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Pros and Cons of White Fillings

The most common dental problem patients face is tooth decay, which leads to painful cavities. Fortunately, most teeth with cavities can be saved if they get early attention from the best dentist in Scarborough, before the decay has the chance to weaken the tooth or cause infection. Tooth fillings are the first phase in saving decayed teeth, and you can now choose to get white fillings vs. silver fillings.

How White Fillings Work for Patients

White fillings have several benefits that traditional fillings lack. These include:

1. Natural Appearance

The most attractive benefit of white fillings is the colour. The fillings are made from composite resin that mimics the appearance of natural tooth material, which makes them practically invisible to others. This is especially important if you develop a cavity in a visible tooth, because a traditional amalgam filling will be unsightly.

2. Easier Placement

The composite resin material bonds easily with your natural tooth, so it requires less work and time during the tooth fillings procedure to get it to adhere. Unlike amalgam fillings, the resin attaches directly to the tooth. The material is more flexible, so the dentist needs to do less drilling. This helps to preserve more of the natural tooth than is possible with metal fillings.

3. Less Expensive Than Restoration

White fillings can restore decayed teeth to full functionality without the cost of a dental crown or implant. This is an ideal solution for patients with multiple cavities, particularly if they don’t have dental insurance.

After a consultation with the best dentist in Scarborough, you will have a detailed treatment plan. You will know precisely how much you can expect to pay for white fillings vs. silver fillings, and which option is the best choice for you.

Disadvantages of White Fillings

Few things in life are without any disadvantages, and tooth fillings are no exception. There are a few instances where silver fillings out-perform the white. These are:

1. Longevity

White fillings last 7 to 10 years in healthy patients, provided they have good dental care that includes regular checkups and teeth cleanings. Silver fillings last 12 to 15 years, which gives them a longer lifespan and ultimately makes them a less expensive option. Patients should take this factor into account when choosing white fillings vs. silver fillings.

2. Longer Procedure

Placement of white tooth fillings is typically a longer procedure than that of metal fillings, mainly because the dentist needs to keep the treatment area as dry as possible to get the material to adhere. This can increase the duration of the tooth fillings procedure, which affects the cost.

3. Sustain Damage

Composite resin fillings may be resistant to corrosion, but they aren’t immune to other kinds of damage. Patients who suffer from bruxism, for example, may find their white fillings get chipped during nightly tooth grinding.

These are all factors to bear in mind when you’re choosing white fillings vs. silver fillings. A visit to the best dentist in Scarborough can help you determine whether you are a good candidate for tooth fillings and decide on the way forward.

Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to schedule an appointment today.

Find Out if Tooth Whitening is Right for You

No matter how well or how often you brush and floss your teeth, you can still develop stains over time. There are two kinds of tooth discolouration, both of which eventually take their toll if you don’t get suitable professional treatment. Teeth whitening helps Scarborough patients present their best and whitest smile.

Causes of Stained Teeth

Intrinsic tooth stains develop inside the tooth enamel on the dentin, which is the hard layer of material that lies beneath the enamel. Common causes of these stains include:

  • The use of medications such as tetracycline antibiotics, either during childhood or during your mother’s pregnancy.
  • Oral trauma that caused internal bleeding or killed the roots of the tooth.
  • Natural discoloration of the dentin as your tooth ages.
  • Overexposure to fluoride during childhood.

Extrinsic or external tooth stains are typically caused by drinking tea, coffee, and other beverages, smoking, age, or the development of plaque and tartar.

Teeth Cleaning vs. Whitening

It’s essential for patients to understand the difference between a professional dental cleaning and a tooth whitening, and to get a dentist’s recommendation on the best treatment for your situation. Teeth cleaning is important for the ongoing health of your teeth and gums, whereas teeth whitening procedures are purely cosmetic.

Most people need to have regular teeth cleaning throughout their lives. While the procedure eliminates plaque accumulation and helps you avoid gum disease, it doesn’t necessarily leave teeth sparkling white. In our Scarborough office, teeth whitening is done using high-quality products to bleach the teeth to ensure that all discolouration is eliminated.

Eligibility for Teeth Whitening

The ideal candidate for teeth whitening has healthy teeth with a yellow tone, which responds well to the whitening process. Patients should be over 16 years of age and free from fillings, restorations like dental veneers, implants, bridges, or crowns. The reason for this is that restorations are not affected by the whitening process. If these were matched to your natural teeth during placement, they might no longer match after you whiten the stained teeth.

Anyone with gum disease or infection, tooth decay, cavities, or exposed roots should discuss their situation with our dentists before scheduling a teeth whitening procedure. If you have particularly sensitive teeth or are allergic to peroxide and other bleaching agents, you might be better suited to another type of cosmetic dentistry.

