Welcome Back

We are so excited to see you again! Thank you for being patient as we make necessary changes to protocols and PPE to ensure patient and staff safety. Your next visit to us will look a little different, but our care will not.

Willow Dental Care wants to keep you safe and healthy. As such pre-screening protocols and triage via email, text, or phone will be required of all patients. There will be new protocols for you coming to the office. We will be asking patients to wear a mask to the appointment if you do not have one we will provide you with one. Also, call the office prior to appointment to let us know you have arrived and at that time we will instruct you when to come into the office. Please do not arrive early for your appointments.

For your protection, all our team will be provided with information and training on risk assessment on Covid-19.

We will only provide treatment, if, in our professional opinion, it is safe to do so. This is to protect you, our patients, and our team.

Whenever possible, physical distancing will be maintained during your visit to our office!

Appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment will be used for the safe delivery of your care! Additionally, enhanced sterilization and environmental cleaning best practices will be in place.

We have policies and a procedure in place that ensures no employees in the practice attend work if they are exhibiting signs of Covid-19. All staff and dentists will have daily health screening.

We are accountable to you to provide clear, honest, and transparent communication regarding our policies and procedures related to Covid-19. If you have questions or concerns, we are happy to speak with you.

We all hope you are staying safe & healthy and hope to see you soon!

Willow Dental Care Team!!!!

Hygiene Frequency

Dental Hygiene Frequency

Do Dental clinics ask you to come back twice a year or every six months because they need to create business?  You know how every six months, the hygienist always brings up the topic of “Have you been flossing”. She asks with so much regularity that you wonder if she had nothing else to make conversation.

Without doubt the truth about the six month return visit request, is that there is some truths to be told.

As someone who is a bit anal about life, my brushing and teeth cleaning routines are more regular than clock work.  As well, my routine is fully encompassing.  After brushing with the best toothpaste recommended for my sensitivity level, the electric toothbrush is burnished and used for the regulation period of minimum another minute so that the total brushing time is the full recommended two minutes.  Of course, there is flossing with the exact width waxed floss helps to get all those particles between the teeth.  No matter the late hour, I will still floss because I hear my hygienist words repeated, “ Not flossing is like taking a shower and not washing under your armpits.  I also remember my young six year old niece who came home from the dentist and was diagnosed with four cavities all between her teeth because they did not floss her teeth.   The final moments are spent using a soft pick which is a tiny pliable plastic brush to clean between the crevices between my gums and teeth.  I have some large spaces between my gums and teeth which are called pockets and also the signs for gum disease.

The vigor of this routine was instigated only a few years ago when my hygienist took a digital photo of my gums.  For the first time in my life I saw tartar.  It was disgusting.  Large lumps of white clay like substance laying all along the gum line.  Tartar is like barnacles…hard, tough, and impossible to remove unless it is done professionally by a hygienist.  It is formed from food that is left on teeth.  That forms plaque which is soft and white.  If plaques is not removed it becomes hard and sticks to the gum line.  It is the tartar that is the cause of gum disease which includes receding gums, bone loss, bleeding gums, pain and eventually perfectly healthy teeth just fall out due to the loss of the bone around the tooth.

So yes, they do insist on six months for regular tartar removal or commonly known as a dental cleaning or hygiene appointment.    The accumulation of tartar varies in every mouth.  The average person will have enough buildup in six months to warrant a professional teeth cleaning.  Many others actually need to return every three to four months, based on their dental health or in other words how quickly they build up tartar, how many pockets there are and how deep they are.

Save our Monarch Butterflies with free seeds

When was the last time you saw a Monarch Butterfly?

Their demise is rising at an alarming rate … a result of the lack of their main source of food the Milkweed plant.

Willow Dental Care is providing free Milkweed seeds to anyone who is willing to plant them. If everyone sows a few Milkweed seeds it is easy for all of us to make a difference and restore the Monarch’s habitat.

Help us to provide a better world especially for the Monarch Butterflies. At Willow Dental Care we feel that Save Our Monarchs is an efficient, simple and effective way to help a part of our ecosystem.

Drop by any Willow Dental office to pick up your free seeds!

Gingivitis and Bad Breathe

 

It’s holiday time. If you are close to the people you love is bad breathe getting in the way?

Periodontal Disease or“gum disease” or Gingivitis is an item often misunderstood. Periodontal Disease or Gingivitis is gum disease . So, here are some symptoms of gum disease. Do you notice some bleeding from brushing your teeth or some pink in the water when you spit?

