Posts Under Dental Procedures

Taking the fear out of dentistry

One out of four Canadians does not visit the dentist on a regular basis, and fear of pain or discomfort is the leading reason. Usually this fear is well founded, based on negative experiences in the past.

A combination of advances in dental technology, new treatment approaches, and a truly caring attitude among our staff, mean that many previously fearful patients often tell us “That really wasn’t so bad!"

It begins with communication

We believe that overcoming dental anxiety begins with making sure we understand your concerns and past experiences. We also work hard to make sure you clearly understand the work we are planning to do. All procedures are carefully explained before we begin, so you know what will happen. And we don’t begin the work until your questions and concerns have been answered.

Modern technology helps

The range of modern anaesthetics at our disposal means that we can usually get you completely frozen the first time. But we always check before we begin any work, and throughout the procedure. If at any point the freezing starts to wear off, or you are uncomfortable for any reason, we will stop the work we are doing until you are feeling more comfortable.

Remember the discomfort of the needle going in? Well, we now use a topical anaesthetic before we use the needle, which makes it considerably more comfortable. For all children, and adults who are more sensitive, we use an instrument people refer to as “the magic wand” instead of a needle. The Wand, an electronic anaesthetic delivery system, takes a bit longer, but most people hardly even feel a thing.

Other things we can do

We have a range of other things we can do for patients who are more anxious. Our staff are equipped and trained in the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which can be very effective for nervous patients.

In some cases we will prescribe medication prior to an appointment. Music with headphones is also helpful for many patients. You’re welcome to bring your iPod/mp3 player or just bring in your favourite CD. We will supply the headphones.

So don’t let past bad experiences stand in the way of a healthy mouth. Make sure you let us know about your concerns and past experiences. Once we understand the problems you’ve had, we’re confident that we can work with you to help avoid pain, and deal with whatever anxiety you are feeling.

I haven't visited a dentist in a long time


We welcome your visit, don’t feel embarrassed

One of the reasons that some people don’t go to the dentist is that they’ve waited so long since their last dental visit that they are now embarrassed to go. After all, the people that work at a dental office are likely so careful with their teeth, they just won’t understand. Right?

Don’t worry! Almost every one of us at Humber Valley Dental has had at least one family member who has avoided the dentist…some for a very long time! We understand. We care about helping people get back into a regular dental routine and would be happy to see you.

It doesn’t matter why

People stay away from the dentist for many reasons. In some cases it is well-founded fear from past problems. In other cases it may have been financial concerns, other health issues, or simple procrastination.

We can help with any of these issues

Dentistry has come a long way in the past 10-20 years, and we have many new ways to help put nervous or fearful patients more at ease. (See I’m afraid of dental work for more information). We also have several options to help manage financial issues, and we’re really good at the friendly prodding of procrastinators.

So don’t let embarrassment stand in the way of your health. We’re an understanding group, who are eager to help you get into a regular dental routine.

I'll go to the dentist when I have a problem


I’ll go when I have a problem, Some people don’t go to the dentist until they have a specific problem. Please don’t make this mistake yourself!

If you are waiting until you have a problem before your next visit to the dentist, please read on. We could tell you that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, or that “Visiting us before you have a problem is the best way of never having to visit us with a problem”. However, most people who do not regularly see a dentist already know that.


It’s more than just your teeth!

Instead, we’ve found that many of our infrequent patients have appreciated us suggesting they read a recent article published in Reader’s Digest. Entitled, “The Check-up that Could Save Your Life”, it explains that regular trips to the dentist can do more than keep you smiling and your breath fresh - they can help with the early detection or prevention of a wide range of other serious health issues.

So why not call now and set up an appointment? At a minimum, it will save the discomfort and cost of more extensive treatment later, and as the article points out, it might be a whole lot more important than that.

We’d be happy to see you, even if it has been a while since your last visit to a dentist.


I have a problem now and don’t have a dentist.


Don’t worry. We do our very best to accommodate emergencies, even if you are not yet a regular patient. Call us and we’ll schedule some time to get your problem looked after.

Even if the problem you are experiencing is not yet too severe, it is time to get into a dental office…quickly! Very few dental problems resolve themselves on their own. The sooner you get your problem looked after, the easier it will be, and the greater our chance of restoring your mouth to a completely healthy condition.


Infection Prevention For Your Safety.

Sometimes patients are concerned about the potential for illnesses to be spread in medical or dental facilities. Given the large numbers of people, and the presence of saliva and blood, this is a very important concern. When it comes to infection prevention, we always err on the side of caution. For us, this means that all staff and patients are considered potential sources of infection. Consequently, we pursue thorough disinfection and sterilization procedures after every visit, assuming any patient could have been highly contagious. This protects all subsequent patients in our office.

