Is Using an Electric Toothbrush the Most Effective Method for Cleaning Your Teeth?

The Electric Toothbrush Market

The electric toothbrush market is dominated by two main brands: Oral-B and Philips Sonicare. Both companies use different technology in their toothbrushes, with Oral-B using oscillating-rotating technology and Philips Sonicare using sonic technology. While the brushing experience might feel different with each brand, both effectively remove plaque and keep your teeth clean.

Cost vs. Effectiveness

One downside to electric toothbrushes is the cost. Prices can be quite high, with some models retailing for over $200. However, it's important to remember that a higher price tag doesn't necessarily mean a better clean. In fact, a manual toothbrush can be just as effective at removing plaque when used with the proper technique. When using a manual toothbrush, in addition to brushing the chewing surfaces, it is also important to brush both the cheek and tongue surfaces of your teeth at a 45° angle toward the gumline.

Battery Life and Additional Features

Despite the cost, paying more for an electric toothbrush will generally get you a better battery life or extra features and modes. Another thing to consider when buying an electric toothbrush is the use of artificial intelligence and apps. Some toothbrushes, like the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean, have an associated smartphone app that can track your brushing habits and provide feedback. For individuals who use too much pressure while brushing their teeth, another helpful feature of some electric toothbrushes is their ability to detect and indicate when you are applying too much pressure, helping prevent gum recession.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the choice between an electric toothbrush and a manual toothbrush comes down to personal preference. Electric toothbrushes can be more effective at removing plaque and preventing gum recession, but they can also be more expensive. On the other hand, a manual toothbrush can keep your teeth just as clean when used properly.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

It's important to note that regardless of which type of toothbrush you use, it's still recommended to go to the dentist for a check-up every 6 months. Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health as they allow your dentist to detect and prevent any potential problems before they become more serious. If you have any dental concerns, please call our office to schedule an appointment. Additionally, if you have questions about which toothbrush is right for you or more questions about the proper way to brush your teeth, ask one of our hygienists during your next cleaning or call us to book an appointment!

How Do You Get Cavities?

Cavities form across the span of several months or even years. This means that by attending preventative dental check-ups, dentists can catch cavities early before they grow larger. Not only does this reduce the extent of treatment required to fix the tooth, but it will also save you money in the long run.

Here, we talk about some of the causes of cavities and how they develop. Read on to learn more about the process of cavity growth so that you can better understand the professional prevention process.

What Causes Cavity Formation?

Cavities are caused by bacteria accumulation over time. However, refined sugar and frequent snacking can also contribute to the progression of decay. Make sure that your oral health is a priority, as brushing and flossing twice daily can help to stop cavities in the early stages and prevent them from developing faster.

The Early Stages

Cavities form in 5 stages. The first, demineralization of the enamel, is when the tooth is exposed to acids from foods. Demineralization can be reversed through fluoride exposure; the use of fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash or topical fluoride application during your cleaning appointments will help to reverse the damage and strengthen the enamel backup.

If the demineralized tooth is left unchecked, the second stage, enamel decay, will begin. This is essentially when a small hole in the tooth forms. By stage 2, you have a cavity that can be treated with a simple filling.

Stage 3 which is characterized by dentin decay, will take place if the cavity is left untreated. Dentin is the soft tissue beneath the tooth’s enamel. Decaying dentin can cause the tooth to become sensitive to cold or sweets and will slowly become more painful.

It is in the third stage of the decay process that most people notice their cavities due to the associated toothaches. If dentin decay occurs, you will need a filling or possibly a crown to restore the tooth.

Later Cavity Development

The fourth stage, pulp decay, leads to inflammation and gum swelling. You'll be in a lot of pain because the cavity has reached the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth. This stage will have pain that can be spontaneous, throbbing, shooting, or radiating pain that may be intense enough to require pain medication. You will likely need a root canal for treatment and a crown to protect the tooth.

