Your Smile Dental Care

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What is a Dental Specialist?


Why is my dentist is referring me to a dental specialist?


Although a general practitioners may recommend various treatment options for the care of your teeth and supporting structures and perform many different types of treatment, sometimes they may refer your care to a dentist who has received extensive training in a particular area of dentistry that is specific to your circumstance.

“Your general dentist is your primary care provider who sees you on a regular basis to ensure your overall health care is monitored on a regular basis.”

There are many branches of dental specialization and becoming a dental specialist requires a additional formal education after graduating and receiving their initial dental degree. From performing complicated oral surgery to realigning crooked teeth, dental specialists each have a particular area of expertise and are a vital source of care when diagnosis or treatment becomes more involved or complicated.

Dental Specialties

Pediatric Dentistry – treatment and management of children

Endodontics – Endo mean inside and this is a specialty cares for the inside, vital part of the tooth called the pulp chamber or commonly referred to as root canal. They also work in and around the root area as these canals branch out and open along the root surface.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – Dental x-rays/images of the head, neck and mouth area,

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – is a huge branch of dentistry dealing with issues of the head, neck, jaws, and teeth. Care can range from complicated tooth extraction to surgical improvements to major reconstruction.

Dental Public Health – Promotes oral health and deals with the community at large, especially the marginalized or disadvantaged, through awareness, policy, programs, research, and screening of dental health issues.

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – concerns itself with the study and diagnosis of the causes and effects of diseases associated with the oral cavity and surrounding areas.

Prosthodontics – creates and fits artificial replacements for the teeth, mouth, and other parts of the face and head that are missing naturally or due to trauma or disease.

Orthodontics – deals with the diagnosing, prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws.

Periodontics – cares for the diseased supporting structures of the teeth such as gums and bones through prevention, diagnosing, and treatment.


General Dentist

Your general dentist is your primary care provider who sees you on a regular basis to ensure your overall health care is monitored on a regular basis. There are many general dentists who are also capable of treating many complicated conditions and may even have further training or significant experience in providing treatment that may be considered a specialty services. There are times, however, when they may determine that your oral issue bears extenuating risks or involves a degree of complication that obligate them to transition your care to a specialist.



Under most circumstances, a patient can not seek the care of a specialists on their own. Referral is only provided after a general dentist has made a preliminary diagnosis and then decides that consultation with a specialist is necessary.


At Your Smile Dental Care, we recommend that everyone should see their general dentist regularly for examinations. How often depends on the state of your personal oral health. Twice a year is advised for most healthy mouths, whereas, if you are at risk or have a history of decay and disease, more frequents exams and cleaning will be recommended. Patients who make oral care a priority, are more likely to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.


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


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The New Patient Exam



Because there is a doctor shortage in Ontario, most people do not have the luxury of choice once an opening in a practice becomes available. They either accept the physician available or wait further.

However, dentists are plentiful in many Ontario cities. Nonetheless, having too many choices can also frustrate your search for a new dentist. Life is busy and oftentimes too many choices can be overwhelming.

If finding “the one” is proving to be more difficult than you anticipated, we hope that you will find all the information you are looking for in our blog:   Tips: Choosing A New Dentist

What is involved in a New Patient Exam when you see a new dentist?

We get many calls to our office from people asking if we are accepting new patients. At Your Smile Dental Care, we love welcoming new people to our dental family. Your first phone call to our office is the first step in understanding what to expect during your first visit and how to prepare for it.


Record Transfer

Your previous dental history often provides information that may be vital to your future care with a new dentist. As such, your dental records can be transferred from your previous dentist to our office by signing a release form that gives your current dentist permission to transfer your private dental information. Because this is a process that dental offices carry out routinely, records are usually transferred in a cooperative and timely fashion so that they can be reviewed by our staff before you come in for your first appointment.

Alternatively, some people prefer to begin this process at their current dental office. The key point is that this undertaking requires your signature. Some offices simplify this process by sending you the documentation to your mobile device for an electronic signature or for you to print, sign, then photo capture before sending back. The idea is to get the process started quickly and efficiently so that there is no interruption in patient care.


