Archive for July 2012

Have You Heard of CEREC?

July 31, 2012 | Posted Education

Technology has changed so much of what we do in our everyday life. Think of the speed at which we can access information on the internet or the manner in which we watch television in high definition, streamed feeds. Thirty years ago, these sorts of technology simply did not form part of our everyday lives.

Dentistry has also been dramatically affected by technology. New materials and techniques better enable your dentist to deliver services that simply did not exist in the past. Furthermore, with the computer technology provided in some offices, you can receive that treatment far more quickly and efficiently than in days gone by.

One of the most dramatic technological developments is commonly known as CEREC or E4D. CEREC or E4D can be used for a number of dental procedures, including crowns and veneers. It allows us as dentists to photograph your tooth and the surrounding area from multiple angles. The images are stored and a digital, three dimensional model is created.

Then the marvel really begins. The CEREC or E4D software will take that 3D model and design the crown or veneer that will best fit your tooth! Not only does it create an ideal fit for the restored tooth – it is able to consider the ideal shape to best function in YOUR mouth!

Your digitally designed restoration will be stored and then sent wirelessly to a milling machine specially designed for the CEREC or E4D system. The milling machine is like having a dental lab in your dentist’s office, meaning you do not need to take an impression on one visit and then return for a second or third time in order to allow an external lab the time to create your restoration. Within minutes, a crown or veneer can be created out of a modern, ceramic material.

Most patients are thrilled with the results. The digital technology, combined with minor adjustments we perform, work to create a tooth that fits and functions in your mouth like your natural tooth. The ceramic material used can create such a close match with your surrounding teeth, nobody will suspect you have a crown.

All this can be achieved with one simple trip to see us at Rideau Dental Centre! So if you have been putting off the crown your smile needs because you do not have the time to visit us two or three times, ask us if you might be a suitable candidate to have them created using CEREC or E4D.

If so, invest in your smile by scheduling that appointment. When you see that youthful smile in the mirror, you will be glad that you did.  Smiling keeps us feeling young,  energetic  and it is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. George Parry

Dental Surgeon

If you look through the articles on this site, you will notice that we strongly believe in emphasizing how important good oral health is important for good overall health. At Rideau Dental Centre, we are certainly proud of our role in helping you to maintain a healthy, happy life.

Believe it or not, sometimes contributing to good health is as simple as restoring a smile that you will be confident to flash to the world! The positive attitude that comes with a healthy, happy smile itself can improve your health dramatically.

Sometimes, life can get in the way of making you feel good about your smile. Perhaps you have had an accident which chipped or broke a tooth, or decay as eroded a tooth and deprived it of its naturally appealing shape and appearance. Depending upon your personal situation, you may need a crown to restore your smile.

A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth surface. It might be made of porcelain, ceramic or a metal alloy, such as gold.

Once in place, the crown acts as the outer surface of the tooth. Not only will it be what people see, it will be the new “tooth” you will use to chew your food. It needs to be structurally sound to do this. Therefore, it is imperative that it be installed properly to ensure a proper fit and a strong “tooth”.

Aside from repairing broken teeth, crowns can also be used to conceal discoloured teeth. They may also be used in conjunction with other dental procedures, such as a root canal. A root canal is a procedure you may require if the nerve of the tooth is not providing your tooth with the nourishment it requires. When this happens, the exposed tooth may become brittle and susceptible to fracturing. A crown will cover and protect the tooth, providing you with the peace of mind that your tooth is not likely to fracture.

The question is whether a crown is right for you! This is an important discussion we always believe in having with our patients before proceeding. For example, if your teeth are structurally sound, a crown may not be your best cosmetic option. This is due to the fact that installing a crown on a perfectly healthy tooth may require us to actually file or shave off part of the existing enamel.  This may not be the most desired option.

The good news is that there are other cosmetic options available that can be used to enhance your smile. For example, veneers can be a less intrusive way to cover stained or chipped teeth that are, otherwise, perfectly healthy.

If you are looking to enhance your smile, we recommend that you discuss your options with us first. We will be able to help select the best option for you. And should you decide on crowns, you may want to consider using CEREC to create them.  If you are a suitable candidate for crowns made by a CEREC machine, you may be able to have those crowns created in just one visit.

Whatever option you choose, we hope that the thought of flashing your new smile at your friends excites you. Studies show that smiling is a very healthy habit…and healthier habits lead to healthier lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulous

Most of your friends would probably never tell you if you had bad breath. After all, it can be a rather embarrassing topic to bring up, even though they may be doing you a favour. Of course, if you have small children, you can probably count on them to let you know! Kids are not too shy and we all know how they will just say what is on their minds.

However, if you do suffer from bad breath, you may already be aware of it. The question is what can you do about it?

In most instances, bad breath is caused by poor oral health practices. If you do not brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and floss at least once, you are likely leaving behind food particles between your teeth and along the gum line. The same can be said if you are brushing too quickly or just not doing a thorough job.

Unfortunately, you are not the only person who likes the food you eat. Bacteria also love it!  Colonies of bacteria will be attracted to remaining food particles. They can be particularily good at accumulating around the gum line and on your tongue! Trust us when we say that this bacteria does not smell good! In fact, it is what causes most instances of bad breath, and bad breath is not the only problem that may result. Left untreated, the bacteria in the mouth will turn to plaque. It can continue to spread under the gum line and may result in your developing periodontal disease.

