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Please check out our resources below and if there’s anything you’re still curious about and haven’t found it here, let us know and we’ll be happy to help answer your questions!

Fact Sheets

All of our fact sheets are below, alphabetical by topic. Each is formatted as a PDF: these usually open directly in your browser, but can also be downloaded for later reading:

Glossary of Dental Terms

Abscess
An infection around the root of a tooth.

Amalgam
A filling material used to restore teeth, made from mercury and other metal alloys. Often chosen for its strength and durability, it is a good choice for use in areas that can not be seen or where the conditions to place a white filling may not be suitable ie-area can’t be kept completely dry, a child who is highly active and the filling needs to placed very quickly.

Anaesthetize
To give a medication that temporarily puts the area being worked on to sleep so that there is no discomfort or sensation felt during treatment.

Assignment
When the patient authorizes their Insurance Company to forward payment for a covered procedure directly to our dental office instead of sending payment to the patient

Bacteria
(oral) – bacteria are also referred to as germs; they are microorganisms that live in your mouth and are unseen to the eye. If they are not removed by regular and proper dental cleanings, brushing, flossing and rinsing of the mouth (oral cavity) may cause dental decay and gum disease.

Bridge
A permanently fixed dental prosthetic unit made of porcelain or metal, it replaces a missing tooth by spanning the area where the tooth is missing and connects onto the adjacent teeth using a permanent cement or dental implant.

Brushing
The physical act of cleaning all the surfaces of one’s teeth using a toothbrush. Recommended to be completed 3 times/daily,  it involves the removal of food and plaque bacteria on the tooth surfaces by using a manual or electric toothbrush, toothpaste and proper technique to properly clean the teeth and gums.

Cavities
Dental decay or caries; this is when the enamel of your tooth has been weakened by bacteria left on the tooth surface over time; it breaks through the surfaces of the tooth creating a hole in the tooth wall.

Check-Up
A “Check Up” also known in dental world as a recall exam, it is an important part of your cleaning appointment. It is the thorough examination that is performed by your dentist at your regular cleaning appointment ideally every 6 months, but now due to changes with those patients who have Insurance plans sometimes just every 9 months or yearly. It is used to determine and evaluate all dental and periodontal needs of the patient.

Composite Resin
A filling material used to restore teeth made from plastic resin material. It is tooth colored or sometimes referred to as a “white” filling. A very strong and durable option and one in which the mouth must be kept completely dry while the filling procedure is taking place so the material can bond properly. Most insurance companies are now covering the use of white fillings.

Consult Appointment
This is a service provided by our dental office that includes having an appointment with the dentist and patient to assess and discuss the patient’s dental needs and proposed treatment plan.

Cosmetic Dentistry
Refers to dentistry that is usually done to change the appearance of one’s teeth, gums, bite or smile without necessarily changing the function. Cosmetic Dentistry may involve the use of teeth whitening to brighten the smile, orthodontics to straighten the teeth, use of a dental laser to remove or even out gum tissue and crowns, bridges, veneers and implants as a way to achieve the smile design the patient desires.

Crown
An artificial tooth replacement, sometimes called a “cap” that is glued overtop of  a broken or heavily restored tooth, (replaces a missing tooth) Can be made of porcelain or metal can be placed onto tooth structure, a post or onto a dental implant

Debridement
Done by the hygienist, it is the removal of debris (food, plaque and tartar) using dental instruments such as scalers and polishers both above and below the gum line.

Dental Benefits
A type of health insurance where a certain portion of the costs of dental services are covered by your dental plan.

Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist is a dental health care provider who is regulated and licensed by the College by which they received their licensing-in Ontario it is the C.D.H.O. They keep your teeth and gums healthy, clean and free of disease. They are who you see when you have your “cleaning” done; they scale, polish, check your bone support levels by performing periodontal evaluations, take x-rays, perform cancer screenings and educate on proper brushing and oral hygiene technique as well as the benefits that diet can play in you’re your overall oral health.

Dental Operatory
The room in which dental treatments are performed by the Dentist or the Dental Hygienist.

Dentist
A dentist is a graduate of a dental program from a University who upon their completion of their degree has passed all their clinical and National Board Exams. Their main area of focus is on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions relating to the overall health of the oral cavity, head and neck. They are supported by their dental team consisting of the dental hygienists, the dental assistants and the administration staff in the office environment.

