FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
To learn more about cosmetic dentistry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Markham, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Ajax, Mississauga and Hamilton, Ontario, please email or call Dentistry on Bay today to arrange your personal cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Tuvel.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SORT OF DENTIST TO LOOK FOR?
The right dentist will be:
- An experienced one with training beyond the basic dentistry degree
- One that you feel comfortable with and feel you can trust to treat you well
- One who has an excellent reputation with no professional complaints brought against him/her
To find such a dentist, you can start by asking for names among your friends and neighbours. If these people are pleased with the dentist they see, that’s a good start. When you have a list of names, look at their website, if they have one. There will usually be a biographical page about the dentist that will tell you where they were trained and what professional organizations they belong to.
Make sure that the dentist offers the type of dental work you need. Not all dentists offer every type of dental procedure. Rather, many will specialize in certain aspects of dentistry, such as cosmetic dentistry, and offer some general dentistry as well, but not necessarily all procedures.
What should I ask a dentist, to see if he or she is the right one?
When you have a list of possible dentists, call or email to set up an initial consultation. Write down your questions and take them with you. As you ask them, make sure you understand the answers, and keep asking questions until you do. You want to choose a dentist who takes enough time with you.
- How long have you been in dental practice? – choose one who has at least 5 years of professional experience
- How often have you done [the procedure(s) you are interested in]? – look for at least 50 or so
- Can you show me some before-and-after photos of this procedure? – most dental websites have some of these, and there might be more in the office
- Do you offer sedation dentistry? – some dentists address that anxiety many of us feel about visiting the dentist by offering nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or some type of relaxant along with the local anaesthetic
- Can you review your office protocol for sterilization? – most dentists would be proud to show you their sterilization regimen
What should I look for in the dentist’s office?
Look for a calm and organized atmosphere. The best dentists are aware of the dental anxiety many of us feel, and set up their offices with pleasant colours, comfortable chairs, and green plants. The best dentists will also have well-trained staff who greet you in a friendly fashion and make sure you know where to go and what to do.
Look at how the staff relates to each other and to the dentist, and how the dentist treats his/her staff. This will tell you how you will likely be treated. You want a dentist who is patient and calm, who listens as well as talks, and who shows courtesy to others.
Could I simplify things by choosing the dentist who charges the least?
How important is good dental care to you? How important is it that your dentist takes time with you, listens to you and answers your questions? That they get the work done right the first time? What about high standards of cleanliness and sterility? First-rate equipment? Informative and friendly staff?
These things cost the dentist money. Basic business principles require that the dentist make enough money to stay in operation. The best dentists insist on using the best equipment and hiring the best staff. Wouldn’t you like to receive the best care available?
What’s the best way to keep my teeth clean?
- The best way to keep teeth clean is through regular brushing and flossing. Flossing before bedtime and brushing a few times a day with a soft toothbrush, especially after meals, should be adequate to prevent heavy build-up of plaque.
- Schedule an appointment with a dental hygienist every 6 months. Brushing and flossing will remove most plaque from your teeth but will not clean the teeth completely. A hygienist will remove plaque that has hardened into tartar as well as scrub off stains from coffee, soda, tea, tobacco and red wine. Certain gum conditions may need special attention so talk to your dentist about a cleaning schedule that is best for you.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is most commonly caused by poor dental hygiene. Plaque builds up on the teeth and that plaque holds bacteria which can cause infection. As the infection progresses, it creates pockets between the teeth and gums.
This cycle can be difficult to break. Bacteria create pockets and the pockets hold bacteria which grow and enlarge the pockets, allowing the growth of more bacteria. The initial result of this cycle is gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Your gums become red and swollen and will often bleed when you are brushing or flossing. The only way to break this cycle is through strict attention to a daily dental health regiment as well as regular visits to your dental hygienist.
What causes orthodontic problems?
Crooked teeth can result from:
- Improper development of both the upper and lower jaws
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Loss of permanent teeth
- Consequently the teeth may grow in too crowded, in the wrong orientation, or in the wrong position
These factors can also lead to bite problems, known as malocclusion. Early diagnosis and treatment by a specialist in orthodontics will result in a beautiful smile.
How can I deal with continual bad breath?
- Good dental hygiene is the best way to fight chronic bad breath. Bad breath is caused by certain sulphur compounds which are created by mouth bacteria. Regular brushing and flossing can remove some, but not all of the bacteria.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well, especially the back of the tongue where a mucus layer can hide odour causing bacteria. Consult your dentist if you have a dry mouth as saliva can help by cleaning the mouth and removing particles that can cause odour.
