Archive for April 2012

One of the unavoidable realities of being a dentist is that you have to accept the fact some patients are going to be nervous about receiving treatment. No matter how much we assure you there is nothing to be concerned about, our assurances will not work on everyone.

And trust us…at Rideau Dental Centre; we understand that your discomfort is very real. Whether it is due to a previous uncomfortable experience at the dentist, stories from friends, or just the environment of the office, we get it! And while our assurances will work to calm many of you, some people need a bit more than just words.

For those who struggle with their nerves in the dental chair, we often recommend the use of nitrous oxide to calm you. Many of you may have heard of nitrous as laughing gas. This is due to the fact that the state of mild euphoria it can produce can actually cause people to “get the giggles”.

As it is a compressed gas, it is quite easy to administer. Your dentist will simply put a nasal hood over your nose and allow you to inhale normally. Nitrous oxide, mixed with oxygen, will be released in a slow, controlled fashion and we can then monitor your response to the dosage.

There are a number of advantages to using nitrous oxide. First of all, it takes effect quite quickly. Within 2 or 3 minutes, it could take sufficient effect that you will feel relaxed and able to proceed with your dental treatment.

Almost as importantly, it is eliminated from your body just as quickly. Within 5 minutes of having ceased to receive any gas, there may no longer be any signs of having had it administered.

Use of nitrous oxide can be very flexible to meet the needs of the individual.  For example, the depth of sedation can be altered during the course of treatment if a patient becomes either more or less anxious. This makes it easy for us to control as we determine your specific needs.

It is important to recall that nitrous will not meet the needs of all of our patients all the time. Certain procedures may be better served with other options, such as oral or even intravenous (IV) sedation. We can discuss your options with you depending upon the treatment you require.

The important thing to consider is that you do not have to let your anxieties interfere with good oral health care. You know how important regular visits to your dentist at Rideau Dental Centre are. If you think your discomfort may be causing you to skip some of those important visits, talk to us! Because Nitrous may be just what you need to let us provide the dental care you deserve. And getting the dental care you deserve is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon

You know the test! Things look ok but something still does not “feel” right to you. You might use the expression that it does not pass the “smell” test.

Well, as unpleasant a thought as it may be, your mouth may be in a similar state of health. All your teeth are there and they appear to be nice and white. But that “smell” test is emitting an odour that says something is wrong.

Truth be told, one in four Canadians suffers from bad breath that cannot be controlled with regular brushing, flossing or dental treatments. Of course, mouthwash or breath mints do little more than cover up the problem for very brief period.

These people might be surprised to learn that their bad breath may indicate a more serious, underlying health issue. Perhaps some form of local infection in the respiratory tract might be the cause. However, it may also be a sign of sinusitis, bronchitis, untreated diabetes or kidney or liver issues. All of these medical conditions need to be treated by a physician.

In most cases, however, bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene. If you are not brushing and flossing on a regular basis, food particles can be allowed to build up between your teeth. These particles attract a lot of bacteria. Keep in mind that your mouth is a nice, warm moist home which bacteria naturally finds very attractive! Add in some decaying food particles and you will have some very happy bacteria!

Of course, this can lead to further more serious oral health issues. The build-up of bacteria can penetrate the gums resulting in gum disease, also known as periodontitis. This can result in gum recession, tooth loss and even bone loss in the jaw. More seriously, these harmful bacteria will have an easy access route to your blood system and may spread their infections to other parts of the body, including the heart and lungs!

So don’t be afraid to see if your breath passes the “smell” test. Just cup your hand over your mouth so that your breath is directed toward your nose. Then exhale. If something does not smell right, you might have to pay greater attention to your brushing and flossing habits.

The best news is that good oral hygiene practices, including regular visits to the Rideau Dental Centre to see your dentist, will usually be sufficient to alleviate your breath problems. You may find that is all you need to do to turn your unpleasant odour into something that passes any smell test. Of course, if you are a smoker, quitting that habit may also be necessary to improve your breath.

Anyway you look at it, getting rid of bad breath is good for your confidence and also good for your health. So make sure you are not having trouble with the “smell” test. Because eliminating bad breath is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon

For those of you that just celebrated Easter, we hope you enjoyed a wonderful Easter with your families. And we know that our Jewish friends were also celebrating this past weekend as it was Passover. Again, we hope that your celebrations were also enjoyable.

While both holidays contain a great deal of religious significance, children always have a strong pull toward one thing – the sweet foods. And for Easter, that usually means chocolate Easter Eggs and Bunnies!

