General Dental Procedures
Creekside Dental offers a full range of General Dental procedures to meet all the dental care needs for you and your family.
» DENTAL CLEANINGS AND GUM DISEASE
Professional Cleanings and maintaining good oral health is important for healthy teeth and gums and also for overall good health. Regular dental cleanings can prevent a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, strokes and more.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that ultimately destroys the supporting structures of your teeth. If diagnosed early it can be treated and reversed if significant damage has not already occurred.
Your dental hygienist will help ensure that you are maintaining good oral health with visual examinations and comparing previous measurements. If you are falling off track with your oral hygiene we’ll help put you back on track.
During dental cleanings, dental professionals are screening you for oral cancer, which has a high success rate of being cured when diagnosed early.
So come see us regularly for check ups and cleanings, do your part with brushing and flossing and we can help you keep your original teeth and have a brilliant, white, healthy smile.
» DENTAL EXAM AND RADIOGRAPHS (X-RAYS)
Routine Dental check ups are recommended twice a year and are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. A healthy mouth is important for your overall good health and many health complications have been linked to poor oral health.
Most commonly the dental check up is done in conjunction with a dental cleaning by a Dental Hygienist. The Dentist will come in during the appointment to do the dental exam and diagnosis. This includes looking not only at the teeth but also the muscles and joint of the jaw (TMJ), the soft tissue of the head and neck as well as the oral cavity. The dental exam is important for finding tooth decay, any signs of oral cancer, gum disease, and existing restorations that need replacing
Radiographs are crucial in diagnosing dental disease as tooth decay is asymptomatic in early stages and can’t always be seen with the naked eye, especially when they occur between the teeth. When cavities are diagnosed early, small fillings can be done and the maximum amount of tooth is preserved. Early detection will help prevent additional and more costly treatment such as a root-canal.
Creekside Dental uses a digital radiograph system that requires a fraction of the radiation to produce a traditional x-ray films. The amount of radiation exposure to you is minimal and there are no chemicals used to develop the film so there is less impact on the environment.
Fillings are placed to replace missing tooth structure from decay or trauma. Filling are suitable for small to medium cavities where as crowns are better for larger cavities. Composite and amalgam are the most commonly used filling material.
Metal Amalgam fillings are a combination of mercury and other metals (silver, copper, tin, and zinc). The grayish colour makes them non esthetic, but they are a durable and strong restoration. There is some controversy that has developed through speculation about mercury being one of the components. However the amalgamation of the metals form a stable solid compound and studies have not shown to link any health problems to dental amalgams. They are less expensive than tooth colored fillings, can be more durable on molars, but require more tooth to be removed to lock them into place.
Composite is a tooth colored plastic resin that is bonded to the tooth and hardened with a bright light. The bonding technique used for these fillings allows for less tooth structure to be removed and the colour of the composite can be matched to the tooth. They are ideal for small to medium cavities especially in areas where aesthetics is important. Composites in the past were far inferior in durability when compared to amalgams. Newer composites are getting closer in strength to the amalgams.
» DENTAL BONDING
This procedure uses tooth coloured composite filling material to cover over the surface of the tooth. It is done in one visit and can be used to repair small chips and small cosmetic improvements. The entire front surface can be bonded over similar to a porcelain veneer. However , they typically have a shorter life span, are not as natural looking and are less expensive than the porcelain veneers.
» DENTAL CROWNS
Dental crowns (or caps) are tooth-shaped coverings typically made of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or all porcelain to restore strength and eliminate discomfort. They are used to repair a cracked tooth, a tooth that has broken, has been root canal treated or decayed to such an extent that fillings are not able to repair the problem. It strengthens the tooth, as well as improving it’s appearance. Strength, durability and esthetics of a crown depend on the material it is made of. Gold alloy or full gold crowns are durable and strong and require less tooth structure to be removed but are not esthetic due to the metal color. They are ideal on molars where they better withstand the heavy forces of the jaw muscles. The PFM crown has a metal base with porcelain fused on the outside. It has better esthetics but is not as strong and requires more tooth to be reduced to accomadate the porcelain and metal. The porcelain on these crowns is opaque to hide the metal and sometimes can look dark along the gumline. All porcelain crowns are the most natural looking and provide the best esthetics but are more vulnerable to chipping or fracturing.
The procedure for getting a crown takes two appointments. The first visit involves reshaping and reducing the tooth, taking an accurate impression for the lab to use, and placing a temporary crown. The second visit (typically 2 weeks later), involves fitting the permanent crown and cementing it in place.
