Dr. Andy Wood’s Care

Xylitol: (A Natural Substitute)

Xylitol is another sweetener with a 5 carbon structure as opposed to 6 carbons like regular sugar. When consumed by the cavity-causing bacteria, it gives them indigestion and reduces their numbers hence preventing cavities. *(a)  It is natural sugar alcohol made from various berries, birch trees, corn husks, oats and mushrooms. It also works well as a sugar substitute for diabetics. It can be used in most recipes except for those with yeast requiring the 6 carbon sugar to help make yeast rise.
Xylitol products (bulk crystals, packaged crystals, chewing gum etc) can be found at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Parksville and Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach plus Naked Naturals and PharmaSave in both communities. Directions: Mix 1-2 tbsp (2 – 4-gram packages) in ½ litre of water and use as a rinse prior to meals. Xylitol may also be used as a substitute for tea, coffee, desserts etc.

*(a) Dentistry Today, Volume 30 No.2 February 2011.

You can Download our full informational hand-out.

Grind or Clenching Habits

If you Grind or Clench your teeth, and you can cause unnecessary extreme damage. Your teeth should not be together unless chewing food. The jaw should naturally hang in its rested position to prevent tooth damage and other associated discomfort. Most people are not aware that they clench or grind unless they are conscientiously observing their oral habits. Many resign to the idea that they grind at night and therefore need an acrylic night guard. However, once they have observed their oral habits may discover that they notice it happening during the day especially when concentrating on doing certain tasks.

The effects of grinding or clenching can include TMJ syndrome symptoms of sore jaws and/or headaches. This habit can also wear down the enamel and dentin of your teeth as well as break off cusps or fillings. Clenching and grinding can cause teeth to become loose and even cause teeth to move. Horizontal bone loss, which can be identified on Bite Wing x-rays, is also due to these habits.

Some toothaches are caused by grinding and clenching where the periodontal ligaments holding the tooth in its socket, become strained from the constant pressure. In some cases a person may clench so hard for so long, essentially cutting off the blood supply to the tooth causing the need for Root Canal Therapy. The tooth has died, but not from decay infecting the pulp.

This could have been avoided by learning new oral habits to replace the old bad habits. Once a patient is aware that they clench or grind they can try putting their tongue between their posterior teeth to prevent any clench/grinding.  This will give an immediate signal to the brain to relax the jaw. You will not bite off your tongue. This action is not visible to others and will protect the teeth from the fore mentioned damages.

Post Op Extraction Instructions

Bleeding: Pressure should be applied to the socket for half an hour. If the bleeding continues; apply more pressure with fresh gauze (dampen the layer facing the socket to prevent clot sticking to gauze) for another 30 minutes. A moistened, plain dark tea bag also works well in place of the gauze, as the tannin acid will help to form a blood clot.  You will likely notice blood in your saliva for up to 24 hours. If bleeding is excessive, please call our office.
Please do not drink carbonated beverages, suck through a straw, smoke, spit or physically exert yourself for the rest of the day.  These activities will prolong bleeding and delay healing.  These actions may also dislodge the clot, exposing the bone thus causing severe pain called a “dry socket”. If discomfort increases around 5 days please call our office to check the extraction site.

Swelling: You may notice some swelling following an extraction; this is to be expected.  To reduce swelling, apply ice wrapped in a cloth to the side of the face where the tooth was extracted.  Leave the ice in place; as long as tolerated up to 15 minutes; then remove it for 15 minutes.  Repeat as necessary.  This will help to minimize post-operative discomfort.  A bag of frozen peas makes an effective ice pack.

Rinsing: Do not rinse your mouth today.  Tomorrow rinse with a warm salt water solution (1 tsp. salt per glass of lukewarm water).  Do this every few hours and after eating, for three to four days.

Food: During the first two days, a diet of soft foods and liquids is recommended.  Avoid spicy foods or hot liquids. Chew on the side opposite to the extraction.

Oral Hygiene: Continue with regular brushing and flossing but avoid the extraction site for one day.  After this, the site must be kept clean to facilitate healing.

Medication: In most cases, over the counter medications should be adequate and recommended for control of discomfort.  It is best to take something prior to the freezing coming out to miss the initial discomfort.

