Many factors affect how long whitening results will last as each person is different. The original color of your teeth, the ability of your tooth to absorb the whitening products, the consumption of coffee and red wine, smoking and your diet all play a role in how white your teeth stay.

Once a tooth is lost, many more will follow. Although a root canal is expensive, it may be more expensive to replace it with a bridge or an implant. Saving the tooth keeps the space and eliminates other teeth from shifting. One tooth may not seem like its going to affect you, but it can have major long term effects on the way your teeth fit together.

In order for a denture to fit properly, it needs retention. This retention comes from the amount of bone the denture has to rest on. If the teeth are pulled, the bone and gums continue to shrink over time. This results in loose, poor fitting dentures that need to be relined or remade. Usually dentures do not function as well as natural teeth, thus eating and speaking are compromised. Dental implants can be used as anchors to increase stability of the denture. However, the amount of bone present and cost may be factors

Usually a series of specific x-rays of the bone need to be taken. This will measure the amount of bone available for the placement of an implant. These x-rays will also show structures such as sinus and nerves which need to be avoided.

Fluoride is a mineral found in nature. It prevents cavities by making your tooth enamel stronger. It can keep weak spots in your teeth from turning into cavities. Fluoride can be found in drinking water, toothpaste and mouth rinses

If too much fluoride is present when a tooth develops, the fluoride mineral is incorporated into the enamel. This has the appearance of white or brown spots on the tooth. Most dental fluorosis is mild and barely visible. It is mainly a cosmetic concern. Dental fluorosis is not a problem for older children or adults as the teeth are finished their development.

Nitrous oxide is a gas that is mixed with oxygen and is commonly referred to as laughing gas. The gas is inhaled through the nose and is used to relax patients. The patient remains conscious at all times and the effects vary with each individual. The effects of the gas dissipate as soon as pure oxygen is breathed for approximately three minutes.

Canker sores are among the most common painful sores in the mouth. They are not the same as cold sores and are not contagious. There is no known cause for canker sores. Some suspected causative factors include reaction of the immune system, hormonal disorder, bacterial infection, heredity, stress, trauma, food allergies, drugs, deficiencies of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12. Some people have a few outbreaks a year and others can have them most of the time. Canker sores can involve any area of the mouth except for gums, hard palate and lips.

Around 6 months of age is when the first teeth begin to appear. Usually, the first two teeth to erupt are the two lower front teeth. Next, the top four front teeth emerge. Other teeth slowly begin to fill in, usually in pairs until all 20 teeth are present (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw). Typically, the complete set of primary teeth is in the mouth from age 2 ½ to 3 years. Often the first permanent tooth to erupt is the first molar (6 year molar) at approximately 6 years of age. The next permanent teeth are the lower or upper anterior teeth at 6 to 7 years of age. Next to come are the lateral incisors at 7 to 8 years of age. The order of the eruption of the canines and premolars vary but usually occur from 9 to 13 years old. Eruption of the wisdom teeth usually occurs between 17 to 21 years of age.

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Fluoride in water and toothpaste helps protect the smooth surfaces of teeth, however back teeth have a lot of uneven and rough surfaces where bacteria can get stuck in and cause a cavity. The sealants fill these deep grooves and help avoid tooth decay on the biting surface. Flossing is still essential to avoid decay between the teeth.

All insurance policies are different. It is the responsibility of the individual to know when their benefit year starts and ends and the maximum amount of work that is allowed in that 12 month period. Most insurance companies have a maximum limit on how much an individual can spend in 12 months. These 12 months may or may not coincide with the calendar year. When requested, our office will do predeterminations to the insurance company to determine what is covered however, it is up to the individual to know how much of their maximum has been used.

Some insurance companies have a missing tooth clause in their contracts. This clause will state that if a tooth was lost prior to their current insurance contract, the insurance company deems no responsibility to replace this tooth. It then becomes the individual’s responsibility to replace the tooth and not the insurance company.

A properly fitted mouthguard must be comfortable, protective, tear resistant, not bulky, cause minimal interference with breathing, have excellent retention and fit with sufficient thickness in critical areas.

Stock mouthguards are the most inexpensive and are available in most sport’s stores. They come in small, medium or large. These offer the least amount of protection and there is no way to adjust the fit of these mouthguards, so they are usually very unstable.

Boil and bite mouthguards are also inexpensive and readily available. These must be placed in hot water before forming to the teeth. Still the fit usually isn’t great and it may not be thick enough in the critical areas to properly protect the teeth.

Custom fit mouthguards are made at the dental office. An impression is taken so the mouthguard fits only that individual. This mouthguard offers the best protection, yet is thin enough for breathing. A proper mouthguard should extend from molar to molar.

