Frequently Asked Questions
Most provinces in Canada, participate in water fluoridation; Unfortunately Langley,BC and Surrey,BC water does not have enough levels of Flouride to prevent the teeth from cavities .If you do not live in a community that has fluoridated water or have the appropriate amount of natural fluoride in your well water, your child will need some form of supplement in their diet. Our dentist at Aquarius clinic can help you determine how much of a supplement your child needs based upon their weight, age, current water fluoride level, and brand of toothpaste.
It is essential that your child receives a naturally-balanced diet that includes the important nutrients your child needs in order to grow. A daily diet should includes the major food groups of meat/fish/eggs, vegetable/fruit, bread/cereal as well as milk and other dairy products.
Absolutely. It is important that you initiate a balanced diet for your child so that their teeth develop properly. In addition, this will positively affect healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Please note that a diet high in sugar and other forms of carbohydrates may increase the probability of tooth decay.
As we stated earlier, start a balanced diet. evaluate the frequency in which Carb foods are eaten. These types of foods include breads, pasta, potato chips, etc. In addition, sugar is found in more than just candy. All types of sugars can cause tooth decay. For example, most milk-based products contain sugar. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a favorite for bagged lunches. Unfortunately, it includes sugar not only in the jelly, but also in the peanut butter. For less sugar and more flavor and nutrients, try replacing jelly with fresh fruit slices (apples, pears, or bananas) or chopped dried fruit. Go easy on the peanut butter, though — it’s high in fat. Choose the “no-salt-added” kind for less sodium.
Of course not. Many of these foods are important to your child’s health. Starch- based foods are much safer to eat for teeth when eaten with an entire meal. Foods that stick to teeth are also more difficult to wash away by water, saliva, or other drinks. It’s important that you talk to our staff about your child’s diet and to maintain appropriate oral care.
Most importantly, don’t nurse your children to sleep. Do not put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula. When a child is sleeping, any liquid that remains in the mouth can hold the bacteria that produce acid and harm the teeth. A simple pacifier or bottle of water is fine.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Tooth Loss
Contact our office as soon as possible.
Rinse the knocked out tooth in cool water. Do not rub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth in a container of milk (or water if milk is not available.) Come to our office right away. Feel free to call our emergency number if it is after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.
Contact our office immediately. Time is very important! Our goal is to save the tooth and prevent infection. Rinse the mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment, it can be bonded back to the tooth.
Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. To help comfort your child, rinse out the mouth with cold water and apply a compress.
Simple. Sport related injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouth guards. Child proofing your home can help reduce injuries at home. In addition, regular dental check ups will contribute to preventative care.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Sealants
Tooth sealant refers to a plastic that a dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping stop the formation of tooth decay.
In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the small grooves between their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.
The longevity of sealants varies. Sealants that have stayed in place for three to five years would be considered successful, however, sealants can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealants placed during childhood still intact on the teeth of adults. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
Any tooth that shows characteristics of developing decay should be sealed. The most common teeth for a dentist to seal are a child’s back molars. The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Generally the procedure takes just one visit. Placing Fissure sealants can be a very easy process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned, and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the grooves of the tooth where it is hardened with a special blue light and then buffed. All normal activities can occur directly after the appointment.
It is just as important for your child to brush and floss their teeth. Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay.
This treatment is quite affordable, especially when you consider the value of protection against tooth decay. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Check with your insurance company about your child’s coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mouth Guards
A mouth guard is comprised of soft plastic. They come in standard or custom fit to adapt comfortably to the upper teeth.
A mouth guard protects the teeth from possible sport injuries. It does not only protect the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw bone as well. It can contribute to the protection of a child from head and neck injuries such as concussions. Most injuries occur to the mouth and head area when a child is not wearing a mouth guard.
It should be worn during any sport-based activity where there is risk of head, face, or neck injury. Such sports include hockey, soccer, karate, basketball, baseball, skating, skateboarding, as well as many other sports. Most oral injuries occur when children play basketball, baseball, and soccer.
