Scottsdale Dental Centre
Dr. Farhan Ahmad

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Cavities and Tooth Decay

How can we help you?

One of the cornerstones of our practice is the value of patient education. We love to share our knowledge with patients so they can better take care of their oral health.

We hear a lot of the same questions from our patients about preventive care, treatment options, and our practice. For your convenience, we’ve listed some of the more common queries below.

If you don’t see your question here, please feel free to call us. The only silly question is the question that doesn’t get asked! We look forward to hearing from you!

Cavities and Tooth Decay

While many oral conditions are detectable with a visual exam, much of what happens with the anatomy of a tooth happens below the surface. Decay, bone loss, root fractures, and developmental conditions can appear normal upon inspection. A dental x-ray may reveal another story.

For the benefit and safety of our patients, we use digital x-rays at our Guelph ON Dental Clinic.Not only are digital x-rays better for our patients, they are also better for our environment, eliminating the chemicals required for development.

Digital dental x-rays emit up to 80 per cent less radiation than traditional film x-rays. We recommend only necessary x-rays that allow us to detect and diagnose dental conditions before they progress into a more serious issue.

As with all of our treatment recommendations, we take a personal approach and base the frequency of your x-rays on your current oral conditions, your past dental history and any changes you may report in the health of your teeth or gums.

Our dentists will promptly review your x-rays and we will alert you to any changes with your oral health that require professional attention.

By opting for preventive and early diagnostic treatments, it is possible to avoid more costly and complex procedures in the future.

Flossing Best Dentist GuelphDentists see lower rates of tooth decay and healthier gum tissue in patients who use floss or other methods to remove food debris and plaque between teeth. 

Clinical trials to prove the efficacy of flossing are very difficult, lengthy and expensive to conduct. Trials comparing patients who floss to those who don’t run the risk of exposing the control group to situations where they would get tooth decay and gum disease. We know from lab studies how tooth decay is created and how to prevent it. We only need to look at how effective each method is in removing plaque and food debris.

We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day (first thing in the morning, last thing at night) with fluoridated toothpaste for at least two minutes at a time. Remove food debris and plaque between teeth with floss, a dental pick, prethreaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, water flosser or wooden plaque remover.



Chew Gum Dentists Listing in GuelphChewing gum is thought to be the world’s oldest candy — we’ve been chomping down on it for more than 5,000 years! But what do dentists think of all that chewing? While the people who care for our teeth aren’t usually fans of candy, when it comes to sugarless gum, most dentists give it the nod.

Chewing sugarless gum is a great way to help stimulate saliva flow in patients with dry mouth. That salivary stimulation also helps protect your teeth from decay-causing bacteria, so if you aren’t able to brush your teeth after eating, chewing sugarless gum can help.

Go ahead, have a piece of (sugarless) gum and make your dentist happy. Chewing sugarless gum can help freshen breath in the short term; although gum doesn’t bleach the teeth, it can help remove some surface stains.

Scottsdale Dental Centre has always maintained the highest order of cleanliness and sterility to protect our patients and staff from spreading illness and cross contamination. So whether it’s coronavirus or the regular seasonal flu, we have always been prepared.

Each treatment room has always had every surface disinfected after every patient. The dental chairs, counters, and all surfaces are wiped down with hospital grade disinfectants after each and every procedure. Every instrument is washed, disinfected, bagged and then sterilized. Anything that isn’t sterilized is disposed of. Each instrument pack has a date stamped barcode on it, and inside the pack is an indicator strip that ensures the deepest portion of the instrument kit achieved the required temperature to be sterile. Every day all sterilizers have a live culture test to ensure they are working properly. In addition to the 3 dental sterilizers we already have, we have always employed adequate manpower to ensure the cleaning and sterilization of all of our instruments. 

What about airborne pathogens? We have 2 large 'Surgically Clean Air' units stationed around the office that clean and filter the air. These are hospital operating room level HEPA air filters that include negative ion and UV light air purification. Additionally, we have air exchangers that run 24/7 to refresh all indoor air with fresh outdoor air. We have been doing all of these things in the background for yea​rs now. We are also now screening all of our patients and ensuring that if they have traveled, have sick family members at home, or are even mildly unwell that they do not come to our office. 

We sure do! As long as your benefits provider allows for this setup and we complete some basic paperwork to set it up, we can certainly allow for this convenient setup for you. Affordability of dental treatments is one of our top priorities and we strive to provide that in ways convenient to you.