Ibuprofen: an anti-inflammatory with pain relief.  Use generic Ibuprofen or Advil or Motrin.
Directions: take 400mg every 3 hours to a maximum of 2400mg daily or 6 doses per day.Caution: Ibuprofen is not recommended for those with asthma, chronic kidney disease or who have had a recent heart attack.

*Use Tylenol Extra Strength if additional pain relief is needed and continue with the ibuprofen. These medications can be taken together.
Directions: take 500mg every 4 hours to a maximum of 3000mg daily or 6 doses per 24 hours.
Caution: Tylenol is not recommended for those with chronic liver disease.

*A prescription for other medications will be provided if necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns, please DO NOT HESITATE to Contact our office at 250 752-9122

Arginine and Healthy Dental Snacks

Many patients understand that sugar is a main cause of dental decay. It is generally clear that sugar is found in candy and pop, however many patients are surprised to find sugar is also found in many of the snacks they enjoy or give to their children. These include fresh fruit, honey, fruit juices and crystal drink mixes, some vegetables (eg. carrots, beets, corn), milk products (pudding, whip cream), dried fruit (raisins, fruit leather, gummy bears), refined breads & crackers, potato chips & pretzels, other starches (which break down into sugars) and even added to some medicines (to encourage children compliance).

Acidic foods are also harmful to your teeth and will erode enamel, often causing sensitive teeth or the need for restorations to protect the exposed dentin. A few examples of acidic foods include energy drinks, gatorade, tomatoes, lemons/limes, some berries and pepsi/coca cola.

Better Healthy Dental Snacks include sources of the amino acid ‘arginine’. They include meats (pepperoni, jerky) & cheeses (cheddar, cottage cheese), peanuts, walnuts, almonds, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, papaya and 80%+ dark chocolate.

Arginine can be found in Animal sources such as dairy products (cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt, whey protein drinks), meats (beef, pork), gelatin, poultry (chicken and turkey light meat), wild game (pheasant, quail), seafood (halibut, lobster, salmon, shrimp, snails, tuna). Plant sources include wheat germ/wheat flour, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), chickpeas and cooked soybeans,

Your dentist prepares the tooth by removing the outermost layer of the tooth and/or filling material into a short flattened pylon shape and takes an impression which is sent to a lab to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth. Your dentist will also make a provisional crown for your use while the lab does its work. The permanent crown is then inserted at a later dental appointment.

Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows the use of strong restorative materials requiring time-consuming fabrication methods requiring intense heat, such as casting metal or firing porcelain which would not be possible to complete inside the mouth. Many patients choose to have their crown fabricated with gold because of the similar expansion properties of natural teeth.

A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by permanently joining to adjacent teeth or dental implants.

A bridge is made by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. An impression is taken for the lab, and a temporary bridge is made for your use while the lab makes the permanent bridge. Then you return for the cementation appointment.

The teeth supporting the bridge on either side are called the “abutments” and the replaced missing teeth are called “pontics”. A bridge cannot connect from a natural tooth abutment to a dental implant abutment. Two dental implants are required for a bridge where this function is required.

The materials used for the bridges include gold, porcelain fused to metal, or in the correct situation porcelain alone. The amount and type of reduction done to the abutment teeth varies slightly with the different materials used. Patients are instructed how to and must be careful to clean the abutment teeth and gums well under the bridge.

A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over the front of a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth. A porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated in the same way a crown is made.

Today, with improved cements and bonding agents, they typically last 10 or more years. They may have to be replaced in time due to cracking, leaking, chipping, discolouration, decay, shrinkage of the gum line and damage from injury or tooth grinding.

*There are two fees associated with crowns, bridges, porcelain veneers, dentures and other oral appliances. The dentist’s fee and a lab fee for their materials and services.

Once a tooth has undergone RCT it no longer has a blood supply and becomes brittle, therefore prone to fracture. It is usually recommended to get a crown to surround the tooth and prevent it from splitting like firewood, vertically into the gums/bone. If this happens, the tooth is now non-restorable and usually has to be extracted.

The general public has the notion that Root Canal Therapy is experiencing pain; but in most cases, the patient falls asleep during the procedure.

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(250) 752-91222

Please call for emergencies 

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167 Fern Road West,
Qualicum Beach, BC
V9K 1S4

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Monday-Friday
7:30am-4:30pm