Dental veneers are thin layers of restorative materials that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. When done correctly, veneers can change the contour, color and dimension of your teeth.
The process of placing a veneer involves removing some of the enamel from your tooth using local anesthetics. This procedure is irreversible since tooth structures are removed. If you are considering veneers for aesthetic purposes, it is important to evaluate other options, including orthodontics and teeth whitening. At West Gray Dental, Dr. Ho can help you make the right decision concerning your needs.
At West Gray Dental, we offer two types of veneers, direct composite veneers and laboratory-made porcelain veneers.
- Composite veneers (sometimes referred to as direct resin or composite bonding) are the less expensive and can be placed with one visit. There is also a wide variety of shades available to best match your adjacent teeth. Unfortunately, composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain ones and they are less resistant to stains caused by extrinsic factors such as tobacco, coffee, red wine, blueberries, etc.
- Laboratory-made porcelain veneers offer greater durability and a wide variety of shades but they require two visits. During the first visit, after the preparation is done, an impression is taken and a temporary veneer is placed. A few days later, the patient returns to have the permanent veneer placed.
The crown is the part of the tooth that is above the gums, but it is also a type of dental restoration that caps or encircles a natural tooth or implant. Crowns improve aesthetic appeal, but they also help to reinforce the tooth.
When is a crown needed?
A dental crown is required in the following situations to restore forms and functions
- When a tooth is seriously damaged or decayed
- After a root canal
- To cover a dental implant
Crowns are done in two appointments also. The first is preparation of the tooth, impression, and temporization. The second appointment is the seating of the laboratory fabricated crown.
Once a permanent tooth is extracted for whatever reason, it is important to replace it with an artificial tooth as soon as possible. This prevents your other teeth from shifting out of alignment, while also protecting your teeth from other problems in the future.
A bridge (also called a “fixed bridge”) can be used to replace one or even sometimes two missing teeth. It generally consists of one artificial tooth permanently affixed between two real, healthy teeth.
How it’s done:
The two teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared to be fitted with crowns. Impression is made of the preparation.
The replacement tooth and two crowns are fabricated in a laboratory as one piece.
The dentist permanently affixes the bridge to the adjacent teeth using cement.
If well taken care of, a bridge should last you ten years. Dr. Ho will show you how to keep your bridge clean using dental floss and/or floss threaders.
The removable dental prosthesis is required when there are missing teeth which cannot be replaced by implants or bridges for physiological or mechanical reasons. Removable partials and dentures can replace the teeth permanently or temporarily. Sometimes, dentures can also be supported by implants for better retention.
When is a root canal needed?
If the pulp or nerves of a tooth are damaged or becomes infected due to trauma or carious lesions, your dentist will have to intervene with a procedure called root canal therapy. This is when the affected pulpal tissues are removed, the root canals are disinfected and filled with a permanent filling. This procedure allows you to preserve your tooth. Most of the time, teeth can be saved by doing a root canal therapy, but there are some instances when a tooth will have to be extracted. Dr. Ho has extensive experience with these procedures and will gladly discuss the options which is best for you.
How it’s done
After giving you a local anaesthetic, the dentist drills a small opening on the top of the tooth to reach the pulp and root canal system.
The dentist then meticulously cleans out the pulp tissues and fills the now empty root space with a rubber-like material that will be melted to bond with the tooth.
Finally, the dentist seals the opening with either a temporary or permanent filling to make your tooth look as natural as possible. Usually a crown is placed after a root canal therapy to protect the tooth from breaking.
Things to remember
Although a root canal can be performed in one appointment, it may take several visits depending on the degree of pulpal damage or spread of infection. Also, after the treatment, you will probably experience tenderness in and around the tooth.
Dr. Ho is there to walk you through the different steps so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by an accumulation of plaque and tartar. Left untreated, it may progress to periodontitis with possible tooth loss due to destruction of the hard and soft tissues that surround your teeth.
Symptoms of gingivitis
- Bad breath (halitosis);
- Bleeding gums after brushing teeth;
- Red, inflamed gums that are sensitive to the touch.
Causes of gingivitis
- Deficient immune system that can result from a malfunctioning thyroid gland, diabetes, pregnancy or leukemia.
- Hereditary factors.
- Bad habits, such as biting your nails, clenching or grinding your teeth, smoking, consuming too much sugar or eating poorly.
- Taking certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives and drugs.