Booking Your Appointment

Once the records are received and reviewed, a New Patient appointment can be scheduled for a convenient date and time. Sometimes, this appointment can be booked in advance and in anticipation of receiving your dental history records promptly. Knowing what to expect during your first visit depends on your individual dental needs – be they Check-up, Emergency or Consultation

The 3 Types of New Patient Exams


1. The Complete Exam

Because you will be a new patient to the office, you will have a full exam even though you may be due for your periodic check-up exam.

Why do you need a full exam?

Many things can alter your oral health care in between dental visits. As a new patient to our office, it is necessary to evaluate and become familiar with your dental and medical history and current status before we even pick up any instruments to clean your teeth. This initial exam is a very important step and consists of a detailed and thorough exam and information gathering session. It will include:

  • A review of your medical and dental history
  • An examination of all oral structures in your mouth, not only your teeth
  • Your teeth will be checked for things like decay, wear, damage, bite, mobility etc.
  • Your gums will be examined for pocket depths, bleeding, recession, and overall health
  • An oral cancer screening will be performed
  • Your past dental work will be checked for signs of damage, wear, fracturing, looseness, etc.
  • We determine if x-rays will be necessary to help us access and identify areas of concern
  • As we examine we chart of all this data
  • When we move onto the cleaning phase of this appointment, we continue to analyse your dental health
  • We will discuss al findings with yo and recommendations will be made, including any treatment plan going forward
  • Of course, we will encourage you to share your thoughts and concerns with us during this examination

Naturally, all of this takes times and is a crucial step in getting to know you, your health and your individual needs.  The more we know about you and your overall health, the more effective we can be in addressing your dental care needs. Your subsequent dental cleaning will then be tailored to your “specific to you” needs. For any future dental check-ups, we will have a baseline and reference point that allows us to provide continuity of care.


2. The Immmediate Exam 

If your dental concern is of an immediate or emergency nature, then you are likely seeking an appointment as soon as possible. Understand that there is a difference, however, between what is considered an emergency and a non-emergency issue.

A true dental emergency is typically anything that involves any dental issue that requires immediate attention in order to save a tooth, if there has been a traumatic injury involving bleeding of the mouth or if you need relief from severe pain. Most offices can accommodate you into their same or next day’s schedule with the anticipation of providing you with an assessment then determining what form of relief or temporary treatment can be offered immediately. A discussion will then take place concerning what long term remedies may be necessary for your “specific to you” dental issue.

A non-emergency new patient appointment would concern a dental problem that poses no immediate threat to your teeth or life, as in often the case with infections or trauma. Some examples are a lost fillings, chipped tooth, moderate pain/discomfort that you can manage with some pain relief, or the recementing of fixed dental work like crowns, bridge or braces.


3. The Consultation Exam

Perhaps you do not have an immediate problem, but are looking to move forward with some elective or comprehensive dental treatment. You may just wish to have a dentist offer you some treatment options or a 2nd opinion. This is especially common with patients who are interested in teeth straightening, implants, cosmetic treatment or complete dental makeovers.

This no-hassle, first New Patient appointment will likely consist of some information gathering and a discussion about your “unique to you” dental situation. A visual exam can only yield so much information. Having current radiographs or other pertinent dental records available for this visit will allow the dentist to assess your current dental status more accurately before offering an informed recommendation. For more complicated issues, sometimes a secondary visit is necessary. Which brings us to…


Why do different dentist offer different treatment plans?



No two patients are alike and that is important to understand when you are comparing your dental options with another person. The confusion arises when different dentists offer different recommendations for the same patient. It is important to understand that you are fortunate if you have more than one option available to you. It means you have choices!

Your dentist is there to help you make an informed decision based your dental health, finances, values and your commitment to maintaining a healthy mouth moving forward. Dentists, themselves, come to their conclusions based on a variety of factors including training, occupational experience, office technology, passion, thoroughness of patient assessment, confidence in patient’s future compliance/efforts, prognosis,  and whether they are conservative or progressive in their approach to patient care.

