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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to commonly asked dental implants questions!

Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is anchored in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge or denture in place. Implants are made from titanium alloys and bone-like ceramic materials that are biocompatible with body tissue. This is important at VCCID because we take a holistic approach to dentistry. Dental implants act as an anchor to provide a solid base for artificial tooth replacement. Here’s a video overview of dental implants. You can also visit our dental implants page for more information.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

What types of tooth replacement can be placed on implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants. They can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or replace several teeth, depending on what is needed. Dental implants can solve multiple different tooth replacement requirements.

Implants can:

  • Secure a crown for one tooth,
  • Secure a bridge for several missing teeth or an entire arch
  • Replace a removable partial denture
  • Secure as well as fully support a complete upper or lower denture
  • Be used during orthodontic treatment.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

Most dental implants have ten-year success rates, up to 98%. To put this in perspective, traditional crowns and bridges and root canals only have a ten-year success rate of 85%. Many medical procedures have ten-year success rates of only 75%.

With ideal and proper treatment planning, performing surgery following accepted rules of practice, having the prosthesis fabricated correctly, and finally proper patient maintenance, you can expect success rates in excess of 98%. Dental implant complications are rare with a proper treatment plan.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

How can I benefit from implants?

There are many benefits to dental implants. Patients are able to eat better, enjoying foods once denied them with dentures. They are more comfortable when they eat and don’t have to use adhesives to retain their dentures. They also say they can talk and laugh without feeling self-conscious and without fear of their dentures slipping out.

In short, they feel better about themselves, showing self-confidence and improved social and business lives. Apart from being able to smile, eat, sing, and speak better; dental implants prevent the onset of a poor facial profile due to loss of bone mass in the jaw bone when teeth are missing. Implants are well known in their ability to stop bone loss and maintain the facial skeletal structure. More benefits. Here’s a video explanation of the benefits of dental implants.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

Will I ever be without teeth?

After implant surgery, the gums and mouth need time to heal before a crown or prosthetic tooth is placed. You are still able to use a denture during the healing period. We can always make provisions to have temporary teeth made. In some cases where dentures are worn, we ask patients to wear their dentures part-time if possible during the initial healing period (3-14 days). Here are some additional tips on how to recover from dental implant surgery.

Why have implants become so popular?

The popularity of implants has largely been the result of people living longer and their desire to fulfill a lifestyle with the greatest possible pleasure. Implants give us the ability to restore something that is fundamental: the ability to eat confidently and comfortably.
More and more people with missing teeth realize they do not have to suffer. Almost everyone wants to smile more frequently and feel secure when they talk and laugh. Dental implants allow you to do everything you want with total self-assurance.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

Will I need an implant for each tooth?

No! You normally do not need an implant for each missing tooth. However, it is certainly possible to get a full mouth of implants. It is very important, however, that the number of implants is adequate to support the type of teeth and the biting forces being placed on them. In some situations, only 1 or 2 implants may be required, others may require up to 8 implants for an entire arch. Bridges are used when there are several teeth missing, so the implants placed are simply used to stabilize and support the bridges.

How long will my implants last?

There are few things in life that last a lifetime and dental implants are no different. The experienced implant dentist expects success rates in excess of 98%. Should a problem arise, it normally does during the first six months to a year following surgery, during the period of bone healing. After this period, problems are less frequent. Here’s information on the long-term success of dental implants. Dental implants are the most permanent solution to tooth loss, so even though they don’t last a lifetime, they are still the closest you can get to natural teeth.

How do implants compare with dentures?

There is no comparison. Comparing a denture to implants is like comparing a prosthetic arm to a real one. The improvement in comfort, function, health and self-confidence is incomparable. Dental implants enhance quality of life in a way that dentures can’t. Dentures however are useful as temporary tooth replacement. Here is our full article about dental implants vs dentures.

What is the best way to improve my lower denture?

Dentures rely on suction to hold them in place. Lower dentures tend to float due to little suction, allowing food and seeds to get under them while eating and causing sore spots. In addition, the floor of the mouth, as well as the tongue moves whenever we eat, speak or simply swallow. By placing as few as two implants in the lower jaw, implants can secure the denture by reducing its movement and preventing it from “falling out,” By placing four or more implants, the denture and all the chewing pressure can be transferred to the implants. This is one of the most ideal treatments for a lower denture in that it will eliminate all the problems usually associated with lower dentures.

What is the best way to improve my upper denture?

Unlike the lower denture, suction is not usually a problem with the upper denture. However, upper dentures can interfere with tasting food as well as causing gagging. Implants can allow you to eliminate the palate to increase your sense of taste and eliminate gagging. Implants will also secure your upper denture in the same way that they do a lower denture.

I currently have dentures. Can implants provide me with permanent teeth?

Yes. Many people with dentures who proceed with implants prefer to have permanent non-removable teeth. In other cases, a person might choose to have an overdenture which is removable but “snaps” into place. Both are excellent choices. We would be very happy to review the benefits and differences of each and help you decide which is best for you.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

What can I do about my partial denture?

