What is the best option for replacing missing teeth?

Are you looking for the best option to replace missing teeth? Are you tired of dentures that do not afford you the best option for replacing missing teeth dental implants nanaimoability to enjoy the wide range of foods you love?

Anyone with missing teeth knows first-hand how important each tooth is in the proper functioning of your mouth.  On a basic level, it makes eating food less enjoyable.  But on further review there are much more serious consequences.  We have written several posts on this topic if you would like to read up about the many unexpected impacts of missing teeth – from bone loss in the jaw to shifting teeth and a misaligned bite (TMD) which can cause all sorts of complications.

The good news is that there are several options to replace missing teeth.  It’s best to visit your dentist to discuss which option is best for you.  By far one of the best options, for those who are suitable candidates, are dental implants.

How do dental implants work?

During the implant treatment a small titanium post is inserted into the area of the missing tooth which acts as a substitute for the root of the tooth. The jawbone forms a bond with the titanium, creating a very strong anchor.

A custom made crown is then fitted on the titanium post, made to look and function naturally and to fit perfectly with your other teeth.

At Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, implants are used individually, or to support a number of treatment options, including implant-supported bridges and dentures.  With CEREC, same day crown technology, when the implant is ready, Dr. Mahara can even provide a high quality ceramic crown to fit the implant in a single visit.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants have several advantages that make them an ideal replacement for teeth.  Most importantly, an implant functions much like a natural tooth.  Pressure in the jaw from the implant acts like the root of a tooth to stimulate bone growth and prevent the loss of bone that happens underneath a denture or dental bridge.

On an aesthetic level, dental implants most closely resemble your natural teeth, especially when a ceramic crown is used. And implants actually have less impact on surrounding teeth.  Unlike a dental bridge, which requires that dental crowns are placed on the two adjacent teeth to support the bridged tooth, implants do not require restorations on the neighboring teeth.

Success rate with dental implants is very high.  It’s critical to keep in mind, however, that it’s as important as ever to practice good hygiene and have regular professional cleanings with your dental implants.  Since implants function like a natural tooth they can be brushed and flossed normally.  With a diligent routine care that includes regular professional hygiene appointments, implants can last for many years.

Are dental implants right for you?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health.  The best candidates for dental implants have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease and adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant.

Our team of dental professionals welcome your questions about dental implants and all of your family’s dental health needs! Make an appointment with a dentist at Downtown Dental Group in Nanaimo today.

 

New Same-Day Crown Technology Arrives in Downtown Nanaimo

same day CEREC crowns Nanaimo press releaseDowntown Nanaimo Dental Group announced it has expanded its service to downtown Nanaimo patients with same visit crown technology.

The revolutionary single-visit crown system allows Dr. Mahara to take a super accurate digital image of a patient’s existing tooth and then design and mill a customized crown in-office.  This removes the need for messy impressions, a temporary crown and a return visit from the patient two weeks later to place a crown that was made off-site at a dental lab.  For Dr. Mahara and his team, it’s all about maximizing patient comfort and convenience.

Besides being convenient, CEREC, or single appointment crowns, are also of the highest quality. Utilizing a sophisticated computer-aided system, the CEREC mill produces durable high-quality ceramic restorations which actually preserve more of the patient’s natural tooth in the process. CEREC is ideal for patients who want a solid ceramic, authentic tooth-coloured alternative to traditional crowns made right in the dental clinic.

According to Dr. Mahara, “The most exciting aspect of the new CEREC system is our team can now offer our patients the convenience of the entire crown process happening in just one visit, as opposed to the two required by traditional crown design.  This means that our patients save time booked off from work or away from their families.”

“We want to save our patients time and offer them the most convenient treatments technology can offer,” says Dr. Mahara, “That’s what makes us unique.”

CEREC systems use of highly accurate digital imaging also provides more accurate results for cosmetic dentists and eliminates the need for the messy impression process, which means less discomfort for patients.

Constructed of a superior ceramic that has the same characteristics as tooth enamel, CEREC crowns are known as the most natural-looking solution in crown technology available to dentists.

Downtown Dental group believes in investing in technology that makes their patient’s lives better.  The clinic has already invested in a digital x-ray system and now offer dental freezing reversal from Oraverse and nitrous oxide for patient comfort.

With their focus on patient satisfaction and comfort, it’s no wonder they were voted ‘ Top Dentistry offices in Nanaimo, 2015 by Opencare.com.

About Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group – Nanaimo

Call or email to make your appointment today! Phone: 250-754-4322; email: info@drmahara.com; Address: 5 -140 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5B1

To learn more, visit our website at www.drmahara.com and like their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/DowntownDentalGroup

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group – Nanaimo
mailto:info@drmahara.com

New! Single Appointment Dental Crowns in Nanaimo | CEREC

Do you need a crown but dislike the thought of two trips to the dentist with a two week period of wearing an CEREC same day crownuncomfortable temporary crown in-between? Anyone who has had a crown, knows that this is just part of the process. But does it have to be?

