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How to Deal with a Dental Emergency and Where to Go for Help

Nobody wants to have to deal with a dental emergency, but there is no changing the fact that sometimes they are unavoidable. In the event that you or a loved one damages a tooth and is in severe pain, you will probably be wondering what course of action to take and how to find an emergency dentist in the Peterborough area. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow.

Contact us at Dr. Ralph Bastian Dentistry

Finding an emergency dentist can be challenging. We are available for you from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm. Most emergencies can be seen the same day. Outside office hours, you can call the on-call pager number 745-748-8500. Within one hour your call should be returned and arrangements will be made for your attention. The dentist on call will only see emergencies from 8 am to 8 pm (7 days per week). After 8 pm, contact Emergency at PRHC as described below.

dental emergency

Contact the Emergency Department at PRHC

You can call 705-743-2121 to get in touch with the emergency department at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. The local on-call system will put you through to the various lines, and they will be able to advise you in terms of which emergency dentist is available at which emergency dental clinic. After 8 pm, for genuine emergencies, the Hospital may prescribe antibiotics and analgesics. For obvious reasons no fillings or extractions are done at the Hospital. 

Visit to the Emergency Dentist 

Once you have arrived at the emergency dentist’s practice, he or she will investigate the extent of the dental emergency and do a thorough medical history. If the tooth is not salvable he or she will usually choos to do an extraction. Sometimes a root canal can save the tooth and a referral to the endodontist can be made. In many cases the tooth can be restored and the emergency dentist can do this procedure. 

In many sports injuries a tooth can be knock-out or loosen. In this case, please rinse the tooth and place the tooth in milk and try to get to the on-call dentist within 1 hour. In this case, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth. 

In cases were a large portion of the tooth is broken away (as in a hockey accident) it may be possible to save the nerve and therefore the tooth if the exposure is small. It is also ideal to have the tooth treated and repair within 1 hour.

In the case of a large exposure or the tooth is not treated in a timely fashion, a root canal will be necessary.

Although chipped, cracked and/or abscessed teeth are probably the most common dental emergencies, most emergency dentists will be equipped to handle practically any dental emergency. 

Follow-Up Visit 

When the emergency dentist has sorted out your dental problem, you will usually be able to go home immediately afterward. The patient usually returns to his/her own dentist for follow up care. If they do not have any existing dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian and his staff will be pleased to help you. 

In search of a reputable dentist? Peterborough’s residents trust Dr. Ralph Bastian! Contact us today to book an appointment. 

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Oral Surgery

5 Types of Oral Surgery and Their Benefits

Any surgical procedure performed in your mouth, on your jaw or around your mouth can be considered oral surgery. This type of surgery is done by a dentist or/and an oral maxiofacial surgeon. Here are some of the common types of oral surgery and their benefits:

  1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
    Wisdom teeth can become problematic when they emerge or if they are retained. Some of these conditions include tooth decay from food impaction and chronic infections from the tissue around the wisdom teeth (pericoronitis). The pain associated with pericoronitis is always relieved by removing the wisdom teeth. Patients that have had orthodontics are typically sent for these extractions to reduce the chances of crowding and decay. Once removed, patients may experience reduced headaches and pain is eliminated. Patients with impacted wisdom teeth are typically referred to oral maxillofacial surgeons.
  2. Dental Implants
    Those with tooth loss who are looking for a long-term solution can consider dental implants. A dentist or dental specialist will surgically place a titanium implant into the jawbone. The main benefit of a dental implant is its realistic look and longevity, often lasting the lifetime of the patient.
  3. Jaw Surgery
    It can happen that a patient’s jaw isn’t properly aligned. The mandible or maxilla can be advanced or retruded to correct a severe malocclusion. This is done as a last resort to correct a skeletal malalignment. Traditional braces are required during and after the procedure. This life changing surgery dramatically improves appearance and the ability to masticate.
  4. Prosthodontics
    This refers to a variety of aesthetic procedures, such as veneers or bridges (fixed) or dentures (removable); the surgical insertion of dental implants and the reshaping of individual teeth to accept crowns. Prosthodontics provide aesthetic and functional benefits for patients.
  5. Tooth Extractions
    Tooth extraction is the procedure of removing a tooth/teeth. It is a relatively simple technical procedure. A dentist will generally use local or general anaesthesia or sedation during the process. A tooth/teeth is removed if it is damaged, the patient’s mouth is crowded, if it has caused an infection or for aesthetic reasons. Dr. Ralph Bastian can extract teeth and entire dentitions for you. If you are experiencing problems with your teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Ralph Bastian immediately. Delaying an extraction complicates the process and can lead to more bone destruction and the lose of healthy tissue.

