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Could You Be Suffering From Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disease that many people may suffer from although they may be unaware. It may be perceived as common snoring but it can be a very dangerous condition that can affect your sleeping pattern.

Sleep apnea can be classified as central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and treatment emergent central sleep apnea. Identifying the type of sleep apnea is essential so that it can be treated correctly. Individuals from various ages and body types can be affected by sleep apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the correct signals to control the breathing muscles

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is the more common form of sleep apnea that patients suffer from. It is caused when the throat muscles relax and block the flow of air into the lungs.

Treatment Emergent Central Sleep Apnea

This type of classification is seen when patients suffer from both obstructive and central sleep apnea

Individuals who suffer from sleep apnea not only have difficulty sleeping through the night, snoring or sinus issues they may also suffer side effects such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, acid reflux, adult asthma and even shortened life expectancy.

There are many ways that you can monitor to the complications that you suffer from in your sleep but the most effective way is to schedule a sleep test with a sleep professional so that it can be assessed by a medical and dental professional.

Dental professionals can detect early signs of sleep apnea through symptoms such as dry mouth and teeth grinding. They may then refer you to a medical professional for a sleep test. D.R. Dental clinic can help you determine if you show signs of sleep apnea and guide you in steps you can take in diagnosing it.

Do You Need A Night Guard?

Determining if you need a night guard can be very tricky. As many people don’t realize why or how a night guard would benefit. Night guards are generally recommended to people who suffer from Bruxism (night teeth grinding). Bruxism should be addressed and treated as it can have many negative repercussions such as Myofascial muscle pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and headaches and in severe cases arthritis of temporomandibular joints.

Neglecting bruxism can have detrimental effect to oral hygiene and the overall maintenance of the teeth. Teeth can wear down, become fractured or blunt. Clenching also puts pressure on the jaw muscles and tissues, which in turn can lead to headaches, sore gums, jaw stiffness, jaw pain and other TMJ issues.

There are a few different options that are currently available for night mouth guards that can help you minimize the symptoms of bruxism and help to protect your teeth.

Over the Counter Night Mouth Guard

Over the counter mouth guards can be purchased at pharmacies and usually cost around $30-$40. They are customizable to some extent.

Most over the counter night guards are a plastic or silicon U-shaped tray that should be boiled and then molded in to the shape of the arch by biting on it. These night guards generally cover either the top or the bottom teeth according to preference. Although there is room for customization the issue with over the counter night guards is that they might not always be the most comfortable for the patient to wear. In addition to this over the counter mouth guards may not last as long and are more prone to wear.

Custom Made Night Mouth Guard

Dental offices can provide you with a professionally fitted night guard that can work for you. Impression or a digital scan of your teeth would be taken and sent to a laboratory that specializes in creating mouth guards. They would create the night guard of hard durable plastic that would be more comfortable in your mouth. These types of night guards generally last longer and can endure more wear on them from the effects of bruxism.

Custom night guards can cost several hundred dollars but are usually the best method for protecting your teeth and curbing the effects of bruxism.

Your dental office can help identify if you suffer from bruxism and help you decide which night guard would be suitable for your oral health. D.R. Dental clinic can help you identify the signs of bruxism as well as which night guard option works best for your mouth, call today to book an appointment!

Cosmetic Dentistry On A Budget: What Are Your Options?

Cosmetic dentistry is a rapid growing practice that can allow the appearance of your teeth to be altered aesthetically. It allows for reshaping, adjusting misaligned teeth and even changing the color of the teeth. The most common types of cosmetic dentistry practices are veneers, dental implants, cosmetic dental bonding, tooth reshaping and teeth whitening.

Veneers

For teeth that are damaged, misshaped and discolored Porcelain veneers are a good option in restoring them so they appear healthy. Porcelain veneers are composed of wafer thin porcelain or resin material that is attached to the original tooth. They allow you to alter the look of your smile so that you can customize the shape and the color of the tooth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants provide a permanent solution to missing or damaged teeth and an alternative to dentures. A small screw is placed inside the jawbone to act as the root, which then holds a crown. Implants also allow for customization of the shape and the color of each tooth so that the smile becomes more aesthetically appealing.

Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Composite resin is used to reshape the tooth. This method is best for small changes to the smile and is usually the easiest and cheapest. Fractured, chipped and discolored teeth can be benefitted by this practice.

Tooth Reshaping

Minor imperfection can be adjusted using tools. This practice only works for reshaping to teeth using sanding tools to help minimize the aesthetic imperfections on the surface of the tooth. This is a cost effective method to alter your smile and make minor alterations to the enamel of your natural tooth.

Teeth Whitening

The most common type of cosmetic dentistry practice is teeth whitening. Stains and discoloration can be easily removed from the enamel of the tooth allowing for a healthier and whiter smile. Effects of this treatment are seen right away and can allow for a patient to go up to 3-4 shades whiter in just one treatment. There are various different types of methods for teeth whitening from take home kits to in office treatment using lasers to activate the peroxide used to whiten the enamel. For patients on a budget they can choose which method they prefer based on the cost and type of whitening they require.

D.R. Dental Clinic offers all of these procedures and can help you decide which method might be the best for your smile. Call today to book an appointment so you can decide which one works for your smile and your budget. Cosmetic dentistry can be an option for everyone.

Pearly Whites? What Are Your Teeth Whitening Options

Teeth whitening procedures are a rapid growing trend for individuals of all ages. As we age teeth can change color over time due to smoking products and the food that we eat or drink. Fortunately there are many products that are available to brighten teeth up to several shades. These products can range in price and can be an option for even those with a low budget. The most common methods are whitening toothpastes, strips, gels or take home whitening kits and in office teeth bleaching.

Whitening Toothpaste

Over the counter toothpastes are available in most drugstores for an at home whitening solution. Although these are generally not as effective for everyone and they usually require prolonged daily usage before results are visible.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are also a cheap over the counter alternative that can be purchased at most drugstores. Clear strips containing peroxide based ingredients are applied to the teeth twice a day for 30 minutes for the duration of two weeks until results are achieved. The results can last between four to five months.

Whitening Gels

Gels can usually be purchased at the dentist’s office as a take home whitening kit. Gel is applied to the teeth in either a custom made tray or a standard silicon tray and kept against the teeth for 30 minutes. The procedure is repeated once a day for three days for whiter results. Whitening gels are a cost effective way to whiten your teeth with the direction of a dentist.

Teeth Bleaching

An in-office tooth bleaching is a procedure available from dental professionals and is the most effective and quickest method of obtaining a whiter smile. As it is done in the care of a professional the active ingredients are the strongest strength resulting in a quick and whiter outcome. In addition to this dentists will ensure that your gums and enamel are protected during the procedure. Hydrogen peroxide ingredients are applied to the teeth and the whitening process is active by a blue light. One session usually takes about 15-20 minutes and gives immediate results.

Overall there are a wide range of products that can allow you to obtain the whiter smile that you are looking for but it is highly recommended that you consult with a dental professional to decide which method would suit your teeth. D.R. Dental can help you in discovering which teeth whitening option would work for you, call to book an appointment.

Post COVID Reopening: What To Expect At Your Next Dental Visit

As most dental offices are starting to open back up you may be wondering what to expect when you finally get in for your dental visit. Many dental offices will begin reaching out to their patients in order to rebook their outstanding appointment or to inform them that they are reopening for regular treatment.

Similarly D.R. Dental clinic also has many changes that have been implemented to ensure the safety of staff and patients.

