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Preparing for Dental Surgery

06-05-2014 9-56-15 AMSo, your dentist has recommended that you need to have dental surgery. Perhaps you are having some teeth removed or having gum surgery. Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help you be prepared so that the treatment procedure and subsequent healing phase can be as successful as possible.

There are benefits and risks inherently involved with all surgeries – medical or dental. Communication is key to understanding why you need this treatment, the specifics of the procedure and on how best to prepare and recover.

The following instructions are provided to help you prepare for most oral surgeries, however, your dentist may provide you with additional suggestions.

 

Consultation Appointment

  • 07-09-2015 6-12-02 PMThis will be your preliminary appointment to discuss the surgery being performed. If you have been referred to another dental office or specialist and the office staff has not contacted you to confirm this appointment make sure that you do to verify the date, time and location of this consult appointment.
  • Ensure that all records, including radiographs (x-rays) have already been sent and received. Sometimes, additional x-rays may need to be taken.
  • Discuss the manner of payment and bring your dental insurance information so that a claim can prepared for you.
  • We always advise that you write down any questions you may have so that you can make the most of your time with the dentist and avoid having to call again.  Sometimes. a patient likes to bring a trusted family member or friend to this appointment for support and to help write down the information and instructions being discussed for future recall.
  • Understand fully the type of anesthesia the dentist recommends for the treatment procedure and ensure that they have your current medication list and an updated medical and dental history on file. Your dentist wants to avoid any unexpected reactions or side effects,  so it is especially important to inform your dentist if you have any artificial joints, artificial heart valves/stents, have ever had bacterial endocarditis or need antibiotics before dental treatment. If you take blood thinners, discuss what steps you need to take to discontinue their use before surgery and when to resume taking them.
  • Understand fully how to prepare for the type of anesthesia the dentist recommends for the treatment procedure. If you will having your surgery under general anesthetic you are likely going to have a fasting period before your treatment, so understand how this will affect you if you are diabetic or take medications. Diabetic patients should inform their family physicians about their upcoming surgery and ensure there are no additional/contrary instructions further to the what their dentists have already advised.
  • 17-11-2014 3-23-49 PMIf the dentist will be prescribing you medication for before and/or after your treatment, you may wish to get the prescription given to you at this appointment and filled by the pharmacy the day before your procedure so that you do not have to run this errand after your appointment. Understand the instructions for taking any medication prescribed.
  • Discuss the type of pain medication you will require after surgery and the expected level of discomfort.
  • Ask if there are any known side effects to the medication you will be receiving. Women should know that antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control so discuss this with your dentist.
  • Discuss the need to arrange for someone to accompany you on your treatment day and also be available to transport you back home.
  • Ask the dentist if there are any restrictions he/she advises for you i.e.. activity, work, diet etc…
  • Discuss any concerns or fears you may have prior to your appointment so that your dentist understands fully your worries and level of anxiety and can address these issues with you while offering suggestions.
  • If you smoke, tell your dentist.
  • Ask for an employment/school absence letter in advance and ask that it be ready the day of your appointment just in case you may need to take a few days off from your normal routine during your healing time.
  • Will you be given the dental office after hours telephone contact number in case you have any recovery questions? Ask them what to expect when you call this number. Will you just be speaking with an answering service who may have limited capabilities in answering your questions or will you be able to contact the dentist directly?
  • Lastly, at Your Smile Dental Care, we follow up any surgeries with “Care Calls” to our patients or their designated caregiver. If your office does this, make sure they have a reliable telephone number for you and that they know the name of your appointed advocate who can speak with the dentist on your behalf should you be unable.

 

Sample questions

Here are some sample questions you may want to ask your dentist:

  • How many teeth need to be removed? or What type of surgery is being preformed?
  • 07-09-2015 6-03-36 PMWhat type of anesthesia will I receive?
  • How complicated do you expect the procedure to be?
  • How long is the procedure likely to last?
  • Is it possible that the surgery can cause damage to other teeth?
  • What is the likelihood of nerve damage?
  • Will I need stitches?
  • Will I need further treatment afterwards?
  • Do I need to fast before surgery, if so how long? or When should my last meal be before surgery?
  • Can I take my normal, daily medications day of surgery and when? (before and afterwards)
  • How long should normal recovery take?
  • What type of pain medication will I require after surgery?
  • When can I resume normal activity?
  • When can I return to work or school?
  • Will there be restrictions on activity?
  • What kind of a diet do you recommend after surgery and for how long?
  • Should I expect to feel pain after the anesthetic wears off?
  • When should I arrive at the office and is the dentist typically on time for procedures?
  • Will I need to make arrangements for someone to drive me home after the procedure?
  • May I bring a friend along for support?
  • What is the office after hour emergency telephone number? Who will I be speaking with?
  • What if I need to postpone my surgery; how much notice am I able to give without penalty?
  • What if I feel unwell day of surgery?

