Here’s a list of FAQ’S and common doubts our patients have about dental health, cosmetic dental treatments, TMJ pain, sleep apnea, and snoring. Some of your own questions may even be on here.
What if I can’t make an appointment?
Life happens and sometimes you need to reschedule. We need to know if you can’t make an appointment so we can offer someone else your spot. Please note we need two business days’ notice if you are unable to make your appointment.
What is a smile makeover?
There are a lot of searches on the internet for “Smile Makeovers”. In Alberta, dentists are not allowed to say they do “smile makeovers” as there is no such dental procedure. Dentist in Alberta can offer “Cosmetic Dental Treatments”.
This may seem somewhat silly to the public. What is in a name after all? But it is part of our Code of Ethics to be very clear with the public and not mislead our patients in any way. This is a good thing as it allows the public to understand the work that is actually being done on their teeth.
Dentistry is often irreversible. So ANY treatment offered and accepted must be truthful and fully understood. Alberta is great. Dentists in Alberta are all equal in their practices. We have great dentists in Alberta and with our guidelines, our patients can become fully informed before any treatment is offered.
How long does it take to get a better smile?
There is no way to say that all cosmetic dental treatments take a set number of visits or have a set course of treatment. Some are as quick as one appointment. Others may be done in just two appointments. Still others may take many many appointments. We wish we could tell you a simple answer but the reality is you will need to come and talk with us so we can give you an answer relevant to your own situation. We are available for consultations to help you find the appropriate course of treatment for you.
What is TMJ and how does it cause face pain?
TMJ is known as disorder with your Temporo-Mandibular Joint – your jaw joint. With it, you can experience pain in your ears, face or jaw. With a TMJ disorder, your jaw is often misaligned. This misalignment causes the muscles of your face and jaw to work extra hard. As they tire, they begin to get tight, in many cases too tight. These sore, tight muscles can cause pressure on the nerves that run through them, causing that mysterious pain that dogs you.
There are a variety of symptoms that you should look out for:
- severe headaches
- “cluster headaches”
- jaw clenching either during the day or night
- limited range of motion of your jaw.
- pain in your face, ear, neck, jaw or shoulders
Why do I need to get regular cleanings done?
If you have failed to have your teeth cleaned regularly because you do not recognize the importance of doing so, it is vitally important that you understand that it is not possible to brush away all the plaque and tartar that gets on your teeth. You can brush with the most innovative toothbrush available multiple times a day and floss regularly, and you still will not be able to get all of the debris off of your teeth that causes gum disease. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove this debris. When you fail to have it removed professionally, you very likely will begin to see the early stages of gum disease such sore and bleeding gums.
If you are missing teeth, will it cause TMJ?
When you have missing teeth it often causes a misalignment inside your jaw. This misalignment is something that may go on unabated for years, and as such, it often has a tendency to grow worse over time. Missing teeth may cause you to chew your food differently, to speak differently and you may find that you hold your jaw differently both day and night. This misalignment can place a tremendous amount of stress on your jaw and on the jaw joints themselves. This often called TMD.
If you are experiencing TMD due to missing teeth, there are basically two solutions that your dentist may be able to use to help you. The first is to deal with the problem of missing teeth directly using dental implants that can actually replace your missing teeth. The other is to rebalance your dental occlusion or realign your bite with a dental orthotic. This not only has the potential to eliminate your TMD concerns, but it can also help you chew your food more effectively and speak more clearly. By discussing the problem with your dentist, you can likely come up with a reasonable solution that will eliminate many of your problems.
I snore. Can I get a snoring device?
It is not necessary to limit your options for successful Sleep Disturbance treatments to bulky machines such as CPAP. You may benefit far more from using a simple Dental Sleep Appliance that is designed to help stop your lower jaw from sliding backward while you sleep. This in turn can prevent your snoring and can even alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms.
The dental sleep appliance helps the soft tissues which are located at the back of your throat stay open and allow air to flow more through your airway while you are sleeping.