Our Calgary Dentist Welcomes New Patients

You're Always Welcome Here.

Dr. Dirk Thompson, the owner and dentist at his dental office conveniently situated in NW Calgary (Hillhurst/Kensington/Sunnyside), together with his dental team are dedicated to you and your entire family’s dental care. We always strive to provide personalized dental treatment in a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment.

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Same Day Dental Emergency

We're Ready For Your Dental Emergency.

If you have a dental emergency, you want help as soon as possible. Our dentist in Calgary always strives to provide timely, efficient emergency dental care so you can be seen without delay. Evening and week-end emergency dental appointments are also available to deal with any dental emergency you may be experiencing. Call us now, we're here to help.

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Convenient Direct Dental Insurance Billing

We Direct Bill Your Dental Insurance.

Our Calgary dentist wants your visit with us to be as stress free and convenient as possible and we understand that dealing with your dental insurance can sometimes be challenging.  That’s why we offer you direct dental insurance billing and are happy to assist you in any way we can with your insurance issues. It's just another way we always put our patients first.

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Dedication. Compassion. 25+ Years Experience.
You're in Great Hands With Our Calgary Dentist.

Discover Our Calgary Dentist's, Dr. Dirk Thompson, Patient First Approach at our NW Calgary Dental Clinic conveniently located in the Heart of Kensington (Sunnyside and Hillhurst). We're Here To Make You Smile!

For over 25 years, Dr. Dirk Thompson, our Calgary dentist, has focused on providing patient-centered dental care with a personal touch and a gentle approach at his modern northwest Calgary dental clinic in beautiful Kensington.  At the heart of his practice is a foundation of honesty, integrity and transparency. Combining his skills honed over 25 years, together with a sense of humour and a casual and relatable approach, our Calgary dentist strives to earn his patients' trust and keep them smiling at every visit. 

Whether it be for an emergency dental visit, cosmetic dentistry, sedation or implant dentistry, or a dental cleaning in Calgary, Dr. Dirk Thompson, a general dentist, and his team always strive to provide you with the highest quality dental care and to exceed your expectations at every visit. 

Call us at 403.283.4252 for your dental appointment today!

 

Our Calgary Dentist Team is Here for You

A Dental Experience That Will Make You Smile

Your experience at our dental practice is important to our Calgary dentist and to our entire dental team. As your partners in your dental health, we've designed our practice in the beautiful community of Kensington/ Hillhurst/ Sunnyside around your needs as a valued patient, recognizing that open communication, efficiency and convenience together with a friendly and approachable dental team are all vital components of a positive dental experience.

Gentle Dentistry

We're Passionate About Dentistry and Our Patients

Our vision is to provide a dental experience that will inspire trust and confidence at every visit. That's why our Calgary dentist, together with our dedicated team of dental hygienists and dental assistants, strive to always provide personalized, gentle and comprehensive general, cosmetic, sedation and restorative dentistry, all in a friendly, compassionate and welcoming environment.

Beyond the Dentistry

We Look Beyond the Dentistry

We know that a great dental experience takes more than just great dentistry. That's why we always try to go that extra mile to make your dental visit welcoming, comfortable and convenient by providing flexible appointment times, direct dental insurance billing, massage dental chairs, soothing eye masks, cozy blankets, an awesome toy box for your kids, as well as a beverage and snack centre.

 Meet Our Calgary Dental Team  Learn More About Our Patient First Approach in Our Video

 

Comfortable. Inviting. Modern.
Visit Our NW Calgary Dental Clinic In Kensington (Sunnyside/Hillhurst) Today!


Our Calgary Dentist Provides Complete Dental Care for You and Your Family

When you choose Advance Your Health Dental for your and family's dental care, you can be assured that our Calgary dentist and dental team always strive to
ensure that your treatment is comfortable, efficient and exceeds all of your expectations.
 
We also realize that dentistry is an investment in your health so we always strive to be mindful of your budget, while also direct billing your dental insurer, where possible.  Our goal is to meet all of your
preventative, cosmetic and restorative dental needs at our NW Calgary dentist office so that you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile in one convenient Calgary dental office location in the heart of beautiful Kensington (Sunnyside / Hillhurst). 
 
If you have any questions about our dental services in Calgary, including sedation dentistry, emergency dental care, root canals, dental crowns, implant dentistry,
cosmetic dentistry, dental cleanings, teeth whitening and teeth and wisdom teeth extraction, please do not hesitate to contact us at 403.283.4252.

 

LET'S MAKE YOUR SMILE LAST A LIFETIME!  

 

Emergency Dentist

Emergency Dentist

Broken tooth? Infection? Swelling? These are all dental emergencies that require immediate attention. Delaying treatment may hinder the possibility of achieving the best possible outcome. Our Calgary dental team has same-day emergency dental appointments available. We're here for your emergency dentistry needs.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry aims to enhance the appearance of your smile while complementing your overall health. Whether it's teeth whitening, crowns, veneers or complete smile makeovers, we can help you choose a treatment plan that's best for you.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Anxiety prevents many people from receiving the dental care they need. Our Calgary sedation dentistry services can help alleviate your dental anxiety, removing the barrier to a healthier you.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most permanent option to help restore the beauty and optimal function, feeling and appearance of your smile. Ask us about our complimentary dental implant consultations.

Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Prevention is the key to optimal dental health for all stages of your life. Our Calgary dentist is committed to ensuring that you play an active and informed role in this very important aspect of your overall health. With a patient-centred approach, our priority is to take the time to listen and address all of your dental concerns.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Our dentist offers both in-office teeth whitening as well as take-home kits. Both types of whitening can brighten your teeth by multiple shades. Ask about which type of whitening may be best for you at your next dental or dental hygiene appointment.

Children's Dentistry

Children's Dentistry

We understand that going to the dentist's office can be stressful for children. Our goal is to always make your child comfortable and happy (yes happy!) to be a part of their oral health care and prepare them for a lifetime of strong, healthy and happy smiles.

Root Canals

Root Canals

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed. This relatively simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.

Dental Crowns & Bridges

Dental Crowns & Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges replace missing or damaged teeth. At our dental clinic, we create beautiful, natural-looking crown restorations that look, feel and function like your natural teeth.

Teeth Extraction

Teeth Extraction

Although dentists always try to save your natural tooth whenever possible, sometimes there is no other option due to the extent of tooth damage, decay or crowding, which is often the case with wisdom teeth. For patients with dental anxiety, we offer dental extractions with sedation.

Cosmetic Injectables

Cosmetic Injectables

Neuromodulator cosmetic treatments such as Botox® and Xeomin® are popular choices for both men and women who wish to soften the signs of ageing and feel and look their very best. Keep them guessing and ask us whether you would be a good candidate for cosmetic neuromodulator injections at your next consultation appointment with our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson.

Migraine Treatment

Migraine Treatment

If you suffer from migraine headaches, including migraine headaches associated with TMJ disorder, ask us how neuromodulator injections may be the solution you've been looking for. Our Calgary dentist is experienced in using therapeutic neuromodulator injections including Botox® and Xeomin® to treat your migraine headache symptoms. So don't suffer any longer. Schedule your consultation appointment today.

