A Complete Guide To Routine Dental Care
Maintaining good oral health starts with an effective oral hygiene routine. It’s common for people to rush through their oral hygiene as they try to get to work, school, or just off to bed. However, consistency is as essential a part of making this process effective as doing it correctly is. This is why it’s essential to understand not just the fundamental elements of oral hygiene but to know how to do it properly. Combined, these two elements will help reduce your risk of plaque taking hold and tooth decay developing. That’s why Danforth Dental Solutions put together this simple guide to proper oral hygiene.
A Complete Guide To Routine Dental Care
We will start with the most obvious step in your oral hygiene routine, brushing. As simple as this process may sound, there’s more to it than you might imagine. For instance, it’s not just about brushing your teeth. It’s about the type of toothbrush you use, the toothpaste you select, how much time you spend brushing, and the proper technique. Effective brushing habits include the following:
- Twice a day brushing, once in the morning, and once after your last meal of the day.
- Don’t hold your brush where it’s flat against your teeth; a 45-degree angle does the best work and gets beneath the gumline.
- Every part of your tooth needs to be brushed, the back of the molars, the outer and inner surfaces, and the chewing surface.
Flossing is an essential aspect of your dental hygiene. It gets into places between your teeth where your toothbrush bristles can’t. Unfortunately, plaque has little trouble getting between your teeth and starting to decay there. Like any other part of your oral hygiene, technique is as important as doing it at all. If you have difficulty using the string floss, there are flossing tools with curved handles that can help. These are available in both a disposable variety and a reusable style. You’ll have to replace the floss between uses with the reusable type.
- Make sure that your floss is pressed against the curved surface of your tooth to be the most effective.
- Be firm but gentle with your flossing. It shouldn’t hurt to floss your teeth properly.
- Take the time to do between every tooth to ensure your teeth are protected.
Cleaning your tongue is another often overlooked part of proper oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your tongue, you leave bacteria and plaque that can continue to attack your oral health. Further, not brushing your tongue can contribute to halitosis or bad breath. Once you’re done with the above steps, finish off your oral hygiene routine with a rinse of antibacterial mouthwash.
Learn More About Dental Hygiene Care
Contact our team today if you want to learn more about routine dental hygiene and how it impacts your oral health. We’ll arrange for your next appointment at our clinic in Toronto, ON. During your visit, we’ll discuss your oral health, your current dental hygiene routine, and the steps you can take to improve it. Call us today at (416) 461-6516 to start on the road to lasting oral health.
Root canals have a reputation for being among the most unpleasant treatments in dentistry. However, that reputation results from old wives’ tales and urban myths rooted in antiquated procedures and outright fabrication. What truth there was in these old pieces of dental lore have changed with the introduction of better techniques, superior anesthetics, and improved technology.
What To Know About Receiving A Root Canal Treatment
Today, root canals are only marginally more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. However, it’s essential to properly care for the treated tooth as it heals to ensure you avoid complications afterward. Doing so will ensure that you avoid infection setting in and will keep any post-treatment discomfort to a minimum. When Dr. Claudia Wood schedules you for a root canal treatment, the following steps will be followed:
- Preparation: During the preparatory stage of your treatment, dental imaging will give Dr. Wood a clear roadmap for the procedure. You will also receive an anesthetic at the treatment site to eliminate discomfort during the root canal treatment.
- Remove Decay: The next step will be using a dental drill or laser. The existing decay, necrotic pulp, and infected tissue within the tooth will be eliminated. Once this has been accomplished, the interior of your tooth will be sterilized and filled with gutta-percha, a putty that closes the space and prevents infection.
- Reconstruction: The final stage involves closing the area that’s been treated using a filling or crown. This seals the interior of the tooth shut and prevents infection from reoccurring.
Once the procedure is complete, Dr. Wood will explain the essential parts of root canal aftercare. Some tenderness and swelling following the procedure aren’t unusual. You can take Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs to address the swelling until this passes. The discomfort from swelling won’t be felt at first, as you’ll still be numb from the anesthetic.
