the gel product only to their natural teeth, allowing these treated teeth to lighten up to match a cap, crown, or veneer.

Is tooth whitening bad for your teeth? Studies of teeth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. Professional teeth whitening does not cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth, and is considered harmless by most dental health professionals.

How many shades whiter can I expect my teeth to get? The amount of whitening varies from client to client and cannot be predicted or guaranteed; but in general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 6 to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide.  The results depend greatly on how discolored the teeth were originally.  Yellow or brown teeth, surface stains, and uniformly darkened teeth are easiest to whiten.  Additional whitening treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired shade, especially with heavily stained teeth.

How long do the teeth whitening effects last? Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.

How long does the treatment take? The process takes only 30-minutes, (2 – 15-minute applications) to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. It is broken down into two 15-minute applications to allow for maximum gel concentration and light exposure, without being under the light for too long of a period to cause gum irritation. Individuals with sensitive teeth may reduce the intensity of the bleaching unit by choosing a lower power setting and those with very heavy stains may need additional treatments.

What happens during teeth whitening? When you visit your dental office for professional tooth whitening, your dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, your dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel.

Does the treatment hurt? Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity during or after treatment and slight discomfort in the gums. Both of these side effects are usually temporary and will disappear a few days after treatment. It is important to tell your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms as the dentist will be able to advise how best to cope in the meantime.

How can I make my results last longer? Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth.

Why is professional whitening better than other options? The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing a dentist for tooth whitening is speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Tooth Loss

There are two basic ways to have a tooth removed: You can go to your nearest New Westminster dentist for a careful extraction, or you can take a serious blow to the face. Unfortunately, many people end up going with option number two. They catch a stray elbow during a basketball game, fall face-first on the sidewalk, or — in rare cases — get in a fist fight.

What should I do if I lose a permanent tooth?

A knocked-out (or, in dental speak, “avulsed”) tooth is an emergency. If you don’t get help soon, it will be impossible to salvage the tooth, and the socket can become badly infected. By taking quick action, you can save both the tooth and the socket.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Find that tooth!
  • Pick it up by the crown, not the fleshy root. If the root looks dirty, give it a quick rinse with a sterile saline solution, milk, or saliva. Don’t scrub it or touch it — you could wind up losing vital tissue.
  • As unappealing as it sounds, try to put the tooth back in its socket. Then hold it in place with gauze or a clean washcloth until you get to a dentist.
  • If the tooth won’t go back in place, put it in a glass of milk or sterile saline solution. Don’t put it in water. (Water doesn’t preserve the tooth as well, which can make it more difficult to reimplant.) You can also carry the tooth tucked between your gum and cheek until you get to the hospital or dentist’s office.
  • Get to a dentist immediately. (And don’t forget to bring the tooth!) If a dentist isn’t available, go to a hospital emergency room.

What if my child knocks out a baby tooth?

Unlike permanent teeth, baby teeth can’t be replaced. If your child knocks out a baby tooth prematurely, don’t waste any time looking for it. Instead, comfort your child and help her rinse her mouth out with cold water. Then call a pediatric dentist right away. The dentist won’t be able to save the tooth, but he can give your child pain relievers to make her feel better, and antibiotics to prevent an infection. Your child may also need a spacer, a device that keeps the other teeth from crowding into the newly formed gap. This gives future permanent teeth room to grow.

If my tooth isn’t knocked out but just loosened, should I still see a dentist?

It’s a good idea. Even if the accident left you with only a loose tooth, a dentist’s attention can help reduce the risk that the tooth will die or fall out later.

How can I keep my teeth where they belong?

Sports injuries are a leading cause of knocked-out teeth. If you or your child play any sport with a risk of falls or blows to the face, helmets, face masks, and mouth guards should be standard equipment. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, that list includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, and martial arts. If store-bought mouthguards aren’t comfortable, you can get a customized one from your dentist.

The Unseen Effects of Tooth Loss

The most obvious effect of missing teeth is aesthetic. The way you look affects the way you feel, and the psychological and social consequences of tooth loss can also be profound, as we shall see. But it’s not just about unsightly gaps; there’s something less apparent going on in the area of a lost tooth that can affect function, health, facial aesthetics — just about everything.

Believe it or not, in the beginning, and at the end — it’s not so much about teeth as it is about bone, which needs stimulation to maintain its form and density. In the case of alveolar (sac-like) bone which surrounds and supports teeth, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. Teeth make hundreds of fleeting contacts with each other throughout the day. These small stresses are transmitted through the periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) that suspends each tooth in its socket, prompting the bone to remodel and rebuild continually.

