Frequently asked questions about dental care and oral hygiene.
Listed below are questions many people ask about our office.
Just click on the question to find out the answer.
- How often should I see a dentist?
- What should I expect during my appointment?
- How do digital x-rays (radiographs) work?
- Are digital X-rays safe?
- What can you do if I feel anxious?
- Is your facility handicap-accessible?
- What if I have an emergency?
- Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
- Can I bring my child to Westney North Dental Clinic?
- At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
- What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
- Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
- What is periodontal disease, and am I at risk of developing it?
- What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?
1. How often should I see a dentist?
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year. Dental and gum disease have been linked to a myriad of afflictions including, but not limited to, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which means your oral health can have a major influence over your total health.
2. What should I expect during my appointment?
One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, make fast and convenient digital X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss our findings with you. Should you require additional treatment, we will explore the options available and their cost and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.
During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any concerns and answer any questions you may have.
3. How do digital x-rays (radiographs) work?
A sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image. This takes approximately 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. The digital x-ray is viewed on the computer in the room and is the full screen size making it easier for you to see. Digital x-rays provide us with invaluable information about your oral and dental health and they are eco-friendly as they do not require chemicals to develop them like the old film x-rays.
4. Are digital X-rays safe?
While radiographic equipment does produce radiation (and depends on that radiation to function properly); modern advances in technology are continually reducing the amount of radiation that is produced. In fact, studies have shown that the amount of radiation produced by these machines is not significantly higher than other “normal” sources of radiation that we are exposed to on perhaps a daily basis, such as televisions and airplanes. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by up to 80 percent!
5. What can you do if I feel anxious?
Some people feel anxious about their dental appointments. If you are one of those people, we recommend you avoid stimulants like sugar and caffeine before your appointment. We will talk with you and address any concerns you have before we begin any treatment. We also have a variety of sedation techniques available from nitrous oxide (laughing gas), to oral sedation, I.V. sedation and general anesthesia. We want you to feel comfortable.
6. Is your facility handicap-accessible?
7. What if I have an emergency?
Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you into our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. If our office is closed then you should go to a hospital.
8. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We offer a low-interest-rate payment plan and also accept cash, personal cheques, and MasterCard, Visa and Debit / Interac.
9. Can I bring my child to Westney North Dental Clinic?
Of course! We are a very child-friendly office, with amenities that kids love such as TV’s in every room, a children’s play area, and X-Box. At Westney North Dental, we consider children to be a very important part of our practice.
10. At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
We recommend that your child have his/her first dental visit no later than by age 3. Earlier visits, however, can provide us good opportunities to monitor your child’s dental development and/or give helpful advice on early dental treatment and oral hygiene for infants and toddlers.
11. What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child regularly goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
12. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth. Zoom2! bleaching is done in our office. One session generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read, watch TV or listen to music and relax during the treatment. We also offer Zoom Weekender for at home bleaching. We make an impression of your teeth and create a bleaching tray that fits your bite. You fill the bleaching tray with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it for approximately 20 minutes during the day. This at home bleaching process takes 3 or 4 days.
13. What is periodontal disease, and am I at risk of developing it?
The term “periodontal” simply means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is mainly attributed to the bacteria in dental plaque, which causes the gums to become inflamed and infected. Other factors, such as smoking or tobacco use, poor nutrition, stress or pregnancy, may put you at risk of developing gum disease.
14. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?
Bonding and veneers are great ways to solve these issues. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.