Over the few days following the procedure, be sure to take any medication Dr. Wood prescribes. You’ll also want to avoid hard or chewy foods, as their strain on your teeth can irritate the area. Chew on the side opposite the treatment site even when eating softer foods. You’ll need to continue dental hygiene care, but remember to be gentle.
Most importantly, be certain that you attend any follow-up appointments you have scheduled with Danforth Dental Solutions. Even when you appear perfectly healed and aren’t experiencing discomfort, it’s essential that Dr. Wood check on your recovery. While rare, reinfection can set in and be asymptomatic, meaning free from symptoms.
Get Great Results With Proper Root Canal Aftercare
If you want to learn more about proper root canal aftercare, feel free to schedule an appointment with our team in Toronto, ON. We’re dedicated to providing you with patient education on your treatment and oral health. It’s an important part of ensuring that you and your family are active participants in your healthcare. Call Danforth Dental Solutions and schedule your next appointment today!
From the moment our first tooth arrives, we begin facing the potential risk of a traumatic dental injury. Throughout our lives, we often encounter situations that could lead to this kind of dental trauma. Experience a facial impact while playing sports, getting into an auto accident, or even a simple household accident. Regardless of what the underlying cause is, it’s essential that the damage be addressed and your oral health restored. In many cases, all that may be necessary is a direct dental restoration.
How Direct Dental Restorations Can Address Dental Trauma
Direct restorations are a type of restorative dental treatment manufactured within the patient’s mouth. These types of restorations don’t involve the use of a dental laboratory and can be completed within a single visit. In addition, they don’t require the use of a temporary restoration to complete,
The most common material used during the direct restoration process is composite resin. For almost 150 years, the most popular material for these restorations was silver amalgam. This amalgam, made of an alloy of four materials, allowed dentists to quickly and effectively restore the health and integrity of a patient’s teeth. Numerous reasons, including the cost of disposal of the amalgam material and the environmental impact of the mercury it contained, led to a decline in popularity.
Composite resins have numerous advantages over amalgam material, as well. These benefits include the following:
- Non-toxic materials
- Natural tooth color that can be tinted to match the patients
- It can often last as much as seven years
- Same day application
In addition to being used for fillings, composite resin can also address cracks and minor chips in the teeth. When used in this way, it’s known as dental bonding. Used in this way, it has all the benefits it does with a filling. It’s simple to place, quick to cure and can be shaped to match the natural contours of your tooth. Composite veneers are becoming another popular option as dental science continues to find new uses for this amazing material.
With this degree of versatility, this material has found an important place in treating dental trauma. It can often address trauma in the following instances:
- Sports-Related Dental Injuries – Sports are a popular past-time worldwide, especially in the US. American schools have shown a steady increase in High School sports participation over the last 24 years. Unfortunately, increased participation means increased injuries.
- Chipped Or Broken Teeth – This type of injury is the most commonly identified by the AAE (American Association of Endodontists). When teeth become chipped, they can become loose or tender to the touch. Seeing a dentist immediately can help, as composite bonding can often reattach the missing piece.
- Partially Displaced Or Knocked-Out Teeth – Teeth that have been knocked out have often experienced additional damage that can be addressed with composite bondings after reinsertion.
Speak To Your Dentist To Learn More
Your dentist will provide up-to-date information on the application of composite resins in dental trauma cases. If you’ve experienced any form of dental trauma, it’s important to speak to your dentist immediately. You never know what options may be available to help restore your teeth and your smile.
In the modern world, we can access almost anything we want with a few swipes of our fingertips. This technology has utterly changed the face of our world, and it continues to do so in every conceivable way. Digital technology has become integral to our everyday lives and even impacts how we receive dental care. The introduction of advanced dental techniques and tools has helped reduce procedure times and improve patient results. We’re going to explore some of the ways in which digital dentistry has changed the face of oral healthcare.
Introducing Digital Dentistry And How It Benefits Us
Digital dentistry uses modern technology to enhance and perform new dental procedures. Through the use of these technologies, these procedures can be accomplished more accurately, with more predictable results. This allows dentists to provide the most effective care available for their patients. Digital technology in the dental field touches on every area, from software integration to manufacturing and imaging. Using these technologies, it’s now possible to create 3D images of the patient’s oral cavity, mill restorations in the clinic, and more effectively plan treatments.