Gingivitis is reversible. It is important to treat gingivitis quickly before it turns into periodontitis because the bone that supports the teeth can deteriorate, putting them at risk.
Pregnancy gingivitis is usually only temporary, caused by hormonal changes. Everything will return to normal after you give birth.
Do you think you might have gingivitis? Consult us without delay. Our experienced team will make a diagnosis and give you the right advice that applies to your situation.
Bad breath (halitosis) affects approximately 65% of the population. Temporary halitosis is caused by a decrease in saliva production during sleep, combined with reduced tongue and cheek movements. Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast and brushing your teeth and tongue should get your breath smelling fresh again.
Causes of halitosis
- Gum inflammation and disease.
- Inadequate oral hygiene.
- The presence of cavities and defective restorations.
- Food particles caught between the teeth.
- Sources of infection.
- Breathing through the mouth.
- Reduced saliva flow.
- An accumulation of bacteria and food debris on the tongue.
Mouthwash masks bad breath temporarily. If it is used excessively, it can irritate the mouth’s mucous membranes and aggravate the problem. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly. If your bad breath persists, consult us. Our team at West Gray Dental will give you the right advice to solve the problem.
Bruxism is the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth that most often occurs at night and is also associated with episodes of jaw locking.
Wear or abrasion of teeth, headaches, pain in the cheek and jaw joint areas (temporomandibular joint or TMJ)upon waking.
Not much is known yet about this condition, but anxiety seems to be a trigger that can aggravate bruxism.
Do you think you suffer from bruxism? Consult us. Our experienced team will make a diagnosis and give you the right advice that applies to your situation.
The mouthguard protects teeth and nearby structures such as bones, jaws and soft tissues. It is used in contact sports but also in activities where there is the risk of a fall.
Types of mouthguards
The prefabricated mouthguards are less expensive but they offer limited protection found over the counter at pharmacies.
For optimal results, it is best to use custom-made mouthguards adapted to your mouth and to your activity. They cost more but the investment is worth it in terms of comfort and protection. Some insurance plans cover mouthguards made by dentists.
While you are sleeping, the muscles in your throat that keep the airway open relax and decrease the diameter of the opening. This causes the surrounding structures to vibrate and snoring occurs.
Factors that can contribute to the shrinking of the airway
- Larger than normal tonsils
- An abnormally long soft palate
- Excessive fatty tissue in overweight patients.
- A recessed lower jaw
- A large tongue that is placed too far back, which can cause teh airway to shrink even more if the patient sleeps on his or her back
Snoring is an often benign condition that inconveniences the snorer’s sleeping partner more than anyone else. However, it can also be symptomatic of a much more serious condition: obstructive sleep apnea, a medical condition that affects 2% of women and 4% of men between the ages of 30 and 60. Diagnosis must be made by a specialist, usually a pneumologist specializing in sleep disorders.
Is your snoring a problem? Consult us and our team will give you the appropriate information and refer you to a specialist if needed.
Dental sealants are used as a preventative measure. They can prevent the formation of tooth decay or cavities in the natural fissures of your premolars and permanent molars. However, they do not replace brushing your teeth, flossing, eating well and visiting your dentist.
This treatment does not require local anaesthesia, so no needles are involved. It is also very quick, requiring only a few minutes per tooth.
Are dental sealants just for kids?
Some parents consider dental sealants for their kids to prevent or at least delay the infamous drill. However adults can benefit from dental sealants as well!
Aging and our love of coffee, tea, red wine and tobacco will contribute to our teeth turning yellow or brown over the years. Often, this pattern is reversible and whitening treatments can restore brilliance to your smile.
One-hour teeth whitening in office
In-office bleachings are the quickest way to whiter teeth. However, this may leave your teeth sensitive for a period of time.
Choosing to have an in-office whitening has the following benefits:
Your smile – and appearance – will improve after only 1 or 2 hours, instead of having to wait 2 to 3 weeks.
This treatment is safe and will not harm your fillings, tooth enamel or gums.
Whitening your teeth at home
At-home whitening generally involves applying bleaching gel to the teeth using a tray that is specially moulded to fit your mouth. This method requires significant discipline, but your teeth will definitely be whiter after a few weeks. This is the safest and least invasive method of teeth bleaching.
Warning : Do not start at-home teeth whitening without making sure that your teeth are healthy. Consult your dentist first.
So ask a professional for advice! Only your dentist can explain which options are best for your teeth.