It is very important to take care of your teeth and gums while you are pregnant.  Hormonal changes can put you at risk for pregnancy gingivitis.  Most women notice their gums look redder and bleed when they brush or floss.  There can be severe swelling and bleeding.  Pregnancy gingivitis can start as early as the second month and usually disappears after the baby is delivered.  Good oral hygiene at home is essential to minimize the effects of pregnancy gingivitis.
 
Pregnancy granulomas can also develop as early as the second trimester and usually disappear after delivery.  These are red growths that are often found near the upper gum line but can be found anywhere in the mouth.  They can bleed easily and can form ulcers.  The exact cause is unknown but it usually associated with poor oral hygiene.
 
Morning sickness may also cause problems.  Frequent vomiting may cause enamel erosion.  It is important not to brush immediately after vomiting, since the acids will erode the enamel as you brush.  The pH in your mouth must be neutralized first.
 
Good oral health for mom is also important for your baby.  Periodontitis is associated with a higher risk of delivering a pre-term and low birth weight baby.  These babies have a higher incidence of developmental complications, asthma, ear infections, birth abnormalities, behavioural difficulties and a higher risk of infant death.  Mothers with high levels of cavity causing bacteria can also lead to increased dental cavities in the infant.
 
Routine dental procedures are best performed in the second trimester and elective procedures postponed until after delivery.  Always tell your dental professional if you are pregnant.  This is extremely important for safety of both mother and infant.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.  We’ll take care of both of you!

What is the best type of floss to use?  This is a question that is often asked by our patients.  The answer is very simple.  Floss that is the most effective is floss that you use everyday and effectively.  There is no single floss that is best. Use the floss that suits you or makes your job easier.
 
That said there are different kinds of floss: multifilament floss (nylon or silk) and monofilament floss.  Nylon floss is the most common and been around the longest.  It comes in waxed, unwaxed, different flavours and thicknesses.  Monofilament floss is newer technology.  It is very strong and doesn’t rip or tear.  This quality can make it easier to pull the floss between teeth.  Monofilament floss is also available in different flavours and thicknesses. It is all about personal choice.
 
It is also extremely important that once you committed the time to floss everyday, you do it right.  Flossing needs patience.  It can’t be rushed.  Popping the floss in and out doesn’t cut it.  The floss needs to clean the side of the tooth, even under the collar of gum.  This is where the bacteria hide. 
 
Ask your dental hygienist to show you the correct way to floss at your next appointment.  There may also be some other interdental aides that may work for your specific needs.  Call us at Rideau Dental Centre for an appointment at 613-230-7475.
 
 

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

February 18, 2014 | Posted Education

Are all toothbrushes equal?  How do you choose the right toothbrush?  What should you look for in toothbrush?
 
The main purpose of your toothbrush is to remove soft plaque.  A soft tooth brush is all you need.  A medium or hard toothbrush may cause abrasion, tooth sensitivity and gum recession.  Save that medium or hard toothbrush for scrubbing the bathroom!
 
Size of your toothbrush does matters.  Bigger is not better.  Your toothbrush should be able to fit in the back of your mouth along the gum line.  You should think of brushing one tooth at a time.  A small adult compact toothbrush is best.
 
Electric toothbrushes have some advantages over manual toothbrushes.  They can do a better job especially for those have limited dexterity.  They can also prevent excessive force on the teeth by stopping when too much force is applied. 
 
Ask us at the Rideau Dental Centre for brush recommendations that suit your mouth.  There are specialized brushes for specific needs, which your hygienist may recommend for you.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Why White?

February 04, 2014 | Posted Education

Many years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  His brushing as a toddler was not living up to my standards.  He was a logical young boy and wanted to know why brushing was so important.  When his mom arrived home I told him to look in her mouth.  He looked and saw the amalgam silver fillings.  He was shocked.  Even at that young age he realized that silver fillings were ugly.
 
White fillings are an advantage cosmetically obviously.  But are there any other advantages?  Are we putting our teeth at risk for vanity?
 
White fillings or composite fillings are made of powdered glass, quartz, silica and added to a resin.  A shade can be chosen by your dentist to match the tooth.  Composite can be bonded directly to tooth structures, creating two very distinct advantages over traditional amalgam. 
 
· Composite requires less removal of tooth structure.
· Composite restores most of the strength of the tooth, leaving the tooth less susceptible to breakage. 
 
Placing white fillings require proper technique by the dentist.  Improper use of bonding agents may result in tooth sensitivity.  Talk to your dentist at Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us 613-230-7475. 

Are You Always Tired?

January 21, 2014 | Posted Education

So do you get a good night sleep and feel rested in the morning?  Or do you keep your partner up with your snoring?  You may have a sleeping disorder that could cause you to stop breathing many times throughout the night.  This disrupts your natural sleep cycles and causes a restless sleep.  This disorder is called obstructive sleep apnea. 
 
Major signs of sleep apnea include sleepiness throughout the day when not active, morning headaches, difficulty with concentration and memory, moodiness, irritability and depression.  Has your partner ever told you snore then go quiet then go back to snoring again? Going quiet is when you briefly stop breathing.
 
Major risk factors include: 

  • Overweight

  • Male

  • Related to someone who has sleep apnea

  • Over the age of 65

  • Black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander

  • A smoker

  • Certain physical attributes, such as having a thick neck, deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids

 
Dentists cannot diagnose sleep apnea but they can help recognize the signs and symptoms to refer you to your family physician.  Dentists can also work with your physician to fabricate oral appliances to help prevent your jaw and tongue from blocking your airway.  Please feel free to discuss any concerns when you visit us at the Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

1) Daily flossing
2) Quitting smoking
3) Crowning that tooth
4) Daily flossing
5) Getting your teeth cleaned
6) Bringing your kids in for their check up
7) Daily flossing
8) Stop smoking
9) Wear your night guard
10) Call us at Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.
 
Happy New Year!

Do I Need Orthodontic Treatment?