Mouthguards and Sportsguards

Mouthguards and Sportsguards

If you or your child participates in any sporting activity where there is a risk of facial trauma from falling or being struck in the face, a mouthguard or sportsguard is an absolute necessity. Ask us about how our Calgary dentist office can fabricate a custom fitted mouthguard for you in one short visit in your team colours today.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can not only improve the shape, size or colour of one or more of your teeth, they can also close gaps between your teeth and even straighten misaligned teeth. Whether you're interested in improving one tooth or your whole smile, porcelain veneers can rejuvenate your smile and give you the smile of your dreams.

TMJ and Bruxism

TMJ and Bruxism

The term TMJ disorder refers to various conditions which affect your temporomandibular joint and can cause issues such as pain in your jaw and temporomandibular joint, inflammation and headaches. Bruxism refers to grinding and clenching your teeth. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism or a TMJ disorder, a proper diagnosis and treatment is imperative to restoring your quality of life. Ask us what we can do for you today.

Ask Our Calgary Dentist: FAQ

Do I Need Dental X-Rays Annually At My Calgary Dentist Office?

The use of various forms of x-rays by your Calgary dentist office is an extremely valuable tool to be able to diagnose and treat various dental issues, including tooth decay (cavities), abscesses, impacted wisdom teeth and bone loss.

There are several types of dental x-rays that your dentist in Calgary or dental hygienist may recommend at your next dental visit.  Some of the more common types of dental x-rays include the following:

  • Bitewing x-rays: This type of dental x-ray shows both your upper and lower back teeth and are used to check for decay between your teeth.  These x-rays also show how your upper and lower teeth line up and can also show bone loss.

  • Periapical x-rays (PAs): This type of dental x-ray shows your entire tooth, form the top of the exposed part of your tooth (the crown) down to the end of its root and to the bones that support your teeth.  Periapical x-rays are taken to diagnose dental issues found below your gum line or in your jaw, including impacted teeth (such as wisdom teeth), a dental abscess, tumours and cysts and bone issues.

  • Panoramic x-ray: A panoramic x-rays shows a wide view of your entire jaw, including all of your teeth, together with your sinuses, TMJ (temporomandibular joints), jaw and nasal cavity. A panoramic x-ray can show such issues as impacted wisdom teeth (or any impacted tooth), bone loss or abnormalities, tumours and cysts, as well as infections and fractures of your jaw or other bones in your face.

 

If you are new to a Calgary dentist office and have had dental x-rays taken at a previous office, you should always request or have one of our friendly dental team members request these x-rays from your previous dental office, particularly if the x-rays were taken within the last few years if they are bitewings or PAs or within five years if it is a panoramic x-ray. As most dental offices use digital x-rays, your x-rays can easily be transferred to our Calgary dentist office via secure email for our review.

Whether you should have x-rays taken at your annual or bi-annual check-up and cleaning with your Calgary dentist really depends upon a variety of factors, including the following:

 

  • the health of your gums

  • whether any tooth decay can be seen on a visual inspection by your Calgary dentist

  • whether you have any tooth pain or discomfort

  • the last time you had x-rays taken

  • whether you have suffered any recent or past trauma to your mouth, teeth or gums

  • your age

  • your dental history

  • the type of dental treatment you may require

  • whether you are pregnant

  • any other health concerns you may have

 

If you have any questions or concerns about the frequency or necessity of dental x-rays at one of your Calgary dentist appointments, do not hesitate to engage in a discussion with your dentist or dental professional about the reasons why they may be recommending that dental x-rays be taken.  At our Calgary dentist office, we encourage you to be an active participant in your dental health.  One of the ways you can do this is to ask as many questions as may be necessary to ensure that you are fully informed about and completely comfortable with our dental treatment plan for you, including taking dental x-rays. 

Our Calgary dentist is conveniently located in the heart of beautiful Kensington / Hillhurst / Sunnyside.  If you would like to make an appointment for a dental check-up and cleaning or for any other dental concern, including a dental emergency, please call us today at 403.283.4252.  We're here to help.

Is Dental Tourism A Good Idea? Our Calgary Dentist Provides Some Food For Thought.

By now you have probably heard of one of your family members, friends or work colleagues talk about having dental work completed in a foreign jurisdiction in what is sometimes referred to as "dental tourism".  If you are wondering whether you should forego your usual visit with your Calgary dentist in favour of having dental work completed in a foreign jurisdiction while on a sunny vacation, you should first consider the following.

One of the most significant benefits of seeing a dentist in Calgary is that all dentists and their professional activities in Calgary (Alberta) are regulated by the Alberta Dental Association & College.  This means that, when you visit a dentist in Calgary, you can be assured that:

 

  • they have the proper education and has passed the board examination to become a licensed member of the Alberta Dental Association & College

  • they are accountable to both you and the Alberta Dental Association & College

  • your dentistry is delivered in a safe and effective manner

  • they are following the standards and guidelines set by the Alberta Dental Association & College

  • they are committed to fulfilling their bi-annual continuing education requirements

  • they have malpractice insurance

  • if you have an issue that cannot be resolved between yourself and your Calgary dentist, you can ask the Alberta Dental Association & College for assistance in resolving the matter

 

With respect to the standards and guidelines set by the Alberta Dental Association & College, these standards and guidelines govern a wide range of topics that keep you safe and ensure that quality dentistry is provided by your Calgary dentist.  Some of these standards and guidelines include the following:

 

  • infection prevention and control protocols

  • maintenance and inspection of x-rays

  • patient record keeping

  • informed consent protocols

  • limitations on scope of practice

  • continuing education protocols

  • advertising standards

 

If you are considering booking a “dental vacation”, one of the first things you should consider and fully inform yourself about is what standards does the particular jurisdiction have with respect to both licensing dentists and regulating their practices.  You should also consider such issues as: 

 

  • What will you do if you require follow-up treatment after returning home?

  • What if there are dental complications after you return home?

  • What will happen if you feel you should have a refund of all of a part of your money?

 

Although there is no doubt that there is quality dentistry in foreign jurisdictions, before making the decision to have treatment done outside of North America, our Calgary dentist strongly encourages you to do your own research about both the dentist and the jurisdiction's dental association. 

For more information about dental tourism, see our recent blog on this topic.

How Often Do I Need A Dental Examination By My Calgary Dentist?

Our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., recommends that you attend for a dental examination at least annually.  At our Calgary dentist office, for your convenience, it is recommended that your annual dental examination be completed at the time of your dental hygiene cleaning appointment. 