Lastly, it can also be a challenging situation if a person is looking for a quick, inexpensive and long-term solution for rather complex dental issue.

How can you prepare for your first visit to a new dental office?

There is some information that must be gathered in order to ensure that there is continuity of care and to identify any medical issues or medications that can challenge your dental care going forward. To ensure that all information pertinent to your care is available to your new office, be prepared to bring with you or arrange for the following:

  1. Updated medication list.
  2. Family doctor’s name and telephone number.
  3. Details surrounding any current medical treatment you are receiving.
  4. Your dental insurance information. Most people have a dental ID card that has been issued to them by their employer/school. In the absence of this, be prepared to have your insurance information written down including – Name of employer, Name of Insurer, Policy and ID number
  5. If you are anticipating that your first visit will be an expense covered by your insurer then you will likely want to ensure this. Your new dental office will usually work with you to gather this information and will likely be part of the records release process from your previous dentist in addition to contacting your insurer.
  6. The need to take a prophylactic antibiotic before any dental treatment is a decision that should be made in consultation with your physicians and is a matter that should be reviewed regularly. If you have been advised to continue being pre-medicated before dental treatments, inform your new office in order to ensure that you are prepared for treatment.
  7. Confirm your appointment the day before you arrive to ensure that all pertinent information has been received
  8. Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth!


We hope that you now have a clearer understanding of what different new patient visits consists of. To make an appointment at Your Smile Dental Care or to get more information about your first visit, call us at (905) 5SMILES. You’ll be glad you did!


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



Tips for Choosing the Best Family Dental Centre

Looking for a new dentist?

22-12-2014 12-10-03 PM - CopyWhile there is no shortage of dentists in our part of Ontario, perhaps finding “the one” is proving to be more difficult than you anticipated.

Realistically, most people do not want to be hopping from dentist to dentist. Not many people have the time nor the money to schedule a series of new patient exams with dentist after dentist until they find that one special office that best suits their values, needs and expectations.

Let’s discuss some of the research you can do ahead of time to bring you one step closer to your ideal dental family:

1. Expectations

You probably already have a good idea of the kind of dentist and office you are looking for. Making a list of your expectations and questions will be handy when you begin to make your inquiries. If your community has many dentists, you can narrow down your choices to those who meet your criteria in terms of location, hours of operation, payment policies, services etc. You may be able to accomplish this using the advertisements in a telephone directory or online. Record your information in a table-like format so you can review your information easily.

2. Word of Mouth

SHaring - CopyThe advice of trusted family and friends should not be overlooked as it’s usually one of the most credible forms of recommendations. Not only are they concerned about your well-being, but they put their own reputation on the line when they endorse a dentist. They will be able to answer many of your questions beforehand and relate the experience they have had. Perhaps, they won’t mind coming along with you to visit the office and “meet” the dental team.

3. The 10 Thousand Hour Rule

We have great dental schools in Canada where dental students complete years of intense study including extensive, clinical work on patients. Patients have the right to a standard of care concerning the knowledge, care, skill and judgment of a practitioner. With that being said, many hours go into refining one’s technical and human relation skills with true mastery sometimes taking years to perfect. It is important to understand that, while there are 06-05-2014 9-56-15 AMcertain standards of care that we can and should expect all dentists to possess, their styles of communication and personality will vary as could treatment options.

Knowledge, care, skill and judgment evolves over a professional’s life. If the number of years a dentist has been practicing is an important issue for you, then make that enquiry when you call the office. Some offices have a team of dentists providing care and patients may rotate among those dentists. Aside from emergency care, if you would like to see one particular dentist only, then make this clear to the staff and dentist upfront to avoid any surprises.

4. Communication

29-12-2014 6-30-52 PMOne can never underestimate the power of communication, especially pre-treatment communication. Never be satisfied to be only  handed a dental brochure to detail recommended treatment. You are unique and the information provided to you must contain specific-to-you risks, benefits and alternatives. Over time, we have learned that most patients appreciate when a dentist uses plain language with familiar words and short sentences. The use of good, clear communication should never be an afterthought. Most misunderstandings arise when there is a difference between what the dental team is intending to say and how a patient interprets the information.

