Frequently Asked Questions At Your Port Coquitlam Dental Clinic

Is whitening bad for your teeth and gums?

No, not if used properly and supervised. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. See more on Teeth Whitening >>

Are x-rays safe?

Yes; we are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.

How often do I need to see the hygienist?

The answer to that question is different for each patient. Most patients start with an interval of one visit every three to four months. For some, this interval stays the same due to medical factors, medication, genetics, age or personal habits that may result in continued plaque build up, staining and periodontal disease. However, many patients, when properly educated on their oral healthcare at home, and who follow the direction of their dentist and hygienist, can see a reduction in the amount of build up and the reduction or elimination of periodontal disease indications, resulting in fewer visits required – sometimes as few as twice a year.

What does my insurance cover?

As your advocate in dental health, our team makes a commitment to help you understand your dental benefits and insurance plan. Privacy regulations have changed rapidly over the last few years, and plan providers often do not allow information to be passed on directly to our office. However, we team with patients to explain, inquire and translate dental insurance terminology to ensure you have the most information at your disposal in regard to your benefits. Our office follows a clear policy to diagnose and suggest treatment based on medical need. Then through discussion and consultation with you, our team will assist you in choosing the best course of treatment to help you move forward with optimal dental health.

Which last longer, white fillings or silver fillings?

The lifespan of amalgam (or silver fillings) in your mouth varies per patient, based on numerous factors – mostly your personal oral hygiene and diet habits. It is not uncommon for silver fillings to last in excess of 10 years – for some even as many as 20 to 25 years without issue. Some patients are uncomfortable with the use of amalgam materials, they are aware of the controversy regarding mercury found in silver fillings and opt for composite (or white) fillings. The durability of composite and resin fillings has improved with recent technological advances, and on average can easily last for 7 years and longer, again dependent on personal habits, medical factors and the location and size of the fillings.

What are veneers?

This question is answered on our page on Cosmetic Dentistry: A veneer is a new front surface for a tooth, custom made from porcelain. Veneers are extremely versatile and can be used to align crowded or protruding teeth, close gaps or lighten tooth colour. Their strength and appearance rivals that of natural teeth and they are used to make long lasting changes to the smile.

What is a crown/cap?

Crowns are used to restore and preserve severely broken and heavily restored teeth that are at risk of breaking. Crowns are generally made of all porcelain or porcelain fused over a metal material such as gold for strength. Like veneers they look every bit as natural, leaving no black line at the gum level as seen with some traditional crowns.

What is a pocket?

A space formed between the gum and the tooth is often referred to as a “pocket”. A pocket forms when disease and infection destroy the ligament that attaches the gum to the tooth and bone. This is one of the major indicators of periodontal disease, which some believe to be directly linked to the health of your heart and overall body.

Contact us for more information about general and family dentistry!

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