Frequently Asked Questions On Oral Health
Do I need x-rays at each visit?
How often you should visit your dentist in Spruce Grove will depend on your oral health. If you have demonstrated excellent oral health for the last few years, you likely won’t need X-rays at every appointment. Note, dental X-rays are a vital diagnostic tool and deliver very little radiation.
How can I find a new dentist?
If you are choosing a new dentist, begin by listing your needs, these may include:
- Hours of practice
- Language(s) spoken
- Generalist or specialist practice
Some provincial dental associations have websites that allow you to search for a dentist in your area. Yellow Pages advertising may also prove helpful.
Once you have narrowed your list to two or three names, call the dentists to see if they are accepting new patients.
How can I get my records transferred?
The dentist who provided past treatments will own the original dental records. You can request for a copy of records to be transformed from your former dentist. Consult with your dentist or contact the provincial dental regulatory body if you have any questions about the record transfer process.
Does my dentist need to wear gloves and a mask, and how do I know he or she is using clean tools?
To prevent the spread of germs, your dentist will use barrier protection including gloves and masks. The entire dental team washes their hands regularly and uses sterilized equipment. Also, furniture and fixtures in the examining rooms are consistently cleaned. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you would like to know how this system is carried out in your dentist’s office, ask to be shown how it’s done.
It is worth noting that even though standard precautions are used, it is still important to tell your dentist of changes in your health.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
An early start to dental care is essential as it shows your child that visiting the dentist is a regular component of health care. The Canadian Dental Association encourages parents to schedule a dental appointment for their child within six months of the appearance of the first tooth or by year one. It is critical for your child to have a positive first dental experience; hence, it’s best to visit before a problem arises. However, be sure to bring your child in as soon as possible if there is a problem. Be sure to avoid using negative terminology such as “blood,” “needles,” and “pain” when describing what will happen at their appointment.
What’s the different between in-office and at home whitening kits?
Dentists have been doing what’s called “non-vital” bleaching for many years. Non-vital bleaching is done on a damaged, darkened tooth that has had root canal treatment. “Vital” bleaching is done on healthy teeth and has become more popular in recent years.
Vital bleaching, also called whitening, may be carried out in the dental office or the dentist may instruct the patient on how to do the bleaching at home. There is also a wide variety of products for sale in stores. Not all products are the same and not all give you the same results.
Different products, including those used by dentists, may also have different risks and side effects.
Here is an overview:
- Whitening toothpastes with abrasive ingredients are really not bleaching products at all, but work on surface stain only. These products are sold in many stores.
- Some whitening toothpastes do contain a chemical ingredient (or “bleach”) that causes a chemical reaction to lighten teeth. Generally, they have the lowest amount of “bleach.” They may not whiten as well as stronger products, but they have less chance of side effects. These pastes are brushed onto teeth and rinsed off, like regular toothpaste.
- Bleaching kits sold in stores stay on your teeth longer than toothpaste and contain stronger “bleach”. These store-bought products do not come with the added safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects. They also come with a one-size-fits-all tray that holds the “bleach” and is more likely to leak the chemical into your mouth.
- Dentists may use products with stronger “bleach”, but they give patients careful instructions to follow. They are also trained to spot and treat the side effects that patients sometimes report during bleaching. In addition, if a tray is needed to apply the “bleach”, dentists supply custom-made trays. Because products used by dentists are strong, they tend to produce the best results.
- Patients should be aware that the long-term use of whitening or bleaching products may cause tooth sensitivity or tooth abrasion. Please consult with your dentist before using a whitening or bleaching product.