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Maintain Your Healthy Smile at Alba Dental Centre
A healthy smile is crucial for your overall wellness, but sometimes it can be hard to maintain your teeth. At Alba Dental Centre, our dentists provide the best general dentistry treatments in Middlesex County, Ontario.
Drs. Sharif Alsabbagh and Nuha Baalbaki, your dentists in London, ON, and our experienced dental team provide patients with the most advanced dental care possible for their teeth. Our goal is to ensure your primary concerns for your smile are addressed while also providing you with a comfortable and enjoyable dental experience.
What Is General Dentistry?
General dentistry consists of diagnosing, treating, and preventing dental issues like cavities or gum disease before they can worsen. Our London, ON dentists and dental team will thoroughly examine your mouth and teeth for any signs of complications. We’ll work with you to find the best solution to your dental issues.
What to Expect at Regular Dental Visits
Regular Exams and Cleanings
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:
- Check for any problems you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis
- Check for signs of periodontal disease
- Perform thorough teeth cleaning
Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes. Each exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we’ll clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth's surface.
Visiting our office every six months allows you to talk to the doctor about any questions about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Our Preventive Treatments
Dental crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. We use dental crowns for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay. A crown is a cap cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong..
When there’s insufficient tooth strength to hold a filling, crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, we fabricate a crown away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, are most often made of silver amalgam. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material make it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, often in the back of the mouth.
Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds which mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is vital, they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect.
- Direct fillings are fillings placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass and resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings.
- Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers. They’re used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown.
Sometimes brushing isn’t enough, especially those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It’s difficult for your toothbrush to get between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Dental sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When we seal a tooth, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes simple and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure against decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It’s more common to seal “permanent” teeth rather than “baby” teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.
Fluoride treatment is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay and in preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or your doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with root canal treatment, we can save your tooth. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue, and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue isn’t removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it’s also detrimental to your overall health.
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist specializing in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed.
Finally, we fill the tooth with a dental composite. If your tooth has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. Your restored tooth can last a lifetime. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups.
There are times when it’s necessary to have a tooth extraction. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay it puts the surrounding teeth at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require tooth removal.
When your dentist determines you require a tooth removal, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or request another visit for this procedure. Each tooth’s root is encased within your jawbone in a tooth socket, and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. To extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. This procedure is typically quick. However, it’s crucial to share concerns or preferences for sedation with your doctor.
Once we remove a tooth, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend replacing the extracted tooth with dental restorations.
Wisdom teeth are the molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it may need to be removed. You may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain if it’s not removed. It tends to be difficult to clean impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted. They’re also susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there’s a greater chance the tooth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier and shorten the recovery time.
Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in any kind of full-contact sport, the Canadian Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard.
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that’s tear-resistant, comfortable, and well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and doesn’t prevent you from properly breathing. Your dentist can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.
If you often wake up with jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, or if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, you may have a common condition called bruxism. Many people don’t even know they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, or even tooth loss.
There’s an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage teeth-grinding causes over time. Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
▼Why is it important to visit your dentist every six months?
It’s important to visit your dentist every six months to ensure your oral health is in great condition. Your dentist will check for any dental issues or complications that may arise. They will remove stubborn bacteria and provide preventive treatments like dental fillings and fluoride treatments to protect your teeth from future dental issues.
▼Why is oral hygiene important?
Good oral hygiene is crucial to keeping your smile looking and feeling its best. Failing to practice a healthy oral hygiene routine may lead to:
- Stained, discolored teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Gum disease
- Weakened teeth
Brushing and flossing daily in combination with routine dental visits to your dentist’s office is a great way to keep your smile healthy and strong.
▼How long do dental sealants last?
Sealants last from three to five years, but it’s common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it’s fully intact, so if your dental sealants come off, let your dentist know and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.
▼What does the wisdom tooth removal process look like?
To remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jawbone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone removed from the tooth, your dentist will often section your wisdom tooth to remove each piece through a small opening in the bone.
Once we’ve extracted your wisdom teeth, the healing process begins. Depending on the difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
The Best Smile Starts With a Healthy One, Book Now!
At Alba Dental Centre, we’re devoted to providing our patients their personalized dental care. Our dentists proudly provide general dentistry services to patients in London, ON, and the surrounding areas like Strathroy, St. Thomas, and Ingersoll, ON.
If you would like to learn more about our preventive services like fluoride treatments, call our London office at (519) 777-2020 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert dentists. You can also request an appointment, and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.