If you have bad breath, treat it as a warning sign that you need to improve your oral health practices! The first step that may be necessary is a visit with us at Rideau Dental Centre.  Plaque is not always easy to remove with just a brush and floss, particularly if it is below the gum line. We can provide the professional cleaning you need to remove that plaque and, quite literally, give you a “fresh” start!

After that, brush your teeth and tongue morning and before bed time. You should also bring a toothbrush to work so you can brush after lunch! And do not forget to floss at least once per day. Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every three months. A dirty toothbrush cleans your teeth as well as dirty water cleans your dishes!

If you continue to experience bad breath despite your improved oral health regimen, come back to visit us. If you seem to be in good oral health, you may actually have another health concern that is the cause of your bad breath. For instance, bad breath may be a sign of undiagnosed diabetes! You may have to discuss this matter with another medical practitioner to determine the cause of your problem.

For most people, however, good oral health practices will solve their battle of the breath! So take the time to brush and floss properly as that is your best defense.  Defending against bad breath is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon

So far, we have seen our share of hot dry weather this summer! And with that weather comes summer fashions where clothes are lighter and there is more of the human body to be seen. Some of us may see the human body as a perfect work of art not to be tampered with. Others see it as a canvas to explore with tattoos and piercings.

If you take the latter view, we hope you do your research and select a reputable location to explore your edgy look. Just keep in mind, when it comes to piercings, there is a lot more to think about other than just where to go to get it done or how cool it looks. When it comes to piercings of the lips, cheeks or tongue, we also have to think about how this might affect your oral health.

It may not be pleasant to think about it, but the tongue is prime breeding ground for bacteria. Millions of these organisms make their home in this small little area of the body. In fact, as much as 70% of the bacteria found in the mouth make their home on the tongue.

Bacteria build-up on the tongue can cause serious health concerns. Bacteria are live organisms. They like to grow and they like to move. Just because they start at the tongue does not necessarily mean they will stay there. They may easily move to the teeth and gums. And bacteria at the gum line can cause periodontal disease.

More serious problems, such as infections, can occur if the bacteria finds its way into the bloodstream. These infections may not necessarily remain in the mouth. Blood flows throughout the body and it can transport that bacteria wherever it goes.

Keeping your tongue clean by brushing it is always important. If you are thinking of getting your tongue or lips pierced, you have even more reason to keep your tongue clean. The piercing creates an open wound that gives easy access for the bacteria to get into the blood stream. Just think of the infections that could result!

Even if you manage to avoid any infections from the piercing, you have created a great place for bacteria to accumulate. People with pierced tongues who fail to properly clean around the piercing are more likely to have bad breath than those without piercings.

At Rideau Dental Centre, we certainly recommend against piercings. Our focus is on your oral health and anything that makes it more difficult to maintain good oral health, such as piercings, is not something we favour. However, we recognize that the desire to be edgy and cool may trump good health advice. Should that be the case, it is vital that you keep the area around the piercing as clean as possible.

We will certainly do our part to help you in that regard, as long as you come to see us on a regular basis.  We will let you know if there are any early signs of infection around your piercing.

However, the bulk of the work at keeping the areas around piercings clean and bacteria free are up to you! You have to be committed to taking extra care in cleaning your teeth at home. Because avoiding the spread of infection is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon

With Canada Day just having passed us by, we have enjoyed the first long weekend of the summer. We certainly hope you enjoyed it!

And what was not to enjoy! A long weekend with warm, sunny weather can be a great excuse for heading up to a cottage or campsite with friends and family.  Of course, many of us would have enjoyed the consumption of some alcoholic beverages over this weekend, and may continue to do so on patios and cottages throughout the summer.

We have so many reasons to drink responsibly, the most obvious being the danger associated with drinking and driving. Even if you avoid stepping behind the wheel of a car, most of us are aware of many of the dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption. However, most people are not as familiar with the damage alcohol can have on your oral health!

The first area of concern can be tooth decay. Alcohol, particularly wine, can have a high acidic content. Food and drink high in acid can erode the enamel of our teeth, leading to acid erosion. Given our tendency to allow wine to linger in our mouth as we consume it slowly, the acid in the wine is allowed more time to wear away at the enamel and, ultimately, the underlying structure of the tooth.

Obviously, the more frequently you drink, the greater the level of acid erosion one would expect to find. However, even moderate drinking can result in some degree of acid erosion.

The affects of alcohol do not stop with tooth decay. It is also associated with a higher incidence of periodontal disease. The same sugars and acids that can erode the enamel of the teeth can have a similar affect on the gums. The contents of many forms of alcohol can bind to the teeth and thus begin a breeding ground for harmful plaque. As plaque accumulates around the gum line, it can result in periodontal disease.

Of greatest concern is the link between alcohol and oral cancer. Alcohol is considered one of the greatest contributors to oral cancer, along with tobacco use. Given the tendency to only diagnose oral cancer at more advanced stages, it is a form of cancer with a high mortality rate.

It is important to point out that our own attitudes toward alcohol consumption can be one of our worst enemies when it comes to oral health. Without question, at Rideau Dental Centre, we would applaud your decision to not drive while intoxicated! We also agree that light alcohol consumption can have some positive health benefits from a cardiovascular standpoint.

However, particularly in the summer, that tendency to be more social can lead to more than light consumption of alcohol. And the reality is that it does not take much to have an adverse impact on the health of your teeth and gums.

By all means, enjoy the summer! It seems to pass by too quickly every year and we do not want to waste a minute of it. But remember, too much of a good thing in the form of alcohol can lead to some serious oral health issues. Limiting your alcohol intake is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr.  Wayne Perron

Dental Surgeon