Signs You May Need a Root Canal Therapy

If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.

Your dentist may observe:

  • A tooth that is discolored
  • X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
  • A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple

Additional testing done by your dentist:

  • X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
  • Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
  • Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping

You may have been noticing:

  • A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
  • A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
  • A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
  • Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
  • Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
  • Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful

In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!


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Gear up for Back-to-School Sports with Mouth Guards

Gear up for Back-to-School Sports with Mouth Guards

It’s back-to-school time and that means kids everywhere will be participating in sports. It’s time for football, soccer, volleyball, and all sorts of sports teams to get back in shape. That not only means conditioning your body, but also getting all the right gear. One item that you don’t want to forget is a mouth guard to protect yourself from mouth and facial injuries.

Dentists recommend mouth guards for participants in both high-impact sports and individual sports. Team sports often resulting in mouth injuries include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, and hockey. Individual sports that carry high risks include cycling, gymnastics, skateboarding, martial arts, and rollerblading.

Mouth guards are worn to protect the mouth from a variety of possible injuries. They may be minor like a chipped or cracked tooth, or cuts from biting the inside of your mouth. Worse injuries can occur like jaw fractures, and athletes might experience tooth loss or nerve damage. Fractures can cause difficulty breathing, swallowing, eating, or speaking.

Dentists suggest that many sports injuries can be avoided by wearing a mouth guard, and they are available for athletes of all skill sets and ages. They are available in most sporting good stores, or you can opt to have customized mouth guards created by your dentist. Mouth guards are even available in a wide variety of colors, so athletes can choose them to coordinate with their school colors. They are also useful for people who wear traditional braces or Invisalign retainers.

Because many sports can be risky, there’s no reason to ignore the danger to your mouth. Wear a mouth guard to protect your smile throughout the season.

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Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth Through Oral Surgery

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth, generally emerging between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. They are the third set of molars and are in pairs: two each on the top and bottom arch of teeth. While some patients don’t have wisdom teeth, most do. Many of those who do have them don’t have enough room for those teeth to erupt fully, causing them to be wedged under the back of another tooth, impacted in the gum.

Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean, and can negatively affect the surrounding teeth. They are highly vulnerable to disease and decay and may lead to tooth pain and damage to adjacent teeth. For these and other reasons, a dentist may recommend that the teeth be extracted through oral surgery as soon as necessary to prevent any problems.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is typically an outpatient procedure done in an oral surgeon’s office. A healthy patient can proceed with a typical surgery, but if any infection is detected, the surgery can’t move forward until the infection is cleared up through the use of a full course of antibiotics. Once the surgery is moving forward, the surgeon’s team will administer some form of anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth or to possibly sedate the patient through IV sedation dentistry.

After the anesthesia has fully taken effect, the surgeon makes an incision to open the gum and to remove any bone that is blocking the tooth from extraction. The tissue connecting the bone to the tooth will be separated and the tooth will be removed. In some cases, the surgeon will have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After thoroughly cleaning the area and removing any remaining debris, the incision will be closed, stitched and packed with sterile cotton gauze to staunch any bleeding.

The surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Patients should follow these instructions to the letter in order to ensure the best and fastest healing of the surgical site.


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dentures

How Dental Implants Changed Dentures Forever

If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.

If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.

Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.

Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.

Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.

If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.

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Allowing Yourself Recovery Time from Sedation Dentistry

If you have chosen to utilize sedation dentistry to address your anxiety or discomfort during dental treatment, you need to make preparations beforehand to be certain you are safe following your dental visit. Some sedation options leave you unable to drive or make decisions clearly, and you should be prepared to face whatever lingering effects come your way.

Conscious oral sedation is prescribed in the form of a pill that is taken orally. Typically, this pill is taken about an hour prior to the procedure in order to ensure relaxation and ease. Often a dentist will recommend that the patient take a dose the night prior to the treatment, making sure that the patient rests well and is in the best mental and physical condition for recovery. Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is another form of conscious sedation. Both the pills and the gas leave patients comfortable and at ease, but still responsive to commands by the dentist or staff.

The next level of sedation is intravenous sedation, also called IV sedation. This sedation is the fastest acting of all the sedation dentistry treatments. A known side-effect of IV sedation is memory loss, so most patients won’t remember what happened while they were “under.” Many patients believe erroneously that they were completely “out” or unconscious during treatment, but this isn’t true. You are still able to respond to commands, but the memory loss makes you feel as though you are asleep.