What are wisdom teeth and why are they so often removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop as a patient reaches maturity. Sometimes the teeth come in but frequently they do not appear because there is not enough room in the jawbone to accommodate them. This can cause wisdom teeth to become impacted inside the gum.
Whether you have crowding, impaction, or poor alignment, removal of wisdom teeth prevents future problems such as infection or the premature loss of healthy teeth.
WHAT IS COSMETIC DENTISTRY AND HOW DOES IT APPLY TO ME?
Cosmetic dentistry is a discipline that is finely balanced between science and art form, involving the aesthetic beauty and function of your entire mouth, including the promotion of excellent oral health. Cosmetic dentistry began to emerge as a sub specialty of general dentistry in the middle 1980’s as the foundation of today’s concepts on whitening, bonding and smile design. Dr Tuvel is a general practitioner who has a special interest in appearance-related procedures. His continuous education and teaching enables him to deliver the highest calibre of aesthetically pleasing dentistry possible for his patients.
At Dentistry on Bay, cosmetic dentistry is more than just the restoration and improvement of the look of your smile. We believe that enhancing your smile through cosmetic dental procedures can open doors for our patients – personally and professionally.
Dr. Tuvel uses only the most current techniques and procedures combined with state-of-the-art equipment to create a long lasting beautiful smile for his patients. Whether you are considering changing the appearance of one tooth or to create an entire new smile, Dr. Tuvel and the Dentistry on Bay team has the knowledge and skill so that you can achieve the smile you want.
CROWNS, BONDING AND VENEERS
What is a crown and when would I need one?
A crown, or cap, is a tooth-shaped cover that a dentist uses to restore a tooth’s size or strength, or to improve its appearance. A weak or damaged tooth with only a filling may crack or have to be extracted at some point, but a crown can be used to cover that tooth and give it a new and improved appearance.
A crown will save the central part of the tooth while providing a strong cover and chewing surface. Crowns are made of gold, porcelain, or a metal-porcelain mixture.
Could a crown ever fall off?
Crowns are anchored by durable cement and will rarely come unsecured. Crowns applied by an experienced dentist should be very stable. In the event that your crown comes off, you should contact your dentist immediately to ensure the exposed tooth does not suffer any further damage.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding refers to both the material used for bonding teeth as well as the procedure of bonding. The bonding material is a resin composite made to match natural teeth. It’s used:
- To fill cavities
- To close up small gaps between teeth
- To enlarge or modify the shape of a tooth
- To repair cracks or chips in a tooth
How is dental bonding done?
When bonding a tooth, first the surface is sculpted or buffed to accept the bonding material and a special liquid primer is applied. The bonding material is then molded to the shape of your tooth and a special light is used to harden the material. A dental bond is durable and matches your natural tooth colour.
What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that are permanently attached to the front of your teeth as a simple and effective treatment for small tooth defects.
Why are dental veneers a good choice to improve the appearance of my teeth?
Veneers are made from dental porcelain, a translucent, glass-like substance that gives the all the shine and appearance of natural teeth. If your teeth have visible defects such as cracks, chips, stains, or gaps, dental veneers can cover them. On its own, dental porcelain is brittle, but after it has been bonded to your teeth it is very strong, durable and stain-resistant. Once applied, veneers become a part of the patient’s teeth and are cared for with regular brushing and flossing.
I keep hearing about smile makeovers. What does that mean?
It is a term used for various procedures designed to enhance your smile. No two of us are alike in our dental situation. Your teeth, gums, bite, smile, and overall facial features are yours alone. When a dentist assesses your dental status to see what improvements could be made in your smile, the resulting treatment plan will be unique-an exclusive smile makeover.
What procedures might be part of a smile makeover?
The procedures for your smile makeover will be combined into your specific treatment plan. Each different treatment will be completed in sequence to enhance your teeth, gums, jaw, bite and facial shape. Your smile makeover could include any combination of the following procedures such as:
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental bonding
- Orthodontic work
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Conversion of silver fillings to tooth-coloured fillings
Would it be a good idea to get the flaws in my teeth corrected first, and then whiten my teeth later?
If you plan to have any crowns, veneers, or fillings, the porcelain or bonding material would need to be matched to the colour or your natural teeth. These materials do not respond to the tooth whitening gel. Consequently, it would be best to whiten your teeth first, then your dentist can match the porcelain or bonding to that new whitened shade.
