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The new knowledge of gum disease in dentistry

Gum Disease and Dentistry: What you need to know

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Most of the population don’t put too much thought on their bleeding or swollen gums until their mouth or teeth start to hurt when chewing, or when they become swollen and sensitive. If we want to live longer and healthier, we all should be educated on the implications of chronic gum disease on our bodies. Chronic gum disease is a chronic inflammatory periodontal disease that is the result of biofilm on our teeth. Biofilm is formed by certain oral bacteria. It can be visible like the plaque and tartar (calculus) that most of us know. The existence of biofilm can trigger destruction of the supporting gum and bone tissues. Because of the destruction, it triggers a wide range of immune responses, including the production and accumulation of white blood cells, as well as the production of the inflammatory mediators which are produced by our white blood cells and local gum tissues. As the inflammation persists, it becomes a chronic case and our adaptive immune response kicks in. The inflammatory mediators like cytokines, interleukins, and tumor necrosis factor will circulate around in our blood stream and trigger inflammatory reactions in other organs to start systemic inflammation. Chronic gum disease can definitely lead to many chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In one sentence – gum inflammation can kill more than a smile.

Affinity Dental Care aims to provide wellness and holistic dentistry to our patients in Burlington, and to make patients aware of the strong relationship between oral health and systemic health. We know that the mouth is a significant source of the inflammation in our bodies. Periodontal disease has to be recognized and treated thoroughly. If this disease is left untreated, the damage could get worse. To treat chronic oral inflammatory disease, we need to do a thorough examination and review of medical and dental history. There are a few predisposing factors like tobacco use, existence of diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, and high blood pressure, that need to be addressed as well. Once the periodontal disease is diagnosed, then a soft tissue management program would be co-created with our patients to address the issues – like teeth cleaning, scaling, curettage of inflamed tissues, gum surgery, and the application of antimicrobial agents.

We, as a dental clinic in Burlington, improve wellness by reducing inflammation, prioritizing oral and systemic health, and educating patients on making the best decisions for their overall health.

Affinity Dental Care offers a clean dental practice with a focus on hygiene. We are located in Burlington. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

     

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    Hygiene and Your Health at our Dental Practice

    Dental Hygiene is more important now with the onset of the Coronavirus

    Now more than ever, illness has been on everyone’s mind. Specifically, people are talking about the new Coronavirus and the horrific pandemic that is not only lethal, but also very contagious. The World Health Organization has recently declared nCoV as a global health emergency. As a Family, Cosmetic Dentist in Burlington, I am a primary care provider that upholds the responsibility not to spread the disease, or any diseases to my patients, the public, the staff and myself. Based on the latest recommendations by the Ministry of Health, we will screen patients over the phone before scheduling appointments and post signs in the reception area asking patients with symptoms to identify themselves. If a patient screens positive by phone (report of fever, new onset of cough or difficulty breathing, has travelled to the Hubei Province in the last 14 days before the onset of the illness/been in close contact with a person who has been to or from the Hubei Province in the last 14 days before their symptoms), we will contact our local public health unit and take other precautionary measures if the patient is in the office.

    As a matter of fact, dentists are required to follow all Infection Prevention and Control guidelines in our dental office. When I perform dental cleanings, dental fillings, veneers, wisdom teeth extractions, dental implant surgery, or Invisalign-like clear aligner orthodontic treatments, I always follow the guidelines and regulations with respect to Infection Prevention and Control protocols. Our instrument cleaning and sterilization machines are maintained periodically based on the manufacturers’ instructions. Monitoring protocols are in place to make sure the machines are doing what they are supposed to do. Water lines are cleaned and disinfected periodically to prevent bacterial buildup inside the lines. It is an important aspect of our holistic approach to ensure the wellness of our patients are fully looked after.

    My passion in dentistry encompasses high tech, advanced equipment and techniques. In the future, I will be investing in the opportunity to have 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), soft tissue laser machine, a digital scanner and a piezo surgical unit. With more advanced machines, I can see a lot more in patients’ teeth and jaws to detect any abnormalities in any areas, and to be able to place my implants precisely using guided surgical techniques. For example, I can trim and modify the shape and texture of the gums accurately to achieve the desired beautiful cosmetic smile in aesthetic dentistry, and to be able to place the veneers with no visible margin in the gums. I would also be able to take very precise impressions of teeth and mouths without the use of bulky trays and putty inside mouths. Finally, I can remove bone with precision and the least amount of trauma possible to the bone during wisdom teeth extractions, or during sinus lifts for implant surgery.

