Your cleaning appointment at Third Street Dental consists of the following: an update of your medical history, scaling and polishing of your teeth and gums, x-rays (as needed), fluoride treatment, oral hygiene instruction and patient photos.
We thoroughly examine your whole mouth for cavities, failing fillings, failing crowns, jaw disorders (TMD) and bite abnormalities. We evaluate your gingival and periodontal health.
Finally we carefully screen for oral pathologies including oral cancer, gum disease, bone health and overall tooth health. Third Street Dental is passionate about great oral health care.
A certified dental hygienist and or your dentist will use the latest equipment to remove plaque and calculus to clean your teeth. Plaque is the soft film that coats your teeth, which can be removed with a toothbrush and polishing cup.
However over time Plaque hardens into Calculus, otherwise known as Tartar. This cannot be removed with a toothbrush and polishing cup, therefore it needs to be removed with a dental scaler and/or ultrasonic scaler by a qualified dental professional (hygienist/dentist).
There is no way to substantially remove this Tarter without visiting a dental office, therefore regular dental visits are highly recommended.
Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Pungent foods like garlic, onions and coffee can contribute to bad breath. Smoking is also a cause of bad breath, along with certain illnesses such as nasal and stomach conditions.
Furthermore, dental infection/inflammation (periodontitis) and a bad tooth can cause substantial discomfort and bad breath. The most common cause of persistent bad breath is usually the release of byproduct gases by oral bacteria that coat your teeth and oral tissue.
Regular cleanings can substantially reduce the oral bacterial levels and Dr. Ho can further target any other causes that could be contributing to your bad breath problems.
Gingivitis is swelling and inflammation of your gums. This is caused by your gums being irritated by the plaque and calculus on your teeth and gums. Often your gums bleed and there is some discomfort when brushing and flossing. Gingivitis when left untreated will progress to Periodontitis.
This occurs when the swelling and inflammation spread from your gums to the underlying bone that supports your teeth. If you are suffering from Periodontitis you will likely have bad breath and your teeth may become loose. Periodontitis is a serious irreversible disease and early detection and prevention are the keys to stopping its progression.
Therefore it is important to have regular check ups of your teeth and gums. We will assess your gum health and come up with strategies to reduce the bacterial load in your mouth and thus improve your overall oral health.
Oral bacterial byproducts not only cause bad breath and gum disease they also cause cavities in your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth breakdown sugar to make acidic byproducts, which over time literally cause holes (cavities) in your teeth. Using high magnification (dental loops), powerful lighting and x-rays, it is much easier for us to detect cavities at an early stage to prevent excessive tooth loss.
When cavities are small, they are much easier and less expensive to treat. We can often restore these early cavities with a small filling with little to no freezing. Furthermore, if cavities are caught early enough fluoride treatment and improved oral hygiene can arrest and even reverse early tooth cavities!
Some signs of early tooth cavities are discolorations, sensitivity to sweets, chewing and hot and cold drinks. Depending on your individual pain tolerance sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Reducing the bacterial load through improved oral hygiene (regular brushing and flossing), diet modifications and regular dental cleaning/treatment will reduce your risk of dental cavities.
Oral cancer is a malignant growth that can occur in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, lips and throat. Patients diagnosed with oral cancer have a higher risk of dying than breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma patients! The mortality rate is just over 50%, with about 1,500 deaths per year in Canada. This high rate is due to the disease typically only showing symptoms late in development. The good news is that if oral cancer is diagnosed and treated early a complete recovery is often expected.
Regular dental checkups allow early detection of abnormalities in the mouth. Dr. Ho checks the mouth for cancer signs with every visit to ensure his patients receive an early warning of potential oral pathologies and thus get the appropriate treatment to maximize the odds of a successful outcome.