As dentists Edmonton has trusted for exceptional care since 1979, Saddleback Dental Centre is pleased to provide answers to frequently asked questions. Read below to find more information on a range of topics covering gum disease, dentures, implants and much more. Please let us know if you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment.
Q: Is there anything that increases the chances of getting gum disease besides dental care and keeping plaque down?
A: Factors that may increase your chances include eating disorders, diabetes, smoking and hormonal changes such as menstruation, puberty, menopause and pregnancy. Some medications such as birth control pills, high blood pressure and arthritis pills can increase the risk of gum disease. So if you are in this position, be extra careful and conscientious with dental care.
Q: What is a denture?
A: A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjoining tissues. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from shifting position. Visit our Dentures & Implants page where the dentists in our South Edmonton clinic explain the process further.
Q: How do you care for a denture?
A: Dentures must be removed and brushed daily with a denture cleanser or toothpaste and a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures. Avoid using regular toothpaste because it can be too abrasive for your dentures. Avoid using boiling water to sterilize dentures because hot water can cause the denture to lose its shape. If you wear a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When you’re not wearing the denture, soak it in denture cleanser or water.
Q: Why have dental implants become so popular?
A: Permanent dental replacement has become necessary to increase overall health and comfort in a population that is extending its lifespan. Implants can provide people with very stable dental replacements that are both functional and attractive.
Q: Who is a candidate for dental implants and how successful are implants?
A: Anyone who wants to replace missing teeth is a candidate for implants, provided that they have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth to provide anchorage. Some people are missing all their teeth and most of those are excellent candidates for dental implants. Today we also use implants to replace small bridges, removable partial dentures and even missing single teeth.
Q: What is a dental implant?
A: A dental implant is created by placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which acts as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth. Unlike other replacement solutions, implants are permanent; anchored in your jaw just like the teeth you were born with.
Q: Can porcelain veneers cover up the gaps in my smile?
A: Yes. Porcelain veneers are specifically designed to cover gaps, chips, permanent stains, misshapen teeth and washed out fillings. The thin porcelain veneers are instant orthodontics and will give you the beautiful smile you desire.
Q: What is the difference between a crown and a bridge?
A: Both crowns and bridges are referred to as reconstructive or restorative dentistry. They are used to return your teeth to their desired look and stability. A dental crown is used when a single tooth is damaged. A dental bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing. Crowns and bridges both add stability to the surrounding teeth and give your smile a more beautiful look.
Q: How do tooth-coloured fillings compare to metal fillings?
A: White fillings are an alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings. They have advantages and disadvantages over metal fillings, but by and large they are a choice you can make with confidence.
White fillings are made of a strong composite resin that is matched to the surrounding tooth colour. In the past, white fillings were placed only on front teeth, but recently a stronger more durable material has been developed that can withstand the chewing pressure of back teeth.
Cosmetically, white fillings are more attractive. They are also mercury free, which many people agree is preferable. If you have sensitivity to heat or cold, the composite resin will suit you best because it doesn’t conduct temperature changes as fast as silver or gold. You can learn more about the types of fillings by visiting our Mercury Free Fillings page.
Q: Do sportsguards have to be custom fitted?
A: A mouthguard worn on the upper or lower teeth cushions the blow to protect teeth. Fit is very important. The secure fit of a custom mouthguard provides clearer speech, which is important for clear communication with teammates. It is more comfortable, therefore less distracting. Restricted breathing is also less of a problem. In our dental clinic in South Edmonton, we create custom nightguards and sportguards for our patients.
Q: How do I know if I need a nightguard?
A: The most common problem resolved by a nightguard is teeth grinding. If you have issues with grinding teeth, particularly at night, a nightguard custom made to fit over upper or lower teeth will prevent further damage to your teeth.
Q: What is fluoride, and how does it work?
A: Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature in water, soil, air and food. Existing abundantly in living tissue as an ion, fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. Two forms of fluoride protect the teeth: systemic fluoride and topical fluoride.
Q: Should a denture be worn at night?
A: Under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove a denture at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least 8 hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and permits normal stimulation and cleansing of the mouth by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of gums.
Q: Who needs a denture?
A: Candidates for dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for people who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech and provides support for facial muscles.
Q: What do you do to make patients feel more comfortable?
A: Anaesthetics and modern tools help to make your procedure surprisingly comfortable. By working quickly and using technologies such as lasers, we can be very conservative, allowing you to feel less pain and heal more quickly. The entire procedure will be accomplished quickly and efficiently. Ask us what we will do to make you feel more comfortable.
Q: I am pregnant and showing signs of gingivitis. I’m trying to avoid chemicals, even aspirin, and discomfort. Can I wait until after I deliver to deal with this?
A: Studies are also examining whether pregnant women with gum disease, including gingivitis, may be at a higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight (PLBW) babies than women without gum disease. Even though this research is still ongoing, it remains important for pregnant women to take care of their gums and teeth.
Q: I’ve heard that people with diabetes are susceptible to gum disease – is this true?
A: There is a strong link between gum disease and diabetes. People with diabetes are not only more at risk of gum disease, but gum disease can also affect the severity of their diabetes, putting them more at risk of diabetic complications later on in life.
Q: I’m having trouble convincing someone in my life to deal with their problem of bleeding gums and the problem is getting worse. What are the risks?
A: When it is very advanced, gum disease can cause pain, abscesses, difficulty in eating, chronic bad breath and loss of teeth. The same bacteria found in plaque can also be inhaled into the lungs where they may cause an infection or aggravate any existing lung condition, especially in older adults. This can happen even if you don’t have serious gum disease, but have lots of plaque.
Q: When my gums bleed, does that mean I have gum disease?
A: If you are only just beginning to experience this, bleeding gums are a very likely indication that you have gingivitis, which is gum disease in its early stage. Don’t let this get worse! Seek our help right away as our dentists can diagnose the problem. We’ll help you make sure the problem is fixed and you can regain your comfort in eating and brushing.
Q: How do I know if I have healthy gums?
A: Healthy gums are light pink in colour (darker for people with darker complexions), and they are stippled, much like the surface of an orange. They are not tender or swollen and don’t bleed when brushing or flossing.