Signs You May Need a Soft Tissue Graft

Gum recession: the loss of gums and surrounding tissues supporting the teeth, which can have countless effects on a person’s dental health, overall health, and self-esteem. Fortunately, there is a fix:

Soft tissue grafting.

Today, we’re going to take a look at soft tissue grafts and the reasons for getting one. In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What is a soft tissue graft
  • How to detect gum disease
  • How to determine if you may need a soft tissue graft
  • The benefits of a soft tissue graft

Read on to find out!

What Is a Soft Tissue Graft?

A soft tissue graft (also called gum graft or gingival graft) is a restorative procedure used to mitigate gum loss. Soft tissue is taken from the patient’s palate or from a donor (more on that below), which is then grafted onto the affected area, creating a stable band of gingiva around the teeth and soft tissue.

A gum graft can be performed on one tooth, several teeth, or across all teeth. It can be used either to restore an uneven gum line (i.e., from gum recession) or to repair exceptionally thin gums. In either case, the graft will create an even thickness of gum, with enough support around each tooth to prevent them from loosening.

Gum grafts have a high rate of success with very high rates of patient satisfaction. They remain the best option for patients whose gums have receded.

Your Options for Gum Grafts

The soft tissue for the gum graft can come from two different places. The most common source is from the patient’s mouth. The surgeon extracts a small amount of tissue from the palate, which can then be placed anywhere on the patient’s gumline.

The second option is to take the tissue from a donor. This procedure—called an allograft—makes for an attractive alternative because it is less invasive.

Recent advances have made allografts considerably more effective and reliable, with far more predictable outcomes. Still, most surgeons will recommend using the patient’s palate for the grafting tissue. When deciding, it’s best to speak to your surgeon to see what they think. Here at Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s, we develop individualized treatment plans based on the patient’s needs, the size of the graft, and the patient’s own input.

3 Signs That a Gum Graft Is Right for You

You may benefit from a gum graft if you exhibit any of the symptoms below:

1.      Exposed Roots

Are your teeth looking a little longer lately? They’re not growing—just more’s showing. Your gums should usually protect the roots of your teeth. If your teeth look longer or are feeling a bit more sensitive to temperature, your tooth roots may be exposed. And if you have exposed tooth roots, you may very well benefit from a gum graft.

2.      Visible Cementum

One of the most tell-tale signs that your roots are exposed is when you can see cementum. Cementum is the natural material that covers your roots. It’s light yellow in colour, and it’s slightly softer than the enamel that covers the crown of your tooth. It’s also easily visible when it’s exposed: You’ll see a noticeable difference in colour between the base of your tooth (yellow) and the top of your tooth (whiter). If you see yellow at the bottom, that’s cementum. And that’s when you know your gums may have receded.

3.      Thin, Translucent Gums

Not all grafts are for a receding gum line. In many cases, a surgeon will recommend a gum graft if the gums are overly thin and weak, even if they haven’t drooped. The reason is that they still may not provide the support that your teeth need to stay healthy. Thin gums are fragile, and they’re more likely to recede. Many patients also find them less attractive than full, healthy gums.

Thin gums are usually translucent, sensitive, and sometimes inflamed. If you’re worried, speak to your dentist to see what they say.

What Can a Gum Graft Do for Me?

A gum graft can provide numerous benefits to patients showing the above symptoms. Those benefits include:

  • Less root decay
  • Reduced tooth sensitivity
  • Healthier gums
  • Less chance of future gum recession
  • Bone loss prevention
  • A better, more confident smile

Wondering If a Gum Graft Is Right for You?

Dr. Caudry Is Here to Help!

Dr. Caudry is one of Toronto’s leading periodontal surgeons. With over 30 years of experience, she has dedicated her life to the practice, study, and application of dentistry, and she continues to advance the field in innovative, cutting-edge ways. If you’re in the area and you think you need a gum graft, you’ll find no better practitioner than her.

To schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email. We’re here to help. 


Dental Hygiene: 5 Ways a Periodontist Can Help

You don’t need a dentist to tell you that dental hygiene’s important, but you do need one to keep your teeth as clean as can be.

At the office of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, we offer a range of specialized treatments to help our patients attain optimal oral health. If you’ve been looking to get rid of bad breath and improve your smile, here are five ways that a periodontist, like ourselves, can help:

1. Deep Scaling

What Is Deep Scaling?

Deep scaling (also known as conventional periodontal therapy) is a procedure used to remove plaque, bacteria, and calculus from a patient’s teeth. These unsavory guests can lead to gum disease and inflammation, so it’s important to keep them in check.

How Does It Work?

Deep scaling requires a specialized tool called a periodontal scaler or curette: a skinny device that narrows to a sharp point. Nowadays, many periodontists use an electronic scaler to speed up the procedure.

Regardless of which device is used, the idea behind the deep scaling remains the same: The clinician uses the curette to whittle away at plaque buildup, cleaning the teeth and killing bacteria in the process. The teeth, now exposed, can then be smoothed to remove additional contaminants and improve periodontal health.

How Often to Go in for a Deep Scaling?

If you’re prone to plaque and bacteria buildup, three months is a good benchmark. That’s about how long it takes bacteria to repopulate, and it gives your teeth and gums plenty of time to recover. Our regulatory body, the Canadian Academy for Periodontology, recommends that you go in every three months for deep scaling (as necessary), and that’s what we tend to stick to with our patients.

2. Antibacterial Treatments

What’s an Antibacterial Treatment?

Antibacterial treatments encompass a broad range of procedures to control the growth of bad bacteria. Generally, they’re best suited to people with gum disease, flappy gums, or tight pockets where bacteria can multiply.

How Does It Work?

At our practice, we use procedures that deliver antibacterial solutions to areas deep under the gum line, helping kill off even the most hard-to-reach bacteria colonies.  Think of them like a frontline assault, striking square at the heart of those deep, recessed pockets of bacteria that won’t go away with brushing and flossing.