With CEREC, or same appointment dental crowns, it all gets done in one visit!

CEREC, or single appointment crowns, are a sophisticated computer-aided system for producing durable high-quality ceramic restorations. It is simple to use, fast and is excellent for conserving the natural tooth. CEREC is ideal for patients who want a solid ceramic, authentic tooth-coloured alternative to traditional crowns made in a dental lab – all completed in one visit.

Are CEREC crowns new?

CEREC technology is not new. In fact, it has been around for nearly 30 years. Then why are they not offered by every dentist? Many dental offices have not invested in this technology, due to start-up costs and additional training in computer dental assisted design and milling.

Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, however, has chosen to invest in this valuable CEREC Crown technology so that all of our patients can minimize their time spent away from work and family yet also receive optimal restorative results.

Benefits of CEREC

CEREC crowns allow tooth restorations to be completed in a single session but there are several other benefits. First of all impressions are done with super accurate digital impressions. This means no more putty-like material in your mouth to get an impression.

Secondly, the tooth is prepped and the crown fitted during the same visit, so there is no need for a temporary crown. Temporary crowns, typically worn for about two weeks with traditional crowns can come loose or weaken during wear. This is a thing of the past with CEREC technology.

Since CEREC crowns are made of a solid block of ceramic, they are considered to have a very strong structure.

Not only are CEREC crowns known for being strong, but ceramic provides a very natural looking crown which reflects light in a similar way to our natural tooth structure. Additionally, the ceramic blocks come in a wide variety of shades and colours, so your crown can be selected to blend in naturally with your surrounding teeth.

Limitations

Like every great thing, it may not work in every situation. CEREC technology is not right for all patients in all situations. Depending on the circumstances and location of the tooth to be restored, other types of crowns may be more appropriate.

Conclusion

CEREC crowns are convenient and offer benefits such as excellent structural strength and natural appearance. They are not offered by every dental office and there are some limitations to their application. Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to bring CEREC technology to our patients. Please call to book an appointment with Dr. Mahara today.

New Technology Reverses Dental Freezing

Do you dread that after dental treatment freezing that seems to linger too long – impeding your ability to go back toIFeelGreat work, talk properly or to eat?

Your dentist works hard to ensure that you are comfortable during your treatment and this often means dental freezing which usually encompasses not only the nerves of the tooth being worked on, but the tongue and lips too. Unfortunately the freezing lasts much longer than the dental procedure so it’s difficult to go back to work or any other activity until the freezing dissipates – up to two hours later!

Now there is a new technology that can reverse the freezing process and leave you freezing-free in under half the time! It’s called OraVerse and Dr. Mahara and his Downtown Dental Group team are proud to offer it to their patients.

How does it work?

After your dental procedure, your dentist simply injects OraVerse in the same way as dental freezing is administered. There is no pain involved since the area is already numb from the dental freezing. The injection reverses the effects of numbness after a dental procedure and accelerates the return of normal sensation and function.

Why choose it?

If you’ve had unwanted and unnecessary lingering numbness in the lips and tongue after routine dental procedures, you know the following symptoms all too well. A loss of sensation can result in accidentally biting the inside of the lips or cheeks, difficulty with smiling, drinking, and speaking and possibly even uncontrolled drooling. Effects range from annoying and embarrassing to painful!

How quickly will the freezing go away?

Research has shown that freezing will go away in under half the time with this treatment. In clinical trials, the median time to recovery of normal sensation in the upper lip was 50 minutes for OraVerse patients vs. 133 minutes for the control group, and in the lower lip was 70 minutes for OraVerse patients vs. 155 minutes for the control group.

Is it safe?

The safety of OraVerse has been evaluated in 5 clinical trials involving 777 adults, adolescents and children. To date, over 4,500 dentists have purchased OraVerse. The adverse events reported since the introduction of OraVerse have been consistent with those seen in clinical trials.

In the clinical trials, the most common side effects with OraVerse compared to the control group were pain after the procedure (6% vs. 6%), injection site pain (5% vs. 4%), increase in heart rate (5% vs. 6%), headache (3% vs. 4%) and decrease in heart rate (2% vs. 0.3%). The majority of side effects were mild and went away within 48 hours.

Who should not receive OraVerse?

OraVerse is not recommended for use in children less than 6 years of age or weighing less than 33 lbs. In addition, OraVerse has not been studied in pregnant women, and it is not known if OraVerse is passed to the baby while nursing so caution should be exercised if a pregnant or nursing woman is considering using OraVerse. Please consult with your doctor or dentist.

There are no known drug interactions with OraVerse but you should always inform your dental professional about all medications you are taking.

Ask us about OraVerse at your next dental appointment at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group.

Invisalign Tackles Complex Orthodontic Case

Invisalign technology changed the field of orthodontics since its introduction more than a decade ago.  Adult and teens were invisalign nanaimoamazed by the fact that Invisalign braces could straighten teeth without the need for metal and wire brackets and the many restrictions and awkwardness that having braces often entailed.