A dental abscess occurs in the fifth stage and will usually require immediate treatment. The cavity reaches the gum and creates a pus-filled pocket beneath the tooth. The pain and swelling will become intolerable and you may need to have the tooth extracted.

Routine dental checkups and tooth cleanings can ensure that any cavities are caught in the early stages. You'll experience less pain and sensitivity this way, and you also won't need to undergo painful or costly dental procedures.

The Major Symptoms of Cavities

If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, it's important to book a dental exam:

  • Tooth sensitivity and soreness
  • Dull or sharp pain
  • Sensitive gums
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Grey, brown, or black spots on the teeth
  • Bad breath

These symptoms will only worsen as the cavity moves into the later developmental stages. Make sure to be proactive about your dental health and book a check-up sooner than later!

Prevent Cavities with a Dental Check Up at Cypress Dental

Now that you know the causes of cavities and how they develop, it's time to speak with a professional about how to prevent them. Our expert dentists and dental hygienists are committed to helping you promote excellent oral hygiene. Schedule an appointment with our office to have your teeth cleaned and receive a dental check-up in Vancouver!

Dental Checkup in Vancouver: Signs of a Cracked Dental Filling

Studies show that around 90% of adults will experience dental issues that require fillings. Such as tooth decay or common cavities that need fillings.

Because of this, many people are likely to experience cracked dental fillings. Something that needs a dental checkup in Vancouver to repair filling cracks before they get worse.

This is a dental issue that you shouldn't ignore, as it can cause many problems. So you will need to start the process of repairing filling cracks before they worsen.

Keep reading to find out more about the causes of filing cracks and the dental filling shelf life.


The majority of people with a cracked tooth filling will have severe sensitivity. Mostly when they are chewing food, as this irritates the tooth and the gum surrounding it.

You may also feel sensitivity to hot or cool temperatures as your tooth is damaged. If not treated, this could become so severe that it is hard to eat and drink.

Your likelihood of a cracked filling can also depend on the filling materials. There are different kinds of fillings, all with their own downsides that could result in cracking.

Strange Sensations

If you have a cracked tooth filling, this will often feel very strange. You may hear or feel the moment it cracks as it can make a noise or feel like there is an object in your mouth.

Many describe it as feeling like there is a hard object in or around that tooth. This can make eating feel strange if it feels like there is something obstructing your tooth.

Anyone is at risk of having their fillings crack, depending on the situation. Some causes of filling cracks are from pressure, grinding, or clenching your teeth.

Bacteria may have also worked their way under the filling, growing over time. Something that can also result in cracking, which will need to be repaired.

Noticeable Damage

You may also be able to feel the damage on that tooth with your tongue. Many people can feel the crack or split with their tongue, and it may even be sharp to the touch.

Depending on where it is, you may be able to see the damage as well. Replacing dental fillings will be necessary when this happens, especially if it is a severe crack.

The dental filling shelf life is anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on the type of filling. So many people may have to have their fillings replaced at some point.

Painful Sensations

If your tooth is cracked, you will often feel sharp sensations. This pain will be sharp and quick, usually only occurring if food or drink makes contact with the cracked filling.

Rinsing the area off should help the pain, but the filling will need to be prepared to resolve the issue.

Dental Checkup in Vancouver for Cracked Filling

If you suspect that you have a cracked filling, you should have a dental checkup in Vancouver. This will need to be repaired as quickly as possible.

Do you have the symptoms of a cracked filling? Contact us today at Cypress Dental to schedule your appointment.

Five Things To Know Before You Use Over-The-Counter Tooth Whitening Strips

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Given this fact, it's no wonder that over 37 million people whiten their teeth each year.

There are several methods commonly used to attain a perfectly white smile, one of today's most popular being over-the-counter (OTC) tooth whitening strips. At first glance, these do-it-yourself strips seem like a convenient and inexpensive way to get the smile of your dreams. However, there are some downsides you should be aware of. Here are five things to know before using over-the-counter tooth whitening strips.