As many as 50% of partial denture wearers are unable to comfortably wear a removable partial denture. Patients complain of the metal bar across the palate or behind the lower teeth. In some cases, the retaining clasps can decay the neighbouring teeth. Implants can eliminate the clasps and the connecting bar and even allow you to have a fixed bridge instead of a removable denture.

How long have implants been available?

Although the first recorded dental implant is over 2000 years old, implants became a viable alternative to lost teeth 50 years ago when a major breakthrough occurred with the use of titanium and its alloys. A further advancement 15 years ago – the use of synthetic bone coatings on titanium implants – has produced a stronger, quicker attachment to the bone.

Am I too old to have implants?

The oldest patient Dr. Balogh has treated was 85 years young and the youngest 17. Patients healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction are healthy enough to have dental implants placed. The most common disease to contra-indicate the placement of implants is uncontrolled diabetes, however, Dr. Balogh has placed many successful implants in diabetic patients. The important factor is to have your diabetes under reasonable control so that healing is not impaired.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

Will I have enough bone?

Although an exam, radiograph, or CT scan may be necessary to evaluate the amount of bone present, most patients have enough bone for the placement of implants. The longer a person has been missing teeth, the greater the amount of bone loss or atrophy that will have occurred. Sometimes insufficient bone will require the placement of a bone graft before implants are placed.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

Can I have bone added?

If you have insufficient bone, we can add new bone. At one time, the only bone available to us was from the patient’s hip or ribs. Today we have a choice of over 30 different types of bone from a number of sources. As well, most bone augmentation procedures are simple, atraumatic and successful.

Will implants reduce jawbone loss?

Yes, the jaw bone will atrophy as soon as a tooth is removed. By placing an implant the bone is stimulated to be maintained. The bone will not atrophy anywhere that an implant is placed.

Do you do “immediate” teeth?

Yes. In some cases, we can remove a tooth, place an implant as well as place a crown or bridge the very same day. We can discuss your situation to see if you would be a good candidate for this type of procedure.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

Will I be hospitalized?

No. Most dental implant procedures are equivalent to a tooth extraction and are performed in the dental chair under local anesthetic (freezing).

Will I experience much discomfort?

The discomfort experienced after the placement of implants is generally equivalent to that experienced from the extraction of a tooth. Most implants are placed using local anesthetic. Sedation is available, and is often recommended for extensive procedures or for anyone anxious about dental procedures. The techniques, medications, and procedures used in the placement of implants are designed to help you avoid pain and discomfort. A simple implant placement usually only requires the use of Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) for discomfort. Here’s more information on whether getting dental implants are painful or not.

How long will the entire process take?

The entire process typically involves 2 or 3 trips to the dentist over a 4 to 5 month period. During that time period, the patient is only in the dental chair for about 45 minutes each visit. Please note that each patient heals differently, so time may vary. Here’s more information on what’s involved in getting dental implants.

How long do I have to wait before resuming normal activity?

In most cases, you can resume normal activities the day following the placement of your implant. In those cases where extensive surgery is performed, you may require 3 or 4 days to resume normal activity. Here are our top tips for recovery after dental implants.

Can I get implants if I am fearful?

Yes, it is normal to have some level of anxiety towards dentists. Most dental fears are related to an early experience during our childhood. Today’s dental practices are capable of assisting you in dealing with those fears through sedation dentistry.

Will my implants require special care?

Dental implants do not suffer from normal teeth problems such as decay and hot/cold sensitivity. All that is needed is normal brushing and flossing along with your periodic check-ups.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

What kind of foods can I eat with implants?

Implants will allow you to enjoy foods like corn and apples – food that you may have avoided for years. Implant supported dentures and bridges can increase your biting force more than 10 times (compared to dentures) allowing you to eat any hard food that you were once able to with your original teeth.

What do implants cost?

The fee for placement and fabrication of the overlying prosthesis (crown, bridge, denture) varies. The more implants that are required the greater the cost. Another factor in cost is the type of replacement that is required. In many cases involving dentures, the patient’s existing denture can be used. You will be informed of the total treatment fee at your initial consultation. All dental implants are tax deductible. Learn more about the cost of dental implants in Vancouver.

Does dental insurance cover the cost?

Coverage of each dental plan varies from plan to plan. As a general rule, all plans cover the initial consultation, radiographs and any other planning costs. In Canada, only a few plans pay for the placement of implants although in the USA, many plans now provide coverage. Most insurance plans cover a percentage of the crowns, bridges and dentures over implants.

Do you provide financing for dental implants?

Yes. We do everything we can to make your dental treatment affordable. For treatments lasting several months or more, we break down the fees over the course of treatment. Visit our financial policies page to learn more about payment options.

What if I have an allergy to metals?

There are many people who have sensitivities to metals. Nickel is a fairly common allergy affecting ~5% of the population. Others have some sensitivities which may not be a true antibody antigen type allergy. These people cannot wear any jewellery with less than 18 karat gold.