What Result to Expect

Teeth whitening in Scarborough delivers excellent results for patients who fit the eligibility criteria. You can see the full effects of a professional whitening after 24 hours have elapsed, and the procedure is most effective on extrinsic or surface stains. Deeper, intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove, and whitening may not be able to address them all. For these types of stains, you might want to consider porcelain veneers or dental bonding. The effects of your teeth whitening will last longer if you continue practicing good oral hygiene habits.

If you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening, our Scarborough office will be pleased to schedule an appointment for you. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to book your whitening procedure today.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea in Scarborough Patients with a Dental Appliance

How to Treat Sleep Apnea in Scarborough Patients with a Dental Appliance

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by snoring and the repeated stopping and restarting of your breathing. The most common form is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when your throat muscles relax and prevent the oxygen from reaching your brain. This state forces all your organs to work harder to pump the oxygen through your system. The condition leaves you with fatigue and headaches in the morning and can profoundly impact your organs. For patients who suspect they have sleep apnea, our Scarborough dental office can help you to get a diagnosis.

The Dental Connection

Snoring and breathing during sleep might not appear to have an obvious dental connection, but there are several links between your OSA and dental care. Snorers typically sleep with their mouths open, which causes mouth and throat dryness. Bacteria thrive in a dry mouth, and the absence of enough saliva to clean the surface of the teeth gives them a perfect opportunity to cause tooth decay.

Dental signs of sleep apnea also include teeth grinding, which contributes to a higher risk of cracked or chipped tooth enamel. Grinding, known as bruxism in dentistry, can also lead to worn-down teeth, headaches and jaw pain. It’s not solely about the dental connection, however. Sleep apnea is also linked to an increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Getting Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea

If you’re waking up in the morning with one or more of the symptoms listed above, discuss the possibility of sleep apnea with your dentist. Patients can ask their family doctor to order a sleep test and deliver an official diagnosis. The sleep study usually occurs at an Ontario sleep clinic and is normally covered by your OHIP insurance. You’ll be required to spend the night there while medical technicians and a doctor monitor your sleep patterns through the use of electrodes connected to your head. It’s a simple, painless test, and you’ll know soon afterwards what your diagnosis is. You can share the diagnosis with your dentist.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

It’s vital for people diagnosed with sleep apnea to get treatment for the condition. Losing weight can help, but obesity isn’t the only cause of apnea. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, the sleep clinic doctor might recommend you start using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to push oxygen into your lungs during sleep. Potential treatments also include automatic machines (APAP) and bilevel machines (BiPAP), which work on the same principle.

The Benefits of a Dental Appliance

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, Scarborough patients may be good candidates for treatment with a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which is a dental appliance like a mouth guard. A consultation with our dentists will determine whether a custom mouth guard worn during the night will help keep your jaw in a forward position, preventing the muscles from blocking your airway.

This type of appliance is also invaluable for preventing teeth grinding during sleep, whether it is a symptom of sleep apnea or has another cause. In some instances, patients use PAP equipment in combination with the anti-snoring mouthpiece to treat their sleep apnea effectively.

Costs, Benefits and Disadvantages of Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea dental appliance cost ranges between $1,500 and $2,000 which includes the dental consultation fee and the laboratory’s manufacturing cost.

For mild and moderate sleep apnea, quite often the MAD or oral appliance enables you to avoid needing treatment with a PAP machine altogether. For patients with severe apnea, combination therapy using both a device and a PAP machine can deliver benefits.

When you’re considering the pros and cons of an oral appliance for sleep apnea, the benefits far outnumber the disadvantages. Not only is a mandibular advancement device much less cumbersome for daily use, it’s also more portable for travelling than any of the PAP machines. In addition, many people simply don’t want to use a CPAP, which makes them good candidates for the MAD.

For more information on custom mouth guards for sleep apnea, Scarborough patients should schedule a consultation with our experienced, compassionate dental team. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to make an appointment today.

Why Players Should Wear Custom Sports Mouth Guards

two boxing mouthguards on blue background, sport concept

Every day, people get hurt playing sports in Scarborough. Most often, they are aged between 20 and 64, although adolescents also get their fair share of sports injuries. Many of the injuries take the form of impact to the head, neck and face, and these can have a serious effect on your long-term health. Oral injuries, particularly, have significant medical, financial, cognitive, psychological and social costs.

From broken, loose and missing teeth to cut lips, gum tissue trauma, a fractured or dislocated jawbone, to concussions, these injuries result in long-term treatment costs. However, many oral sports injuries are preventable through the use of a custom sports mouth guard, which we can provide you with at our dental office in Scarborough.