To achieve our safety goals, all staff members wear surgical gloves and waterproof “SARS-rated” masks when working in a patient’s mouth. All soaps used in the office are therapeutic disinfectants. Additionally you will find waterless hand disinfectants throughout the office.

See for yourself, At Humber Valley Dental, we believe very strongly in the importance of infection prevention and have chosen to take numerous steps to protect you and our other patients. We’d like to show you just how thorough we are:

The most important concern in infection control is the instruments we use. All instruments that come into contact with your mouth have been thoroughly sterilized.

In addition to sterilizing hand explorers, mirrors, and drill bits, we also put all air and water syringes, suction handles and tips, and the hand pieces that power the drill in the autoclave for sterilization.

We follow a maintenance schedule to check our equipments and ensure they are in good working condition. To ensure our equipments autoclave is working properly at all times, we include a test strip in every load that we sterilize. We also have an automated instrument washer that offers a better, safer and more thorough way to wash and disinfect our instruments.

It is also important to minimize the risk of infections being passed by the surfaces that you, the dentist, the assistant or the hygienist touch. Because we can’t sterilize things like the dental chair, counter tops, computer keyboards or phone handles in an autoclave, surfaces that get touched are cleaned with a disinfectant after every patient.

Because disinfection solutions are not 100% effective, frequently touched surfaces also get an extra plastic wrap, which is changed after each patient.

Infection prevention in any medical setting is very important for your safety. We take it very seriously at Humber Valley Dental.

How a dental check-up saved someone’s life

Tom, a 59-year old farmer, could barely eat. The pain was so excruciating that he could barely open his mouth. He hated seeing the dentist and didn’t have a dental checkup in 20 years. At the urging of his wife, he finally gave in and scheduled an appointment with a local dentist. The dentist checked Tom’s mouth and found a lump and sent Tom to a specialist for a second opinion.

The following week, Tom arrived at the specialist's dental office. The specialist carefully examined his mouth and said that the lump was cancerous and had to be removed right away. The following week, Tom had to undergo a 6-hour surgery. During the procedure, Tom's jawbone was split wide open so that the dentist could access the cancerous lump at the back of his throat. The cancerous tissue was carefully removed and Tom was patched back up.

After the surgery, the dentist turned to Tom and said “It’s lucky that you came to see me when you did. If that lump wasn’t removed, you would have died within 6 months” Tom was speechless. He never realized that dental visits were so important for his health. Now, he makes sure to visit the dentist twice a year to ensure that everything is ok.

Besides treating decay, your dentist can check for signs of cancer, diabetes, and other oral health problems. Your dentist can spot diseases early on and treat them before they become life threatening. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important for your health. Besides routine checkups, your dentist can perform a deep cleaning of your oral tissues so that your teeth and gums can stay healthy.

Without these routine checkups, oral health issues, such as decay, gum disease, and infections, can creep up and impact your oral health. Besides gum erosion, gum disease also increases your risks of tooth loss, heart disease, diabetes, and other health complications. So be sure to see your dentist every six months. It may just save your life.

I have other health issues

We are skilled at providing dentistry to people who are dealing with health issues. Considering the potential interaction between dental procedures and other health issues is always important. Many things including, but not limited to, rheumatic fever, heart murmurs, past hospitalisation, cancer, immuno compromised conditions, medications you take, and even allergies, can have important impact on how we will handle your dental treatment.

If you have health issues, we can still meet your oral health needs effectively. But it is important that you raise them with us, so that we will be able to take the right steps to do so safely.


                                  Before                                                      After                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Amanda came to see us with what most people are afraid of. Her front tooth was loose! And she sensed that she might lose it. 

When I examined her, it was confirmed her front incisor had a fracture and could not be saved. We presented her with the option of extracting the tooth and replacement with a single dental implant. A dental implant is shaped similar to the root of a tooth and its titanium surface enables the growth of bone forming cells that help to anchor the implant to bone. We explained how we can attach a crown component to the implant and this can be made to look very similar to her natural tooth.

Even though she was nervous at start, she was willing to go ahead with our recommendations. Her dad had been through a similar procedure with a good outcome and this helped to reassure her.

So we began the treatment first by carefully removing the cracked tooth and doing a bone graft to preserve the remaining bone. Socket preservation bone graft is a very valuable procedure using bioengineered bone matrix to induce the growth and formation of new bone where a tooth is lost or where a bony defect is noted. This enables us to have a stable foundation to place the dental implant n the future. Amanda tolerated this first very important stage of treatment very well and needed nothing more that local anesthesia for the procedure. We used her natural tooth as a temporary replacement by bonding it to her adjacent teeth, a technique called direct tooth pontic and we did this immediately after the extraction so that she would never have to be without her front tooth.