You will not be allowed to drive yourself following IV or conscious oral sedation. Even though you are up and walking and talking, it may take hours before the effects of the sedation wear off enough to make it safe for you to drive. Do not even consider trying to trick the dentist into thinking someone else is driving you home. You could cause a serious accident and harm yourself or others.

Talk to your dentist to determine what is recommended as far as recovery time goes for your specific sedation dentistry treatment choices.


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dentures

Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures have improved dramatically over the past several years. Whether it’s your first set of dentures or your fifth set, you probably have questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about dentures:

  • Will dentures change how I look? Today’s dentures are personalized to your mouth, making their appearance more natural than ever. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips, making you look years younger.
  • Will dentures change how I feel? After a period of adjustment, dentures should make you feel more confident than ever.
  • Will dentures alter my speech? While speaking may be difficult initially, with practice, your speech should quickly return to normal. Practicing reading and counting out loud will help to speed up the adjustment.
  • Will dentures affect how I eat? Eating may take some practice, and you should start with a soft food diet while you adjust to the differences between eating with your natural teeth and dentures. Take small bites and try to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can damage your dentures.
  • How do I care for my dentures? Clean dentures daily, brushing immediately after every meal if possible. Use a soft brush and gentle cleanser, taking care to avoid hard abrasives. Be careful when they are out of your mouth not to drop them or clean them on hard surfaces.
  • Once I have dentures, will I still need to see the dentist? Regular dental examinations and professional denture cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health. Have your dentist periodically check the fit of your dentures to ensure they are comfortable and last for as long as possible.
  • When will I need to replace my dentures? With care, dentures typically last 5-10 years. Because your mouth continues to change shape as you age and denture teeth wear down, you should have them checked yearly to avoid any significant problems.

Consult with your dental professional about any additional questions or concerns you may have about your future with dentures and your potential for a bright, new smile.

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A History of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry, also known as “sleep dentistry,” refers to the practice of calming and relaxing a patient prior to a dental procedure with the use of pharmacological agents. Sedation dentistry began in the late 1700s when a chemist named Humphry Davy began experimenting with inhaled gasses and first observed the analgesic effects of nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” on himself and on dental patients.

In 1844, an American dentist named Horace Wells used nitrous oxide as a dental anesthetic during the extraction of his own molar tooth. Wells made the observation that while he experienced very little pain while undergoing the extraction, he was still fully conscious during the procedure. A few years later, dentist William Morton and surgeon John Warren performed a public oral surgery at Harvard University, demonstrating the analgesic properties of a sulfur-ether compound, further proving that sedation dentistry should be explored further.

For years, trial and error procedures informed doctors of the safety of various levels of pain-relieving gasses. It was discovered that 100% nitrous oxide, when used in prolonged dental cases, could lead to hypoxia, a condition in which the body is deprived of the oxygen it needs to thrive, something that can eventually lead to death. Finally, a Chicago surgeon named Dr. Edmund Andrews began mixing nitrous oxide with oxygen, administering them simultaneously. This allowed for safer analgesic options for both surgical and dental procedures. Ether and chloroform, combined with some nitrous oxide, was later shown to provide deeper sedation for prolonged treatments.

Intravenous (IV) sedation began in the 1960s at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California. Dentists there experimented with IV sedation for the highest level of management for pain, anxiety and fear for dental patients undergoing surgery.

Today, dentists routinely turn to sedation dentistry for their patients to relieve pain, stress and to provide the most comfortable dental therapies as possible. Talk to your dentist to discover the latest sedation dentistry options and to see how they can help you positively experience your next dental procedure.


We treat patients from Toronto and the surrounding area

Invislaign in Toronto

Invisalign versus Metal Braces

Straighter teeth are possible through traditional metal braces or Invisalign clear aligners, but how do you know which are right for you? These two types of orthodontics work differently to improve smiles. Invisalign uses invisible removable plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth, while metal braces require brackets bonded to the teeth and arch wires to apply pressure to move the teeth.