Antibacterial treatments offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Better breath
  • Pain relief
  • Reduced bleeding from gums
  • Prevent teeth loosening
  • Stop or reverse periodontal disease

3. Fluoride

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in foods, water, and the atmosphere. It’s also one of the most important items in the dental toolkit.

Why Is Fluoride So Important?

Fluoride strengthens your teeth. When consumed, it fuses with your tooth to re-grow lost enamel, combat tooth decay, and prevent plaque buildup. It provides long-term relief from some of those most common dental problems—and it helps improve the health of your tooth roots too.

Many cities (Toronto included) fluoridate their water so that people get at least some fluoride in their system. Usually, this isn’t enough, however, and you should always ask your dentist whether your teeth need more.

Fluoride treatments come in many varieties. At our practice, we offer custom fluoride applications based on the patient’s needs and dentition. We find that tailoring our approach provides better outcomes and affords our patients a more pleasant experience.

4. Professional Polishing

What Is Professional Polishing?

A tooth polish procedure uses a polishing paste, which is applied to the patient’s teeth to minimize damage and remove unsightly stains.

Your periodontist may recommend a polishing after you’ve gone in for a deep scaling. It’s a bit like sanding something down: You start with a bigger grit, and you work your way down until you obtain a fine polish. Deep scaling does the heavy lifting, smoothing out your teeth and removing the big bunches of plaque. Polishing then adds the finishing touch, refining your teeth so that they’re clean, shiny, and smooth. It enhances the results: a nice way to cap off your trip to the dentist.

How Does It Work?                                              

The polishing paste works as an extra-powerful abrasive, scrubbing away stains, discoloration, and any residual plaque. Since the polishing process can also roughen enamel, your clinician will most likely follow it up with fluoride application, ensuring your teeth can heal and remain strong and resilient.

5. Teeth Whitening

What Is Teeth Whitening?

Many Canadians want a whiter smile so that they can feel more confident about themselves. Teeth whitening helps meet that demand, and it can limit the effects of aging, smoking, and more.

Teeth whitening treatments vary on the client and clinician. At our practice, we use a custom, state-of-the-art whitening system that lets us offer both targeted whitening (for a particular tooth) and general whitening (for your entire mouth).

Tooth whitening can be either vital (for teeth with live nerve endings) or non-vital, for teeth with no live nerves, such as a root canal.

Why Choose a Teeth Whitening Treatment?

Teeth whitening can:

  • Make you look younger
  • Improve your self-confidence
  • Reverse stains and tooth darkening
  • Provide a brighter smile

If you’re curious about teeth whitening, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.

Looking to Get the Perfect Smile? Dr. Caudry’s Here to Help

At Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s, we make patient education a core focus of our practice. We know that staying informed is the best defense against poor dental hygiene, and we want to give you everything you need to fight tooth decay and come out the winner. We want to help you make informed decisions about your dental care and get you one step closer to attaining the perfect smile.

If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about our dental hygiene services. We’ll be happy to offer you a personal consultation where we can discuss your options and explain what we can do to help. Contact us at (416) 928-3444 or leave a comment below.


A Quick Guide to Digital Smile Design

The Hollywood smile. Few have it. We all want it. So, what can we do to attain it? Fortunately, modern dentistry has a solution:

Digital smile design.

Digital smile design (or DSD, for short) is transforming the cosmetic dentistry industry, allowing for better surgical outcomes, greater predictability, and shorter operation times. Plus, it lets the client have far more control over the way their smile will look. It’s a win for the patient. It’s a win for the practitioner. It’s a win for everybody.

The ABCs of DSD

What is a digital smile design? It’s a question we get asked frequently, so let’s give you a quick breakdown of what it means.

Digital smile design refers to a set of practices that integrate digital workflows into the cosmetic dentistry process. By using intraoral scanners, cameras, and 3D-rendering software, the clinician maps out the patient’s dentition in a virtual space. The result is a scanned, 3D model of the patient’s teeth, gums, and soft tissue. This virtual model—easy to view, easy to manipulate—serves as a clear visual blueprint: the perfect guide to creating the perfect smile.

After examining the visual model, the clinician and client can work together to identify problem areas and ways to correct their smile. Treatment plans vary and can include anything from a minor cosmetic procedure to several corrective surgeries.

Here are some common examples of procedures performed with DSD:

  • Dental implants
  • Bridge implants
  • Teeth whitening
  • Teeth straightening
  • Gum grafting
  • Crown teeth lengthening/shortening

What Are the Benefits of Digital Smile Design?

DSD is the simpler, smarter, and safer way for people to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Compared to the alternatives, it is non-invasive, providing a more comfortable experience, and it streamlines the entire corrective surgery process.

Let’s go into a bit more detail about some of those benefits:

  • Comfort: Digital smile design offers far more comfort than any other dental diagnostic process. All it requires is a few scans of the oral cavity: no mold casting, no mess, none of that. If you’ve ever had to sit through a dental impression, you’ll consider DSD a welcome alternative. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky.
  • Time: DSD saves time. It is fast—far faster than a traditional dental impression—and that speed contributes to an overall better experience for the patient. Dentists also tend to combine DSD with computer-guided surgery: Taken together, those two means not just a shorter time in the chair, but also a shorter recovery time.
  • Superior Results: Recent technological advances have made corrective surgery more precise, accurate, and predictable. Patients consistently report higher levels of satisfaction because it consistently provides better results.
  • Greater Control: DSD empowers the patient. It gives them more opportunities to personalize their smile, provide their input, and be a part of the design process. It’s called “smile design” for a reason: both the patient and practitioner join together in a collaborative act of creation, working in unison to develop the patient’s smile according to his or her unique preferences. DSD shifts the focus away from the dentist and toward the needs of the patient. It gives them the tools and information they need to make an informed decision on their dental care. It puts you at the center of everything.

The Digital Smile Design Process

Obtaining the perfect smile through DSD involves three steps:

Step 1: Three-Dimensional Digital Dental Scan

First, the practitioner conducts a series of scans examining the patient’s teeth, gums, and oral cavity. At our office, we start with a Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan, which provides a clear 3D image of your dental and bone structure and the soft tissue surrounding it. Next, we use our CEREC Omnicam intraoral scanner to develop a photorealistic model of the patient’s mouth.