Informed Consent

In the province of Ontario, patients should expect that dental treatment be performed only after they have received enough facts to make an informed decision, have had the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers, have had challenging information clarified and then have consented to the recommended procedure.

5. Trust and Compliance

The relationship you establish with your new dentist and team will hopefully be a long and healthy one, so your level of trust and comfort is essential in creating a bond that will help you obtain and maintain good oral health for life. You must feel comfortable to ask questions and trust that the dentist is listening, explaining things well and delivering dental care to the best of their ability.

If there are trust issues between you and your dentist you may end up always questioning the care you receive and be unlikely to follow through with agreed-upon home care directions or any treatment recommendations. This can compromise both your current and future oral health.


The 3 Phase Visitation Process

Your First Visit

laptop-and-cellphone-1269437-mYour first visit should not be an appointment. Instead, visit the office by telephone then follow-up with an in-office inspection. It should always be okay to approach a new dental office with your inquiries. How else are you going to get the answers that you are searching for?

You can begin with a telephone call asking if they are accepting new patients and then ask about their office policies with regard to payments, dental insurance, hours of operation, services provided and transfer of records. What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? Are children welcomed?

How did you feel about this first encounter? Did you feel welcomed or rushed? Were they enthusiastic and informative or reserved and vague. Perhaps they have a website you can visit.

The Second Visit

Prepare some questions and follow-up next with an office visit. A good office will be proud to show off their office and look forward to answering your questions.

How did you feel when you walked inside? Did you have the sense of comfortable surroundings and cleanliness? Were they willing to show you around and were they patient and knowledgable when answering your questions? Was the staff excited to meet you? Consider it a bonus that, if time and schedule permits, you are able to meet one of the dentists. Take home some office brochures, their business card and hopefully, a positive feeling about your overall experience so far. 29-12-2014 6-35-38 PM

If you feel that this may be the dental team you’ve been searching for, you are now ready to make your New Patient appointment. Your new office may have you sign a “Record Release” form so that they can retrieve your dental history and any pertinent x-rays from your former dentist. Records are transferred back and forth between dental offices everyday, so this should be a routine procedure.

Since the new dentist will likely bill for a new patient “complete exam” on your first visit, ensure that you know the limitations of your dental benefits. Some insurance companies will only pay for a complete exam every 3-5 years, so you may want to make sure. Have your insurance information ready when you call to schedule your first appointment in case they ask you for this information ahead of time. As a courtesy, some offices will call your insurer to get an overall summary of what your plan covers so that they will have some idea of your level of dental coverage.

Third Visit

09-02-2015 8-14-23 PMThis is your “New Patient” appointment and is the information gathering visit! Try to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time just to get any paper work out of the way such as insurance information and the completion of your medical/dental history form. During your first visit,  your medical/dental care history will be reviewed. You may have already discussed some of your current medical/dental health with the staff/dentist already, but you will now have the opportunity to elaborate further. During the clinical exam your mouth and teeth will be inspected and the information gathered will be recorded in your patient chart. X-rays may be necessary in order to examine the parts of your teeth and bone that the eye cannot see.

If any treatment is advised, recommendations will likely be presented to you at this time. Your dentist will educate you on your current oral conditions and treatment options. Establishing open and honest dialogue right from the beginning is mutually beneficial for you and the dental team. If there is something specific that you would like to discuss, express your concerns as clearly and as truthful as possible. Informing the dentist about why you chose to switch offices is equally important so that expectations can also be discussed.

Hopefully, this first appointment has reaffirmed your choice and you are happy to be finally part of your new dental family. There is one last thing we should discuss ~ Commitment!

