Dr. Perry Sugar Answers Your Questions






Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Q: What is a Toothache?

“Toothache” usually refers to pain around the teeth or jaws, primarily as a result of a dental condition. In most instances, toothaches are caused by tooth problems, such as a dental cavity, a cracked tooth, an exposed tooth root, or gum disease.

The severity of a toothache can range from chronic and mild to sharp and excruciating. A thorough oral examination, which includes dental X-rays, can help determine the cause – whether the toothache is coming from a tooth or jaw problem.

Sometimes, a toothache may be caused by a problem not originating from a tooth or the jaw. Pain around the teeth and the jaws can be symptoms of a problem with ears or sinuses. Since treatment for a toothache depends on the cause, visit the dentist for an evaluation of your symptoms and for treatment options.

Be sure to see the dentist if you have a toothache that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days, or if you have a fever, earache, or pain opening your mouth.

    1. Q: What is Laser Dentistry?

Dentists use lasers in many soft and hard tissue therapies. Lasers can reshape or remove swollen gum tissue. They can remove soft tissue growths. The intense energy in a laser has also been proven to kill bacteria in gum pockets, making lasers ideal for treating periodontal disease. Hard tissue therapies can be used for small cavities, eliminating the need for a local anesthetic.

In addition to being more precise, laser therapies offer many other benefits:

  • Laser light cannot be detected by the nervous system, so pain is minimized or eliminated.
  • Because lasers seal blood vessels and nerve ends, there is little or no bleeding and significantly less swelling.
  • Because of their accuracy, lasers cause less damage to surrounding tissues, resulting in less post-operative pain and faster recovery times.
  • The intense energy of the laser beam sterilizes the area being treated, greatly reducing the chance of a bacterial infection.

Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive, efficient and affordable treatment option. Talk to us today to learn more

    1. Q: What Are the Benefits of Digital X-rays?

Digital x-rays were first used in dentistry in the early 1990s. Since then the technology has improved greatly and the costs have come down, making digital x-rays increasingly common in dental practices.

There are many benefits to digital x-rays, including:

  • Less discomfort for the patient. Instead of bulky film, a small sensor is inserted in the mouth
  • Images are instantly displayed on a computer screen, where they can be enlarged and manipulated. This allows patients to be more involved in their treatment and gain a better understanding of their oral health
  • Improved diagnostic capabilities for dentists. Using the magnification capabilities of digital images, dentists get a better view and are more likely to spot small problems
  • Easier transfer of x-rays to insurance companies and other dental professionals
  • No need for harsh photo developing chemicals

Digital x-rays make diagnostic procedures easier and faster for you and your dentist. If you have any questions about this technology, we invite you to ask a member of our team.

    1. Q: Why Would I Choose Dental Implants for My Missing Teeth?

Replacing your missing teeth does not only improve the look of your smile, it can also stop teeth from drifting out of place, improve your speech, and allow you to eat a wider variety of foods.

Implants are one of several options for replacing missing teeth. Implants consist of a titanium post and a crown or replacement tooth. The post fuses to the jaw bone, acting like the root of a tooth. This permanent attachment means that implants more closely resemble your natural teeth. It also means that you will not have to deal with loose-fitting dentures or the mess of denture glue. For patients who prefer dentures, implants can be used to anchor them more securely in place.

To learn more about dental implants, ask a member of our team today.

    1. Q: Are Bleeding Gums A Sign of A Problem?

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, dentists 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 gum to heal and become healthy again.

Dr. Sugar recommends daily brushing and flossing as well as regular checkups and cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease.

    1. Q: What Is a Root Canal and When Is It Required?

Deep cavities and cracks in teeth can allow bacteria to enter the pulp that nourishes the teeth, leading to irritation and infection. Eventually, the pulp may die, threatening the health of the surrounding tooth. In cases like these, your dentist will try to save the natural tooth with a root canal treatment.

At each check-up your dentist looks for possible signs of infection. If root canal treatment is necessary, your dentist can perform the procedure. It is important that you receive treatment as soon as possible to prevent further infection and possible tooth loss.

Root canal treatments remove the dead or infected pulp through a small opening in the tooth. The root canals are sealed to prevent bacteria from reaching the bone, and the opening in the tooth is sealed with a filling or crown.

With a root canal you can keep your natural teeth and avoid a costly tooth replacement. Speak to one of our team members to learn more.

    1. Q: What is Acid Wear on Teeth?

Acid wear occurs when acids soften and erode tooth enamel. Prolonged acid wear can make teeth more sensitive and lead to increased tooth decay.

Although not exclusive to acid wear, some of the signs that acid may be damaging your teeth include: yellowing of the teeth, caused by the erosion of enamel; translucency as the edges of teeth become thinner; small cracks; and increased sensitivity in teeth.

For most Canadians, the major sources of acid in their diets include carbonated drinks, juices (especially citrus), and some fruits. Even tea and bananas contain significant amounts of acid.

While you should not stop eating healthy foods because of their acid content, you can minimize their effect on your teeth. Be sure to drink plenty of water to flush acids out of your mouth. You can also drink milk or eat nuts along with acidic foods to neutralize the acid.

Talk to a member of our team to learn more.

    1. Q: How Effective Are Current Dental Sterilization Procedures?

In this era of concern over infectious diseases, patients can rest assured that the sterilization methods used in dental offices are thorough and comprehensive.

Staff members are fully trained in safety and sterilization protocols. Between visits, all surfaces in the treatment room are cleaned and decontaminated. Equipment that cannot be re-used – like tips for certain tools, air/water syringe tips, and needles – is disposed of properly.

Dental professionals use the latest technologies to clean and sterilize re-usable equipment. Instrument washers (which resemble dishwashers) use hot water and detergent to clean instruments. Ultrasonic cleaners use sound waves, undetectable by humans, to form oscillating bubbles that work along with specialized detergents to remove debris from instruments.

To sterilize instruments after cleaning, dental offices use a steam autoclave. The autoclave’s high heat kills microorganisms. The autoclave includes specialized packaging for each instrument. When the sterilization procedure is complete, the packages are sealed and are not opened again until needed in the treatment room, and then only by a gloved hand.