Maintain a beautiful, healthy smile at any age with dental services from Dr. Daniel Gibbs in Scarborough. From your child’s first visit to your bi-annual check-ups, think of us as a one-stop shop for your oral care needs. We specialize in preventive care and general treatments including cleanings, fillings, crowns and more, and strive to help all of our patients should be able to speak, eat and socialize with confidence. For exceptional dental care from a team committed to your health and comfort, call to make your appointment today!
The best time for a child's first visit would be around 2 ½ to 3 years old. This allows your child to become comfortable with the dental environment and serves as a friendly introduction to the dental office. Our hygienist is trained to communicate with young children and gain their confidence. This allows your child to have a positive experience. Before leaving the dental office, they will be shown how to clean their teeth and prevent tooth decay. All children are assessed for their orthodontic status at each recall appointment and parents are informed if orthodontic intervention is required.
Natural-looking tooth-coloured fillings are used by dentists in most restoration procedures. They are made of acrylic and are quite durable. You may experience some sensitivity after your procedure, but this should subside within a week or so.
In some cases, if the patient’s teeth are severely fractured or decayed, your dentist may opt for traditional silver (amalgam) restorative fillings because of the material’s superior strength and reliability. Dr. Gibbs will work with you to determine the best option for you.
Periodontal Treatment (Gums)
Periodontal disease is very common in adults over age 30. Most people carry certain bacteria that have the ability to cause infection of the gums and the supporting structures of the tooth (the periodontal ligament and the jaw bone). If this infection is left untreated, the result may include inflamed, red gums and potential tooth loss.
The main cause of gum disease is buildup of plaque and other oral bacteria around the teeth and gums. If this material is not effectively removed on a regular basis, the supporting tooth structures will begin to deteriorate. This deterioration of the bone around the tooth happens often without the patient noticing any pain. If left untreated, the patient can experience symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, or in the extreme cases, gum abscesses that require an emergency visit to the dentist.
The treatment begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient's teeth and gums. The patient then will get a complete cleaning that may require multiple visits and possible antibiotics. The patient is given instructions on proper oral hygiene techniques, and re-evaluated in 3 - 6 months to check progress and pocket reduction. If some deep pockets are still present, then the dentist might suggest minor surgical procedures to reduce their size.
While bacteria can never be eliminated from the mouth, the main purpose of the treatment is to reduce the population of bacteria that causes periodontal disease. The earlier the treatment, the better chance the patient has at keeping their teeth and maintaining the integrity of the supporting structures.
Crowns (Porcelain Caps)
A crown or cap is a cover that fits over a tooth that is weakened from many previous restorations or substantial fracture, and protects the tooth from further damage. Many times crowns are fabricated with a metal framework and a surrounding porcelain covering. This gives the crown a tooth-like appearance combined with enough strength to handle strong biting pressure. If aesthetics are an issue, especially in the anterior area, crowns can be made completely out of porcelain. Special considerations are required for full porcelain caps.
Crowns usually take 2 appointments to complete. The first appointment involves the preparation of the tooth, taking a detailed impression, and then placing a temporary crown. The next appointment, usually a week later, involves the fitting and insertion of the final crown.
The patient should always maintain their oral hygiene, even with crowns. They should pay special attention to plaque build-up, especially in the area where the crown meets the natural tooth (the margin area). The margin area could conceivably decay if it is not maintained regularly.
Root Canal Therapy
Of all of the dental procedures performed in the dental office, root canal treatment is probably the most misunderstood. In truth, over 90% of the root canal procedures your dentist performs cause very little discomfort for the patient.
Root canal treatment is only performed on a tooth that is certain to be lost due to disease or fracture. A normal tooth has a pulp located in the center of the tooth. If you have a tooth that is causing acute pain – bad enough to keep you up at night – due to infection, root canal treatment is usually recommended to prevent further infection of the surrounding tooth structures.
Occasionally, during a routine examination the dentist might detect pathology on an X-ray of a patient's tooth. This pathology means that the tooth is chronically infected and is non-vital. Usually the patient has little or no pain for long periods of time. However, if left untreated, this pathology will continue to expand and could develop into a cyst. Root canal treatment is recommended in cases such as this as well.
If the patient does not follow with root canal treatment, the option of extraction can be considered. Root canal treatment is much less complex than replacing a tooth with a bridge or implant. With proper local anesthesia the patient can receive this type of treatment quite comfortably.
During the procedure, the dentist enters the tooth through the top to access the root canal of the tooth. The diseased pulp is carefully removed and the root canal is instrumented with small files to enlarge and clean the canal. Medication is frequently added to the canal to allow healing between appointments.
On the second appointment, the canal is cleaned and then filled with a biologically inert material called gutta-percha. This material completely seals the root canal, preventing bacteria from invading. A filling is then required to fill in the area that was removed for access to the pulp.
After root canal treatment, the tooth frequently requires a cap or crown. This is because the tooth is weaker, and more susceptible to fracture. There are some cases however where the amount of enamel is sufficient and a cap is not necessary.
A healthy, restored tooth is always better than an artificial tooth.
The patient must sometimes return for multiple visits, to complete the treatment.
Root canals are performed with the following steps:
The patient is given a local anesthetic and a sheet of rubber is placed around the tooth, to protect it and isolate it form the rest of the mouth. The dentist enters the tooth, through the crown of the tooth, and carefully removes the inflamed and/or infected pulp from both the pulp chamber and from the tooth's root canals.
The dentist cleans, enlarges and shapes the root canals. Medication may be applied into the root canals to prevent infection between this appointment and the following appointment and allow the tooth to heal.
A temporary filling is placed onto the tooth to protect the crown of the tooth and on the next appointment, the temporary filling is removed the pulp chambers and root canals are cleaned again and the chambers and canals are sealed permanently with material that will prevent material from re-entering the root canal. At a later appointment, a protective crown is applied over the tooth; if the treated tooth is a tooth in the back of the mouth, the material used is a special compound that's strong. If the treated tooth is in the front of the mouth, a compound is chosen to match the colour of adjacent teeth and to preserve the patient's smile.
If the patient experiences post-operative discomfort 2 to 4 days after treatment, we advise contacting us immediately.