Our clinic offers patients a range of dental services to help them achieve good oral health. The secret to healthy teeth is routine maintenance and care, which is why our team recommends regular dental appointments and adopting good oral health habits. We also believe that you are never too young or too old to see the dentist, so our services are available for patients of all ages. All services provided by a general dentist.
Dental Examinations in St. Albert
The dentist will perform a thorough examination of the face, neck, and oral cavity. This includes an oral cancer screening, evaluation of the health of the oral soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and other mucosa), and last but not least a detailed exam of the oral hard tissues – the teeth themselves. Your dentist is responsible for helping you to maintain your overall oral health not just the health of the teeth!
Emergencies By Appointment in St. Albert
Common unexpected problems are chipped teeth, toothaches, and dislodged fillings. If you have a specific issue that you would like addressed we are here to help. An emergency or specific exam is meant to focus on a particular concern and is not as broad in scope as a regular dental exam, however whatever your issue may be it will be investigated thoroughly. Depending on time availability and the nature of the problem treatment may begin right away or at the next available appointment time that is convenient for you.
Intraoral & Panoramic X-Rays in St. Albert
Radiographs allow the dentist to see below the surface of the tooth and also into the bone and other tissues surrounding the teeth. The type and amount of radiographs taken are based on the individual patient’s needs as well as specific guidelines applied to radiography.
Bite wing radiographs are among the most common; they are the ones used at check-ups to look for cavities and check on bone levels. Periapical radiographs help to look at the roots and periodontium of the teeth and may be used in specific cases such as toothaches or when trauma has occurred to the tooth. Panoramic radiographs are used when evaluating tooth development, when locating unerupted teeth such as wisdom teeth, and when evaluating bone levels for dentures. All methods of radiology described above can also be useful in detecting pathology.
Be sure to let your dentist know if you may be pregnant or if you are receiving other types of radiation therapy.
Oral Hygiene in St. Albert
Calculus and plaque deposits are natural, continuous occurrences in the mouth. Proper oral hygiene, both in clinic and at home, can help to limit those accumulations and will reduce your risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease. We can provide you with standard and personalized tips and techniques for brushing, flossing, denture hygiene, and getting at hard to reach areas – like around bridges or under orthodontic wires – with specific techniques and hygiene products. Good oral health starts at home, so we’d be happy to help you develop a homecare routine that’s right for you!
Periodontal Diagnosis, Treatment, and Maintenance in St. Albert
A solid foundation is important for any structure; the gums and periodontium are the foundation for your teeth. Periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, decreased comfort, decreased esthetics, and in the worst cases tooth loss. The members of the dental team work together to screen for the development of periodontal disease and monitor the health of your gums. Gum disease does not necessarily hurt and is not always obvious in appearance, especially in the earlier stages so it is important to have your gums checked as part of your regular check ups. If periodontal disease is discovered then the best two approaches to managing it are excellent home care (brushing and flossing) and regular cleaning of the teeth by a professional.
Periodontal disease is a chronic issue for which there is currently no definitive cure, regular maintenance is the best treatment option for long-term periodontal health and stability. The dental team will customize a periodontal maintenance schedule to your needs with cleanings at three, four, six, or twelve-month intervals. We will work with you to develop excellent oral hygiene techniques and habits to help you either prevent or manage gum disease.
Fluoride Treatment in St. Albert
Fluoride helps to re-mineralize the tooth, protect the tooth from the effects of bacteria by making the tooth structure more resistant to dissolution by acids, and also works to disrupt the growth of bacteria. The frequency and method of fluoride application is tailored specifically to the needs of and perceived benefits to each individual. Although we do recommend fluoride treatment as supported by the Canadian Dental Association and Alberta Dental Association, we recognize your capacity to make your own health decisions, so if you would like to decline fluoride treatment just let us know.
Sealants in St. Albert
Deep grooves on adult molars can be hard to clean and are particularly susceptible to cavities in the first few years after eruption, usually around six to seven years of age in the case of the first permanent molars. Sealants help to protect the grooves of the teeth by blocking out hard to reach areas thereby making the teeth easier to clean. Sealants are placed without the use of freezing because none of the tooth structure is removed; the tooth is cleaned, prepared with an etchant, then a light-cured, tooth-colored material is placed to seal the tooth. But remember, you’ll still need to clean your teeth as well as always! Sealants are a preventative measure but excellent oral hygiene is still required to help prevent cavities.
