Procedure FAQs

If you have a question for the dentist, you might see the answer here. These are a few of the questions we most commonly hear. We have answered them with short explanations, using the most current information available. If you would like more information, feel free to contact us directly at 403-885-8422 in Blackfalds or 403-843-2173 in Rimbey.


What is a dental implant?

An implant is a thin metal cylinder surgically implanted into the bone of the jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. They can be used to secure a single crown or, in the case of mini implants, an entire denture. They are a permanent solution.

There are several different designs of implants to suit many different needs. Your dentist will discuss with you the best option in your case. You want to make sure that they are properly trained and have the experience to successfully perform this procedure.

Can I get a filling using white material?

Yes, you can. White fillings are widely available, we offer them to all of our patients.

How can my child have cavities, I never feed them sugary food?

A lot of food naturally contains sugar. It might sound hard to believe, but the sugar in milk or bread is just as harmful to teeth as white sugar is. Sometimes sugar found in otherwise healthy foods could be especially problematic for teeth, think of the gummy stickiness of raisins for example.

A baby’s teeth are constantly submerged in milk, whether they are nursing or just keeping a bottle in their mouths for long periods of time. The sugar that exposes their teeth also is food for the bacteria that decay teeth.

If you have a small baby, you can avoid this decay by carefully cleaning his/her teeth with a soft infant toothbrush or by wiping the teeth clean at the end of each feeding with a soft washcloth, cotton swab, or cotton ball. Older children need to be taught to maintain a regular regimen of tooth brushing and flossing. This needs to be done regardless of their diet.

I have one dark tooth, what does this mean?

Among other possibilities, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong with the tooth’s nerve. The flow of blood in and out of the tooth is being stopped, possibly by an infection.

Treatment
A root canal is needed most of the time to remove the “dead” part of the tooth. If the situation is addressed quickly, though, a root canal might not be necessary. Only your dentist can say for sure.

A crown, bonding, or veneers are options to consider to get the tooth back to its natural color. If you did receive a root canal, there is a procedure, called single tooth whitening, where a whitening agent is applied directly inside of the tooth.

Do I really need an x-ray?

X-rays show the tooth and bone structure and can see disease symptoms that you can’t find any other way. A dental examination isn’t really complete without an x-ray.

Do I really need to bring my children to the dentist every six months?

Seeing your child this often lets your dentist monitor the development of your child’s teeth and jaw structure. This is a time of constant growth – teeth are being lost, teeth are growing in, bones are lengthening and growing stronger, and the bite is being established. Children also snack much more between brushings than any average adult, therefore the need for increased cavity watch is important. Frequent visits mean that a dentist can catch any problems early, when they can be corrected easier.

When is the right time to bring my child in for their first dental examination?

It is a good idea to bring them in once they get their first teeth. Your dentist will make sure that everything is developing correctly and discuss such things as – how to clean your baby’s teeth and prevent decay, how to avoid overexposure to fluoride supplements, and the importance of not letting your child go to sleep with a bottle.

How can I help my child if they are worried about seeing our dentist?

Instead of getting into details, let your dentist explain the treatment to your child. They can better answer their questions and know how to talk with kids. To make things easier, try not to tell your child that a certain procedure will or will not be painful.

Remember, every child is different. Some children can’t handle their regular dental cleaning visits, while others have abscessed teeth extracted or root canals performed without breaking a sweat. Rest assured, our staff knows how to talk with and comfort all sorts of kids.

What is a post and why do I need one?

If you are having a crown put in, you might need a post. Your original tooth’s core, (the part of your tooth that the dentist structured to support the new crown) might need additional retention from a post.

I need to get a crown. Will I need a root canal first?

A root canal is only necessary if the nerve of the tooth is damaged or decayed. Your dentist will need to access the nerve to prepare your tooth for restoration, so if this is not possible they might also have to perform a root canal.

A root canal can be anxiety-inducing, but with modern anesthetics and techniques you probably won’t feel a thing. Remember, a root-canal is by definition only a deep filling. In fact, many patients find it is so boring that they fall asleep!

What should I do if my temporary crown comes off?

Call your dentist right away and schedule an appointment to have it put back in. You need to get it in as soon as possible to prevent your other teeth from moving around.

When can I start eating after I get a crown?

Your tooth will be ready immediately, you just have to wait for the anesthesia to be out of your system. This usually takes about thirty minutes after you feel the effects wearing off. If you eat sooner, you risk biting your cheek or tongue.

When can I get my temporary bridge removed?

For most patients, a temporary bridge will need to be worn for about three weeks. You may need to wear your’s longer depending on your procedure, however. You may need to wear a temporary bridge for three months if your treatment includes extractions, or for six months if you have had periodontal surgery.