Sensitivity to titanium is even more rare, but it does exist. Some titanium implants are made from pure titanium, while most are an alloy (to make them stronger). So if you have any concerns you can get a test done to determine if you have any sensitivities to titanium. Two available tests are a Melisa test or a Clifford’s test. Most naturopaths and some dentists can arrange this test for you.

If you do have a sensitivity you may be a candidate for a zirconia implant. At VCCID we take a holistic approach to dental care and we understand the need for non-metallic implant alternatives. These are considered non metallic, ceramic type implants. Although not as well known, they have been in clinical use for ~15+ years and they are also excellent choices for tooth replacements.

*All photos are of work done by Dr. Balogh on actual patients
None of the photos have been retouched other than to crop images to the appropriate size and area of interest.
These photos are examples only. The exact and potential outcome varies with each patient, depending on many factors such as the presenting condition(s), general health, and dental health, etc. If you wish to learn more we recommend contacting us for a consultation to discuss your concerns,  treatment options, and results that are feasible for your dental condition.

What do dental implants do? Are they right for me?

Dental implants provide a safe foundation to fix or replace teeth, and they’re also a great option for people with missing teeth.

Why? Well, as much as a person’s teeth influence how they look, teeth are also a critical part of how the mouth moves while chewing or speaking. If a tooth is missing or misaligned, the remaining teeth will naturally shift and experience greater pressure, which can lead to further tooth loss in the future. This can rapidly spiral towards having no teeth at all, and might eventually make dentures a necessity. To make matters worse, tooth loss can also lead to bone loss, making implant solutions more complicated and expensive.

So, if you have one or more missing teeth, or have some issues with the alignment of your teeth, dental implants may be right for you. They’ll improve your smile, self-esteem, speech, and comfort while improving your general oral health.

What are some of the advantages of getting implants?

Compared to other dental procedures on the market, implants provide a number of advantages.

Since they’re permanent and durable, implants are a cost-effective long term solution. They also require relatively little maintenance, which helps to minimize recurring costs.

Implants aren’t just good for your pocketbook either. They can typically be placed without any modifications to adjacent teeth, so they provide a natural and comfortable fit while also looking and functioning more like regular teeth.

Can children and/or teenagers receive dental implants?

Generally, it’s better to avoid placing implants while the jaws are still growing, so we typically advise younger patients to wait until they’re at least 18 years old before receiving dental implants.

Having said that, not everyone matures at the same rate. For example, girls mature earlier than boys, and their jaw growth generally finishes a year or two earlier, so – for example – a 17 year old teenage girl may be able to safely receive dental implants.

It’s always best to seek out a clinical evaluation if you’re considering any kind of dental procedure, and it’s especially important for minors. A dental professional will be able to assess factors like teeth alignment and/or bite, and can help plan a schedule if other operations like braces are being considered.

Are dental implants expensive?

This is a question we get all the time – how much do dental implants cost? Everyone’s mouth is different, but here’s the quick answer: Implant treatment costs vary – from under $4,500 to well over $20,000, but they’re generally among the most costly dental procedures that a person can have.

We understand that those amounts represent a sizable financial outlay for most people, which is why we always encourage our patients to do their due diligence and take time to understand what they’re paying for and why they’re paying for it.

If you’d like to get more detailed information about your case specifically, fill out the form on the right or call the phone number at the top of this page to book an appointment with Dr. Balogh.

Why is there such a wide range in the cost of dental implants?

Implant treatments vary widely based on factors like which materials are used in an operation, how much work is being done, what dental needs a patient has, or how much a dentist charges for their time, which is why it’s important to request an estimate that includes the total cost of completing a treatment.

But it isn’t just treatment costs and patient specifics that vary – clinics often have their own way of presenting estimates too. Some estimates may be given as a “cost-plus,” meaning that there may be a clinic fee in addition to separate material and laboratory costs; in other cases, dentists who provide quotes don’t include the cost of additional work you may need, such as bone grafting. In these scenarios, you could end up paying much more than you anticipated for your new smile.

How does VCCID provide its dental implant estimates?

Unlike many other dental clinics, VCCID presents fixed estimates that include all the costs of completing a treatment from beginning to end. Additionally, we handle all aspects of treatment in our offices. This results in lower costs and less stress for our patients, since only one dentist is needed.

As an experienced dental clinic, we are very precise in our estimates, and in the rare cases where our estimates are off, we bear the responsibility, not our patients. Once you come in for a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Balogh, he’ll be able to assess your dental implant needs and provide you with an estimate of how much a procedure would cost.

I have conflicting opinion from different dentists. What should I do?

Although implant dentistry has been around for over 50 years, there is a very wide range of training, knowledge and experience among implant dentists. Some dentists either do not perform the surgical procedures or their surgical skill may be limited so they will refer you to an oral surgeon or another implant dentist with greater surgical experience.

Unless a person has a serious medical condition that will prevent them from healing properly, it’s usually possible for them to receive implants. We’ve had patients who were previously told they didn’t have enough bone for implants, and yet with the right techniques and some careful adjustments to their treatment plan, we were able to successfully fit them with implants.