December 23, 2013 | Posted Education

Orthodontics or braces aren’t just for kids anymore.  More and more adults are choosing to have orthodontic treatment done.  It isn’t just about the perfect Hollywood smile but can be about improving oral health.

Teeth can be crowded or crooked or rotated which can cause many problems in the mouth.  When teeth aren’t straight, it makes them harder to keep clean.  Poor oral hygiene leads to more cavities and gum disease, which may lead to tooth loss.  Misaligned teeth can also cause abnormal wear on the teeth and added pressure to the gums, which again may lead to tooth loss.   Added stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) from improper alignment of teeth as they bite together may cause headaches and pain in the TMJ. 

Modern orthodontics has changed.  There are more options than “metal train tracks”.  Brackets can be tooth coloured or brackets can be replaced with clear removable appliances. 

Make an appointment today to discuss your options with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre.  Call us at 613-230-7475.  Have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

 

 

Are Oral Piercings Safe?

December 10, 2013 | Posted Education

Are oral piercings really any different from piercing your ears?  What do you say if your teenager asks you what you think? What exactly are they and what are the risks?
 
Most commonly oral piercings consist of a barbell through the tongue or labret between the lower lip and chin.  Other areas could include the uvula, the lips and the cheeks.  The jewellery can be made of stainless steel, gold, plastic and titanium.
 
The most obvious problem with oral piercings is infections.  Our mouth is full of bacteria.  Piercings through the tongue or floor of the mouth are at higher risk for infection.  There is also the potential for muscle and nerve damage.  Chipped teeth are commonly see with tongue piercings and gum recession are frequent with labrets.
 
What can you do to avoid these complications?  Research the facility doing the piercing to ensure infection control.  Disinfect your jewellery regularly.  Don’t play with it in your mouth.  Make sure that the jewellery is made of plastic to protect the teeth from chipping.  Seek medical attention immediately if you experience swelling, bleeding or pain.
 
Schedule your appointment with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Centre to monitor any damage to teeth and gums.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Wisdom Teeth… To Keep Them or Not

November 13, 2013 | Posted Education

Most adults have 32 teeth by their late teens but do not have enough room for all of them.  Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt at the very back of our mouth.  If the fully erupted molars are aligned properly and the gums are healthy, the wisdom teeth do not need to be removed.  Unfortunately this often isn’t the case and they need to be extracted. 
 
Wisdom teeth can grow sideways, erupt partially out of the gum or remain impacted in the bone.  All of these scenarios are a potential problem. Partially erupted molars are open to the oral cavity that allows bacteria to hide under the gums and cause an infection.  This can be extremely painful.  Cysts or tumours can form around impacted molars.  This is very dangerous since it may result in the loss of bone of the jaw and healthy teeth. 
 
Your dentist will take x-rays and perform an exam to evaluate any risks for the extraction of your wisdom teeth.  Call us before it hurts for an appointment at the Rideau Dental Centre at 613-224-8338.

Taking Care of Our Parents

October 29, 2013 | Posted Education

As our parents get older, their needs change.  Life can change and get more challenging in an instant.  Priorities evolve and oral care can get left behind.  Oral health for seniors is very important.  It can improve general comfort, quality of life and self-esteem.  Poor oral health is linked to heart disease, pneumonia and complications from diabetes.
 
Seniors may have trouble with brushing technique or remembering to brush twice daily.  Assistance or modifications to their oral care may be needed.  For instance, a large handled brush would help an arthritic senior.  Some mouthwashes or toothpastes may be too harsh and difficult to tolerate.  Good oral hygiene helps eliminate harmful bacteria.
 
Prescription medications often lead to dry mouth.  This is a common problem.  Dry mouth can be very uncomfortable causing denture pain, cavities and difficulty swallowing and chewing.  Home fluoride can help prevent cavities.  Changing toothpastes and mouthwashes can help sooth dry mouth and stimulate saliva. 
 
Seniors should also have their oral cavity checked for open sores or lesions.  These can be very painful and make it difficult to eat.  Proper nutrition is essential to overall health. 
 
Take care of your parents like they took care of you!!  Talk to your dental professional at the Rideau Dental Centre to evaluate your parent’s individual needs.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Taking Care of Your Monsters

October 15, 2013 | Posted Education

Halloween!  It is that time of year for trick or treating and parties!  Dressing up to be your favourite character is fun at any age.  Our children are fuelled by their need for sugar!!  It is our job watch out for their oral health.
 
The toughest job as parents is juggling our kid’s happiness and their best interests.  Sugary snacks are often part of any celebration.  Supervising which types of candy, the quantity and frequency can make all the difference. 
 
Bacteria feed on candy.  The more the candy consumed, the bigger the sugar feast.  The longer is stays in the mouth, the bigger the sugar feast. Snacking on sugar all day, the bigger the sugar feast. 
 
Try to avoid candies that are sucked on or chewed for a long period of time. Do not feed your children candy with every snack or meal.  Remember candy should never replace nutrient rich foods. 
 
Most important!  Our kids need to brush after each sugary snack.  Brushing at least two times a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is the best way to fight cavities.  Two minutes is a long time for kids.  Put a timer in the bathroom to remind them to keep brushing.
 
Have fun and be safe on Halloween night.  Enjoy sweets but in moderation.  We’ll keep an eye out for any hiding sugar bugs on your next check up!  Call us at 613-230-7475.

It's Time to Quit!

October 02, 2013 | Posted Education

How many times have you thought about it? Nobody needs to remind you why you should quit. Obviously smoking can kill you many different ways. Why haven’t you stopped?
 
Quitting smoking is a personal decision.  Motivations can be health reasons, family members, financial or you could be just sick of the smell. You have to decide when you are ready.  When you are, do it!!
 
When the time is right prepare yourself.  Set a date and stick to it.  Get support from family and friends.  Talk to your family doctor.  Change your habits and make new ones.  Get out and exercise.  Identify your triggers.
 
In the oral cavity smoking is easily recognized.  Smokers often have brown stain covering their teeth.  Tooth loss among smokers is high due to periodontal disease.  Oral cancer is just one of the many cancers smokers are at a higher risk for.
 
