The Different Types of Dental X-Rays

February 16, 2016 | Posted Education

If you’ve visited the dentist before, you probably know a bit about dental x-rays (also known as radiographs). Dentists use x-rays as a tool to help them diagnose potential oral health problems. X-rays are a type of light wavelength that passes through soft tissue such as your cheeks and gums, but gets absorbed by dense tissue such as your teeth and bones, allowing them to be visible on an x-ray image.
There are two main categories of dental x-rays, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral x-rays are a type of x-ray that is taken inside the mouth, whereas an extraoral x-ray is taken outside the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are the most common type, as they give a high level of detail of the teeth and bone in the mouth. They allow dentists to find cavities, see the status of developing teeth, look at tooth roots, and more.
The most common types of intraoral x-rays are:

  • Periapical - This type of x-ray provides a view of the entire tooth, from the crown all the way to the bone that supports the tooth.

  • Bite-Wing - Shows details of both upper and lower teeth in a specific area of the mouth. This type of x-ray can show your dentist how your teeth touch one another.

  • Occlusal - These x-rays are larger and show full tooth development and position.

Extraoral x-rays are less common, the most popular one being a panoramic x-ray. A panoramic x-ray shows a full view of the jaw, teeth, and even sinuses.
If you have questions about the different types of dental x-rays, or are interested in getting one for yourself, contact us here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475!

What Causes Bad Breath

February 01, 2016 | Posted Education

Bad breath has a number of different causes. Often, simple changes can be made to eliminate things that contribute to your bad breath. Some common causes of bad breath include:

  • Diet - Certain foods with strong odors can result in bad breath lingering long after you eat them. This is because as they are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they eventually are carried to your lungs and their odor is given off in your breath. Foods that can cause this include garlic and onions.

  • Not brushing/flossing - If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, food particles can remain in your mouth. This can produce bacterial growth between teeth, and on your tongue and gums.

  • Smoking/chewing tobacco - Can bring about bad breath, stain your teeth, and even reduce your ability to taste foods.

  • Gum disease - Persistent bad breath can be a warning sign of gum disease.

There are a number of other diseases/illnesses that can cause bad breath, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and postnasal drip. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here at Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475!

Many people take their teeth for granted. Your teeth help you chew food, which makes it easier to digest. There are four main types of teeth, and each one has a different shape and function.
The four main types of teeth are:

  • Incisors - Your incisors are eight teeth in the front center of your mouth (four on both bottom and top). These are typically the first adult teeth that a child will get, coming in  when the child is between six and eight years old. Incisors are the teeth that you use to bite into your food.

  • Canines - Your canines are the next teeth that develop in your mouth. You have four of them and they are your sharpest teeth, used for tearing apart food.

  • Premolars - Premolars are used for tearing and crushing food. Unlike your incisors and canines, premolars have a flat biting surface. You have eight premolars in total.

  • Molars - Your molars are your largest teeth. Their function is similar to that of the premolars, to grind, tear, and crush food. Molars have a large flat biting surface which makes them perfect for this job.

These are the four basic types of teeth. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475!

What Is Invisalign?

January 04, 2016 | Posted Education

Invisalign is a modern way to straighten teeth, by using a series of custom-made transparent aligners made specifically for you. There are a number of benefits that Invisalign brings over traditional braces, including:

  • Clear aligners that are virtually invisible, versus braces which require brackets and wires.

  • You can eat whatever you want, whereas with braces there are a lot of restrictions on what you can eat.

  • Removable aligners for easy cleaning of teeth.

  • Smooth and comfortable plastic aligners, instead of wires that can poke your mouth.

If you’re interested in Invisalign, book an appointment with Dr. Nguyen here at the Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475 to see if you would be a good candidate for this new type of tooth straightening system.

What Are Dental Implants?

December 21, 2015 | Posted Education

Dental implants are metal frames or posts that are surgically anchored into your jaw. Once they have been placed, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth. Because dental implants are anchored directly into your jawbone, artificial teeth that are mounted to them won’t move in your mouth.
When receiving dental implants, your dentist will have to perform a surgery to anchor the implant into your jawbone. Your gum is then secured over the implant, which will stay covered by the gum until the implant fuses with the bone. After some time, your dentist creates a crown (artificial tooth) that is then attached to the implant.
If you have any questions related to dental implants, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Center by calling 613-230-7475.
We’d also hope that everyone has a happy holidays and a great new year! See you all in 2016!