Does having gum disease (periodontal disease) affect my ability to get implants?

Depending on how severe it is and how well it is has been controlled, gum disease can be a factor when having implants placed since it can lead to infection and implant failure.

If possible, it’s typically better to address the gum disease and establish a good oral hygiene routine first, then proceed with the placement of implants.

Can people with teeth grinding (bruxism) problems still get implants?

If you struggle with teeth grinding you can still get implants, although some alteration in the treatment plan may be required. For example:

  • Assessing whether more implants will be required to support the additional load on the implants.
  • Splinting the teeth to help lessen the load on individual implants.
  • Selecting the most durable type of material for the final teeth.
  • Looking carefully at the patient’s bite and eliminating any bite issues that might be contributing to their bruxism.
  • Fabricating a night guard for the patient to wear while sleeping to help protect their teeth and implants.

As always, each case is different, but these are just a few of the things that we can do to ensure the long term success of implants on a patient with bruxism.

I’m a diabetic. Will that affect my ability to get implants?

The main factor for diabetics is how well their diabetes and blood sugar are being controlled, although we do recognize that there can be considerations in terms of their healing and immune system as well.

When performing either bone grafting or placed implants, we haven’t seen any issues with our patients who are diabetic. Nevertheless, we take our all our patients’ concerns seriously, and may alter treatment slightly by approaching things a little slower or doing larger procedures in phases if we feel that such steps are necessary to maintain safe blood sugar levels.

I have a metal allergy. Can I still get dental implants?

There are many people who are sensitive to certain metals like nickel or lower-karat gold. Titanium sensitivity is rare, so that metal is used in many cosmetics, toothpastes, and even certain foods. Chances are, you’ve probably already had some titanium exposure in the past.

Since titanium sensitivity is rare, many dental implants are made from either pure titanium or titanium allow. Nevertheless, it’s always better to be cautious. If you have any concerns about titanium sensitivity, you can ask a dentist or naturopathic doctor about receiving a Melisa test or a Clifford’s test. Either test should reveal if you have any sensitivity to metal.

If you are sensitive to metal, you might consider choosing zirconia implants, which are non-metallic, ceramic type implants. They’ve been used in clinics for more than 15 years and are also an excellent choice for tooth replacements.

I see a lot of different material names being mentioned, like acrylic, zirconia, nickel, gold, and titanium. Which one is right for me?

Different materials are used depending on which is procedure being performed, as well as personal factors like what material a patient’s body will accept, what appearance they want their implants to have, or how much they’re willing to spend.

For example, we often recommend that crowns be attached to abutments – the part of the implant that connects the crown to the screw – which are made of gold or titanium. In our experience, ceramics are thinner and more prone to fracturing, so that knowledge guides our decision of which material to use for abutments. Learn more about Types of Dental Implant Materials — Titanium vs Zirconia

We’re always happy to explain what different options are available to our patients, so we’d encourage you to book a no-obligation appointment with us or send us an email at info@vccid.com so we can help you to understand which material is right for your needs.

I had my implants removed. Does that mean I’m unable to get implants?

Sometimes prior dental procedures or infections can prevent successful placement of an implant, and in rare cases, implant breakage can occur.

The good news is that, in most cases, proper cleaning of the implant area and sufficient healing time for the patient are enough to allow for subsequent implants to be placed successfully.

Is it normal for metal to be visible after getting implants?

Sometimes the metal of the implant can be visible, but be careful not to confused the implant with a temporary post or healing collar that has been placed after surgery.

If there is visible metal, that isn’t necessarily a problem either. Some implants have a smooth surface at the top which is meant to stick above the gum tissue, so it could even be perfectly normal and correct.

If it’s the body of the implant – the part that’s meant to be buried and covered by bone – showing through, then that may lead to plaque accumulation on the rough surface of the implant body, which wouldn’t be healthy in the long term. However, even that can be addressed in most cases, allowing the implant to be saved and maintained.

Are zirconia implants better than titanium implants?

Generally, we advise our patients not to think of the two types of implants in terms of “which one is better”. It’s more helpful for a patient to think about their own oral health needs and try to answer the question “which one is right for me?”

There are benefits and limitations to each implant material, so the best thing a person can do is conduct their own research, consult with dental professionals, and make an informed decision about which implant material to select. Looking for a place to start? Visit our zirconia implants page here.

What’s the difference between ceramic, zirconia, titanium, and titanium alloy dental implants?

Titanium implants were originally out of pure titanium, but those implants weren’t durable enough, so manufacturers mixed other metals with titanium to create titanium-alloy implants. These days, nearly all “titanium” implants are made from a titanium alloy, but they’re still referred to as titanium implants.

It’s a similar story between ceramic implants and zirconia implants. Zirconia is a type of ceramic material, so some people refer to them as ceramic implants but both terms refer to the same type of implant.