At the Rideau Dental Center we can help you in your journey to quit.  Please talk to your dentist or hygienist and we can help set you on the right path. Call us 613-230-7475.

Life is Stressful

September 17, 2013 | Posted Education

Our North American lifestyle is busy.  We often put off taking care of ourselves to care for our families and our career.  It is easy to make excuses why we have no time to go to our dental appointments.  This has to stop.
 
Our bodies are just like the car we drive.  It needs a regular check up and maintenance.  Our oral health is linked to our general overall health in many ways.  Poor oral health can contribute to diabetes, respiratory and cardiac diseases, and women delivering pre-term low birth weight babies.
 
Routine exams help diagnose problems when they are smaller and simpler to fix.  Routine dental hygiene treatment helps maintain healthy gums and a strong foundation to support the tooth.  Prevention is the key.
 
It is important to have a long-term plan for your oral health care.  Insurance doesn’t cover everything and has annual limits.   When insurance hasn’t been used for the year, the unused amount cannot be accumulated.  It is lost. 
 
Try to plan to budget annual maintenance for your mouth to prevent exceeding your annual limit and maximize your dental benefits.  Our team at the Rideau Dental Centre is happy to assist you with your insurance claims.  Call us at 613-230-7475.

Back to School

September 03, 2013 | Posted Education

Sending the kids back to school is always a busy time for every family. Getting clothes, books and packing lunches and snacks.  Kids are at school all day and sometimes longer with after school activities.  That is a long time without brushing their teeth!
 
Cavities causing bacteria and kids have one very big thing in common.  SUGAR!  They love sugar. Bacteria feed on sugar to produce acid.  That acid creates a hole in the tooth that is called a cavity.  It isn’t realistic to eliminate sugar completely from our children’s diet but there are ways to reduce the risk.
 
Reducing the frequency and duration teeth are exposed to the acid attack is essential.  The acid attacks the tooth while the sugar is in the mouth plus 20 minutes.  So if your child sucks on a candy for 5 minutes, the acid attack lasts 25 minutes.  If they have 5 candies throughout the day, multiply that by 5.
 
-Pack healthy snacks full of nutrients instead of empty calories (fruits and veggies versus candy).
-Avoid pop or sugary drinks that are consumed over a long period of time.
-Avoid sticky sugary foods.
-Avoid candies or gum that have sugar.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre we’d be happy to answer any of your questions. Call us at 613-230-7475.

I Don't Like My Smile

August 20, 2013 | Posted Education

Patients often are unhappy with the appearance of their smile for many different reasons.  It can change your life and confidence level.  Our smile is one of the first things people notice and they are contagious.
 
Missing or broken teeth need to be fixed.  These teeth can be crowned or replaced by a bridge or implant. Old crowns or bridges may not match the teeth next to them anymore. Margins of the crown may be visible making them obvious.  Modern lab techniques can make porcelain crowns that are much more aesthetically pleasing than in the past.
 
Misaligned teeth aren’t just for children.  Sometimes teeth shift as we get older or maybe we never had braces to correct them.  Traditional braces or Invisalign could be options at any age.
 
Colour of your teeth could be the issue.  Whitening your teeth with custom trays or with over the counter whitening products may be possible and easy to brighten your smile. Not everyone is a candidate to whiten his or her teeth and it is important to discuss this first with your dentist before trying it.
 
Visit us at Rideau dental centre to sit down and discuss your concerns.  We want to see you smiling everyday! Call us 613-224-8338.

Having a new addition in the family is a busy time. Time goes by fast and before you know it, your little one is teething. Teeth generally start to make their appearance around 6 months of age. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child be brought in to see a dentist within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth or by 1 years old.
 
At their dental assessment, the dentist will evaluate dietary concerns, oral hygiene and any fluoride recommendations.  The dentist will check for cavities and any developmental abnormalities.
 
One of the most important reasons to bring you child to the dentist is for your child to be comfortable. Establishing a trusted relationship between your child and the dentist is essential. This allows open communication and easier dental visits for the child, the parents and the dentist.
 
Start your dental family at the Rideau Dental Centre today. Call us at 614-230-7475.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is made up of the jaw joint and the group of muscles that allow us to chew, speak, swallow and yawn.  When the balance is lost and something goes wrong, we develop TMD  (temporomandibular disorder).
 
Signs and symptoms include many of the following:  Tenderness and muscle soreness.  Difficulty opening or closing your mouth.  Headaches or neck pain.  Clicking, grinding or popping noises when you chew your food.
 
The causes of TMD are not always obvious but stress often plays a major role.  Everyday lives can cause us to clench and grind our teeth together often without even realizing it.  There also can be other factors such as an injury, whiplash, missing teeth, improperly fitting dentures…
 
Your dentist can suggest several solutions to relieving TMD pain.  First and foremost relax!!  Often just knowing you are clenching can help stop the habit.  Hot and cold compresses can help along with massaging the muscles. 
 
Your dentist may also recommend a bite splint or nightguard.  This appliance covers the biting surface of the teeth of one jaw which helps relax the muscles.  The nightguard also protects your precious teeth and dental work from wear and fracture.
 
Discuss any TMD symptoms with your dentist at the Rideau Dental Center so they can help alleviate any pain you may experience.  Call us at 613-230-7475

The dreaded questions asked when you sit down to your dental hygiene visit… What do you do at home to take care of your teeth? Are you flossing daily? 
 
Why does it matter anyways?
 
Most people don’t really know what periodontal disease is or if they have it. Some people think it is normal that their gums bleed. It isn’t normal. It is a sign of disease.
 
Bacteria live in your mouth. They grow, multiply and group together to form a biofilm. Bacteria hide around and underneath your gums where it is dark, moist, warm, and generally undisturbed. When bacteria attack the tissues of the gums they cause your body to fight back causing an inflammatory response. In the mouth this appears as red, shiny swollen gums that bleed easily. Bone loss may be observed on x-rays and measured during your periodontal assessment.
 