1. Your White Smile Won't Last

One of the biggest downfalls to over-the-counter tooth whitening strips is that your smile won't stay pristine for very long. To keep your pearly whites, you'll need to repeat the process several times per year. While this may not be an inconvenience for some, it can severely damage the enamel of your teeth which could lead to future dental problems. On the other hand, in-office whitening is long-lasting and isn't as harsh on the structure of your teeth.

2. Your Teeth May Not Actually Whiten

When you have your teeth whitened by a dentist, they'll personalize the process to ensure you receive the best results safely. Since OTC whitening strips are often a one-size-fits-all product, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may be too low to produce any noticeable difference in the colour of your teeth, leaving you with the same smile you started with.  Or some products may have very high concentrations to get you some effect but will most likely cause sensitivity of the teeth or damage your enamel.

3. OTC Whitening Strips May Damage Your Teeth

Although the level of peroxide or bleach in OTC whitening strips is often low and may whiten your teeth, continuous long-term use can cause serious erosion—especially if your teeth are already sensitive. Eroded enamel increases your risk of cavities and more intense tooth sensitivity which could lead to costly repairs. With professional whitening, you can achieve a whiter smiler that lasts longer than OTC whitening strips. In fact, most patients only whiten their teeth once or twice a year to maintain their bright smile!

4. You Might Only Whiten Part of Your Smile

Your smile contains dozens of nooks and crannies which are often difficult to reach with OTC whitening products. While whitening strips may effectively brighten the front of your teeth, they neglect the sides and back. This can lead to an unsightly splotchy look that may make you feel worse about your smile than when you started.

5. They May Not Work on Certain Teeth

Unfortunately, whitening strips aren't suitable for everyone. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, you could experience great levels of pain due to the chemicals contained in each strip. Furthermore, since OTC strips aren't 100% effective, you risk increasing the sensitivity of your teeth without getting the white teeth you set out for. Sometimes the dark areas of your tooth you are seeing may actually be root surface showing, which may not change color the same way enamel does.  Also, some patients have darker teeth due to medication that their mother may have been taking while pregnant, such as Tetracycline. In these cases, OTC or in-office whitening will not be very effective or give predictable results.

If perfectly white teeth are your goal, it is best to find a trusted dentist who can give you the smile you're looking for. For tooth whitening in Vancouver, there is no better place than Cypress Dental. We offer in-office Zoom whitening that can produce noticeable results in only 1 appointment! See our smile gallery for some of our before and after results. Zoom whitening is a safe and effective way to brighten your smile as our LED Zoom lamp can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of each patient. Additionally, Cypress Dental also offers take-home whitening kits that allow you to safely whiten your smile conveniently at home. Schedule an appointment today and dazzle your friends and family with a perfect smile.

What Black Spots on Your Gums Say About Your Oral Health

Healthy gums are generally pink, and inflamed or sensitive gums are red and relatively common. You might be concerned about a spot on your gums that looks slightly different from the norm. Black or brown marks are usually harmless. However, in some cases, they indicate a health concern. An oral dental exam can give you peace of mind, but in the meantime, here's what may have caused these discolorations.


Genes determine the skin color of your lips and the mucous membrane lining of your mouth. You might naturally produce more pigment or melanin, but if the spots on your gums change in size or color or become painful, you'd do well to see a dentist.

Other Endogenous Causes

Multiple black spots appearing out of nowhere may hint at an endocrine disorder. Your dark spots could also be due to oral lichen planus. This condition is not one you catch from other people; it isn't contagious but is chronic, and a biopsy can confirm the diagnosis. Discolorations could also be due to benign oral hemangiomas resulting from capillary malformations or benign blue nevi, a type of mole. 


Rough fillings, aggressive oral hygiene practices, or an injury are all potential external causes for dark spots on gums. If bruises don't heal over a few weeks or you develop more marks, a blood clotting disorder called thrombocytopenia may be to blame. Children can also present with discoloration when they're teething and bump into furniture or fall.