Flossing
The use of dental floss, waxed or satin, to remove deposits (food and plaque) from between the teeth. Flossing is best done daily, but 3-4 times a week is a good baseline start. Floss should be wrapped around middle finger and wrapped in a “C” shape around tooth and moved in a up and down motion.

Freezing
A term for local anesthetic. It is a medication given by a dentist or a doctor via injection to temporarily numb any area of the mouth that is being treated so that sensation is diminished and pain can not be felt.

General Anaesthetic
A type of sedation where the patient is rendered unconscious while a medical or dental operation is performed. It involves the administration of a general anesthetic agent by a trained Anesthetist who closely monitors the vital signs of the patient who is undergoing the procedure.

Gingivitis
An infection of the gums caused by plaque bacteria being left on teeth and around gums for a prolonged period of time. Signs of gingivitis are: swelling of the gums and bleeding when brushing or flossing. Can be reversed with regular brushing, flossing and use of antibacterial mouthwash.

Laser
Refers to a specialized laser used in dentistry and oral surgery, it refers to a light beam that emits wavelengths to achieve their desired result such as tissue shaping, dental surgeries and aiding in periodontal pocketing reduction. The use of a dental laser requires that all operators be specially trained and that protective eye-wear be worn by everyone in the room where the laser is being used.

Matrix Band
A thin metal strip placed around the tooth during a filling procedure, it is then wedged into place so that fillings that are in between the teeth have a proper contact point when they have hardened, allowing the patient just the right amount of space for a piece of dental floss to pass through easily.

Mirror and Explorer
The two evaluation instruments that are used together as a team by your dentist or hygienist, they are used to check for abnormalities, decay, deposits on the teeth as well as the tissues around your mouth.

N2O – Nitrous Oxide a.k.a “Laughing Gas”
a colorless, odorless gas inhaled through the nose used to calm anxiety and nervousness during dental procedures.  Once the gas is turned off, all euphoric feeling disappears and you are feeling back to normal immediately afterwards.

Oral Health
Refers to the overall health of one’s teeth, gums, bone support, mouth, lips and jaw. It is an important part of your overall health. The dental team works together with the patient to prevent diseases which could affect one’s oral health.

Oral Surgeon
A specialized dentist who has received an additional degree, deals with extensive surgical treatments related to the face, mouth, neck, jaw and skull such as tooth removal, bone grafting, placing dental implants, removal or biopsy of cysts or tumors, skin cancer treatments, treatment of facial and nerve pain, facial reconstructions, cosmetic reconstructions and sleep apnea or clenching devices.

Orthodontics 
Appliances placed on your teeth to help move your teeth to the proper alignment for your mouth

Peri-apical radiograph
Also refered to as a “P.A” it is an x-ray that isolates a specific area of the mouth showing often just two or three teeth and the roots and the bone and blood supply to them. Very helpful tool for diagnosing tooth abscesses and for sending to insurance companies as a support tool to verify why treatment is necessary is certain cases.

Periodontal Disease
Often referred to as gum disease, this is the result of bacteria in the gum tissue which results in an infection causing the gums to be red, inflamed, irritated and to bleed easily when brushing or flossing. It leads to bone loss around your teeth. When severe will result in tooth loss.

Periodontist
A specialized dentist who has received an additional degree at school they treat diseases of the gums, bone, he/she perform grafts and surgical procedures to help correct receding gum and bone and places implants.

Periodontium (peri-odon-ti-um)
The tissues that supply and support the teeth-made up of the cementum, periodontal ligament, bone and gums.

Perio Exam
Used as a measuring and an evaluating tool it is performed by the dental team as a way of determining the health of your gums that surround your teeth by placing a small ruler called a probe into the spot between the gum and the tooth to measure the amount of bone that holds the tooth in place. The number on the ruler is read out and recorded, each number accounts for a value the higher the number the more bone loss or the bigger the “pocket” that is there.  Without a good support of bone or gum tissue teeth can be lost to periodontal disease.

