Archive for January 2013

If you have read our blogs before, you know that this is not the first time we have written about oral cancer. Despite this fact, it is something that we feel compelled to write about again for the simple reason that screening for oral cancer can be a life-saving experience.

It is not just dental offices like ours that advocate oral cancer screening. Some very famous voices have also taken up the call for obvious, personal reasons.

Most of you are probably familiar with Michael Douglas and the fact that he recently fought a battle with cancer. What you may not be aware of is that his cancer was oral cancer. If you want to see what he has to say about the disease, we recommend that you check it out at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_3S_93_jGE

Oral cancer has also affected the lives of other famous names. Actress Blythe Danner lost her husband, director Bruce Paltrow to oral cancer a couple of years ago. You might recognize his name and realize he was the father of Gwyneth Paltrow. Her compelling story can be heard at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=flljvwmgemI

Actor Jack Klugman, once known as Quincy and Oscar from the Odd Couple, also battled oral cancer. In his case, it cost him his voice for a number of years. It took a great deal of work on his part to learn to speak again. You can listen to what he has to say at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-N0fC3FFiY

It is quite concerning to be confronted with the facts as these famous names present them. For instance, 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually and half of them will not survive 5 years. That is an incredibly high mortality rate. But when you listened to how Bruce Paltrow was not concerned about constant hoarseness he was experiencing until it was too late, you can understand why this might be the case.

Still, the most disturbing aspect of these videos is the fact that it is not just smokers who need to be concerned. While smokers are certainly at a higher risk for oral cancer, it is astonishing to consider that young, non-smokers are experiencing the fastest rate of increase in cases of oral cancer.

Exactly why this is the case is not clear at this time. It is interesting to consider the link between oral cancer and cervical cancer which Michael Douglas refers to. Perhaps some answers will lie in further research on this point.

The good news is that, with the early detection that may be provided to you through screening at your dental office, an oral cancer diagnosis does not have to have a tragic conclusion. At Rideau Dental Centre, we have been fortunate enough to have provided some of our patients with just such an early diagnosis.

If you have not visited a dental office recently, you may be overdue for an oral cancer screening. Call us to schedule a new patient exam, including oral cancer screening, today. Because early detection of oral cancer is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon

So much of what we are able to do as dentists is incredibly rewarding. Providing beautiful smiles for people whose oral health condition may have kept their smile hidden leaves us with a sense of accomplishment that is difficult to explain.

How a smile is transformed can vary tremendously depending upon the nature of a patient’s underlying oral health condition. But just like building a strong house, no matter what we do for your smile, it is vital that we begin with a strong foundation!

That means we need to ensure that your periodontal health is as good as we can make it! In the absence of good periodontal health, any crowns, implants, veneers or other steps we take to improve your smile is likely to fail.

Now some of you might wonder why the fact you may not have healthy gums could impact upon procedures that appear to target just the teeth. Well, just like your house, strengthening a wall will not guarantee that your house will remain standing if the foundation underneath remains weak.

Your gums and the bone beneath them are part of your foundation. When you come to our office and we tell you that you have 5 or 6 millimeter pockets that means the structure supporting your teeth may be compromised.

Perhaps you are experiencing an abscess and may require a root canal. Upon completion of the root canal, it is common to put a crown over the treated tooth. But if you have significant periodontal disease, the chances that the crown may fail down the road are dramatically increased.

Why is that?

Quite simply, putting a crown on a tooth where the connective tissue has been weakened may temporarily help the exposed surface of the tooth. But it does nothing to address the weaker foundation. As long as that foundation remains weak, there is no way to guarantee that a crown will remain in place.

Given that, how we proceed to look after your oral health will vary depending upon your needs. Often, one of the first things we need to do is take diagnostic radiographs. While you may not yet be experiencing any pain or discomfort, x-rays may tell us that you have a tooth that has decayed to the point a crown is required.

However, we may recommend first trying to improve your periodontal health. This will definitely entail some specific instructions on proper home care, including flossing, brushing and perhaps the use of other tools to remove debris from the gum line.

We may also recommend that you see us a number of times in the immediate future. For example, we might suggest you return for a series of 3 or 4 perio-maintenance appointments once every week or two. That could be followed by appointments every 3 or 4 months.

Once we are satisfied that we have done all we can to strengthen your foundation, then we may be able to proceed with the crown. At that time, we will be doing so knowing that we have done all we can to make sure the crown is being put into a mouth that is as healthy and strong as possible. Because strengthening that foundation is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon

Can you believe that we are now over one week into 2013? We hope that you enjoyed a great Holiday Season and that the New Year has started off great for you.

At this time of year, many of us look to make a fresh start on certain aspects of our lives. By that, we are talking about the New Year’s Resolution.

We certainly wish you the best of luck at sticking with any resolutions you may have made. We     would like to take this opportunity to let you know that, at Rideau Dental Centre, we have a resolution of our own. We resolve to help as many current and new patients have the best oral health year ever!

Some of you may have heard it said that if you have a goal and a plan, the best way to commit to it is put it in writing! So we felt the best way we could start on the path to achieving our resolution was to create a list of all the services we can provide to help improve your oral health.

Our favourite area of dentistry to work in is preventative. These include our perio-maintenance exams and oral cancer screening. The more you pay attention to these aspects with regular visits to our office, the greater the likelihood that problems can be addressed before they become too serious.

For athletes, it can also involve making sports guards. And for those who grind their teeth or tend to mouth breathe or snore a great deal, bite splints and night guards might be just what you need

Of course, preventative measures are not always successful. When that is the case, the range of restorative services that we offer can help make sure that you keep your smile all year and longer!

These services include fillings, bridges, crowns, implants, orthodontics, root canals, and right up to full mouth restorations. In some cases, extractions will be necessary and we will want to consider options to address the space that is left after such a procedure.

It is also interesting to note that there are different options available within the realm of some of these services. For example, if you require a crown, you may be able to choose between the traditional method where an outside lab prepared the crown or our in-house CEREC prepared crown. We would be happy to discuss the benefits of each of these options with you in person.

Finally, we also provide a range of cosmetic services. This can include teeth whitening and veneers or onlays. Of course, many of the restorative services also produce tremendous cosmetic results and you will find there is a great deal of overlap in such services. For example, crowns, orthodontics and implants provide many restorative and cosmetic benefits.

In the coming weeks, we will address many of these topics in our blog. We hope you find these informative and beneficial to you. Of course, if you have any questions regarding anything you read, we would be happy to discuss your concerns with you in person. Because keeping our resolution to look after your oral health is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr.  Wayne Perron

Dental Surgeon