Other ways that you can benefit from digital dentistry include:
- Improved Procedure Workflow – One of the most critical changes digital dentistry has made to modern dental care is the elimination of significant amounts of paperwork. By moving to a digital format, paper records have moved into a digital format, including x-ray films, scans, and dental records. This makes tracking and cross-referencing these documents easier and prevents the loss of valuable information.
- Faster Turnaround – These technologies have also significantly reduced the time required to complete various procedures. Diagnosis is easier with 3D digital imaging, manufacturing restorations on site means less wait time for patients, etc.
- Improved Diagnosis – Providing the necessary care for a patient requires that the dentist be able to diagnose the concern correctly. Digital dentistry has made it easier than ever to identify problem areas and develop treatment plans that will be effective. Some new technologies even allow the identification of concerns such as cavities before they are identifiable to the naked eye.
- Improve Communication with Digital Dentistry – The ability of patients and doctors to communicate clearly with each other has also seen improvements. Digital dental planning allows showing patients the likely results of their procedures before they are completed. The ease with which films and records can be transferred to specialists ensures that treatment happens quickly.
These points are essential to identifying how digital technology has fundamentally changed the nature of dental care. It has provided new skills to dentists, led to the development of superior materials, altered the roles of those participating in providing care, and much more.
Speak To Your Dentist To Identify How Digital Dentistry Affects Your Care
If you want to know how your dentist uses digital dentistry in your oral health care, reach out to your provider today. They’ll be happy to explain the tools and procedures they use and how they’re more effective than previous techniques. Digital dentistry is just beginning to find its footing, and dental care is already better than ever. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced another rampant disease that impacted our oral health every day. Over 60 million Americans live with periodontal disease and are seen for this condition by dentists yearly. This makes periodontal disease one of our country’s primary health concerns. It begins as inflammation and tenderness in the gums, known as gingivitis. When left untreated, this condition can worsen into periodontitis. It is dangerous to every aspect of our oral health at this stage. It attacks our gums, causes infections in dental roots, and can destroy bone material in the jaw. The best defense against this condition is consistent oral hygiene combined with education about oral health. Combined, these two elements could lead to a marked reduction in the prevalence of this disease.
The Treatments, Risks, and Causes of Periodontitis
One of the tragedies of the prevalence of periodontitis is how easy it is to prevent. It starts with a consistent routine of good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice daily, using mouthwash, and flossing. These steps help to control the presence of streptococcus mutans in your oral cavity. This bacteria is responsible for much of the tooth decay that we experience in our lives. Uncontrolled, it will build up plaque in our mouths, converting to a biofilm known as tartar over time. Once tartar is present, it generally takes professional attention to eliminate.
Common signs of periodontal disease include:
- Inflammation, Redness – Gums will often become red and inflamed when affected by gingivitis.
- Bleeding When Brushing – When blood is present on your toothbrush or in your spit after brushing, it’s usually due to periodontitis or gingivitis.
- Gingival Pocketing – This occurs when your gums begin to pull away from the roots of your teeth. This is usually associated with periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease.
A consistent oral hygiene practice is essential to keeping gum disease at bay. However, they’re only half the battle. The other half maintains a consistent routine of visiting your dentist twice a year. During these visits, they can inspect your oral cavity for the presence of gingivitis, perform a professional cleaning, and safeguard you against periodontitis. They can also remove tartar that may have built up on your teeth since your last visit.
When It’s Time To Seek Periodontal Care
If you’ve discovered that you show any of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule a visit with your dental provider. Remember that any puffiness or redness in your gums is abnormal and a warning sign of gingivitis beginning to set in. If your gums often bleed when you brush them, it won’t be long before the disease begins attacking your gumline and the delicate roots beneath.
Treating this condition is accessible in the earliest stages. It starts with a thorough cleaning that removes existing tartar or biofilms such as plaque. This will be followed by scaling and planing of the roots if periodontitis is present. Reach out to your dentist to determine if the symptoms you’ve identified indicate the presence of gingivitis, and start a treatment plan today.