Step 2: Smile Designing and Planning

After scanning’s complete, the practitioner can begin planning for surgery. At our office, we first compile the images and merge them into a single visual model. From there, we sit down with the patient and discuss their goals and options for procedures. After that, he or she can choose how they wish to proceed and what parts of their smile they want to be fixed.

Step 3: Computer-Guided Surgery

With all the planning and prep work out of the way, it’s time to get down to business.

Our team relies on an array of computer-visualization equipment to guide the surgery and enhance the precision of their work. The use of computerized surgical techniques helps us provide better outcomes with fewer risks in shorter amounts of time.

How Much Does Digital Smile Design Cost?

You’ll be happy to know that the digital revolution is making cosmetic procedures more—not less! —affordable. As the dentistry industry continues to evolve, technology has made it possible to shorten procedure times, ameliorate risk, and minimize the invasiveness of different procedures, in turn lowering many of the costs of surgery.

Still, prices can vary considerably depending on the work to be done: One tooth implant will be less than a full mouth of implants. Your insurance provider may also cover some of the costs, so be sure to check your coverage beforehand.

At our office, we discuss operation costs in a personal consultation with each client. It also gives us a chance to learn about the client’s needs and find a solution that stays within their budget. If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, feel free to drop us a line to see what we can do for you.

Looking to Get That Picture-Perfect Smile?

…Because We Can Help!

For over 25 years, Dr. Suzanne Caudry has been helping people improve their smiles, their self-confidence, and their oral health. Her practice remains at the forefront of the digital dentistry industry, utilizing innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technology to continue to push the bounds of what is possible to achieve.

If you think you may benefit from digital smile design, feel free to get in touch with us, and book a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, discuss your options, and show you precisely what we can do for you. Contact us by phone at (416) 928-3444 today.


Bone Loss and Periodontal Disease

Bone Loss and Periodontal Disease

Gum loss is quite easy to identify. Even if gums recede as little as one millimeter, patients are likely to notice the dark appearance of the exposed root. Once the gum recession takes hold, it isn’t long before people feel insecure about their smiles or experience further complications.

While gum loss is unfortunate, there might be more severe problems such as bone loss and periodontal disease. These issues are often harder for the uninformed patient to detect on their own.

We thought we would take some time to talk about bone loss and periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), and how these severe issues can lead to unfortunate bouts of gum recession. We’ll also discuss treatment options and how to tackle these significant issues.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our facilities at (416) 928-3444. With us, appointments are easy to schedule, and every question has an answer!

Receding Gums and the Internet Patient

Over the years, we’ve treated a variety of patients with similar concerns and oral health issues. There is one type of patient we see over and over––let us call them the Internet Patient. They are a little different from our other patients.

Rather than being referred to us by their dentist, they come to us on their own accord. They typically find us after searching the web for reputable periodontists in the Greater Toronto Area. The general concern expressed by the Internet Patient, is gum recession. They come to us after noticing that their gums have receded, and they seek treatment urgently. To restore their gums to their former glory, they ask us to perform a gum tissue graft.

While receding gums are easy to spot, it also has the potential to become a major health concern. When the roots of the teeth become exposed, a patient has more to worry about than their smile’s appearance. When roots are exposed, they’re vulnerable to decay, and ultimately tooth loss. If gums are treated in the early stages of recession, the process can be stopped or completely reversed.

Contrary to what the Internet Patient thinks, gum recession isn’t always the primary problem—it is a symptom of a more significant problem.

When Gum Recession Isn’t Your Only Problem

When the Internet Patient comes to us because of their receding gums, we first perform a thorough examination of the gums and teeth. Our findings usually confirm their fears of gum recession, but sometimes we detect other more severe issues, such as bone loss.

Many clients think their gum loss is a result of aggressive brushing or certain dietary choices. While brushing too aggressively can cause gum recession, bone loss can be a contributing factor.

The Connection Between Bone Loss and Gum Loss

Bone loss occurs as a result of tooth loss and periodontitis (also known as gum disease). Gum disease affects 50% of the population over the age of 50, and it goes unchecked among countless young individuals. In cases of periodontitis, bacteria eat at the underlying jawbone and the ligaments that connect the jawbone to the teeth. As the bone deteriorates, the gums have less tooth and bone to hold on to. With the loss of bone, gums begin to recede. 

As a leading periodontal facility in the GTA, we are more than capable of treating gum disease and gum recession. We can bring bone loss to a halt with dedicated treatments, thorough cleaning, and ongoing management.

Bone Loss Prevention with Dr. Suzanne Caudry

A variety of measures can prevent future bone loss. If periodontitis is detected early, the minimally invasive and non-surgical treatments include:

Scaling

Through scaling, we can remove tartar and bacteria from your teeth and the areas between the bone and gum (known as pockets). Scaling above and below the gumline ensures that your teeth are clean all the way to the bottom of the gum pocket.

Unfortunately, if your gum pockets exceed a depth of 5 mm, scaling may not be an effective treatment. When a patient’s gum pockets are too deep, we will have to explore other methods of treatment. This is why it is always important to detect periodontitis, pocket depth, and any other dental issues early. The earlier they’re identified, the less extensive treatment will be.

Root Planing

After completion of the scaling procedure, we can perform root planing. To plane roots is to smooth the root surfaces to discourage bacteria and tartar buildup. When roots are smooth and free of bacteria, they stimulate the re-attachment of gums to teeth. 

Antibiotics and Antimicrobials

Many antibiotics and antimicrobials can keep bacterial infections under control. Topical antibiotics or antibacterials used in professional irrigation treatment are recent treatment modalities. These can often treat the disease without involving surgery.

Surgical Treatments for Advanced Gum Disease and Bone Loss

In the event that gum disease has progressed, we are capable of performing a variety of surgical treatments. Here is some information about a few conventional surgical treatments and procedures we perform.

Flap Surgery

During flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, Dr. Caudry makes small incisions in the gum in an effort to create a ‘flap’. The flap is then opened, allowing for more effective scaling and root smoothing. After the flaps are sutured shut and healed, future cleaning will be much more effective.