  1. When the initial appointment is scheduled the receptionist will inform you that you are required to bring your own mask and wear your mask when you arrive for the appointment.
  2. One day prior to your appointment you will receive a call from our office to confirm your appointment and to go over prescreening COVID-19 questions. If you are experiencing any symptoms that coincide with COVID-19 you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.
  3. Waiting in the reception area will be restricted. You will be asked to arrive promptly for your scheduled time and call the office before you enter the building to go over pre-screening questions.
  4. Once you enter the building your temperature will be checked and recorded before you are sent to the treatment room with a touchless thermometer
  5. You will also be asked to sanitize your hands with an alcohol based rub
  6. Once you are seated in the dental chair a hydrogen peroxide pre-rinse will be given in order to kill any virus or bacteria in your mouth.
  7. Our office will also use a portable HEPA filtration unit to remove allergens and airborne infectious agents

The staff may no longer be seen in their regular attire. Staff is donning additional protective wear in order to protect you and themselves from aerosols. Please try to maintain distance from everyone at all times.

Additionally we ask that you do not have any one accompany you to your appointment unless absolutely necessary.  They may be asked to wait outside for the duration of your visit.

We appreciate your cooperation at this time and want to ensure the safety of everyone while providing the care that you and your oral health require. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Your next dental visit doesn’t need to be scary if you know what you should expect and how you will be protected.

Gum Disease (AKA) Gingivitis

If your gums bleed, are tender, sensitive, or swell up occasionally when you floss, you might have gingivitis. However, you’re not alone.

According to the Canadian Dental Hygienist Association, about half of the Canadian population has gingivitis, yet many are not completely aware.

How do I know if I have Gingivitis?

Healthy gums are pink in colour and quite firm in texture. Gums affected by Gingivitis on the other hand have the tendency to be red in colour, swollen, tender, non uniform and bleed easily especially when brushing or flossing, bad breath and receding gums are other signs.

Gingivitis is quite common. If properly addressed it can be easily treated; otherwise, it can advance into periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that can potentially lead to tooth loss due to its spreading throughout the deeper tooth supporting tissues and bones beneath your gums.

Periodontitis can go beyond your oral cavity!

New research indicates that periodontitis could have an impact on other health problems, including some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and respiratory disease.

Who is more susceptible to developing Gingivitis?

The chances of developing Gingivitis increase with the following factors:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits.
  • Tobacco usage.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Vitamin C deficiency.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and cycles.
  • Certain blood pressure and seizure medications.
  • Crooked or overlapping teeth.
  • Ill fitting or broken dental restorations.
  • Conditions impacting your immunity like HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy and immunosuppressive medications.
  • Genetics can play a major role as well.

Gingivitis is a very serious problem that should not be neglected!

How can I protect myself from Gingivitis?

As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Luckily, there are various ways to prevent it from occurring:

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene. This is the most effective way of preventing this disease. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. It would also be helpful to brush after every meal or snack. Flossing is especially important as it removes any remaining food particles and bacteria that brushing leaves behind.
  • Follow proper health habits. Eating healthy isn’t only beneficial for your body, but it is also beneficial for your teeth. This is because when eating sugary or starchy foods, you feed the tooth decay and gum disease causing bacteria found in your mouth.
  • Regular dentist visits. Regular checkups and cleanings go hand in hand with good oral hygiene. Most people need to get cleanings every 6 months, but if you are more susceptible to developing gum disease for example if you smoke, have braces or pregnant you will be advised to get cleanings more often.

How is Gingivitis Treated?

Treating gingivitis can sometimes be done at home, or might also need additional treatment at the dentist’s office, depending on the stage and extend of the gum disease.

It all starts by letting the dentist examine and diagnose your individual gums status.

Sometimes an antibacterial toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash would be recommended by your dentist for you to use at home. They are capable of fighting plaque and bacteria even after you’re done brushing, especially in those hard to reach places. Additionally, your dentist may suggest more effective ways of brushing including the use of an electric toothbrush, paying special attention to the gum line when brushing, using a water-pick and so on.