Have you been told that you have bad breathe? You are careful never to eat foods like garlic or onions and yet, there is still an odor. When you look in the mirror your gums look puffy and there is some red along the edge of the gum and the teeth. If your gums are healthy they would look a pink color and not painful to touch or to brush.

Gum disease starts as an accumulation of PLAQUE. When food is left on your teeth and that also be from a sweet drink or even a cocktail, the bacteria that is left forms a very soft substance called Plaque. Plaque forms along the gum line or between your teeth especially when teeth are crowded or crooked, we find plaque in areas that are hard to reach with a tooth brush.

Soft stage plaque becomes tartar if left on enamel. Tartar is a very hard substance that sticks to your teeth and can only be removed by dental professionals with hygiene tools, like a cavitron which works like a mini blaster. A professional cleaning is recommended twice a year. The truth is, if you practice healthy habits of brushing and flossing you will prevent gum disease.

Remember that inflammation in the mouth comes from bacteria that will flow to the rest of the body and it is now confirmed that there are direct links to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, pancreatic cancers etc.

A mouth without bad bacteria, is more attractive. Try kissing a fresh clean mouth!

General Dentistry

Did you know that the healthier your smile, the lower your chances of developing plaque and tartar build-up, gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss? Regular dental hygiene appointments at Willow Dental Care could save your teeth – and save you thousands in expensive dental restoration bills in the future.

Keep your smile healthy and invest in your oral health by contacting one of our team members today.

At Willow Dental Care, we’re proud to offer you oral health care solutions for the healthiest, happiest smile of your life.

Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants can help prevent cavities and gum disease by sealing your teeth – essentially, shielding your teeth from the effects of normal, everyday wear and tear. Sealants are comfortable and long-lasting, so if you would like to request a dental sealant appointment or if you have any questions about dental sealants, please contact Willow Dental Care.

Oral Cancer Screening

The innovative VELscope oral cancer screening device has made it possible for the oral health care professionals at Willow Dental Care to routinely screen for lesions that could indicate oral cancer. Prevention and Early Detection are key in fighting oral cancer, so contact one of our team members today to book your VELscope Oral Cancer

Intraoral Camera

The Intraoral Camera makes it possible for you to see your teeth the way dental health professionals at Willow Dental Care see your teeth. The Intraoral Camera will take photos of your smile and you’ll be able to really see and understand how oral hygiene affects the health of your teeth. Intraoral Camera photos are part of your dental records and can be used for dental insurance purposes. Contact Willow Dental Care if you would like to book your Intraoral Camera appointment or if you have any questions about the Intraoral Camera.

If you have any questions about proper oral health care techniques, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.

Cosmetic Dentistry

 

A smile can be the most eye-catching feature of a face. With dentistry’s many advances, which are available at many of or cosmetic dental offices, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. At our cosmetic dental offices, you now have choices that can help you smile with confidence.

Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel about yourself. Please call us for a consultation and talk to our cosmetic dental offices about the options most suitable for you, what your expectations are and the dental fees involved!

A Kissable Mouth?

Do you have Periodontal Disease and don’t know?

Sometimes people also will hear about “gum disease” or Gingivitis.  It is a small item often missed and also misunderstood.  What is it really?  Periodontal Disease or Gingivitis is gum disease.   A very severe form of Gingivitis is called Anug or Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis.  At this point it is a very painful infection of the gums. For those who have never heard about it, here are some symptoms or signs of gum disease.

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth?  Sometimes you will see some blood when you are rinsing your mouth.  It may just be a small amount looking like pink water when you rinse.

Have you been told or have you noticed that you have bad breathe.  Somehow no matter how careful you are about not eating garlic or onion or foods that may create the bad breath, you still have an odour when you breathe into your hand.  Even after brushing you can still sense a bad odour?

When you look at your teeth and gums, do your gums look puffy and red or even a bright pink.   Healthy gums should look pale pink.  Gums should be firm to the touch.  It should not be painful to brush or floss or touch your gums.

Gum disease is not age specific.  It can be present at any age although it is one of the most common dental problems found in adults.  Generally, this disease starts as a build up of PLAQUE which is the bacteria that is left from food.  Plaque is white and very soft and will be found along the gum level or between teeth.  Often if teeth are crowded or crooked, plaque can easily accumulate in those cracks and crevices or in the back teeth where it is harder to clean.

Plaque hardens when it is not brushed off and left over a period of time it becomes tartar.   Tartar is now the hard yellowish material that sticks to your enamel.  It is hard like barnacles on a boat and has to be professionally removed by your hygienist or dentists.  Tartar can be found above the gums around the teeth and often lack of flossing under the gums will allow for accumulation of tartar under the gums where it is most destructive.  So yes that means that good stewardship of brushing and flossing would prevent this disease.

