Direct fillings are placed at one appointment and can be metal (amalgam or gold) or tooth colored. Direct metal fillings are placed and packed into the prepared space, carved to form some anatomy in the tooth and burnished to provide smooth edges.
Direct tooth-colored filling materials are applied in layers. The first step is to pick a shade that matches the tooth. After each layer a special light is used that "cures" or hardens the layer before the next is applied. When the multi-layering process is completed, the filling shape is adjusted as required, any excess trimmed and the restoration polished. The finished filling mimics your natural tooth.
Fillings Indirect Inlays, Onlays, Crowns
Old, unsightly fillings can now be replaced with aesthetic filling materials such as resins and porcelain fillings or crowns
To treat a cavity or repair a broken tooth, the dentist will remove the decayed or broken portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth, restoring both shape and function. Tooth colored fillings can also be used to improve the cosmetics (color or shape) of disfigured or odd shaped/colored teeth. Fillings can also be used to close gaps, or build up worn teeth or cover up sensitive root surfaces.
If the required filling is quite large, generally an indirect filling or restoration is suggested because they are more durable and provide better protection for the tooth. These may be crowns, inlays, onlays or partial crowns.
Crowns / Caps
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth – covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. A number of situations can require a crown. When a cavity extends over a large area of the tooth, a crown can provide enough strength to make the tooth functional again. A root canal results in a brittle tooth that is prone to breaking and requires a crown or onlay to protect it from fracture. Teeth with large cavities or fillings can be restored and made more aesthetic by placing a crown. Crowns can also be used to support the missing teeth in a bridge, or to cover an implant.
Dental examinations / recalls help to diagnose disease before it becomes hazardous to your health. Regular dental examinations can save you money by alleviating problems while they are small and before they become expensive to repair, or in some cases, impossible to repair. Your dental examinations generally include the following:
- Health history review
- Gum disease evaluation
- Oral cancer screening
- Visual examination for tooth decay
- Use of a diagnostic laser to detect any demineralized areas or small cavities and assess changes in any previously noted areas
- Examination of diagnostic digital x-rays to see cysts, tumors, invisible decay and other problems that can't be seen by the naked eye
- Evaluation of status of current restorations (fillings, crowns, etc.)
- Orthodontic evaluation to check that teeth are/have erupted properly and are not interfering with proper function.
- Interceptive treatment options presented.
- Preliminary cosmetic evaluation to ensure you are aware of aesthetic options available
- Short and long-term treatment options presented
Disease prevention is always better than treating disease
All living teeth have canals in the center that contain the nerves and blood vessels that nourish the teeth. These tiny canals may become infected. An untreated cavity is the most common cause for this infection but can also be caused by trauma. If they do, the infected tissue must be removed. The procedure to clean the canals is called a root canal.
Gingivitis, also generally called gum disease, describes the events that begin with increasing amounts of bacteria, especial between the teeth and at the gum line, that if left untreated can progress and lead to distruction of the bone and supporting tissue around the tooth.
As bacteria build up to form a plaque the gums become red and swollen and often easily bleed during tooth brushing. If the irritating plaque is removed, this situation can be reversed and the gums can return to health.
Bonding is an option for chipped or cracked teeth. It is a process in which an enamel-like material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into shape, hardened, and then polished for an ideal smile.
The dental bonding procedures utilize a composite resin material to replace missing, malformed, decayed, or broken tooth structure. The tooth colored material can be used for a variety of structural as well as cosmetic purposes.
Bonding consists of a tooth colored filling material attached to the existing/remaining tooth structure to rebuild the tooth. Dentists can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile using this versatile material. Bonded filling material can also be used for tooth colored fillings in posterior (back) teeth.
If you have crooked teeth and/or a misaligned bite (an under bite or overbite), there are a variety of treatments that can help straighten your teeth, including braces and retainers. Sometimes braces can even be avoided by early interceptive care.
Interceptive care can involve things like removal of some teeth to make space for others, placing spacers to keep teeth from shifting out of position until other teeth erupt to fill the space, removable retainers or headgear. Your dentist will discuss potential problems with you and help you decide which treatment options work best.
Implants are actually titanium root forms that are placed into the space where the missing tooth once sat. A false tooth, crown or bridge is then attached to the imitation root. This new false tooth then functions independently as if it were a natural tooth.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars erupt during the late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned – they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. There is often not enough space in the jaw for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly.
A panoramic x-ray is used to diagnose and evaluate the third molars and will be taken by our staff to see if wisdom teeth are present and how they are positioned.
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems. His or her goal is to help maintain your good oral health and to prevent problems from becoming serious, by identifying and treating them as soon as possible.