Periodically, patients query whether they really need an annual dental examination, especially when they think that their teeth feel fine to them.  The reason an annual dental examination is recommended by our Calgary dentist is that a dentist has specialized training and equipment such as intra-oral x-rays and intra-oral cameras that can detect any potential oral health issues much sooner than an untrained and unassisted eye can.  Further, as with many health issues, early detection of any dental issues by our Calgary dentist can also improve the outcome of any dental issue you may be experiencing. Additionally, when you have a dental examination at our dental office, our Calgary dentist will be looking for so much more than just cavities.  At your annual dental examination, our Calgary dentist will also be doing the following:

 

  • screening for oral cancer by looking for any lumps, bumps, lesions and spots on your lips, tongue, cheeks, gums and throat

  • assessing you for any facial or jaw pain, including TMJ (temporomandibular jaw) pain

  • discussing any cosmetic concerns you may have such as teeth whitening, the shape of your teeth and the size of your teeth

  • checking for any signs of early gum disease (gingivitis) or progression of any pre-existing gum disease

  • assessing any occlusion (bite) problems you may have

  • checking for any signs of teeth clenching or grinding

  • providing home oral healthcare recommendations

  • providing recommendations for any detected dental issues

  • answering any questions you may have about your dental health

  • checking your blood pressure     

 

Having an annual dental examination by your Calgary dentist provides you with the assurance that no aspect of your dental health is being overlooked.  This is important because many studies have linked your oral health to your overall health, including to diseases involving the cardiovascular system.   

In addition to attending for an annual dental examination, our Calgary dentist encourages you to maintain a consistent home oral healthcare routine which includes flossing your teeth once per day and brushing your teeth at least twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.  You should also be checking your mouth frequently for any changes, including any new lumps, bumps or lesions.  If you notice any new lumps or lesions in your mouth that do not go away within two weeks, you should contact your Calgary dentist to have it assessed.

If you have not had a dental examination in the last year, we invite you to call our Calgary dentist office to schedule your examination.  We have early morning, evening and weekend appointments available to make your dental appointment time as convenient as possible.  Call our Calgary dentist office today.  We're here for you!

IF I DON'T HAVE ANY TOOTH PAIN, DO I STILL SEE MY CALGARY DENTIST?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Although you may think that your smile looks great and and feels healthy, regular visits to your Calgary dentist can help detect very small issues that you cannot detect on your own.  This is particularly important because, when it comes to your oral health, often you may not even be aware that there is an issue until you feel pain or discomfort. By the time you feel any pain or discomfort, chances are that you will require some type of treatment from your Calgary dentist.   With the help of your Calgary dentist's specialized training as well as dental equipment including digital x-rays and intra-oral cameras, your Calgary dentist and dental hygienist can ensure that small issues, such as a developing cavity or the early stages of gum disease, do not become major ones.   

At your Calgary dentist appointment, when doing your dental examination, your dentist will check your whole mouth, including your teeth, lips, gums, cheeks and throat for any potential issues, including cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, bite issues and even any aesthetic concerns you may have including the shape of your teeth, their colour and their overall appearance.  At your regular dental hygiene appointment, your dental hygienist will also examine your mouth for any teeth and gum issues and provide a dental cleaning (scaling), teeth polish, fluoride application (if you so choose) and take x-rays, as may be required. 

In addition to seeing your Calgary dentist and dental hygienist at least once per year, one of the most important things you can do to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime is to ensure that you stick with a regular and consistent at home oral health care plan.  This means brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice per day and flossing at least daily.  Dr.Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., our Calgary dentist, advises that maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle is also an important element of maintaining your oral health, including by not using any tobacco products, eating a healthy diet, exercising and protecting your teeth and mouth by wearing a mouthguard when engaging in sporting activities such as hockey, soccer, rugby and skate-boarding. 

Our Calgary dentist encourages everyone at all stages of their life to take care of their teeth.  To make your appointment with our Calgary dentist as convenient as possible, we offer early morning, evening, and week-end appointments to fit your and your family's busy schedules.  Call us today at 403.283.4252.  It would be our Calgary dentist's privilege to be your and your family's lifelong partner in your dental health!

Are Root Canals Safe? Our Calgary Dentist Gets to the Root of This Question.

In recent years, there have been various publications and discussions in social media questioning whether root canals are safe. According to our Calgary dentist, although the success of any dental procedure cannot be guaranteed given that each patient’s medical and dental history and health differ, root canals are a very safe dental procedure.  In fact, a joint statement has been issued by the Canadian Dental Association and the Canadian Academy of Endodontics confirming that root canal therapy is both a very safe and effective treatment modality to treat a tooth that is severely damaged or infected.

Our Calgary dentist has also been asked whether there is any correlation between cancer and root canal therapy.  According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there is no evidence that root canal therapy causes cancer. 

Because root canal (endodontic) therapy remains the only option available to save a tooth where it has become severely infected or damaged, in most circumstances, our Calgary dentist will recommend that your tooth be saved and treated with a root canal as opposed to extracting the tooth.  After a tooth is extracted, the only options available to replace the tooth are bridge work or a dental implant.  After a tooth is root canalled, the tooth will be restored by our Calgary dentist with either a filling or a crown, with a dental crown being the best long-term solution to preserving both the tooth’s form and function in most cases. 

If you have any questions about the safety or effectiveness of root canal treatment, our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, welcomes and encourages your questions. Our Calgary dentist also encourages you to visit reputable websites and sources when making important decisions about your oral health.  Some great sources include the Canadian Dental Association’s website and the Mouth Healthy website from the American Dental Association.  Please also visit our web page on root canals for more information about this dental procedure.

If you would like to speak about any dental concerns you may have with our Calgary dentist, please do not hesitate to make an appointment at our dental office in the beautiful community of Kensington (Hillhurst/Sunnyside).  Our dental team is here to serve you!

How Much Is a Teeth Cleaning at a Calgary Dentist Office?

In Calgary, the cost of a teeth cleaning varies depending upon a variety of factors.

First, it depends upon what type of dental treatment you will receive when you attend for a teeth cleaning at your Calgary dentist office.  The “teeth cleaning” part of your dental cleaning, which is called “scaling”, is billed in 15 minute (or part thereof) increments.  Although the price for each unit of scaling varies depending upon which Calgary dentist office you attend, the price for each unit at most dentist offices ranges between approximately $70.00 to $75.00.  Most patients who attend for regular dental cleanings at their Calgary dentist office can expect to require between two and four units of scaling at their teeth cleaning visit.  If you have not been to your dentist for an extended period of time, it may that you will require more than two to four units of time of dental scaling.  However, this varies which each individual patient, with factors such as their home oral care routine, their diet, whether or not they smoke and their overall health condition having an impact on the number of units of scaling that may be required.

At your teeth cleaning appointment with your Calgary dentist and hygienist, it may also be recommended that you have a fluoride application and your teeth polished.  Lastly, if you have not had a dental examination in over a year, it is recommend that your dentist conduct a dental examination and, if necessary, take dental x-rays, all of which would be additional costs over and above the scaling units.

Accordingly, the cost of a teeth cleaning at a Calgary dentist office varies depending upon a variety of factors.  Our Calgary dentist generally recommends that patients attend for teeth cleaning twice per year, with this recommendation again varying depending upon such considerations as the patient’s overall oral and general health needs.

If you would like to make an appointment with our general Calgary dentist for a dental cleaning with one of our friendly and dedicated dental hygienists, call us today. One of our friendly team members will provide you with a variety of times and dates to ensure that the appointment is convenient for you and your lifestyle!

Should I See My Calgary Dentist If My Gums Bleed When Brushing?

