HOW IS MY DENTAL HEALTH CONNECTED TO MY OVERALL HEALTH?
Medical research has observed a connection between poor oral health and other health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and bacterial respiratory infections. Your dental health can affect your general health as oral bacteria can enter the blood stream. There are health conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis which may mean a patient is more at risk for dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
SHOULD I VISIT YOUR CLINIC DURING COVID?
Yes; Putting off routine cleanings or necessary treatment can compound health issues. As licensed medical professionals, we’re committed to keeping our patients safe. Our office exceeds BCDA standards, including a built-in air purification system, medical-grade sterilization protocols, and sparkling clean patient rooms.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON MY FIRST VISIT?
At Crown Isle Dental Health Centre, we make your dental visits easy and enjoyable. This will be an experience that leaves your teeth feeling squeaky, slippery clean and your day thoroughly pampered.
90 minutes of personalized care
Spa-like amenities to help you relax
Dental and medical health history review
Complete set of digital x-rays
Comprehensive teeth cleaning and oral exam
What we need from you:
Driver’s license or another form of ID
Dental insurance card, if you have one
List of medications you’re taking
Completed new patient paperwork (or fill out forms while you wait)
Any questions or concerns — we’re here to help!
Outlining treatment options and scheduling future care
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN A ROUTINE DENTAL VISIT?
We generally recommend scheduling an appointment to have your teeth checked by the dentist and professionally cleaned by the hygienist every 6 months. This will help us to detect changes to the condition of your teeth and gums and keep them healthy. For some, who have signs and symptoms of gum disease, dental cleanings are recommended every 3 months. For those with a very low risk of gum disease and a very low risk for cavities an annual check-up and cleaning is suitable. If you have concerns arise between check-up visits call us to schedule an appointment for a specific exam by the dentist. These routine visits include:
Gentle teeth cleaning with your hygienist
- Thorough exam with one of our dentists
Discussion of necessary treatments and future care
Updated digital x-rays, as needed
ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT I SHOULD TELL YOU ABOUT?
It is important for your dentist to know your medical history as some conditions can have an effect on the outcome of your treatment and some treatments need to be discussed and adapted to best manage health risks. You will be asked to fill out a medical history form prior to your first appointment and any changes to your health should be communicated to us at subsequent visits. Inform us if you are diabetic, have allergies, heart murmurs, have had any joint replacements, heart surgeries, have any other medical conditions or are taking any medications, such as blood thinners including baby aspirin, or if you have taken bisphosphonate medication for osteoporosis even if it was in the past. Your confidentiality is strictly protected in our office.
IN THE PAST MY TEETH HAVE BEEN SENSITIVE WHEN THEY ARE CLEANED. IS THIS NORMAL?
Some people do experience sensitivity with teeth cleaning so we offer the option of a local anesthetic to keep the appointment comfortable. Following cleanings there are desensitizing treatments available and toothpastes designed for sensitivity which we recommend to patients with sensitive teeth. While sensitivity can be discouraging it is important to remember that gums are healthier after the trapped toxins in the tartar are removed. In terms of dental health it is well worth it to have your teeth cleaned. Please bring it to our attention if your teeth are sensitive.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD’S TEETH?
During infancy, utilize a soft cloth to clean their gums. This should be done up until their first teeth grow in. Once their first tooth comes in, make sure to schedule your child for a dental checkup and start a routine of brushing their teeth before bed.
Additionally, avoid sharing utensils or toothbrushes with your children or cleaning binkies or bottles with your mouth. Your mouth, like everyone else’s, contains a unique combination of bacteria that could be passed on to your child and cause tooth decay.
Most importantly, avoid giving your baby juice or pop in their bottle. These drinks are filled with sugar and are a leading cause of tooth decay.
To encourage oral hygiene and health from the start, we recommended that your child have their first dentist visit by the age of 1 or 6 months after the growth of their first tooth — whichever comes first.
DO YOU SCREEN FOR ORAL CANCER?
When we do a new patient exam or a check-up exam we do a head and neck exam and a visual exam of all the mucosal surfaces of the mouth including the top part of the back of the throat and a palpation of the underside of your chin and neck. In addition, we can also use an instrument called a VELscope to screen for any abnormalities in oral mucosa which could be early indicators of oral cancer. VELscope uses a safe blue light and a green viewing filter, and helps us to discover more information on those abnormalities. It is a simple non evasive screening which has no rinses or dyes and is relatively inexpensive.