When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes loss of alveolar bone — its external width, then height, and ultimately bone volume. There is a 25% decrease in width of bone during the first year after tooth loss and an overall 4 millimeters decrease in height over the next few years.

As bone loses width, it loses height, then width and height again, and gum tissue also gradually decreases. Ability to chew and to speak can be impaired. The more teeth lost, the more function is lost. This leads to some particularly serious aesthetic and functional problems, particularly in completely edentulous (toothless) people.

And it doesn’t stop there. After alveolar bone is lost, the bone beneath it, basal bone — the jawbone proper — also begins to resorb (melt away). The distance from nose to chin decreases and with it, the lower third of the face partially collapses. The chin rotates forward and upward, and the cheeks, having lost tooth support, become hollow. Extreme loss of bone can also make an individual more prone to jaw fractures as its volume depletes more and more.

So-called bite collapse can occur when only some of the back teeth, which support the height (vertical dimension) of the face, are missing. This can cause the front teeth to be squashed or pushed forward. They were not designed to support facial height or to chew food — only to hold and incise or tear it. Toothless people appear unhappy when their mouths are at rest because their lips, too, have sagged; unsupported by teeth and gum tissues they just cave in. Without teeth present, the tongue spreads into the space and the face collapses. The same is true of self-confidence.

The First Teeth To Go

In Canada, 70% of the population is missing at least one tooth, usually a back tooth. The first, or “6-year molars” are the first permanent (adult) teeth to erupt into the mouth and, unfortunately, are often the first teeth to be lost — as a result of decay, failed endodontic (root canal) therapy or fracture. In addition, they often have one or more crowns, which are still susceptible to recurrent decay. Longevity reports for crowns vary widely. The mean life span at failure of a crown has been reported as 10.3 years. Other reports range from a 3% failure rate at 23 years to a 20% failure rate at 30 years. Ultimately heavily restored and root canal treated teeth fail to recurrent decay, infection, structural failure or fracture. These teeth are at risk for extraction as a result of these complications, which are the leading causes of single posterior (back) tooth loss in adults.

Up until now, the most common — but not necessarily the best — option for replacing a single back tooth has been a three-unit fixed partial denture (FPD), also called a fixed bridge. In this case, the two teeth on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, are crowned and the two crowns together support a “pontic” — a false tooth in the middle (from the French word for bridge). This type of prosthesis (false replacement) can be fabricated within one to two weeks and provides normal shape, function (eating, talking and smiling), comfort, aesthetics and health. Because of these benefits, FPDs have been the treatment of choice for the last six decades. Every dentist is familiar with how and when to use them; they are widely accepted by the profession, the public, and dental insurance companies.

FPDs are not invariably successful over time. If not well maintained, the pontics can act as reservoirs for bacterial biofilm and the abutment teeth can decay. As a result, the supporting abutment teeth are susceptible to structural failure from decay, failed endodontic therapy and/or fracture, increasing their risk of loss.

The abutment teeth of FPDs may be lost at rates as high as 30% within 14 years. Such unfavorable outcomes of FPD failure include the need to replace them and the loss of an abutment tooth or teeth.

ask dentist new westminster

Top 10 Dental Questions You Should Ask

From a very early age, you’re encouraged to ask questions – to parents, in school and especially in the dentist’s office. But when in medical environments, asking dental questions is an important part of your long-term healthcare. Here are 10 you should ask.

1. How Can I Improve the Whiteness of My Teeth?

A beautiful smile showing clean, white teeth give a tremendous boost to your confidence. Most people experience some discolouration of teeth over the years, either from surface or extrinsic stains or internal ones. Treat stains caused by coffee, wine, tobacco and pigmented foods with at-home whitening or have a professional, in-office whitening done regularly. For intrinsic discolouration, consider composite bonding or the application of veneers to the affected teeth, which provides a more permanent solution.

Professional, in-office teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world today. Unlike home-use systems that incorporate low-dose bleaching agents, in-office whitening takes place under carefully monitored conditions which allow for the safe, controlled, pain-free use of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel – yielding results that are visible immediately.

2. How Often Should I Get a Dental Checkup?

Dental health varies from person to person, but the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends adult patients visit a dentist twice a year even if their mouth is in excellent condition. This enables you to get your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis and ensure that any potential problems are identified early.