Foreign Objects

When you get a dental filling, the amalgam or filling material can become stuck in nearby soft tissue, causing a stain known as an amalgam tattoo. This stain is harmless; you can ask your dentist to use a rubber dam to prevent future marks.


Smoking can cause black spots on your gums. The good news is that these marks will eventually disappear if you stop lighting up. In addition, tobacco and excessive alcohol use are major risk factors for oral cancer.

Oral Cancer

Black marks on your gums may be due to oral cancer. If you also have open sores, a persisting sore throat, and your voice sounds different, it's worth booking an appointment with your dentist to figure out what's happening. Early detection and swift action improve health outcomes.

Visit Cypress Dental in Vancouver, BC

There are many reasons why you may suddenly have black spots on your gums. Screenings at your dentist's office can tell you what you're dealing with so you can get gum disease treatment or other services to manage the issue in the best way possible. Book an appointment with Cypress Dental for excellent oral healthcare treatment in Vancouver.

Teeth Grinding: How to Identify Symptoms and Find Relief

Teeth Grinding: How to Identify Symptoms and Find Relief

What Is Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a surprisingly common dental issue characterized by clenching and grinding of the teeth. It's estimated that around 9% of adults grind their teeth regularly in their sleep, and the problem often goes undiagnosed. There are several causes of teeth grinding, from stress and anxiety to poor alignment of the teeth; it may also be caused by more serious problems, like sleep apnea.

Some of the consequences of teeth grinding and clenching include headaches, jaw pain, and worn-down shortened teeth. If left untreated, persistent grinding can lead to various oral health issues such as chips and fractures of the teeth, receding gums, tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

If you think you might be grinding your teeth, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Listed below are the causes and symptoms of teeth grinding, as well as the various treatment options available.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism has various causes, separated into two types: primary and secondary.

Primary bruxism is the more common type and has no known cause. It usually starts in childhood and continues throughout adulthood.

Secondary bruxism is caused by an underlying problem, such as stress, anxiety, or a health condition. It usually starts after primary bruxism has been present for a while.

Some of the most common causes of teeth grinding include:

  • stress and anxiety
  • misaligned teeth or jaw problems
  • sleep apnea
  • taking certain medicines, including a group of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • smoking, drinking lots of alcohol and caffeine, and using substances like ecstasy and cocaine

Treatments for Teeth grinding.

There are several treatments available for teeth grinding. One popular treatment is a bite guard, a custom-made dental appliance that fits over your teeth and helps protect them from grinding against each other. A bite guard typically needs to be replaced every few years.

Dental surgery may be recommended if the grinding is causing serious damage to your teeth. Surgery can involve the removal of part of your jawbone or inserting dental implants to help stabilize your bite.

For those experiencing temporomandibular joint pain, muscle pain, regular headaches, or migraines due to teeth grinding, the use of Botox injections may help to relieve some discomfort. Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, is an injectable solution that reduces joint and muscle tension. Cypress Dental offers Botox injections for those with more severe cases of bruxism or as an adjunctive treatment to the night guard.

If you're looking for more conservative treatment, a few behavioral therapies can also help reduce teeth grinding. These therapies involve learning how to relax and control your jaw muscles and typically require regular sessions with a therapist.

Prevention of Teeth Grinding

One of the best ways to prevent your teeth from grinding is to wear a bite guard while sleeping; this appliance is also known as a night guard. Night guards are commonly recommended by the dentists at Cypress Dental as they are relatively inexpensive and can provide great benefit. Night guards work by absorbing the grinding force of your teeth which further prevents damage to your teeth and jaw.

At Cypress Dental, the process of fabricating a night guard is done in two appointments. At the first appointment, we take a 3D digital scan of your teeth which is then used to make a custom-made night guard in a dental lab. At the second appointment, we have you try your night guard on to ensure that it fits comfortably over your teeth.

If you think you might be grinding your teeth or are experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding, it's important to see a dentist to find out what's causing the problem and get help to stop the grinding. Contact us today at Cypress Dental and say goodbye to teeth grinding!