Every year rural areas continue to shrink, and there’s a driving need for high-paying jobs to maintain a standard of living. Orthodontists leaving college find themselves in significant debt, making practicing in rural areas less appealing. Regardless, there’s a significant call for orthodontic treatment wherever you go.
Whether you’re addressing concerns with a cleft palate or are correcting dental misalignment, you need a dental professional who can deliver this kind of care. However, the location may limit access to this necessary form of care in areas with lower populations and reduced income levels. Teledentistry is one form of care that’s working to fill that gap, making it possible to receive the necessary care wherever patients may be.
How Teledentistry Benefits Dental Patients
Teledentistry can effectively address the growing gap between low-income rural areas and orthodontic care. This is accomplished by reshaping the relationship between clinics and their patient family using telecommunication.
It provides notable benefits for the patient, including reduced travel times, reduced cost of care, and flexibility in communicating with their provider. Telehealth isn’t a new concept; it’s been around as long as the telephone. The rise of COVID-19 has propelled teledentistry out of obscurity and into common conversation. Access to dental care and delivery methods have been improving, as have the overall costs for oral healthcare in underserved communities.
At first glance, it’s understandable if teledentistry seems to have limited utility. Modern dental technology has greatly enhanced the effectiveness of this form of care. However, there are multiple areas in which teledentistry is able to provide care options for patients and dentists alike:
- Diagnostic Assistance: Dentists are able to use photographs and video calling to perform follow-ups and basic triage over digital devices. In many areas, it’s possible to go to a local third-party facility for imaging, the results of which will be transmitted to your dentist.
- Orthodontic Treatment: Many new forms of orthodontic care can be accomplished remotely, especially clear aligners. Dentists may send a mail-in dental impression kit to their patients. After following the included directions, they can mail the kit back to their dentist. The dentist will then evaluate the kit and send it off to a lab to have the aligners made. All without a visit to the dental office.
- Immediate Temporary Care: Those experiencing a dental emergency can receive an immediate diagnosis and care over the phone or via video chat. First, dentists can provide response medication, and the patient can be instructed in at-home care techniques until you can visit the dentist. In many cases, dentists can do the full spectrum of necessary care remotely.
Consult With Your Dental Provider For More Information
Every year more clinics are adopting additional teledental treatment options for their patients. You can reach out to your provider to get information about their services. While you’re at it, schedule your next bi-annual visit so you can take steps to get the proper care. You may discover that long drives and inconvenient appointment dates and times are no longer a part of your dental care routine.
Robots have been seeing increasing use in various medical industries. They’ve been used to improve diagnostic efforts, as assistants in surgery, and more. Dentistry has recently seen the introduction of robot-assisted dental surgery, especially in dental implants.
How Robot-Assisted Dental Surgery Is Changing Dental Care
Robot-assisted dental surgery assists dentists in multiple ways. Among them is ensuring that implant posts are placed properly. They’re also changing how dental implant surgery is done. Previously, receiving dental implants required an invasive procedure that took a long time to recover. Robot-assisted dental surgery makes it possible to perform the procedure on the same day. We’re going to cover some of the details that make robot-assisted dental surgery an incredible addition to dental care:
- Precise Control – Robot-assisted surgery makes it possible to manipulate the tools precisely. This makes highly controlled angles and secure trajectories possible. This reduces the amount of healthy tissue harmed during treatment and the potential for mishaps.
- Complex Procedures – Those with complex dental problems were traditionally more complicated to provide with dental implants. However, robot-assisted dental surgery makes it possible to safely and easily provide implants for these individuals.
- Quick Recovery Times – A major benefit for patients and dentists alike is faster recovery times. Since the incisions required to perform the procedure are smaller, there’s less tissue that needs to heal. Further, there’s a limited risk of unnecessarily damaging healthy tissue.
- Higher Success Rates – Robot-assisted dental surgery reduces the failure rate of dental implant surgery. Even more patients can safely benefit from restoring their smiles with dental implants.
Robot-assisted dental surgery involves the use of advanced robotic technology to improve the outcomes of dental procedures. It all starts with an in-depth examination of your oral structures, typically with CBCT. Cone-Beam Computer Tomography is a form of imaging that provides high-precision digital images that are used in treatment planning.