If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, or when you eat certain foods, this is not necessarily cause for alarm or reason to rush to your Calgary dentist for an emergency dentistry appointment.  However, bleeding gums are not normal and should not be ignored.  According to our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, bleeding gums can be caused by a number of different factors, not all of which are serious.  Some of these causes include the following:

  • using a toothbrush that has bristles that are too hard

  • flossing too vigourously

  • starting a new oral care routine that includes flossing when you have not flossed your teeth for some time

  • mild gum disease (gingivitis)

  • moderate to severe gum disease (periodontitis)

  • pregnancy gingivitis

  • certain medications

If you suspect that your teeth are bleeding due to your toothbrush, our Calgary dentist recommends that you make sure you are using a toothbrush with soft bristles.  Although some patients are under the impression that hard or medium bristled toothbrushes do a better or more thorough job of cleaning your teeth, this is simply not the case.  According to our Calgary dentist, provided you spend sufficient time brushing your teeth and are careful to ensure that all visible surfaces of the tooth are brushed, then a soft bristled toothbrush will do the job more than adequately.  Furthermore, hard or medium bristled toothbrushes can actually damage your gums as may be evident when you notice blood after brushing.  Of course, your daily oral care routine should also include flossing your teeth to ensure that the surfaces between your teeth are adequately cleaned and food debris removed.  Lastly, always try to use a toothpaste with flouride as fluoridated toothpastes add additional cavity fighting protection to your daily oral care routine.

Interestingly, there are also some medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed medications, that may cause your gums to bleed.  In particular, some anti-inflammatories as well as blood thinners may have this unwanted side effect.  If you suspect that one of your medications is the culprit in making your gums bleed, speak with your dentist, physician or pharmacist and they will be able to guide you with addressing and hopefully resolving the issue with recommendations regarding your oral care routine or changing your medication if possible and/or necessary.

If you are using a soft bristled toothbrush and have not changed anything with your daily oral care routine or medications, it may be time to make an appointment with our Calgary dentist to ensure that you are not suffering from gum disease.  Some of the indicators of gum disease are gums that are inflamed, swollen, red, tender or gums that bleed when brushing or flossing.  Early gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be reversed with good daily oral healthcare routines together with regular visits to your Calgary dentist for dental cleanings and check-ups.  Gum disease which has progressed beyond the early stages may require additional intervention by your dentist and dental hygienist, including more frequent dental hygiene visits and possibly a referral to a dental specialist.

If you are pregnant and notice that your gums are irritated, tender, swollen, red or are bleeding, then you may be experiencing what is sometimes referred to as "pregnancy gingivitis".  Pregnancy gingivitis usually occurs between the second and eighth month of pregnancy and for many is the worst during the third trimester.  Because during pregnancy a person's hormonal levels are changing, these changes can also affect your oral health, including your gums.  Specifically, high progesterone levels can make your gums more susceptible to the effects of cavity causing bacterial plaque.  Although our Calgary dentist recommends that any major dental work be postponed until after delivery of your new bundle of joy, regular dentist appointments and dental hygiene cleanings are encouraged by our Calgary dentist throughout your pregnancy.  If regular brushing, flossing, and dental appointments are not resolving your bleeding gums, it may be necessary that our Calgary dentist recommend additional treatment, such as a prescription oral anti-bacterial rinse.  Ask our Calgary dentist when the best and safest times to visit the dentist is during your pregnancy.

Whenever you notice a change to the condition of your mouth, teeth or gums, although not necessarily cause for alarm, any changes should always be followed up with your Calgary dentist to ensure that there are no serious issues that are developing.  As with any aspect of your health, the sooner a dental health issue is detected, the greater the chance of resolving the issue without major interventions being necessary.  At Advance Your Health Dental, our Calgary dentist focuses on prevention by encouraging regular dental hygiene cleanings (usually twice per year for most patients), as well as regular dental examinations by your dentist.  

If you are experiencing any dental health issue that concerns you, or if you would like to speak with our Calgary dentist regarding any dental health issue you may have, we always welcome your questions.  We are also available for your Calgary emergency dentist appointment.  You may call our dentist office at 403.283.4252 to speak to one of our Calgary dentist team members, or you are invited to make an appointment with our Calgary dentist and we will happily schedule your dental appointment on a day and time that is most convenient for you.  Call us today.  We're here for all of your and your family's dental needs.

When should my child's first dental appointment be with their Calgary dentist?

Our Calgary dentist office is often asked, "When should I first bring my child to see a dentist?".

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child be seen by a dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by one year of age, whichever is earlier.  Our Calgary dental office is pleased to offer a "well-baby teeth check-up", where our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, can check for possible early teeth issues and provide instruction on oral healthcare for babies and toddlers.

For babies and infants, we encourage parents and caregivers to be aware of issues such as baby bottle decay and early childhood caries, which can potentially have lifelong implications on your child's oral health well-being.  We also encourage parents and caregivers to establish healthy oral habits right from birth, including wiping your baby's gums with a soft and clean gauze pad to remove plaque which can affect erupting teeth.  Other issues that may arise with infants and toddlers are dental emergencies such as knocked out teeth from accidents, as well as tooth sealants and thumb sucking.  If you have any questions about your child's oral health, don't hesitate to call our Calgary dentist office at 403.283.4252  One of our friendly team members will happily answer any question you may have.

As with all of our patients, we work very hard to try to make your child's first and subsequent visits to our office as comfortable and even fun! We welcome and encourage parents to stay with their child for their entire dental visit. We focus on all aspects of preventative care including using dental sealants where appropriate and educating your child about the importance of oral healthcare.  We also have an awesome toy box for your chlld to choose from at the end of each of their dental visits.

It would be our privilege to be your partner in your child's dental health.  Call our Calgary dental office today to book your child's dental appointment.

How much does a dental filling cost in Calgary?

The cost of a dental filling by a Calgary dentist varies depending upon several factors.  

First, the cost of a dental filling will depend upon which tooth is being filled.  Generally, teeth that are at the front are less expensive than teeth that are at the back of your mouth.

Second, the cost of a dental filling by your Calgary dentist will depend upon the number of surfaces which need to be filled.  Basically, this is referring to the size of the cavity in the tooth.  A tooth has five surfaces and the more surfaces that have decay in them and have to be filled, the larger the filling will be and the higher the cost will be.

Lastly, the cost of a dental filling depends upon what material is used to fill the tooth.  Teeth can be filled using amalgam or composite material.  At our Calgary dentist office, Dr. Dirk Thompson prefers to always use a composite material and generally this is the choice of most patients today.

In Alberta, generally the cost of a filling will range from approximatly $135.00 to $300.00 or more.  Again, this cost will depend upon which particular tooth is being filled, the number of surfaces with decay in the tooth, the type of material used to fill the tooth cavity and the dental office's individual fees, which vary from dental office to dental office.

In addition to the cost of a filling, there may be additional costs to consider including the cost of a dentist's examination, one or more x-rays, as well as other potential costs which depend upon the nature of your dental concerns.

If you attend at the office of a Calgary emergency dentist (being a general dentist who sees dental emergencies) and require emergency treatment by a Calgary emergency dentist, then there may be additional costs such as an emergency dental examination.

