Your Smile Dental Care blog


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Feeling Anxious about your next Dental Visit?

Covering mouthWe get a lot of calls at Your Smile Dental Care from patients that suffer from what we call dental anxiety. Some people describe themselves as being dentalphobes and it is not uncommon for people to tell us that it has taken more than a year just to summon up the courage to make their first telephone call to our office.

Most people tell us that their fears stem from previous traumatic experiences as a child or in the past and this is usually the most common reason for dental fears. However, there are plenty of patients who confess that, although they have never had a bad experience at the dentist, the deep seated fears they harbour were instilled in them from another fearful person.


FACT: Dental Fear is one of the most common fears worldwide


At Your Smile Dental Care, we pride ourselves on making you feel happy that you finally walked through our doors. Putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable throughout your experience is just as important to us as it is to you.

Our dentists and hygienists ensure that you have a complete understanding of your dental health and treatment recommendations. Not only will they take the time to explain things to you, but they will also encourage you to ask all the questions you need to without being made to feel rushed. Our in house treatment coordinator, Tracy, will also go over everything with you so that there’s no confusion nor any apprehension about what kind of treatment you will be receiving.

We’re here to help alleviate any of the fears or anxieties you may have about going to the dentist.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMOftentimes, patients just want to have a pleasant distraction available during their appointment. Whether you prefer a movie, music, a soft blanket and pillow, a friend to accompany you into the treatment room or just a caring hand to hold, we’re here to make your experience as comfortable and as relaxing as we can for you. In addition, we offer conscious sedation dentistry (laughing gas) to help calm you during your appointment.


Many Big Journeys begin with Small Steps


25-02-2016 11-19-50 AMDon’t let fear keep you from the health you deserve. Take time for yourself and begin your journey to dental wellness today. Your first step can be a quick phone call, then next maybe an office visit just to meet us. It doesn’t cost a thing to start making inquiries and you need not commit to anything. First steps, baby steps, whatever you want to call it, taking it slowly, carefully and thoughtfully in the beginning is sometimes the best way to get things done eventually.

We understand this. Dental care is our job and our passion!

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Sam and his long term, committed, dental team know and appreciate the extra efforts some people have to make and the patience and understanding they need from us.

We care about you and Your Smile.
Let us help you make those first steps!


Have a Question?  Want to send us a quick message?
Need to make an appointment?

Click on the link below and one of our caring team members will contact you ASAP!

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


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Chewing Ice: The Cold Hard Facts!

Ice is for chilling, not for chewing

22-02-2016 8-26-03 PMChewing on ice can be hard on your teeth and possibly your pocketbook! Restoring teeth that have been damaged by ice can become very costly in terms of pain and dental fees. In fact, some teeth have been fractured by ice severely enough that they have had to be removed.

What does chewing on ice say about you?

The need for ice chewing can be an incredibly addictive habit, and like any craving, difficult to kick. It can be especially hard for people who are satisfying a compulsive disorder involving the uncontrollable consumption of ice or iced drinks (called pagophagia).

Underlying Issues

From the world of medicine, we are now told that, for some people, the need to chew on ice may be an indicator of an iron deficiency called anemia. Although there is no iron in iced cubed water, research is showing that it can be a symptom of this underlying medical condition. A thoroughly medical evaluation can help determine if your ice chewing habit is the sign of nutritional deficiency.

On the flip side, we have a female patient who has abnormally high levels of iron in her blood and her blood tests are often mistaken for a male reading. Ironically, she is also  highly addicted to chewing ice as a means of relieving the stresses of her high-pressured job. She buys a jumbo-sized cup of just ice from a nearby variety store on the way home from work everyday, insisting that this particular store serves the tastiest ice for miles around.

Despite our warnings, she continues this daily ritual and we continue to check her teeth for signs of fracture. When we asked her if she is starting to notice an increase in tooth sensitivity since she is starting to show some slight signs of gum recession she answered, “The cold doesn’t bother me anyways.”

We laughed, but ice chewing is no longer a laughing matter for people who have had to have a tooth heavily restored or removed because of breakage.

About dental fractures…

Teeth, although very hard, are also very brittle when subjected to forces like ice chewing. Think of a porcelain plate. It is very hard, but if you look closely, you will notice an array of tiny fractures running across it’s surface. This is what can happen to your teeth from constantly chewing ice. You may not notice it, but under our intense scrutiny and magnified dental lights, we can see all the tiny fractures running across the surfaces of your enamel. Fortunately, the underlying and supportive tissues of the teeth and surrounding structures provide a cushioning effect against biting forces. However, sometimes the resiliency of enamel is put to the test and it is usually just a matter of time before you chip a piece of enamel off , or worst case scenario, the big one hits and fractures your tooth beyond repair.

Even if you are just an occasional chewer of ice, all it takes is a bite with enough force and at just the right angle to fracture your tooth. While most teeth can be rebuilt using dental filling materials or crowns if the break is larger, some breaks are severe enough to cause a fracture the runs deep into the root of the tooth. When this happens, repair is almost impossible.

Can’t kick the habit?

If you insist on chewing ice or are finding it hard to stop the craving, perhaps you will consider allowing the ice to dissolve as your swish it around in your mouth. Be careful not to bang the cubes against your teeth by using too forceful of a swishing action. Another alternative is to switch to slushed ice or sugar-free chewing gum.