How long does it take to get a smile makeover?
That depends on how many procedures must be done. Sometimes everything can be done in one appointment, but other times it could take several weeks. If the plan includes any orthodontic work, that will extend the time into many months. When your smile makeover is planned you can ask your dentist to give you a time frame.
How long will the smile makeover last?
That will depend on how good your dental hygiene is. The materials used for fillings, crowns, veneers, and bridges are much more durable than in the past. If you brush and floss conscientiously, and have a professional cleaning in a schedule that is right for you, you can expect to keep your smile makeover for many years to come. As with all things in life, repair and maintenance are required to support a healthy state. On average you can expect your new smile to last 5-25 years depending on the level of care you give.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that, in the right circumstance, is a solution for a missing tooth. For the new tooth to be as strong as a natural one, it needs to be firmly embedded in the jawbone. Through extensive research, dentists have determined that small titanium cylinders implanted in the jawbone can successfully act as artificial roots to support artificial teeth.
Missing teeth can cause significant chewing difficulty. It can be embarrassing when a patient is missing a front tooth, and over time the adjacent teeth can move away from their proper positions and affect the quality of your bite. The jawbone can even start to shrink, which over time can change the profile of your face. Replacing a missing tooth can prevent or solve these problems.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
Under local anesthetic and sometimes light sedation, we use careful surgical methods to form a space in the gum and bone tissue before securing the implant in the bone.
Once this procedure is complete there is a period of several months for the implant to bond with the bone. It is important to have the implant solidified before the implant is subsequently restored with the new tooth. Research has shown that the ideal healing of the implant to the bone occurs when there is no pressure over the site. Consequently it is best not to place anything like a denture over the area during healing of the implant.
Am I a candidate for a dental implant?
Perhaps. Implant roots need to be long enough to be effective and long-lasting, so you would need to have enough good quality bone tissue to hold the implant. Also your bite would need to be properly aligned. Your dentist can assess your general dental status, including an x-ray of the implant site, and discuss the options and sequence with you.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if fitted by a qualified dentist and cared for properly. Once the implant is fitted it must be maintained and examined on a regular basis including a yearly X-ray.
How do I care for a dental implant?
To prevent any deterioration of the surrounding bone, a patient should brush and floss regularly. If the bone does become damaged, removal of the implant may be required. Patients should also conduct daily warm water rinses to help maintain their dental implant.
MY TREATMENT IS COMPLETE – WHAT NOW?
I now have a mouthful of beautiful teeth! How can I best keep them in shape?
Now that your new smile is complete, just like anything else that you value, you want to maintain your investment. For your restorations to get their maximum longevity it is important to practice good dental hygiene, using a soft bristle toothbrush, brush after each meal and floss daily. Daily brushing and flossing will help remove the plaque that forms on the surface of your teeth and help reduce the risk of gum disease.
Our office has found that the most effective way to keep your teeth and supporting gum tissues healthy is to have a combined program of regular maintenance visits with the dental hygienist and daily home care that incorporates the Rota-Dent Electric Toothbrush accompanied by a 4% fluoride tooth paste. In addition, warm salt water rinses help destroy the bacteria that can cause gum disease.
How often should I see my dental hygienist?
We recommend an appointment every 3-6 months, depending on the health of your mouth and gums. Even with daily brushing and flossing, it’s not possible to remove all the plaque from your teeth. This residual plaque can harden into tartar which can only be removed by a dental hygienist.
The hygienist will remove the tartar and any stains that cannot be cleaned with brushing alone. They will also polish your teeth with a special paste to give them a smooth clean surface.
Are there any other reasons to visit the dentist?
Regular check-ups are strongly recommended, especially after any cosmetic dental procedure. A thorough dentist will assess your dental status at every check-up. At our office you can expect the following at your appointments:
- Check for early signs of oral cancer
- Check the condition of all teeth and fillings
- Check the fit of dentures
- Diagnosis and treatment options for any conditions found
- Answers to any of your questions
By visiting your dentist on a routine basis, you will develop a relationship of trust with him/her. This can relieve any anxiety you might otherwise feel if you have been avoiding dental check-ups. In addition, should you require more in-depth dental services, your comfort and confidence levels will insure that your procedure feels routine.
To learn more about cosmetic dentistry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Markham, Richmond, Hill, Newmarket, Ajax, Mississauga and Hamilton, Ontario, please email or call Dentistry on Bay today to arrange your personal cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Tuvel.