At the office of Dr. Dirk Thompson at Advance Your Health Dental, we always strive to ensure that the cost of your dental treatment is transparent and thoroughly explained to you prior to commencing any dental treatment.  If you have dental insurance and are unsure as to what dental treatment will be covered by your dental insurer, prior to commencing any dental treatment, including dental fillings, you can ask for our team members to submit a dental pre-determination to your dental insurer so that you will know how much of our fees and other costs will be covered by your dental insurer.

If you have questions about our dental services including cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, implant dentistry, general dentistry and emergency dentistry by our Calgary emergency dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, please do not hesitate to contact our Calgary dentist office today at 403.283.4252.  We're here to help!

What Can I Do About Chronic Bad Breath?

Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a number of conditions.  One of the most common causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene or other issues related to your teeth, gums or mouth.  These are issues that can be addressed by our Calgary dentist.  Other causes of bad breath can be the foods we eat, particularly stronger foods such as onions, garlic and spices, certain medications, tobacco use, alcohol use, dry mouth and other health issues including diabetes, hormonal changes, some cancers and GERD.  It is also interesting to note that diets that are high in sugars and protein have been tied to bad breath in some people (from the American Dental Association and the Mayo Clinic).

Chronic bad breath related to oral health issues can signify that there may be a serious issue related to your overall oral health that should be addressed by our Calgary dentist as soon as possible.  One of these concerns related to dental issues can be dry mouth, which can not only be a very uncomfortable condition, but can also be detrimental to your oral health.  Dry mouth can adversely affect your oral health because it is caused by a lack of saliva production.  Saliva plays a very important role in your oral health as it washes away food particles from your mouth, thereby decreasing odour and cavity causing bacteria and decreasing the risk of cavities.  Saliva also plays a role in fighting cavities by putting a protective coating on your teeth and neutralizing acidic foods. Without adequate saliva, odour causing bacteria can multiply and result in bad breath.

Of course, other dental issues such as tooth decay, infections, gum disease (periodontitis) and mouth sores can also cause bad breath as, with these types of dental issues, odour causing bacteria tends to multiply and become trapped, thereby causing or contributing to bad breath.  Some dental issues, such as a dental infection, are considered to be a dental emergency and prompt attention from your dentist should be sought to address these types of dental issues.  Our Calgary dentist attends to dental emergencies on a same-day basis so your emergency dental issue can be addressed without delay.

If your bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene, then make sure that you are brushing your teeth and tongue with a flouride containing toothpaste (especially the back of your tongue where odour causing bacteria proliferates) after you eat.  It is also important to floss at least daily in order to remove any food particles that are trapped between your teeth. Regular check-ups with your Calgary dentist and dental hygiene appointments are also imperative in keeping your teeth, mouth and gums healthy, which will also help to address bad breath caused by dental issues.   

If you suffer from dry mouth, you may wish to try chewing some sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless mints, as this may stimulate saliva production.  To address your bad breath, you may also try an over-the-counter mouthwash, however, a mouthwash may only bring temporary relief if your bad breath is due to any oral or other health related issues.  If you wear dentures that are removeable, it is very important that you remove your dentures before you go to sleep and make sure you clean them thoroughly with a denture cleaner prior to putting them back in the next morning.

One of the most important steps you can take to address your bad breath is to discuss your concerns with your dentist.  At our Calgary dentist office, Dr. Dirk Thompson will review your health and medication history, examine your teeth, mouth and gums and provide recommendations to address any oral health concerns which may be causing or contributing to your bad breath.  Certain oral health products may also be recommended, such as an oral mouth rinse specifically formulated to address dry mouth.  Our Calgary dentist may also recommend that you make an appointment to see your family physician if it appears that the cause of your bad breath is not related to any dental or oral health issues.

Bad breath can create social anxiety and cause embarassment.  Fortunately, you do not and should not have to tolerate bad breath.  If you are suffering from bad breath, call our Calgary dental office today, we’re here to help.

Can Oral Cancer Can Be Detected By My Calgary Dentist on an Examination?

When you attend at the office of your Calgary dentist for your annual check-up and cleaning, your dentist will not only be looking at your teeth for possible issues of concern, but also at your gums, throat, tongue and tonsils for any signs or symptoms of oral or oral related cancers.  These cancers are also known as head and neck cancers. This is one of the reasons that seeing your Calgary dentist on a regular basis is so important.  

It is interesting to note that, according to the American Dental Association, men are more than twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with an oral cancer.  This may be due to an increased use of tobacco and/or alcohol by men or may be related to younger men be diagnosed at an earlier age of an HPV related oral cancer.  Also, although historically most oral cancers are found in persons 40 years of age and older, because of the increased incidence of HPV related oral cancers, diagnosis of oral cancers in the 40 and under age group is becoming more prevalent (Oral Cancer Foundation).

One of the most significant risks of being diagnosed with an oral cancer is the use of tobacco, whether it be cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco, or pipe smoking.  Patients who smoke a pipe have a higher risk of the development of an oral cancer in their lips, while patients who chew tobacco have an overall higher risk of developing an oral cancer in their gums, lips and cheeks.  Patients who are heavy drinkers, defined by the American Cancer Society as consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day for males and more than one alcoholic drink per day for females, also have a dramatically increased risk of oral cancer, particularly if they are also tobacco users.

As with most cancers, the earlier the detection of the oral cancer, the better the chances of avoiding more serious outcomes.  Oral cancers can be difficult to detect as it is not uncommon to have lesions in your mouth that are benign and temporary such as canker sores or lesions from biting your lip.  Oral cancers can appear as red or white patches in your cheeks or may even look similar to a canker sore.  Other symptoms of oral cancer can be difficulty swallowing, chewing or even speaking, a hoarse throat that won’t go away, or any type of painless mass or bump in your mouth.   Because of the variety of ways in which an oral cancer can manifest, it is imperative that, if you have any areas of concern that have not cleared up within two weeks, you have it examined by your physician or your Calgary dentist.

Your dentist is your partner in your oral health and plays an important role in helping you achieve and maintain your optimal health and well-being.  Call our Calgary dentist today to make an appointment for your annual dental examination.

My Child Knocked Her Tooth Out Playing Sports. Can The Tooth Be Saved?

If your child suffers a knocked out tooth from a sports injury or other traumatic event, if it is a permanent (adult) tooth, the tooth may be able to be saved if quick action is taken.  Saving the tooth, however, is not guaranteed.  If the tooth is a baby tooth, even if the tooth is due to fall out naturally within a short period of time, you should bring your child to your emergency calgary dentist promptly for an assessment of other possible damage and to ensure there are no parts of the root left in the socket.  Here are some steps to be taken if you or your child has a knocked out pernanent tooth:

  • Stay calm and act quickly.  The likelihood of saving a tooth is more favourable if the tooth is put back in its socket properly within 30 minutes of the injury.  According to the Canadian Dental Association, it is possible to save a tooth up to two hours after an injury but the likelihood of saving the tooth is dramatically reduced after 30 minutes.

  • If you have retrieved the tooth, handle it very carefully and try not to touch it by its roots.  Hold the knocked out tooth by its crown (being the part of the tooth that is exposed) and gently wash the tooth with warm water. Do not scrub or rub the tooth, or put it in a towel to dry it.

