Why fix my tooth if it doesn't hurt?

Similar to other diseases, you would not wait til a detected cancer becomes symptomatic before you start treating it. Disease caught early can be treated more effectively, and with less invasive procedures,  before it becomes symptomatic. The work is less extensive and more effective the earlier a problem is addressed. Once a tooth starts to hurt, nerve involvement has occurred and additional procedures may be required (root canal) in addition to treat the disease and return the tooth to a healthy state.

Why fix baby teeth when they fall out on their own in a few years?

 Baby teeth serve several important purposes throughout development. The two most important being to maintain space for the developing permanent teeth and guiding the adult teeth in place. Pre-mature loss of a baby tooth results in drifting on the adjacent teeth which effectively blocks out developing teeth resulting in dental crowding and ectopic eruption. In the case of anterior teeth, without guidance midlines may be shifted, teeth may erupt rotated and crooked. While some of the crowding can be fixed by braces, others like midline shifts are notoriously difficult to correct. 

Why do I need to have X-rays? Can't you just look at the tooth?

X-rays are one of most important diagnostic tools we have at our disposal. They enable a dentist to evaluate the structure of the tooth, and surrounding tissues. X-rays can help visualize areas of the tooth that you otherwise cannot see with the naked eye. Simply looking at a tooth is akin to looking at a tip of an iceberg, with the majority of the structure lies below the surface. The X-rays do more than see below the surface, they allow one to see through the tooth and surrounding structures. The changes in radiodensity and radiolucency provide a lot of information concerning various disease processes. The radiation dosage of X-rays is extremely low, similar to exposure of a transCanada flight.

Why does my child have so many cavities?

Children's teeth are structurally different to adult teeth. There are a number of environmental and biological factors which contribute to dental caries in childhood. As a result, dental decay in pediatrics is known as Early Childhood Caries and is a the most common chronic disease in children and nearly 5-times more common than Asthma.  Dental decay in children tends to progress rapidly, and tooth prognosis and recommended treatment may change the longer one waits. 

Do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?

The decision to remove wisdom teeth should be made on a case by case basis carefully evaluating the hazards: risk ratio.  Prophylactic removal of asymptomatic third molars (wisdom teeth) is no longer recommended as evidence linking third molars to dental disease is lacking. A more prudent approach is to recommend removal if an indication for removal exists. Surgical extraction caries inherent risks and therefore, we recommend a careful evaluation with our dentist to help determine the best course of action.

Why do I have bad breath?

Bad breath (Halitosis) can have several origins starting in the mouth and ending in the stomach. Although halitosis has multifactorial origins, the source of 90% cases is oral cavity such as poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, tongue coat, food impaction, unclean dentures, faulty restorations, oral carcinomas, and throat infections. The release of volatile molecules like sulfur or aromatic compounds, or ketones to name a few, are responsible for the odour. These compounds can originate from pathological and non-pathological processes therefore it is important to have a dentist perform an dental evaluation to help determine the origin and recommend a treatment

© Copyright Amy Tseng