Thank you for checking us out! If you're considering making an appointment, here are some things you might want to know before you contact us
Here are some situations we frequently encounter:
1. Get Acquainted Appointment (No Fee)
You’re interested or curious about what we have to offer, but are uncertain if we are likely to meet your needs. If we were a retail merchant rather than a professional healthcare office, you would first come in and browse. That sounds reasonable to us. But if you drop in unannounced, we may not be available to meet you. Instead, we suggest you do this: make a fifteen minute “get acquainted appointment” to look around, “kick the tires” and ask questions about how and why we do what we do. Then you'll be in a much better position to decide what you want. There is no fee for such an appointment as long as you let us know that fifteen minutes of friendly tire kicking is what you have in mind.
2. Get Acquainted Phone Call (No Fee)
You think you might be able to "kick the tires" with a phone call. Call
- Bruna at (416) 857-0437
3. Emergency a call.
You’re in pain and want treatment for that as soon as you can. Give us a call.
4. Specific Concern
You’re not in pain but have specific issues about your oral health and treatment and want those, and only those, attended to. Just call and let us know that.
5. Second Opinion
You want a “second opinion” about an issue before you make any decisions about treatment. Ask for that.
You "just want a cleaning." OK, but here are things that come to our minds when we hear that from folks who have not visited us before-
- A "cleaning" can take from 45 minutes up to several hours over several appointments. We'll need to know about cleanings you have had in the past.
- Because of our experience with non-surgical gum treatments sometimes we don't recommend a cleaning at a first appointment if you have Gingivitis or periodontal disease. Instead we will recommend a Microscopic Dental Plaque Exam first. That is just something we want you to consider, not a rigid rule we insist upon.
7. New Patient Complete Dental Examination
Our favorite reason for your calling and we hope that the reasons above may one day lead to this one: you want a new “dental home.” You want us to be your “go-to” place for dental care. We love that. Ask us for a “New Patient Complete Dental Examination.”
For whatever reason, you may choose to visit - Welcome!
A complete dental examination is necessary for proper long-term planning of a person's dental care. Not infrequently, we might see a person for the first time because, say, an old filling broke. After that problem is solved, we typically hear "How's the rest of my mouth?" Our only honest answer to that is an unhelpful-sounding, "I don't know."
We don't know for two reasons: Our focus was elsewhere, and it takes time to gather the information to answer the question responsibly and honestly.
Nevertheless "How's the rest of my mouth?" is a great question. Here's what a "Complete Dental Exam" is about.
A Re-Care appointment means we have met in the past and are following up after an agreed-upon pause in "proceedings." If you haven't visited us before, this is not what you want. To learn what a Re-Care appointment is all about, see this post.
"Everyone should have their teeth cleaned every six months." Shouldn't they? Well, no, not everyone and it depends. There are a few who need "cleanings" more often than that.
Getting your teeth cleaned is almost always a benefit.
"What," we hear you cry, "did they say 'almost?'"
We think that most people need a better understanding of "cleaning teeth" and what it can and cannot do. To that end, we encourage you to read this post.
If you have mercury-based fillings - also called "silver fillings" - you may want to have them removed and replaced with something more acceptable to you. Those who are more attuned to the alternative way of doing things, (as opposed to the mainstream recommendations for healthcare,) may have this desire because of concerns about the possible toxicity of mercury in your mouth. Others may want to replace their silver fillings because they don't like their appearance.
This is an issue full of controversy. At Growing Beautiful Smiles we are on the side of not having mercury in one's mouth. However, before making any decisions, you absolutely need to understand the issues involved. Please invest in the time to study this lengthy discussion. At the very least, you need to go here.
When dentists are deliberately trying to improve your appearance, they are doing cosmetic dentistry. In the past, some dental procedures, in order to be strong, had to be more or less ugly. That is becoming less true as the years go by. That means that more and more often, when we're doing the best "engineering" we can, we are still improving your appearance.
Some procedures are undertaken only for cosmetic purposes. Read more here.
So-called "white" fillings were named that because they were not gold or silver-coloured. A better term would be "tooth-coloured." Human teeth are not white. They are more like the colour of pearls and the only "white" pearls on the market comprise plastic necklaces bracelets found in discount stores.
Folks seek "white" fillings for two reasons: they look nice, and they they don't leach mercury. But there is more you need to know.