Soft Tissue Grafting

When gums recede without bone loss, tissue grafts are in order. In most cases, tissue from the roof of your mouth is attached to the receded area. Tissue grafts help reduce the chances of root exposure and the negative effects that accompany it.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a fairly simple procedure. This procedure is performed when gum disease has wreaked extensive havoc on the bone surrounding the root of the tooth. At our facilities, we use donated bone material during the grafting process. Bone grafting helps prevent future tooth loss by holding teeth in place and encourages the growth of new bone. Bone grafts are sometimes performed to reconstruct sites prior to implant placement, as well.

Bring Your Questions and Concerns to Dr. Caudry  

Are you worried that you may have unchecked periodontitis? Are your gums gradually receding? Whatever the case, we invite you to contact our facilities whenever you have questions or concerns. Contact us at (416) 928-3444.


Dental Sedation

Dental Sedation

At the facilities of Dr. Caudry, we improve the oral health of patients every single day. We restore gum health, replace decaying teeth, and give people the smiles they’ve always wanted.

That doesn’t mean we only care about teeth and gums. Here, our primary focus is on the patient. From the first consultation to the final post-operative check-up, we strive to ensure the comfort of our patients. One of the ways we do this is by offering excellent dental sedation options.

During tooth exactions or other procedures, patients have the option of being semi-conscious or completely asleep. Knowing they can rest easy through a lengthy procedure gives our patients great comfort, and that’s something we’re proud of.

Sedation induces comfort and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some patients who are wary of nitrous oxide and other sedatives. In this post, we thought we would take some time to educate our readers on the history of dental sedation, its many benefits, and Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s own sedation options.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us at (416) 928-3444.

The Early Days of Dental Sedation

For as long as there have been dentists, there have been people afraid of going to the dentist. They’ve been afraid of the pain associated with extractions, the discomfort that comes with lengthy check-ups, and more. Even the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair is enough to send people in a panic.

Even in 2250 B.C., dentists were attempting to control pain and discomfort with herbs, henbane seed, and resin. A thousand years later, the people of India were using wine to ‘produce insensibility’ among patients.

Fast-forward to the year 1540, when Valerius Cordus of Germany, a known physician and pharmacist, introduced what he called ‘synthesized sweet vitriol’—otherwise known as ether. Ether quickly caught on, though it was mostly used to sedate animals. As the centuries progressed, scientists and physicians continued seeking for other safe sedative options.

Nitrous Oxide: Safe and Simple Pain Management

In the 19th century, a Connecticut dentist named Horace Wells brought nitrous oxide forward. When he used a small dose of nitrous oxide on himself during an 1844 tooth extraction, he noticed that it reduced pain and calmed his unsteady nerves.

You might know nitrous oxide by its other name, ‘laughing gas’. It has been used for quite some time, and it is still in use today. While nitrous oxide may not put you to sleep, it is still quite effective. The gas’ principle effects are, as follows:

 

  • Reduction of anxiety and fear
  • Reduction of pain and discomfort
  • Induces a sense of euphoria

Laughing Gas: What Are the Side Effects?

Many people are curious—and wary—of the side effects that accompany sedation. Rest assured, when nitrous oxide is administered correctly, you have little to worry about. Sedation is perfectly safe!

In most cases, patients feel confused and experience minor numbness in their legs—though these side effects subside quickly. We invite all our patients to enjoy our recovery area while they wait for their heads to clear. Our recovery area is extremely comfortable and even monitored by our facility’s full-time Registered Nurse.

Sedative Administration: What to Expect

Our practice is designed like that of a surgical operatory, and it is outfitted as such too. We have all the anesthetic equipment necessary to carry out our duties with precision and care. What’s more, we employ medical Anesthetists from the Humber River Hospital and a team of specially trained nurses. Rest assured, we don’t just meet the certification requirements for sedation and anesthesia (as set by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario), we exceed them.

When our staff Anesthetist begins to administer the nitrous oxide, they’ll ask you to breathe normally through your nose. Within a few short minutes, you’ll start to feel the soothing effects of the sedative. You may experience lightheadedness or feel a tingling sensation in your arms and legs.

 

Twilight Sedation: Total Comfort Control

We like to call our brand of sedation “twilight sedation”. Twilight sedation induces patients into a state where they feel extreme comfort and absolutely zero pain.

With twilight sedation, we can keep your stress, discomfort, and anxiety at bay. We are even able to adjust the sedation levels during your procedure if necessary. If your anxiety returns during your procedure, all you’ll have to do is let us know. We’ll adjust the nitrous oxide levels in a safe, controlled manner until you are comfortable.  

The Benefits of Twilight Sedation with Dr. Caudry

When we have the ability to maximize your comfort levels while you sit in the dentist’s chair, we can perform multiple procedures in a single appointment. Instead of scheduling you for multiple sessions and asking you to take time out of your busy day, we can take care of everything in one session.

Even if anxiety isn’t an issue, the length of a procedure can be bothersome. When you’re uncomfortable in the dentist’s chair, several minutes can feel like several hours. To make sure your tedious surgery passes by comfortably, we’ll make sure your sedation levels are optimal. With twilight sedation, you’ll be out of the dentist’s chair before you know it.

Complete Sleep Sedation: The Heavy-Duty Option

For lengthy procedures or individuals with severe anxiety, we offer the ‘complete sleep’ option. With sleep dentistry, you are completely unconscious during your procedure. You’ll have no memory of the procedure, and when you wake, you will feel foggy for some time. We recommend that you have a family member or friend accompany you to and from our facility.

If this is what you would prefer, don’t hesitate to let us know. Not sure which option is best for you? Get in touch with our professionals today for expert guidance.

 

Learn More About Your Sedation Options Today

At the facilities of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, your comfort is our greatest concern. If you have more questions about twilight sedation or our other services, do not hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444.