Having to visit the dentist every six months may not be the appointment that everyone looks forward to, but it is one of the most important ones to keep. If you have found yourself wondering what the point of having regular dental checkups and cleanings really is, we’ve got something for you to think about.

If you are considering skipping a dental checkup because of cost or another factor like time or dental anxiety, make sure to consider all the risks. What you might end up paying in the long run for not visiting your dentist will likely be much higher, both for your wallet and your peace of mind.

3. What Are the Best Ways to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?

It’s vital that all adults engage in daily brushing and flossing, but to take your oral hygiene to the next level, follow a handful of particular steps to good dental health. These include:

  • Using products that contain fluoride.
  • Limiting snacks that are high in sugar.
  • Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoiding tobacco in any form.

4. Why Should I Have Dental X-Rays Taken?

Your dentist takes a full set of dental X-rays early into the doctor-patient relationship. This helps to examine and record your mouth’s hidden areas for issues that need comparing against changes that occur between appointments. Most adult patients have bitewing X-rays every year and a full mouth series every four to five years. But those with a higher risk for dental caries problems may need them every six to 18 months.

Dental x-rays are a common diagnostic procedure that is considered extremely safe. Digital dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation, producing just a fraction of what you are exposed to in other imaging procedures. If you’re worried about whether you need dental x-rays, or wondering if you should forego this procedure due to other medical conditions, it’s helpful to dive a little deeper into what dental x-rays involve, why they’re performed, and how they’re best handled.

When these x-rays are performed properly with adequate safety precautions in place, there’s very little cause for concern. A routine examination with four bitewing x-rays exposes you to roughly the same amount of radiation you will experience during one to two hours on an airplane.

5. How Do I Prevent Tooth Decay, Gingivitis and Other Problems?

The best way to ensure a healthy mouth is to follow a balanced diet and visit the dentist regularly – while maintaining your oral care routine twice a day. Conditions such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS can also affect your dental health, as well as medications and certain types of chemotherapy. Protect yourself against problems that can advance quickly by discussing these dental questions with your practitioner.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day: You should brush your teeth each morning and night, no exceptions. Teeth brushing is vital to prevent excessive plaque build-up that leads to cavities and periodontal disease. Use a manual or electric brush with soft bristles to gently brush the outer surfaces of your upper and lower arches, the inside surfaces of teeth, and the top chewing surfaces of teeth. Use up and down motions and take your time to carefully reach all areas.
  2. Use anti-bacterial mouthwash: The sugars and starches in your foods and beverages react with the bacteria in your saliva to form an acid that erodes your tooth enamel. Anti-bacterial mouthwash helps manage the bacteria levels in your mouth.

  3. Floss your teeth daily: Flossing is an effective way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.Teeth brushing only does so much to clean your teeth. Flossing is essential to clean the small crevices, spaces between teeth and the gum line of food particles that lead to cavities and gum inflammation.
  4. Strengthen your enamel with fluoride products: Tooth enamel is your tooth’s natural defense, an outer protective layer. When the enamel wears away, your tooth becomes susceptible to cavities. Fluoride products like fluoridated water, fluoride treatment or fluoride toothpaste help prevent cavities.

6. What Is Tooth Sensitivity and Why Do I Have It?

Patients with tooth sensitivity feel pain when they consume items that are hot or cold, sweet or acidic. This comes from thinned tooth enamel, which doesn’t protect the tooth pulp or dentin from exposure to extreme temperatures. In some patients, this may be a result of:

  • Receding gums
  • Tooth grinding during sleep
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Tooth whitening
  • Orthodontics and fillings

Your dentist will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.

7. Why Should I Consider Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the ideal way to replace missing or weakened teeth. Most adult patients are good candidates for implants because they can help to prevent the remaining teeth from moving or loosening as a result. Implants are permanent and serve as a good alternative to dentures for anyone with an otherwise healthy mouth and jaw.

A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.

8. Should I Use Mouthwash Regularly?

Cosmetic mouthwashes are aimed at freshening breath and maintaining a healthy color, but they contain fluoride to help fight cavities as well. Therapeutic rinses can also treat conditions such as gingivitis, tooth sensitivity and inflammation caused by chemotherapy. For more advanced conditions, prescription mouthwashes often contain chlorhexidine gluconate to kill bacteria that cause bleeding, inflammation and the formation of plaque.