The VELscope examination usually takes less than 5 minutes without any discomfort.
We screen every new patient at their comprehensive exam with the VELscope and recommend re-screening every 12 months.
WHY ARE DENTAL X-RAYS NECESSARY? HOW OFTEN DO YOU TAKE THEM?
Crown Isle Dental uses the latest in digital x-ray technology to see how healthy a tooth is on the inside. Dental x-rays reveal the dental issues that aren’t visible to the eye, such as decay between the teeth, under the gum line or around old fillings, as well as gum disease and infections in, below, or around the roots.
In young patients two to four bitewing or check-up x-rays are often recommended once a year to show where new teeth will be coming in, spot any problems, and foresee any dental issues that could occur. In adults full mouth specific x-rays are often recommended at your initial exam to evaluate all areas in detail, including the deeper root areas. After that, for adults, two to four bitewing x-rays are generally recommended every two years. These are general guidelines. X-rays are always prescribed on an individual basis after assessing the risk/benefit factors. If you have current x-rays within two years for bitewings and five years for full specific x-rays please let us contact your previous dentist so that we can use these instead of taking more x-rays.
WHAT SEDATION OPTIONS DO YOU OFFER?
We offer nitrous oxide and Ativan in addition to gentle but thorough local anesthetic.
Nitrous oxide is a very safe and gentle distraction for patients that can make longer appointment times seem shorter, ease tense jaw muscles, and reduce the occurrence of gagging for those patients with a stronger gag reflex. Nitrous is short acting; after 3-5 minutes of oxygen following nitrous use and a 10-15 minute delay to assess your alertness, if you feel comfortable you may resume normal activity.
Ativan is sometimes prescribed an hour before a dental appointment to help patients stay calm and relax. Patients who are prescribed an oral sedative need to have an adult drive them to and from their appointment and should not return to work or activities requiring their attention and coordination until the effects have worn off. Please ask us in advance of your appointment if you want to consider this oral sedation option for yourself.
DO YOU OFFER TOOTH WHITENING?
Yes! Most people consider white teeth to be important for a beautiful smile. Dental whitening uses a gel formulation which can be a very effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth. It is a simple, comfortable procedure and noticeable results can usually be obtained in one to three 15 minute office sessions. The number of sessions will be determined by your individual results and preference. Teeth darken naturally over time, especially with exposure to beverages, foods, and activities that discolour teeth such as coffee, tea, red wine, fruits such as blueberries, and smoking. It is best to avoid these staining types of food for 24 hours after a whitening session so that your whitening results will last longer. Results vary for different individuals and will fade somewhat over time. Touch ups can be done every 3-12 months.
I WANT TO GET MY AMALGAM FILLINGS REMOVED. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Amalgam fillings contain Mercury. The highest peak exposure to mercury in dental work is on the day the filling goes in and on the day the filling is removed. Our dental office uses careful procedures to minimize a patient’s exposure to mercury during amalgam removal:
Use of a rubber dam as much as possible during the removal of fillings.
Thoroughly rinsing above and below the dam following removal.
Directing the removed amalgam particles to a mercury trap.
Having a high quality air exchanger in our office and for very concerned patients there is the option of using an alternate air source to breathe through their nose during the mercury removal process.
Some of our patients choose to work with a naturopathic doctor and take dietary supplements such as chlorella for a few days after amalgam filling removal. This will help to remove the mercury from their body during and following this peak mercury exposure.
SHOULD I HAVE MY AMALGAM FILLINGS REPLACED?
That is an individual choice. The Canadian Dental Association still supports the placement of new mercury amalgams for adults. Many of our patients choose not to remove their amalgam fillings unless it is necessary due to decay. Some of our patients choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. There are many opinions on the subject and our dentists encourage patients to be as informed as possible so that they can make knowledgeable choices for themselves.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR DENTAL FILLING MATERIALS.
In choosing our filling material we look for the one that will last the longest and offer the safest and healthiest result. Mercury-free fillings are an important consideration for patients and healthcare providers. Our dental office has been placing only mercury free fillings since 1996. Our dental filling materials are also BPA (Bisphenol A) free.