As Invisalign has evolved, it can now be used for increasingly complex orthodontics cases.  In this article, we’ll show you how Invisalign works and give a powerful example of how complex cases are now being treated effectively through Invisalign.

How Invisalign works

Invisalign shifts teeth into a proper position by using a series of clear aligners made for you by an Invisalign dentist.   Aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to be effective, leaving up to 2  hours per day to remove them for eating, cleaning the teeth or any other special circumstances.

Each set of aligners are worn for about 2 weeks, so the changes made to your teeth are progressive and you can see the change happening each time you move to the next set of aligners.

Invisalign Example

To illustrate the use of Invisalign, here is the case of a patient at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group.

A young adult patient had been bothered by the appearance of her smile for many years.  She suffered from a narrow arch which invisalign example beforeimpacted her smile.  In fact, only four teeth were visible when she smiled – while normally 8 – 10 teeth are visible in the smile line.  To make matters worse, the two front teeth extended forward, giving a “bucked tooth” appearance.

Beyond appearance, the position of the young woman’s teeth also caused a functional problem – a misaligned bite.  Although this was not causing pain at the time, it was expected that without treatment, this bite anomaly would eventually lead to jaw pain and other symptoms of TMD.

Given all of these factors, straightening the young woman’s teeth and aligning her bite was complex.   Fortunately, Invisalign technology had advanced enough to be able to tackle this difficult case.  After an Invisalign consultation, the patient researched all other options which included seeking further opinions and exploring the option of using traditional wire and bracket braces for her orthodontic treatment.

In the end, since her job involved interaction with the public on a regular basis, she decided that traditional braces might impact her professional image in a negative way.  She also did not look favourably on the idea of wearing metal braces for 2 years or longer.

After taking time to weigh the options, the young woman finally decided to go ahead with Invisalign.

Less than two years later, the young woman finished her treatment and now she wears retainers at night to keep her new smile invisalign afterintact.  Now she has a broad smile which shows her front teeth in an oval arch shape giving her a younger look. The excessive overbite is fixed and the patient admits that she cannot stop smiling now!

Get started with Invisalign

Get started by contacting us for an appointment at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group today.  Dr. San Mahara is a Certified Invisalign Provider and financing plans are available to help make your perfect smile a reality today.  We also recommend that you read more about the Invisalign treatment process on our website and contact us if you have any questions.

Treat Snoring and Sleep Apnea Today!

The term “sleep apnea” refers to pauses of 10 to 30 seconds in breathing during sleep which disturb the normal sleep cycle.  sleep apnea diagram nanaimo sleep dentalAccording to the Lung Association of Canada, 26% of adults have a high risk of having or developing sleep apnea and 2 – 3% of children are likely to have sleep apnea.

Symptoms and impact of sleep apnea

Excessive daytime sleepiness that cannot be explained and snoring with pauses in breathing are the main symptoms of sleep apnea, however there are other symptoms that can accompany them.

Sleep apnea can lead to a host of negative effects, including:

  • Irritability
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Memory loss
  • Impotence
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Lack of concentration
  • Morning headaches

Medical treatment for sleep apnea

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is the medical treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP delivers a constant flow of air to the patient through tubing and a mask to the airway. The pressure of the airflow prevents the collapse of the airway and eliminates the sleep apnea events.

One of the downsides of CPAP is the discomfort of wearing a mask and tubing while sleeping. Also, CPAP is not a cure for sleep apnea, it only works as long as it is used.

If diagnosed with severe sleep apnea by a medical doctor, the patient is required to try the CPAP device for at least one month because it is considered the best treatment option.

After one month of using CPAP, or in cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea, the patient can request an alternate treatment for sleep apnea, such as a dental sleep apnea appliance.

Dental appliances and devices to treat sleep apnea

Dental sleep apnea appliances, also known as oral appliances, may be suggested by a patient’s doctor to treat mild or moderate sleep apnea. Dental apnea devices to treat sleep apnea are worn at night and work by holding the tongue and jaw in a forward position.

There are many different types of dental sleep apnea appliances for sleep apnea available. If a dental apnea device or appliance is recommended by your doctor, it’s best to consult with your dentist at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in regard to the ideal type of apnea sleep treatment.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in Nanaimo, BC, is proud to offer dental appliances and apnea appliances as an alternative to CPAP to treat sleep apnea as well as snoring and welcomes you to make an appointment for a consultation.

 

Invisalign Sets the Trend in Adult Orthodontics

There is a trend toward more and more adults choosing Orthodontic treatments.  With advances in orthodontics, such as the clear, no more braces nanaimo invisalignremovable braces offered by Invisalign, it’s no surprise that new technology is setting the trend for the rise in the number of adults undertaking orthodontic treatment.  In fact, over half of the new orthodontic patients at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group are adults.

What is it exactly that adults want from their orthodontic treatment?

We find that there are 3 expectations that our adult orthodontic patients are frequently expressing the need for.  In order for an orthodontic treatment to work for their lives, our patients are asking for convenience, comfort and appearance.