A dental bridge can be used to to replace a missing tooth. It relies on the support of the teeth on either side of the space and can be used to replace up to two or three teeth in a row. Structurally a bridge is made up of two dental crowns for the abutment teeth on either side of the space and a false tooth (called a pontic) or teeth fused in between.
The supporting teeth for bridges need to be strong enough to support the bridge. If surrounding teeth are not strong enough to support it or the bridge span is too long, the bridge can fail and further damage the anchor teeth. Bridges typically last several years but can last up over 10 years or more when well taken care of.
As with crowns, bridges are made of either Gold alloy, Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or all porcelain. Gold alloy bridges are the strongest, most durable, cause less wear on opposing teeth but are not tooth colored or esthetic. PFM bridges provide a strong framework with porcelain for better esthetics. However the porcelain is vulnerable to chipping or breaking, can wear the opposing teeth and doesn’t look as natural when placed over the metal supporting the bridge. All porcelain bridges provide the best natural looking esthetics however are the least durable and most vulnerable to chipping or breaking.
The procedure for a bridge takes two appointments. The first visit involves reshaping and reducing the teeth to anchor the bridge, taking an accurate impression for the lab to use, and placing a temporary crowns over the teeth. The second visit (typically 2 weeks later), involves fitting the permanent bridge and cementing it in place.
» ROOT CANALS
Root canal treatment is done on a tooth when the “nerve” or pulp of the tooth becomes infected by deep decay, a crack in the tooth, or trauma. The pulp of the tooth consists of a nerve and blood supply and can become inflamed and die. The procedure involves removing the pulp tissue, widening the canals and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth. Once this achieved the root canals are filled. It may take more than one appointment to complete the treatment if a lot of infection is present.
The signs that a root canal may be needed are:
- Severe tooth pain especially while chewing
- Your tooth pain wakes you up at night
- Teeth that are highly sensitive to hot or cold, with the sensitivity lingering for some time.
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth
An infected tooth can be extremely painful and the first step is to relieve the pain through antibiotics and other medications. This will prevent discomfort during the root canal treatment procedure.
After a tooth has had a root canal it is recommended to get a crown to seal the tooth and prevent the tooth from breaking and help reduce the chance of re-infection.
» TOOTH EXTRACTIONS AND WISDOM TEETH
Sometimes it is necessary to remove teeth. This commonly is the case when a tooth is severely broken, decayed or infected past the point of practical repair. A tooth may also be removed if it hasn't erupted properly, or is impacted. Teeth can also be removed to make space to straighten other teeth during treatment in braces.
In order to prevent potential future complications, wisdom teeth are often removed if they are impacted or there is not enough space for them. Potential problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include infection caused by food particles and bacteria getting trapped in gums behind the wisdom teeth where regular brushing and flossing is difficult and ineffective. These infections may occur frequently, and cause considerable pain and health risks. Although rare, cysts and tumors may also develop around impacted teeth.
A dental sealant is a plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Grooves in these teeth are so narrow that a toothbrush cannot fit into the spaces to remove plaque. Dental sealants help reduce the risk of dental decay in the grooves of teeth.
» NIGHT GUARDS (Bruxism Guards)
Night time grinding and/or clenching of teeth can be detrimental to the teeth, jaw, and facial muscles. Clenching the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. Headaches, a sore jaw joint, and sensitive teeth can be some of the symptoms that result from clenching or grinding. Wear on the teeth is also apparent.
A night guard is a custom fit appliance that fits over the teeth and slightly opens the bite. It relieves the pressure and stress placed on the joints and reduces wear on the teeth. In most cases, headaches and jaw pain can be significantly reduced or eliminated.
» MOUTH GUARDS (Sports Guards)
Custom sports guards provide superior comfort and performance when compared to store bought "boil and bite" mouth guards. A well fitting sports guard will help reduce trauma to the teeth and help reduce the risk and severity of concussions.
The active lifestyle at whistler definitely leaves our community at a higher risk for trauma. You should consider wearing a custom sports guard if you participate in Hockey, Snowboarding, Skiing, Mountain Biking, extreme Snowmobiling, or any contact sports.
» ORAL SEDATION
Too many people avoid dental treatment out of fear and anxiety, a condition known as dental phobia. Oral sedation dentistry can be used to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for these patients.
With oral sedation it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to the dental clinic. The caregiver must drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.