Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry

The Benefits of BOTOX

Are you wanting to relieve muscle tension or look more youthful? Check out our blog post to learn about the benefits of BOTOX injections. Contact us to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation today!

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Four Things to Know About Porcelain and Composite Fillings

When you’re faced with a choice of fillings, the chances are you want ones that will look natural in your mouth and also last for a long time.  At Pier Dental Centre, you have a few choices available. We want you to have the information necessary to make the best decision for your health and your smile!


Here’s what you need to know:

Match Your Teeth

The older type of filling material, amalgam, is a blend of different metals. While this is an effective and strong material, it leaves your teeth looking grey. Even metal fillings like gold and silver can be very obvious in the teeth. With the (wrongful) stigma that goes along with obvious dental restorations, there’s no that wonder metal fillings often have the effect of making patients self-conscious, and hesitant about smiling. The good news is that both porcelain and composite fillings are great choices for fillings and they match your teeth! You’ll feel confident smiling and laughing!


Not All Cavities Are the Same!

Surface cavities can be repaired in a single visit under local anaesthesia. For this type, one that is between your teeth or very small, a composite filling is the best choice.  Not only does it match your teeth, but it is installed with and bonds quickly to your tooth!

The repair for a deeper cavity may be more extensive. Depending on the structure of the tooth, Dr. Cegielski and Dr. Kherani may decide that a porcelain filling is better. If you have to choose one or the other to make up the majority of your tooth, porcelain is a better aesthetic and minimally-invasive choice.  Large porcelain fillings, however, are usually put in as an inlay or an only.  What this means is that an impression of the cavity area is taken, and a lab-made filling is designed to fill and/or cover the space. It requires more than one appointment and a temporary filling in between.


Choose for Tooth Size!

The larger the tooth, the more pressure it has to withstand while you are chewing hundreds of times during the day.  So, a smaller tooth, like one of your front teeth or canines, may have a cavity that is easily corrected with composite filling, the same size cavity in a bicuspid or molar may need the stability of a lab-designed porcelain inlay.

Cavities are nothing to wait on. They can cause sensitivity, infection, bad breath, and abscessed roots.  Food can get caught in them. They can spread to other surrounding teeth if not treated early on.

If you think you might have a cavity in one tooth, don’t delay: it’s time to call Pier Dental Centre for a dental exam and X-ray.  Restoring your smile to health is one of our primary goals. Make an appointment with Dr. Cegielski or Dr. Kherani for a complete checkup to have all of your questions answered. Not only will we diagnose your dental decay, we will also help you understand all your treatment options available!

Is Cosmetic Bonding Right for You?

As you get older, you start to see and feel the signs of age on your body. First your hair, then your skin, perhaps your joints get a little achy in the damp weather. Then one day you smile in the mirror and realize your teeth are also showing age too, and it’s not so graceful!  They’ve started to yellow, and some of them show signs of wear, like tiny chips or grooves on the biting surface.

Further, they’ve started to show some movement – gaps that have gotten bigger, teeth that are crooked when they never used to be. You keep your dental appointments for cleanings and exams, so you know you don’t need fillings to correct any of these issues, but what can you do?

It’s possible that you’re a candidate for cosmetic bonding. There are several situations when bonding may work for you. At Pier Dental Centre, we are happy to examine your teeth and discuss which ones you are concerned about, then determine what treatments are available.


Bonding May Work If…

…You have gaps that are slightly too wide: If your teeth are widening a bit as the years go on, it could be due to a missing tooth in the back of your mouth, even your wisdom teeth.  That little bit of room in your jaw gives the teeth enough space to move under normal bite forces. It takes time, but after 15 years or so, you may start to see spaces where they never were before. Cosmetic bonding can close that small gap, or the one between your front teeth if you have it!

…Your teeth are worn from grinding. A sore jaw in the morning, a headache that radiates from your temples, teeth that are worn and yellowed along the gumlines. They all mean one thing: Bruxism. Grinding your teeth wears down enamel, allowing the yellow dentin underneath to show through along the gumlines or even causing wedge-shaped notches in your teeth. Dental bonding can cover the dentin, allowing your teeth to be their whitest again! (Aside from the wear on your teeth, bruxism can be a symptom of oral sleep apnea, so it’s best to get that checked out!) If the biting edges of your teeth are worn too, you may need a crown.

 …You have small chips or cracks on prominent teeth. These could be from biting on hard foods or using your teeth as a tool.  Bonding can fill and cover these minor imperfections up to a point, however if a tooth is broken, it will need different sort of repair.


Bonding Won’t Fix Everything

Though there are several minor cosmetic problems bonding works well for, it can’t fix large gaps, severe fractures, alignment, or poorly shaped teeth. But Drs. Cegielski and Kherani can create a treatment plan that will work for your teeth, whatever their condition. Regardless of whether you have your teeth bonded or use another cosmetic procedure, you should continue caring for them with excellent dental hygiene including brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting your dentist at Pier Dental Centre every six months for a checkup and cleaning.