The Final Commitment
Commitment is a two-way street. In order for a good dentist/patient relationship to work, there has to be mutual respect where both parties accept certain obligations or duties. If you are receiving outstanding service and you value the care that your dentist is providing you can honour this commitment by:

  • Being respectful to staff and other patients
  • Arrive on time for your reserved appointment or give sufficient notice to change an appointment in order that this time can be offered to another patient in need.
  • Provide accurate and complete information about your health, including medications and past or present medical problems and to report any changes in your health status.
  • Inform the office of any changes to your dental insurance.
  • Follow mutually agreed-upon treatment recommendations given by your dental care provider.
  • Let your dentist or team member know when you do not understand information about your care so that they can have an opportunity to explain further.
  • Inform your dentist if you are not satisfied with any aspect of your care.
  • Pay promptly for treatment you have already received.

At Your Smile Dental Care, we encourage our patients to take a partnership approach with us to ensure that their dental experiences are always of mutual respect, trust and commitment. We hope that the relationship you establish with your new dentist and team will be a long and healthy one ~ after all, your teeth are for life!

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Yours In Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team

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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

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You’ve come to right place….

24-03-2014 3-02-52 PM

Golfing, fishing, shopping …. we get it.  Dental offices are not usually the most exciting place to be and we understand that there’s a lot of other things you’d probably rather be doing than coming to the dentist.

As a well established dental office in Oshawa, we work hard to change opinions about dentistry because we spend so many of our own waking hours here. The next time you are preparing yourself for your upcoming dentist visit, it may be helpful to remember that we too are busy thinking about coming to the dental office!

Not only do we spend our days here, we are patients too! And like you, our dental team also wants a pleasant and enjoyable place to come to. Which is exactly why we make sure that our day is filled with laughter and camaraderie.

When you step through our doors, you are not walking into a quiet, sterile-looking office. There’s a real sense of family and community here. Certainly we are busy getting to the many tasks at hand, but we’re also likely sharing stories and photos with our patients, surrounding the TV during an important broadcast such as the Olympics and just generally “catching up.” It’s how we “roll” here and our new patients are pleasantly surprised.

Oh, the connections we make…..

So, it wasn’t surprising last week when a younger patient of ours walked timidly over to one of our elderly patients and struck up a conversation. As it turned out, this boy was busy working on a project about WWII and his new friend was a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. Last we heard, arrangements were being made for this gentleman to speak at this child’s school.

We are fortunate at Your Smile Dental Care to be able to make connections with our patients and establish relationships that are long-lasting and meaningful. We have a number of patients who have started dental careers of their own and it is a wonderful thing indeed to have the pleasure of caring for families of patients who were once children of our practice themselves.

We all are parents at this office. As the father of 6 children, Dr. Axelrod is committed to providing you and your family with the same level of dental care that he would provide to his own family.

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Thank you

We are very passionate about the dentistry we provide to you, our valued patients.

While our goal is to treat you like family and eliminate the fear and anxiety usually associated with going to the dentist, we want you to know just how much you give to us in return. Your kind words of confidence inspires us to the very best we can be everyday.

If you are looking for a child-friendly dentist in Oshawa that your family can grow with, you’ve come to the right place! Your experience starts as soon as you call our helpful staff to book an appointment:

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Your Smile Dental Care: Your first choice for Family, General and Cosmetic Dentistry

Whether it’s a simple check-up and cleaning or a full reconstruction of your smile, Dr. Axelrod, Dr. Sturm and our team of trained professionals can work with you to achieve your goals.  If you are looking for a new dentist in Oshawa or a dentist in Toronto, Your Smile Dental Care would love to treat you and your family.

We consider it fundamental, that only through knowing you and your individual needs, can we work with you to achieve optimal oral health – whether it is the initial assessment, or planning for long-term maintenance after the treatment phase is completed. The many services we provide, all in our relaxed and friendly environment, will enhance your appearance, confidence and overall health.

With our state-of-the-art technology, diagnosis and treatment is more gentle, compassionate and advanced than ever. You can even see in advance how various procedures will enhance your image. We’re currently accepting new patients (individual and families) at our Toronto and Oshawa dentist offices, so come in and see what Your Smile can do for you today!

Call Us Today at:    (905)576-4537

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