Customized mouth guards can be provided through our practice. They are much more comfortable and shock absorbent.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Fillings
In Canada, medical devices and materials are under the regulatory authority of the Health Protection Branch (HPB) of Health Canada.
Restorative materials do not fall into a classification for which Health Canada requires pre-market approval. However, Health Protection Branch (HPB) can take regulatory action on any medical device or material at any time, and HPB currently does not restrict dental amalgam in Canada.
Scientific studies have not verified that dental amalgam is causing illness in the general population. It has been known for some time that amalgam fillings release minute amounts of mercury vapour, especially with chewing, and that this mercury can be absorbed, reach body organs, and cross the placenta. This is also true of mercury absorbed from natural sources, such as food.
As a single element, mercury is a poisonous metal to which we are all exposed through air, water, soil and food. In dental amalgam, it is bound in an alloy, which also includes silver, copper and tin. Very small amounts of mercury vapour are released from amalgam with chewing. Mercury’s toxicity is related to the amount absorbed. The mercury absorbed from all sources accumulates in body organs and tissues, mostly in the kidneys, but also in the brain, lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract.
The amount depends on a number of factors, such as the type of food you eat, your occupational exposure, environmental levels and the number of amalgam fillings you have. Health Canada estimates that for the average Canadian adult 20 to 59 years old the amount of mercury absorbed by the body from all sources is about nine millionths of a gram per day. Of this total dental amalgam is estimated to contribute about three millionths of a gram per day.
For the overwhelming majority of people no harmful effects are known to be caused by the average levels of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings. For those subject to high exposures, for example, in industrial settings, the severity of any scientifically validated harmful effects depends upon the duration and amount of exposure.
Subclinical effects (effects which are observable but are below the threshold of disease or illness) have been observed in groups of people with tissue mercury levels ten times higher that those in the general population. However, at the low levels of exposure associated with amalgam fillings, the relationship between levels and duration of exposure and any possible effects is not known. Scientific observation of patients over the course of 150 years of using ever-improving formulations of dental amalgam is the foundation of CDA’s confidence in this material for general use.
It is the most durable and most affordable of all restorative material options. The Canadian Dental Association has been urging the government of Canada to support further research to achieve definitive scientific answers, which can better assure Canadians of the safety of amalgam as well as all other alternative restorative materials.
Every time a foreign substance is used in the human body for therapeutic purposes, there is an element of risk. Health professionals must constantly weigh the known risks of a particular intervention against known benefits. In the case of dental amalgam, the scientific evidence indicates that no significant risks are involved. If there were risks, they would have been clearly observed during the 150 years that this material has been in use.
Dental team members, in particular, would have shown clinically demonstrable effects due to their considerable exposure to the substance. The risks associated with the use of dental amalgam appear to be limited, and the benefits to patients are known to be large. Dental amalgam is much stronger and more durable than alternative restorative materials, and amalgam restorations can be completed at a more reasonable cost. Recent advances, such as the development of amalgam bonding techniques, have made amalgam even more advantageous as a restorative material.
Gold alloy inlay castings would be a reasonable substitute if the material and required procedures were not so costly. It is also possible that alternative materials, subjected to the same level of scrutiny as dental amalgam, will prove to have other advantages and disadvantages. The dental profession is aware of research to find more durable alternatives to amalgam, and these materials may be available within the next decade.
No, there are patients who are sensitive to the components of amalgam, just as there are individuals who are sensitive or allergic to other chemical substances or even foods such as milk or bread. It has been estimated that the prevalence of mercury sensitivity in the general population is approximately three per cent (JADA, Vol. 122, Aug. 1991, p. 54).
Dentists may consider the use of composite fillings or other restorative materials in individual cases. Dentists routinely take a number of considerations into account in selecting a restorative material, including tooth size, location and the individual’s condition and medical and dental history. For example, alternatives may be considered for individuals who are immunologically compromised, or who suffer from a neurological condition.