Using the images produced by CBCT, the dentist will develop a treatment plan. This treatment plan will be carefully inserted into the dental robot step-by-step. When the procedure begins, the dentist and robot will work through this procedure one step at a time. The robot guides the dentist to the precise location where the treatment needs to take place and ensures that everything goes smoothly. The highly precise nature of robot-assisted dental surgery has made it the leading edge of dental care technology. Countless patients have already benefited from this new advancement and have beautiful smiles they can share with pride.
Ask Your Dentist About Robotic-Assisted Dental Surgery
More clinics adopt this advanced technology every year as part of their standard practice. If you’re planning on receiving dental implants, speak to your dentist. They’ll let you know what technologies they have available at their clinic and how they’ll be used as part of your procedure. Dental technology is always advancing, meaning we’re likely to see more procedures like this become available as time passes. Eventually, your dentist may be able to make a house visit using a special robotic dentist, and office visits may become a thing of the past. Until then, call your dentist to schedule your next visit.
There are times when it’s necessary to perform surgery on the gums. Sometimes this is necessary due to advanced gum disease that requires the removal of decay. It can also be performed for cosmetic purposes, especially for those concerned with a ‘gummy’ smile. For many years these kinds of surgery required a scalpel, stitches, anesthetic, and significant recovery time. This all passed with the introduction of the dental laser. These tools have turned these procedures into simple operations that dentists can do quickly. Further, the recovery time for these treatments is significantly reduced.
How Laser Dentistry Has Changed The Face Of Gum Surgery
Some years ago, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) determined that laser surgery was an acceptable approach for a range of dental procedures. In the earliest stages of laser dentistry, practitioners primarily used it to enhance the results of tooth whitening procedures. Since the FDA has approved it for use in a broader range of treatments. These include:
- Periodontic Procedures – New root planing and scaling approaches involve using the dental laser. Rather than using a metal tool to achieve these ends, the dental laser is finely tuned to eliminate the presence of biofilm in these areas.
- Endodontic Procedures – Root canal treatments are the most commonly performed endodontic procedure. The dental laser makes it easier to eliminate all traces of decay and infection without damaging healthy tissue.
- Oral Surgery: Gum surgery is one example of an oral surgery procedure that can be achieved using modern laser dentistry.
Laser gum surgery achieves its ends using highly focused beams of light to sterilize the treatment area. Throughout the procedure, several approaches may be used. Dental lasers can cause blood to clot in the blood vessels to prevent bleeding. They can also cut and remove diseased tissue from affected areas. During this process, the laser automatically cauterizes the treatment area, eliminating the need for stitches. Further, this approach reduces the need for an anesthetic as the process is nearly painless.
Many types of dental lasers are available, and each is well-suited to its own range of procedures. Each of these devices varies in the degree of power they can deliver and the wavelengths of the lasers they emit. The most advanced models are capable of adjusting both the power of the beam and the wavelength. These versatile tools are genuinely changing the face of dentistry.
What To Expect Following Laser Dental Treatment
Dental laser treatments’ recovery process is generally short and free from complications. You should follow some care guidelines to ensure a full recovery. The treated area should remain unflossed and unbrushed for approximately a week. Instead, rinse your mouth carefully with mouthwash or water. Do not spit during this stage. Instead, you should let the liquid fall from your mouth freely. You should also avoid the use of any nicotine products during this period.
When we hear the term “tattoo,” the first thing that comes to mind is intentionally acquired permanent body art. An amalgam tattoo is neither art nor does it have to be permanent. This type of tattoo is an unintentional blemish caused by the degrading of a dental amalgam filling. The materials that make up this decaying amalgam include copper, tin, silver, and mercury. When fragments of these materials take up residence in our cheek, gums, or lip, an amalgam tattoo is formed. They often appear as a smooth blemish that is black, blue, or gray. Sometimes these blemishes appear as irregularly spaced patches of metal. In others, they appear as brown or black pieces that tend to follow the path of nerves and blood vessels. While they often appear near the amalgam site, they can form anywhere in the mouth.
Why Do Amalgam Tattoos Form And What Can Be Done?