 

Day before appointment

  • On the night before your appointment, finalize your arrangements for transportation to and from surgery and pick up your prescription if you haven’t done so already.
  • 07-09-2015 7-23-36 PMClear your calendar for at least 24-36 hours following your surgery to avoid any unnecessary stress or activity.
  • If you have small children that you normally care for daily, make arrangements for someone to help care for them the day of your surgery and during your initial recovery time. Consult your dentist to determine the length of time you will need childcare.
  • Prepare a recovery room in your home to ensure that you will have a comfortable resting place with extra pillows. Have hand towels for pillow protection, extra pillows for head elevation, Kleenex, lip balm, and any entertainment electronics/books you may wish to have with you as your recuperate.
  • Prepare a “medical waste” garbage for you to place bloodied gauze or facial wipes into.
  • A trusted friend or loved one should be with you at home for at least the first 24-36 hours after surgery. Make sure they know and understand your dentist’s instructions, know where to find and dispense your medication and will be there to help prepare your foods and beverages.
  • You may be advise to apply cold compresses to your healing area. You can get a DIY Ice Pack instructions hereNever use ice packs while asleep!
  • 22-06-2015 12-41-23 PMEnsure that you have already done your grocery shopping for the foods and beverages you will need if a soft diet has been recommended for you. We have prepared a great list of soft foods in our blog, “50 Soft Foods.”  We hope that there is something for everyone on this list.
  • If you have been given and received your post surgery medication, have it ready in a handy place with any written instructions the dentist has given to you.
  • Have the dental office emergency number on hand in case you need to call your dentist.
  • If you are a friend or family member who will be bringing in a patient who resides in a long-term care facility, ensure that the staff who care for this individual has been fully briefed on all the details and understand their responsibilities.
  • Your dental team wants to be prepared for your day of surgery also so that things will go smoothly. To help them avoid the unexpected, if you have any last minute questions or concerns now is the time to call your dental office – not the day of surgery. This will allow the dental staff to pass on your questions to the dentist and return you call before the day of surgery.

 

Day of appointment

  • 07-09-2015 6-33-07 PMTake your daily medications unless your dentist has advised you otherwise.
  • Eat a light, nutritious meal 1-2 hours before the procedure if you are receiving a local anesthetic unless your dentist has advised you otherwise. Follow doctor’s meal instructions if you are having another type of anesthesia.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing to your appointment that you don’t mined getting soiled if something accidently stains your garment. If you are having intravenous, wear a top with short sleeves so that the dental team can access the veins in your arm. Avoid wearing jewellery especially if it occupies your tongue or lip. Avoid lipstick and heavy makeup, although some Vaseline or lip balm is a good idea as sometimes your lips can become chapped during a long procedure.
  • Let the dental team know if you are very anxious. Deep breathing exercises may help to calm you down and relieve some of your tension. Unless instructed otherwise, do not arrive too early for your appointment. If the office is typically always on time, you need only arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment time. This way you can avoid some of the anxiety that occurs when made to wait a long time.
  • Give the dental staff the telephone number you can be reached at after hours and designated an person to speak or advocate on your behalf. Make sure you have their after hours emergency contact number.
  • Obtain your employment/school absence letter if you have asked for one.

 

29-12-2014 6-35-38 PMOral surgery is often different from other routine treatments because the procedure is usually more complicated with more preparation and recovery is needed. Planning for your recovery is just as important as the surgery itself.  The first few days after the procedure is a crucial period and it is very important that you follow your dentist’s home care instructions exactly so that your recovery can be as predictable as possible and pass by more quickly. If you have any uncertainties, do not hesitate to call your dental office.

And lastly, understand that the recommendations your dentist gives to you may be different those listed above.  Always consult your own dentist about their preferences for your, specific to you, needs. Each person’s circumstance are unique and only your own dentist is qualified to answer your questions.

Thanks for reading and have a safe and speedy recovery,

The Your Smile Dental Care team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 

 

 


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Fake Braces: Life Hack or Life Threatening?

Brace Yourself for this…

If you were to search the words, “fake braces” on you tube you would get 39,000 hits!

DIY dentistryHave you ever even heard of fake braces?

No? Well, neither did any of our patients when we asked, but it’s a growing trend!

