Frequently asked questions

If I get a root canal, do I need a crown?

Most teeth do need a crown following a root canal. Every tooth that needs a crown does not necessarily need root canal treatment.

What’s the difference between a cap and a crown?

A cap is the same as a crown. Both restorations are designed to restore a tooth that is severely broken, fractured or decayed by literally covering or capping the tooth. Dentists often use the term crowns. But most people call stainless steel or gold restorations crowns, and tooth-colored restorations caps.

Should I brush or floss first?

As long as you brush and floss thoroughly, it does not matter if you brush then floss, or floss then brush. But flossing before brushing enables the fluoride in your toothpaste to better reach the areas between the teeth.

How often should I floss?

You should floss once daily to prevent cavities from forming in between the teeth. Flossing also helps preserve the health of your gums.

Is one type of toothpaste better than others?

No. However, we recommend you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been assessed for safety and effectiveness. Studies consistently show that fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent dental decay. You do want to avoid any sort of toothpastes which advertise as “whitening”. Typically these products will whiten through the use of abrasives which will actually cause increased deterioration of the enamel that we depend on to protect our teeth.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your brush every 3 to 4 months. With each use the bristles become worn and cleaning effectiveness decreases. Depending on your oral health, you may need to replace your brush sooner. Typically, child toothbrushes need to be replaced more regularly than adults.

What kind of toothbrush should I use?

We strongly recommend everyone use an electric toothbrush. Adults should use a small to medium size electric toothbrush head with soft to medium bristles. The head of the brush needs to be small enough to brush all areas of the mouth thoroughly, specifically the back of the mouth, which can be hard to reach. Children should also use electric toothbrush heads with soft bristles.. The two big brands of electric toothbrushes are Oral-B and Sonicare. We always recommend people buy them from Costco because they carry both brands, and have a good return policy if you prefer one over the other. 

What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

We have many different procedures that can help these problems. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Veneers can be positioned to close gaps. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.

Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

There are several methods available for whitening teeth: in-office, overnight or daily. One session of in-office bleaching generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read or relax during the treatment. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouthguard that fits your bite. Each day you fill the mouthguard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for an hour during the day. The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.

Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available. The benefits of products like these is that you can start and stop your bleaching routine as sensitivity develops. In office whitening can lead to greater sensitivity since it is more of a shock to your system. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the CDA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.

Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

Yes. We accept all types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We work with a third party financing company that offers an interest-free payment plan and also accepts most major credit cards.

What if I have an emergency?

Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you into our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.

What should I expect during my appointment?

One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, take x-rays of your teeth as needed. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics) or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.

How often should I see a dentist?

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also typically recommends a minimum of two visits per year.