Pregnancy and Oral Health

While pregnant, your body will undergo a number of changes and your mouth is no exception.  Dental care during pregnancy is safe and recommended, especially since pregnancy can actually cause dental issues.  Gum disease, characterized by sore or inflamed gums can occur during pregnancy. Acid wear caused by morning sickness/vomiting can wear away the enamel of the teeth. 

When enamel breaks down, teeth are more susceptible to cavities.  Remember, pregnancy cravings for sugar can also make teeth vulnerable to cavities.  Let us know if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and we will work with you to ensure your mouth is healthy, as well as provide recommendations to minimize dental problems during pregnancy.

Dental care for the whole family

Our office is specially designed for the whole family, including children and it contains state-of-the art operatories and the latest technologies. Our aim is to provide family dental services ranging from preventative dental care to the treatment of complex dental issues.Your children and you as parents will appreciate our calm and inviting office. Dr. Kim has two young boys and understands the fears that can arise when having to go to the dentist.

Our team will go above and beyond to make sure you and your family are comfortable and any fears or apprehensions have disappeared. We want your whole family to feel comfortable and feel like you are at home when you visit us. At Mission Creek Dental, we pride ourselves in the fact that children often ask to visit our office (to play in the kid’s room) and patients often come early just to relax, enjoy the view and have a cup of tea in our lovely reception area.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a commonly practiced treatment that can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for extraction.At the center of your tooth is pulp – a collection of blood vessels and nerves that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or multiple dental procedures. Signs and symptoms of a diseased pulp can be identified by visible traumatic injury or decay of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature, spontaneous pain in the tooth or swelling of the gums or adjacent tissues.

If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr.Kim will most likely recommend endodontic treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required.  Oral sedation is available for patients anxious about having root canal therapy.

Crowns and Bridges

A bridge is fixed dental device used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges fuse an artificial tooth to adjacent teeth and/or dental implants (depending on the health of the other teeth).  If several teeth are missing, a fixed bridge may not be possible and you may be recommended a denture or an implant.

A bridge is a long-term restoration used to replace a missing tooth and when well cared for, can have a very long lifespan.  The lifespan of a bridge is also dependent on the strength of the material used (porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, metal, composite), the length of the span of missing teeth bridged (longer bridges must withstand higher stress) and the quality of the underlying teeth that are supporting the bridge.

As with natural teeth, it is important to care for your bridge – exercise excellent oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing, eat a balanced diet and see your dentist regularly to ensure that the bridge is being cleaned underneath and to prevent decay at the margins of the supporting teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing.  The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. If you have lost teeth, implants let you eat virtually anything and speak, laugh and smile with confidence, knowing that your teeth are secure and appear natural.  Dental implants can also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When wisdom teeth are properly aligned and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth are often not well aligned. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.  Oral sedation is available for patients who are anxious about wisdom tooth removal.

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Kim can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient.

Bruxism Treatment (Nightguards)

Bruxism, also known as clenching and grinding, occurs in most people at some point in their lives. These actions usually occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally they occur during the day. Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. During sleep, the subconscious process may become active, while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism. The most common symptoms are earaches, headaches, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and chronic stress.

Seeking treatment for bruxism is important as it may cause gum recession, facial pain, occlusal trauma or wearing down of the teeth and in the most severe cases, bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints that allow the jaw to open and close smoothly.

If you suffer bruxism, Dr. Kim will often recommend an acrylic mouthguard that can be designed from teeth impressions to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep.  Mouthguards must be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage.

Dental Exam

Your initial visit at our office will include a comprehensive exam of your teeth, charting of any work that has been done on your teeth and an assessment of the gums (perio-probing), and surrounding bone structures. Dr. Kim will answer any questions you may have about your dental health, discuss with you your treatment plan options should you have any dental issues and provide you with a personalized hygiene plan based on the current condition of your teeth and gums.

At subsequent visits, our dental hygiene team and dentist will examine the condition of your teeth, gums, and bone tissue in order to identify potential or existing problems. We will identify if there have been any changes in your mouth and answer any questions and concerns your may have about your dental health. If you have any dental concerns such as pain or sensitivity, let us know. Our experienced team pride ourselves in providing a caring and compassionate environment for our patients.