In some cases you might need additional in clinic treatments to be done to control gingivitis like:

  • Antibiotic gel. After a deep cleaning, this gel is spread around the gum lines and in gum pockets to help control the active infection.
  • Deep gum cleaning. Instruments that perform a deep cleaning under the gum line are used.
  • Surgical open flap cleaning. especially for areas with very deep pockets.
  • Prescription of an antimicrobial mouthwash. A prescribed mouthwash that is more effective at fighting bacteria than regular mouthwash.

Gingivitis shouldn’t be something that you have to worry about now that you know how to avoid it and treat it. Brush your teeth, floss, use a mouth wash, and go for regular dental checkups and cleanings, and you should be good to go!

Dental Implants Explained

Dental implants are usually utilized in case of missing teeth/tooth to restore the patients dentition and proper function.

Every patient and every situation is unique.

Depending on the patient and the end result expectations and number of missing teeth or teeth to be lost, many dental implant options can be considered, like a single tooth dental implant, or bridge supported dental implants, when a few teeth are missing.

In case of several missing teeth or teeth with hopeless prognosis, both fixed and removable denture solutions can be considered.

When it comes to implants, what are my options?

A Single Tooth Replacement

Do you have a missing tooth?

Dental implants are a great solution for replacing a single missing tooth.

Tooth loss, whether it is due to dental decay, periodontal disease or trauma, over time can cause many serious dental issues. Adjacent and opposing teeth will shift, closing the gap where the missing tooth was once. This may result in abnormal spacing and teeth gaps, mal-alignment and gum disease along with other problems like an abnormal and a traumatic bite and even TMJ problems.

For some patients, a bridge may be a good solution. For others, the better solution is an implant.

If after a proper examination, diagnosis and discussion of all your options you’ve decided to go with the Implant route you need to know whats involved.

The dental implant process involves a few steps. First, if the tooth or part of it hasn’t been removed then it needs to be extracted. The empty socket in the jaw then must heal up. A bone graft option can be provided to speed up the rate of site healing. Once healing is established, the implant can be placed in place. It takes several weeks to months for the bone to bond and fuse with the implant properly.

Once the bone and implant have fused, a post will be secured onto the implant to serve as a base for the prosthetic tooth. Implants should look natural once restored. So a proper tooth colour shade, size, and shape that matches the rest of your dentition will be established for a beautiful and natural final appearance.

When properly cared for, your dental implant should last a lifetime!

An Implant Supported Bridge

Are you missing a few adjacent teeth?

If so, an Implant-supported bridge can be a great solution for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a partial denture. It’s also a great option for those who may not be good candidates for a traditional dental bridge, which requires solid teeth in robust conditions on both sides of the gap.

An Implant-supported bridge is used to replace two or more adjacent teeth. The prosthesis is anchored in place with two or more dental implants placed in the jaw bone.

The empty tooth sockets first must heal and fill up with bone after the tooth loss or extraction which can be helped and accelerated by considering a bone graft at the time of extraction. Then dental Implants will be place and given time to fuse with the jaw bone.

Once the jaw bone to implants fusion is complete — usually after a period of 6 to 9 months posts will be attached to the implants to serve as basis and connections for the dental bridge prosthesis.

With proper care, your Implant-supported bridge can last a lifetime.

Implant Supported Dentures

Are your dentures loose and never seem to stay in place, even with all that gooey denture adhesive product?

Implant supported dentures can be a great solution to give your dentures stability and retention.

Implant-supported dentures are great for patients who have lost all of their teeth or need to get their damaged or loose teeth pulled out. Many partial dentures are supported with a few remaining teeth, this usually overloads and strains those remaining teeth and patients are more likely to lose those teeth eventually as a result of the extra loading.

When those teeth require extractions, the patient is left with a full denture, which has no anchors making them uncomfortable and challenging to wear.

Implant-supported dentures are secured in place by a few small attachments to implants that are anchored in the jaw bone.