Mouthwash is not recommended for children younger than 6 years of age.  Swallowing reflexes may not be well developed in children this young, and they may swallow large amounts of the mouthwash, which can trigger adverse events—like nausea, vomiting, and intoxication (due to the alcohol content in some rinses). Check the product label for specific precautions and age recommendations.

9. At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?

Studies show children can develop their first cavities by two years old, so the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends booking the first visit once their first tooth erupts – or, at the latest, their first birthday. This helps your dentist catch potential problems that can affect the child’s overall health and well-being as more teeth erupt over time.

10. When Do Their Baby Teeth Typically Fall Out?

Most children begin losing their baby teeth between the ages of six and eight, and they typically fall out in roughly the same order in which they erupted. Keep in mind that all patients are different. Children’s and adult’s oral condition depends on how long they’ve gone without an appointment, how long your kids’ baby teeth last and even some things to which you are naturally more sensitive. With these questions queued up, you’ll never be in doubt as to the state of your mouth’s health.

new westminster teeth grinding

New Westminster Dentist Addresses Teeth Grinding

Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

What causes you to grind your teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

Source: WebMD

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

Treatments for bruxism designed to reduce symptoms or get rid of teeth grinding altogether include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Drinking more water
  • Getting more sleep
  • Not chewing gum or on other objects
  • Consciously relaxing the face and jaw throughout the day
  • Buying a teeth grinding mouth guard
  • Avoiding alcohol, which increases the urge to clench the teeth
  • Avoiding caffeine, which can make you jumpy and tense

The most popular and widely used of these solutions is mouth guards.

Source: Arizona Family Dental

Why do I want to clench my teeth?

My dentist explained that bruxism, a condition most often caused by stress, involves grinding your teeth, either at night or throughout the day, without realizing it. Are you waking up with headaches, a sore jaw or neck pain? Then you may be unconsciously grinding or clenching your teeth, as well.

Source: Colgate

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a habit that affects around 8-10% of the population. It is broadly characterized by grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw that causes tooth wear and breakage, disorders of the jaw (pain and limited movement) and headache.

What can I do to stop teeth grinding?

Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax. Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Source: WebMD

How can I stop clenching my teeth at night? Home Remedies

  1. Reduce your stress. Stress is one major cause of teeth grinding, so you should aim to relieve your stress. You can relieve the stress in your life by attending stress counselling, exercising, or meditating. You may also consider looking into natural remedies to reduce stress. There is also a large variety of tea plants, like chamomile and lavender, which can calm you down before bed time.
  2. Remove caffeine from your diet. Stop drinking soda, coffee, and energy drinks and try not to eat too much chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant which will make it more difficult for you to relax your mind and the muscles of your jaw, especially at night making you agitated throughout the day.
  3. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant which will make it more difficult for you to sleep healthily. Teeth grinding tends to get worse after alcohol consumption. Though alcohol may make it easier for you to fall asleep, it will make you sleep a less restful, more shallow sleep, which will increase your teeth grinding.
  4. Stop chewing on non-foods. Stop yourself from stress-related habits that have to do with your mouth. Chewing non-food items is a sign of an increased stress level. For example, if you tend to chew on pencils or pens when you are stressed out, you should eliminate that habit. If this is particularly challenging, you can chew gum or suck on a mint whenever you have the urge to chew on non-foods, and slowly wean yourself off of them.
  5. Train yourself not to clench your jaw during the day. If you notice that your jaw is tense or that your teeth are gritted together, practice relaxing the jaw by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
  6. Add calcium and magnesium supplements to your diet. Calcium and magnesium are necessary for muscle function and nervous system health. If you don’t have enough, you can have problems with clenching, tension, and other muscle problems. Remember that your heart is also a muscle and it can suffer from stress or lack of calcium.
  7. Relax before bed. It is important to reduce stress before bed so that you’re more relaxed during the night and therefore less likely to grind your teeth. Here are some ways to relax before bed and have a more restful sleep

What does it mean when you clench your jaw?

Because of anxiety or other issues, some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw thousands of times a night while they sleep. They put so much pressure on their jaws — 250 pounds (or more) worth of force — that they wear down their teeth, sometimes even causing joint and muscle problems.

Source: Everyday Health Media, LLC

Can grinding teeth cause ear pain?

The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). Grinding can wear down your teeth. … Earache (partly because the structures of the temporomandibular joint are very close to the ear canal, and because you can feel pain in a different location than its source; this is called referred pain).