There is an enormous market for knock-off braces and people worldwide have taken a shine to what used to be an embarrassing rite of passage for most kids. While some people are truly looking for a cost-free life hack to eliminate the gaps between their teeth, others are hoping to add a little fashion to their smile.

#hackjob

For years now, orthodontia has been seen as somewhat of a status symbol with many kids believing that they are a sign of wealth or are a way of putting a “geek is the new chic” spin on their looks. This life hack, however, can cause just that … a hack job on your teeth and gums!

No Limit to the Imagination

8-17-2015 10-31-04 AMKids are very imaginative with their DIY ideas and are using all kinds of novel methods to get the results and look they are aiming for ~ rubber bands, coloured elastics, bobby pins, paper clips, earring backs, string, fishing line ~ you name it! Fake braces kits are also available online in a variety of colours and designs with some people resorting to using crazy glue to cement the appliance to their teeth for better adhesion and elastics to force their teeth together and rid their smiles of the gap tooth look.

Dangerous Trend

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that requires additional schooling after receiving a dental degree. It requires a particular set of skills and experience that takes into careful consideration how very attentive one must be when moving teeth through bone. Non-medical orthodontic braces can pose a serious health risk for wearers.

Taking your smile into your own hands…
 31-08-2015 11-09-23 AM

What Damage Can Occur?

Bone and Tooth Resorption – Resorption is a process by which something wears away usually due to forces upon it. The greater the force – the higher the rate of wear. The movement process, if done incorrectly or too quickly, can cause too much bone and even the root of the tooth to wear away.

Dead Teeth – Each tooth has blood, lymph and nerve vessels that enter at the end of each root to keep the tooth nourished and vital. This supply can be damaged and possibly cut off during DIY tooth movement causing the teeth to die. Infection and loose teeth can eventually occur.

Loose Teeth – Placing rubber bands around teeth can bring teeth quickly together, but they can also damage bone and soft tissue in the process. It used to be a dental technique used by dentists to help teeth they plan to extract to loosen up faster.  The bone that surrounds each tooth is not very thick. Too much movement in the wrong direction can actually cause so much bone destruction and in such a quick amount of time that it completely wears away. The tooth loses its greatest support feature and becomes very loose.

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Photo from manubaydental.com

Fenestration/Tooth Extrusion – This photo shows a very dangerous situation that can occur whereby the bone is worn away and the tooth makes its way through the gum tissue and is exposed.

Decay –  With the increased accumulation of food and plaque around the braces, decalcification and decay becomes a very serious issue. As such, the health of teeth is closely monitored during orthodontia. If the patient does not keep the area around their braces clean and the dentist can see serious signs of enamel damage, often times the braces are removed ahead of schedule to prevent further damage.

Discoloured Teeth – Damage to the interior blood, lymph and nerve supply can cause the teeth to discolour and turn grey to black.

Poisoning – The danger of poisoning from cheap metals containing unsafe or toxic material like lead should be a big concern for those considering using these products in the mouth.

Choking – Some of the materials used to make fake braces have tiny parts that can loosen easily and break off. If swallowed, choking or entry into the lungs can occur.

Gum Damage – Using metal wires that are fastened to the tooth with glue or wax can loosen and pierce into or stick under the gums causing bleeding, inflammation or infection. Winding string or elastic bands around teeth can create wear marks into the enamel and/or become lodged under the gums.

Very little to Smile about…

The Your Smile Dental Care team want you to know that braces are an important measure in correcting misaligned teeth and improper jaw relationships, but resorting to desperate DIY measures to move or accessorize your teeth can result in tremendous costs in terms of damage and dental treatments fees for repair. You can lose the teeth you’re craving to beautify and that could leave you with very little to smile about!

31-08-2015 3-08-30 PMThe good news is that some countries are now cracking down on this trend after the death of two teens in Thailand and are now doling out fines and even imprisonment for vendors who sell fake braces. However, warning needs to get out to those that are using their own DIY methods.

If your teeth are in need of some corrective measures, we strongly urge you to consult a professional. Many people do not realize that payments for orthodontic treatment is spaced out monthly over the entire course of treatment. This makes budgeting for braces more affordable and convenient. If you are using fake braces/retainers to just enhance your appearance, please know and understand the risks you are taking.

Referrals

If you have been wearing your own braces and are starting to notice some signs of damage don’t be embarrassed to call us right away! We’ve seen it all and are here to help you. Think you would benefit from braces and are looking for a good orthodontist in the Toronto or Durham region? We would be happy to discuss your “specific to you” issues and make a referral for you.

