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Patient Education

Your Healthy, Beautiful Smile Is Our Priority

An educated patient will not only understand suggested treatments, but will most often make the right decisions concerning the course of their current and future dental care.

At Seaway Family Dental, we believe that education is the key to a productive and successful patient/dental office relationship. Our professional team is readily available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Listed below, for your reference, are documents to help our patients in their everyday dental care, as well as a list of commonly asked questions:

FAQs

Q: Are you accepting new patients?

A: Yes, Seaway Family Dental continues to grow and accept new patients. Walk-ins and emergencies are also welcome. Call us to schedule your appointment.

Q: Will my insurance cover that treatment?

A: Our office follows the suggested fee guide set forth by the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) for all basic procedures. This is the same fee guide that most major insurance plans follow. The amount covered by your insurance company may be affected by factors such as annual limits of coverage or treatment, reduced coverage for certain procedures, and/or the ability to deny coverage at any time they choose. Due to the Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA), many insurance companies will not allow dental offices to contact them inquiring about plan information. Ultimately it is your responsibility to know the details of what your insurance covers, but we do our best to help you with the information we are provided with. You can provide us with a copy of the insurance information booklet that your company has provided to you, or in many cases this information can be printed online and brought in to us so we can inform you on your benefits coverage.

We would like to remind you that while your insurance does cover much of the cost of the dental services we provide, insurance plans are not set up to cover everything. In fact, most insurance plans do not consider what is needed to maintain your optimum dental and oral health. As your dental care provider, we believe it is our responsibility to provide you with the best care possible, regardless of your insurance restrictions. Your insurance coverage is a contract between you the patient and the insurance carrier, therefore you are responsible for paying the full cost of treatment. As a courtesy to our patients, when we have all the information about your insurance plan on file, we can submit your claim electronically to the insurance company, and you will be reimbursed directly, usually within a few days. In all cases payment is due at the time of treatment.

Q: Are bleeding gums a sign of a problem?

A: Bleeding after brushing or flossing can be unsettling. It can also be a sign of an otherwise mostly silent disease — periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a leading cause of tooth loss. It is a build-up of bacteria from plaque and tartar that can inflame or infect gum and bone.

Periodontal disease causes deep pockets to form in tissue between the gums and teeth. This sometimes gives the appearance of puffy or receding gums. During dental exams, we routinely examine your gums. There are a number of treatments for bleeding gums and periodontal disease, including removing plaque and tartar below the gum line. These treatments, performed in a dental office, are called scaling and root planing. They allow the gums to heal and become healthy again. We recommend daily brushing and flossing as well as regular check-ups and cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease.

Q: Fillings: silver or white… what’s the difference?

A: Many of us who grew up before the time of fluoridated water have a mouth full of silver fillings. These fillings, known as amalgams, have proven to be extremely durable restorations, but they are not very pleasing to the eye.

Fortunately, recent advances in dental materials have made it possible to use tooth-coloured filling materials. These materials can be virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth and are used to achieve long lasting and attractive restorations. In our practice, we use tooth-coloured materials for almost all of the fillings that we place. We even use these materials to replace old amalgam fillings that have started to deteriorate or that simply detract from the appearance of our patients’ smiles.

Q: Can I replace an old crown that looks unnatural?

A: Many of our patients have asked us about replacing very old crowns that have deteriorated or crowns that do not blend well with their natural teeth. We will ensure that the shade is matched and the crown is shaped precisely for a very natural, indistinguishable appearance that is also functional.

Q: What can dental bonding do for my teeth?

A: Dental bonding is a simple, painless and affordable procedure that has many uses, including:

  • repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • closing spaces between teeth
  • reshaping teeth
  • covering badly stained teeth

Bonding involves the application of a tooth-coloured resin. The dentist prepares the tooth for bonding by gently roughening the surface. Using a shade guide, the dentist selects a shade that closely matches your tooth and then mixes and tints the resin. The resin is applied in thin layers and then hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser. The dentist then shapes and polishes the resin to smooth it and give it a natural look.

The procedure usually takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. You can even get several teeth bonded in one visit. No special techniques are needed to care for bonded teeth – just good oral hygiene.