Ice chewing can appear to be a seemingly harmless habit, but from our side of the dental chair, we see the damage. Small fractures can turn into larger ones that can eventually cost you your tooth. Ice may be cheap, but the consequences can be very costly indeed!

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


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Retained Primary Teeth

22-02-2016 1-50-43 PMChildren hit many different milestones in their young lives with some children reaching developmental stages well before others. It’s not uncommon for parents to be concerned and seek our opinion when their child does not lose their baby teeth on time.

While there is a usual pattern and time frame for teeth to emerge into the mouth and others to be lost, as dentists, we begin to become concerned when a tooth/teeth goes well beyond these expected dates and there is a significant delay.

There are several common reasons for what we called “retained” baby teeth. A dental clinical and x-ray examination will determine why the baby tooth is failing to fall out (exfoliate). Afterwards, the dentist will decide whether to extract the baby tooth or keep it in the dentition.

It is not uncommon to find differences in treatment options amongst dentists as there are many factors to consider before deciding on a treatment plan, such as preserving bone, aesthetics, function and maintaining contact with surrounding and opposing teeth be preserved.

Incomplete root resorption

Have you ever wondered why only the crown portion of a baby tooth falls out? This is because the root portion of the tooth dissolves away. Sometimes, the roots do not get resorbed equally or completely. The course of action that the dentist will take often depends on the location and position of the adult tooth. Because the baby teeth are natural space holders, removing them too early can interfere with space that is needed for the eventually arrival of the adult tooth. A dentist may wait for the baby roots to eventually disappear or may help the process along by removing the final portions of the baby tooth to allow the underlying adult tooth to emerge.

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Bone Fusion

22-02-2016 2-19-13 PMUnder normal conditions the teeth and bone do not touch, rather, they are connected by way of tiny hair-like fibers. Think of how a trampoline mat is connected to the supporting steel frame by way of tension springs. In this way, the tooth is free to move slightly so it can withstand the forces exerted upon it during chewing. Sometimes, however, teeth become directly attached to it’s surrounding bone. Treatment depends on whether or not there is an adult tooth present underneath the baby tooth.

a) Adult Tooth present – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone AND has an adult tooth to replace it then your dentist will likely extract the tooth. A space maintaining device will be placed on the adjacent teeth in order to keep this space available for the future incoming adult tooth. The area and adult tooth will then be monitored during it’s own eruption process for any signs of abnormality.

b) Adult Tooth Absent – If the baby tooth is fused to the bone and DOES NOT have an adult to replace it then the decision of extraction versus retention becomes a more complicated issue and bone preservation becomes a very important consideration.

i) Maintain – If the retained baby tooth is of sound structure and is in a good position to function (chew) with the other teeth then your dentist will likely opt to keep this tooth in the dentition and monitor it over the years. It is not uncommon to find many older adults that still have a retained baby tooth. Good oral hygiene is very important as there is no adult tooth to replace this tooth. If the tooth is lost eventually, then a dental implant can be considered.

ii) Maintain with Modifications – This is often the case when the tooth is submerged somewhat and is therefore lower in height and dimensionally smaller than the adjacent teeth. If the dentist decides that that the tooth is viable enough to be kept in the mouth, a few modification may have to be done to the tooth in order for it to function properly and have contact with all surrounding and opposing teeth.  The tooth can be built up and reshaped in order to achieve function, but the tooth and surrounding bone will have to be closely monitored over the years.

 iii) Extraction – If the baby tooth is removed now, the resulting space will have to be preserved with a space maintaining device until a future implant can be considered. The dentist may opt to perform a procedure called decoronation, whereby the crown portion is removed from the tooth and the site left to heal over. It is believed that important supporting fibers will then reconnect with the adjacent permanent teeth present. As these neighbouring teeth advance in their eruption process, the bone height and width can be maintained for many years until an implant can be considered.

Adult Tooth Misalignment

2-26-2016 1-05-43 PMUnerupted – If the developing adult tooth is “stuck” in it’s position underneath, in the bone, the baby tooth may also be delayed in falling out. There are dental procedures that can help move the adult tooth along in it’s eruption process and eventually into position in the dentition. Your dentist may send you to an orthodontist for further evaluation. In consultation with the orthodontist, both short and long term solutions can be discussed that is unique to your child. Today, interceptive orthodontic treatment can go a long way in preventing the need for more extensive orthodontic treatment in the future.

Erupted – It is not uncommon to have adult teeth come into the mouth in front of or behind the baby tooth it’s suppose to replace. Removal of the baby tooth will depend on the position of the adult tooth, in which arch (upper or lower) this is occurring and at what stage of “falling out” the baby tooth is in. Although seeing permanent teeth erupt out of position when the baby teeth are still present is an unsettling thing for parents to see occur, it is a common situation. Once the baby teeth fall out or are removed, the adult tooth will eventually move into place naturally or with the assistance of orthodontia.

Lastly,

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular dental check-ups. Dental development and eruption problems are more common than one would think. Missing teeth can be caused by a number of things including genetics, injury, infection and endocrine disorders.

As challenging as some cases may be, with today’s advances in dentistry, there are now a variety of short and long term solutions available for consideration.  Early diagnosis and intervention is often an important consideration in planning for a healthy tomorrow.

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