What Is a Dental Bridge? A Solution for Missing Teeth

Did you know that losing a tooth can have multiple effects? It can affect how you eat. It can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance and may even lower your self-esteem if you feel embarrassed to smile. The long-term effect of a missing tooth is progressive bone loss in your jaw where the tooth used to be. Have you recently lost a tooth (or teeth)? Taking care of that gap will help you avoid these effects. One of the treatment options available to repair a gap due to missing teeth is a dental bridge.

What is a dental bridge? How will it help to fix your teeth? What is the procedure like and what are the benefits of dental bridges?

Keep reading for the answers to all your questions and more.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is comprised of crowns that attach to the teeth surrounding a missing tooth or teeth. Bridges are permanent fixtures that appear and act like the teeth they are replacing. It is a prosthetic for the missing teeth.

The Types of Dental Bridges

There are four types of dental bridges:

  • Traditional
  • Cantilever
  • Maryland
  • Implant-supported

Traditional bridges can be constructed with metal, ceramic, or porcelain fused to metal. This most common bridge features crowns that attach to abutment teeth (the teeth surrounding the gap) to secure a replacement tooth (pontic) in place.

In a cantilever bridge, the pontic is only attached to a crown on one side of the tooth. This type of bridge is not very common, as it is not strong enough to support molars. It is typically used to replace a missing front tooth.

A Maryland bridge can be made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal and is most often used to replace a missing front tooth. The Maryland bridge connects to the back of abutment teeth with wings secured with resin. This bridge is more conservative as the adjacent teeth do not need to be prepared for a crown.

An implant-supported bridge is similar to a traditional bridge. However, instead of crowns holding the pontic in place, a dental implant holds the structure in place.

The Benefits of Dental Bridges

There are many reasons why you may have missing teeth. These include:

  • Decay
  • Periodontitis/gum disease
  • Accidents/injuries
  • Old age
  • Medication side effect

Losing a tooth can do more than potentially making you feel self-conscious. Your bite may become uneven, affecting how you chew or talk. The teeth surrounding the missing tooth may start to tilt or rotate. Furthermore, you may begin to suffer from pain in your jaw.

Thankfully, bridges can help solve these problems. In addition to restoring your smile, bridges realign your bite or fix teeth that have become rotated or shifted. Bridges can also ensure that the bone in your jaw and your remaining teeth stay healthy and in place.

The Procedure for Installing a Dental Bridge

The dental bridge procedure is straightforward and usually requires at least two visits.

During the first visit, the dentist will remove enamel from the abutment teeth in preparation for receiving the crowns. The dentist will take an impression of the prepared teeth so the bridge, crowns, and pontic(s) can be made in a dental lab. At Cypress Dental, we use a CEREC Primescan AC intraoral scanner to create a digital scan of your teeth. Through taking a digital impression rather than a traditional impression, dental appointments become more comfortable, and the time needed to create the permanent crowns, bridges, and pontic(s) is significantly reduced. The patient will go home with a temporary crown that keeps everything in place until the permanent prosthesis can go in.


During the second visit, the permanent crowns, bridges, and pontic(s) are cemented in place. The dentist may use temporary cement first in case adjustments are need or if a patient needs to have a trail with the prosthesis. Once a proper fit is secured, the dentist will apply permanent cement.

Taking Care of Missing Teeth

To be a good candidate for a bridge to replace your missing teeth, you need to have both good oral health and good overall health. Your teeth and bone structure should be sturdy. Once you have a shiny, new bridge, you will need to practice good dental bridge maintenance. If you're looking to replace a missing tooth and you need a dentist in Vancouver, contact us today to make your dental bridge appointment.


Modern Dental Techniques vs. Dentistry Of Old

Dentistry has come a long way. When it comes to patient experience, it may have been painful and uncomfortable in the past. But with new dental innovations, patients are now much more comfortable during their dental appointments, and most procedures are pain-free. This article will talk about old dentistry vs. modern dental techniques.