  • If at all possible, try to put the tooth back into its socket.  To hold the tooth in the socket, very gently bite down on the tooth or use your finger to hold it down.

  • If for whatever reason you cannot get the tooth back into its socket, make sure to keep the tooth moist. To do this, try to hold the tooth in the inside of your cheek.  For children, only ask them to do this if you can be sure that there is no risk of them swallowing the tooth.  If you can't keep the tooth in your cheek, place it in a glass of milk or use a tooth saver kit to keep the tooth moist.  Do not place the tooth in tap water as the chemicals in the water may harm the roots.

  • Call your emergency Calgary dentist and tell the receptionist that you or your child has lost a tooth and you require an immediate appointment for emergency dentistry.  At Advance Your Health Dental, we will always accommodate time sensitive emergency dental appointments.

Although not all emergency dentistry concerns such as a knocked out tooth are predictable, for sports related dental injuries, wearing a sportsguard can significantly decrease the chances of incurring an injury to you or your child's jaw, teeth or mouth, thereby necessitating an emergency dental appointment with your Calgary dentist.  Dr. Dirk Thompson, a Calgary dentist, can fabricate a custom sportsguard for you or your child in one easy and convenient visit.

If you or your family member is experiencing a dental emergency such as a knocked out tooth or any other emergency dentistry concern, please call Advance Your Health Dental as soon as possible as a prompt visit with your Calgary dentist can potentially increase the likelihood of a more favourable outcome.  Call us today at 403.283.4252.

Should I visit the dentist when I am pregnant?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! The health of your teeth and gums is particularly important during your pregnancy as your oral health can affect the health of your developing baby.  You should attend at your Calgary dentist for regular dental hygiene appointments, as well as check-ups by your dentist. 

If you do require dental treatment such as a filling or a root canal, discuss with your dentist the risk and benefits of proceeding with the dental treatment while you are pregnant versus after you have your baby.  Also note that, according to the Government of Canada website, the best time to have dental work done while you are pregnant, if possible, is during your second trimester, or between the fourth and sixth month.  Of course, if you are experiencing any dental pain, dental trauma or any other symptoms that would be considered to be a dental emergency, you should not hesitate to call your Calgary dentist immediately so that your situation may be assessed and your concerns attended to promptly.

If you have any questions about your oral health during your pregnancy, or if you are experiencing a dental emergency and require an emergency dentist appointment in Calgary, please call one of our friendly team members at 403.283.4252 and we would be happy to schedule an appointment for you at your convenience and answer all of your questions and concerns.  

My Teeth Feel Fine. Do I Still Need to See My Dentist Regularly?

Absolutely! Even if you are not experiencing any dental symptoms and, even if you believe that you have no dental issues, it is still very important to attend at your dentist's office for both regular cleanings and check-ups.  The frequency of these visits will depend upon your overall oral health.  However, the goal of these visits is to avoid or minimize any dental issues before they become bigger ones.

At your dental check-up, our Calgary dentist will generally take x-rays (as may be required) and conduct a thorough dental examination.  It is through x-rays and a visual examination that issues such as cavities, gum disease and even oral cancer can be detected as early as possible, earlier than you may be able to detect on your own.  At your cleaning appointment, our dental hygienist will clean (scale) and polish your teeth, as well as apply fluoride, if you so choose.  For many people, regular check-ups and cleanings are recommended every six months.  However, as with any treatment plan, this varies from patient to patient depending upon their individual oral health needs and overall oral health.

At your dental and dental hygiene appointment, this is also a great opportunity to discuss any changes you have noticed to your oral health and any particular issues you may be experiencing or concerns you may have regarding your oral health.  It is also an opportune time to have any of your other oral health related questions answered.

Your oral health is an integral aspect of your overall health and, as such, it should be regularly monitored by a dentist.  In fact, many aspects of your oral have systemic affects on other aspects of your health, including your cardiovascular health, making your oral health care just as important as any other aspect of your overal health and wellbeing.

If you would like to make an appointment for a dental check-up or cleaning, we're here to help.  Please call our office and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and book your appointment at a time that is convenient for you.   

How do I find the best dentist for me and my family?

We understand that choosing a dentist in Calgary is a very personal and important decision for you and your family.  We are of the view that choosing a dentist is as important as choosing a family physician and care should be taken to ensure that your dentist is a good fit for you and your family.  Your family dentist should be someone with whom you are comfortable, with whom you can openly and honestly communicate without feeling judged, someone who shares your oveall health philosophy, someone who motivates you to take care of your dental health, someone who encourages you to be proactive to avoid larger dental health issues and, if you have children, someone whom you children are happy to see (yes happy!).

When choosing a Calgary dentist who would be the best dentist suited for your particular needs and circumstances, we encourage you to speak with your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbours and ask for recommendations.  If your mother says she likes her dentist, considering making an appointment at that dental office (it is said that mom always knows best!).  You may also wish to search Google for whatever search criteria is important to you, such as a "dentist near me", or for whatever particular services you are seeking, such as cosmetic dentistry in Calgary, sedation dentistry, dental hygiene, oral surgery, veneers, crowns, or Calgary dental implants.  You may also wish to review various dentists' website to determine if a particular dental office appears to be a good "fit" for your needs and preferences.  Public websites such as the ADA&C and the American Dental Association also offer great resource material to help you choose the best dentist for your needs.

Many offices offer "meet and greet" sessions and we encourage you to take advantage of these services.  Make a list of all of your questions and, if possible, bring along your dental records and x-rays. Don't forget to ask how that particular dental office deals with emergency dental situations, and what their after hours policy is in the event that you have a dental emergency when the dental office is closed.  

To help you choose the best dentist for you and your family, we are pleased to offer meet and greet sessions at our Calgary dental office.  We also offer dental implant, sedation and cosmetic dentistry consultations, to ensure that you are completely confident that you are making the right choice of a Calgary dentist for you and your family.  It would be our privilege to gain your confidence as your dental health providers as we continue to strive to provide services that are friendly and comfortable and leave you with the reassurance that you have found the right dental home for you and your family.  If you have any questions about our Calgary dental office, please call us at 403.283.4252.  

Why is my dentist important to my overall health?

Your and your family's dental health is as important as any other aspect of your overall health and well-being.  In fact, your oral health truly is a window to your overall health as there have been many studies showing that your oral health can be a contributing factor to other health conditions such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications and even pneumonia (see Mayo Clinic).  Your dental health needs also change through different stages of life, including childhood, teenage years, adults under 40, adults over 40 and adults over 60 and it is important to see your dentist to address different issues that may arise throughout these various life stages.  

Your dentist is a healthcare provider who is trained to not only deal with issues regarding your teeth, but also your gums, jaw and face. Your dentist can help you address issues relating to your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), as well as other dental related issues that may be causing jaw, face and neck pain, as well as headaches.  A dentist can also address concerns related to facial and smile aesthetics and help to detect oral cancers.

Your dentist will help to ensure that, no matter what your stage of your life, with regular dentist and dental hygiene visits, your optimal oral health can be both achieved and maintained.  Your dentist can also help to identify any dental issues that may emerge before they become major dental problems that could require more extensive interventions and treatments and ultimately become more costly to you.