Contact our North Vancouver office to schedule your appointment!


Is Whitening Safe for Your Teeth?

Whitening is the most frequently requested cosmetic dental treatment available. It’s simple, relatively inexpensive, and offers results with a relatively high impact on your appearance.

But there is a certain caution that should be observed with undergoing whitening treatments, especially when using systems that are not overseen by a dentist. Over bleaching can have far reaching effects on your dental and overall health.

There are three basic ways to whiten your teeth and what you should know about each.

  1. At Home Whitening: Products available at your local pharmacy that promise tooth whitening are generally pretty safe when used as the packaging directs.  They may be useful for lightening your teeth temporarily or if you have generally mild staining and tooth discoloration. They are usually made with a low concentration of peroxide that is safe for your teeth if a dentist hasn’t screened you.
  2. Shopping Center Whitening: The dental bleaching offered in shopping centers or what can be found for purchase online often boasts superior results. Even the before and after pictures look amazing. But as a patient and consumer, you need to be very careful. These treatments may be very harsh. And if they are not overseen by a dental professional your teeth can be at risk.  Dental bleaching slowly changes the enamel of your teeth. This is okay if you only have it done every now and then. Some people, however, develop a body dysmorphic problem that has been dubbed “bleachorexia,” which makes them believe their teeth are never quite white enough. They continue to pursue excessive whitening treatments even when their teeth cannot be any whiter. With no dental or medical professional to keep the products in check, these patients wear their enamel thin, leaving the exposed to plaque, bacteria, heat and cold. Not only that, but the dentin underneath the enamel is a yellow color, with no possibility of becoming white. People who get this far usually have to turn to crowns or veneers to cover their natural teeth.
  3. Dental Office Whitening: Most dentists offer whitening in their offices. This is by far the safest route for getting a whiter, brighter smile. You can rely on Dr. Cegielski and Dr. Kherani to keep a careful watch over your teeth, looking out for the enamel as well as dental concerns like plaque build up, gum irritation, or swelling. And when your treatment is done, you’ll be able to do touch ups with a custom fitted at-home kit.

At Pier Dental Centre, we are committed to providing excellent care to our patients whether you come in for a check up, a root canal, whitening, or any other treatment. We know you have many options for dental whitening in North Vancouver; we seek to honor your trust in us with a higher standard of care than you might receive elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a whitening treatment or need help restoring teeth affected by bleachorexia, contact our office to schedule an appointment!

Five Tips to Make Your New Crown Last

When you started having a toothache, you knew you had a problem; but you didn’t want to face what it meant. A year later, your tooth is broken, and you’re in a lot of pain: it’s past time to get to the dentist. Even without a set of x-rays, the dentist can tell you have an infection and likely will need a root canal and a crown.

It takes a lot of effort for you to get to the dentist and get the broken tooth fixed. There are days off work, some scrimping to pay your treatment costs, not to mention overcoming the anxiety you feel about having the root canal!  Once you get the crown in your mouth, you want to know how to care for it, so you don’t have to go through that ordeal again anytime soon!

Use these five care tips and your crown may last 15 years or more.

  • Avoid hard food. Chewing on hard candies, carrots, or even your favorite holiday toffee can be damaging to a crown. Limit your exposure to these foods, especially at first. The goal is to keep your crown for as long as possible; but noshing on hard, crunchy foods put extreme pressure on the restoration and can break the bond between it and the tooth.
  • Avoid chewy food. This includes very tough foods, like overcooked meat and also sticky foods like caramel and taffy. Tough foods, like hard ones, can break cement that holds the crown to the tooth. Sticky foods can use the strength of your mouth to pull the crown (or filling) completely out. If you love the tastes of these foods and can’t avoid them, don’t chew on them. Instead, allow them to melt in your mouth and take very small bites.
  • Watch out for grinding. You may not realize you grind your teeth when you sleep, but if you wake up with a headache and jaw pain, there’s a good chance it’s caused by grinding/bruxism. Ask Dr. Cegielski for a night guard to help you stop clenching your teeth, and to relieve the pressure on your dental crown.
  • Floss carefully. Whether you use regular dental floss, a floss pick, or a proximal brush, be gentle with it. With floss in particular, make sure you move it down both sides of the space between the teeth, but when removing it, let us know if it catches on anything.

If it gets caught above the crown, don’t pull down on it, simply pull it straight out from between the teeth. Most people tend to be afraid of pulling their crown off with floss, but this rarely happens. It’s better to floss daily to prevent new decay from forming around the margins around your restoration.

  • Keep your six-month appointments: There’s no easier way to maintain your dental health than to keep your dental checkup and cleaning appointments. Six months is enough time for your dental health to show changes, but not usually enough time for those changes to become severe. A cleaning and exam at this point should be enough to keep your smile healthy and your new crown safe.

Crowns can be a great investment in your compromised tooth. With a little care, they can last 15 years or more! Contact our North Vancouver office for an appointment.