    I always strive to provide the best dentistry and hygiene to my patients with the most advanced techniques. If you have a dental issue or concerns and are looking for a dentist for answers or treatment, please feel free to call Dr. Kenneth Wong at Affinity Dental Care for a dental consultation and examination.

    Affinity Dental Care offers a clean dental practice with a focus on hygiene. We are located in Burlington. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

       

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      Principles of our Dental Practice

      Our dental wellness team at Affinity Dental Care is governed by principles, policy and procedures that are documented in the office manual. Below are the excerpts from the manual of our dental practice:

      PRINCIPLES OF THE DENTAL PRACTICE

      • To prevent, improve, restore and maintain the oral health of the community that is served by
      • The team at Affinity Dental Care.
      • To provide dental services that are accessible to everybody’s needs by creating:
        A SLIDING FEE SCALE SCHEDULE
        A courtesy of 10 to 20% discount to Seniors, 65 and above), who have no dental insurance coverage.
        EXTENDED HOURS
        Evening hours and Saturday hours are available at designated offices to help those who can’t seek dental treatment during the day and weekdays.
        SPECIAL DENTAL PROGRAMS
        Mild oral or nitrous oxide sedation.
        Children Dentistry.
      • To treat patients professionally, confidentially and without discrimination based on income, race, insurance status, religion, gender or sexual preference.
      • To evaluate and treat dental emergencies via dental treatments, prescriptions, consultations or referrals.
      • To decrease the incidence of caries by prescribing fluoride supplements, the application of topical fluoride treatment and the application of pit and fissure sealants when indicated.
      • To educate parents and children on the appropriate oral care and the importance of a healthy nutritional program.
      • To introduce children to the dental clinic as early as possible; and
      • To integrate oral health with overall health.

      DENTAL SERVICES PROVIDED

      This clinic offers oral, diagnostic, preventive, and restorative services, as well as emergency services. Services provided here include: Wellness Dentistry, Implant, Oral Surgery, Cosmetics, Orthodontics (Invisible Aligners and braces), Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Full-Mouth-Reconstruction, Dentures, Emergency Dentistry, TMJ Therapy, Sport Guards, Endodontics, Children Dentistry, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
      Patients needing services not offered at Affinity Dental Care are referred to other sources of care.
      Laboratory work for the fabrication of removable and fixed prosthetics will be referred to outside laboratories based on the quality of their services and their ability to meet infection control standards established by the appropriate governing bodies.

      Responsibilities and commitments of each team member at Affinity Dental Care

      Affinity Dental Practice is located in Burlington. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

         

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        Whiter Teeth

        Everyone’s goal is to have white teeth so that they and their smile can be dazzling. There are actually several safe and easy ways to make your teeth whiter. They can be:

          1. Porcelain/lithium disilicate (Emax) veneers
          2. Composite resin bonding
          3. Crowns with porcelain, Emax, or zirconia
          4. Teeth-whitening treatment using whitening gel

        A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, courteous, and even competent. Whiter teeth can help you look and feel younger, improve your self-esteem, feel more attractive and successful and have an overall better feeling of personal well-being

        Out of the 4 different methods listed above, the teeth whitening treatment with whitening gel is the least invasive and expensive way to get the beautiful, attractive smile you want. It is safe and effective, therefore, it is a very popular method many people turn to and trust to get that dazzling smile. There are a few questions that are frequently asked about teeth whitening. Hopefully, I can attempt to answer any ones that you may have:

        1) How does it work?
        Whitening occurs as oxygen molecules from the whitening agent react with the discolored molecules inside your teeth.The reaction makes the colored molecules no longer colored.

        In order for the whitening gel to stay on the teeth long enough to do its job without being diluted or swallowed down, a custom-made tray for each arch is used to hold the gel in place for its desirable period of time.

        In office whitening can be performed with a higher concentration of peroxide compounds but the teeth have to be isolated out using a special liquid dam to keep the gel on the teeth only.

        Only teeth enamel and dentine can be whitened. Your porcelain crowns, veneers and composite resin fillings won’t be whitened by the gel at all.

        2) Is it safe?
        It is not recommended for children with baby teeth and those who cannot tolerate the fitting of the trays on their teeth who may gag or swallow the gel excessively or even swallow/aspirate the trays.

        It is also not recommended for anyone who is allergic to an ingredient found in the whitening gel.