Periodontal disease is an infection. To fight or prevent the bacteria in your mouth, you must reduce the number of bacteria and break up the biofilm. This means keeping all surfaces of your teeth clean especially between your teeth!
 
There are many tools to clean your teeth. Your hygienist will recommend a personal homecare routine. Visit your registered dental hygienist at the Rideau Dental Center.
 

A crown is like a helmet for a tooth.  Our teeth take a beating from a lifetime of chewing, not to mention clenching and grinding.  Crowning a tooth protects the tooth from fracturing when it has been weakened.  Fractures can be above the gums or below the gums. Teeth that fracture below the gums may be unable to be restored thus needing to be extracted.
 
The crown of the tooth may be compromised for different reasons.  One reason may be lack of tooth structure remaining.  A filling is only meant to fill a small hole and not replace the crown of the tooth. Root canalled teeth need to be crowned too. After a tooth has been root canal treated it becomes brittle and prone to breaking. 
 
Crowns are made of different materials.  They can be tooth coloured or gold or silver. Crowns can be completed in one or two appointments. Computer generated crowns (CAD-CAM) can be done in one visit.  Traditional lab fabricated crowns are done in two appointments. 
 
Your dentist will help you decide when a crown may be recommended and which type is best for your tooth.  Don’t to break a tooth! Call us at the Rideau dental centre for an appointment.

Do you have pain in your mouth? Are you sensitive to sweets, hot, or cold? Is it a sharp and fast pain or is it a dull ache that lasts.
 
Many people experience these sensations but ignore them, hoping they will magically disappear. Having these areas checked is very important. You may have a cavity or an infection around the root of the tooth, or it could be as simple as root exposure or a filling that needs to be adjusted.
 
Most people are afraid of the dreaded root canal... But they don't know what it is or why is it really necessary.
 
The root of the tooth houses the blood vessels and nerves.  Root canals may be considered necessary when bacteria enter the pulp from different sources. Some of these include bacteria entering the pulp through large cavities or leaky fillings, or cracks or trauma to the tooth.
 
A root canal treatment is the removal of a dead, injured or infected pulp. You are given local anesthetic so the procedure is painless. Your dentist will remove the pulp and clean out the canal before sealing the pulp canals. After your tooth has had a root canal treatment you need to discuss how to restore the crown of tooth with your dentist.
 
Please don't ignore what your tooth is telling you. Make sure to tell us about it at your next visit at the Rideau Dental Centre!

25% of the adult population suffer from dry mouth.  Dry mouth may present itself by thick and ropy saliva, burning mouth, oral yeast infections, bad breath, difficulty swallowing, fissured tongue and more...
 
There are many different possible causes for a dry mouth.  It can be caused by different systemic conditions or more commonly as a side effect of medications or mouth breathing.
 
Your oral health professional may recognize dry mouth by performing an exam and listening to your concerns.
 
Saliva in our mouth is very important. Saliva helps to cleanse our teeth and tissues.  It also helps to buffer or neutralize the acid in our mouth. Acid produced by bacteria cause cavities.  When we have a chronic dry mouth our tissues can stick to teeth which creates soreness and cavities can grow extremely rapidly.
 
There are several things you can do to help alleviate dry mouth. Drink lots of water, chew sugar free gum or suck on sugar free candy to stimulate saliva.  There are also toothpastes, mouthwashes and gels created specifically to moisturize and soothe symptoms of dry mouth. Home fluoride may also be required to minimize cavities.
 
Talk to your dental health professional at the Rideau Dental Centre to help assess your risk for dry mouth.

What is a computer-generated crown?? Traditionally when a crown is done... the tooth is prepared and impressions are taken at the first visit.  These impressions are sent to the lab and typically 7-10 days later the crown is ready to be cemented into your mouth. 
 
With a computer generated crown or cerec, it is usually done in one visit.  After the tooth is prepared, a digital impression is taken with a 3D camera. Computer software along with your dentist designs the crown to fit your mouth. Crowns, onlays and inlays can be made using different ceramic materials and is fabricated right in the office.  You can even watch it being made!  From there it is cemented directly into your mouth.
 
This new technology allows control over design that enables your dentist to conserve tooth structure.   Cerec technology also saves your valuable time. At the Rideau Dental Centre we try to make all technologies available to our patients. Please call us to make an appointment.

Patients often ask why do I need x-rays and are they safe? Dental x-rays are taken for many reasons and the frequency they are needed is different for each individual. Your dentist will access your risk factors along with your dental history to determine when they will prescribe x-rays for you.  Without these images your dentist would be unable to detect cavities between teeth, infections or defective crowns or bridges. Your dentist may also be looking for missing teeth, impacted teeth and even an abnormal growth that may occur in the bone.

Radiation exposure can occur by acute or chronic exposure. Acute exposure is a large dose in a short period of time and a chronic exposure is a small dose over a long period of time. All of us are exposed to radiation everyday. This is referred to as background radiation and is naturally occurring. One single x-ray is 20-30 times less than the annual amount of background radiation and 50-300 times less than a single CT scan. New digital x-ray machines decrease the radiation exposure even more. Unnecessary x-rays are filtered out and the x-ray beam is focused to the area of interest but as an extra safety precaution a lead apron shields your body. 

At Rideau dental centre, your overall health is important to us. Our dentists only recommend the x-rays they feel you need and that is safe for you

How Clean Is Clean?

April 02, 2013 | Posted Education

Have you ever wondered about the path the instruments used at the dental office take to reach your mouth? We’d love to show you!! We love to brag about our state of the art sterilization process and highly trained staff.

We need to start with clean hands, gloves and masks.  Before we even put on gloves are hands are washed or sanitized.  New clean gloves and masks are put on for each patient.  The treatment room is disinfected, the suction lines are flushed and the water lines are purged between each patient. We treat each patient as a member of our family.

Dirty instruments are contaminated with blood, food debris and saliva. Nobody wants to be exposed to any dangerous bacteria or viruses.  Your health is important to us.

