Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential for preventing cavities from forming. However, despite a patient’s best efforts, sometimes decay will form. Once decay has formed, it is necessary to treat the cavity before it worsens. If left untreated, the decay will eventually cause extensive damage to the tooth, and potentially cause the root to be infected.
The good news is that if the cavity is caught early, your dentist can treat it with a simple filling, typically done in one appointment. Composite fillings are one of the most common treatments that we offer at our Richmond dental clinic. The procedure itself is usually not very complicated and shouldn’t be too uncomfortable for the patient. In fact, if the cavity has been causing symptoms such as tooth sensitivity or pain, having the cavity filled will make the patient feel more comfortable in the long run.
Your dentist will first apply a numbing gel on the gum tissues near the site of the cavity. This is to alleviate the pinch of the needle, which will be used to apply local anesthetic. For most patients this is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. The anesthetic will quickly begin to work to numb the area. The dentist will then use a specialized dental drill to remove the decay. The patient will likely feel some pressure or vibrations from the drill, but no pain.
After the cavity has been removed the dentist will apply a filling to prevent further decay, and to prevent the sensitive inner layers of the tooth from cold, heat or pressure. The filling is applied in layers and hardened with a special light. The final layers are shaped and polished to restore the tooth’s appearance and function.
Composite (plastic resin) is the modern filling material of choice in most cases. Unlike older style silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings closely match the color of the tooth and are virtually undetectable. Composite fillings are also mercury free and considered more durable than silver fillings.
If you think you may have a cavity, or if you are overdue for a cleaning and exam, call our Richmond dental office today to book an appointment.
Every year, thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with some form of oral cancer. While certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking or excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s odds of developing oral cancer, unfortunately anyone can be diagnosed with oral cancer. The good news is that, when caught in its early stages, there is a good chance that oral cancer can be treated. For this reason, at every cleaning and exam appointment our dentist here at our Richmond dental office performs a careful oral cancer screening. During this appointment, Dr. Oliveros will check a patient’s your face, neck, lips, tongue, and gums for any signs of oral cancer. In addition, diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) will be done to find and tumours or unusual growths which may not be immediately visible.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer
There are several early warning signs of oral cancer. Of course, many of these symptoms can be attributed to other, more benign conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms it is advisable to go see a dentist or doctor right away:
- A sore that doesn’t go away after a few days
- A bleeding sore on the lips or inside of cheeks
- A growth or bump on the inside of the mouth or cheeks
- Tooth pain not attributed to cavities or gum disease
- Tongue pain
- Pain in the jaw bone
- Difficulty swallowing and eating
Preventing oral cancer
Some patients may be genetically predisposed to developing oral cancer. However, there are several things a person can do to minimize their risk such as:
- Wearing a lip balm containing SPF when going out in the sun
- Drinking no more than 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages per day
- Refraining from or quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy and well balanced diet
It’s also important to maintain regular dental visits for checkups and exams to ensure that, if oral cancer does develop, it is caught early. Please contact our office if you would like to book an appointment for a cleaning and exam.
When you think of orthodontics, an image of a teenager sporting metal braces may come to mind. In reality patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontics. In fact, it’s recommended that a child come in for their first orthodontic consultation by the age of seven. It’s often less complicated to treated misalignment issues at a younger age, but many adults are successfully treated with orthodontics. .
Orthodontics is devoted to creating beautiful smiles and improving overall health by bringing teeth, lips and jaw into proper alignment. By straightening teeth that are crooked or overlapping, correcting gaps, and realigning the jaw, orthodontic treatment enhances patients’ smiles and reduces the risk of a range of health problems.
Orthodontics aren’t only used to correct aesthetic issues. If the teeth are misaligned it can cause or contribute to a host of other issues, such as TMJ disorder and sleep apnea. Orthodontics can restore the function of a mouth that is not properly aligned and make activities such as eating and speaking easier.
Many modern advancements in orthodontics have made treatment easy and comfortable. Invisalign is a system of clear, removable retainers that gradually work to shift the jaw and teeth into alignment. Since the clear retainers are removable, they are easier to clean, and you won’t be restricted in what you can eat or drink during your treatment. Many patients prefer Invisalign to traditional metal bracket braces for these reasons. In fact, Invisalign actually costs around the same amount as metal braces do, so whether you opt for Invisalign or traditional braces should be entirely up to you. Things to take into consideration when choosing an orthodontic treatment include your lifestyle, oral hygiene habits and diet (certain foods may need to be given up with traditional metal braces).
If you have issues with the alignment of your teeth, we can help. Simply call or come in to book an appointment for a consultation so that we can help figure out what the best course of treatment is for you. With orthodontics, it is possible for you to achieve a more confident and beautiful smile.