        Otherwise, it is a very safe and effective way to get whiter teeth

        3) How long will the whitened result last?
        Your eating, drinking, and oral hygiene habits can impact how long your teeth whitening results last. Your teeth are susceptible to staining from tea, coffee, curries, tomatoes, wine or any other artificially colored foods or beverages.

        The results should last for months, and repeated applications every few months will definitely keep your teeth white for many years to come.

        As long as you follow your dentist’s directions on the whitening treatment, whitening your teeth is very safe. Make sure to use the method that fits your needs best and always follow the instructions for the product. Contact your dentist if you experience any side effects or have any further questions

        Affinity Dental Care is located in Burlington. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

           

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          Common Oral Diseases

          Common Oral Diseases: What you need to be concerned about

          There are a few common oral diseases that most of us have had or are having. Some of them may include one of the following common dental diseases listed below:

          1. Tooth decay: It is normally created by acid, formed by the bacteria in the plaque on teeth. The acid leaches out calcium and phosphorus found in your enamel and turns the enamel soft and mushy. It can be prevented by proper oral hygiene and reduction in carbohydrate consumptions. The most common treatment for tooth decay is fillings with white composite resin.
          2. Sensitive teeth to hot and cold: Decayed teeth can be very sensitive to extreme temperature because the nerve inside the tooth is either exposed or close to the temperature change due to the removal of the enamel and tooth structure by the decay. The other possibility is due to gum recession that exposes the root surfaces of a tooth – roots are not protected by enamel. The solution is to get cavities filled if it is due to decay. For gum recession, avoid brushing your teeth too rough and hard, and use soft brushes only to brush the teeth with. The use of toothpaste that is specially designed to reduce sensitivity would also be helpful. Gum grafting to recover the exposed roots can also be an option.
          3. Gum disease: It is a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks your gums, the bones, and ligaments that support your teeth, characterized by swollen, red or purplish gums that bleed easily when touched. A good oral hygiene regimen includes having a proper cleaning done by your dentist, to help control the inflammation. A review of your diet and health could show systemic diseases that may contribute to oral disease
          4. Bad breath: Also called halitosis. It could be caused by several factors – the primary reason is due to decaying food broken down by bacteria in your mouth, releasing Sulphur compounds. Tooth decay and gum disease are the two main sources for food being decomposed. Find a trusted family dentist in a clinic close to you to get your examination and cleaning done as a first step. Other factors could be from the tongue and inflamed tonsils. Sinusitis, liver disease, tobacco use and dry mouth etc. are other factors that can cause bad breath.
          5. Dry mouth: It can cause a lot of discomfort in the month. Patients with dry mouth tend to have more tooth decay due to the lack of saliva to dilute and wash out the food and acid on teeth. A lot of common medications can cause dry mouth. Destruction of the salivary glands by infection, stone formation and radiation can permanently destroy the glands. More frequent tooth brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, drinking a lot of water, using fluoridated mouth rinses, lozenges and saliva substitutes can be employed to alleviate the symptoms and complications.
          6. Canker sores: Stress, diet and weakened immune systems can be the cause of the sore. If they happen often and with large areas, book an appointment with your dentist or find a dentist near you to find out if there are any systemic causes for the disease.
          7. Sleep apnea: When a person stops breathing in their sleep, the brain and organs would be deprived of oxygen. It is obviously very detrimental to the overall health of a person. The primary cause is excess tissues in the mouth and throat that can cause airway obstruction. At Affinity Dental Care, we can provide you with a thorough examination and we will work closely with a team of sleep specialists to help provide you with not only a diagnosis and treatment, but a better sleep while you count sheep.

          Affinity Dental Care is located in Burlington. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

             

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            Burlington Emergency Dental Care and Dentistry

            Emergency Dental Care in Burlington On Call This Holiday Season

            I was on call for the Burlington Dental Academy Dental Emergency Services this Christmas week. It has been a very busy week for dental emergencies as many dental clinics in Burlington or its vicinity are not open again until Jan 2, 2020.

            So far, there have been a wide variety of cases from chipped front teeth, to toothaches due to cavities. There are also some more severe cases like dental abscess leading to cellulitis, lost fillings, crowns coming off and knocked out teeth from a fall.

            It was very gratifying to be able to help patients who are truly having some unbearable pain that has been ruining their holidays and enjoyment. There are a few emergency dental care situations that I would like to provide you with some professional advice.