What are Old Dental Practices Like?

Today, going to the dentist feels like a pampering session to some people. Dental chairs have padded headrests, and you can even watch TV. Years ago, you'll hear patients cringing in pain at the dental clinic and possibly full of dread thinking about their treatment.

There were also interesting theories about how cavities developed. In some places in China, Japan, and Greece, people had believed that cavities were caused by worms creating holes into and within your teeth, which we now know is not the case.

In Egypt, loose teeth were treated using honey, yellow ochre and ground barley. They use various drilling methods for tooth extraction, and you can imagine how painful this is without any anesthesia. It wasn't until 1550 B.C. that they discovered how to manage pain.

There was also a higher rate of morbidity from advanced dental infections due to the lack of proper treatment. Thankfully, dentistry has evolved and is significantly better today.

Modern Dental Care

Today, digital imaging is readily available, and it's incredibly helpful for diagnosing dental issues. Dentists can easily take X-rays of your teeth, save them, and compare them with past images to help monitor the progression of your dental health. 3D images and videos are also available to help dental professionals diagnose and treat dental problems. These technologies can now be used to educate and show the patient areas of concern or areas that need treatment.

As mentioned, dental offices today are much more comfortable. Patients can entertain themselves while waiting for their turn, and entertainment is even available for the family members. Compared to old dentistry, going to the dentist is less associated with anxiety or stress. Most dental professionals offer pain-free and stress-free dental treatment. Cypress dental offers sedation options for our patient with high dental anxiety. You can forget about those primitive dental practices that create an unpleasant experience for the patient.

How Dental Treatment Has Changed

In the past, medical professionals were clueless about what causes tooth pain, jaw pain or facial pain. But today, there is more data, diagnostic tools, technologies, and resources to help address all your dental needs. Cosmetic treatments can greatly enhance your teeth or even completely change your smile. Bridges, crowns, dental veneers and dental implants can help patients treat dental problems, such as misshapen, broken, loose, and missing teeth. Also, instead of waiting weeks, it is possible to even have your dental crowns made in one day. Different therapies and removable appliances can help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders that affect muscles and joints.

Contact a Dentist in Kitsilano

Are you having dental problems? Cypress Dental is here to help! We make sure that all our patients are comfortable while receiving dental care. Our goal is to provide our patients with a dental experience that will promote a lifelong relationship built on trust, confidence, and quality dentistry. We are a fully committed and dedicated team that aims to ensure you get the best treatment you need in order to help you achieve the smile you long for. Contact us today for an appointment.

How to Repair a Chipped or Broken Tooth

The tooth's enamel is extremely durable and is one of the strongest parts of your body. However, it doesn't take a punch to chip your tooth. You can damage your tooth when you have tooth decay and even while eating ice cubes. So how do you repair a chipped or broken tooth? We'll talk about the different cosmetic dentistry procedures to help restore your smile and improve confidence.


Veneers are thin, tooth-colored coverings made with porcelain or other composite materials that are placed over your teeth to look just like natural teeth. If you have chipped or broken teeth that can't be fixed by bonding or other treatment, veneers might be a good choice. There are different types of dental veneers and the right material depends on your dental problem. We suggest you get in touch with a dentist for recommendations.


Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to repair a chipped or broken tooth. They are placed over your teeth to restore and improve their appearance, shape or size. Crowns are made with ceramics, porcelain, metals, or resin and only require proper dental hygiene as maintenance.

Get crowns if you want to protect a weak tooth or restore a chipped or broken tooth. On average, they last between five to 15 years. Please ensure that you practice good oral hygiene to extend the lifespan of your crowns. It would also help if you can get rid of habits that include biting fingernails, chewing ice and grinding.


Tooth bonding is ideal for minor damage or injury to your tooth. It uses a composite resin, similar to the color of your teeth, to fix the chipped or broken tooth. This dental cosmetic procedure doesn't require anesthesia except when the damage is near your nerve or you also need a filling.