So, really, there are just two types of implants: titanium implants and zirconia implants. You can find out more about the differences between these two types of implants here.

Book your next appointment with us

If you have any additional questions about your treatment options, or you want to learn more about our services, we made a page to help guide you. Visit our FAQ page for support and helpful resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to commonly asked dental questions!

Dental Care Tips

How much toothpaste should I use?

All you need is a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste to get the job done 🦷🌟

How often should I change my toothbrush?

We recommend changing your toothbrush every three or four months.

Worn toothbrush bristles are less effective at cleaning teeth, and can even cause unwanted wear on the gums and teeth. Bacteria can also build up in the bristles, which isn’t ideal for maintaining good oral hygiene.

How often should I brush my teeth?

Brush your teeth at least three times per day!

Which is the best technique for brushing?

One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth.

Do I have to brush my tongue?

Absolutely. 90% of bad breath is due to a dirty tongue. Always brush your tongue!

Family Dentistry

There is blood when I brush my teeth. Should I be concerned?

Bleeding gums when you brush can be an early sign of gum disease, so make sure you let your dentist or hygienist know right away!

How often should I visit the dentist to get my teeth cleaned?

How often you need to visit the dentist depends on the overall health of your gums, how well you clean your teeth between visits and how much tartar has built up. Most children and adults do well with a cleaning every six months, however, those with current problems may need to be seen every three or four months. Your dental professional can advise you further on how to maintain your gum health.

It’s important to note that many dental insurance companies have begun paying for fewer cleanings (i.e. every nine to twelve months) in order to cut costs and maintain profits. Please follow the advice of your dental professional for optimum cleaning and care, regardless of your dental plan coverage. Decay, tooth loss, loss of fillings, crowns, bridges or implants can be prevented by regular cleanings and proper home care.

My teeth feel sore everyday when I wake up. Why?

Occlusal (bite) trauma is a dental term to describe when one or several of your teeth are receiving excessive pressure or contact from the opposing teeth, or in an area that is functionally not ideal. Learn more about Occlusal trauma here.

Where can I get information on previous patient’s experiences?

Speaking to other people that have had similar treatment is a good way to find out what is involved. Many times in the past I have had patients who not only want to see some of my past work, they want to speak to patients directly to find out what they experienced, whether they’re still happy, and how comfortable the experience was. In my opinion this is not an unreasonable request.

If you need to speak to past patients to feel more comfortable with the treatment that has been proposed, ask your dentist about providing a list. I have found my past patients more than willing to speak very openly and frankly to others about their experience. Read our patients testimonials here.

I have gum disease (periodontitis). What can I do to address it?

Generally, there are cleaning procedures that can be done to help address gum disease, like deep cleaning or root scaling. In severe cases, surgery may be required, but in most cases regular visits to the dentist and a commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene are enough. 

If you’re concerned about gum disease, you’ll want to make sure that you put lots of care and effort into your daily cleaning. That would mean brushing and flossing daily, as well as investing in a Waterpik. The Waterpik will help reach areas that brushing and flossing can’t, and may help to reduce the bacteria in these areas by rinsing them out.

Do you recommend oil pulling for treating gum disease (periodontitis)?

Oil pulling certainly seems to work based on our patients who do it. Having said that, we also acknowledge that the practice is very subjective and has yet to be clinically tested on a larger scale.

If you have deep gum recession, one problem or limitation may be that the oil will not reach much beyond a 3 millimeter pocket, so someone with advanced gum disease may not benefit as much as someone else with shallower gum recession. Learn more about how to prevent gum recession.

Although it may not initially appear to be more cost effective than something like oil pulling, for those with advanced periodontitis and severe gum recession, gum grafting can help to keep existing teeth, allowing a patient to save money in the long run.

What are the alternatives to dental surgery if I can’t afford it?

One option to investigate would be a dental school, assuming there’s one close to you. There are several universities that often require patients for students to work on. While that may seem like a risky proposition, rest assured that the students are supervised by dental professionals. These university dental programs often will provide dental services at a reduced rate which may make a much-needed surgery affordable for you.

Restorative Dentistry

Are implants a good solution to address broken teeth or loose dentures?

Whether you’ve had loose dentures and need an option to secure them, or you’ve broken some teeth and need replacements with good support, dental implants may be the right dental solution for you.

Once you speak with a dentist they’ll be able to assess your situation and explain what options are available for you, and answer any questions that you have about implants. 

What is dental bonding?

Bonding describes the process whereby dental filling materials are attached to the enamel and dentine layer of your teeth on a microscopic level. The bonding material is often made up of a composite; a plastic resin that quickly adheres to teeth.

This material hardens and bonds to the first layer of the tooth, making it an effective extension of the old, original tooth. Bonding can be color matched to surrounding teeth, in order to create a seamless smile.

This layer of bonding can be used to change the size, shape, and color of teeth. It is often used if a patient has chipped a tooth at the front of their mouth. It can be used on the outer layer of the tooth to extend it back to its full size.

How many appointments will I need for a dental bonding?

Bonding is fast and can be done in a single visit to your dentist. It is an inexpensive way to cover any flaws that you are unhappy with. During the appointment, the tooth-coloured material is applied to the patient’s teeth and bonded onto the tooth to mask any cracks or maladies.

In short, bonding is a fast, affordable, and very efficient procedure and can be used both as a temporary or long-term treatment for aesthetic dental concerns.

If I need a root canal, what should I do?

Root canals are a common term in the dentistry world, but the reality is that root canals are not as straightforward as most patients, and even some dentists, believe. The main reason for this is because of something known as focal infection theory.

At this point the focal infection theory behind root canals is still very controversial, and the evidence for it is not very definitive. Still, the standard of care from the Canadian and American Dental Associations maintains that root canals are effective, even if the focal infection theory is invalid or questionable at best. Based on a lack of tooth symptoms and x-rays alone, about 85-90% of all root canals are successful, in that there are no signs of infection or symptoms from the tooth. When they do fail, it can be the result of difficulty obtaining a proper seal at the tip of the root and/or the strength of your immune system. This can often be corrected by a re-treatment or cleaning the area at the tip of the root (apicoectomy).

Furthermore, there are alternative root canal ‘fillers’ that may be appropriate options for patients with concerns about focal infection.

Therefore, prior to making any irreversible decisions such as extracting a tooth you should review all of your options, evidence and health concerns with your dentist. The VCCID team would be happy to provide you with additional information about your root canal options. Please call us today.

Are root canals painful?

Nope! Today, root canals do not need to be painful at all. If a tooth is properly anesthetized, a person will not feel any more discomfort during a root canal than they would during routine fillings. What’s more, the majority of root canals today are completed painlessly within one appointment. Typically, root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain, it relieves it!

Are root canals safe?

There has been some ongoing controversy over the safety of root canaled teeth. When a root canal is properly done, all the living and dead tissue within the canal is removed. The canal is irrigated with antibacterial solutions to eliminate any bacteria present, and then a combination of filling material and sealers/cements are used to fill the canal. The success of the treatment is traditionally based on a lack of symptoms, an x ray showing filling material completely sealing the canal to the tip of the root and no sign of infection on the x ray itself.

However, the roots of our teeth are made up of dentin. This material is porous and contains many microscopic tubules. Some experts believe that even successful root canals may contain some living or dead bacteria within these tubules, and that these bacteria and/or the toxins they produce may potentially spread to other areas of the body causing health problems, even though the tooth itself will feel fine and appear normal. This theory is known as focal infection and the alternative has been to simply extract the tooth. Since the 1990’s the focal infection theory has seen a resurgence and many patients and some practitioners are now beginning to question the success and the possible health concerns of root canaled teeth.

I need to restore a filling and my other tooth is at-risk. What should I do?

If a small area of the tooth is chipped, decayed or fractured, often a small filling will be sufficient to repair the tooth. However, if large areas of the tooth are fractured, worn down, decayed, or previously filled, then a dental crown is often necessary to restore and protect the tooth. Learn more about dental crowns here.

My dental crown doesn’t fit properly. What should I do?

In the case of a brand new crown, your dentist will most likely notice any fitment issues and make corrective steps or adjustments before you’re even aware of them. However, if you are having any issues with a new crown, make sure to go back and notify your dentist of the issues and concerns as soon as possible. If you’re not sure, we’d suggest checking out this article for information on potential signs that your dental crowns don’t fit.

If a problem develops on a crown that has otherwise been good for many years, it could be a sign that something has broken, shifted or changed. Make sure to visit a dentist as soon as you can to see if the problem can be fixed, and to prevent any further problems in the area. If your crown has come off, take the crown with you, as it may just be a simple matter of cleaning the crown and re-cementing it.

My dental crown fits properly but something feels off. Is that normal?

When patients receive a new crown or filling, sometimes the tiniest difference can feel like a huge, persistent annoyance. Fortunately, in most cases patients become accustomed to the new restoration and no longer notice it after a little while (1-3 weeks if not days).

On the other hand, we’ve had patients remark that the feeling of “wrongness” remains even after a few weeks, despite the restorations fitting properly and being correctly sized. Nevertheless, our patients were insistent that something just didn’t feel right.

The bottom line is that sometimes the smallest adjustments can make a world of difference, so we always listen to what our patients are telling us, even if it sometimes seems like everything should be fine. If you find yourself in this situation, it may help your dentist identify the problem if you describe how and when you feel the discomfort. Is it when you eat and chew, as you bite, or is it simply the feel of the tooth? If so, what is it about the feel that bothers you?

Your health and comfort should always be your dentist’s first priority, so if something just doesn’t feel right, make sure you have a conversation with them about the situation.

Is it still possible to adjust my crowns?

The answer is mostly “yes”, but it can depend on how long the crowns have been placed for. 

It’s always easier to make adjustments during the fitting and measurement process, so be sure to tell your dentist about any concerns or discomfort that you have, even if they seem very minor. Some adjustments can still be made after the crowns are put in permanently, but in case they need to be sent back to the lab, it’s better if they are not cemented permanently.

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers are custom fitted pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front of the teeth to camouflage irregularities. Veneers are similar to bonding of white filling materials except the quality of (porcelain) veneer material is higher, as is the end result in the short and long term.

The colour and translucency of porcelain is very similar to natural enamel and dramatic changes to the whiteness, size and shape of teeth can be achieved using porcelain. In the long term, stronger porcelain veneer material is less likely to chip or break and it will not stain or discolour. In fact, in cases of extremely dark or crooked teeth, veneers are often the only good cosmetic solution.

How long do porcelain veneers last?

On average, veneers last approximately 15 years, but can last much longer – up to 20+ years – depending on different factors. One major factor is tooth preparation – if the veneer is bonded to the tooth enamel (as opposed to the dentin layer underneath), it will form a better, stronger bond and last longer. So, depending on your age, you may have to expect to replace them at some point in your lifetime and this is  true of almost all dental work, whether it is a filling, veneer or even a crown.

Other factors include your personal care (brushing and flossing) and getting your teeth checked regularly.

Some of the longevity also depends on the correct treatment plan such as identifying, correcting and/or minimizing any bite issues and protecting your teeth from certain habits, like clenching, grinding, biting hard objects and putting excessive pressure on your teeth.

Dr. Balogh would be happy to answer your questions about porcelain veneers and cosmetic options available to you. Please contact us for a free consultation.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Veneers can cost between $1300-$1600 per tooth but we have seen prices from our competitors in the Vancouver and Burnaby areas which ranged from $1200 to over $2000 per tooth.

The above fees include laboratory fees as well as clinic fees. Veneers are not typically covered by dental insurance. We can certainly check your policy and look into this for you. In cases where the teeth are chipped, broken or heavily filled, many plans will pay for veneers for structural reasons.

Cosmetic Dentistry

I had a bonding job done many years ago that lasted forever, but a recent bonding job started chipping off within months. Why?

It’s important to keep in mind that at the time the original bonding was done, your bite may have been different. It may be that the pressure/forces on your teeth are different/greater than they were years ago, so the new bonding may not be as strong to withstand the chewing/functional forces.

Bonding can be a very challenging process between getting something that is aesthetic, functional, and “feasible” within your bite/pathways of function, as well as strong enough to last for a reasonable length of time. Certainly technique and dental experience can play a role, but I have also done bonding for patients where certain teeth continue to chip. It’s a challenge that comes from limitations of the material and the way a person’s mouth naturally moves. In some cases it is better to use a stronger material such as porcelain.

If you have concerns, it’s best to speak to your dentist and see if:

  1. They understand why the bonding has been chipping
  2. What they can do to minimize chipping by either making changes to how it’s done or choosing to use different materials for specific teeth

I’ve noticed that bleaching doesn’t whiten my teeth as well as it used to. Will my teeth naturally get darker as I age?

The answer is, unfortunately, yes.

As we get older it’s more difficult to whiten our teeth by “bleaching”. The colour of a tooth comes from the dentine layer below the enamel. This layer becomes thicker and often darker as we age, and the enamel above often makes this more visible due to erosion or abrasion over the years.

Generally, teeth that are more yellow and uniform in colour will bleach reasonably well, however teeth that are gray, brown or dark orange in colour will not bleach well at all. If one has discolouration due to tetracycline stains (an antibiotic that used to be given to children) then bleaching will be almost entirely ineffective.

How long do teeth whitening effects last?

The degree of whiteness achievable will vary between individuals based on:

  • The condition of the teeth
  • The degree of staining
  • The type and concentration of the bleaching system used

Treatment processes vary and include off the shelf products as well as professional take home products and in-office procedures. Once treatment is complete, the new whiteness of your teeth is semi-permanent – just as your natural teeth darken as time progresses, so will your bright new smile.

Generally, patients don’t notice darkening until six months to a year or more has passed, and even then their teeth will still be whiter than if they hadn’t whitened them at all. If this gradual darkening is a concern, occasional touch up procedures can be done to quickly bring the brightness back.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces?

Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which in many cases leads to poor self esteem, a lack of self confidence and a deterioration of the gums and overall dental health. So the answer is: yes, adults can absolutely benefit from braces.

Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties with biting, chewing and speaking clearly. 

Orthodontists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth. Those health and dental benefits include:

  • Reduction in general tooth decay
  • Decreased likelihood of developing periodontal disease
  • Decreased likelihood of tooth injury
  • Reduction in digestive disorders

One of the biggest obstacles preventing adults from having orthodontic treatment is the thought of having the traditional wires and brackets placed. Fortunately, there are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available (like Invisalign) which makes adapting to braces easier, more comfortable, simpler to clean and less noticeable.

The exact types of appliances that are suitable for each person really depends on the specific problem being addressed and the types of tooth movements necessary.

Prior to recommending specific orthodontic treatment, your dentist will recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, excess plaque and tooth decay.

How much do braces cost?

It’s extremely difficult to estimate the cost of braces without seeing the person, as each treatment is unique. One person’s treatment may be completed in 6 months, whereas another person may require over 2 years of treatment and with multiple appliances.

We can say that, at the time of this writing, braces in the Metro Vancouver region typically range from $5000 to $12,000 depending on the complexity of treatment required.

If you think about it, you have one set of teeth for the rest of your life, so why not make them perfect! Call us for a consultation and we can review your insurance to be able to give you the best price possible for your braces!

What are dentures?

Tooth loss is very common and can happen at any age. Whether it is due to an accident, trauma, illness or improper oral care, you can lose one or many of your teeth at any time. There are different replacement options for when this occurs, and dentures are one of them. There are pros and cons with dentures as there are with just about any type of dental work, and which we’ll discuss in a bit more detail below.

Dentures are the fastest (quickest to fabricate and insert) and generally the least expensive method to replace missing teeth or gum tissue. They can be made to replace one tooth or whole rows of missing teeth.

All dentures are custom fitted and made to perfectly fit and simulate the look and feel of your teeth. You can use dentures as a temporary form of tooth replacement, or a permanent means of replacing lost teeth. Many people use dentures while they consider other options such as dental implant procedures.

Will dentures feel like regular teeth?

At first, if you are not used to wearing dentures, they may take some getting used to. Much like a new pair of shoes they may feel a little foreign, particularly for those who have never worn a denture. However, if they are fitted correctly to your mouth, you will quickly adapt to them and they will become normal within a matter of days.

You may need to have your dentures adjusted if they do not feel like they fit properly in your mouth. With a new set of dentures there can be areas where it rubs or presses on the gums too much, creating a sore spot. These can be easily adjusted, typically in one or two appointments.

Dentures should feel comfortable in your mouth. If you notice anything painful, like dentures rubbing against your gums, or pressing against your lips, visit your dentist to have them adjusted. Dentures should never be painful or very uncomfortable.

How much do dentures cost?

The cost of dentures ranges depending on the type of dentures you need. If you require a full mouth of dentures it will generally be more expensive than partial dentures. Dentures cost anywhere between $900 – $2300 per arch depending on the type of material and denture being made. Most dentures are around $1300-1500 per arch.

You will need to ask your dentist or denturist about the exact cost of the dentures you are looking for and he/she will likely need to see the condition of your teeth and mouth to give you an accurate estimate of the work involved.

How do dentures stay in place?

Complete dentures have very little to hold them in place. In the case of upper dentures it is possible to create a small amount of suction against the gums. Lower dentures are a bigger problem in that it is rare to be able to create suction with a lower denture.

The floor of the mouth moves every time we swallow and as we talk, so suction is next to impossible. The tongue actually works subconsciously to hold dentures in place, but that’s something that only comes with time. Many people need to use some type of denture adhesive to keep dentures in place. This is one of the pitfalls of dentures in comparison to implants.

Partial dentures generally are much better at staying in place. They are often designed to have some type of retentive element that holds onto the remaining teeth. Most commonly these are flexible wires that fit around a few teeth and into the undercuts. In dentistry we call them clasps.

They can also be made out of an acrylic material like Velplast dentures, or there can be designs using a silicone material, and many others that are incorporated into crowns on natural teeth. Some do not have any retentive elements other than a bit of friction; they’re often called “flippers” because of how much they move within the mouth.

How do I clean my dentures?

Unlike dental implants and dental bridges, dentures aren’t permanently fixed in a patient’s mouth. They have to be removed and cleaned every night. Ideally they should not be worn during the night while sleeping in order to give the gum tissues time to rest.

Ideally, you should also remove and clean your dentures after every meal. But at a minimum, you should brush and clean your dentures at least once a day. For the most part, any toothpaste will do a good job of cleaning your dentures. However if you find that they are developing some hard to remove stains you can buy specific denture cleaning solutions from your local drugstore or grocery store.

Lastly, your dentures should be placed in liquid when they are not in your mouth. Keep them in a glass of water at night when you remove them.

Holistic Dentistry

Why Holistic Dentistry at VCCID?

We take a holistic and conservative approach to our patients, our practice philosophy and our lives. As a result, we try to provide alternative treatments that have a scientific basis behind them rather than use treatment methods that we feel will ultimately be harmful to our patients.

Dr. Balogh himself personally understands the importance of using safe materials and procedures. 17 years ago, he became very ill with extremely high levels of mercury, cadmium and lead in his body, leading him to go through a long process of chelation (a treatment used in conventional medicine for removing heavy metals) to clear his body of excess heavy metals. Following that experience, he has become adamant that any metals the clinic uses must be completely safe.

Nevertheless, we do have patients that either have multiple sensitivities or just do not want to take any risks or chances with metals and want to have zirconium implants only. We don’t try to change people’s minds other than to explain any limitations or alterations that their treatment plan may need. Once they understand and acknowledge those limitations, we’ll proceed to place their implants.

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