Fortunately, Invisalign braces answer to each of these concerns – we’ll show you how!

Expectation #1 — Convenience

Our patients have asked for a flexible and convenient teeth straightening process to improve their smiles.  At the same time, our patients do not want to make trade-offs with their lifestyle or valuable time.

Invisalign treatments are designed with convenience in mind. Since the clear invisalign aligners can easily be removed they can be conveniently popped out on special occasions and then popped back in again later.

This teeth straightening system is perfect for those with a busy schedule. Visits to our Nanaimo dental clinic are expected just once every 6 weeks. In terms of cleaning and maintenance, there are really no special requirements – just remove you invisalign aligners and brush and floss as usual.

Of course you still need to wear the aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day, but with the ability to remove them at will, the impact on your lifestyle is under control.

Expectation #2 — Comfort

Traditional wire and bracket braces of the past had a bad reputation for feeling very tight and uncomfortable the whole way through the treatment.  With Invisalign, making the decision to straighten your teeth doesn’t equate to a year or more of discomfort!

Each set of aligners are worn for about 2 weeks.  At the beginning of each new aligner set, it is common to feel a sense of tightness or pressure.  However, since the aligners are designed for short stages, this pressure is lighter and most people adapt to it quickly.  If the pressure is really too much, it is possible for your dentist to adjust the aligners.

Traditional braces also used to wreak havoc on the delicate tissues of the inner mouth.  Invisalign aligners, in contrast are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your gums and inner checks.

When it comes to eating, the Invisalign design really shines.  Simply remove the trays when eating and don’t worry about sacrificing any of the foods you normally enjoy!

Expectation #3 — Appearance

Working professionals dread the idea of wearing wire and bracket braces for over a year to straighten their teeth.  Also, the traditional appearance of braces carries the stigma of being juvenile – the realm of teenagers not grown adults.

Invisalign aligners in contract to traditional braces are virtually invisible – giving you the privacy and anonymity you deserve while completing your orthodontic treatment. With all of these advantages, it’s no wonder that adult orthodontic trends favour treatments like Invisalign that provide comfort and convenience without sacrificing appearance.

Contact us about Invisalign

Get started by contacting Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group to book a free invisalign consultation today.  We are Preferred Invisalign providers and offer financing plans to help make your perfect smile a reality today.

Learn more about the Invisalign treatment process on our website.

How to Get Over Your Dental Anxiety | Sedation Dentistry Nanaimo

If you’re among the 75% of the population who suffer from some degree of dental anxiety, here’s how to beat it! sedation dentistry nanaimoSedation dentistry is a solution that has helped thousands of patients with mild to extreme dental anxiety in safe and effective way.

What is sedation dentistry and how does it work?

Quite simply, sedation dentistry helps you manage your dental fears and allow you to get on track and stay on track with the dental treatments you need to enjoy long lasting dental health.

Sedation Dentistry involves the use of sedatives to help you attain a relaxed, easy and calm state before and during your dental visit. At our downtown Nanaimo dental clinic we offer both oral sedation and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).  The strength of sedatives will be prescribed to suit you and can range from mild to moderate in their effect.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Oral sedatives are taken as pills, which our dentists prescribe to the patient in the consultation visit leading up to the treatment.  Oral sedation patients feel relaxed and remember little of the treatment, but still maintain consciousness during the treatment.

Nitrous oxide

Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a mild sedative given before and during a dental treatment through a small nose-hood. The effect of nitrous oxide lasts only as long as the gas is inhaled.

Which Sedation Dentistry treatment is best for me?

Our experienced dentists will help you decide on the best type of sedation for you.  One important consideration will be any medications and supplements you are taking.  It’s very important that all medications and supplements are disclosed – so bring a list to the consultation to be sure not to miss any.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation dentistry is considered to be a very safe.  As in any medical procedure, dentists are trained to administer sedation and have several measures in place to ensure the safety of sedation dentistry patients.

Getting ready for you sedation dentistry visit

When having a sedation treatment you will need to be accompanied by a friend or family member both to and from the appointment. After the appointment, your friend or family member should stay with you until the effects of the sedatives have completely worn off.

For all of your sedation dentistry questions and for all of your family’s dental needs Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is here for you!  We welcome you to contact us to book an appointment today.

 

 

 

Can Dentistry Help Sleep Apnea and Snoring?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects a great number of people.  According to the Lung Association of snoring appliance nanaimo dentistCanada, 26% of adults have a high risk of having or developing sleep apnea and 2 – 3% of children are likely to have sleep apnea.

Left untreated, sleep apnea can result in dangerous daytime sleepiness, and has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and recently has been implicated in connection with periodontal disease.

We’ve all heard of sleep apnea, which refers to pauses of 10 to 30 seconds in breathing during sleep which disturbs the sleep cycle, and fear this sleep disease that seems both hard to identify and treat.  The question is, can your dentist help you treat sleep apnea?