Dental Implant Recovery

Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery

In this special blog post, we thought we would take a moment to look at the recovery period of dental implant surgery. The post-operative stage of implant surgery is something we’re asked about all the time, and we’ve noticed that a whole lot of people have the wrong idea about the healing process.

By this end of this post, we hope you have a more precise understanding of the different approaches to implant surgery and their respective recovery processes. We’ll explore the various symptoms of early recovery, and we’ll tell you which signs to watch out for, as well as foods you should avoid during this crucial period.

We hope you enjoy this post, and if you have any questions while you’re reading, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Suzanne Caudry and her helpful team at (416) 928-3444.

Dental Implant Surgery Myths

Time and time again, we hear from clients who want dental implants, but they’re hesitant to follow through. They’re worried about the stigma that comes with implants, or they’re worried that their teeth will look fake. Some are worried about the durability of implants, and others are worried about the pain of post-operative recovery.

The team at Dr. Caudry’s facility is here to dispel these many harmful myths. Dental implants are incredibly common these days—among people of all ages and walks of life. People get implants for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t mean that they were unable to care for their natural teeth. As for the appearance of implants, dental implants have the look—and strength— of natural teeth. Their resemblance to natural teeth is precisely why many people fail to realize just how pervasive they are.

Lastly, there is the issue of post-surgical recovery. Many envision themselves lying in bed for days or even weeks after an extensive implant surgery. They imagine themselves eating through a straw with swollen cheeks and severe headaches. While that might be the case for other operations, this is not the case for dental implant surgery when you’re under the care of professionals such as Dr. Caudry.

What to Expect During the Recovery Stage

If it’s not the nightmare that people assume it is, what can one expect from the recovery process?

Recovery symptoms take roughly 5-7 days to subside in the case of a conventional implant surgery where there are no bone grafts or tooth extractions. Recovery time for a single tooth replacement will be much shorter than if you received multiple implants. During this estimated week, you might experience swelling, slight discomfort, and minor bleeding.

The First Day of Recovery

The first day of recovery is often when symptoms are most severe. For the first 30 minutes after surgery, we advise you to apply pressure to the side of your mouth. Minor bleeding is common during these 30 minutes, so do not be alarmed.

You will be able to leave our facilities shortly after your surgery is complete. Upon returning home, you might notice swelling or slight discomfort, but this is completely normal. These are all signs that your body is healing itself. We recommend that you rest as much as you can on the first day. Your immune system will thank you for that extra bit of rest.

Is Pain Medication Recommended?

After your surgery is complete, we will give you a prescription for medication to help you through the week of symptoms. We advise you to take the medication regularly so as to stay ahead of any soreness or pain. There are also a number of alternatives to prescription pain medications. Some of our patients report having great success with using Advil and Tylenol for pain relief. Our recommended doses for these medications are:

  • 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol
  • 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol

Medications are to be taken every 4-6 hours, as needed and directed by a doctor. One of our knowledgeable team members will inform you of a pain management plan that’s catered to your specific needs and health situation. As every patient is different, we recommend talking to one of our professionals before taking any medication.

Do You Prescribe Antibiotics?

We prescribe antibiotics in some scenarios. As always, take the antibiotics as directed. These antibiotics will relieve pain and also protect you from minor infections.

Swelling After Dental Implant Surgery

Many people worry their faces will be incredibly swollen after receiving tooth implants. You should expect to see swelling for the 2-3 days following the procedure. For the first 24-hour period, we suggest placing an icepack on the swollen area. Place the icepack for twenty minutes, remove the ice pack for twenty minutes, and repeat.

If swelling persists, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bleeding After Dental Surgery

Bleeding after your dental implant surgery is normal. If the bleeding persists after the first few hours, follow a few of these steps:

  • Elevate your head as you lie down
  • Apply gauze to the immediate area
  • Place crushed ice in your mouth

We strongly recommend you avoid vigorous rinsing during these stages as well. Too much rinsing could compromise the integrity of the new implant.

What Should I Eat During Dental Implant Recovery?

We suggest that you modify your diet for the duration of the recovery process. It is important that you avoid hard, acidic, or spicy foods, as those could cause discomfort or damage the implant.

Thankfully, there are many wonderful foods out there for you to enjoy. Some of these include:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Noodles
  • Baked beans
  • And more

What About Brushing and Rinsing After Surgery?

Many people are wary of brushing and rinsing after receiving their dental implant, but they shouldn’t be. All that’s required is a little bit of caution and care. Following surgery, we give you an effective prescription mouthwash called Peridex. Use Peridex twice a day for four days following surgery. After the four days, apply a drop of Peridex to the surgical site with a Q-tip.

Brushing after surgery is also very straightforward. Avoid brushing the surgical site for ten days following surgery, while continuing to brush and floss the rest of your teeth.

Is There a Follow-Up Appointment?

We schedule a 10-day follow-up after your surgery. During the post-op visit, we will remove any sutures that have not dissolved, and also clear the surgical site.

Post-Recovery

Having a stunning smile has never been more accessible as it is with our beautiful dental implants. Restore your smile. Restore your confidence. Get in touch with Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s dental office today.


Dental Bone Graft Surgery

Not everyone is familiar with dental bone graft surgery. Those who are, are not too keen on ‘dental’ and ‘surgery’ so close together in the same sentence.

We’re here to tell you that a bone graft is nothing to fear. Believe it or not, it is quite common—and the process itself is no challenge to any experienced oral surgeon.

We’ve decided to provide a quick overview of dental bone graft surgery, targeting a few key questions, such as:

  • What exactly is a dental bone graft?
  • Who needs a dental bone graft?
  • What does the surgical process entail?
  • And more!

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 416-928-3444.

What Is a Dental Bone Graft?

Simply put, a dental bone graft is the addition of bone-like material—or actual bone—to the jaw. Why would anyone want to add bone to a jawbone, you ask? The reason for doing so is to increase the volume of bone in the wake of bone loss.

The concept of bone loss seems a little strange, but it can happen. Bone loss might stem from a traumatic injury, or simply the loss of an adult tooth. In either case, the solution is the same. The bone graft procedure ensures you do not experience any unnecessary bone loss in the future.

