Frequently Asked Questions
For your convenience, we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked dental questions. If you do not see the answer to your question here, please contact us.
You should bring your dental insurance information (if you have a dental plan), and a list of medications you are taking or allergies you have. You will be required to provide us with contact information, as well as detailed medical history at your first visit.
Nordstrom Dental Centre accepts all dental insurance plans and will direct bill your plan on your behalf.
Dental x-rays are a crucial part of the diagnosis and treatment of dental disease. Because not all surfaces of a tooth are easily visible when looking in the mouth (ie: areas in between teeth/root surfaces below gumline), it is not always possible to detect potential issues that may affect your teeth without taking x-rays. Dental issues that are caught in their early stages are much easier to treat than issues left undetected for longer periods of time. It is also possible to detect some types of growths or tumours in the structures in and around the mouth with dental x-rays.
Advances in dental radiography, and the introduction of digital x-rays have significantly decreased the amount of radiation used to take x-rays, making them safer than ever. Routine bitewing x-rays (the type most commonly taken during a dental exam) expose the patient to 0.005 mSV (millisievert) of radiation, less than the average person is exposed to from natural sources per day.
Amalgam fillings are considered safe to use; in fact they are the oldest and most researched filling type in use. While there has been some controversy regarding the use of amalgam fillings, there have been no conclusive studies linking amalgam fillings to any health concerns. Due mostly to esthetics, the majority of fillings placed today are made of a composite (white) material, however there are some instances where amalgam fillings can provide a superior restoration.
It is recommended that patients be seen for a check up (or Recall Exam) with a Dentist at least once a year. These examinations are important in order to identify any dental issues before they progress to a state that makes them painful and ultimately more difficult to treat. Usually your Recall Exams will be booked in conjunction with your dental cleaning (or Hygiene) appointment. The optimal frequency for Hygiene appointments varies with each patient. During a Hygiene appointment, your Dental Hygienist will assess your oral hygiene status and give you recommendations on how often we should see you for cleanings. Many factors come into play when deciding an appropriate frequency, such as: how diligent you are with brushing/flossing at home, how quickly you tend to accumulate tartar on your teeth, any health conditions that may affect your teeth and gums.
Flossing is an imperative part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums! While most people tend to brush at least 1-2 times daily, many don’t take the time to floss the surfaces in between teeth as often. Unfortunately this can have a very negative effect on your oral health. A toothbrush is designed to mechanically remove plaque and food deposit on the outer and top surfaces of teeth, and stimulate the gum tissue keeping it healthy, firm and pink. A toothbrush will not reach the surfaces in between the teeth, leaving them open to developing cavities, especially in areas where food tends to accumulate or get stuck often. Flossing is the best way to adequately remove plaque and food deposit from these surfaces. Another risk of skipping the floss is developing gum disease (or periodontal disease). In periodontal disease, the bone support around the teeth is permanently affected which can lead to early loss of teeth! For more information check out our Client Resources page.