All dirty instruments must first be immersed in an ultrasonic bath to remove any debris.  They are rinsed and dried before they are placed in a sealed sterilization bag. Now they are ready for the steam-pressurized sterilizer.  When the instruments are removed, their bag indicators are double checked to ensure they are ready to be used.  Validation that are machines are operating correctly are done daily by biological testing. Ask us, we’ll be happy to show you.

Next time you come to visit us, please feel free to ask us for a tour of our sterilization centre. 

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Are you approaching retirement? Have you thought about how this affects your dental budget?

Not everyone realizes that his or her dental benefits or budget may change after retirement. Many of us work years without taking full advantage of our insurance coverage. Unfortunately we cannot bank what isn’t used every year.

As we approach are golden years…there are specific dental concerns. Dental fillings do not last forever. They may have been in your mouth for years and need to be replaced. Large fillings may need to be crowned to prevent them from breaking. Are your gums healthy? Will you need to see your dental hygienist more frequently? Do missing teeth need to be replaced? Are your dentures fitting comfortably? Ask a member of your dental team all these questions.

It is often challenging when a patient comes to us just before retirement and inquires about work that may need to be done before their benefits are changed. It is difficult to inform them that their treatment needs exceed the insurance annual maximum. It is important to share your retirement goals with your dental team 3-5 years before. This way they can sit down with you and plan out any treatment needed while maximizing your insurance coverage.

Feel free to ask for a reassessment appointment. Your dentist will re-evaluate your oral health and prepare your mouth for your retirement.

Did you know you could develop oral cancer by sexual transmission? Did you know that younger sexually active non-smoking adults are the fastest growing group to develop oral cancer? Have you talked to your teenagers about the risks? Inform yourself!

HPV is a virus that is a known cause of cervical cancer. The oral tissue is very similar to the tissue in the cervix and does not discriminate against a man or a woman. Oral cancer can be horribly disfiguring and if left undiagnosed… has a poor prognosis. Oral cancer is 3 times more common and twice as deadly as cervical cancer.

Risk factors traditionally for oral cancer are smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.  Now unprotected sex and multiple sexual partners are putting non-smokers at risk.

What does it look like? It can be red or white. It can be a sore that doesn’t heal after 14 days. It can be a wart-like mass. It can also be hoarseness in the throat or pain. It can be difficulty swallowing, speaking, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue. It can even be a simple as feeling like something is always caught in your throat.

At Rideau Dental Centre each registered dental hygienist and dentist is highly trained and performs an oral cancer screening at each visit. Make your reservation for your oral health care assessment today.

From our standpoint at Rideau Dental Centre, when we hear that only 45% of the population visits their dentist at least once per year, we definitely become concerned about the oral health care of much of the population.  Most of you may be familiar with the basic belief that everyone should visit their dentist at least twice per year.

What you may not be aware of is that this is the minimum recommendation for those who are in good oral health. For those individuals experiencing specific dental issues, such as periodontitis, you may require more frequent visits.

However, for some people, the issue is not so much about the frequency of visits to maintain good oral health. If you are part of that population that simply does not visit the dentist at all, making the first visit is the one we are most concerned about!

There are always reasons you cannot make it to our office and we understand that. Work days seem so much longer than ever before as technology seems to have us permanently linked to the office. Single parents or two income families often struggle to balance work life with getting their kids to whatever activity they have that night.

As important as those aspects of life can be, the impact we can have on improving your quality of life is not something to be ignored either!

It is not just the traditional aspects of looking after your teeth and gums that we are concerned about. Educating you to look after your oral health away from our office is a big part of what we do!

That can include taking the time to discuss proper brushing and flossing techniques. It can even include proper care of your sports mouth guard. It may come as a surprise to you, but there is a case of a young athlete contracting asthma due to improper cleaning and storage of his mouth guard. The bacterial built up and went to his lungs via the access to his mouth. As soon as he properly maintained his mouth guard, his symptoms subsided!

The bottom line is that we pride ourselves on providing complete oral health care service. That means making sure you are armed with the best information to take home with you so you can improve your ability to look after your oral health.

After all, we cannot be with you every minute of the day. We need you to be as committed to your oral health as we are! And the first way you can demonstrate that commitment is by taking that first step and come in for an assessment. When you do that, together we can plan the way to help maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life.

So invest the time to see your dentist. Because regular dental visits are a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon

Images of hearts will be everywhere this week as lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day. Given that February is Heart Health Month, all those images of love from the heart certainly seem very appropriate in more ways than one!

Of course, it is not our intent to cast any shadows on the romantic images a Valentine’s heart can represent. However, as health care providers, our focus on the heart does tend to be bit more clinical!

We understand that some of you would question why would a dental office be concerned about the health of your heart. The truth is our concern is quite valid for a number of reasons.

First of all, you may have noticed that more and more dental offices are measuring blood pressure of their patients. The reason for this is that if you arrive at an appointment with us experiencing elevated blood pressure, we may have to assess whether it is in your best interest to proceed with treatment at that time.

On a similar note, many patients with heart issues may be taking medication as part of their treatment. It is vital that we be aware of any medication you may be taking before we proceed with your dental appointment. Otherwise, there is a risk that we could administer something that may not mix well with your current medication. This is a situation we obviously want to avoid!

These are perhaps the more dramatic reasons why, at Rideau Dental Centre, the health of your heart is of great concern to us. However, there are also positive reasons for our concern that focus on prevention of heart disease. Believe it or not, good oral health is increasingly being recognized as one of the keys to maintaining a healthy heart!

That is right! Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once, combined with regular visits to your dentist, may be a key component of the ticket to better heart health for many of you!

Before you scratch your head wondering how good oral health care can reduce your risk of heart disease, you should be aware that the American Association of Retired Persons included good oral health care on its list of best practices to take care of the hearts of its members.

To understand why this would be the case, keep in mind how the mouth is an open access point to many bacteria that can be harmful to the body, including the heart. A mouth that is properly cleaned and healthy is better able to filter out those harmful bacteria.

