What is a Dental Emergency: Common Dental Emergencies & How to Handle Them

A dental emergency can be a stressful and painful time, with discomfort, swelling, and leading to a host of other dental issues, but what exactly defines a dental emergency? It’s important to know what constitutes dental emergencies, not just so dentists aren’t clogged with common dental problems that could’ve waited for an appointment, but to recognize immediate threats to your health.

What is a Dental Emergency?

While many dental situations can be very painful, not all dental issues are considered an emergency. To help guide you in choosing whether to make an appointment with your dentist or to go to an emergency dentist, there are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Am I in severe pain? If the pain is severe and there is bleeding, it could be a dental emergency.
  2. Did I lose a tooth? If a tooth has been knocked out due to trauma or another dental issue, fast treatment could save the tooth.
  3. Are my teeth loose? Children and teenagers may have loose teeth fairly often, but an adult should never. If you feel a loose tooth, even without pain, it’s a serious problem.
  4. Do I have an infection? An abscess or serious infection in the mouth can be life-threatening and treatment should be quickly sought out.
  5. Am I bleeding? If your gums are bleeding, it’s a potential sign of a dental emergency.

Common Types of Dental Emergencies

While there are signs of experiencing a dental emergency, it’s also good to be familiar with the most common dental emergencies and what to do till you can see an emergency dentist:

  • Unexplainable toothache: a sudden and unexplainable toothache qualifies as an emergency as it’s the body’s way of saying something is wrong. Until you can see a dentist you can apply a cold compress, rinse your mouth with salt water, and use over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Swollen or Bleeding Gums: occasional gum irritation doesn’t require an immediate dentist visit, but gums that won’t stop bleeding (especially when there is pain and swelling) can mean an underlying issue. 
  • Swollen Mouth or Jaw: if your mouth or jaw begins to suddenly swell for no apparent reason, seek out immediate medical attention as it could be an infection, lymph node irritation, or another issue that requires an emergency dentist.
  • Knocked-Out Tooth: When a tooth is suddenly knocked-out, it is a dental emergency and requires immediate action to potentially save the tooth and reinsert it. Before seeing an emergency dentist and while you wait for dental care it’s important to pick up the tooth by the top to not touch the root, rinse it without scrubbing, and place it in a container of milk or water.
  • Missing Filling or Broken Crown: a missing filling can expose the tooth’s nerve and cause many other dental problems without immediate treatment. Similarly, a broken crown or one that has fallen out can leave the tooth exposed and vulnerable to infection and further damage. Both require an immediate visit to the dentist.
  • Abscessed Tooth: a dental abscess is a dental emergency, it is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition where a pocket of pus in the tooth has led to an infection and causes fever, tooth sensitivity, persistent toothache, tender lymph nodes in the neck, face swelling, and a pimple-like bump on the gums near the infected tooth.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

When any of these dental problems arise and the questions listed guide you towards confirming a dental emergency, it’s important to seek emergency dental service straightaway. By ignoring or waiting while having an emergency dental problem, you risk losing teeth, additional discomfort, and the problem becoming more extensive and life-threatening. It is important to note that emergency rooms can treat some dental emergencies such as:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Bleeding gums
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Dental fractures
  • Pain

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic also provide emergency dental services and strive to make dental care affordable, and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan for your dental veneers that works for your financial situation.

If you have questions about our emergency dental service, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.

The Importance of Tongue Care in Dental Hygiene

Tongue cleaning is essential to having good oral health and has a big impact on your dental hygiene overall. It’s an important habit to develop, though an underrated one. Many people focus on teeth care, making sure to brush and floss to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but the tongue plays a big role in oral health.  

Read below and discover how the tongue is an important part of oral hygiene and the benefits it brings to your overall health. 

How Tongue Cleaning Impacts Dental Care

Cleaning your tongue is an important part of keeping your teeth and overall oral hygiene top-notch. While brushing your teeth and flossing help get rid of plaque and bacteria, rinsing out your mouth doesn’t wash all the bacteria off the tongue. Think of what your tongue does throughout the day with eating and drinking, licking around your mouth or lips, not only does it share in everything that sticks to your teeth but the taste buds also get coated by it all. 

The surface of the tongue is textured to allow it to hold small particles, which accumulate and can form a multilayered biofilm, water and mouthwash aren’t enough to wash it away. This is why cleaning your tongue is essential to caring for your mouth. 

Important Tongue Cleaning Habits

To properly clean your tongue, there are a few techniques you can use to ensure you’re clearing away bacteria and the film that builds on it:

  • After brushing your teeth and flossing, stick out your tongue as far out as you can
  • Use your toothbrush or a tongue scrapper
  • Start at the back of your tongue and move it toward the front with slight pressure
  • If using your toothbrush, you can move in forward and backward motion in small circles 
  • Spit out any saliva between brushing
  • Rise your mouth and repeat as needed

Remember to brush your tongue gently, doing it harder won’t help improve the cleaning and would only damage your tongue if scrubbing too hard. 