A timeous intervention by Dr. Ralph Bastian will speed up your healing process and reduce complications. Contact Dr. Ralph Bastian for dental surgery today.

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How to Keep Your Teeth White, Clean and Stain-Free

teeth

Clean, healthy pearly whites are something that many people aspire towards. Not only do clean, stain-free teeth make you look healthy and attractive, but it can give you a confidence boost as well. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth white for years to come:

Avoid Ingredients that Can Stain Your Teeth

Smoking, black coffee, red wine and curry can all stain your teeth. Avoid these ingredients or limit your intake of them to keep your teeth white. If you consume foods with these ingredients, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

Use a Quality Toothbrush

A good toothbrush and toothpaste are the foundation of a healthy teeth cleaning regime. Buy a new toothbrush every few months or as soon as the bristles start to bend over. Always buy soft or extra soft brushes to avoid damaging the gums.

Eat Healthy Foods

Foods such as carrots, celery and apples trigger a lot of saliva in your mouth, hard cheeses are specially good to inhibit plaque formation.

Floss Daily

Flossing is usually the first good habit that goes out the door once deadlines start to approach or time is limited. Commit to flossing at least once a day as it can save you a lot of gum problems in the future. It is important to have the floss somewhere where you can see it easily and are reminded to use it. Try to floss at the same time each day to help to form the habit.

Visit a Dental Hygienist Regularly

Unless otherwise recommended, visit your dental hygienist every six months for a proper cleaning. If you have or are susceptible to periodontal disease, your teeth should be professionally cleaned every three to four months. Removing the plaque bacteria from the pockets regularly sets back the disease process.

Dr. Ralph Bastian offers a wide range of treatments, going from preventative children’s teeth cleaning to teeth cleaning for patients with periodontal disease. Contact our dental office in Peterborough for an appointment today.

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Childrens teeth health

Taking Care of Your Child’s Oral Health

Taking care of your child’s oral health, and teaching him or her about oral health care, is an investment in your child that will pay dividends for long into the future. Here are a few tips from a family dentist in Peterborough to help you along the way:

Set a Good Example

“Monkey see, monkey do!” Children learn by taking in their environment and seeing what the adults are up to. Make teeth brushing a family activity where everyone brushes their teeth. Teach them that brushing needs to happen minimum twice a day and that they need to floss daily. A good tip is to set a timer to 2 minutes to ensure that a decent amount of brushing takes place. Many modern brushes come with built-in timers for this purpose.

Let the Kids Choose

Take your children to the grocery store or pharmacy and let them choose their own toothbrush. This way, they can choose the colours and patterns they like. For younger children, the adults should choose the toothpaste and children under three should have a fluoride reduce toothpaste.

Reward Good Oral Care

Draw a chart that marks off the days that the children complete their oral healthcare routine. Reward them by sticking star-shaped stickers on the chart, or give them a small toy after a week of good brushing.

Minimize Sugar

Sugary drinks and high-sugar treats are very bad for children’s oral health. Juice packs and sticky candy are some of the worst offenders! Never put a small child to sleep with a Sippy cup with fruit juice. Continuous exposure to sugar overnight guaranties decay.