Source: Medline Plus

Can grinding my teeth cause headaches?

Here’s how it happens: Your jaw muscles tighten when you grind or clench your teeth – or do things such as chew gum. The pain from your jaw created by the clenching then travels to other places in the skull, causing headaches or, in severe cases, migraines. You may also experience toothaches, earaches or shoulder pain.

Need to talk to a dentist? Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at: (604) 544-0894 and one of our dentists will be happy to help you.

new westminster receding gums

Receding Gums: Causes, Treatment, Surgery, and Prevention

Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, “pockets,” or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.

Gum recession is a common dental problem. Most people don’t know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal. Typically, a notch can be felt near the gum line.

Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.

Why Do Gums Recede?

There are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.

Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.

Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.

Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that builds on and between your teeth and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. It can lead to gum recession.

Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Do these apply to you? Sapperton Dental Clinic has several options to prevent receeding gums!

How Is Gum Recession Treated?

Mild gum recession may be able to be treated by your dentist by deep cleaning the affected area. During the deep cleaning — also called tooth scaling and root planing — plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth and root surfaces below the gum line is carefully removed and the exposed root area is smoothed to make it more difficult for bacteria to attach itself. Antibiotics also may be given to get rid of any remaining harmful bacteria.

If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.

What Type of Surgery Is Used to Treat Gum Recession?

The following surgical procedures are used to treat gum recession:

Open flap scaling and root planing: During this procedure, the dentist or periodontist (gum doctor) folds back the affected gum tissue, removes the harmful bacteria from the pockets, and then snugly secures the gum tissue in place over the tooth root, thus eliminating the pockets or reducing their size.

Regeneration: If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed as a result of gum recession, a procedure to regenerate lost bone and tissue may be recommended. As in pocket depth reduction, your dentist will fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria. A regenerative material, such as a membrane, graft tissue, or tissue-stimulating protein, will then be applied to encourage your body to naturally regenerate bone and tissue in that area. After the regenerative material is put in place, the gum tissue is secured over the root of the tooth or teeth.

Soft tissue graft: There are several types of gum tissue graft procedures, but the most commonly used one is called a connective tissue graft. In this procedure, a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue, is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue — the graft — has been removed from under the flap, the flap is stitched back down. During another type of graft, called free gingival graft, tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth instead of under the skin. Sometimes, if you have enough gum tissue surrounding the affected teeth, the dentist is able to graft gum from near the tooth and not remove tissue from the palate. This is called a pedicle graft.

Your dentist can determine the best type of procedure to use on you based on your individual needs.

How Can I Prevent Gum Recession?

The best way to prevent gum recession is to take good care of your mouth. Brush and floss your teeth every day and see your dentist or periodontist at least twice a year, or as recommended. If you have gum recession, your dentist may want to see you more often. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and ask your dentist to show you the proper way to brush your teeth. If a misaligned bite or teeth grinding is the cause of gum recession, talk to your dentist about how to correct the problem. Other ways to prevent gum recession include:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Eat a well balanced and healthy diet.
  • Monitor changes that may occur in your mouth.
  • By taking good care of your teeth, you can have a healthy smile forever.

Need a talk to a dentist? Simply pick up the phone and give us a call at: (604) 544 0894 and one of our dentists will be happy to guide you.

new westminster dentist

Looking for Some Amazing People to Join Our Team

Thanks to our wonderful patients, we are able to grow our Sapperton dental family. With all the success we’ve had in 2016, we are looking for a few amazing people to help us maintain our exceptional care for our patients!

Dental Hygienist:

We are a growing dental practice in New Westminster and are seeking a part time dental hygienist to start immediately one day a week (Mondays) potential to add more days.

We are looking for someone who is friendly, hard-working, able to work independently, takes initiative and knows how to administer local anesthetic and take digital x-rays. Also who

Is passionate about patient care, well organized and efficient.

1-2 years experience preferred experience with Maxident but willing to train the right person.

Please send your resume with experience and wage expectation

Dental Assistant:

We are a growing dental practice in New Westminster and are seeking a CDA to start immediately 3-4 days/week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, alternate Tuesdays)

We are looking for someone who is friendly, hard-working, able to work independently, takes initiative and knows how to take digital x-rays, great customer/patient care, well organized and efficient. 2yrs experience preferred but willing to train the right person. Maxident knowledge is an asset. Please send your resume with experience and wage expectation.