Crowns or "caps" are made when there is extensive damage to a tooth and when rebuilding a tooth with a filling material is unlikely to give a long-term result. Occasionally they are done just to improve the appearance of the tooth, but nowadays that task is accomplished wherever possible by veneers. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. There are risks and workarounds to those risks you should be aware of. For more information, please go here.
Veneers are a way of improving the appearance of teeth without subjecting them to excessive trauma. They can be made of composite resin, but such veneers are not as aesthetically pleasing, life-like nor colour-stable as ones made by skilled technicians in the dental laboratory.
At Growing Beautiful Smiles, we use the veneers made by the Den-Mat Corporation since they pioneered the technique of implementing veneers with no or very little drilling. Non-invasive techniques are to be valued over ones that involve cutting into teeth. Having said that, even standard veneers which do involve drilling are much less invasive than a crown which is the alternative for achieving a similar aesthetic result. (A crown would be called for where there is already significant structural damage to a tooth. A crown will "rebuild" a tooth.)
A veneer is a custom-made very thin piece of porcelain which can transform the appearance of a tooth, once it is bonded into place.
Den-Mat calls its product a Lumineer®
At Growing Beautiful Smiles, we understand the importance of having healthy-looking, white teeth that provide confidence and increase in self-esteem. We use the latest technology to give you your shot at achieving your desired whiteness you want. Results will always vary from person to person.
Professional polishing can remove most surface stains but some stains go deeper. Furthermore, teeth naturally darken as the years go by.
Take-home whitening treatment is available that requires 3-30 minutes a day, for approximately 10 days, to obtain whiter teeth that may reach 1-6 shades lighter. Almost every age group commonly suffers from discolouration of teeth due to improper food and drink intake, alcohol, and tobacco consumption, trauma or age factors.
Dental sealants are an easy way to make cavities less likely to start on the biting surfaces (mostly) of back teeth. At Growing Beautiful Smiles we do them slightly differently. Read more here.
In mainstream dentistry, "gum treatment" is often a surgical procedure even though the disease seems largely to be an infection. The mainstream is convinced that "gum" disease is exclusively of bacterial origin. We at Growing Beautiful Smiles are not. That gives us a scope to delay surgery and see to what extent more gentle means can induce healing. For many people the disease can be reversed without surgery. We think that should be tried first.
Please see the post Non-Surgical Gum Treatment.
Many individuals suffer from some mild-to-serious gum ("periodontal") infections during their lifetime. The mainstream in dentistry is convinced that periodontal disease is caused exclusively by bacteria. Years of microscopic examinations of patients' dental plaque by ourselves and other dental offices around the world who share our view have convinced us otherwise.
Using a phase-contrast microscopic we document the presence and behaviour of the micro-organisms (usually protozoa and fungi in addition to bacteria.) Perhaps viruses are involved too. We can't know that, since viruses are too small to be seen on an optical microscope. While treatment of such infections eventually includes a professional scaling and polishing, our experience finds that eliminating the infection first is safer and leads to a quicker and less complicated resolution of the problems.
Doesn't that make sense? In medicine, most infections are initially treated with antibiotics before mechanical means (surgical wound debridement or amputation) are called for. We agree with that philosophy except that we rarely use antibiotics. There are other natural options we (and our patients) prefer.
Often it is necessary to prepare at home for the day before and the day of this examination. Well let you know how to do that. See Non-Surgical Gum Treatment for more.
The primary purpose of gum pocket irrigation is to interfere with harmful bacteria and the other micro-oganisms that are having parties in there. Research on pocket irrigation has demonstrated a reduction in the toxins these "bugs" produce - toxins that cause inflammation and damage. Not surprisingly therefore, irrigation has demonstrated a significant reduction in bleeding, inflammation, disease progression and damage to the tissues.
At Growing Beautiful Smiles we provide advanced oral irrigation treatment, using ozonated water to generously irrigate the affected area during and after scaling, root surface planning, and non-surgical pocket curettage.
Traditional oral hygiene methods are less than ideal, and modern developments in the field of oral irrigation have made it one of the best options available to control plaque. Ozonated Olive oil can be provided to Patients with deep pockets as an at-home treatment. We'll show you how to do that.
Many believe, and we agree, that ozone therapy is bound to revolutionize the way dentistry will be practiced in the future. At Growing Beautiful Smiles we use oxygen/ozone therapy to assist in several procedures such as removing decay, treating gum disease, and treating or preventing infections related to tooth removal. Oxygen/ozone also stimulates the healing process. See this post for more.
When all is not well with the way the teeth "mesh" with each other, there is a "bite problem."