You may heard that it’s important to visit your dentist about twice a year, or once every six years, to maintain good oral health. Some dentists will advocate for more or less frequent visits, depending on your current dental health. Perhaps you’ve been tempted to skip a visit or two, either due to financial or time constraints. But just how harmful is it to miss those cleanings?
We would like to encourage all of our patients to maintain regular visits for a dental exam and cleaning. No matter how good a job of brushing and flossing you’re doing at home, plaque and tartar can build up. In fact, plaque can form within twelve hours of brushing. Tartar is the result of plaque that has been left on your teeth, which interacts with minerals and saliva to form a hard, calcified layer. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist with professional instruments during a cleaning.
Plaque and tartar can also build up below the gumline, and in other areas that are hard to reach by brushing and flossing alone. The sooner this buildup is removed, the less chance that gingivitis will have a chance to form.
Gingivitis often has silent symptoms in its earliest stages. However, your dentist will be able to tell if you are beginning to develop gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated,can precede gum disease, which is more complicated to treat and can lead to swelling, inflammation or even tooth loss. In fact, most dental issues, such as cavities, are best treated when caught early on.
In addition to preventing plaque and tartar buildup, decay, gingivitis and gum disease, at each cleaning and check up your dentist will screen you for oral cancer. Many lives have been saved by the early detection of oral cancer, as it is most successfully treated in its earliest stages. Your dentist has equipment to detect any abnormalities.
Most insurance providers will cover at least one dental visit a year for a cleaning and checkup. We can help you understand your insurance plan to ensure that you get the most our of your benefits. At any rate, it’s not a good idea to let your insurance plan dictate how often you visit the dentist. Think of visiting your dentist twice a year as an investment in your health and overall wellbeing.
If you are missing one or more teeth, it can affect your smile in more than an aesthetic way. The remaining healthy teeth can shift out of place in the absence of the lost tooth/ teeth. The jaw can permanently shrink.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to replace lost teeth. If only one tooth is missing, your dentist will likely suggest a dental implant. A dental implant consists of a tiny titanium screw which is anchored into the jaw bone where the natural tooth root used to be. While the jaw gums and tissues are healing, a prosthetic tooth will be custom created for you in a dental laboratory. During your next dental visit, the tooth will be affixed to the titanium post.
In cases where the surrounding teeth are strong enough to support the bridge, a fixed bridge is an excellent solution to maintain alignment and create a beautiful smile. Your dentist can craft a bridge that perfectly matches the color of the surrounding teeth, shaped to enhance your smile even more than the teeth it replaces.
A fixed bridge is fixed to surrounding teeth. The bridge fills (bridges) the gap left by the missing teeth, preventing the surrounding teeth from moving into the gap and becoming misaligned.
If all of the patient’s teeth are either missing or are unsalvageable, dentures may be the best solution. A denture is a removable dental appliance that mimics the look and function of real teeth. Denture technology has advanced greatly in the past years, and many patients find partial or complete dentures to be the most convenient and cost effective solution for their missing teeth.
At our clinic in Richmond, our friendly and knowledgeable dental staff can evaluate your situation and work with you to formulate a treatment plan to restore your smile that suits your budget and lifestyle.
If you’ve ever suffered from TMJ pain, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you have probably experienced anything ranging from a dull ache to sharp pain in your jaw joints. Other symptoms of TMJ disorder include headaches and ear pain. The pain may cause a patient to have difficulty sleeping or concentrating during the day.
For temporary relief, over the counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol may be helpful. There are other things a patient can do to lessen the pain of TMD, including limiting caffeine and alcohol and managing stress- all of which can contribute to or worsen the condition. Eating soft foods such as pasta or applesauce while you’re experiencing pain can also help alleviate some of the pain and tension. However, getting to the root of the problem is key for successfully treating TMJ pain.
TMD can be caused by a variety of factors, including previous jaw injuries, bruxism, and often co-occurs with chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia. At our clinic, we like to take into account a patient’s history before diagnosing the cause of or prescribing a treatment for TMD.
Oftentimes, misalignment of the jaw or teeth can cause pain in the jaw joint area. If this is the case, orthodontics may be a viable solution. We have a variety of orthodontic treatments available, including traditional metal brackets and Invisalign.
In cases where bruxism is to blame for TMJ pain, a mouthguard can help alleviate the pressure of teeth grinding on the teeth and jaw. Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage.
If your wisdom teeth are erupting or are impacted, often time one of the symptoms is pain in the jaw area. If you still have all of your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend getting them removed to see if that eliminates the pain. In more extreme cases of TMD, oral surgery may be needed to correct the patient’s bite.
In most cases, the cause of TMJ pain is multifactorial. At our clinic, we can work with you to determine the probable causes and work on a treatment plan.