Plaque
Soft whitish/yellowish bacteria that accumulates on all surfaces of the mouth. It is a byproduct from the bacteria in the mouth and sugars in the food and drink we consume. This can turn into acid which can then eventually lead to gingivitis and cavities. Daily brushing will remove this plaque which is needed to maintain optimal health in the mouth.

Porcelain
A ceramic material used by a dental technician in a laboratory to make and create very life-like recreations of one’s tooth when making dental crowns, bridges, inlays, on-lays and veneers. The two types are complete porcelain or porcelain that is applied over metal-this is called porcelain fused to metal.

Preventative Services/Procedures
Refers to the diagnosing, treating and preventing of diseases of the teeth, mouth and gums in hopes that the beginning or progression of oral disease does not occur. Designed to catch and treat problems in an early, more treatable stage.

Radiographs
A clinical term for the word x-ray.

Restorative Restorations
Removing decay from your teeth and replacing where the decay was with filling material.

RootPlaning
A dental procedure performed by a dental hygienist, it involves the use of dental scalers –manual or a specialized electric-water scalers to remove toxins and accumulated hard and soft deposits below the gum line. It is done so that the roots of the teeth are nice and smooth, so that bacteria and other deposits will be less likely to stick to them and contribute to further bone loss. Can sometimes take multiple appointments to accomplish, sometimes requires the use of a dental freezing, a very worthwhile procedure to consider when trying preserving teeth’s longevity.

Scaling
A dental treatment performed by a dental hygienist using special instruments. It involves removing hard and soft deposits from above and below the gum line. Sometimes a dental freezing can be given if a patient finds the procedure to be uncomfortable. Scaling is an important part of maintaining your oral health because it keeps the bone around your teeth healthy and provides good support keeping them firmly in place.

Sedation Dentistry
A term that applies to the use of a calming method being administered so that very anxious people or medically compromised people are able to have their dental treatment completed. Usually involves the  patient being administered a sedative either orally or via injection, the use of “laughing gas” or through the patient being completely put to sleep with a general anesthetic in a hospital environment where they are closely monitored.

Tartar
This is the hard substance that forms on your teeth over time as the result of incomplete or irregular removal of soft plaque and food deposits, can be above and below the gumline. Requires the removal by a trained dental hygienist using scalers at a dental cleaning appointment, as once it has formed it can no longer be removed by brush or floss. Left untreated it can cause sore gums, infection and bone loss.

T.M.J.
Stands for temporo-mandibular joint, it is the ball and hinge joint that is responsible for opening and closing your jaw. It is located just in front of your ear on your face. Problems that can develop related to this joint as known as T.M.J Disorder and mat be felt as pain, popping or clicking when opening or a limited opening of the mouth.

Wax-up
Impressions of your teeth poured up in stone.  Your teeth that are planned to be worked extensively will be made in wax and presented to the patient for the ideal cosmetic look.

Dental FAQ

Are Dental X-Ray really necessary?
Yes. X-rays are the only way to diagnosis problems such as tooth decay, cysts, and abscesses that they your dentist can not see by looking in your mouth doing only a visual exam. They are especially important in looking at children’s developing teeth and are used as an important screening tool to allow for early diagnosis before pain or tooth crowding ie) in the case of orthodontics use becomes apparent. The number of X-rays you will need and how often they will need to be taken depend on a variety of factors such as; age, their current dental health/needs as well as the external factors they may be exhibiting at the time they present for their appointment.

Will you take payment directly from my Insurance Company?
We ask that our patients pay us directly and we will electronically submit your claim to your Insurance company using the internet service (where allowed by your provider). Most times our patients report that their money is deposited into their accounts the next day! We accept Visa and Mastercard so you can collect your points while waiting for your re-imbursement to arrive. We also take debit, cash and personal cheque which can be post-dated to allow for the payment to arrive from your Insurance Company if you need to mail your form in.

Do you accept new patients?
Absolutely! Tell your friends, co-workers, neighbours and family about our office too we’d be happy to welcome them as patients.

Do you offer any fees or discounts?
Unfortunately, this is not something we can do. We charge the current year’s fee guide as laid out by the Ontario Dental Association. It is actually illegal to charge a lesser fee or offer a discount to patients who do not have insurance, therefore our fees are the same across the board for all of our patients.

If we didn’t answer your question here, please make sure to contact us. We’d love to hear from you! Contact Us