Q: What’s today’s potential of cosmetic dentistry?

A: You may have heard a lot about cosmetic dentistry, and for good reason. Cosmetic dentistry holds the promise of a brighter, more attractive smile.

Restoring the beauty of your smile through cosmetic treatments can do wonders for your sense of confidence. We offer a wide range of treatments that can improve the colour of your teeth, repair chips and cracks, and cover dark stains. We can also help with crowded and crooked teeth.

If you have any questions about the appearance of your smile and the possibilities offered by cosmetic dentistry, speak to us today.

Q: What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

A: Having a tooth knocked out is one of the most serious dental emergencies. It can be caused by accidental falls, sports-related trauma, fighting, car accidents and even by biting on hard food. However, the damage can be fixed. If you act quickly, there’s a good chance the tooth can be saved.

Immediately contact and get to a dentist right away when a tooth is broken or knocked out. If your dentist can put the tooth back in place within an hour, there’s a good chance that the supporting tissues will reattach and hold the tooth in place.

If you can find the tooth after the accident or injury, bring it with you when you seek medical help. Pick the tooth up by the crown – this is the part of the tooth that you see in the mouth – and avoid touching the root end. Do not wrap the tooth in tissue or gauze or scrub the tooth. This will damage the delicate cells on the root needed to attach the tooth back to the gum. Place the tooth in a cup of milk (or water, if milk is not available) to keep it moist. Remember: get to a dentist as quickly as possible. The chances of saving the knocked out tooth are much greater if the dentist is seen within an hour.

Q: Is it important to have an Oral Infection treated?

A: Sometimes the body’s immune system will fight and heal infections on its own, but often it needs some help. When it comes to oral infections such as tooth and gum infections, only your dentist can make that call. This is why it is so important to have infections and abscesses examined by a dentist.

Oral infections are a serious health matter. Symptoms include tooth, gum, and jaw pain, lumps or pus-filled abscesses, and weeping or bleeding gums. Left untreated, he can adversly affect your overall health.

Your dentist can diagnose an infection during an oral examination. He will feel your gums, gently tap your teeth, and take x-rays to determine the extent of the infection and whether it has spread.

If your dentist feels the infection is harmful, or your body is not fighting it effectively, he may prescribe antibiotics. Your dentist will also want to treat the underlying cause of an oral infection to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Causes may include tooth decay, periodontal or gum disease, tooth cracks, and weakened fillings.

Do not ignore the signs of oral infection. Practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis, and have your mouth and teeth examined by a dentist.

Q: Who is a candidate for sedation?

A: If you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist you may be a candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of pain, have difficulty being anaesthetized or “frozen”, have had a traumatic dental experience in the past, or the sounds and smells of a dental office make you nauseous, sedation dentistry can help you get over your anxiety.

Some people have physical reasons, like a bad gag reflex or very sensitive teeth, which make them a candidate for sedation dentistry as well. If you are not sure if you are a candidate we would be happy to schedule a consultation with the dentist.

Q: Can any dentist perform IV sedation?

A: No. Although intravenous sedation is safe when administered by a qualified provider, the use of IV sedation in dentistry is carefully regulated by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO). Our office and the doctors performing IV sedation are certified by the RCDSO to perform these advanced sedative techniques. Approval to perform IV sedation requires our office to be specially equipped with emergency equipment and medications, and our doctors must be trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). During treatment, our patients are constantly monitored by the dentist and a registered nurse or respiratory therapist.

Q: What procedures can be performed under sedation?

A: Just about any procedure can be performed with sedation. The sedation is not for the procedure itself, but for the anxiety that accompanies the procedure. Ask your dentist if sedation is available for a particular procedure.

Q: Will I be unconscious during sedation?

A: You will not be unconscious, but you may be in a deep state of relaxation during your treatment. You will still be able to breathe on your own and communicate, but you will not feel any pain or anxiety. It is possible that you may not even remember the procedure afterwards.

Q: Will my insurance cover sedation?

A: It depends on your insurance plan. We can help you review your insurance coverage and let you know if it is covered or not. If it is not covered, we will let you know the cost and, if necessary, discuss your financing options.