            Knocked out teeth

            When a tooth is avulsed of the sockets, time is of the essence in allowing the reimplantation of the tooth. The first thing to do is to look for the tooth and check for debris on it. Try not to touch the root part of the tooth at all, pick it up by the crown only. Inspect for debris and dirt, if it is dirty then rinse it with saline solution. However, saline is usually not available in most situations, so it can be rinsed with milk (whole milk preferred) or lukewarm water (not hot) quickly and then gently placing the tooth back into the empty socket yourself if possible (making sure the tooth is facing the right way) and see your dentist right away.
            If it is too painful or difficult to place it back into the socket, the best place to store the tooth is in your mouth between the cheek and gums (do not bite the tooth) and see the dentist right away. Storing in milk is acceptable if storage in the mouth isn’t feasible (like young children) before going to be seen by a dentist.
            It is very important to keep the root moist at all times when it is out.

            If the tooth is a baby tooth, then do not implant the tooth into the socket as it would potentially damage the underlying adult tooth.
            When your attending dentist sees you, he or she will also make sure there aren’t other damages to the rest of the face and body. He or she will also try to remove any debris or dirt from the wound by rinsing it with saline in a wash bottle. Your DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) immunization will be reviewed to make sure you are protected from the bacteria Clostridium Tetani. A referral to your doctor or hospital emergency department would be warranted if there are any suspect of damages and potential tetanus.

            Chipped tooth

            If the chipped tooth is causing pain, you will need to see a dentist soon to have the tooth evaluated. In the meanwhile, you can do the following things to help the situation.

            • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to get rid of other small debris.
            • Use dental wax or sugarless gum on the sharp edges of the chipped tooth to prevent cutting and irritation to your tongue or soft tissues in your mouth. Dental wax is available at a pharmacy.
            • Take pain killers if needed to alleviate the pain.
            • Avoid hard and chewy foods.
            • Save the chip in a box or a bag, not wrapped in facial tissue. The chip doesn’t need to be kept moist. The chip can be useful for the dentist to evaluate the original shape of the tooth or the chip can be reattached to the tooth in some situations. Most family dentists can cosmetically restore your chipped tooth to its original form and shade.

             

             

            Swollen gums

            In cases of pain and swelling due to erupting wisdom teeth, avoid having hard and crunchy foods like chips and popcorn. Do all your chewing on the opposite side and change your toothbrush to a soft or ultra-soft one and continue using the new toothbrush to massage the gums surrounding the swollen operculum on the erupting wisdom tooth. A warm salt water rinse after each meal would also be helpful as well. Take some pain killers if necessary and get your dentist to check out the site as soon as possible, especially if the swelling is progressing fast and doesn’t resolve in a day or two.

            For Emergency Dental Care in Burlington

            For any other dental emergencies like cavities, abscess teeth, crowns or bridges that came off, sore mouths and loose implant-supported crowns and bridges, seeking immediate treatment from your dentist is strongly advised.

            Dentists are trained to treat dental emergencies. Dental problems don’t go away on their own. If you need caring, expert treatment for a dental emergency or any other dental issues, call Affinity Dental Care at (289)-861-5111 to book an appointment.

               

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              Brighten Your Smile in the New Year

              In the New Year, a lot of us have resolutions that we want to achieve or fulfil. They could be getting a new job, joining a gym to work out or quitting smoking.
              Health and wellbeing are usually one of the resolutions on our lists. But wellness in oral health may not be in a lot of our agendas since most of us aren’t aware of the importance of dental wellness. First of all, let’s look at gum disease. According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of American adults suffer from gum disease. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks your gums, the bones and ligaments that support your teeth. It can damage your appearance, your confidence, your mental health and even the wellness of your entire body.

              Diseased gums are either brightly red or swollen during speech or smile, and compounded with bad breath. This could severely reduce your attractiveness and social acceptance. In severe cases, gum disease can result in dark and discoloured teeth that may become mobile because of the loss of bones surrounding the teeth. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show high prevalence of periodontal disease in the U.S. population. The American Academy of Periodontology encourages yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluations to assess for disease in the upper front teeth. This could manifest itself in flared out teeth with large spaces between them, while the lower teeth collapse backward to become overcrowded. Eventually, the teeth will fall out… this will greatly impact your smile.

              Gum disease has been linked to many systemic illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cancers, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
              Treating and preventing gum disease during examinations and regular cleaning (scaling and prophy) is a kind of wellness dentistry that everyone should prioritize.
              The second aspect of wellness is a bright, dazzling smile. Straight white teeth can be achieved using several options, depending on the conditions and needs. Cosmetic dentistry can involve veneers & bonding, crowns and teeth-whitening (bleaching using carbamide peroxide) treatments. Orthodontic dentistry like braces and clear aligners (clear trays) can be employed in conjunction with cosmetic dentistry, to achieve the desirable results that everyone wants to have.
              Making your oral health a top priority in your New Year’s resolutions for 2020 should be a must.