Type of Sports

Athletes in many types of sports use mouth guards. Hockey (both on and off the ice) can be a particularly dangerous activity, with a typical puck weighing in at 170 grams and moving at speeds of around 170 km/h. Players have become so accustomed to the need for mouth guards that 90% of NHL players use them, even though the league doesn’t mandate the use.

Basketball has an even higher injury rate than hockey, and other contact sports where mouth guards are recommended include football, soccer and lacrosse. Non-contact sports often carry a high risk of falling, which means participants in any of the following sports benefit from wearing a well-fitted mouth guard for athletes.

  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • Biking
  • Ice hockey
  • Boxing
  • Lacrosse
  • Field hockey
  • Racquetball
  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Skateboarding
  • Volleyball
  • Skiing
  • Wrestling
  • Soccer

What to Look for In a Mouth Guard

While we can’t overstate the importance of mouth guards in sports, you can’t purchase just any appliance and expect it to deliver the same results as a custom sports mouth guard. For this reason, the team at our dental office in Scarborough recommends choosing to have the device you need manufactured specifically for you. The mouth guard needs to:

  • Prevent cuts and bruising during impact
  • Cushion the teeth to prevent fractures and breakages
  • Protect opposite teeth from contact with each other
  • Support and protect the lower jaw to prevent damage from impact
  • Reduce injury to the brain caused by the jaws jarring violently together including concussions
  • Prevent impact that can cause neck injuries
  • Help the wearer feel more comfortable and protected.

Benefits of Custom Mouth Guards in Sports

A dental sports mouth guard acts as a shock absorber during high-impact activities, helping to protect you against jaw fractures and concussions. Mouth guards are not all made the same, however, so it’s essential to determine your needs before you spend money. Stock mouth guards and the “boil-and-bite” model are cheaper than a custom sports mouth guard, but they don’t come with many other benefits.

Stock mouth guards only come in a few sizes and don’t always fit well or cover all the teeth adequately. The wearer then needs to clench their teeth to keep the guard in place, making it difficult to breathe and talk normally. Trimming the mouth guard to fit better weakens the structure and defeats the purpose of wearing it.

The “boil-and-bite” mouth guards are made of cheap, bulky rubber, and even after warming them up and moulding them to fit, they are reported to be uncomfortable. These mouth guards tear easily, and many players avoid wearing them because of the discomfort. Everyone’s mouth is different, and a one-size-fits-all product is unlikely to work for the vast majority of patients.

A custom sports mouth guard is manufactured in a laboratory environment specifically for each patient, based on your mouth’s digital dimensions and impressions. This gives you a much greater chance of a comfortable fit. They can be made to fit over braces for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, and are designed to have the maximum oxygen flow vital in high-intensity sports.

For more information or to be evaluated for custom sports mouth guards for you and your family members, schedule a consultation with our friendly, experienced dental office in Scarborough. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to make an appointment today.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry and How They Benefit You

General dentistry is focused on maintaining your oral health through prevention and treatment of diseases. Cosmetic dentistry, however, deals with the overall appearance of your teeth and mouth, and how they contribute to the way you look and feel. It’s important to know what the difference is between the two, because it will help you determine what services you need and what to consider when you’re looking for the best cosmetic dentist in Scarborough.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Enhancing your smile can have amazing results on your life, by boosting your confidence and self-esteem. Smile more with the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry, which is a service that ranges from basic color correction to the restoration of missing teeth. The most popular types of cosmetic dentistry include:

1. Teeth whitening
2. Dental veneers
3. Dental bonding and
4. White fillings

The best solution for each patient depends on how severe their cosmetic dental problem is, their age, state of health, and budget or dental insurance. Whatever your situation, our experienced practitioners at the best dentist in Scarborough will be able to develop a customized plan for you. This plan will often make use of several different types of cosmetic dentistry to provide you with the best option.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

There are many reasons why having an attractive smile makes you both look and feel better about yourself. While a minor chip in a tooth may not be a critical health issue, dental bonding will improve the way you present yourself overall. Don’t think of cosmetic dentistry only in relation to appearance, either, because there are also many great functional benefits to this type of treatment.

Enhanced appearance

There’s a common saying that you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and it’s true. Life might not all be about your appearance, but enhancing your appearance definitely has advantages. Improving your exterior makes you feel better about yourself, which impacts the way you interact with other people as well as your own feelings of self-esteem. If stained and discoloured teeth prevent you from smiling, then it stands to reason that porcelain veneers and teeth whitening will resolve the problem. Don’t underestimate the importance of showing your full smile when you meet someone, whether it’s during a job interview or while you’re on a first date.