Using dental appliances to treat sleep apnea

Our dentists at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group are trained in using dental appliances to treat sleep apnea.  This scientifically proven solution makes sense if you understand how sleep apnea occurs.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by airway blockage when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat relaxes and collapses during sleep.  Dental appliances are simply designed to change the jaw and tongue position to reduce or prevent the blockage of the airway. Worn during sleep, dental apnea devices treat sleep apnea by holding the tongue and jaw in a forward position.

There are many different types of dental apnea appliances for sleep apnea available. We invite you to consult with your dentist at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in regard to the ideal type of apnea sleep treatment for you.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

If you are suffering from some of the following symptoms and feel that sleep apnea may be the cause, please contact our Downtown Nanaimo Dental office to arrange a consultation.

The two main symptoms of sleep apnea to be aware of are: excessive daytime sleepiness that cannot be explained; and snoring with gaps or delays in breathing

Other frequent symptoms that may accompany the above include: fatigue; depression; lack of concentration; high blood pressure; irritability; gasping or choking during sleep; morning headaches; memory loss; and impotence.

Can snoring also be treated with a dental appliance?

Like sleep apnea, snoring is caused by a reduced flow of air while sleeping.  The difference is that in the case of sleep apnea, breathing temporarily stops for a period of time. Read more about what causes snoring and modern dental solutions to snoring in an article written by Dr. Larry Hill of Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group.

If snoring is an issue for you or your spouse or family member, a sleep specialist must first test to determine if the case involves sleep apnea. If the problem is determined to be snoring, a dental appliance can be used to keep the jaw forward and reduce the partially blocked airway that makes the sound of snoring.

How can I get started?

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in Nanaimo, BC, is proud to offer dental appliances to treat sleep apnea and snoring and welcomes you to make an appointment for a consultation today.  We look forward to serving you soon!

4 Benefits of Digital Dental X-Rays

The future of safer, more environmental and more comfortable and convenient dental imaging has arrived with digital x-rays, and Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is pleased to announce we are using digital x-rays in our dental clinic!

Digital radiography gives our dentists superior technology in capturing and viewing x-rays, while providing you with a more comfortable experience. Here are four benefits that digital x-rays have over the traditional film method:

Immediately review the images on-screen

The digital x-ray procedure is similar to the traditional method you may be familiar with—you remain in the chair and wear a protective radiation blanket—but instead of using film, we place a small sensor in your mouth that instantly sends  the x-ray images to a computer monitor.

Within minutes, you will be reviewing the images with your dentist. In emergency situations, eliminating this waiting time is a great benefit for patients in pain.

Just like traditional imaging, problems such as cavities, bone loss, tooth decay, gum disease, and others will be revealed with digital imaging. The sensors can be repositioned to capture as many images as necessary to efficiently view the x-rays.

State-of-the-art viewing technology

Capturing digital images also allows the dentist to view your x-rays with more tools. The ability to use colour contrasting can highlight certain areas that may have gone unnoticed with the traditional film method.

Rather than retaking x-rays that are unclear, dentists are now able to zoom-in and enhance any area of the image in high-definition to produce a clear picture. Patients are also able to view the x-rays, giving us the opportunity to share and demonstrate how your teeth are doing.

 

Simple referring with digital files

In case we need to refer your case to another dentist or specialist, we are able to quickly send your x-ray electronically to greatly reduce the waiting period. Since we store x-rays on your digital file, we can also correspond with your previous dental offices with ease.

Storing images digitally allows us to compare current and future x-rays to determine treatment success or to discover deterioration that may require additional treatment.

The safer, environmentally-friendly method

While traditional film x-rays are proven to not emit a harmful amount of radiation, digital imaging reduces that amount approximately by an additional 80%. The electronic sensors we use require much less radiation to be effective as they are more sensitive than film.

In addition to the time saved by producing a digital image, the environment is spared of the harmful chemicals needed to develop an x-ray from film.

Please contact us today or read more about digital x-ray technology on our website. We look forward to sharing our new equipment with you on your next visit to Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group!

4 Reasons to Choose Composite Dental Fillings

Silver or amalgam fillings have been used by dentists to fill cavities for over 100 years.  They are strong and long lasting, but they do have significant downside when compared to the newer dental development of composite, or tooth coloured fillings offered by Dr. Mahara at his Downtown dental clinic in Nanaimo, BC.

While there is mercury present in the silver filling material, called amalgam, in the past century there has been no evidence showing that silver fillings are harmful to patients.  The main arguments against the use of silver fillings are about the way silver fillings wear over time and the esthetics of obtrusive metal fillings.

Depending on where the tooth to be filled is located in the mouth, the appearance of a silver filling may have more impact on your decision to go with composite.  Having a dental filling anywhere in the smile line makes a silver filling much less attractive than a more natural-looking composite filling.  Composite fillings can be made to match the tooth colour of surrounding teeth and are virtually invisible to an observer.

In regard to how silver fillings wear over time, like most metals, silver fillings will eventually corrode and even leak causing decay to occur underneath the fillings. There is also a slow expansion that amalgam undergoes which can fracture the tooth next to the filling and cause the need for a much larger filling, a crown or even extraction of the tooth if the fracture is deep enough.