Benefits To Your Teeth and Mouth

By adding tongue brushing and cleaning to your dental habits you gain many benefits for your oral health, from preventing bad breath to a healthier-looking tongue:

  • Reducing bacterial growth that can cause dental caries, oral infections, and other oral diseases. 
  • Controlling bad breath by scrubbing out bacteria, dead skin cells, and food particles that have been collected on the tongue.
  • Reduces sulfur compounds and plaque that accumulates on the tongue
  • Improves your sense of taste and smell

Another top benefit of regularly cleaning your tongue is to enjoy a fresher mouth by helping the tongue stay smooth and fresh feeling. The feeling of a slimy tongue and tasting what you’ve eaten throughout the day isn’t particularly enjoyable. Whether you clean your tongue by using a soft-bristled toothbrush or a tongue scraper is a personal choice, but you can always ask your dentist about which one is best for you. 

Now that you understand how important cleaning your tongue is to oral hygiene, be sure to have regular dental appointments so you can catch any oral health issues early, including those that affect or originate from the tongue. Talk with your dentist about good tongue hygiene and the tools you can use to keep it healthy.

If you are looking for a dentist, we have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 587-801-1939 or contact us here.

General Dentistry in Edmonton

We all agree that dental health is important, not only for a healthy smile but for your general health as well. It’s an important area of the body that not only permits many abilities we take for granted, such as speech and chewing, but also can have a profound effect on our self-esteem. Your teeth and their care are an integral part of your overall well-being. 

That’s why it’s important to have an Edmonton dentist to care for your general dentistry needs, but what does a general dentist do, and why it is important to see one regularly? 

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry is the area of dental care that most people are familiar with and most dental school graduates practice after finishing. Essentially, it’s preventative dentistry in that these are the dentists you visit for regular checkups and regular teeth maintenance. A general dentist’s main job is to prevent oral diseases from progressing and treat those that are found, such as a cavity or receding gums. 

General dentists are the dentists you see, hopefully, at least once a year for a cleaning, or exam, much like your general practitioner doctor. 


Why Regular Dentist Visits are Important For Your Teeth

The primary reason any Edmonton resident, or any person, should visit their dental office every six months regularly is to find any problems early on. For example, tooth decay can be stopped or managed fairly easily if it’s caught early on and treatment can become harder as oral diseases progress. Another reason to regularly make an appointment with your dental office is education on dental hygiene. While many of us were taught to care for our teeth, a dentist can see what areas you’re missing or habits you’ve been neglecting. 

One area many people don’t consider with their dental health is how it’s tied to other areas of health, such as teeth grinding or headaches, or sleeping. A dentist may not be able to treat these specific issues, but finding the potential cause can lead them to recommend you to the appropriate specialist for a solution. 


General Dentistry Services

General dentistry covers a wide array of dental services, from diagnostics like an X-ray and examination or testing. While the array of services is extensive, there are core categories you can expect from your general dentist:

  • Preventative services, such as exams and teeth cleaning
  • Restorative services, such as filling a cavity, root canals, dental implants, or repairing a broken tooth
  • Overall health, your teeth, and oral care is a window into many other areas. For example, untreated oral infections can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea can be detected by your dentist. 


Choose Ellerslie66 as Your General Dentist

Dr. Li and our oral care team are accepting new patients at our Edmonton office and provide general dentistry services to the community. 

Call Today to Schedule an Appointment at 587-801-1939 or Contact Us Online.

How Do Dental Veneers Work?

For people who feel their teeth aren’t in the best state to show when they laugh or smile, they’ll likely look at dental veneers to help restore confidence in expressing themselves. There are several options within cosmetic dentistry to give you that confidence boost and help you feel more comfortable, but while researching what’s the best option for you’re likely looking into how a treatment works. 

Look no further for information on how teeth veneers work for your smile than the facts below. 


What are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a treatment within cosmetic dentistry where thin shells are placed on the surface of a tooth. Veneers can be used for a wide range of dental issues and there are several materials you can choose from, such as the popular porcelain veneer. The porcelain type of veneers is the traditional choice due to their strength and durability, with the added benefit that they look nearly identical to the natural enamel of your teeth. Other choices of veneers include:

  • Composite resin veneers: they can take longer to create, but also offer a natural appearance that mimics your natural teeth and are quite durable.
  • Ceramic veneers: a cost-effective solution that requires less tooth preparation and can look natural depending on the quality of composite resin used. 

If you’re unsure what choice of veneer is for you, talk with your dentist to see what will work best for your situation and dental treatment. 


How Do Veneers Better Dental Health?