Absolutely, for the convenience of our patients, we are open 5 days a week Monday to Friday.  We offer appointments between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There are more than 30,000 dental plan contracts in Ontario, and each one is a little different from the next. As a smart consumer, you should make it your job to understand the details of your dental plan, and to supply your dental plan administrator with necessary information such as pre-treatment forms, claim forms or any supplementary information. You are also responsible for making arrangements for payment to your dentist for the dental care received. 

How We Help You With Your Dental Plan
We understand Dental Insurance can be difficult to understand.  So we have created a complimentary guide for our patients (click here) that will help you find out exactly what sort of coverage you have.  Using this guide (click here), you can contact your plan administrator or insurance company and understand the details of your benefits better.

Remember, you are a partner in your oral health. All treatment and care decisions should be made by you and your dentist based upon your actual needs, aside from your dental plan coverage. Your dental plan is not necessarily a treatment plan!

Healthcare is expensive and paying for dental treatment can be a challenge in may instance, we understand that. We will always explain different treatment options to you and will give you a written treatment plan before doing any procedures.

Having dental insurance can be very helpful, however, it is not designed to pay for all your treatment costs. Instead, it serves as a "coupon" to help you pay for part of the treatment.  And although, dental insurance plans are a private agreement between you and your policy provider, we will help you understand your coverage so you are more informed about your coverage.

Our job is to tell you what we see going on in your mouth and then make treatment recommendations based on the information we have. Your job is to tell us how fast or slow you want to go. We have some patients who want us to get as much done as possible in the same appointment. We have other patients who wish to take it slower, treating one tooth at a time.

Ultimately, you are in charge of your oral health. We want to make sure you are completely comfortable with all recommended treatment before we proceed with anything.

How We Help You With Your Dental Plan
We understand Dental Insurance can be difficult to understand.  So we have created a complimentary guide for our patients (click here) that will help you find out exactly what sort of coverage you have.  Using this guide (click here), you can contact your plan administrator or insurance company and understand the details of your benefits better.

Remember, you are a partner in your oral health. All treatment and care decisions should be made by you and your dentist based upon your actual needs, aside from your dental plan coverage. Your dental plan is not necessarily a treatment plan!

Frequency of visits to our office are very patient specific.  The idea is to catch problems early when they're small.  For most people, this means visiting the dentist every six months.  However, upon examination, we may suggest visits more or less often depending on the state of your oral health, home care, medications and how quickly plaque and tartar builds up on your teeth.

Generally speaking, more frequent visits are justified based on the following questions:

  1. Am I flossing every day?
  2. Am I brushing twice a day with a flouridated toothpaste?
  3. Do I eat a well-balanced diet and limit sticky and sweet foods?
  4. Do I smoke?
  5. Do I have a history of gum disease and cavities?
  6. Am I taking multiple medications?

Questions like help us decide together with you what is in the best interest of your oral health.  It is worth noting, you should not base the frequency of your visits based on dental plans or insurance coverage.  However, as a smart consumer of dental insurance, we do have guides available to help you figure out the kind of coverage you can expect.

During pregnancy, hormone levels rise and can cause the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing irritation to your gums and increasing the risk of cavities. Therefore, preventative dental cleanings and examinations are safe and recommended.  

Dental cleanings are important to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.

For adults and children (who are able to spit out toothpaste), the most important thing is to pick a toothpaste that has flouride in it.  There are some highly specific toohtpastes available for those with sensitive teeth or dry mouth.  With toothbrushes, the most important thing is to use one that is correctly sized for your mouth, whether it's electric or manual.  At all your dental hygiene visits, we review the use of different kinds of toothpastes and toothbrushes that best meet your needs.

70% of Canadians will develop gum disease at some point. It's the most common dental problem and can often develop quietly and painlessly until it's a significant problem.

Gum disease starts when plaque attaches to your teeth and is not removed by diligent brushing and flossing. It can then slowly harden into tartar. This them promotes gum disease which can vary from inflammation and bleeding of the gums (gingivitis) to more serious bone loss and gum recession (periodontitis)

The best way to prevent gum disease is preventative care at home and at the dental office. In addition to brushing and flossing, every few months, a dental professional needs to clean the harder tartar that builds faster in some people than others. This forms the basis of going in for a dental cleaning every few months - how often, depends on each person and how quickly the build up tartar and what their oral hygiene is like.

Many people assume that tooth loss is due to decay. It’s not. It’s because of gum disease. And it can be completely painless right up until you lose your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush or floss and loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been told you need gum surgery, you will be glad to know that it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods. 

Did you know “teeth cleaning” does more than just clean your teeth? Removing plaque is absolutely essential if you want to preserve your teeth. It builds up on the tooth surfaces and between the teeth. Brushing and flossing are, of course, vital, but everyone needs their teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Remember – only a dental hygienist can completely clean your teeth.

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