However, if plaque is allowed to build up along the gum line, your mouth will be less able to keep potentially dangerous bacteria from entering your blood stream. The wrong type of bacteria going in the wrong direction could result in consequences to your cardiovascular health you never would have anticipated when you decided you were too busy to brush or floss!

So this month, as we focus on heart health, allow us to contribute to your improved health in the best way we can. Let us help reduce the chance of dangerous bacteria attacking your heart…because good oral health is a healthy habit…and this month, healthy habits lead to healthy hearts.

Dr. George Parry  

Dental Surgeon

With the Super Bowl having just been played over the weekend, it is hard to believe that it has been a while since any of our kids would have played a game of football. And with the NHL just having started up, it may be hard to think that the winter minor hockey season is fast coming to an end.

For those of you who put the hockey gear aside for the summer and move on to other sports, it is quite common to retire the mouth guard until the next hockey season begins. However, it is our position that, as long as your child is playing most sports, a mouth guard should be considered an essential piece of equipment!

Hockey and football have been the most progressive in requiring young athletes to protect their teeth by wearing a mouth guard. In some respects, it is somewhat ironic that these two sports should be leaders in the use of mouth guards given the protection already provided by mandatory facial cages.

Fortunately, hockey and football have recognized that damage to the teeth, gums or tongue can still occur simply by virtue of the jarring force of impact when two young bodies collide.

What is perhaps harder to believe is that sports such as soccer or baseball, where no facial shield is required, do not require participants to wear mouth guards. Clearly, physical contact is not as big a part of soccer or baseball when compared to football and hockey.

Nonetheless, kids and objects can still fly around a field at pretty high rates of speed. That means incidental contact is extremely likely! In the absence of a face shield, a mouth guard may be all that you have to protect the teeth of your young child from serious injury.

Just consider the force of a collision between two young athletes, each weighing 100 pounds, and travelling towards each other at full speed! Or when a baseball is thrown across the infield, trying to make an out at first base but which may not be as accurate as we would like? How about a soccer ball kicked at full velocity and hurdling straight toward your young child’s face?

All of these are common instances in soccer and baseball. And the damage they can do to unprotected teeth is both extensive and costly.

Obviously, the use of a custom-fitted sports mouth guard is no guarantee of absolute protection for those teeth. But some protection is better than none. Reducing the damage from a collision may be enough to save your child’s teeth.

So talk to us at Rideau Dental Centre about what we can do to provide a custom-fitted mouth guard to your young athlete for summer sports! Because collisions happen in non-contact sports, and protecting your mouth is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon

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

 

At this time of year, it is always interesting to look back on the previous 12 months and take a moment to appreciate how blessed we are. For us at Rideau Dental Centre, one our greatest blessings is the honour our patients bestow upon us by allowing us to assist them in looking after their oral health!

 

To all of our patients, we would like to extend our sincere thanks for allowing us the privilege of contributing to your beautiful smiles and to playing a small role in your healthy lifestyles. It is an honour to be of service and we would look forward to providing the same service to any of your friends and family.

 

So from the entire Team at the Rideau Dental Centre to all of you, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Holidays and all the best for a safe and prosperous New Year!

 

On Behalf Of Our Doctors:           

Drs. Nguyen, Georgopoulos, LaBoissonniere, Lui, Parry, and Perron

 Our Hygiene Team: 

Amy, Alexandra, Andree, Christina, Colleen, Lori, Melina, Nada, Rosalina, Teresa

 Our Clinical Team:

Amy, Aneta, Carmen, Julie, Karine, Nadia, Leisa

 Our Admin Team:

Andrea, Annette, Connie, Debbie, Joanne, Kim, Maureen, Najwa, Phyllis, Victoria

Our knowledge about oral health has increased dramatically over the years. For many of us growing up, the biggest concern you had was protecting your teeth from too much sugar!

Cavities from tooth decay are always something we have to be wary of. But today, it seems that more people lose their teeth as a result of periodontal disease than tooth decay.

Fortunately, the solution to periodontal disease is quite simple. All you need to do is:

  • brush your teeth at least twice per day;
  • each time you brush, you need to use proper technique and take 2 minutes to do a thorough job;
  • floss your teeth at least once per day; and
  • visit the dentist at least twice per year.

 

A simple commitment of 5 minutes per day brushing and flossing, plus one hour every six months visiting us at Rideau Dental Centre is all it takes. Given how easy this sounds, you would think that we should be well on our way to eliminating periodontal disease.

Yet recent statistics out of the United States paint a surprisingly different picture. A study of adults 30 years of age and older indicated that 47.2% of the population suffered from some degree of periodontal disease. These results were significantly higher than anticipated. Even worse, 64% of seniors had either moderate or severe periodontal disease.

People in lower income brackets tend to suffer from higher levels of periodontal disease. The same can be said for people with lower levels of education. Of course, smoking is one of the major contributors as the damage it does to your gum tissue is significant.

While this is an American study, it is hard to imagine the results in Canada being significantly different. That begs the question as to why periodontal disease is so prevalent given how simple the remedy is.

Part of the answer may simply lie in the attitude people have toward oral health. Despite the fact that medical science is increasingly demonstrating the link between oral health and overall health, another study showed that 40% of iPhone users would rather give up their toothbrush for one week than their iPhone!

When a device of convenience is considered more important than one’s health, it is not hard to see why periodontal disease could be on the rise! Clearly, more work needs to be done to get the word out about just how important oral health is.

At Rideau Dental Centre, we are always happy to do our part to help educate our patients on the importance of good oral health. To those of you who have taken this to heart, we appreciate your dedication to yourselves.

Perhaps the greatest favour you can do for your friends and family is help spread the word. Introduce them to us so we can help educate them and improve their oral health. Because eliminating periodontal disease is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. George Parry

Dental Surgeon

As dentists at Rideau Dental Centre, your oral health is our top priority. We are always interested in how we can help maintain or improve the health of your teeth and gums. Our primary focus is usually on brushing, flossing and regular dental visits.

However, we are also interested in other avenues that can help with your oral health. And that often includes lifestyle and nutrition.

