Common Dental Questions

Q: I have heard some of my friends talk about “sleep dentistry” – can you do that?

A: Absolutely. In some cases our young patients who require extensive work, or our very nervous adult patients, need something more than freezing. In these situations, we can discuss options for general anaesthetic provided through our partners at the Ottawa Surgi Centre.

Q: At what age should I first bring my child to the dentist?

A: Most children should be examined by the age of three. In the meantime, parents should maintain the daily responsibilities of keeping their teeth clean, and ensuring that their nutrition is balanced with as little sugar as possible.

Q: What kinds of insurance do you accept?

A: We accept both private and employer sponsored dental insurance and can electronically process claims on your behalf using our computer system. Dental coverage, with many employers, is part of your overall compensation. If you’ve got the coverage, make the time in your schedule and take care of your dental health.

Q: Do you accept referrals?

A: Our best patients usually come on the recommendation of other satisfied patients. So, yes! We appreciate and encourage referrals!

Q: What if I have an emergency and your office is closed?

A: If you are a patient of record and have a dental emergency at a time that our practice is closed, please call the main office number (613.224.7930) and you will be given instructions on how to reach one of our doctors, or other emergency care.

Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?

A: The market is filled with whiz-bang toothbrushes in bright coloured packages and offer one gizmo after the other. Our best advice is to find a toothbrush with soft bristles and one with a comfortable handle. Feel free to speak to one of our staff about our dentist recommended electric toothbrushes.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bleaching?

A: Bleaching is relatively inexpensive and usually brightens the teeth quickly and easily. On the other hand, it does not work equally well for everyone, and results are less predictable than with other techniques. Newly bleached teeth tend to fade in colour anywhere from a month to 1-1/2 years. Teeth, which are very dark, especially from tetracycline stains, bleach the poorest. The best results are seen in people who were born with white teeth, yet whose teeth have darkened with age due to tea, coffee, tobacco and red wine. For those with darker teeth, talk to us about what options are available to you.

Q: My breath has a terrible odour, but I brush every day. Is there something you can do to help?

A: Many people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Be sure to: brush at least twice daily, floss and brush your tongue; have regular professional cleanings; and carefully clean any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions. First, we can provide a plastic tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial buildup on your tongue. We can also recommend a rinse treatment designed to inhibit the excess bacterial growth that can cause odour. Please be sure to talk to us about any medication that you are presently taking, as this can sometimes be a source of the problem.

Q: How do I know when it’s time to come in for a checkup?

A: If it’s been more than six months, you need to come in for an appointment… an average, healthy adult person typically benefits from a professional cleaning and check up twice a year. While twice daily brushing and daily flossing go a long way towards maintaining a healthy mouth, it’s wise to check for plaque that has hardened into tartar, requiring professional cleaning to avoid gum infection.

Q: I want my front teeth to look better, but I don’t want to wear braces, what can you do to help?

A: We have a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping may be right for you. If not, the addition of porcelain veneers or crowns may be what’s needed to give them a bright, uniform look. We’d be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.

Q: My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been entirely knocked out. What do I do?

A: Please contact the office immediately and our office staff will help you determine the safest and most appropriate plan of action. As for the knocked out tooth, rinse it gently in warm water (do not scrub!) and either wrap it in a clean, damp paper towel or place it temporarily in a glass of milk.

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