Most of us are aware that habits such as drinking coffee, tea, smoking and indulging in red wine can cause staining. What many people might not know is that even ‘healthy’ alternatives such as fruit and vegetables and juices can have a staining effect as well. These foods and drinks contain naturally occurring acids and sugars, which can wear away at the enamel and cause teeth to take on a yellowy tone. Neglecting to brush and floss from time to time, and even just normal aging can all lead to teeth becoming discolored.
Tooth whitening methods have become more and more popular over the years, as people are seeking that pearly white smile. Indeed, with several teeth whitening options available, there is no need to let staining and discoloration dull your smile.
Many people opt for home whitening products, such as Crest 3D White strips. These products are popular over-the-counter methods which claim to lighten teeth by several shades. While you may notice a difference after using these products, they are generally not as effective as professional whitening treatments available through your dentist. While there is no type of teeth whitening that can yield permanent results, professional whitening services generally last longer than over- the- counter products.
There are a variety of different whitening methods that dentists use, but what is commonly used is a type of whitening gel which is applied directly on the teeth. A light is used to activate the solution and being the process of lightening your teeth. The procedure is quick and noninvasive, usually taking no more than an hour. However, your dentist may recommend a cleaning and fluoride treatment beforehand.
If you have a special occasion coming up and want to give your smile that extra boost, or if you simply want beautiful, pearly white teeth to make your smile stand out, give us a call. Our dental team is experienced and skilled at a wide variety of cosmetic procedures including teeth whitening, and we’ll be sure to send you off with a smile that you can be proud to show off.
Patients may require a root canal for a variety of reasons. If a tooth is badly decayed, that decay can spread to the root and pulp of the tooth. Also, dental traumas such as a broken tooth can expose the tooth root, leaving it vulnerable to infection. An infection in the root and pulp of the tooth can cause the patient a great deal of discomfort and inflammation. It is important to treat the infection promptly before it causes health complications such as an abscess. Without treatment, bacteria from the infection can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body.
Many patients have anxiety about having a root canal done. In truth, a root canal is no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled, though the procedure is more complex. If a person has an infected tooth root, having a root canal will likely ease their discomfort. Being informed about what goes on during a root canal can greatly ease your mind if you are in need of a root canal and experiencing anxiety about the procedure.
During a root canal, the infected or dead pulp (the inner nerves and blood vessels) from inside the tooth are removed. The dentist begins by applying local anesthesia and isolating the area with a rubber dam. Our dental team is experienced in administering pain- relief to our patients and dealing with patients who are anxious about dental procedures. Upon your visit, we will determine the best form of pain relief to make you as comfortable as possible. The dentist will then drill an opening in the tooth to access the infected pulp, and remove it and clean the area with specialized tools. The dentist fills the root space with a filling material. Finally the dentist must seal the surface of the tooth with a crown to prevent further infection and restore the function and appearance of the tooth. The dentist begins by applying local anesthesia and isolating the area with a rubber dam. Then they drill an opening in the tooth to access the infected pulp, and remove it and clean the area with specialized tools. The dentist fills the root space with a filling material. Finally the dentist must seal the surface of the tooth with a crown to prevent further infection and restore the function and appearance of the tooth.
With proper oral hygiene and regular dental care, conditions that make a root canal necessary can be avoided. However, many people will require a root canal in their life to save an infected tooth. Root canals are one of the most routine dental procedures, and thousands of root canals are safely performed each day. If you require a root canal, Dr. Oliveros will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during your treatment.
Dr. Oliveros specializes in orthodontics for the whole family. For many people, the word “orthodontics” brings to mind an image of a kid with metal bracket braces. However, advancements in orthodontic treatments have made it possible to treat people of all ages, often times in inconspicuous ways. While it is recommended that children come in for their first orthodontic appointment by age seven, we have successfully treated teenagers and adults alike. We proudly offer the Invisalign System, which is more cost effect, faster and more discreet than regular metal braces. With Invisalign, you can achieve a beautiful, confident smile with minimal interruptions to your everyday life and activities.
However, there are many non- cosmetic benefits of orthodontic treatments. Malaligned teeth can cause difficulty chewing, pain in the TMJ jaw joints, and even contribute to snoring. If you are suffering from any of these discomforts, feel free to come in for an appointment to discuss whether orthodontics are an appropriate treatment plan for you. Dr Oliveros is committed to lifelong learning and regularly attends current courses in the fields of dentistry and orthodontics to ensure that his patients receive the best and most highly rated treatment options available. Rest assured that we will work you and/or your family to formulate the best possible treatment plan for your unique needs.
Dr. Oliveros’ office in Richmond, gladly accepts coverage from all major insurance providers. We will complete any necessary forms and communicate with your insurance company to help you receive the maximum benefits that you are eligible for, to assist in paying for your treatment. However, many times the insurance company is unable to provide us with information regarding your file, in which case you would need to communicate with them directly. At the time of your treatment, you are responsible to pay for the remainder of your treatment that is not covered by your insurance plan. Payment options include cash, debit, Visa or MasterCard.