Following this we waited patiently for bone and tissue healing. This healing time usually takes about 4 months during which we would see her bi weekly or monthly to monitor the stages of healing. There were times when we needed to repair her direct tooth pontic but Amanda was very patient during all this time.

In the summer of 2016, we began planning to place the dental implant. A Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scan was done which allowed us to plan the direction and position of the implant with the bone. CBCT is another valuable innovation in implatology today that allows precise planning and identifies potential risks that we could encounter during surgery. In her case it was an enlarged incisive canal, which is a collection of nerves and blood vessels close to the site of surgery. Using information from the scan, we were safely able to stay away from that area.

The implant surgery was successful but we still needed to wait for another 3 months for the implant to be firmly anchored into bone. 

Finally it was time for us to fabricate the final crown. This process involves making an impression which is an imprint of the implant which enables our dental laboratory to design the permanent crown. Today this is done using CAD-CAM milling technology. We used custom staining to give us the color and the hue to blend with her smile.

We were all pleased with the final result, especially Amanda who could not stop smiling.

Amanda was always patient and supportive throughout this journey. She works hard as a veterinary assistant and recently had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Guatemala to save the lives of many animals and to spread smiles. To learn more about the great work that Amanda and other vets around the world are doing please check them out at 

We wish her the very best and continued success in her chosen path. Keep smiling Amanda!


Keep your children safe on the ice or in the field with MOUTHGUARDS.

Well –fitted mouthguards avoid injuries to your teeth, mouth and jaw while you’re playing contact sports. Many have speculated that mouthguards can prevent some sports-related concussions; by helping to absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw. But, there has been little evidence until a recent study published in the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry that studied the benefits of custom fitted mouthguards in the prevention of mild traumatic brain injuries.

Here are some basic  facts about  mouthguards:

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a flexible appliance that is worn during athletic
and recreational activities to prevent injuries to your mouth and
face, such as split lips, broken teeth, and jaw fractures.

When should I wear a mouthguard?

It is advisable to wear a mouthguard any time there is a strong
chance of your head making contact with other participants or
hard surfaces. Mouthguards should be worn when participating
in activities such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling,
soccer, lacrosse, rugby, hockey, martial arts, and skateboarding.

What are the different types of mouthguards?

There are several types of mouthguards, including the following:

• Stock mouthguards: The least expensive option is a readymade
stock item, which offers the least protection since little
can be done to adjust its fit. This type of mouthguard—which
is available over-the-counter—requires the user to close his
or her jaw to hold it in place; as a result, it may interfere with
speech and breathing. It also may lead to soreness of the jaw
muscles. A stock mouthguard is not considered an acceptable
device for facial protection.

• Mouth-formed mouthguards: There are two types of
mouth-formed mouthguards, both of which are available
over-the-counter. The first is a shell-liner mouthguard, which
is made from an acrylic material that is poured into an outer
shell, where it forms a lining. When placed in an athlete’s
mouth, the lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed
to set. The second type is a thermoplastic, or “boil-and-bite,”
mouthguard. This type of mouthguard is softened in hot
water, placed in the mouth, and shaped around the teeth
using a finger or tongue, and sometimes biting pressure. This
type of mouthguard can provide some degree of protection,
but it can be bulky and have a loose fit.

• Custom-made mouthguards: When it comes to injury
prevention, a custom-made mouthguard is your best option.
This type of mouthguard, which is made by your dentist,
offers the best protection, fit, and comfort level because it is
made from a model of your teeth.

How should I care for my mouthguard?

To keep your mouthguard in good condition, follow these steps:

• After each use, brush your mouthguard with a toothbrush
and cool (not hot) water.

• Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic storage
box when you’re not using it. Your dentist will provide you
with a case.

• Don’t leave your mouthguard in direct sunlight or in a hot
car; heat can melt the device, altering the way it fits in your
mouth—resulting in less protection.

• Bring your mouthguard with you when you see your dentist
for your regular checkups. Your dentist can give it a thorough
cleaning and check its structure and fit.

• Call your dentist if you have any concerns about your

For more information about mouthguards, talk to your dentist.