Veneers can help restore your teeth to a healthy-looking smile and help resolve an array of dental issues that may have undercut their pristine look. While many people seek out veneers to cover up imperfections they’re concerned about, like stains or discolorations of your teeth, they can also be used as a repair treatment. Veneers can also be used to help with:

  • Filling gaps between teeth
  • Helping crooked teeth look straight
  • Covering up chips and broken teeth
  • Covering up abnormally shaped teeth

Veneers are a very versatile tool in a dentist’s toolbox, so whether you’re wanting to improve your teeth’s appearance or better their health, veneers are an excellent choice to discuss with your dentist. 


How Dental Veneers Work

Veneers work by covering the existing teeth with a layer of porcelain, or other materials mentioned earlier, that is as thin as a wafer. Part of the dental veneer procedure is removing less than a millimeter off the surface of the tooth to preserve the nerve and keep the tooth’s strength, helping to ensure the teeth last and there is little risk of replacing them if needed in the future. 

Veneers are custom and don’t need to cover every tooth, just the ones that are of concern and potentially the ones on either side. Your dentist customized the veneer based on the shape and color of your natural teeth, as well as the ones surrounding where the veneer is being placed. That is more so for full veneers rather than partial veneers, the latter being closer to arranging puzzle pieces to cover damaged or discolored areas rather than the whole tooth. 


Get Veneers For Your Teeth With Us!

If getting veneers sounds like a restorative treatment you’re looking for, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li. She’ll examine your health history and current dental health before outlining a treatment plan that is personalized to your teeth’ needs.

Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic strive to make dental care affordable and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan for your dental veneers that works for your financial situation.

If you have questions about veneers, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.

All About Porcelain Crowns

There are several options for a person in need of dental crowns, but perhaps one of the most popular is porcelain crowns. There are several reasons why it’s a top choice out of the dental crowns types available, but if you’re considering porcelain crowns for yourself, then read below for more information on how a porcelain crown can benefit your teeth.


What are Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain dental crowns are a cosmetic option for people who have experienced tooth decay or have damaged teeth. They can be made as caps or crowns, in either case are custom-made, and restore a tooth to its original size, strength, and function. They are most commonly used for the restoration of front teeth and are an option when fillings or other methods of tooth restoration won’t fix the issue. 

There are several types of crowns made of porcelain, such as the traditional feldspathic porcelain, but other porcelain types include:

  • Empress: a glassy appearance that can be considered to be among ceramic crowns
  • Procera: exceptionally strong due to the milled ceramic on the inside of the crown
  • Lava: This crown is made with zirconia on the inside for a greater appeal on the outside.
  • Zirconia: made of zirconia and doesn’t leave a black line at the gum line like some porcelain-made crowns.
  • Emax: fast becoming a popular type of porcelain for crowns

Some of the options listed above are metal-based crowns but can be fused with porcelain as well. If you have a metal allergy, let your dentist know as that will impact the type of crown you’re able to have. 


How are Porcelain Dental Crowns Made?

There are several steps to making crowns out of porcelain, as each patient has unique teeth, and the dental crowns need to fit comfortably. The crown itself is made from a mold of a prepared tooth, more on that later, and is shaped like the tooth it is replacing. Depending on the type of crown chosen, such as types of porcelain, a thin layer of metal is formed around the mold of the tooth, and the porcelain is built up over it to create the rest of the crown. If the dental crown is pure porcelain, the crown is made from a mold that is prefabricated to fit over the tooth correctly. 


Benefits of Dental Crowns Made of Porcelain

As mentioned earlier, there are several types of dental crowns available and it’s important to know the benefits of each before discussing with your dentist the best type for you. With regard to dental crowns made of porcelain, the benefits include:

  • Porcelain can be formed to look like your natural teeth
  • Nearly impossible to notice due to the natural color
  • No allergic reactions
  • Crowns made of porcelain are resistant to stains
  • The best option for when decay and cavities prevent filling
  • Porcelain is extremely strong and known to last for 15 years or more
  • Crowns made of porcelain are reported to help decrease tooth sensitivity


What is the Porcelain Dental Crown Procedure?

For a dental crown made of porcelain, there are essentially three steps:

  1. Preparing the tooth
  2. Creating the crown
  3. Placing the crown

To prepare the tooth, your dentist will remove a portion of the enamel and sometimes the center of the tooth. If the crown is being placed due to tooth decay, an endodontic surgery (root canal) may be required before the crown can be placed. If the decay hasn’t reached that far, then the surface of the tooth will be reduced. Once the tooth has been shaped, a mold is made to form the crown. If the crown is to replace a tooth, a dental implant will be placed to support the crown. 

The dental crowns are created in a dental lab, but after it’s been made they will be fitted over the prepared tooth by your dentist and then adhered to with a strong dental fixative. Your dentist will likely have polish and slightly reshaped to ensure the best fit so it can fit correctly and contact the tooth on the opposing jaw for proper chewing and speaking. Once the crown is properly fitted, your dentist will cure the fixative and may do another polishing if needed.

If you need a dental crown and are considering porcelain or are worried about the strength of your teeth, we have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 780-705-9866 or contact us here.