When to Begin Visiting the Dentist

December 07, 2015 | Posted Education

As early as four months, children’s first teeth can begin coming through their gums. Many parents wonder when they should get the dentist involved, and the answer is as soon as the first tooth becomes visible. You should schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible and begin to brush your child's teeth every day.
Always try to make your child's first visit to the dentist a good one. You can have fun by showing your child pictures of the dentist and role-playing the dentist's office in advanced. You should try to tell them that someone will just simply look at their teeth and take care of them. During their first few visits, it’s normal for a parent to accompany their child into the dentist’s office to help them feel more comfortable. After your first visit, remember to continue to see the dentist regularly.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Filling Options For Cavities

November 23, 2015 | Posted Education


What material should we use to restore your damaged tooth?

How did you come to decide what type of material was to be used to restore your damaged tooth?  As a caring dental professional, we want you to be informed so that you can make appropriate decisions for your own dental health.

Classes of restorations

To give you more information on how to decide, let’s first of all discuss the various classes of restorations.  There are essentially 2 classes of restorations:  direct and indirect. 

Direct Restorations

Direct restorations, such as the silver mercury fillings and the new plastic fillings have certain characteristics on common.  They start out as soft materials, which are then stuffed directly into the prepared cavity to fill the hole.  They are then chemically hardened.  After they are hardened, they are carved to restore your tooth’s surfaces.

The advantage of direct restorations is their relative initial cost.  Silver mercury fillings are the least costly to use, which is why they have always been the most popular.  The newer tooth coloured plastic fillings are slightly more costly (as they require slightly more time, care, skill and judgement).  Direct restorations can be done in less time and in one appointment. 

Direct fillings impart no strength to the damaged tooth.  They simply fill the hole.
The disadvantage of direct restorations is their longevity.  Direct fillings break down faster.  If this simply meant having to replace them more frequently with a filling of the same size, it wouldn’t be too bad a thing (depending on how you see having treatment more frequently).  The real disadvantage is that the reason restorations need to be replaced is that, as they break down, they allow more disease to occur.  This necessarily means that the damage to the tooth is more extensive. 

The more damage a tooth has suffered, i.e. the larger the restoration, the more complex the treatment.  And the complexity of treatment and reduction of prognosis is an exponential relationship, not a linear one.  There is a truism in dentistry, that every small filling will grow up to be a big filling, and that every big filling will grow up to be a bigger one.  This will continue more and more quickly until the tooth can no longer be restored.

Sometimes, it is appropriate to use direct restorations to stabilize a dentition with a lot of disease (cavities, gum disease or biting problems).  Once the disease has been stabilized final restorations can be done in indirect materials.

Indirect Restorations

Indirect restorations, such as gold and the new ceramics also have certain characteristics in common.  At the mouth’s temperature, they are not soft or liquid so they cannot be simply stuffed into the hole of the prepared cavity.  This means that they must be made indirectly or outside of the mouth on some model or analog of the prepared tooth.  The disadvantage of indirect restorations is their initial cost.  They require more time, skill, care and judgement.  Up until recently, indirect restorations required two appointments, though we are now able to use CAD/CAM (see CEREC link) to do these restorations in 1 appointment.

Indirect materials, because of their physical properties, are better able to restore the diminished strength of a damaged tooth.

The advantage of indirect restorations is that the materials are much more robust and more similar to the tooth structure they are replacing or restoring.  This relates to a much longer life span especially when the restoration is larger.  This significantly reduces the vicious cycle of replacing larger and larger restorations mentioned under Direct Restorations above.  This means that while the initial cost may be greater, the long-term cost, intervention and prognoses are significantly better.  The choice is yours.

Size of Restorations

As the size of the filling or damage gets larger, less tooth structure remains.  This affects the health of the teeth in many ways.