              I am a family dentist in Burlington Ontario who has a special interest in wellness dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. If you live near my practice in Burlington, feel free to drop in and chat with us about your oral health needs. My team and I are excited to meet you and answer any questions you may have. Fill out the form below or call us at 289-861-5111

                 

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                How To Find The Best Dentist Or Dental Clinic Near You

                Who is the best dentist or dental clinic near me? “I am the best dentist in Burlington!” This statement would be challenged by all dentists because they probably do feel that there is no best dentist around if it is not them. A lot of patients would, however, ask that same question whenever they are looking for a dentist. Besides getting advice from their friends or relatives, they tend to turn to Google…

                When you type “Best Dentist Near Me”, lo and behold! Google will bombard you with pages of dental websites and names, but how does Google know? Has Google seen that dentist or been at that dental clinic near me? Has Google ever sat in that dental chair in the pictures and been their patient? Likely not! So why do we trust Google?

                The fact is that Google isn’t a person. It is merely a company which uses algorithms to decide who is the best dentist near you. That algorithm can be manipulated one way or the other by the owners of the operations or a third party hired by the owners and it may not reflect the reality. So who is truly the best dentist? Is it decided through an all over dental spar? A battle to the death for the title of best dentist?

                As a matter of fact, there is no spar or battle. Our governing body, The Oral College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, clearly states that one cannot claim that one is the best dentist, dental office or clinic. There may be relatively good or bad dentists, based on the standards set by peers and other health and safety organizations, near you but there is NO best dentist. No one can claim that level of Godness unless one is truly God himself. It makes a lot of sense since the dentist who can place the best implants in all situations and conditions in the whole world may not be able to place the best composite fillings and ceramic crowns in all situations among peers. Even if he or she is the best clinically, he or she may have lousy chairside manner with no empathy or understanding of the patient’s needs and overall wellness. Equally, the most empathic dentist may not have the knowledge and skills to provide the treatment you need.

                Okay, so there is no best dentist – at least not necessarily the ones who come up on the Google page you are looking at. Then who should  I look for? What dentist would be the most compatible for me and my needs? Who is the real tooth fairy? There a million questions that a potential patient can be faced with and may ask while searching for a good dentist to trust. Although I may not be able to answer those questions, I do have a few thoughts on it as a good dentist myself.

                There are three factors to consider from a Dental Clinic: clinical, professional and ethical aspects.

                The clinical factor should first start with the clinician’s knowledge and skills in making a diagnosis. If there is no diagnosis, then no treatments should be rendered. If a patient comes in with an ache in his lower jaw, the dentist should first find out the cause – it may be a tooth but which tooth or teeth, what disease does the tooth have – a crack, a high occlusion, a decay or an abscess etc? If it is not a tooth, then is it the supporting tissues – the gums like gingivitis or the bone like periodontitis? Could it be malignant in nature like sarcoma? Could the source of the pain be from the nerve like Trigeminal nerve neuralgia or neuromuscular joint issues? An accurate diagnosis is always needed to ensure that proper treatment can be applied. There could be a few different treatment options for an identified issue – should we use a filling, an onlay, a crown, root canal therapy or an extraction for the cavity? The rendering of the treatment chosen should be well executed, done for the well-being of the patient and the final results should reach or exceed the expected standards.

                The other quality is professional. Does the dentist spend time to listen to your symptoms and understand your needs and conditions? Does he or she explain to you the findings and provide you with the different treatment modalities with pros and cons of each? Are the questions well received and answered? Are the fees provided if asked? Is the treatment provided evidence-based with good research? Are your comfortable with the decisions made? All these questions must be answered with an emphatic ‘yes’ before I, or any other good dentist, starts any treatment.

                Ethical attributes are just as important as the other two characteristics in deciding if a dentist is good or not. Obviously, a dentist with high ethical and moral standards would be more honest and conscientious in providing the most appropriate treatments and best options with all circumstances considered.

                Being the right dentist for you is an intricate result of a tapestry of many factors, more than just the above mentioned 3 characters. Unfortunately, bias and presumptions also play a strong role in deciding whether a dentist is the best dentist near you. Looks like this will have to become a dental battle after all…

                We are a local dental clinic in South Burlington. Contact us today to schedule a dental consultation at Affinity Dental Care in Burlington. Fill out the form below or call us at 289-861-5111