It is important to have regular examinations, even if you are not experiencing any pain. Many dental conditions will not show symptoms or cause pain in the early stages. By the time you are experiencing pain or swelling, the disease has already progressed.

Extractions

Sometimes, despite excellent oral health routines and timely dental diagnosis and treatment of dental issues, a tooth must still be removed.  Common reasons for tooth extraction include: infection, tooth fracture or removal for orthodontic correction.  Sometimes, baby teeth are removed when they fail to fall out naturally or are causing crowding.

Most extractions are a simple procedure and involve the dentist moving the tooth within the socket to expand the space surrounding the tooth and separate it from the ligament holding it in place.  We offer oral sedation for patients who are anxious about this dental procedure.

Extractions leave a gap adjacent to the missing tooth which can cause teeth to shift and missing teeth can make chewing more difficult. Facial tissue can also be altered due to extractions so it is important to discuss options for replacing missing teeth, such as a bridge, implant or partial denture.

Fissure Sealants

Fissure sealant is a dental procedure that aids in the prevention of dental caries. A plastic coating is applied on the chewing surface of your posterior teeth (molars and premolars) in order to prevent food and germs from getting stuck in between the grooves. The process is non-invasive, the tooth is cleaned and then the sealants are applied. Once applied the hygienist will shine a light to harden the sealants, the procedure does not take long. Sealants should be checked at each regular dental visit and if necessary the sealants can be reapplied.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Our Registered Dental Hygienists understand the importance of oral health and are passionate about educating our patients on how to properly care for their teeth and gums.

The Hygienist will remove tartar, plaque, and stains using a combination of hand instruments. They will also assess the periodontal status of every patient. They will note any signs of bleeding, inflammation, pain, and bone loss. These can indicate a more serious problem. Once all of the tartar is removed the Hygienist will polish and floss your teeth. They will also provide you with preventative treatment options such as Fluoride and Sealants.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that is applied topically to help prevent tooth decay. Dental offices commonly use in office fluoride treatment to help protect the oral health of children and adults. The treatment generally takes a few minutes and is usually administered during a hygiene appointment. After the treatment, the hygienist will ask you not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes. This will allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride.

Digital X-Rays

A digital x-ray is a technique that uses an electronic sensor to capture and store the image on the computer. The image can then be viewed and enlarged to assist the dentist and the dental hygienist in diagnosing potential problems. Digital x-ray reduces the radiation exposure by 80%-90% compared to the already low exposure of the traditional method of dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are valuable components of your dental visit. It is essential in the diagnostic of dental abnormalities. The dentist and dental hygienist use the x-rays to create an accurate treatment plan. A full mount series of dental x-rays is recommended to all our new patients.

Pediatric Dentistry

Your children’s dental care is extremely important to us.  Pediatric dentistry focuses on children from birth through adolescence. During these years, it is particularly important for your child to be comfortable with their family dentist and hygiene team.

We aim to promote the dental health of your children and educate the parents on dental resources available for their children. It is recommended that a child’s first dental appointment be within six months after the presence of his/her first tooth or first birthday, whichever comes first. We want to detect early stages of tooth decay, and these early oral examinations are significant.

The Mission Creek Dental team will help you maintain your children’s oral health, modify any bad habits and provide simple treatment as needed. Our team will work with both the parent and the child to teach him/her the proper techniques while brushing, flossing and using fluoride.

Inlays and Onlays

Sometimes a large amount of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged. For a tooth that is too damaged to restore with a filling, but does not need a full coverage crown, a dentist will often recommend an inlay.

Essentially the damaged area of the tooth is removed, and a custom made restoration is bonded in its place.   We often use the term onlay to refer to an inlay that has to cover one or more of the tooth cusps, but the procedure is the same.

Cerec One Day Crowns

CEREC allows us to restore a damaged tooth with a crown or onlay in just one visit. An optical image of your broken down tooth is taken, the computer then designs and makes a restoration that is extremely precise and durable and is made out of a tooth coloured, biocompatible material.

Emergency Care

Unfortunately dental emergencies happen and very often, not during office hours. Dr. Kim answers emergency calls for his patients after hours and will get you care in a timely manner. There are few things worse than dealing with untreated dental pain and we are here to help.