Ask A Dentist - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Altitude Dental Coquitlam
This Ask a Dentist section addresses some of the frequently asked dental questions that we also answer in our office. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please use our dental office contact form or call us for a dental appointment. We'd love to answer your questions in person.
What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?
Getting a tooth knocked out can happen in an accident or sports injury - or in some other way. If a permanent tooth is knocked out then there is a small window of opportunity to save the tooth. Placing a tooth back in the socket within the first 30 minutes gives it the best chance for survival.
- Collect the tooth. Make sure to handle the tooth carefully, without touching the root of the tooth. If the tooth is covered with dirt, then rinse it gently with water, taking care to not touch the root of the tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water. Then, if possible, place the tooth back into the socket. If you are unable to reinsert the tooth, then place it in whole milk to keep it from drying out.
- To control the bleeding, bite on a wet gauze or wet paper towel.
- Call us immediately. If we are not open then go to an emergency room. Even if you have been able to put the tooth back in you need to come and see us so that we can ensure that the re-insertion is correct. It is critical that you come and see us as quickly as possible - there is a good chance that your permanent tooth can be saved with quick action.
My braces are bothering me and my orthodontist is closed, can you help?
We will need to take a look inside your mouth to see what the situation is, but most of the times we are able to solve the problem until you can see your orthodontist.
How safe are dental X-rays?
The advancement in technology and the introduction of digital x-rays have decreased the amount of x-ray exposure in dentistry. Our modern digital x-ray systems allow us to minimize the amount of radiation as well as increase the ability for our patients to see their digital x-rays almost instantaneously. X-rays that are only taken if necessary.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay in their children’s mouth?
Most important: teach your child how to brush and floss correctly and encourage that behaviour on a regular basis. With infants, parents need to do the brushing and cleaning but it’s important to demonstrate to your child the importance of this dental health procedure. Bringing your child for regular dental visits allows us to support the at-home oral health care routine that you have with your child and ensures that you and your child become comfortable visiting us and learning how to be involved in the dental care process. These visits are essential in establishing areas of concern for both parents and the dentist – we encourage questions and discussion.
How long do fillings last?
The life of a filling depends upon your at home oral health routine and your oral habits. If you are a clencher or a grinder, you can easily damage a filling from the amount of force being placed repeatedly on the tooth.
(By the way, many people don't recognize that they are clenching or grinding their teeth because they do so while they sleep. We can assess your teeth and see the wear patterns that demonstrate the issue. We will work with you to minimize the impact - for example, a night mouth guard to protect your teeth and fillings.)
Many fillings fail due to decay that has formed in areas that have broken down or in areas around the remaining tooth structure. Regular exams help to lengthen the life of your fillings by ensuring that there are no cracks or breakage occurring to the fillings or the surrounding tooth structure.
Are you taking new patients?
Yes, we are always ready to welcome a new person or family. Often our clients refer their family and friends so that they can receive the same excellent care. There is always room for one more at Altitude Dental in Coquitlam. Note: our clients come from the Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody Tri-Cities area and they also come from all over the Greater Vancouver region if they live or work nearby. Our dental office is conveniently located very close to Coquitlam Centre and the Evergreen Skytrain line.
What should I do if my crown or bridge comes off?
Occasionally a crown or a bridge will come off. There a few common causes why this happens.
- Decay that has gone under the gum line and then has worked its way up inside the crown or the bridge, removing the solid tooth structure that held the restoration on.
- The cement under the restoration has released its hold on the tooth.
- The tooth under the restoration has fractured.
Most times if you look inside your restoration, you will be able to see the cause.
Please call us and we will fit you in as soon as possible to fix this problem.
Protect your tooth. If you are able to place the restoration back over the teeth then do so but do not add anything to help it stick on.
I am very nervous about getting my treatment done. What can you do to help?
Dr. Daniel Vaida is an experienced oral sedation dentist and oral conscious sedation can be used for nearly any procedure that makes a person feel anxious and nervous. Oral conscious sedation is primarily used for procedures such as a root canal, extractions or fillings. We suggest oral sedation to those who have overwhelming dental fears, a fear of needles and for those who have trouble opening their mouth for an extended period of time
My gums are bleeding when I brush or floss my teeth.
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease. It occurs most often when you aren't removing the plaque on your teeth often enough, by not brushing and flossing regularly. If you are brushing and flossing daily and you still notice that your gums are bleeding, it may be a sign that there is bacterial build up below the gum line that you cannot remove on your own and that you are due for a dental cleaning.
Other reasons why gums may bleed while brushing are:
- Your tooth-brushing technique may be too aggressive. Applying too much pressure, brushing at an incorrect angle, or using a medium or hard bristled toothbrush can cause the gums to bleed.
- Gum trauma caused by hard/crunchy foods, or incorrect brushing and flossing technique may be another reason you notice bleeding while cleaning your teeth.
If bleeding upon brushing is a regular occurrence for you, please be sure to call us to schedule an appointment so we can find a solution for you.
At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six-months-old and no later than one-year-old. A good indicator is when you start to see your child’s first teeth coming in.
All of this however, depends on your child. Some children will not allow us to examine their teeth however it is good for them to be encouraged to see the dental office environment and get to meet us and our staff.
If you find that you are unable to clean your child’s teeth then it is a good idea to have them come in for a first visit orientation. During this time, we introduce the child to the dental practice, count their teeth and check for any signs of decay. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
Every dental visit will slowly build upon the first visit and is based upon your child’s specific needs.
Facts about Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a common procedure – there are many different processes to use for whitening your teeth. Make sure to ask a dentist if your teeth (especially if you have crowns, fillings, implants, some veneers, etc.) are good candidates for teeth whitening – because you don’t want to have a patchwork quilt of bright white and ‘old white’ teeth.
We can help you find the best teeth whitening process for your mouth.
Why do I feel pain after dental cleaning?
Sometimes for a couple of days after your cleaning you may feel a tenderness or pain after dental cleaning. This is often the result of tenderness of the gums after being ‘deep cleaned’ and is an indicator that your mouth needs attention and your gums need to toughen up.
Make sure to keep flossing and cleaning your teeth regularly and the tenderness will subside.