Children should visit their Dentist at Least Twice a Year

A bi-annual visit to a kid’s dentist will pick up on minor issues that can be repaired easily before they become major problems. Children’s tooth enamel is much thinner than adult’s teeth, so it needs to be monitored more carefully and frequently.

Looking for a family dentist in Peterborough? Then contact Dr. Ralph Bastian today.

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How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Treat Tooth Gaps, Uneven Teeth and More

If you have gaps between your teeth, uneven teeth or other factors that make your smile look less than perfect, you can turn to a dentist such as Dr. Ralph Bastian for cosmetic dentistry. You don’t always need braces or extreme surgery to improve your smile.

Veneers, for example, are one of the least expensive ways to correct tooth malformations. Veneers can also be used to fix excess gaps between your teeth. The reason why many patients opt for porcelain veneers is that it gives teeth the most natural appearance. When your veneers have been professionally made and inserted by an experienced dentist, it will look no different from your own teeth.

Want to Improve the Colour of Your Teeth?

Everything, from food, wine and even your lifestyle, can stain your teeth over time. The good news is that there are teeth whitening solutions that can bring back the sparkle and lustre that you want. If you are in the market for a teeth whitening solution, speak to the dentists at Dr. Ralph Bastian. 

We use the Nite White by Zoom whitening tray system. The bleaching material of Nite White consists of 16% carbamide, which changes to hydrogen peroxide (H202) when it comes into contact with saliva. It is the strongest bleaching system on the market and it is incomparable to over-the-counter systems that you will find at the pharmacy.

When you visit us for teeth whitening, we will make impressions of your teeth to fabricate custom trays that fit you perfectly. You will wear the trays at night and see the whiteness of your teeth improve!

Whether you are interested in cosmetic dentistry to treat tooth gaps and uneven teeth or whether you want a powerful and sustainable teeth whitening system, we can help you. Book an appointment for cosmetic dentistry in Peterborough today.

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Tips and Advice to Help You and Your New Dentures Get Along

dentures

Dentures shouldn’t get in the way of your life – your mouth just needs a bit of training. Here are some tips to help you and your new dentures get along:

  • Set Realistic Expectations

Something as big as a denture can take a while to get used to. If you had braces when you were younger, then you will know how foreign the dental elements can feel in your mouth. Remember that the discomfort won’t last forever and that patience is key.

  • Do Your Dentures Feel Too Large?

Patients who recently received dentures often complain that it feels too large. Dentists usually instruct patients to keep wearing it for longer periods of time – as soon as you get used to them, they will start to feel more comfortable in your mouth.

  • Excessive Saliva

Expect more saliva production upon receiving a new denture. Just remember, it is something foreign in the mouth and this is the natural reaction of the body. 

  • Pain

Do your gums hurt? Rinse your mouth out with lukewarm salty water. If the pain persists, give your dentist a call. Lower dentures typically require more adjustments than a maxillary (upper) denture.

  • Difficulty Eating

Take your time and start with soft foods. Cut tough food into small pieces. Try to chew the food on both sides of the denture as this helps to stabilize the bite and reduce the tipping effect. With natural teeth we tend to chew the food on one side only. Denture mastication has a learning curve! 

  • Further Adjustments

At Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental practice in Peterborough, adjustments are included at no cost up to three months after the denture is fitted. If you continue to feel discomfort, book an appointment so that an experienced dentist can check out your dentures for you. A balanced bite is critical for a denture to avoid dislodging and reduce bite trauma. Our dentists can ensure that your bite is balanced and correct.

Looking for denture repair or denture relining? Then book an appointment at Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental clinic in Peterborough today.

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How To Care For Your Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are usually done after a root canal treatment. When a dentist recommends a dental crown, it is because the tooth has undergone many restorations and is at risk of a fracture because of its weakened state.

A dental crown is often used on anterior teeth to improve their aesthetics.

At Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental practice, we use porcelain fused to metal crowns as they provide more durability and are less prone to fractures. After this type of dental crown has been installed, it is important to care for it in the right way. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Avoid Chewing Immediately After The Procedure

If a dentist uses anaesthetic during the dental crown procedure, avoid chewing until the numbness in your mouth has completely worn off and the cement is completely set. You should also avoid chewing on hard food types such as ice or hard candy.

If your gums are sensitive or sore following the procedure, don’t be too concerned as this is normal for the first week or so. And also remember that Dr. Bastian will schedule a follow up appointment on the next day to re-check the bite after the anaesthetics effects are totally gone.

Post-Procedure Medication

A dental crown procedure will not usually require any medication. If needed, only take antibiotics or other medication as directed by your dentist.

Daily Dental Care

Brush and floss normally each day.

When To Contact Your Dentist

If you have sensitivity that increases or continues beyond the first week, or if your bite feels uneven, contact your dentist.

Foods To Avoid

Most foods can be consumed after one week the dental crowns are placed. Food that could break or chip natural teeth (crunch candies, hard frozen foods) can also damage your crown, so should be avoided. 

Interested in finding out more about dental crowns? Then contact Dr. Ralph Bastian’s dental practice today.

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Signs That Your Dentures Need Adjusting or Replacing

If you have a denture that is giving you problems, the first question to ask is why doesn’t it fit well? Generally speaking, the denture itself doesn’t change over time. Dentures are made of very hard plastic that doesn’t warp. What has probably changed is your mouth.

The denture is fitted on the gums that cover your jaw bone. And, over time, our jaw bone shrinks, causing the denture to become loose. If this is the case and your denture is still in good condition, the dentist at your denture clinic can do what is known as a ‘relign’, where more plastic is added inside the denture. This will allow the denture to grip your shrunken jaw bone a bit tighter and this will give you a better fit. This often works very well for patients. However, if the denture is rundown or there is a lot of shrinkage of your jaw bone, then a new denture may be required.

Other Signs That Your Denture Needs Adjusting or Replacing

  • Visible wear and tear on the denture
  • Dentures that are hard to keep clean
  • Chips or cracks in the teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Discomfort
  • Pressure sores
  • Changes in the fit
  • Oral sores
  • Gum irritation
  • Change in speech patterns
  • Stains on the denture
  • Persistent bad odour
  • Neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Facial nerve pain
  • Difficulty eating
  • Wobbly or loose dentures
  • Discoloration of dentures

Most dentures, even when they are made from high-quality and long-lasting dental materials, have an average lifespan of five to ten years. If you want your dentures adjusted or replaced, contact Dr. Ralph Bastian’s denture clinic in Peterborough today. We focus on partial dentures and denture repair.

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jaw pain

Waking Up With Headaches And Jaw Pain? Here Is What To Do:

If you suffer from painful jaw muscles and headaches, the problem might be that you grind your teeth. This is a problem that many Canadians experience.

For a lot of people, stress is one of the biggest causes of teeth grinding. Other underlying issues can be sleep apnea, which is a condition where one stops breathing at night. For other people, it can simply be a habit. Dentists often recommend splits and teeth guards to help patients protect their teeth and to alleviate jaw pain and headaches which results from teeth grinding.

From a dental point of view, signs of teeth grinding include the following:

  • Cracks in the teeth,
  • The shortening of the teeth,
  • Points where the teeth are getting worn down,
  • Muscle pain,
  • TMJ pain

We also see hypertrophy of the muscle, where the muscles around the jaw get bigger as a result of the grinding. If you wake up with jaw pain, headaches or a feeling of tightness, then you should book a consultation with a dentist.

jaw pain

Some people use injectables such as Botox, but this is a symptomatic treatment of the muscles only. If you are one of the many people who clench their teeth, then you can avoid a long list of symptoms (such as wearing of the teeth, fractures of the teeth, headaches, neck pain, back pain and jaw pains) by getting a tooth guard (night guard) that has been fitted by an experienced dentist.

teeth guard

Most over-the-counter mouth guards are clunky and bulky, making them uncomfortable to wear at night. Dr. Ralph Bastian, a dentist in Peterborough, uses high-quality tooth guards that have a hard surface for durability and a wedge design that relieves symptoms of teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Book an appointment with Dr. Ralph Bastian today.