Amalgam & Composite Fillings in St. Albert
If a cavity is found then the usual course of action is to place a filling. If the cavity is too large then a filling may not be possible or may not be the best course of action – your dentist will advise you of your options. There are several types of filling materials that can be successfully used in a variety of situations; your dentist will explain your options to you and may make recommendations as to which type of filling material may be best suited to the situation but the choice of filling material is ultimately your decision. We are your partners in oral health; your dentist will always consult with you before placing any type of filling material.
Although certain fillings may not require freezing, in most cases your tooth will be numbed with local anesthetic before starting the procedure. The decayed portion of the tooth is then removed and the remaining tooth structure is shaped to accommodate the filling. The tooth is then filled with the filling material of your choice and shaped to fit the surrounding teeth.
Extractions in St. Albert
Sometimes it may not possible or practical to save a tooth and it should be removed. Before removing a tooth one should consider the positive and negative consequences of leaving a tooth in place, the alternative options to removing the tooth, the positive and negative consequences of not replacing a tooth, and the options for replacement of the tooth. If a tooth is removed or otherwise missing then the treatment options for filling the space include “doing nothing” i.e. leaving the space as it is and periodically observing it to monitor if any drifting of the surrounding teeth occurs, having a partial or complete denture made to replace the missing tooth, placement of a bridge to replace the missing tooth, or placement of an implant to replace the missing tooth. These options should be considered before deciding on extraction – your dentist will help you to understand your options.
To do the extraction, freezing is used in an attempt to mitigate discomfort. The tooth is then moved back and forth to loosen it from the bone. Sometimes this is a straightforward process but sometimes it may be necessary to move the gums out of the way and removal of some bone may be needed as well. With more difficult extractions, referral to an oral surgeon may be indicated in which case your dentist will help facilitate the process.
Whether the extraction is straightforward or more complex, tooth removal is a surgical procedure so some period of healing time with possible discomfort should be expected. During this healing period the patient will be expected to comply with certain recommendations to aid healing and the dentist will be available, as always, to deal with any complications that may arise. If necessary, antibiotics and/or analgesic medications may be prescribed to help manage post-surgical oral health and comfort.
Root Canal Therapy in St. Albert
When a cavity goes too deep or the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, a root canal may be necessary in order to save a tooth. With root canal therapy a small opening is made in the tooth in order to get to the pulp of the tooth, the pulp is removed, the canals of the tooth are cleaned and shaped into a specific form using small files, and finally once the inside of the tooth is fully prepared a rubber-like material is placed inside of the canals to seal them from the tip of the root upwards. Some teeth have one canal while others can have four or more. The dentist will evaluate your tooth and your symptoms to see if a root canal is indicated.
Symptoms such as feeling pain to hot or cold, discomfort that wakes you up at night or inhibits you from eating properly, and/or swelling associated with a sore tooth can be indications that you may benefit from a root canal, however further investigation is always needed before coming to that conclusion. Although root canal therapy is intended to save the tooth by removing its infected portion, this process ultimately weakens the tooth; thus, placing a crown on the tooth is recommended in most cases. This treatment option is something your dentist will discuss with you.
Infections of the pulp or cavities that get close enough to the pulp to damage it can lead to infection of the bone. In rare instances the infection can lead to breathing difficulty or spread of infection throughout the body at which point it becomes a true medical emergency. If you experience fever or breathing difficulty related to a sore tooth or swelling in the mouth, seek immediate medical attention from your dentist, physician, and/or hospital emergency clinic.
Crowns & Bridge Restoration in St. Albert
Sometimes referred to as “caps” these restorations go over top of a tooth rather than within them like a filling. A crown may be indicated in instances where doing a filling is not possible due to the amount of missing tooth structure, when a part of a tooth has broken off, when a small crack has been found in the tooth, when a root canal has been done on the tooth, or when esthetic changes are desired.
Different types of material can be used depending on several factors including the mechanical requirements of the tooth, the position of the tooth in the mouth, and the esthetic requirements of the patient. Gold (or Cast Metal) Crowns are quite strong however not everyone wants to have shiny gold in their mouth, especially in areas that are highly visible such as front teeth or teeth that show when smiling or talking – they are generally a good option for posterior teeth. All Ceramic Crowns are a more esthetic option; they are made of dental ceramics and are tooth colored. Porcelain-Metal Crowns are a type of crown that combines the esthetics of an All Ceramic Crown and the strength of a Cast Metal Crown.
To do a crown the tooth is numbed then the outsides of the tooth are shaved down in a specific shape to accommodate the crown. A mold is taken of the teeth and sent off to a dental lab for processing of the crown. The fabrication process can take several weeks so a temporary crown is placed on the prepared tooth in the meantime. When your crown is ready the temporary crown is removed and the definitive crown is cemented into place after any necessary adjustments are made.