The Top 4 Advantages of Composite Fillings

  1. Composite fillings are primarily a resin which has been “filled” with other inorganic materials.   This compound makes a composite filling more resistant to wear, color adjustable, and easier to polish.
  2. The advantages of choosing a composite filling include a more natural appearance.  Dentists can match the filling compound to the shade and colour of your enamel, allowing the filling to blend into your teeth. Your teeth are white—why shouldn’t your fillings be as well?
  3. Composite fillings often strengthen the filled tooth, and bonding the filling to the tooth creates a better seal. Improved bondage of the filling to the tooth provides better structural support and restores the strength of the tooth. This also allows the material to repair cracked and damaged teeth.
  4. A smaller hole is necessary to place a composite filling, allowing for more healthy tooth matter to be saved.  Composite fillings can often be made smaller than a comparable silver filling as silver fillings that are too small are prone to breaking or falling out.

We welcome you to read more about composite fillings at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group on our website and to contact us to book an appointment.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

5 Advantages of Dental Implants

A missing tooth could be more of a problem than you might imagine.  Did you know that since each of your teeth depend on one another to keep their position, a missing tooth can cause your teeth to shift and tilt?

Another often overlooked fact is how the missing tooth affects your jaw bone.  Since one of the functions of a tooth is to stimulate bone renewal, once the tooth is gone, the bone quickly starts to recede and disappear.

All things considered, it’s very important to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible – and dental implants are becoming one of the top choices to do so.

How Does a Dental Implant Work?

A small titanium post acts as a substitute for the root of the tooth and creates a very strong anchor for a custom made dental crown. Implants can be used individually, or to support a number of dental prostheses, including implant-supported bridges and dentures.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Natural Appearance
A porcelain crown placed over the dental implant will look as natural as possible.

No Impact to Other Teeth
Since dental implants do not require restorations on the neighboring teeth, you don’t need multiple restorations on teeth that may not need it otherwise.

Stimulates Bone Renewal
Since bone regenerates due to stimulation from teeth rooted in the bone, a dental implant stimulates the bone and gums as much as a natural tooth would.

High Success Rate
The success rate for implants is remarkable: 98 percent for lower implants and 91 percent for upper implants.

Easy Care
A dental implant can be brushed and flossed normally.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

As with all things, good care is required to make your dental implants last.  With regular care and good hygiene habits, it’s possible that your implants can last for a lifetime.

Find Out if a Dental Implant is Right For You

The best dental implant candidates are in good health, have healthy gum tissues and adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant.

We welcome you to read more about dental implants at Downtown Dental Group in Nanaimo on our website and to contact us to book an appointment.  We look forward to meeting you soon!

New! Invisalign Express

A Quick Solution to Crowded or Spaced Teeth

Do you have mild crowding or spacing of your teeth? Or perhaps you’ve had braces or Invisalign before and your teeth have started shifting out of place?

Invisalign Express is a quick and affordable solution for mild crowding or spacing that may be the orthodontic solution you’re looking for.

What is Invisalign?

In case you haven’t heard of Invisalign, adults and teens now have a much better choice for straightening their teeth. Wires and brackets are no longer required for suitable candidates of Invisalign, a nearly invisible alternative to metal braces.   Invisalign uses a series of clear and removable aligners gradually moving teeth into their correct position.

Invisalign for Teens

This is an amazing product that takes much of the discomfort of traditional braces out of the picture, allowing you to remove the aligners while eating and cleaning your teeth.  For teens, the traumatic experience of trying not to smile to hide a mouth full of metal braces is no longer necessary.   Your teen will also be more motivated to wear the Invisalign aligners as they will be able to see steady progress and improvement clearly.

What is Invisalign Express?

Invisalign Express is a five-stage treatment for straightening teeth using nearly invisible aligners that can correct minor orthodontic issues in as little as three months!  Since the treatment is shorter than a full Invisalign treatment and requires only five sets of aligners, there are substantial savings to you.

How does Invisalign Express Work?

Patients who fit the criteria for this new treatment option receive a series of five aligner sets.  Each set of aligners is changed approximately every two weeks. During this period of time, the patient’s teeth will gradually move toward the desired position.

Take advantage of an economical and effective treatment option for people with minor alignment issues and book an appointment with Dr. Mahara at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group in Nanaimo, BC to discuss Invisalign Express.

You’ll find our dental team professional, respectful and ready to answer all of your questions about Invisalign or any of your family’s dental health needs.  We look forward to your call or email today!

Nitrous Oxide Sedation Dentistry


If you suffer from a fear of the dentist, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” could be a sedation dentistry solution for you to consider.  Here are 6 of the advantages of nitrous oxide sedation dentistry.

Six Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide works very rapidly.
Since nitrous oxide is a gas, it reaches the brain within 20 seconds, and relaxation and pain-relieving properties usually take effect after only 2 or 3 minutes.