Sometimes, the existence of the problem is obvious. The solution to the problem is equally obvious. As an extreme example, if the teeth aren't meshing because of a broken jaw, then surgery is an obvious solution. If the upper and lower jaws grew at different rates, then orthodontics (moving teeth) comes to mind.
But, most of the time, problems with the way the teeth mesh are not obvious. But, such problems exist quite often. So we deliberately look for them. Why would we look for trouble? Because of the damage and suffering a faulty bite can cause.
When analysis of the bite (diagnosis) finds causes other than those mentioned above, then bite adjustment or night guards may be called for. The intent of both of these therapies is to provide an ideal mechanical environment for the teeth.
For that last sentence to make sense, you need read Headaches, TMJ and The Bite.
Removing a tooth is no one's goal in life. The dental profession, which wants to preserve teeth, sees tooth removal in most instances as a failure. But sometimes, removing a tooth is the best thing to do. What are the pros and cons to be weighed in making the decision to remove a tooth? Are there things to be considered that the mainstream thinks unimportant? To understand more, please go here.
We don't offer root canal therapy at Growing Beautiful Smiles.
While root canal ("endodontic") therapy is a core tool in the mainstream way of doing things, the alternative community, taking into account the strong evidence that root canal therapy can be damaging to one's immune system, approaches this concept with great caution.
Many in the alternative community are as strongly convinced that this therapy is too toxic for anyone as the mainstream is convinced that it is acceptable for everyone. I [Dr. McLean] am somewhere in the middle, leaning toward the toxic side.
The reasons that we don't offer this treatment is that it requires special equipment which we are not inclined to acquire since the patients we attract generally don't want root canal treatments.
We are happy to discuss this therapy with you and to refer to facilities were it can be done. We strongly feel that you should be aware of both sides of the controversy before making the decision to do, or not to do, root canal therapy.
One of the common consequences of having missing teeth is that adjacent teeth will tend to tip or drift into the gap. That interferes with the way the teeth mesh and creates a whole new set of problems. A bridge is one way to prevent undesirable drifting and tipping of adjacent teeth.
A bridges is ideal for people who don't like removable dentures and only have one or a few teeth missing. Its purpose is to restore and maintain the function and appearance of the missing tooth or teeth.
A bridge is usually made with crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing. False teeth, made of the same materials as the crowns, are attached to those crowns. The resulting bridge of three of more false teeth is cemented into place. The false teeth are in contact with the gum tissue of the gap and "pretend" to be growing out of the gum. The biting forces that the false teeth receive are entirely transmitted to the adjacent teeth via the crowns which form each end of the bridge.
Bridges are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Dr Mclean will help you decide which is your best way of replacing missing teeth. The bridge can't be removed by the patient. These bridges were usually made of precious metal bonded to porcelain. Nowadays, most bridges can be made without metal (zirconia.)
One of the common consequences of having missing teeth is that adjacent teeth will tend to tip or drift into the gap. That interferes with the way the teeth mesh and creates a whole new set of problems.
One way to replace a tooth or several teeth is with a partial denture. People sometimes call such a device a "partial plate." It is intended to restore both the function and appearance of a missing tooth or missing teeth. Mostly teeth are missing because they have been removed (extracted.) Rarely, a tooth can be missing because a person "forgot" to form the tooth in the first place. There are many things to consider in creating a partial denture, not the least among them being any potential reaction of the patient to the materials used in its construction.
To learn more details about partial dentures see "Things You Need to Know About Partial Dentures."
If all the teeth are missing from the upper or lower jaw, then a different device is needed: A full denture (otherwise known as a complete denture.)
When all of a person's teeth have been removed, then a full denture (otherwise known as a "complete denture") is offered as the solution. People sometimes call these devices "plates." A full denture can be made for either the upper or lower jaw or for both.
Natural teeth function efficiently because they are firmly anchored in bone. Dentures sit "on the surface" and chewing forces tend to make them shift or move. While full dentures can do a magnificent job in restoring smiles and appearance, much attention must be directed towards dealing with the limitation of function that the situation imposes.
Another issue is any potential reaction of the patient to the materials used in its construction.
To learn more details about full dentures see "Things You Need to Know About Full Dentures."
It is important that dentures, both full and partial, maintain a precise adaptation or fit to the tissues that support them. Over time dentures lose their fit - not because they change their shape but because the patient does.
To remedy that, dentures require a maintenance procedure called a "reline." There is much you should know before having a reline done. Please see this post.