And while there are many articles today espousing the anti-oxidizing benefits of dark chocolate, most Easter treats are of the significantly less beneficial, milk chocolate variety. In other words, high in sugar, virtually non-existent in any positive health contributions!

Every year, as parents, we face the same dilemma. We love our children to enjoy a fun and challenging Easter Egg hunt! But we cringe at the thought of what all that chocolate is doing to their teeth! And there is good reason to cringe…a bit!

There is no way to avoid the reality that chocolate is full of sugar, and sugar has long been recognized as one of the major contributors to tooth decay. It is interesting to note that it not the sugar alone that causes the decay. It is the manner in which the sugar works in tandem with the bacteria that is common in our mouths.

The mouth is full of naturally occurring bacteria that can accumulate around the teeth. When it does, it can form a colourless, sticky substance known as plaque. On its own, that plaque is often filled with various micro-organisms that develop an acid which can eat away at the enamel of the teeth, causing decay.

These microorganisms love sugar. The more sugar they have and the longer they have access to it, the more damage they can do to young teeth (and adult teeth for that matter!).

The good news is that, unlike hard candy which sits in a child’s mouth for an extended period of time, chocolate can be consumed rather quickly. That is actually a positive as the longer sugary candy remains in the mouth; the more acid the bacteria can create!

Still, it is important to control the amount of chocolate your child consumes. That means remaining vigilant, because you know your kids are scheming up ways they can sneak more of it into their bedrooms at night! And consuming sugary foods after brushing can leave lots of time for bacteria to work its dark magic!

And brushing is essential as is flossing. Regular brushing can help remove the plaque where those acid-causing micro-organisms live.  But keep in mind that brushing alone is not sufficient. If you do not floss, 30% of the surface area of the teeth will remain unclean! Flossing is just as vital and since most kids cannot do it themselves, you need to help them in order to fully protect their teeth.

The magic of an Easter Egg hunt is never something we would want to deny your children. By all means, some chocolate in moderation is a wonderfully, tasty addition to life. Just make sure that their consumption is in moderation and that good brushing and flossing habits are adhered to! Also, make sure you bring them into to see us at the Rideau Dental Centre on a regular basis so we can monitor their oral health.

For most people, that should be sufficient to protect against decay. Because protecting against decay is a healthy habit…and healthier habits lead to healthier lives.

Dr. Wayne Perron

 

Dental Surgeon

With spring having arrived, the start of gardening season coincides with the arrival of Daffodil Month. By wearing a Daffodil, we honour the memory of loved ones we have lost to cancer as well as show our support to those currently fighting this dreadful disease. We certainly encourage all of you to show your support by proudly displaying your daffodil, particularly on April 27, which is Daffodil Day.

Sadly, cancer takes so many different forms, we have more than one month in the year dedicated to various forms of cancer awareness. For example, October is breast cancer awareness. March is colon cancer awareness.

We are certainly aware of the dangers of breast cancer for women and colon or prostate cancer for men, as well as many other forms of cancer. However, there is one form of cancer that is seldom discussed: namely oral cancer.

In these times, many of us have difficulty finding a family doctor who can provide the necessary examination to help detect some of these cancers at an early stage. At Rideau Dental Centre, our focus is to assist in at least one area by providing a thorough examination for oral cancer.

And this examination is a vital factor to reduce the mortality rate from oral cancer. It may surprise you to learn that, oral cancer has a much higher mortality rate than many other forms of cancer, including breast cancer.

The reason for this is simple: lack of awareness and lack of early detection. Many people fail to visit their dentist on a regular basis. That means they may not receive the complete oral examination needed to find the early warning signs of oral cancer.

All too often, we either discover one of our own patients with the telltale signs of oral cancer, or discuss similar discoveries with colleagues at other offices. We have a lot of good news stories where we discover the signs of oral cancer early and a full recovery is made. Those stories truly excite us and make us proud of our contribution to your health.

Sadly, too many patients do not come regularly enough and we are only able to discover their cancer when it is too late! In such cases, the cancer often takes advantage of the easy access the mouth provides to other systems within your body, and metastasizes to other locations.

For Daffodil Month, the best way you can honour any loved ones you have lost to cancer is to make sure you act on their memory. So if you have not had an oral cancer check recently, we recommend that you contact us at Rideau Dental Centre as your tribute to that special person! Because early detection of oral cancer is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon