Common Procedures

Regular exams and cleanings

Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:

  • Check for any problems you may not see or feel
  • Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
  • Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
  • Provide a thorough teeth cleaning

Your regular exam will take one hour. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth's surface.

Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our office today to schedule an appointment by phone or email.

 

Bonding

Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your tooth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.

Tooth bonding also can be used for tooth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings. Bonding is less envasive to structure. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.

Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor, they can be repaired easily in one visit.

 

Bridges

A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

The success of any bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. It’s very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.

 

Crowns

Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken or worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.

A crown is a "cap" cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient remaining tooth strength to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression, which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

 

Dentures

Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are given to patients when all the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are attached to a metal frame connected to your natural teeth and are used to fill in where permanent teeth have been removed. Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cared for. Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures, always keep them moist when they’re not in use, and be sure to keep your tongue and gums clean as well.

 

Digital X-Rays

Using the most advanced dental technology available is just as important as staying up-to-date on the latest treatment techniques. Because our practice is dedicated to providing you with the safest and most convenient treatment options, we use advanced digital X-ray technology in our office.

Digital X-rays provide several advanced imaging options that are designed to save time, provide clearer dental photos, and expose patients to less radiation than with traditional X-ray technology.

Our practice is focused on making your dental experience as comfortable as possible. At your next appointment, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Extractions

There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract it during a regular checkup or may request another visit for the procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket," and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament that holds it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend you replace the extracted tooth.

 

Fillings

Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, and composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are typically used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important. There are two different kinds of fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings are placed directly into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. These fillings include inlays, and veneers fabricated with ceramics or composites.

 

Implant restoration

If you have missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last the rest of your life.

An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the other is the tooth-colored crown cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently, knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.

In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.

 

Intraoral camera

You know the importance of prevention when it comes to your dental health, and we’re always looking for new, improved ways to help you achieve a healthy smile for life. While X-rays provide valuable information, they don’t give a complete view of everything going on inside your mouth. With the use of an intraoral camera, we can see every aspect of your teeth and mouth in incredible detail — uncovering cracked teeth, plaque deposits, cavities next to fillings, and excessive wear. When we can discover oral problems early on, your treatment is much less invasive and much more cost effective.

Our intraoral camera is small — about the size of the mirror we use during your regular hygiene appointments. You probably wouldn’t even notice we’re using it, except that you have the opportunity to see everything we see on a monitor. This is a great tool to help you become more informed about your dental health: it gives you a clear understanding of your teeth’s condition, and it allows you to make a more informed decision regarding your treatment options.

 

Fluoride

Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay and in preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or your doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.

 

Mouthguards

Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in any kind of full-contact sport, the Canadian Dental Association recommends you wear a mouthguard. Choosing the right mouthguard is essential.

There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the "boil-and-bite" fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist. When you chose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly. Your dentist can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.

 

Nightguards

Many people do not even know that they grind their teeth, as it often occurs when one is sleeping. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations, or even tooth loss. There is an easy, non-invasive treatment for bruxism: nightguards. Nightguards are an easy way to prevent the wear and damage that teeth-grinding cause over time. Custom-made by your dentist from soft material to fit your teeth, a nightguard is inserted over your top or bottom arch and prevents contact with the opposing teeth.

 

Root canals

In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but is detrimental to your overall health.

Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If it has extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last for many years.

 

Sealants

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.

Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth, and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventive measure to prevent decay after the permanent teeth have erupted. However, adults also can receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and your dentist will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.

 

Veneers in South Surrey, BC

Veneers are very thin shells that are attached to the front part of teeth. They are a cosmetic treatment option to eliminate gaps, chips, stains, or misshapen teeth. Veneers at Morgan Creek Dental Clinic look natural and are a perfect choice if you want to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of your smile.

Types of Veneers

Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are stronger than composite resin veneers and do not change colour or stain. Porcelain veneers generally last longer than composite resin veneers.

At Morgan Creek Dental Clinic, we offer both regular porcelain and composite veneers, as well as minimally invasive Lumineers® porcelain veneers, which do not require tooth structure reduction most of the time. All options are aesthetic and durable if proper dental care is maintained.

Composite resin veneers

Much like bonding, Dr. Zeng puts a mild chemical on the front surface of the tooth to be veneered to make it a little rough. This helps the composite resin to stick to the enamel of the tooth. The composite resin that matches the colour of your natural teeth is chosen so that the veneer blends in with your teeth. Dr. Zeng then puts the composite resin on your tooth in layers. A bright light is used to harden each layer of the composite resin. After the last layer of composite resin is hardened, Dr. Zeng shapes and polishes it to form your tooth. The finished tooth looks natural and smooth.

Porcelain veneers

With porcelain veneers, Dr. Zeng may give you a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. He will then remove a thin layer of the enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. At this point, we will make a mold of your teeth to be used to custom-make your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, Dr. Zeng may place temporary veneers to replace the portion of the tooth that was removed. These are worn until your porcelain veneers are ready. The temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be treated gently during eating and cleaning as they come loose very easily.

On your next visit, Dr. Zeng will remove the temporary veneers and put a mild chemical on your teeth to make them a little rough. This helps the porcelain veneers stick to your teeth better. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth one by one, using composite resin cement.

Veneer Care

  • Just like your natural teeth, your veneered tooth needs to be brushed and flossed daily.
  • You still need to visit our South Surrey dental office every six months for professional cleanings and exams.
  • If the veneers are not fully placed or sealed onto your tooth, stains or cavities can form under the veneer.
  • If a veneer chips or peels off, or if a cavity forms under a veneer, the veneer must be redone. The other option is to put a crown on the tooth.
  • Once you have veneers, you cannot reverse the treatment because part of your enamel has been removed.
  • Porcelain veneers and bonded teeth can be chipped if you are not careful when biting or tearing into hard or chewy foods. Do not bite hard objects like ice cubes or fingernails.

Are veneers right for you?

Not everyone is a good candidate for veneers. Here are some reasons why Dr. Zeng may suggest treatments other than veneers:

  • If a tooth has decay or is in an area that has periodontal disease (gum disease). These problems must be treated first.
  • If a tooth has little enamel left, a veneer will not stick to it properly.
  • If too much of the tooth is missing, a crown may be another option.

If a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth, this can chip or break porcelain veneers.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as making the recovery time much shorter.

In order to remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to freeze the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often "section" your wisdom tooth so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Your dentist will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

 

Back to Top