In order to maintain your optimal dental health, our Calgary dentist encourages twice yearly dental cleanings, as well as regular dental examinations and x-rays, as may be required from time to time.  

Your dentist is also here to help you when you are experiencing a dental emergency.  At our Calgary dentist office, we recommend that, if you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency, which emergency can include a dental abscess, facial trauma, significant swelling in the area of a tooth, gum, or jaw, the loss of a dental filling, or the loss of a tooth due to facial trauma, you call our dental office immediately to help you deal with your dental emergency quickly and safely.   

I have some dental anxiety. What can my dentist do to help me?

It’s not uncommon for patients to feel some dental anxiety with the thought of going to the dentist. Unfortunately, if left unaddressed, dental anxiety can lead to more oral health problems. Here are some tips from our Calgary dentist to help you feel more at ease with your dental treatment:

  • Schedule a complimentary sedation dentistry consultation appointment with Dr. Thompson where you can have an open, honest and judgment-free conversation about your dental apprehensions and current expectations of your dental team.  Ask us lots of questions about your proposed dental treatment whether it be for cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, crowns, veneers, teeth whitening, or whatever dental treatment you are considering.  We are here to help!
  • Consider whether sedation dentistry may be an option for you, particularly for major dental work such as dental implants and cosmetic dentistry procedures, and if so, which type of sedation would best suit your needs.
  • Schedule shorter appointment times to avoid feeling overwhelmed if you have numerous dental issues to be addressed.
  • Ask us lots of questions! Often having knowledge of dental treatment procedures and what they involve helps to ease anxiety.
  • Bring your headphones and listen to music or watch TV on our ceiling TV to distract you from the sounds of the dental office.
  • Holding your breath can increase anxiety so focus on slow and regular breathing.

Our goal is to ensure that you are completely comfortable, at ease and informed about your dental treatment at every visit.  Call our Calgary dental office for more information or to schedule your dental appointment today.

How much do dental implants cost in Calgary?

The cost of dental implants in Calgary varies between dental offices.  The cost may also vary depending upon whether a general dentist places the dental implant, or, whether you choose to see a dental specialist for the placement of one or more dental implants.

Additionally, the cost of dental implants in Calgary will vary depending upon your current dental health, whether you require a bone graft, the number of dental implants you require, and your final restoration choice.  Depending upon your situation, you may require an implant retained denture or one or more implant crowns.

To help you better understand what the cost of a dental implant may be in Calgary as well as whether you would be a good candidate for a dental implant consultation, Dr. Dirk Thompson, our general Calgary dentist, would be pleased to answer all of your questions at a dental implant consultation.  Call our office today to find out more and book your dental implant consultation today!

What Type of Toothpaste Should I Use?

These days, one glimpse at a drugstore shelf and it is apparent that there are a multitude of different types of toothpastes on today's market.  There are toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth, remove tartar, remove staining, decrease teeth sensitivity and repair enamel and gums, just to name a few of the toothpastes currently on the market.  There are also different forms of toothpastes available, including gels, pastes and even tablets.  Our Calgary dentist and our dental hygienists are often asked to make a recommendation regarding which toothpaste is best for their dental patients' overall oral health.

Generally, most of these different types and forms of toothpastes have some common ingredients, including an abrasive agent which helps to remove particles from your teeth, a detergent such as sodium lauryl sulfate which creates the suds when you're brushing your teeth, a humectant such as glycerol for mositure retention (to prevent the toothpaste from drying out), a thickener to obtain and maintain the desired texture of the toothpaste, and of course flavouring and an artificial sweetener to create the mint or or even bubble-gum taste of toothpastes.  Whatever toothpaste you choose, our Calgary dentist always follows the recommendation of the Canadian Dental Association and advises that, overall, the most important element to look for in a toothpaste is flouride.

The increase in the use of fluoride, a natural occurring mineral, has been credited with dramatically reducing the incidence of tooth decay in the last 50 years ( https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/weighing-your-toothpaste-options#1).  Fluoride does this in two ways:  first, it helps protect your teeth from the acid that is released from bacterial activity in your mouth by making your enamel stronger and therefore less likely to suffer damage from these acids, and secondly, it actually helps to repair early damage to your tooth enamel by remineralizing your enamel.

If you live in an area where the water is fluoridated, it is still recommended that you brush with a fluoride containing toothpaste as studies have shown that brushing with fluoride increases the concentration of fluoride in your teeth.

Overall, our Calgary dentist strongly recommends the use of a fluoridated toothpaste twice per day for all adults and children over 3 years of age.  For children under 3 years of age, the use of toothpaste with fluoride should be first discussed with your dentist or dental hygienist to determine if the benefits outweigh any associated risks, such as dental fluorosis (white specks on teeth), of using fluoride for young children.  And of course, in addition to regular brushing with a toothpaste with fluoride, regular dental and dental hygiene visits are essential to ensuring that you can enjoy optimal oral health for a lifetime.  If you have any questions regarding your oral health, please call our dental office at 403.283.4252 and our friendly and helpful dental team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Let's make your smile last a lifetime!

How much does a teeth cleaning cost in Calgary?

Generally, teeth cleaning, or scaling, is charged by the unit.  Each dental scaling unit is comprised of 15 minutes or portions between 8 and 15 minutes.  Often your dental hygiene visit will also include a recall examination (where the dentist has already seen you at least once before) or a new patient dental examination (when you have not been to that particular dental office in the past), fluoride, polish and x-rays, where necessary.  If you have recent x-rays from another dental office, you may wish to have those transferred to your current dental office.  

The number of units of scaling that you may require will depend upon a variety of factors, the most important of which is your overall dental health. If you have been attending the dentist for regular dental cleanings at regular intervals, then less units of scaling will likely be required.  As a general rule of thumb only, a patient who has been attending for regular dental cleanings and dental examinations can expect to have between 2 and 4 units of scaling at a dental hygiene visit.  Of course, this is subject to change depending upon other factors, including other dental health issues.  

When should my child's first dental appointment be?

Our Calgary dentist office is often asked, "When should I first bring my child to see a dentist?".

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child be seen by a dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by one year of age, whichever is earlier.  Our Calgary dental office is pleased to offer a "well-baby teeth check-up", where our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, can check for possible early teeth issues and provide instruction on oral healthcare for babies and toddlers.

For babies and infants, we encourage parents and caregivers to be aware of issues such as baby bottle decay and early childhood caries, which can potentially have lifelong implications on your child's oral health well-being.  We also encourage parents and caregivers to establish healthy oral habits right from birth, including wiping your baby's gums with a soft, clean gauze pad to remove plaque which can affect erupting teeth.  Other issues that may arise with infants and toddlers are dental emergencies such as knocked out teeth from accidents, as well as tooth sealants and thumb sucking.

As with all of our patients, we work very hard to try to make your child's first and subsequent visits to our office as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We welcome and encourage parents to stay with their child for their entire dental visit. We also focus on all aspects of preventative care including using dental sealants, where appropriate, and educating your child about the importance of oral healthcare.  We also have an awesome toy box for your child to choose from at the end of each of their dental visits.