There are a few common reasons that an amalgam tattoo may form. The most common reason is an accidental deposit that forms during drilling. This deposit occurs because the amalgam is flaking off and presses into the gums near the drilling site. Scrapes and lesions in that area can increase the chance of these forming. Similarly, they can form as the result of flakes coming off as the final amalgam is being polished or when they’re being removed. While amalgam fillings can last 10-15 years after being placed, they need to be replaced. In the rarest cases, the amalgam may splinter, working its way through the tooth to penetrate the gums near the restoration. These concerns are part of the driving force behind amalgam fillings falling out of favor in the dental industry. Modern dentistry tends to lean towards using composite fillings over amalgams. Their plasticity, resilience, and ability to be color-matched to your natural enamel color make them the superior choice.
The markings that appear with an amalgam tattoo are often mistaken for oral cancer, but several symptoms reveal the difference.
- Dentures that no longer fit
- Strange pigmentation patterns with asymmetrical or irregular borders
It’s important to remember that amalgam tattoos will typically appear near the dental restoration site. Conversely, oral cancer typically shows up near the palate or the inner portions of the sinus cavity. A common diagnosis method for amalgam tattoos is dental imaging using x-rays. The x-rays will reveal the presence of significant metal deposits in your oral tissues. In cases where the amalgam fragments are fine enough, exploratory methods may have to be used to find them.
Ask Your Dental Provider About Amalgam Tattoos
If you’ve noticed grey or black markings appearing in your oral cavity, speak to your dental provider. They can help you determine if these are signs of an amalgam tattoo or from another source. You must have these inspected by a professional as the survival rate for oral cancer drops sharply if not caught early. If an amalgam tattoo is identified, your dentist can take steps to remove the discoloration and the metal fragments responsible.
Dental anxiety is a problem faced by thousands of people all over the country. It’s no respecter of age or gender and can fade over time or worsen. For some sufferers, the experience is simply a state of heightened nervousness. For others, it can be a paralyzing condition that can induce severe panic at the mere mention of the dentist. One specific trigger reported by those who experience dental anxiety is the high-pitched whine of the rotary drill. This is one part of the dental experience that hasn’t been able to be avoided in the past. Even if you weren’t the one being worked on, that sound would saturate every corner of the clinic. Laser dentistry has arrived to change all that.
How Dental Anxiety Sufferers Benefit From Laser Dentistry
Lasers have been seeing an increasing degree of use in the medical industry over the past few decades. For many years laser dentistry has been limited to stimulating the effectiveness of cosmetic treatments. With the laser dental drill development, a whole new era has come to dental practices. One immediate benefit of these drills is their near-silent operation. No one has ever been caught saying how much they love the sound of the rotary drill. While those who work in the office may be largely indifferent due to exposure, patients rarely were. Laser dental drills bring with them a great number of benefits and the elimination of the whine of rotary drills. Some examples include:
- Precision Dentistry – Laser dental drills are extremely precise and can be used to eliminate tissue within very small tolerances. This enables them to target only diseased or necrotic tissue, leaving healthy tissue untouched.
- Fast Recovery Times – These drills don’t just destroy the targeted tissue; they also cauterize the wound immediately. This means that the wound starts healing right away without the need for stitches. This, in turn, shortens recovery times.
- Reduced Discomfort – Due to the elimination of the vibration from the rotary drill and the immediate cauterization of the target zone, there’s less pain with laser dentistry. This means less need for an anesthetic.
- Quicker Procedures – There are a lot of factors that go into how laser dental drills reduce procedure times. One that greatly reduces the time spent in procedures is there being no need for stitches. Since no anesthetic is generally required in laser dentistry procedures, there’s no recovery time needed. Patients can get up and head out the door and back to their day.
These four factors make the entire dental experience more pleasant. Even when the drill is involved, eliminating the whine, reducing discomfort, and less time in the chair is an overall improvement. Many patients even report that the soft pulsing sound the laser drill makes when in operation is soothing and eases anxiety.
Speak With Your Dental Provider About Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry is becoming more available every day. Reach out to your current dental provider and ask them if laser dentistry is used in their practice. They’ll consult you on any existing oral health conditions and how laser dentistry can play a role in treating them.