More self-confidence

The benefits of gaining self-confidence aren’t always obvious. Your self-esteem impacts every facet of your life, from personal relationships to your professional career. The benefits of cosmetic dentistry treatments such as teeth whitening and dental bonding include improving the appearance of chipped or cracked teeth, which in turn increases your self-confidence.

Enriched diet and lifestyle

Missing, painful or sensitive teeth makes it challenging to speak and chew, particularly when it comes to certain types of food. If you have a malocclusion or uneven bite, it not only affects your appearance but can also have an effect on your digestion. Problems that seem minor can therefore have a major impact on your diet and nutrition. Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as crowns and bridges help to strengthen your bite and improve your ability to chew. This not only benefits your physical health but your mental health too.

Better dental (and overall) health

Cosmetic dentistry benefits your overall health almost as much as your dental health. Procedures like dental implants can prevent future damage to your bone and gums, while inlays and onlays help to protect your tooth enamel from deterioration. Regular checkups and cleaning prevents the build-up of plaque and tartare, and help to identify problems requiring treatments like root canal therapy before they become critical.

Upgraded financial outlook

Dental care is expensive, and anything you can do to protect your teeth, bones and gum tissue helps save you money in the long term. These various types of cosmetic dentistry can optimize your oral health and your smile, which gives your confidence a boost. In addition, the right treatments can also positively impact your career and improve your financial outlook, while helping you to avoid future costly procedures.

Consult with the best cosmetic dentist in Scarborough to find out how we can support your oral health efforts. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to schedule an appointment today.

6 Reasons to Consider Getting Dental Crowns

A crown or dental cap is a type of dental restoration that completely encompasses a tooth or dental implant. These can be manufactured from various materials, including metals such as gold or another alloy, porcelain, resin, or ceramic. At Havenview Dental Centre we commonly recommend high-quality, porcelain dental crowns for Scarborough patients, for several very important reasons.

Reason #1: To protect an endangered tooth

We only grow one set of permanent teeth in a lifetime, and once a tooth is damaged it could be compromised forever. If you have any teeth that are weakened from decay, cracked, chipped, or at any other risk of breaking or getting worse, a crown can stop the problem from progressing further. The patient’s age doesn’t matter when it comes to fitting dental crowns, which makes it a viable option for teens, adults, and seniors alike.

Reason #2: To restore an already-damaged tooth

A tooth that is already broken can be restored, if you get dental treatment early enough. In cases where a tooth is cracked right through, provided all parts are still secured in the gum a dental crown might be able to save it by holding the sections of tooth together. Nobody will ever know your tooth was in danger of being lost completely and that it’s a simple restoration that looks so good. Dental crowns for front teeth are especially popular, because their visibility plays a big role in your life.

Reason #3: To cover and support the remains of a tooth

If you’ve lost part of a tooth, whether through the development of a large cavity, a mouth injury, or simply crunching on your favourite hard foods, your best option is to get the remaining piece built up with dental material and then covered with a shiny, new crown. Our dentists can insert a large section of filling material that functions like a natural tooth, but it won’t be as good as new. By covering it with a dental crown, however, you not only make it look as good as it should, but you provide it with the support necessary for lasting strength.

Reason #4: To provide support for a dental bridge

A dental bridge is a common way to restore two or more missing teeth, but it needs to be supported by teeth at either end. If the teeth on each side of the gap are weak, loose, or damaged, they might not be strong enough to support a dental bridge. Our dentists in Scarborough might recommend dental crowns for covering one or both of the supporting teeth, which will not only strengthen the tooth but protect it from becoming worn by the bridge.

Reason #5: To cover unsightly or discoloured teeth

One of the most common and highly noticeable defects in any smile is a single ugly or stained tooth. Nobody wants to extract an ugly tooth while it’s healthy, though, so the ideal solution is to cover it with a dental crown. In cases of misshapen teeth, our dentists will remove some of the tooth material during preparation. After that, a dental crown is mounted on top of it using dental cement, to make it match the appearance of your other teeth.

Reason #6: To cover a dental implant

Dental implants are a popular way to restore lost teeth. The implant is a metal post or abutment that’s inserted into your jawbone in the same location as the missing tooth. Once the gum tissue has healed over around the post, a dental crown is cemented onto the post to resemble the tooth that originally stood there. Although the crown isn’t actually part of the implant, it’s an important part of the treatment because without it, the patient will still be without a tooth!

The most common porcelain dental crown procedure involves the dentist taking an impression of the tooth, then having the tooth fabricated outside of the mouth. The crown is then fitted during a second appointment.

For more information on dental crowns, Scarborough patients are invited to consult with our experienced, compassionate dental team to find out if a crown is the right option for you. Please call 416-291-3117 or click here to schedule an appointment today.