Dental Check Up
A check up or examination is recommended every 6 months for children and every 12 months for adults. An examination involves the dentist assessing your entire mouth including your teeth and soft tissues. This can include taking x-rays and performing tests on teeth such as tapping (percussion) and vitality (cold test). Soft tissues (gums, cheeks, tongue, palate, etc) are also examined for any irregularities.
A dental cleaning is usually completed by a hygienist or dentist every 6 to 12 months. This procedure involves an assessment of your overall gum health as well as cleaning all your teeth with special instruments. If plaque stays on teeth for more than 24 hours, it can calcify into “calculus” or “tartar” which requires these special instruments to dislodge (normal toothbrushing and flossing won’t work!).
Harmful bacteria that settle on tooth surfaces for long periods of time can dissolve tooth structure causing cavities or holes in the teeth. With cavities, you may also experience pain or sensitivity as long as the hole is present. As long as the hole hasn’t reached the nerve of your tooth, most holes can be fixed with a simple filling. Filling materials can include amalgam (silver), composite resin (tooth coloured), ceramic (inlays/onlays), and many others.
Whitening is classified as vital or non-vital. Vital bleaching involves whitening the external surface of a tooth that hasn’t had root canal treatment. At Sturgeon Dental, we construct custom bleaching trays for your teeth and provide you with a take-home kit so that you can whiten your teeth at your convenience and to your desired shade. Non-vital bleaching involves whitening the internal surface of a tooth that may be discoloured from a root canal or dead nerve. The non-vital bleaching service is provided in the clinic and may require multiple sessions.
Crowns are recommended when a significant portion of your natural tooth structure has been lost (due to cavities, fractures, root canal, or wear). A crown acts as a “cap” on top of the remaining tooth structure to prevent further breakage or wear of the tooth. Veneers are mainly recommended for aesthetic reasons in the front teeth that are a part of your smile line. They act as outer shells that are cemented on the front of teeth to customize the tooth shape, size, length, and colour. In both procedures, generally 2 appointments are requires; one to prepare the tooth/teeth and take an impression, and the second to insert the permanent crown or veneer.
Missing teeth create many problems including lisps, loss of self esteem, and chewing difficulties. Dentures are a removable solution to replacing these missing teeth. There are several types of denture designs and materials. Usually a denture consult is required to evaluate your suitability for dentures which may involve a brief examination, dental impressions, and x-rays.
Root canals involve removing the nerve inside a tooth, cleaning the canals, and using a special material to seal it all off. Generally, root canals are required if cavities have reached the nerve or if there are other signs and symptoms that the nerve in a tooth is no longer alive. Additionally, dental trauma can lead to root canals being required. Frequently, crowns are recommended after root canal treatment because the tooth is more brittle and prone to fracture following the loss of tooth structure.
Extractions involve taking out a tooth (including the roots) after you’ve been made comfortably numb via local anaesthesia. When teeth can’t be saved with any other treatment, extraction is generally recommended to prevent any future complications like abscesses. Sometimes, teeth are extracted for orthodontic reasons (for example, baby teeth not coming out by themselves, or wisdom teeth causing there to be insufficient space in the arches).