If tooth extraction is required, a bone graft can be an option to help speed the healing process. Once the bone has healed, implants are placed and left over the next few months to fuse to the jaw bone. After that small parts are fixed to those implants which will serve as connection points to attachments located in the denture. so you can fix the dentures in place by means of those implants! This provides a permanent solution for secure and stable dentures that look and feel and great.

All On 4

Are you sick of dentures and want something fixed in your mouth that doesn’t require removal several times a day?

All on four can be the solution!

It involves placing four or more dental implants and then fabricating and fixing dentures to them. With all on four dental implants, the denture is secured into place with the implants and it stays in place while you eat even tough food, like a steak or an apple.

All on four can be an option for patients who lost all or almost all of their teeth. Remaining teeth will be pulled before placing the implants. Bone graft may be needed to enhance the healing process.

Implants are placed into the jaw and left to bond with the jaw bone. The bonding process will take about six months, during which new teeth will be fabricated and later on secured to the implants priorly placed. Once in place, you’ll have a brand new smile, with teeth that will look and work just like natural teeth!

Hard foods like apples, steak and other previously off-limit foods are now on the menu! And you won’t have to worry about your dentures falling out, nor will you need to bother with having to remove your dentures several times a day.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are found in the very back of your mouth, and are the last set of teeth to erupt, usually during late teens to early twenties

There are usually four set of them, some people do not end up developing all of them or any of them at all.

When your wisdom teeth start causing you trouble, or Dental Radiographs show that they might sometime down the line, Your Dentist will recommend to have them extracted.

Other good reasons to have your wisdom teeth extracted include: If they are Causing Damage to adjacent teeth, or creating pockets in the gums that can harbour debris and bad bacteria leading to an increased risk of future infections, or Being severely maligned and very hard to clean properly making them more prone to dental decay.

That extra set of molars can also push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain and bite problems.

Many people do not have big enough jaws to allow room for the third molars to fully erupt and grow in properly, in these instances If these wisdoms teeth end up erupting, overcrowding can occur, which can lead to many other dental and periodontal issues. And If the wisdom teeth remain under the gums or in the jaw, they will be referred to as impacted. When trapped in the gums, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to dental problems such as pain, infection or misalignment of other teeth.

Certainly not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, but for some people problems can develop later in life if those issues were not addressed early on.

That is why we always check wisdoms teeth as part of your regular recall exam.

Dental Cleanings Explained

A regular professional dental cleaning is a very important pillar in maintaining oral health and your general health.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene starts with good daily home care of brushing and flossing to control plaque and calculus buildup on your teeth, and lower the oral bacterial count. But even with best regular brushing technique some plaque and bacteria will still collect under the gums and around your teeth and eventually absorb enough minerals from your saliva to become solid hard, what we call at this stage dental calculus or tartar.

Dental calculus is hard enough that it is impossible to be removed with just brushing and flossing, that’s where an in office professional cleaning every three to six months comes to play in restoring oral health.

Why is dental calculus bad?

Dental calculus is a solid hard material made up mainly of dead bacteria and other debris as well as minerals from saliva and tissue fluid. Harm from dental calculus on its own is limited but one of its main characters is a rough porous surface which makes a fertile ground for other harmful bacteria to adhere around teeth and start producing toxins that will cause gum inflammation, in other words- gingivitis.

If gingivitis is left untreated for long enough it can progress to inflammation of the apparatus that anchors teeth to the jawbone and is called periodontitis or periodontal disease. Overtime, periodontitis dissolves the bone portion that is dedicated to hold teeth solid in place causing mobility and shifting of teeth and eventually, if severe enough, to tooth loss.

With regular in office professional cleanings we aim to combat gingivitis and prevent periodontitis from happening, as periodontitis is often irreversible. But even at the stage of periodontitis a lot can be made to stop its progression and preventing tooth loss.

What to expect during your cleaning appointment:

  • Calculus (tartar) removal.
  • Plaque removal.
  • Teeth Polishing.
  • Dental exam and oral cancer screening.