How Do Bone Grafts Work?

Contrary to what most people think, bone graft material does not take the place of your pre-existing bone. A bone graft acts as a platform for the surrounding jawbone to grow upon. Over time, the newly grown bone fully replaces the bone graft, while the original graft materials are absorbed into the body.

How Long Does a Bone Graft Take to Heal?

The healing time varies from procedure to procedure. While the initial recovery period may only take two weeks, you may have to wait 3-6 months for the new bone to develop sufficiently. During the waiting and recovery period, you will be to go about your life with little discomfort or worry.

Once there is enough solid bone mass to support a new dental implant, we can begin the preparations for your new tooth implant.

Four Common Kinds of Bone Grafts

Today, there are more than just one or two types of bone grafts. These types of grafts are the autograft, allograft, synthetic graft, and the xenograft.

Autograft

An autograft, also known as an autologous bone graft, is a bone taken from the patient’s own body and placed in the desired part of the jaw. When it comes to dental procedures, the autograft is typically harvested from the hard palate, chin, or jaw.

The drawback of the autograft is that an additional surgical site is required, but the process also has its benefits. There is a very low risk of infection or graft rejection since the bone is coming from the person’s body.

Allograft

Rather than taking bone from a part of your body, an allograft requires bone from a donor. One of the benefits of this type of graft is that it does not require additional surgery. In the past, there have been concerns about infections, but these days donor tissue is thoroughly checked for any infections or incompatibilities prior to grafting.

Synthetic Graft

Synthetic grafts consist of safe biomaterials that act as the bone tissue. These biocompatible materials are made from proteins that are found in our bodies, giving them the greatest chance to bond and grow new jawbone. With no additional surgical sites required and an incredibly low risk of infection, the synthetic graft is favored by many professionals.

Xenograft

A xenograft is similar to what van Meekeren’s soldier received. The graft comes from a donor. Any graft that uses bone from a species that is not human is considered a xenograft. As you might have guessed, these grafts are not all that common in today’s practices.

The preferred source for a bone graft varies from patient to patient. Some may benefit from synthetic materials, while others might be a perfect candidate for an autograft.

As we have established, an oral surgeon doesn’t perform jawbone restoration for the sake of doing so. It is done to better people and their dental health.

Who Is Bone Grafting for?

People who have lost teeth are strong candidates for a bone graft. When a tooth is lost, jawbone growth ceases. This is because jawbone growth is stimulated by the activity of chewing and biting. Without the stimulation of chewing and biting, that area of the jawbone can deteriorate.

In the very first year after a tooth is extracted, 25% of the jawbone in that area is lost. Progressive bone loss affects your mouth and overall health in a variety of ways. You’ll see a significant decrease in the gum tissue, and your choices for a tooth replacement will narrow. If you lose more and more teeth over time, your facial appearance could even be altered.

Thankfully, these issues are completely avoidable. Bone grafting surgery is a viable option for most individuals, and it is available through none other than Dr. Suzanne Caudry.

Dental Bone Graft Surgery with Dr. Caudry

Bone graft surgery doesn’t take that long, believe it or not. It begins with the careful removal of the decayed tooth and the removal of the surrounding damaged tissue (a process known as debridement). Once the area is prepared, we will proceed with shaping the biocompatible allograft (made from donor material) to fit the area.

After the material is placed in the jawbone, the healing process begins. As more time passes, the new bone forms and strengthens. Once the area has adequate bone density, we will begin planning your upcoming dental implant surgery! 

Do You Want to Learn More About Bone Grafting?

If you’d like to learn more about bone grafting, Dr. Caudry’s practice, or other topics related to oral surgery and dentistry, check our blog for future updates!


Dental Bone Reconstruction

Whenever we mention bone grafts to our patients, their responses vary from confusion to mild nervousness. Many people who don’t know about the procedure are shocked by the benefits they have to offer. Others who may have heard of it might not understand how it can be advantageous to them. 

Here, we believe that education is the key to dispelling the misconceptions that dominate people’s fears of the dentist. A little bit of educating can also be beneficial to those who’ve never once thought of visiting the dentist themselves.

We decided to take some time to talk about dental bone reconstruction. Here you will learn about what a bone reconstruction entails, how the process has evolved over the years, why you might need a bone graft, and what the modern-day procedure looks like in our facilities.

Keep on reading to learn more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444.

The Early Days of Dental Bone Reconstruction

The concept of bone reconstruction and augmentation (simply known as ‘bone grafting’) is nothing new. Bone grafting has been practiced in medicine for quite some time.

Shortly after the invention of the microscope in the early 1600s, Dutch doctor Jacob Van Meekeren performed the first bone grafting operation on a soldier’s damaged skull. Due to very limited resources, however, Doctor Van Meekeren had to be creative during the surgical process. Rather than using human bone, he used dog bone. All things considered however, the surgery was still a success!

Bone grafting developed over the next few hundred years, and in the early 1900s the first ceramic product was cleared for use during bone reconstruction. Today, bone grafting and reconstruction is performed regularly, especially in the field of dentistry.

Who Needs Dental Bone Grafting?

There are a variety of reasons why one person might need a dental bone graft. Typically, it is one of these three reasons:

  • Aesthetic Purposes: Many clients wish to improve the contours around their teeth and preserve their young and healthy face.
  • Bone Loss Prevention: Bone loss is always a concern after a tooth has been extracted. When the bone graft process is performed shortly after an extraction, there is nothing to worry about.
  • Replace Lost Bone: Otherwise known as bone reconstruction.

At the end of the day, bone grafts are used to better improve the health and appearance of your jaw and teeth.

What Causes Bone Loss?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that damages soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It can cause teeth to loosen, and it can even cause them to fall out.

Gum disease is preventable through proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing regularly. In some cases, however, gum disease will go unchecked for years due to the fact that it is painless until it majorly impacts the gums. Gum disease impacts 50% of the population over 50 years old and also affects the younger population.

When Do You Know Bone Reconstruction is Needed?

In a perfect world, you would visit your dentist frequently enough for them to tell you. Unfortunately, many people are unable to visit their dentist on a routine basis because of other personal and financial obligations.