The depth of sedation can be adjusted as needed.
Due to the quick uptake and effect of nitrous oxide, your dentist can adjust your level of sedation quickly as well.  Other sedation techniques, such as oral sedation take a longer period of time to take effect and therefore don’t allow for this.

Nitrous Oxide is a very flexible sedation dentistry treatment method.  With nitrous oxide, it’s easy to give incremental doses until the desired action is obtained.  Also, nitrous oxide can easily be switched off entirely when not needed and then switched on again if there is any further need.

There’s no after effect.
The gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home and don’t need an escort.

No injection is required.
Most people who harbor fears of the dentist also have fears about needles.  Nitrous oxide is easy to administer and requires no needles.  In cases of very severe needle phobia, getting laughing gas first can help you feel relaxed enough to allow the needle required for IV sedation.

Nitrous Oxide sedation is very safe.
It has very few side effects and the drugs used have no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain.

Effective at minimizing severe gagging.
Inhalation sedation has been found to be very effective in eliminating or at least minimizing severe gagging.

Despite all the benefits of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as a sedation dentistry treatment option, many dental clinics do not offer it.  To offer nitrous oxide training is required, the equipment is takes up space and the cost of the equipment and gases is high.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to offer nitrous oxide to our patients despite the above mentioned barriers. We strive to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your dental visits to our clinic and offering nitrous oxide is part of our effort to serve you and all of your family’s dental needs.  Please read more about nitrous oxide sedation dentistry and general sedation dentistry at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group on our website.

We look forward to seeing you and invite you to call to book an appointment today!

 

Invisible Braces? Introducing Invisalign

2-Benefits-of-InvisalignIf you’d like straight teeth without braces or any visible sign that you are doing an orthodontic treatment, Invisalgn is a dental technology that you need to know about.  Instead of bulky metal braces, Invisalign uses a series of see-through aligners that click into place in your mouth to progressively shift teeth into their proper position.  Not only does Invisalign act as clear and invisible braces, they’re removable!

How does Invisalign work?

A series of custom-made, clear aligners are created specifically for you by our Nanaimo Invisalign dentists and are to be worn throughout the day.  Each set of aligners is worn for about 2 weeks, so the changes made to your teeth are progressive and you can literally see the change happening each time you move to the next set of aligners.

Is Invisalign comfortable?

Since the aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable BPA-free plastic, they are specifically designed not to irritate your cheeks and gums. The aligners can be removed when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth, so keeping your mouth clean is a breeze.

Some patients do report to our Nanaimo dental team that the aligners can feel tight, especially when starting a new set.  If the new aligners are really uncomfortable, they can be adjusted.  However, in most cases, this is the natural feeling of tension created to shift the teeth to the next stage in the straightening process, and you will get used to it in no time.

Is Invisalign convenient?

Although you will typically begin a new set of aligners every two weeks, this does not mean you must visit our Nanaimo Invisalign dentists that frequently.  In fact, normally you will only need to check in with your dentist every 6 weeks.

Although being removable makes Invisalign very convenient, it’s important to remember that in order to work properly, the Invisalign aligners must be worn for 20 – 22 hours per day.  That means that although the aligners can be removed for eating and brushing and flossing, they should not be removed for any length of time.  Teen Invisalign users will be happy to know that a large part of their Invisalign wearing time occurs while they’re sleeping, leaving a few hours during the day for removal.

How long does Invisalign take?

While every case is unique for each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults. For teens, the length of treatment is comparable to that of braces.  Don’t forget however, that for teens, the combination of not having those awkward metal braces and seeing regular progress happening every two weeks makes the time fly by.

How to get started using Invisalign to straighten your teeth?

Get started by contacting us for an appointment at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group today.  We are Certified Invisalign providers and offer financing plans to help make your perfect smile a reality today.  We also recommend that you read more about the Invisalign treatment process on our website and contact us if you have any questions.  We look forward to helping you create the smile you’ve dreamed about soon.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

What you Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

Statistics show that a staggering 75% of us suffer from some form of dental fear, and 5 – 10% of us have a stronger fear that prevents us from going to the dentist at all – even for hygiene visits!  Avoiding regular dental care, however, often leads to more serious dental problems and therefore more trips to the dental clinic.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a dental method used to help patients manage their fear and get the treatments they need to maintain good oral health.  Using safe doses of sedatives to help calm and relax you before and during a dental treatment, sedation dentistry allows you to temporarily control fear and anxiety.

One of the key benefits of sedation dentistry is that your dentist can complete more dental procedures in a single visit and eliminate the need for multiple visits to correct a problem.  A second key benefit is the amnesia effect it produces.  In essence, patients tend to remember little of a sedation appointment.

Through the use of sedation dentistry, our Nanaimo dentists at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group have helped hundreds of patients to get on track with regular hygiene and dental check-ups and achieve good oral health.

How is sedation dentistry administered?

There are two types of sedatives used for dental sedation at our Nanaimo dental clinic: oral sedatives, which provide deeper levels of sedation; and nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, which induces a state of well-being while the gas is inhaled.