The decisions we make in terms of what we eat or the lifestyle we live can have a profound impact upon our oral health. For instance, smoking and alcohol consumption greatly increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Foods that are sugary or particularly acidic contribute significantly to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Eliminating or at least reducing our consumption of some of these products, which are detrimental to good oral health, is one of our goals. However, improving our oral health is not always about what we can eliminate from our lifestyles. What we can add is equally important.

To than end, the anti-oxidants found in green tea appear to be highly beneficial. Specifically, the anti-oxidant known as catechin is believed to be the primary reason behind the positive oral health effects of green tea.

Catechin is known for its anti-inflammatory impact upon the body. This makes it an ideal foil for periodontal disease.

Essentially, periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the gums, teeth, as well as the bone and connective tissue in the mouth. It is believed that catechin’s anti-inflammatory properties interfere with the inflammatory effects of periodontal disease.

The results from one study in particular are of great interest. This study involved 940 male subjects. Of particular interest were the group aged 49 to 59. They were studied for three primary indicators of periodontal disease: pocket depth, loss of gum tissue and bleeding on probing.

For every cup of green tea consumed, researchers observed a reduction in all three of the primary indicators. This suggests a potential link between consumption of green tea and periodontal health.

It is important to point out that this study is not conclusive. Nor does it negate the importance of the traditional methods of protecting your oral health, namely, brushing, flossing and visiting us at Rideau Dental Centre on a regular basis.

However, it is interesting to note that some of the decisions we make on a daily basis can potentially have such a positive impact upon our oral health. Because making the right nutritional decisions is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon

If you saw the movie “Date Night”, you can likely recall the scene when Steve Carrel and Tina Fey are preparing for bed. In the course of their preparations, each of them inserted a night guard into their mouths. The desired affect, of course, was the humour arising from an example of how un-sexy life had become for a typical married couple well past the honeymoon stage.

We cannot pretend that night guards or bite splints are sexy! But there is also nothing particularly sexy about teeth grinding, muscle tension or sleep interfering headaches that these may prevent! Night guards or bite splints are practical tools that prevent the above events from being problem for you. Putting them in may not look sexy…but they sure can make you feel a lot better!

The question is how do you know which appliance is right for you? At Rideau Dental Centre, we can help answer that question.

Both appliances look similar. They are each custom fitted pieces of plastic or resin that fit over your teeth. However, the functions they perform are quite distinct.

The primary purpose of a night guard is to prevent you from grinding your teeth. When you grind your teeth, you are wearing away at their protective, enamel surface. This can leave your teeth susceptible to tooth decay which could require fillings or other dental treatment.

A night guard will fit over top of your teeth thereby eliminating the possibility for you to grind your teeth together. It may not eliminate the actual grinding action. But now your teeth will grind against a softer acrylic rather than other teeth. This will reduce the wear and tear you would otherwise experience on your teeth.

Some people may find a night guard is not effective for them. Perhaps they have been grinding their teeth for so many years that the shape of their teeth has changed. This may result in a change to the natural bite alignment of the teeth and/or jaw.

Other factors can also cause this misalignment. For example, the problem may be genetic in that their jaw or teeth are poorly shaped. Accidents causing tooth loss can come into play as well.

Regardless as to the cause, problems with jaw alignment can prevent the muscles of the jaw from relaxing. The constant pressure this creates can cause tension headaches and may impact upon the quality of your sleep.

In such cases, a night guard will not be sufficient. You may actually require a bite splint. Like night guards, bite splints are also custom fitted. But they do not simply slip on top of your teeth. When properly fitted and inserted, they will actually change the alignment of your jaw. The ultimate goal in doing this is to reduce the tension on the jaw muscles, which can also reduce any tendency to grind your teeth as well.

It may take a few more trips to the dentist in order to ensure that the bite splint is functioning properly. And we know that neither a bite splint nor a night guard will look particularly sexy! But if they prevent you from grinding your teeth and allow you to have a good night sleep, that just may make you feel pretty sexy!

Because waking up feeling good (and sexy!) is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon

We hope that all of you have managed to survive the ghosts and goblins that haunted our streets this Halloween! While we also hope that your children had a great time, it is, of course, imperative that they not be allowed too much time devouring those dangerously, sugary treats they worked so hard to collect!

Some candy in moderation is a guilty pleasure we should allow our children (and ourselves) to indulge in only I small quantities! Of course, they may just be finishing up those Halloween treats when the next barrage comes over the Holiday Season!

You can see how two such popular events so close together can wreak havoc on your oral health and that of your family. Sugar fix after sugar fix can lead to so much exposure for your teeth, they could experience a wearing of the enamel we refer to as acid erosion. Making sure you and your kids brush and floss regularly over the Holidays would be an investment in time well worthwhile!

Speaking of investing in time, if you have older children who have been away at college or university since the fall, this would be a great time to contact us and schedule an appointment for them.

Between studying, attending class, possibly working and, of course, socializing, young adults in college or university may not give much thought to their oral health. Many of them are unlikely to seek a dentist in their new location unless they are experiencing some degree of pain or discomfort.

That means your young student could be overdue for a check-up or a periodontal maintenance appointment. But they will be home for the Holidays and may have quite a bit of time on their hands. Depending upon their exam schedule, they may start arriving home in early to mid-December.

So now is the perfect time for you to help them look after their oral health. Next time you talk to them, find out what their exam schedule is. Once you know, call us at Rideau Dental Centre and book an appointment for them.

Believe it or not, they will start coming home in a month! The earlier you get them in to see us, the more time there will be to deal with any oral health issues that may need to be addressed. In fact, we could have all the time we need to complete their treatment then still allow them to enjoy the rest of their Holiday. Most importantly, we would know that we are sending them back to campus in good oral health!

So call us at Rideau Dental Centre today and schedule your student’s Holiday appointment. Because taking care of your oral health over the Holidays is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Wayne Perron

Dental Surgeon

So you have become increasingly concerned about the importance of maintaining good oral health. You understand that a healthy mouth is often a sign of a healthy body. And you have read a lot about periodontal disease, but perhaps are not 100% sure what it is.

Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria are allowed to build up on your teeth, particularly at the gum line. When this occurs, they can form into plaque and even harden into tartar.

This is a sign that you have a very active colony of bacteria that is doing its best to feed off of your gum tissue and even the underlying bone structure of your jaw and the connective tissue found therein. This can obviously lead to tooth loss.

One of the more interesting aspects of periodontal disease is that it can be quite painless. You may not be aware that there is a problem developing. This is one of the most common problems we have as dentists in treating periodontal disease. Because there may be no pain or discomfort, many patients find it hard to believe that there is actually a problem.

It is important that you not be fooled by the lack of pain or discomfort. In fact, by the time you begin to notice any pain, that is usually sign that your periodontal disease is quite advanced. This can result in you having to face treatment options that are far more invasive, time consuming and, unfortunately, costly.

In its earlier stages, periodontal disease is often characterized by inflammation of the gums. Your gums may be purple or red in colour, or they may have a shiny appearance. They also may be tender or prone to bleed easily.

If you visit us at Rideau Dental Centre, you will notice that we will look for signs of periodontal disease by probing your gums to determine what we call pocket depth. What we are doing is literally measuring how much separation there is between your teeth and your gums. The bigger the pockets, the more advanced we consider your case of periodontal disease to be.

Pockets of 1 to 2 millimeters are quite normal and not a cause for concern. We start to become more concerned when we see a lot of 3 millimeter pockets. If you have a lot of 4 millimeter pockets or more, we will recommend that you visit us at Rideau Dental Centre more frequently in order to bring your periodontal disease under control.

The reason for this is straightforward: it is very difficult to keep your teeth for life if you have periodontal disease. As the mouth can be a significant window into your overall health, we think keeping your teeth for life is a worthwhile goal.

If it is a goal you share, make sure you talk to us if you notice any of the early signs of periodontal disease we mentioned.  Because keeping your teeth for life is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Martin LaBoissonniere

Dental Surgeon

One of the greatest challenges we face at Rideau Dental Centre is patients who feel the need to limit their treatment to what is covered by their insurance.

We understand how this can be a concern. In today’s uncertain economic climate, some of you are worried about your job security. Even if you feel reasonably secure in your employment, you want to make certain that any treatment is covered by insurance before you proceed. Otherwise, you are concerned about spending money on dental treatment that you feel can wait.

This is increasingly becoming a problem as insurance companies are also looking to save money. One of the ways they have been doing this is by cutting back on their dental coverage. That can mean fewer procedures are covered, the percentage they are prepared to cover has been reduced, or that they will not provide coverage for as many visits to the dental office as in the past.

Unfortunately, we often see patients whose oral health needs do not coincide with their insurance coverage. Often, the most common issue is patients who have periodontal issues which may require more frequent visits for treatment. Insurance plans will usually cover periodontal visits every six to nine months. Only a few will cover visits more frequently.

However, patients who suffer from periodontal disease may need to receive treatment every three months. If they do not, bacteria may continue to build up on their teeth, and even under the gum line. When this happens, there can be deterioration of bone and tissue that may result in tooth loss.

If insurance is not prepared to cover the cost of this treatment, it is the patient who has to assume responsibility for the professional fee. This may lead some patients to conclude that they would be better off saving their money and limiting their treatment to what their insurance provider is prepared to cover.

However, our professional obligation as dentists is to recommend treatment that is consistent with your oral health needs, not your insurance coverage. And at Rideau Dental Centre, we take the obligation seriously! Regardless of your insurance benefits, we will present you with all of your treatment options and will give our recommendation on what the optimal treatment would be for your oral health needs.

Just remember, when you come to the dentist, we treat you, not your insurance company. We understand that temporary financial concerns may result in your having to make some difficult choices. But our recommendations will always take into consideration your health first.

Because treating your oral health rather than your insurance is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives!

Dr.  George Parry

Dental Surgeon

The Need for Fluoride

October 24, 2012 | Posted Education

Most of us today have grown up using fluoride as a routine weapon in our fight against cavities. Its use has become so common that it may seem difficult to believe that fluoride was not always used this way.

In Canada and the U.S., fluoride was first introduced into drinking water in the 1940’s. The conclusion at the time was that doing so significantly reduced the incidence of dental cavities. As a result, a number of communities added fluoride to their drinking water.

Some people have questioned the need to add fluoride to drinking water. To get a better understanding of this controversy, it is important to understand the role that fluoride plays in oral health.

Fluoride works in a couple of different ways to protect our teeth. Primarily, it inhibits the ability of bacteria to eat away at the minerals in our teeth. Bacteria accumulate in the plaque that can build up in our teeth, particularly around the gum line.

If left unchecked, the plaque will continue to grow and become more difficult to remove. The bacteria located in the plaque works with other organisms in the mouth to produce acids that can literally dissolve the structure of the tooth. Thus, a cavity is born!

However, fluoride can inhibit the ability of the bacteria to produce acid. The result is a reduction in the very activity that causes cavities.

Another benefit of fluoride is that it literally strengthens the teeth. In the process of cavity development, the acids developed by the bacteria in plaque can leech the minerals out of our teeth, thus sapping them of their strength.

However, as a naturally occurring element, fluoride can actually remineralize our teeth. Remineralizing acts like reinforcements as the teeth now have new troops to battle the invading acids! With this added mineralization, our teeth are made stronger and better able to fend off the affects of bacteria and plaque.

Given how effective fluoride has been at in the fight against cavities, most dentists recommend the continued use of public tap water as a great way to quench your thirst and protect your teeth. Visiting us at Rideau Dental Centre at least twice per year and receiving a fluoride treatment here is also a wise choice.

Not only do such fluoride treatments benefit children and their developing teeth, many adults with exposed roots due to receding gums are also well-served by fluoride. So make sure you receive your fluoride treatments from your dentist. Because using fluoride to fight cavities is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Peter Georgopoulos

Dental Surgeon