Health Canada suggests that alternatives should be considered for patients with impaired kidney function. Although dental amalgam itself is not linked to such conditions, there is evidence that total body burden of mercury is of particular concern with these patients. Amalgam may similarly be contraindicated for workers with known occupational exposure to heavy metals or for individuals with greater than average exposure to mercury because of a diet, which is primarily seafood.
Dentists consider a number of factors in determining treatment for children and for pregnant patients. Assuming that they are aware of the pregnancy, and in consultation with the patient, dentists may recommend alternative restorative materials, other forms of treatment, or delay of treatment. In many instances amalgam presents the best possible option for restorative treatment.
There is no scientific evidence of ill effects, although mercury is known to cross the placenta. A stakeholder committee convened by Health Canada concluded that while “the research evidence did not support excluding children, pregnant or lactating women…from receiving amalgam fillings…common sense dictated that pregnant women should avoid any elective medical or dental intervention until after delivery.”
Most children today have far fewer cavities than in the past, and, consequently, less exposure to mercury. Dentists give special consideration to restorative treatment for children and any concerns expressed by parents. Dental amalgam offers distinct advantages in many cases. Alternative materials are considered when suitable and recommended as indicated.
It should be noted that Health Canada has taken the position that “new amalgam fillings should not be placed in contact with existing metal devices in the mouth, such as braces.” Health Canada’s concern is related to galvanic effect, which occurs when two different metals are in close proximity and create the potential for electric current to be generated.
Dentists are aware of the possibility of abutting metals creating a galvanic effect. It is also recognized that galvanic effect, through corrosion of metallic dental materials, may increase the release of mercury and other elements or compounds. Some recent evidence suggests that galvanic effect may also slightly increase the release of mercury vapour from amalgam.
For all these reasons, it is prudent for dentists, in suggesting a restorative material, to avoid creating a galvanic effect whenever patient care will not be compromised. It is also inadvisable to remove existing fillings unless the patient complains of symptoms which may be attributed to galvanic effect.
At the same time, the placement of orthodontic braces on patients with amalgam is often necessary and desirable, and has not been shown to be associated with ill effects. It may also be necessary, for the purpose of adequate restorative treatment, to place restorations in close proximity and to create the potential for galvanic effect.
CDA’s Committee on Clinical and Scientific Affairs notes, however, that when amalgam has been in the mouth for a small a period of time, oxidation (corrosion), through a complex process, contributes to the reduction of electrical flow. Galvanic effect, apart from its potential to contribute to heavy metal body burden, has not been demonstrated to be harmful, and concerns about galvanic effect must be considered in the context of the patient’s overall oral health care needs.
CDA has asked Health Canada for an annotated scientific bibliography supporting its unconditional recommendation on galvanic effect. If this information is received, it will be reviewed immediately and, if necessary, further advisories will be sent out to the profession and made available to patients.
- There is a report on mercury exposure and risks from dental amalgam which was released by Health Canada on November 27, 1995. It suggested that the number of amalgam restorations should be limited to reduce the total daily average exposure of an individual to mercury from all sources (including food, water, air and dental amalgam). What does this report mean to me as a dental patient?
The assessment of mercury exposure and risks from dental amalgam conducted by G. Mark Richardson, PhD, is a review and analysis of the scientific literature by a scientist commissioned by Health Canada. The study involved no new research of the kind that CDA has been urging. It was a form of risk assessment using sophisticated mathematical techniques and computer modelling.
CDA arranged to have the study reviewed and assessed by an international panel of scientists, which concluded that the available mercury exposure data are not reliable enough to permit confident determination of a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for mercury. Both the CDA panel and the stakeholder group convened by Health Canada came to this same conclusion and both advocated further definitive research.
Yes, dentists recognize patient concerns with respect to choice of restorative materials and the patient’s right to choose a dental material or to refuse treatment with any material. You should note, however, that the dentist may be concerned about the retention, durability or strength of alternative restorations in particular applications, and advise you to choose amalgam. The final choice, however, is yours.