All of this means that now there can be rampant bacteria in the mouth.   When tartar is not removed regularly not only is gum disease started but the environment encourages more bacteria because bacteria will adhere to the tartar.  Now there is a hard landing place for bacteria to gather and flourish.   Therefore bad breathe and bleeding gums are the results.  If that were not enough to encourage you to brush, floss and get professional cleanings biannually, conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, pancreatic cancers, and even hormonal imbalances have potential links to oral bacteria which can trigger a reaction to increase inflammation in other parts of your body.

So, by a regular regimen of great plaque control or in other words brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once a day and getting regular check-ups and cleanings will help to lower the entire bacterial count in the mouth, and therefore decrease dental infections, gum disease and bad breath and other body diseases as well.

With that in mind now you can count on fresher breath.   Think of brushing not your teeth but brushing your gums.  Aim the toothbrush at your gums and you will automatically clean the teeth.  An electric toothbrush is essential to reach all those awkward areas like the back molars or between crowded teeth.

Here is one final word about flossing. It is probably the hardest habit for dental personnel to encourage.  Many people cannot get the habit or the technique.  BUT if you think that when you shower, you miss important body parts like under the arms or your feet, brushing without flossing is the same idea.   Flossing is probably the most important part of preventing gum disease.  The action of pulling the floss between your teeth and under the gums not only removes the plaque daily, it also helps to massage your gums.  It’s like a workout for your gums.  Flossing will improve the colour and texture of your gum tissue.

In the end, fresh breath and a mouth free of bad bacteria, definitely makes us more attractive.  Wouldn’t you want to kiss a fresh mouth like that?

We Have Great Staff!

Carolyn M. from our office puts a little girl at ease with a mall race.

“Today we had a little girl in for a filling and she was nervous about freezing so her and I played a game together. We were to race down the hall of the mall and if she won I had to be frozen too and if I won it was just her that received the freezing…I won! Just barely though.”

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Don’t Let Your Dental Plan Go to Waste!

coins-dental-plan

Truth: 95% of dental plans financial limits end December 31st. What does this mean to you? It means that you may be missing out.

You may be missing a year of benefits that you could have used up. If you have a few treatments scheduled, getting some completed in 2015 means that there will be a full year of benefits to use in 2016.

Many people never use their insurance benefit. Sometimes they don’t have a habit of visiting the dentist and sometimes it is due to high anxiety.

For those who prefer to be treated through sedation, it is covered by most insurances. To be certain of the coverage the dental office would send in a preauthorization form. The answers come back sometimes in a few days and sometimes in a few weeks. Due to the privacy act, many insurances will only send the information of the approval just to the patients. Every insurance policy is different.

Here is another truth. Did you know that if you have coverage for a cleaning every 9 months, this does NOT mean that you are eligible for a cleaning only every 9 months. Most plans are broken into two categories. The plans are written to allow polish, fluoride and an exam every 6 or 9 months. However most plans have more room for tartar removal which is the hygiene treatment that really keeps your gums healthy.

What you need to look up on your plan is how many units of tartar removal you have allowable. This is usually called scaling or root planing. The average dental plan allows from 4 units to 16 units. What does that mean to you? Every time you go in for a cleaning with your hygienist, the average units used is two to three units. You could come and use the other available units of tartar removal and use up the allowable units every 4 months or 6 months as you need. Tartar removal helps maintain the health of gums, and prevents bone loss. Regular tartar removal encourages less bacteria build up and can help gums to reattach. Some people build up tartar faster and may have more gum problems. It is not just personal hygiene. It could be your chemical makeup in your saliva, or if you are taking medications that keep your mouth drier. So it is smart to look up your coverage for tartar removal and use the coverage appropriately.

This extra dental care is even more important for pregnant women who should see their dentist every three months. Hormones during pregnancy can significantly damage gums and the extra bacteria that accumulates can be detrimental to the health of the baby. If you are past the age of 65, you also might require more oral health assistance than every six months. Added medication can dry your mouth which leads to faster decay. You may need more than your dental plan provides, so understanding your plan is very important. In the end, dental insurances are there to help and provide more but they are not there to provide the treatment that you require.

Your dental office, has the experience with all different kinds of insurance coverage. Although you are ultimately responsible for your fees and your dental insurance, you can count on your clinic to help you decipher what is covered and will work with you to maximize your dental coverage. If you want to use your plan and not lose it for the year, call the dental office sooner than the end of December. Some treatments need to be preauthorized and that takes time.

You’re probably covered for more than you think, so choose health. You’ll be glad you did.