First, the strength of the tooth is weakened.  It is easy to imagine that a whole, intact tooth is much less likely to break than a tooth that only has a thin wall of enamel left and is filled with a silver-mercury or plastic filling, which does not impart any strength.  Sometimes teeth can fracture in a way that is unrestorable.  This would necessitate losing the tooth.

Secondly the health of the tooth nerve is affected.  As the filling gets deeper, the nerve is more likely to be damaged to the point of needing a root canal. 

Thirdly, the health of the gums can be affected.  The best thing for the health of the gums is to have clean unadulterated tooth structure.  The health of the gums can be adversely affected by large fillings.  Some materials such as polished gold and polished ceramic are much healthier for the adjacent gums than the direct materials, which cannot be as easily polished. 

Larger restorations have a greater need to be made of the stronger indirect materials.  Again, because the direct materials are not as strong and long-lasting, they break down even faster when they start comprising larger parts of the tooth.

How do I decide what material is best for me?

Of course, the ultimate aim of comprehensive dentistry is to keep as much of your own tooth structure as possible in order to keep your teeth for a lifetime.  Consider your own goals for your teeth.  What do you expect for your teeth’s longevity?  Do you want them to still be present and healthy when you are a vibrant 85 year-old?  If so, then perhaps a proactive investment in your health today could ultimately be a better value.  Again the choice, now more than ever, is yours.
George W.S. Parry, DDS

If you have more questions related to filing options for cavities, or what we offer here at Rideau Dental Centre, give us a call at 613-230-7475.

Cavity Risk Factors

November 09, 2015 | Posted Education

Everyone is at risk of getting cavities, but there are a number of factors that can greatly increase your chance of getting them. By taking simple precautions to make sure you don’t enable any of these cavity increasing risks, you can greatly decrease your chance of getting cavities.
Some of the most common cavity risk factors include:

  • Food/drink that clings to your teeth. This includes foods/drinks such as milk, soda, hard candy, dry cereal, and chips.

  • Frequent snacking. When you snack frequently, the acid in your food has more time to damage your teeth.

  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a very useful natural mineral that helps prevent plaque buildup. Public tap water often contains added fluoride, but bottled water does not.

  • Inadequate brushing/flossing. This may be pretty obvious to most people, but it’s always important to remember to properly brush and floss soon after eating and drinking.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475, we are happy to help!

Preventing Teeth Grinding

October 26, 2015 | Posted Education

Teeth grinding normally occurs during sleep and is typically caused by missing/crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Teeth grinding can resulting in loosening, fracturing, and the wearing down of the teeth.
To prevent teeth grinding, your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard. If stress is the cause of your teeth grinding, it’s advised to ask your doctor or dentist about ways to reduce your stress. If your teeth grinding is caused by a sleeping disorder, seeking treatment for it should help reduce the teeth grinding habit. A few other tips to help prevent teeth grinding include:

  • Don’t chew on anything that is not food, or even gum, as these items let your jaw get more used to chewing and make you more likely to grind your teeth.

  • Cut back on foods that contain caffeine (coffee, chocolate etc).

  • If you notice yourself clenching your teeth during the day, put the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This helps let your jaw muscles relax.

If you are seeking treatment for teeth grinding or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.

Canker sores are a form of small, shallow ulcers that appear in the mouth and can make common tasks such as talking and eating uncomfortable. Canker sores are typically caused due to stress on the soft tissues in your mouth.
Certain acidic and citrus foods such as lemons, oranges, strawberries, and pineapples can trigger a canker sore or even make the problem worse. Canker sores can also be caused by the following:

  • An accidental cheek bite.

  • A diet lacking in zinc, vitamin B12, iron and folate acid.

  • Emotional stress.

  • Hormonal stress during menstruation

  • A response due to an allergic reaction in your mouth.

There are a number of other possible causes for canker sores, including a number of different diseases such as celiac, behcet, and crohn's disease.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for typical canker sores. You can try to reduce their frequency by avoiding foods that irritate your mouth and avoiding irritation to the soft tissue inside your mouth.  If you have canker sores that are unusually large, last for more than three weeks or are spreading, it is recommended to contact your dentist.
If you have any questions about canker sore treatment or prevention, contact us at the Rideau Dental Centre by calling 613-230-7475.