 

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jaw pain

Common Causes of Jaw Joint Pain – And How to Prevent It

The joints in the jaw are a delicate mechanism that can easily be injured or inflamed due to chronic stress. It can make chewing and talking uncomfortable. Looking after our teeth is important, so is taking care of your jaw also a top priority. The three most common causes of jaw discomfort are sports injuries, car accidents, and stress.

 

  • Sports Injury

 

Football balls and hockey pucks are great fun! But not so much when they cause heavy impacts to the jaw. Trauma to the jaw can lead to a variety of dental problems including:

  • A broken jaw,
  • A dislocated jaw, or
  • A temporomandibular joint disorder.

Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMD) occurs when there is damage in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is a set of paired joints on each side of the face in front of the ear canals. These joints are very complex and have a disc that can be damaged or dislocated.

TMD involves jaw pain that is often accompanied by a muscle spasm in one or more of the large muscles on either side of the jaw. Following stress or an injury, the body attempts to prevent further damage by causing muscle spasms that restrict the movement of the jaw .

The ideal solution to this problem is to use an athletic sports guard. Made from soft materials to absorb the force of a sudden impact; a sports guard will protect the jaw and teeth against trauma on the sports field. The guard functions by distributing the force of a frontal impact or absorbing the sudden upward force of the mandible. If the guard were not in place, an impact on the chin could fracture numerous teeth.

 

  • Car accident

 

A common side effect of a car accident is the accompanying jaw pain. Pain in the jaw or facial area, trouble opening and closing the mouth, or having a jaw that seems to click or get stuck can happen after an accident. You do not have to directly hit your jaw during the accident for this to happen. A car exposes you to many types of movement not normally experienced. These sudden jerks, twists, and falls that happen when you are involved in a car accident, can damage your joints. In today’s modern cars many TMJ injuries may be caused by the sudden deployment of air bags during a crash. And the temporomandibular joint is susceptible. The injury is similar to that of a whiplash.

Temporomandibular joint disorder after a car accident can be treated as follows:

  • The use of night guards,
  • Regular physical therapy and ultrasound treatment, and
  • Medications accompany by warm and cold compresses

Night guards, as the name indicates, are worn at night. They protect the teeth against wear-and-tear from grinding and clenching the jaw bone, which can agonize this condition. The night guards also encourages the jaw to move to a more relaxed position (centric relation)

A few simple jaw exercises and regular physiotherapy can make the joints in the jaw much more flexible after sustaining an injury and reduce muscle adhesions.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are commonly prescribed, the compresses help to flush out the lactic acid build up from the muscles.

 

  • Stress

 

Stress is the most common cause of temporomandibular joint pain. When we are stressed, we tend to grind our teeth (bruxism) and clench our jaws. This is often subconscious . This is usually seen during episodes of acute stress. Conversely, chewing gum to release such stress can aggravate the condition. After doing this for a long time, the temporomandibular joints will become inflamed and swollen. In many cases the teeth may not even make contact on one side. This frozen jaw and pain will need to be treated.  

Thankfully, for most people, a night guard is the ideal solution, in conjunction with physiotherapy. Built to withstand repeated grinding and wear-and-tear, the hard shell of a night guard is used to distribute the biting force, reduce stress on the join and preserve opposing tooth structure.

If you are suffering from jaw pain, it probably is due to a sports injury, accident or stress. Dr. Ralph Bastian, at Bastian Dentistry, has over thirty-four years of dental experience. He is well-equipped to see to all your joint pain and to decide on the best course of action. For more information, contact us today.

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