It would be our privilege to be your partner in your child's dental health.  Call our Calgary dental office today to book your child's dental appointment.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

Teeth sensitivity can be caused by a variety of reasons.  Most often, teeth sensitivity is noticed when eating cold foods such as ice cream or hot foods such as coffee.  Some people also notice that their teeth are sensitive when brushing or flossing. This sensitivity may be caused by:

  • tooth decay
  • worn enamel
  • gum disease
  • receding gums
  • an exposed tooth root
  • a fractured tooth (from the American Dental Association)

All of these factors may contribute to teeth sensitivity as they can result in the wearing of the protective layers of the teeth, the enamel and cementum layers, thereby exposing the dentin, which is less dense than enamel and cementum. When the protective layers of your tooth are worn away, hot, cold, and other sentivity causing foods can irritate the exposed nerves and cause hypersensitivity and even pain.

The good news is that teeth sensitivity is a treatable symptom.  Sometimes toothpastes specifically formulated to address teeth sensitivity issues can help alleviate this painful irritation, at least temporarily.  It is always prudent, however, to visit your dentist to determine the cause of the teeth sensitivity, as there may be a larger issue that requires further treatment, including root canals, fillings and crowns.

If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, there are steps that can be taken to alleviate this uncomfortable symptom.  Please call our Calgary dental office at 403.283.4252 to book your appointment with our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, today.

How do I know what my dental insurance will cover?

Dental insurance plans vary widely amongst dental insurance providers and the amount of dental insurance coverage available to a patient varies widely amongst the myriad of plans underwritten by dental insurance companies.  Most dental insurance plans will only cover a percentage of the total cost of each dental procedure, and the percentage often varies depending upon the type of procedure.  Many plans cover a higher percentage (often at the rate of 80%) for basic dental treatment such as dental hygiene cleanings, check-ups, fillings and tooth extractions and a lower percentage (such as 50%) for major dental treatment such as dental crowns and bridges.  For procedures such as dental implants and cosmetic dentistry, including such dental treatments as veneers and whitening, it is not uncommon for dental insurance plans to not cover these procedures at all.  However, this does vary amongst dental plans and dental insurance providers.

In addition to limiting payment of dental insurance claims to a certain percentage of the cost of the dental treatment, many dental insurance plans also have maximum annual limits of what the dental insurer will pay.  Some dental plans also limit the amount of certain procedures per year, such as scaling (dental cleanings), which are usually limited to a certain number of units per calendar year (for example, 12 units per calendar year).

If you have two dental insurance plans (often referred to as "dual insurance"), then your primary insurance company will pay its portion of your dental treatment first, after which the secondary dental insurance will pay all or part of the balance, depending upon the policy of the dental insurer and your dental insurance plan.

It is responsibility of the patient to pay the patient balance owing after payment by the dental insurance company(ies).

To ensure that our patients are fully informed of the cost of their dental treatment, including their our-of-pocket expenses, we are always more than happy to request a pre-determination from the insurance company.  A pre-determination is a statement from the insurer advising what portions of the proposed dental treatment will be paid by the insurer.  We are also pleased to provide our patients with written estimates and, where possible, treatment options, to allow you to make an informed choice regarding your dental treatment.  

If you have any questions about what treatment procedures your dental insurance covers, or if you have any questions about your dental insurance generally, please call our Calgary dentist and our friendly and knowledgeable team members would be happy to answer your questions and provide any assistance necessary to help you understand your dental insurance coverage.  Call us today at 403.283.4252!

What is a dental emergency?

Many dental issues can constitute a dental emergency, including toothaches, throbbing tooth pain, any type of facial or gum swelling, a broken, cracked or knocked out tooth, lost crown, pain when biting or chewing and infection.  If you suspect you are experiencing a dental emergency, please call our office immediately as the sooner your emergency is attended to, often the more positive the outcome.

The treatment for a dental emergency varies depending upon the nature of the dental emergency.  Your dental emergency may be treated with an antibiotic, filling or temporary filling, crown, root canal, or, in the worst case scenario, a tooth extraction.  Our Calgary dental office may be able to offer you sedation dentistry if prior arrangements have been made for proper preparation for a sedation dentistry appointment.  In our office, all dental emergencies are attended to as quickly as possible and are given our undivided attention.  After your emergency treatment, you will be provided with Dr. Dirk Thompson's after hours phone number so that you may reach him if you have any questions or concerns at all, even after our office is closed for the day.

If you are experiencing uncontrolled bleeding, a blow to the jaw which you suspect may have fractured your jaw, a facial fracture, or any severe swelling, we recommend that you call 811 and go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital.  

How much does it cost to get my teeth done?

The cost of having dental work varies widely depending upon the current state of your oral health, whether you wish to have any cosmetic dentistry procedures, and your choice of the dental treatment options presented to you.

At our Calgary dentist office, we recognize that the cost of dental treatment can be an important factor in determining which treatment that you choose.  With this in mind, we will provide you with as many options as possible, while at the same time providing you with as much information as possible related to both the short-term and long-term benefits of each treatment option so that you may make a fully informed decision regarding your dental work.

Our Calgary dentist can also pre-determine your dental work with your insurance company so you are aware of your out-of-pocket costs prior to proceeding with treatment, particularly for major dental work such as crowns, veneers, dental implants, bridges and multiple restorations.  It is important that you are aware of all of the terms and conditions of your insurance plan as many dental insurance plans have yearly maximums, and coverage can vary depending upon the type of treatment procedure you require, particularly treatments for cosmetic dentistry.  If you have any questions about your dental insurance plan, call our Calgary dental office today and we will do our best to help you understand your dental insurance benefits.

When do I need to see a dental specialist?

Dr. Dirk Thompson is a general dentist. Specialists are dentists with additional training and qualifications which are recognized as specialties by the ADA&C.

At times, your dental concerns may warrant a visit to a specialist's office, such as a periodontist (a specialist in issues related to the gums), an oral surgeon, an endodontist (a specialist in root canal therapy), a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist.  These specialists have extra training and are certified by the ADA&C in their fields of speciality.

Patients are referred to specialists for complex dental issues, particularly for treatment involving complicated root canals or oral surgery, or where specialized equipment is required to address dental concerns such as specialized microscopes.  If it is necessary to refer you to a dental specialist, we can make a recommendation for you or you may see the specialist of your choice. 

What portions of my dental treatment will my dental insurance cover?

Dental insurance coverage varies widely between dental insurers and dental insurance plans.  It is therefore not possible to determine what your dental insurance will cover and what your our-of-pocket costs for your dental treatment will be without carefully examining your insurance plan.

At our Calgary dentist office, although dental insurance plans can be confusing to understand, we always encourage our patients to review their dental insurance plans carefully so they are fully apprised of what their dental insurance coverage consists of.  Patients should be aware and look for whether they have coverage for a particular dental treatment, particularly dental implants, sedation dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, what their yearly maximum dental limits are, and at what percentage rate their insurance covers.  We are always happy to assist with this process and can also pre-determine your dental insurance coverage so that you will have an exact calculation of what your dental treatment will cost prior to proceeding with your dental treatment in Calgary, including dental cleanings, fillings, x-rays, crowns, veneers, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and bridges.    

 

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