Your in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
www. yoursmiledentalcare.com
info@yoursmiledentalcare.com

 

 


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Sports Drinks and Your Smile

8-13-2015 2-03-28 PM

 

Whew!

8-13-2015 2-10-10 PMYou’re taking a break from some heavy duty activity and you’re sweaty and thirsty. A cold, refreshing sports drink is usually your beverage of choice to quench your dry mouth and help replace those important electrolytes you’ve just lost.

Seems health and harmless enough, but did you know, with consistent use, many sports drinks can cause seriously damage to your teeth, making them more susceptible to corrosion and tooth decay?


Acid Attack

If the amount of sugar in these types of drinks isn’t alarming enough, the acidic nature of the phosphoric or citric acids contents can erode the enamel right off your teeth!

When exposed to the corrosive nature of these acids, the outer, shiny layer of enamel begins to break open and dissolve. It doesn’t take long for the damage to be irreversible. We call this an “acid attack” and it can take up to an hour before your saliva can neutralize the acidic levels in your mouth after you are finished your drink.

8-13-2015 2-24-25 PM

Think brushing your teeth right away will help?


Think Again…

The scrubbing action of brushing your teeth immediately afterwards can cause further damage because the tooth’s enamel is in a weakened, soft state during this acid attack.

At What Costs?

We’re not trying to make activity even harder to recover from than it already is. Tooth damage from the frequent use of acidic drinks is becoming a serious concern for dentists and the damage, in terms of dental destruction and the associated financial costs, can be staggering.

What Can You Do?


Water: sometimes it just doesn’t cut it…

8-13-2015 2-12-15 PMWe recommend good ol’ water to help quench your thirst and stay hydrated. However, if you are involved in very intense exercise and training in hot weather for long periods of time, replacing the electrolytes you’ve lost during activity is extremely important for your overall recovery, fitness and health.

Depending on where you live, ordinary tap water also contains salt and other minerals. You would have to know how much as it is unlikely that it contains the quantity you’ll need to help you recover after intense exercise.

Simply put, normal table salt makes up the bulk of the electrolytes you’ll find in most sports drinks, It also will contain some potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride which you also lose from your body when you sweat heavily.

Dental Tips:

Following the tips below can help minimize the damaging effects of the acids in your drink and are worth making a healthy habit in your rest, recreational and exercise choices.

13-08-2015 8-56-39 AM

More Tips:

  1. Try to find a sports drink without all the unnecessary added sweeteners and artificial colors.
  2. Try to aim and squirt dink towards back of your throat in an attempt to avoid contact with teeth.
  3. If all you need to do is stay hydrated during normal hot weather and moderate exercise, water should be sufficient.
  4. Remember, that activity isn’t the only way you lose sustenance from you body. Consider also that illness and fasting will cause the depletion of important nutrients.
  5. Mineral water (not spring or distilled water) can be an adequate alternative. Read the lable as some contains more sodium than the average sports drink.
  6. You may be able to find a coconut water that contains the level of potassium and sodium  you’re looking for as an endurance athlete. Watch out for the sugar content.
  7. Be careful to read all labels. Some drinks carry a high content of  sugar and even caffeine for some extra kick!
  8. Know that high sodium drinks can cause more thirst, so always have water on hand if you find that your sports drink didn’t quite do the trick in quenching your initial dryness and for rinsing your teeth afterwards.
  9. Don’t like the bland taste of water? Get a filter or try adding a slice of fresh fruit to your drink.
  10. Read your favourite sports drink label, do the math and make a DIY recovery drink. You can also add your own flavouring and colour using instant drink powders. Search the internet for some great online recipes.
  11. Be careful to ensure your mouth isn’t frequently in a state of dryness. Saliva is the essential factor in tooth remineralization after an acid (demineralization) attack.

A word of about a thing called Hunger

8-13-2015 3-20-42 PMIt takes 4-5 hours for your saliva to repair acidic damage done to your teeth. This process should not be interrupted with anything other than water or a non-carbohydrate substance.

Hunger gets such a bad rap! It’s actually a natural reoccurring event that is suppose to happen to let you know that it’s time to eat. So, unless you’re diabetic or have another health-related issue that prevents you from fasting between meals, allow this natural process to happen and let your body use this time for repair.

For the Best of the Best…

And lastly, If you’re an elite, competitive athlete who must undergo mandatory drug testing you already know to use your own sports drink bottle not the large, free for all jug provided at some training facilities/events by sponsors and may be easily “accessible” by anyone. Not that we’re suggesting anything, but you can never be too careful when so much is at stake!


Protect Your Smile,

The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533
http://www.yoursmiledentalcare.com

8-13-2015 1-43-19 PM