Cosmetic Dentist, Family Dentist and Emergency Dentist in St. Catharines

The staff at Carlton Dental is highly trained, skilled and passionate about dentistry. We use state of the art dental technology and only the best practices and procedures. We strive to exceed your expectations.

At Carlton Dental, we not only want to make your visit comfortable and productive, we want it to be convenient and affordable. We are proud of our reputation for providing excellent service before, during and after treatment. The team at Carlton Dental loves children, teens, adults and seniors. We are wheelchair accessible and accept direct payment from most insurance companies.

Whether you need a simple cleaning, extraction, tooth repair or cosmetic dentistry, Carlton Dental should be your first choice for professional, gentle and affordable dental services.

We do not want you to "tolerate" your dental visit. We want you to ENJOY it.

Call and speak with our friendly and informative staff to answer any questions or to schedule an appointment. 905.984.6000.

We would love the opportunity to become the dental provider for you and your family!

Archive for July 2016

Deep Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning
 You’re at home, brushing your teeth, as you normally do twice a day.  You notice your teeth seem to look a little longer. You may have noticed they appear farther apart, or have shifted a bit. Maybe you notice food gets stuck in between your teeth.  You’ve been chewing a lot of gum because your spouse tells you your breath is bad, even after brushing.  Maybe you notice a little blood on your brush, on the floss, or in the sink.  Maybe it’s more than a little.  Maybe you feel some tenderness in your gums, or notice redness or swelling.  You decide maybe it’s time to go in for a dental check-up.

Your dentist or hygienist completes an exam, and reviews your x-rays.  They probe around your gums, and you probably feel like jumping out of the chair. You may hear measurements above 5mm.  Then they tell you something they may have mentioned at a previous visit but you didn’t think it mattered. You have gum disease.  Periodontitis, to be exact.  Bleeding and pain while brushing or flossing is not healthy. If your hands bled when you washed them, would you be concerned? Yet, many people think it's normal for their gums to bleed when they brush or floss.
Your dentist shows you the x-rays that reveal the progression of bone loss, and the buildup of calculus. They show you the size of the pockets between your gums and teeth, where the bacteria collect and cause chronic and systemic infection and inflammation immune response.  They explain a common treatment procedure, called scaling and root planing.  They explain the difference between a deep dental cleaning vs a regular cleaning.  A deep cleaning is a treatment procedure that requires local anesthesia (freezing) and  follow up visits to make sure the infection has been cleared and your gums are healing.

You say, “OK.  I’ll come back and do that another day.  Can you just clean my teeth today and I will return for the deep cleaning.” Then your dentist says something you never thought you’d hear, “ I’m sorry, but no. A regular cleaning won’t do. You need a deep cleaning.”

What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a chronic infection.  Periodontitis is a disease.  Bacteria have collected in the pockets and spaces below the gum line, around calculus (plaque) that has built up, usually due to infrequent flossing, inadequate oral hygiene and smoking.  The bacteria secrete acids that dissolve the bone tissue that connect your teeth and jawbone. 

Left untreated, this chronic infection can and will progress.  You will lose your teeth, and your jaw bone will continue to shrink. This cannot be restored.   Periodontitis is, quite literally, a symptom of your body destroying itself in a desperate attempt to fight off a chronic infection.   This is not an upsell. This is a diagnosis and a sign of serious oral health issues in the near future.

Like any healthcare professionals, dentistry has a standard of care, which regulates what kind of treatment we can provide based on the condition of a person’s oral health.  Periodontitis is considered a big red flag when it comes to oral health.  A chronic and systemic infection in any other area of the body should be treated and addressed immediately – the mouth is no different. 

Research shows connections between gum disease and:

Atherosclerosis and heart disease — Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
Premature births — A woman who has gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely to deliver her baby too early. The infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.
Diabetes — Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
Respiratory disease — Bacteria involved in gum disease may cause lung infections or worsen existing lung conditions. This is particularly important for elderly adults in institutions such as nursing homes. In this group, bacteria from the mouth may reach the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia.
The Difference: Deep Dental Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning

A regular cleaning, which focuses at and above the gum line, may disturb the colonies of bacteria, releasing them into your bloodstream and into the rest of your body.  A regular cleaning polishes your teeth, and a deep cleaning removes the bacteria colonies from your mouth.  That’s why there’s really no comparison between a deep dental cleaning vs regular cleaning. 
So no, we cannot clean your teeth when you have untreated periodontitis.  It’s against our ethical and professional standards.  It’s with your best interests at heart.  Maybe this makes you angry – this is a very common response from patients who receive this diagnosis.  Maybe we’ve frightened you.  It’s not our intent to use scare tactics when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. 

But nearly half of all adults above the age of 30 have some form of gum disease.  Gum disease is a huge public health issue, with widespread impacts on health issues such as heart disease, COPD, other inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy.
So what should you do?   Get mad, get a second opinion, but whatever you do, take action.  Gum disease is treatable, and most importantly, preventable.  If you have dental insurance, chances are deep cleaning treatment is covered.  If you are pregnant, seek treatment right away – gum disease is linked to preterm birth and babies with low birthweight.  Make a plan and ask us how we can help you. 

Patients who have had their periodontitis treated with us have told us how much better they feel overall after their treatment.  Not just their mouth, but their whole body.  It’s amazing how hard your body can work to fight off systemic infection, and what a toll it can take on your energy levels and overall health.  Patients who have come back for follow up maintenance visits and regular cleanings post-treatment report that brushing and flossing is easier, bleeding has reduced or stopped completely, and the pain is gone.  Their partners are happy to kiss them again because their chronic bad breath has gone away.  Most importantly, our patients are able to keep their natural teeth for years to come.