You can opt for this procedure if you're already happy with the color of your teeth. Should you decide to whiten your teeth later, we recommend that you choose another treatment. When you get teeth whitening, your natural enamel will get lighter but the bond doesn't change color. Talk to your dentist to help you make an informed decision.

Dental Implants

If you have a severely damaged or chipped tooth, it may be best to get a dental implant. By far, implants look more like natural teeth compared to other dental cosmetic procedures. However, not everyone is a good candidate for implants. You will need to have a healthy jawbone to be a good candidate. We suggest that you speak with a dentist to help you decide which dental treatment is right for you.

Contact Cypress Dental

Do you have a chipped or damaged tooth? Please contact Cypress Dental the soonest possible time for an appointment. Ignoring a chipped or broken tooth can lead to even further damage. The chip may allow bacteria to get inside the tooth, causing more damage. If you feel pain while biting or chewing, or your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold drinks, you may have a cracked or chipped tooth. Please see us right away so we can recommend the best cosmetic dentistry procedures. Call us today for an appointment.

How To Deal With a Dental Emergency

Like any other kind of medical emergency, a dental emergency can be frightening and traumatic. No matter the cause, acting quickly and following the right steps are key to preventing further complications. Before reaching for the phone, follow these best practices for every kind of dental emergency.

Fractured Teeth

If hard food or facial trauma cracks teeth, the fracture can cause shooting pain, temperature sensitivity and swelling. This is because the pulp at the center of the tooth is exposed.

Relieve symptoms with over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. Afterwards, bite down gently on a slightly moist clean cloth. Make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be mended with a bridge or crown.

Knocked-out Teeth

Every year, children lose five million teeth to facial trauma, but people of every age know the pain. Timing is crucial to preserve lost teeth. In the first 30 minutes:

  • Pick up the tooth by the crown but never by the root.
  • Do not rinse with water. Do not use soap or any chemicals. This will destroy any viable cells on the root surface of the tooth.
  • If possible, put the tooth back into its socket with the root facing down.
  • If that's not possible, put it in your mouth next to your cheek. Otherwise, leave it in a small container with milk.
  • See a dentist or endodontist.

It's possible to save a tooth after 30 minutes, but see a professional as soon as possible.

Jaw Injuries

A dislocated, broken or fractured jaw causes pain, bruises, swelling and numbness. Wrap an ice-pack in a towel and hold it to the area up to 20 minutes per hour. See a professional as soon as possible. Avoid talking or eating anything besides soft foods.

Soft-tissue Damage and Bleeding

Any type of dental emergency can cause cuts and bleeding in cheeks, lips, gums or tongues. Swish with clean water to keep the wound clean and relieve swelling by sucking on a frozen food such as a popsicle. Apply pressure with gauze to stop bleeding.

If bleeding occurs for a long period after dental surgery, return to your dentist as soon as possible.

Abscesses, Infections and Toothaches

Tooth abscesses and infections often occur after a tooth has been fractured or broken. They don't set in quickly but can spread throughout the bloodstream. Sometimes, mouth infections cause fatal brain abcesses.

Common symptoms of infections and abscesses include:

  • Redness and swelling along the neck and face
  • Toothaches
  • Bad breath
  • Bad tastes in the mouth
  • Fever

Take over-the-counter pain relievers and avoid using the affected part of the mouth. Make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

Lost or Damaged Dental Appliances

Losing a crown, bridge or other dental appliance can change the way a person bites and cause other teeth to shift. When a filling falls out, it can cause an infection. Always save whatever dental appliance came out and bring it to your next appointment. Have the appliance replaced as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment Following a Dental Emergency in Vancouver

A dental emergency is traumatic enough. At Cypress Dental of Vancouver, our office is designed to be as comfortable as possible. To schedule an appointment following a dental emergency, contact us today. Our team is experienced in multiple oral surgery procedures that save smiles.