How will we do this? We’ll use the latest in technology to collect the information we need to inform you of the current state of your health. Digital x-rays will expose you to the least amount of radiation and provide digital images that let you view on the computer screen things you can’t see simply by looking at the teeth. We will also take a panorex or panoramic radiograph that will show your jaw joints, sinuses, wisdom teeth, jaw and roots of your teeth. With this digital image we can check for impacted teeth or unerupted teeth, abscesses, opacities and radiolucencies in the bone, irregularities in the joint or sinuses.
A small diagnostic laser, called a Diagnodent, will also be used to detect for cavities before they become visible to the naked eye. This means they can be treated when they are tiny allowing you to avoid large fillings, crowns or root canals.
Intraoral photographs will also be used to record the health of your dentition. These photos will make it easier to explain your oral condition to you and your insurance company if required. The photos can show small cracks or leakage around old fillings that can’t be seen on a two dimensional radiograph as they are often blocked out by existing restorations.
Using a diagnostic laser is part of our routine oral examination for cavities and weak spots in your teeth. Uses light energy (no x-ray exposure), no danger posed to patient, operator or staff so it is very safe to use.
The DIAGNOdent measures laser fluorescence within the tooth structure. Carious tooth structure (cavities) will exhibit fluorescence resulting in elevated scale readings on the display. This little device also has an auditory feature so that you can hear a tone when a when a weak spot, or cavity is detected. It is extremely accurate. This highly sensitive instrument detects incipient lesions or sub surface lesions that are undiagnosed by traditional examination methods. It is conservative, avoiding “exploratory” drilling of suspect teeth. The DIAGNOdent detects cavities when they are small enabling us to use minimally invasive preparation techniques (e.g. micro rotary instrumentation and air abrasion) which means no freezing or drilling!
The whole process makes for a simple, fast and painless examination.
Dental x-rays or radiographs are very important. They allow the dentist to detect problems that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include: loss of bone supporting the teeth (periodontal disease), cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven't yet erupted into the mouth.
Intraoral camera technology allows our patients to see their mouths as we see it, up close and in living color. It is a wonderful educational tool and improves communication. Our patients are able to see their problems and make informed and educated decisions about their treatment. A small handpiece with the camera on it goes into your mouth and records the image. Each handpiece that goes into the patient's mouth is covered with a disposable, sterile protective sleeve.
Our clinic uses a hard and soft tissue laser to provide you with the most painfree experience possible. The Waterlase® features an all-new new laser technology that allow us to perform exceptional dentistry with superior clinical outcomes and a more pleasant patient experience. Heat and vibration are the causes of most of the pain associated with the drill. Since cutting the tooth with laser technology does not cause heat or vibration, most dental procedures can be performed with no pain, virtually eliminating the need for anesthesia (freezing)
LumineersTM are a terrific cosmetic solution for permanently stained, chipped, discolored, misaligned teeth, or even to revitalize old crown and bridgework. These are special porcelain veneer that can be made as thin as a contact lens and is placed over existing teeth without requiring removal of sensitive tooth structure (unlike traditional veneers.)
You’ve seen them on “The Swan”, you’ve dreamed of the perfect smile, now you’ll be happy to know that this new technology is available here in Vancouver. Come in for a consultation and see how Lumineers can brighten your smile.
HIGH TECH WHITENING
Tooth whitening has come a long way in the past decade. Now you can have you’re teeth whitened almost instantly. All it takes is a quick visit to the dental office – no trays to wear at home, no messy solutions to apply to your teeth every night.
Your dentist will use a laser with a special whitening gel to perform this in-office tooth whitening. The translucent bleaching gel is applied to the teeth and a laser light is used to activate the crystals that absorb the energy from the light and penetrate the teeth enamel to increase the lightening effect on the teeth. The length of time in the dentist's chair depends on the degree of discoloration you have and the result you want.
One visit is usually all it takes for a bright smile. There will be a sudden change of color and it will likely to be noticed by those around you immediately. This is the more expensive than take home whitening systems, but it’s also the quickest. Big wedding this weekend?
Flash them your whitest smile !
HIGH TECH STRAIGHTENING
Discouraged by the thought of braces? Have the smile you've always wanted — without the hassle of braces. InvisalignTM offers a clear alternative to metal braces. You straighten your teeth using a series of clear, virtually invisible custom-molded aligners.
Treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step by step, until you have a more beautiful smile. And unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.
Average treatment time is about a year. You'll see your dentist every 6 to 8 weeks for adjustments and to check progress. At regular intervals, you'll receive a new set of custom-molded clear aligners to continue the straightening process. The total number of clear aligners is determined by your dentist and the extent of treatment required.
Since Invisalign is practically invisible, there's no unwarranted attention to your mouth. In fact, very few people will notice at all - unless you tell them. They're comfortable to wear and remove easily when you eat, brush, and floss.