Tooth decay or cavities are most commonly treated with fillings. There are different options for the material that is used to fill the cavity. First the tooth is anesthetized (frozen) with a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort during the tooth preparation. The decay is then removed with the dental handpiece (drill) to prepare the tooth for the filling. The tooth is then filled with the material of choice in either a direct or indirect fashion.
Crown + Bridge
Crowns: when a tooth has been compromised structurally or esthetics need improvement, a crown or cap can be placed on the tooth. The tooth is first anesthetized and then prepped to reduce the size of the sides on the top by approximately 1.5mm. A mould or a digital scan of the tooth is taken to provide a model on which to design the crown. When the crown is finished, it is cemented or bonded onto the tooth.
Bridges: when a tooth has been extracted a bridge is one option for filling in the space. The teeth on either side of the space are prepped the same as they would be for a crown and the same mould or digital scan is taken. The bridge is then made as one piece with an artificial tooth fused to the crowns on the adjacent teeth and this is cemented or bonded in place.
Veneers are an option for front teeth where esthetic improvement is desired. They are made out of porcelain in the same way that crowns are, however the difference is they only bond to the front surface of the tooth and cover the biting edge (not the whole tooth like a crown). The teeth need to be prepped similar to a crown on the front and biting edge. The impression/scan, fabrication and insertion of veneers are the same as for a porcelain crown.
Root canal treatment is the process of cleaning and disinfecting the pulp chambers and canals of a tooth when there has been injury or damage to the pulp (nerve and blood vessels) of the tooth. This can result from deep decay that infects the pulp with bacteria or trauma that damages the tooth and pulp irreversibly. Sometimes the decay does not directly enter the pulp but if the restoration is very close to the nerve, this can cause irreversible damage that leads to the need for a root canal. If a tooth is abscessed where the infection is stemming from the pulp, a root canal is needed to cure the infection and save the tooth.
There are times when teeth need to be removed. Wisdom teeth often don’t have room to erupt or are not coming in straight. Also teeth may become non-restorable due to large cavities, infections or the gum and bone health is compromised.
Partial: When multiple teeth are missing in an arch, one option for replacement of those teeth is a partial denture. An impression is taken of the teeth so that the denture can be custom-made by a dental laboratory to fit around the remaining teeth. We will match the shade of the denture teeth so they look as natural as possible.
Complete: When all teeth are missing in one arch of the mouth, a complete denture is an option to restore function and esthetics. A set of impressions is taken to custom-make the denture out of acrylic material. New dentures can cause sore areas to develop and therefore take time to get accustomed to. There are often appointments needed for adjustment.
We understand that going to the dentist can make patients nervous. For those patients, we offer two types of oral sedation: pills that are taken prior to the appointment to help with anxiety, and nitrous oxide “laughing gas” that you breath through your nose for a calming effect, or a combination of both. We find that this is effective in helping very nervous patients achieve the oral health treatment and goals that they desire. Oral sedation requires that an escort bring you to and from your appointment and stay with you. Nitrous oxide does not require an escort as the effects wear off immediately after it is finished. Please let us know if you would like to discuss sedation.
When teeth are misaligned, crowded, crooked and/or don’t fit together correctly, orthodontics (braces) can be used to correct these problems. Invisalign is an esthetic option to treat certain malocclusion cases. We will take a digital scan of your teeth and send to the invisalign laboratory to have clear aligner trays made. These trays are worn for two weeks at a time before advancing to the next tray. Each tray moves the teeth more than the last to achieve the final desired result.
At Hometown Dental we understand dental emergencies occur. Teeth can be damaged or fall out due to accidents and sometimes a toothache will spontaneously occur where the pain is unbearable. Please call the office and we will see you as soon as possible! Note: If a child’s adult toth is lost in an accident, this needs to be dealt with immediately!
Dentistry for Kids
It is very important to start seeing children early to get them used to the dentist office and also to try to educate and prevent childhood decay. It is also beneficial to catch decay early in children as it spreads through primary teeth faster than permanent teeth.
Night Guards: For people who grind/clench their teeth at night or TMD (temporomandibular joint disfunction), a night guard is a very beneficial appliance. Moulds are taken of the teeth and sent to the lab so they can custom-make this appliance. They are made out of either hard acrylic or a type that softens under warm water. These custom-made mouth guards are much better fitting than those purchased at the drug store.
-Sports Guards: Sports that involve contact or fast moving objects like baseballs can cause injury to the teeth (fracture or complete loss of a tooth). To help prevent injury, we can make a sports guard that is custom-fit to cover the patient’s teeth. We take a mould of the upper teeth then make a model to form the sport guard. This is done in our office and there are several colour options available. We might even match your sports team jerseys!
Teeth whitening or bleaching is a popular service. We offer in-office “Iveri” whitening, which can lighten teeth 2-8 shades in 20 minutes. The gel with this system is safe for people who have sensitive teeth. We apply the light activated gel in the dental chair. There is also a take home kit for any needed touch-ups.
Our hygienists are an integral part of our team as oral hygiene is extremely important. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and Periodontitis (inflammation of the supporting structures of the tooth) can be prevented with excellent home care and regular hygiene appointments. If hygiene is neglected, gingivitis can develop and progress to periodontitis. This is the destruction of gums and bone by the body trying to attack the plaque and tartar. As periodontitis progresses, it is harder to clean deep in the gums and infections and tooth loss can result.
When there are missing teeth in the jaw, dental implants are a great option for replacing them. The titanium implant mimics the root structure of a tooth and is bio-compatible so that the bone actually grows and attaches to it (osseointegration).