If you have lost teeth in the past and have begun to notice that your teeth are shifting, that may make you a candidate for bone grafting. Tooth loss leads to bone loss, which can dramatically alter the appearance of your remaining teeth if left unchecked. What’s more, bone loss can weaken your jaw.

If you would like to have a dental implant one day and have had teeth extracted in the past, you’ll most definitely need a bone graft. For any dental implant to successfully take hold, your jawbone needs to be strong and healthy.

What are Modern Day Bone Grafts Made From?

In the world of periodontics, there are currently four types of bone grafts.

First is the Xenograft. A Xenograft refers to when a bone is taken from an animal source and transported into your body. While this might seem outlandish, it isn’t! They’re commonly used in many forms of surgery, they’re readily available, and their success rate is well documented.

There is also the Alloplast Bone Graft. The Alloplast stands out for being synthetically made. Commonly used in surgery, this readily available option has also had much well-documented success, and there is zero risk of disease transmission.

Another method is the Autograft. With an Autograft, bone is surgically taken from one part of your body and transplanted to another part. Like the other methods, the success of the Autograft is more than well-documented. Unfortunately, however, the Autograft may not be an option for some patients.

Which brings us to the last option, which just so happens to be the preferred method of Dr. Caudry: The Allograft

The Allograft: The Safe and Effective Approach to Dental Bone Reconstruction  

The Allograft material is made from donor bone, and it is our preferred material for dental bone grafts. Time and time again, we have seen this safe, biocompatible material aid the body in making new bone and preserving all existing bone in the process.

The Dental Bone Reconstruction Procedure with Dr. Caudry

The bone reconstruction procedure typically takes one hour, while the recovery period takes about two weeks. It will take about 4-6 months for the graft to become a solid bone mass. After the donor bone has successfully integrated, you will be the perfect candidate for a new dental implant.

Does the Bone Graft Procedure Hurt?

Not at all! Patients are typically sedated during the procedure, and many report feeling no pain at all while the graft heals and bone integrates. The bone graft is simply a part of modern dentistry. It doesn’t add discomfort to your life, in many cases, it saves you from future discomfort!

Questions on Bone Reconstruction? Contact Dr. Caudry Today!

The helpful staff at our facility are available to answer any questions you might have at any moment. If you’d like to learn more about bone grafts, or whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, simply contact us at (416) 928-3444.


The Hollywood Smile

Day after day, we are visited by patients who want to know the same thing: Is it possible to achieve that picture-perfect smile if you do not already have it? Is extensive oral surgery required, or is it really all about what toothpaste you use?

The short answer is: Yes. How one goes about achieving the smile they’ve always wanted, however, varies from person to person.

Patients of ours are always surprised when they learn what brings out the best in their teeth and what brings out the worst, so we decided to devote some time to the topic of the fabled ‘Hollywood Smile’. What makes teeth shine? Are you stuck with the teeth you were born with? Will a missing molar impact the look of your incisors and premolars? Read on to find out!

The Science Behind the Hollywood Smile

Several years ago, there was a study carried out by researchers at Central Lancashire University and Leeds University. When shown images of men and women smiling, the volunteers selected those with evenly spaced and the whitest teeth as the most attractive.

The researchers inquired a little deeper into the reasons for this and concluded that human teeth are similar to a peacock’s tail, meaning they’re a sign of good health. For better or worse, that’s what comes to mind when we see an attractive smile. 

But that’s not all we are seeing.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Smiles

When someone smiles, they radiate confidence, warmth, and self-esteem. These contagious qualities can brighten a room as much as any pearly set of teeth. When someone smiles, we’re seeing the best and brightest parts of someone—not just their teeth.

For many, though, the one thing that is keeping their smiles at bay is that their teeth don’t quite look how they want them to. They feel uncomfortable laughing in front of their friends and colleagues because they’re unhappy with crooked, damaged, missing, or stained teeth. 

And when we say ‘many’, we mean many. A study conducted by Wakefield Research (commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists) revealed that more than 33% of American adults are unhappy with their smile. Of that one-third, 36% believe they’d have a more fulfilling social life if their teeth were more beautiful.

What Constitutes the Picture-Perfect Smile

We all know a nice smile when we see it, but when asked what sets one smile apart from another, few people are really able to give detailed answers.

In the world of cosmetic dentistry, there is a set of criteria that periodontists and dentists adhere to when working with their client to create the perfect proportional smile.

If someone’s wonderful teeth strike us, the teeth typically adhere to several or all these criteria:

  • Teeth aligned to the eye line
  • Teeth on the left side should correspond to those on the right side, as well as top/bottom symmetry
  • Edges of the teeth follow the curve of the bottom lip
  • A gum line which follows the line of the upper lip
  • Teeth with curved edges
  • Crescent-shaped gums
  • Proper tooth proportions

Is there any smile on earth that checks all these boxes? Not that we’ve seen. But what some might consider being imperfections aren’t imperfections at all. They’re the things that make every person and their smile unique and beautiful. 

How to Get the Smile You Want

As we said, there is no one route to the perfect smile. Some people might be unable to remove the yellow stain from their teeth, while others might have crooked teeth that require braces or an OIR (Oral Invisible Retainer) to be straightened.

Here at the facilities of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, there are several procedures we can perform to give you a smile you’ve always wanted from dental crown lengthening to gum disease treatment, and more! For years, Dr. Caudry, Ph.D., DDS, MSc. has been at the forefront of her field. The goal of her practice is to provide exceptional treatment that incorporates her vast clinical experience with the latest developments in scientific research.

Dr. Caudry does more than just incorporate research into her practice. Actively involved in her own research, Dr. Caudry presents her findings at conferences around the world, helping to further the field of periodontics at large. Rest assured, when you’re in our care, you receive only the most cutting-edge treatment from the most caring and considerate staff.

What Dr. Suzanne Caudry Can Do for Your Smile: Crown Lengthening

Some feel self-conscious about their teeth because they appear to be ‘too short’. While some may informally call these baby teeth, there are many cases where the teeth have simply been worn down over time and need lengthening. In some cases, the teeth are simply covered by too much gum.