Is getting a new bridge painful?

The procedure itself should not be painful because we use a local anesthesia to minimize discomfort.

Over the next few days, you may have some soreness in your gums. You may also notice that your teeth are more sensitive. These symptoms are normal and usually don’t last for more than a few days.

Is a pacifier harmful to my child’s teeth?

Pacifiers are designed to retain their shape and made out of tough, rubbery material. This actually makes them more dangerous than thumb sucking.

It is important to wean your child off of both thumb sucking and pacifiers as soon as possible, though. Both habits can cause misalignment and tooth development issues for your child, actually damaging the jawbone. They should be not be doing either by the time their permanent teeth start appearing to prevent lifelong issues.

Should I look for tartar control toothpaste?

Tartar is a dense coating that can build up on your teeth and break them down. These toothpastes can stall the growth of tartar.

Some people find that tartar control toothpastes can make their teeth feel more sensitive or are painful to brush with, though. If you find that this is the case for you, try changing brands or just discontinue using this kind of toothpaste.

Remember, don’t use too much toothpaste when you’re brushing your teeth. You only need a dab about the size of a pea.

What kind of toothbrush works best?

Avoid firm or hard bristled brushes – these damage the gums. Choose soft or medium brushes instead. They also should be the correct size for your mouth and have a comfortable grip. This has an important effect on your brush pattern, the “GTO 123.”

You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive, elaborate toothbrushes. Research by Consumer Reports magazine has shown that nothing at home cleans better than a plain, manual toothbrush and dental floss – despite the claims of electric toothbrush manufacturers.

When should I replace my toothbrush?

According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should buy a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If you start to see the bristles fraying around the edge earlier than that, though, it is time for a new one. Dr. Dolynchuk suggests after one month, and always after a bout with a cold or the flu.

Should I be concerned if my child sucks their thumb?

It depends on how developed your child’s teeth are. It is important that a child stops sucking their thumb once permanent teeth first appear. At this point, this can affect the development of not only their teeth, but of their bite and the contours of their jaw. Correcting problems arising from this can be difficult.

If your child is under the age of four and only has baby teeth, this isn’t as much of a concern. Book an appointment with a dentist to make sure that your child’s teeth aren’t crowded and are staying straight, but never give up trying to discourage the thumb sucking habit.

How can I get my child to brush their teeth regularly?

Like everything else, the best way to teach your kids anything is to lead by example. Let your kids see that you regularly brush and floss your teeth. Set a routine with them, when established, it will be more likely that a child will maintain this routine for the rest of their life.

What can I do about bad breath?

Bad breath has a number of causes. It can be caused by tooth decay, gum disease, lack of saliva (xerostomia), certain foods and drinks, tobacco, medications, illness, or even food collection in the tonsils (for those who still have theirs).

Treatment for Bad Breath
First, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get to the root your problem. They can tell you if your bad breath is caused by tooth decay, gum disease, or if you have a medical condition and need to seek treatment from a physician.

For dental problems, your dentist will clean and restore your teeth, improve the health of your gums, and recommend a course of treatment to stop any infection. If your bad breath is not a dental problem, your dentist may suggest changes to your eating and drinking habits.

It might be time to examine your oral hygiene. Remember, you should brush after a meal, snack, or a sweet treat whenever you can. You also need to floss at least once a day.

Should I be concerned if I see permanent teeth coming in behind my child’s baby teeth?

No, this is fairly normal and there is no cause for alarm. If you think that the permanent teeth are causing too much crowding, talk to your child’s dentist and have them examine the situation.

Should baby teeth be pulled if a child’s smile is too crowded?

Often it is the incoming permanent teeth, not the baby teeth that are the cause of the problem. The large permanent teeth might be taking up too much room in the gums. Even if it is the baby teeth are to blame, extracting them isn’t usually the answer. It might solve the problem initially, but removing baby teeth can create problems down the road. Your child’s dentist can discuss more viable solution with you.

Should I be concerned if my child isn’t losing their baby teeth?

There is no need to worry, every child loses their baby teeth at their own pace. That being said, an appointment with a dentist is a good idea to make sure that his or her permanent teeth are developing healthily and that they are not being blocked by any stubborn baby teeth.

Why should I worry about baby teeth? Can’t the dentist just pull them out?

It is not healthy to remove baby teeth before they are ready to fall out. Baby teeth help a child learn to eat and speak, and they also help permanent teeth come in straight and in the right place. Ignoring the health of the baby teeth can lead to dangerous infections. Also, don’t forget that kids can become self-conscious of missing teeth and become ashamed of their smile.