Oral Health Care Tips For Children
At Humber Valley Dental, we offer gentle compassionate dental care for the entire family, including your little ones.
Children should first see the dentist by the time they are 6 months old. Starting your child’s dental visits early is important since it gets them comfortable seeing the dentist. Also, primary (baby) teeth should start to appear at this age, so the dentist can check for any issues or causes of concern.
Things to watch out for include:
Thumb sucking is a common habit for many babies and young children. However, continuous frequent thumb sucking can cause misalignment and bite problems, especially as the child gets older. If your child still frequently sucks their thumb by the age of four, it's recommended to seek your dentist for advice.
2. Baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle decay occurs in infants and toddlers, usually in their upper front teeth. It’s often caused by prolonged exposure to the sugars found in drinks they consume, such as  breast milk, formula, and juice. Children who go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice are more at risk of developing decay since the sugars have all night to erode their teeth. Thus, the best way to prevent decay is by minimizing the amount of time and frequency that sugar can come in contact with their teeth. You can do this by not giving your child a bottle of milk or juice before sleeping and feeding them water instead between meals.
3. Teething
Teething occurs when the first baby teeth begin to erupt, usually when the child is around 3 to 4 month years old. This can cause the child a number of symptoms including swollen gums, drooling, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. To ease their pain, use a clean finger or wet gauze pad and gently massage your child’s gums.
4. Primary, Permanent, and Wisdom Teeth
Your child’s primary teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth by the time they are 12 years old. Wisdom teeth may also emerge during their late teens and early twenties.
5. Brushing
To ensure that your child’s mouth stays healthy, you should be cleaning their mouth before their primary teeth erupt. Using a clean damp washcloth, gently wipe all of their gum surfaces.
As their teeth start to erupt, you can buy a child-sized soft bristled toothbrush for them to brush with. Use only a pea size amount of toothpaste and teach your child to spit it out after brushing. For children under two years of age, they should avoid using fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and many dental products. Fluoride helps to keep your teeth’s enamel strong and protect against fluoride. While getting enough fluoride is important, getting too much of it is not good either. That’s why it’s important to teach your child to always spit their toothpaste out after brushing.
It’s also important to teach your child how to brush properly. Using gentle pressure, be sure that they brush all of their teeth’s surfaces. Brushing should take at least two minutes to do properly.
6. Accidents
During play time, be sure to monitor your children. However, accidents can still occur, such as oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, and jaws. Having your child wear a mouth guard can help to protect their mouth. If an injury does occur, and if it’s serious, be sure to contact your dentist.
Dental emergencies can include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Inflamed or swollen gums
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • A dislodged tooth
  • Wisdom teeth pain
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to contact us right away for a checkup.
7. Dental Sealants
For young children who are prone to decay, dental sealants may be suitable for them. These are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the biting surfaces to protect them from decay.
At Humber Valley Dental, we offer comprehensive dental services for your entire family. We focus on preventative dentistry which includes routine cleaning, checkups, and a proper oral health routine so that your loved ones can have healthy smiles for life. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Humber Valley Dental in Bolton at (905) 857-3398 today.

There’s a new option when it comes to correcting crooked teeth, and it has left many people wondering if it does the same job as braces.

Traditional Braces VS Invisalign

For a long time, the only solution on hand was the traditional metal braces we’re all familiar with. These braces are affixed to our teeth and work to slowly put them in a proper alignment. However improper care of these metal braces are also known for issues with discomfort, plaque buildup, and other problems.

Even for people who take proper oral care, some still feel uncomfortable with how visible traditional braces are. Luckily now, there’s an alternative option to correct badly aligned teeth.

Invisalign is a new oral health device that is a modern take on braces. In fact, Invisalign has surpassed regular braces, and is now the best option when it comes to teeth straightening.

Why is Invisalign the new go-to for people who want discrete braces? These are the most common reasons:

Fast results

This one is a biggie for a lot of dental patients. For many adults, the aesthetically nature of the metal braces makes this long-term commitment a major pain to swallow.

But this isn’t a problem for Invisalign. Invisalign has a treatment course that for most patients only takes a single year to fix the problem of crooked teeth. For others, the maximum duration they’re looking at is about 18 months – still a drop in the bucket compared in comparison to having straightened teeth for the remainder of your life!

Less teeth damage

Metal braces can actually damage our teeth when not properly taken care of. This is because they make it really hard to keep good oral hygiene – like proper brushing and flossing – because they simply get in the way.

With Invisalign, this isn’t an issue, because unlike metal braces, Invisalign can be removed to do things like brushing, flossing and eating.

Cut back on visits to the dentist’s

Metal braces will require a trip back to the dentist or orthodontist every six weeks or so to make sure the braces are adjusted to your teeth. However, will Invisalign, you won’t be making these regular return trips. This is because you’ll be given a replacement set of Invisalign trays that you can replace on your teeth every two weeks. No trip to the dentist’s office required!