We can correct these minor issues with a cosmetic procedure known as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a periodontal procedure where the bone and gums are shaped to create more proportional smiles.

How Long Does the Crown Lengthening Procedure Take?  

Don’t worry, the wait for the perfect smile isn’t long. This procedure takes approximately one hour. When completed, sutures are placed on the gums.

Fill Out Your Smile with Dental Implants

If you’ve lost a tooth in an accident, or a decaying tooth has been extracted from your mouth, you might be feeling self-conscious about that less-than-toothy smile.

Dental implants succeed in replacing single, several, or all your teeth. Consisting of small titanium screws, an abutment, and a ceramic crown designed to look like a healthy proportioned tooth, dental implants are practical and long-lasting solutions for missing teeth.

One missing tooth, after all, can have negative impacts on your other teeth and your oral health. Even if you are missing a molar that is unnoticeable to the naked eye, that gap of space might cause your other teeth to shift, altering the smile you currently have!

Let Us Begin to Build Your New Smile Today! 

If you have more questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact us at (416) 928-3444.


Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implant Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implant Surgery

Here at our facilities, we value education in all its forms. Dr. Caudry, who leads conferences globally, is actively involved in dental implantology research and also fulfills her duties as a clinical instructor at the University of Toronto.

Educating ourselves in matters related to implantology, innovations in oral care, and administrative duties, isn’t for our benefit—it is for the benefit of you, the patient. The more confident we are in our ability to care for you, the more comfortable you will surely feel.

We also believe that educating our clients is essential. With so many anxieties surrounding oral hygiene and visits to the dentist’s office, we thought we could dispel certain doubts, fears, and concerns by covering the basics of dental implant surgery.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants?

This can be a challenging question to answer because every case is so individual and unique. And here, there is nothing we respect more than the individual nature of every patient.

That said, there are some cases where someone might not be the best candidate—though nothing can ever be certain until you are fully assessed. Some of these include:

  • Young individuals whose jawbones have not finished growing
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with connective-tissue diseases, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, or chronic diseases
  • Individuals not willing to commit to post-operative oral care and ongoing hygienic practices

As for others with healthy jawbones and no compromising conditions to speak of, they still find themselves wondering if their missing or decaying tooth (or teeth) makes them a candidate. They wonder if they are entitled to the same treatment and care as others.

To them, we say that if they feel as though they’ve been robbed of confidence, happiness, or simply a beautiful smile, they are an ideal candidate. While there are many health-related reasons to pursue dental implant surgery, there is no wrong reason. Our goal is to restore both your health, your happiness, or both.

What Is a Tooth Implant Made From?

A dental implant consists of three components: A base, a crown, and an abutment.

The base is a small screw made from titanium, a type of metal that was discovered in the mid-20th century to fuse with the bone. The base acts as an anchor, much like the root of an actual tooth. The abutment, sometimes known as a connector, is what secures the base to the crown. Lastly, there is the crown. The crown is the tooth-like part of the implant. Typically, this is made from a ceramic material and is designed so as to give the appearance of a perfectly healthy tooth.

Are Tooth Implants Strong?

Many people operate under the assumption that dental implants are significantly more brittle than natural human teeth. In reality, dental implants are the strongest tooth replacement option in existence today.

It can be hard to determine just how strong a dental implant will be, because like we always say: Every case is different. The strength of your implant depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Overall Dental Health
  • The Strength of the Jawbone
  • Current Strength of the Natural Teeth

Your jawbone’s ability to heal around the implant plays a major factor in the stability of your new implant. If you suffer from gum disease, all of your teeth might feel less stable in your mouth—even your implant. Your dental implant and the gums that surround them are just as susceptible to infection as natural teeth, so proper oral hygiene is strongly advised.

Whereas a natural tooth is anchored to the tooth’s gums by its roots, an implant is anchored—fused, actually—to the bone. This makes the implant function differently than a natural tooth, and in some contexts might even make the tooth stronger than a natural tooth. With dental implants being fused to the bone, they’re not permitted the same amount of movement as natural teeth.

Is Caring for a Dental Implant Difficult?

As we said earlier, dental implants are vulnerable to bacteria, plaque, and oral infections, just like natural teeth.

If you are concerned about the health and strength of your dental implant, the best thing you can do is make sure your gums and jawbone remain healthy and strong. When your oral hygiene is optimal, the health of your implant will be, too.

One of the most important parts of our practice is our periodontal hygiene program. This circles back to one of our foremost priorities, which is educating our patients in ways both big and small.

While we offer a variety of hygiene services in our facilities, such as deep scaling, antibacterial treatments, fluoride treatment, polishing, and whitening, we place even greater importance on what clients can do for themselves at home.

To preserve your dental implant and overall oral health, we recommend:

  • Brushing minimum twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Low-abrasive toothpaste
  • Nylon-coated interdental brushes for hard-to-reach areas
  • Daily flossing

What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?

Depending on what oral surgeon you choose to work with, the answer to this question could vary. That is why it is always important to do your homework and ask the right questions during your assessments or consultations.

With Dr. Caudry, you only receive the most cutting-edge care, ensuring optimal comfort unmatched accuracy. This is made possible in part because of Dr. Caudry and her exceptional staff, but also because of computer-guided surgery. With computer guided surgery, we eliminate the messiness of dental impressions, the prolonged surgical process, and the many uncomfortable aspects of oral surgery.

Prior to the computer-guided surgical process, we ask that you come into our facilities for a brief appointment. We will perform a non-invasive intraoral scan with our digital scanner, and also a CBCT scan. After that, we merge the two scans and get to work on planning every single step of the implant surgery. With these digital technologies, outcomes are superior to those of past methods.

As dental implantology continues to progress, we will continue to advance with it. The comfort of our patient is our foremost concern. That is why Dr. Caudry was one of the first practitioners in North America to master these digital technologies nearly 15 years ago.

For More Information on Dental Implants, Call Us Today

If you have other questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444!