Your dentist can help you decide if a crown is indicated and which type of material may be best for your individual tooth.
A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth, or several missing teeth, by “bridging the gap” between the remaining teeth in the mouth. A bridge is different than a denture in several ways but the most important being that a bridge stays in your mouth and is not removable. A bridge requires at least two teeth for support, one on either side of the missing tooth.
Once numbed, these supporting teeth need to be shaved down to fit the bridge over top, much like when a tooth is shaved down to place a crown. A mold is then taken of the prepared teeth and that mold is sent to a dental laboratory where they will custom fabricate a bridge to fit your teeth, this process can take several weeks so a temporary bridge is placed over your teeth in the meantime. Then when the bridge is ready, the temporary bridge is removed and the definitive bridge is cemented into place.
As with crowns, there are several bridge materials available including the following: All Ceramic, Porcelain-Metal, and Cast Metal. There are many factors that can determine if a bridge is an acceptable solution for restoring the function and esthetics of a missing tooth or teeth, your dentist will explain the different treatment options available and how they may apply to your individual circumstance.
Dentures in St. Albert
If you are missing a few teeth or all of your teeth, your dentist might suggest the option of replacing those teeth with dentures in order to restore function and aesthetics. Dentures are removable and are often what people think of as “false teeth”. Generally speaking, there are two main types of dentures: “partial dentures” and “complete dentures”. Partial dentures replace one or several missing teeth and requie support from surrounding, healthy teeth which often need to be prepared in order to custom fit the clasps that hold a partial denture in place. Complete dentures are used when you no longer have any teeth remaining on one or both jaws. They are held in place by suction or can be heedl in place more firmly by implants if that is preferred. There are other sub-categories of dentures that are used in different situations; your dentist will explain these categories and how they may or may not apply to your particular circumstance.
Much like natural teeth, dentures must be cared for regularly. They should be cleaned daily and taken out of the mouth for several hours per day, usually at night, in order to give the tissues of the mouth a rest. Regular checkups are also beneficial for maintaining the comfort, fit, function, and appearance of your dentures.
Over time dentures wear out and sometimes accidents happen as well! Denture repairs are often possible depending on the situation.
Teeth Whitening in St. Albert
Although a brighter smile doesn’t necessarily indicate a healthy smile, there’s something to be said about pearly whites. Teeth can appear stained for a variety of reasons and it is not always possible to change the color of a tooth through tooth whitening. Further consideration include the fact that tooth whitening agents will not change the shade of existing fillings, crowns, veneers, or other types of restorations and many people experience varying severities of increased, transient tooth sensitivity while undergoing the tooth whitening process. If you are interested in exploring your options for tooth whitening, consult your dentist to see what treatment may be suitable for you.
Night Guards & Splints in St. Albert
Many people grind their teeth at night, which is hard on the teeth as well as the jaw joints. Over time, trauma can occur such as breakdown/chipping of the teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, breakdown of the jaw joint, and discomfort in the muscles of the face, head, and neck. A night guard, often called a splint or a bruxism appliance, won’t stop you from clenching of grinding your teeth at night but it does provide protection to the teeth, muscles, and jaw joints by allowing your jaws to glide past one another without the teeth making direct contact. The material used in the night guard wears down slowly rather than your teeth and joints, and the gliding motion and resiliency of the material may decrease residual muscle tension in the head and neck.
To make a night guard a mold is taken of the teeth in your upper and lower arches. Those molds are then sent to a dental laboratory where the bruxism appliance is fabricated. You then return for a second appointment where the night guard is placed in your mouth and the fit and feel is evaluated by you and your dentist. Adjustments may be needed and if so will be done at that time. Further adjustments may be needed periodically so it’s a good idea to bring your night guard back to the clinic with you when you have your regular check ups so that it can be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.
Sports Mouthguards in St. Albert
Mouthguards help to protect your teeth and surrounding tissues from the potential trauma associated with your favorite activities! These sports guards are customized to your mouth specifically for a good fit and improved comfort. A range of colors is available to match your team colors or just for fun!
Although we provide a wide range of dental treatments as general dentists, there are times when we may feel that a specialist has the skill set necessary to manage your case in the optimal manner. We will do what we can to manage all of your dental needs in-clinic but are happy to refer you to the proper specialist, with your consent, when that is what we believe will be best for you and your oral health.
For a list and description of the recognized specialties in Alberta, please follow the link to the Alberta Society of Dental Specialists.
For a further list of procedures provided by general dentists and dental specialist, please follow the link to the Canadian Dental Association Dental Procedures.
The above descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and are not suitable for diagnoses or treatment planning. Please consult your dentist if you have any concerns and for more information about your oral health