If you are deciding between these two types of treatment, ask yourself some questions to help you choose:

  • How severe is your case? Moderate conditions like overcrowding, gaps, and overbite or underbite issues can be treated with either option. However, more severe cases like malocclusions, jaw problems, crossbites, or seriously crooked teeth may require metal braces for more effective results.
  • Do you care if others see your braces? Metal braces are very noticeable and bulky, while Invisalign is virtually invisible in your smile. Adults and self-conscious teens may prefer the concept of hidden orthodontic treatment.
  • Will you be diligent in wearing aligners? They should be worn at least 22 hours each day for best results, so neglecting to wear them consistently can negatively impact your smile or require longer treatment time.
  • Are you concerned about keeping your teeth clean? Metal braces can be difficult to clean because food becomes caught in the wires and brushing may not easily reach all areas. Since Invisalign trays are removable, brushing and flossing are performed normally throughout the process.
  • Are you worried about teeth stains? Since it’s easier to keep teeth clean with Invisalign, you avoid the risks of stains from food and plaque buildup around metal braces that may stain your teeth.
  • How often do you want to visit the orthodontist? Metal braces require office visits at least every 4 weeks for tightenings. Invisalign trays are changed every 2 weeks, but many orthodontists provide a series of trays to take home so that an office visit isn’t required each time. It’s possible that you may not visit the orthodontist as often with Invisalign.

The ideal choice for your orthodontic treatment can be decided by consulting with your orthodontist. Find out which option will best transform your smile.

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Don’t Fear Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Many people are afraid of getting their wisdom teeth out based on horror stories from the internet or scary tales exaggerated by others. The best way to fight these fears is to learn more about the procedure and what you can truly expect.

The first thing to know is that wisdom teeth extractions are the most common oral surgeries. Most oral surgeons perform an average of one a day, so that experience has provided skill and expertise in the procedure. Also, you will be under some degree of anesthesia. Whether it’s general anesthesia or even just nitrous oxide (laughing gas), you won’t feel anything during the surgery and won’t remember what happened afterwards.

One common fear is the bleeding associated with wisdom teeth extractions. While there is some bleeding from the site after surgery, it is usually easily controlled by following the after-care instructions. You will be told to gently bite on gauze in that area of your mouth, and change it frequently. Propping your head up will help limit the bleeding also.

Swelling is another reason some fear this surgery, but it should be gone in just a few days. You can hold ice packs to the outside of your cheek off and on for the first 24 hours to decrease the swelling.

The recovery process should go smoothly if you follow your oral surgeon’s advice. Have someone drive you to and from the appointment, and eat soft foods at first. Do not use a straw for the first few days, and avoid touching the area with your fingers or tongue. Also, do not smoke for at least the first 24 hours following surgery.

While there are risks associated with any surgery, most wisdom teeth extractions are without complications and recovery is complete in just a few days to a week. The benefits of having the surgery outweigh the risk of ignoring your dentist’s advice to have your wisdom teeth removed.


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Invislaign Toronto

Invisalign: Straightening Teeth Without Braces

Having straight teeth is a goal from young people through mature adults, and achieving a great smile without having to wear braces is a wonderful benefit. Awkward moments of a mouth full of metal, food particles stuck in your smile, and painful wires poking your cheeks are all erased. How do you make this happen? The answer is Invisalign.

Invisalign is an orthodontic solution that involves wearing a series of clear plastic aligners that fit right onto your teeth, and move them using slow pressure. They are nearly invisible and can be removed at any time, allowing you to follow your usual eating and hygiene routines.

The first step is taking impressions of your teeth and making a digital 3-D image so that an exact treatment plan can be created. You will be able to see how your teeth should look at each treatment stage. Your customized aligners will be made in a lab so that they fit comfortably yet do their job.

You will need to wear your aligners during the day and while you sleep, but remove them for eating and hygiene. You can even remove them for special occasions, as long as you strive to wear the aligners 22 hours each day. Roughly every two weeks, you will change to a new set of aligners that will advance you to the next stage of treatment. You will see your dentist about every six weeks for checkups.

Invisalign treatment lasts about a year for adults and about two years for teens. Your progress will be visible throughout treatment, motivating you to continue wearing them to transform your smile. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll have beautiful straight teeth and very few complaints about your orthodontic experience.

Our dental office is located in Toronto