Have you ever wondered how the teeth of celebrities are so perfect? They’re blindingly white, straight, gap-less, and often cause us to feel insecure about our own teeth. But were they born with these perfect teeth, or is there something else at play here? More than likely, these are not their real teeth and are instead veneers.


So, what are veneers? Veneers are thin shells that do not replace your teeth like an implant, but rather adhere to the front of them are to change their shape and reduce gaps. They come in two different kinds of materials: porcelain and composite resin with porcelain being the more expensive and time consuming one. However, porcelain veneers are stronger, stain resistant, and tend to last longer than their composite resin counterpart.


How Are Composite Veneers Applied?


The whole procedure can be done with one visit and is completely painless so it requires no local anesthesia to numb the area. Your dentist will apply a mild, harmless chemical on the surface of your tooth that acts as a glue for the composite resin to stick to. The composite resin is then applied in layers until the desired thickness is achieved, then hardened with the use of a bright light. The resin will be the same color as your natural tooth so they don’t look out of place when finished. Once the last layer has completely hardened, your dentist will then apply the finishing touches by shaping and polishing the tooth to give it a natural and smooth appearance.



How Are Porcelain Veneers Applied?


Porcelain veneers are typically done in two visits and may require the application of a topical anesthetic since your dentist needs to remove a thin layer of enamel from your natural tooth before the veneer can be applied. During the first session, your dentist will make a mold of your teeth since porcelain veneers are custom made for your teeth. While these are being created, your dentist may apply temporary veneers which will be removed until the permanent veneers are completed. Keep in mind that these temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be handled delicately during eating and cleaning as they may become loose.


During your next visit, your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and put a mild chemical on your teeth to make them a little rough, much like the composite veneers. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth one by one.


Am I a Candidate?


Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for getting veneers, whether it be the composite or Porcelain variety. Listed below are possible reasons why you may not qualify:

  • Too little enamel
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • If you clench or grind your teeth which can damage and break the veneers

What Else Should I Know?

  • Veneers, no matter if porcelain or not, MUST be brushed and cleaned just like your regular teeth.
  • This procedure cannot be reversed because part of your enamel has been shaved away.
  • Veneers are fragile and can chip. If this happens they will need to be replaced. Avoid chewing hard foods and objects such as ice cubes and fingernails.
  • Since veneers are a cosmetic procedure, they may not be covered under your insurance. Talk to your dentist about your options.

Again, only your dentist can answer everything about this procedure. If you’re interested or wondering if you might be a candidate, contact your dentist and set up a consultation.

Tooth loss can happen at any age whether it’s through an accident or the natural process of aging. Whatever reason it may be, the loss of a tooth for most people results in a lowered self-esteem and even embarrassment. Luckily, with the rise of technology and professionals dedicating themselves to improving lives, dental implants can fix all of these problems. Unfortunately, like with most things, there are always restrictions and barriers that may prevent them from receiving dental implants. One of them, namely, is their age.

Surprisingly, those most affected by the age restriction are individuals on the younger side of the age spectrum. Children and teens are more likely to lose their adult teeth through an accident or poor oral hygiene, but if they’re considering dental implants, they may have to wait until they are 18 or 19 as dental implants require the patient to have a fully developed jaw. As children grow, their bones change shape until they reach adulthood and inserting dental implants before that happens could result in major complications and require even more dental work to fix. However, every human is unique and only an x-ray can determine if the bones have fully formed and the patient is a candidate for dental implants.

Good news for adults and seniors! There is absolutely no age cap for dental implants as they have proven to be successful in patients in their 80’s and even into their 90’s. Of course, a patient’s health is the first and foremost concern, but if the patient has no outstanding health issues, it is almost guaranteed that they will be accepted for the procedure.

So generally, in conclusion, there is no “right” or “best” time to get dental implants. Everyone’s situation is unique and is always considered when making a major decision like this, and only your dentist can determine if it is the right procedure for you.

Want even more information on dental implants? Contact your dental professional and book a complimentary consultation today.

When you think of cavities, you often associate them with children. Their sugar rich snack life of soda, chocolate bars, and coated candies leave their teeth extremely susceptible to tooth decay, but children are not the only ones who fall victim to this. In fact, anyone who consumes any form of sugar is at risk for cavities, and some may be more prone to them than others depending on a multitude of factors.

Before we get into those, however, it’s important to know exactly what a cavity is. Essentially, a cavity is a small hole in your tooth caused by the breakdown of enamel, which is the outer layer of your tooth. The plaque on your teeth absorb any sugars that you eat and produce acid that wear away at the enamel until a hole forms. This hole will need to be filled and fixed by your dentist as there is no way to repair them at home.

So, how do you know if you have a cavity? The signs and symptoms of cavities will vary, and you often won’t know in the beginning stages that you have one, but as time goes on and the cavity becomes more noticeable, you may experience:

  • Spontaneous tooth pain or discomfort
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks
  • Sharp pains
  • Holes in your teeth
  • Pain when you chew

As far as the people who are more prone to getting cavities, studies have shown that the following factors put an individual more at risk:

  • Inadequate brushing
  • Age
  • Dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Eating disorders
  • Certain medications

Taking proper care of your teeth and attending your bi-annual check ups are very important in reducing your risk of cavities. Talk to your dentist for a detailed prevention plan if you happen to be prone for cavities.

We’ve all been in this situation before. Your dental cleaning is going on as normal and then, out of the corner of your eye, you see your dental hygienist pick up The Tool. You know the one. It’s sharp and curvy with the potential of making your gums bleed and make your teeth feel like they’re going to fall out of your mouth when you come home half an hour later, and it’s all because your dental hygienist found tartar on your teeth. It doesn’t have to be this way though because today we’re going to talk about the differences between plaque, tartar, and how you can avoid buildup and save yourself from gum disease.


The first stage begins with plaque.  Certain foods cause more plaque buildup than others such as foods loaded with carbohydrates, as well as sweets and candies. You can’t see it because it is colourless, though sometimes it can also turn a very pale yellow, but it’s the sticky film that constantly grows on the surface of your teeth. Inside this film dwells bacteria which has the potential to cause tooth decay and irritate your gums, resulting in swelling and redness. Don’t worry too much, though. Plaque can easily be removed from your teeth by regular brushing, but it is when the plaque is not removed that it becomes an issue.


In the second stage, the film can harden to create tartar (also known as calculus) which unfortunately cannot be removed by a toothbrush and floss, and must instead be removed by a dental hygienist with that horrible tool that we mentioned earlier. Therefore, it is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day and keep up with regular flossing to ensure that the buildup doesn’t have a chance to take place.

The third stage can be a multitude of things, some more serious than others, but no more desirable to have. If tartar and plaque are not removed, they can lead to issues including:

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis (in some cases can lead to periodontitis)
  • Halitosis (commonly known as bad breath)

Both cavities and gingivitis will be covered in detail in the weeks to come, but in the meantime, please keep up with your good brushing habits to keep your teeth and gums in optimal health. If you need a refresher course on proper brushing and flossing techniques, check out this blog.