This is an extremely difficult question to answer without doing an exam. The cost of a cleaning (scaling) is based on units of time. Each unit is 15 minutes. If there is a lot of stain or tartar on the teeth, it takes longer to clean this off. Each unit is $53.00. If you have regular cleanings, the average cleaning would be 2 – 3 units of scaling ($105.00 – $157.00), a prophy (polishing) is $50.00 and a fluoride treatment is $20.00. If there are no specific problems with the teeth, a recall exam (for existing patients) is $53.00. Cavity detecting x-rays are routinely done once a year. The cost of these 2 bitewing x-rays is $36.00. A new patient exam is $84.00 (one time exam fee). For examination purposes, a full mouth series of x-rays may be needed if it has been several years since your last dental visit. The cost of this can be up to $145.00, depending on the number of x-rays required. In general, we find average cleaning/check up appointments to run in the range of $250.00 – $350.00. For new patients, this cost is usually more due to the new patient exam and probability for more x-rays.

Signature Smiles does accept payment directly from most insurance companies. We will collect the patient portion following each dental appointment. If a patient does not know what percentage their coverage is, we will estimate their portion to be 20% and collect this amount when services are rendered.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children should be seen within 6 months of the first tooth erupting or by one year of age.

This varies, depending on the level of your oral hygiene care. If you have a lot of build up on your teeth, but healthier gums, we usually recommend a cleaning every 6 months. If you have good home care, healthy gums and very little tartar buildup, we may recommend a cleaning once a year. *Insurance companies have set intervals in which exams, x-rays, and fluoride treatments are allowed. Many also have limits as to how many units of scaling are allowable each year. Patients can contact their individual insurance companies and request that information to ensure they know their coverage. Every insurance coverage varies and due to the privacy act, will only release this information to the policy holder.

Insurance companies have their own fee guides (which can be based on outdated fee guides) so even if a person has been told they have 100% coverage, there may be a difference in the fees charged at our office and individual insurance company fees. Once an examination is done and treatment has been determined, we can send predeterminations (when requested) to insurance companies to help inform the patients of what the diagnosed treatment will cost. However, knowledge of particulars of insurance coverage is the responsibility of the patient (e.g. deductibles, yearly maximums, year end dates) as they do not release that information to us.

Carbamide peroxide or hygrogen peroxide are the active ingredients in bleaching that dental offices use. These agents break down the stain molecules in the tooth. Dissolution of the enamel on the tooth may occur over a prolonged use of over the counter products that contain acid. If prolonged bleaching occurs, there can be a decrease in the micro hardness of the enamel.

Dental plaque is formed by a certain type of bacteria in the mouth that attaches itself to the teeth at the gum line. Plaque begins forming on teeth 4 – 12 hours after brushing. If this film is not removed, the bacteria grow and form colonies. The bacteria can move below the gum line. Over time, if plaque is not removed, it starts to harden on the tooth surface (called tartar). The tartar is so hard it cannot be brushed off; it can only be removed by a professional cleaning. The bacteria present causes inflammation in the gums. This inflammation also causes the bone level to deteriorate. Gum disease is usually not painful. However, once the bone has deteriorated it will not grow back. The teeth become loose as there is no bone for a foundation and the teeth must be removed. Research has shown a correlation between gum disease and heart problems. By taking care of your teeth and gums, your whole body benefits.

During a routine examination, two x-rays called bitewings are taken. These x-rays show the dentist the crowns of the teeth in the top and bottom jaws. These x-rays allow the dentist to check the bone level around the teeth. They also allow the dentist to examine each tooth and filling or other restorations to ensure there is no decay present. The front teeth are much thinner and usually decay can be seen easier on these teeth by shining light through them. The back teeth are much thicker and x-rays are needed to be able to detect decay. If there is a specific problem, an x-ray of that tooth will be taken to inspect the root. This x-ray allows the dentist to examine the full tooth and bone around it.

As permanent teeth erupt, they resorb the root of the baby tooth. If the permanent tooth is not directly under the baby tooth, part of the baby tooth’s root will not dissolve properly. The baby tooth becomes stuck. If the baby tooth is not removed, the permanent tooth will be deflected out of alignment. If the child is not able to remove the baby tooth, the dentist will remove it.

Parents should be supervising brushing habits especially at night time until the child is at least eight years old. Children mature at different rates. Usually by eight years of age, the child’s manual dexterity is developed and brushing/flossing is able to be done correctly.

It may not seem important to restore baby teeth since they do fall out eventually. Some baby teeth do not fall out until 13 years of age. Baby teeth have nerves just like adult teeth. If a baby tooth has a cavity, the decay can grow and invade the nerve. The baby teeth will develop a painful abscess. Instead of doing a filling in the tooth, the tooth may need to be removed. Not to mention the child having to endure the pain of an abscessed tooth. Baby teeth act as guides for the eruption of permanent teeth. If the baby tooth has to be removed early, the remaining baby teeth can shift, thus the space for the permanent tooth will be lost. Now the permanent tooth will erupt into a place it is not supposed to or stay locked in the jaw. This will lead to expensive treatment to correct this problem.

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