After determining your medical history and the level of dental anxiety you suffer from, we will let you know the recommended sedation method for your appointment.  For patients with severe dental anxiety, we may also prescribe a sleep aid to be taken the evening leading up to the visit.

We provide a blanket and pillow to help you relax during the procedure and to ensure your safety, your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels will be monitored continuously.

What does sedation dentistry feel like?

Sedation dentistry quiets the mind and deeply relaxes your body.  The majority of sedation dental patients tend to sleep through the dental visit and not remember much of it.   Of note, however, sedation patients remain conscious and will respond to the feedback of the dentist.

Are you a candidate for sedation dentistry?

If you are one of the 10% of people who suffer from a severe fear of the dentist, it’s possible that sedation dentistry could be the solution you’re looking for.  We invite you to book an appointment at our dental clinic to see if sedation dentistry is right for you.

To learn more about process and benefits of sedation dentistry offered at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, in Nanaimo, BC, please visit our sedation dentistry page.

The Truth About Sports Mouthguards

Are you or your child at risk of sports related dental injuries?

Dental injuries while playing sports are more common than you might imagine. Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports.  These injuries are what every parent fears will happen to their child: knocked out teeth, injured cheeks or tongue, broken jaws and broken teeth.   To make matters worse, up to 75% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the most visible teeth in our smile, the front teeth.

A sports mouth guard is an obvious choice to reduce the chance of sports related dental injuries.  All sports mouth guards are not created equal however.  Low cost sports store mouth guards can make you feel as though you’re protected, when in fact your protection is limited.  Let’s take a look at what makes an effective mouth guard to help you choose wisely.

The following are the attributes of a properly fitted and effective mouth guard:

  1. must be protective with sufficient thickness in key areas, yet not bulky
  2. fit comfortably, allowing natural breathing and speaking
  3. tear resistant, keeps its form
  4. odorless & tasteless

Shelf bought mouth guards are lucky if they meet any of these criteria when they are brand new.  Once they have been used for awhile and they are chewed out of shape, their condition makes them even worse.  Despite this, over 90% of the mouth guards worn are of the variety bought at sporting good stores.

What is the alternative to store bought mouth guards?

Fortunately there is a choice, one that measures up to all of the criteria of a good and effective mouth guard!  A custom made mouth guard, is not only much more comfortable, safe and allows you to breathe and talk naturally, it also has been shown to improve your physical performance.

How does a custom made mouth guard improve your physical performance?

In a nutshell, the custom made mouth guard is made for your perfect jaw and bite position.  When your mouth is in this relaxed position, the state of relaxation trickles down to your head and neck and even spine muscles allowing your posture to remain straighter and you to keep poised and balanced.  All of this adds up to improved physical performance in golf, hockey, football, basketball and many other sports.

Custom made mouth guards range from basic types which are suitable for kids and junior athletes to professional mouth guards for athletes looking to enhance their athletic performance.  The price range from basic to professional custom made mouth guards at our Nanaimo dental clinic is between $100 for the basic and up to $1500 for the professional grade.  There are many choices within that price range, so it is recommended that you book an appointment to discuss this with our Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group team to find out your options.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

Stop Snoring with the help of your Dentist

Written By Dr. Larry Hill, DMD

In North America, it is estimated that 90 million people snore or have a more serious breathing condition known as sleep apnea. In sleep apnea cases, an individual stops breathing for ten seconds or more hundreds of times each night. Sleep apnea can lead to many serious health problems and produce symptoms like sleepiness during the day and loss of ability to concentrate.

What are the causes of snoring and what can be done to correct it? Snoring can be related to excessive weight, to sleeping on one’s back, consuming alcohol within several hours of going to bed or a genetic predisposition. A constriction of the airway occurs during sleep, which allows the vibrations that we hear as “snoring”.

There are a number of new dental sleep appliances that help to open the airway and reduce snoring. Dental sleep appliances can be quite tolerable and much less bulky than the earlier dental anti-snoring devices. Dental sleep appliances no longer lock the jaw into one position, leaving you free to yawn, talk and even sip water while wearing them. A consultation with your dentist will let you know whether a dental sleep appliance is appropriate for you.

Your dentist will establish that you do not have sleep apnea or refer you to a physician to have this evaluated. Even when sleep apnea is diagnosed by a physician, dental sleep appliances can be a very effective treatment method. The cost of these appliances is roughly equal to a weekend away for a couple and the benefits are significant. If you have dental insurance these appliances may even be partially covered.

Other ways to reduce snoring include reducing weight to an ideal level, sewing a tennis ball into the back of a pajama top to help the sleeper avoid lying on their back, and reducing alcohol consumption before bed.

If you have a snoring problem and would like to stop snoring now, consult with your dentist to see if a dental sleep appliance would benefit you and help you achieve your goals.  Read more about sleep apnea on the Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group website.

Dr Hill is a member of the American
Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo.  Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.

What’s new with dental crowns?

Perhaps you have a root canal treated tooth that needs strengthening, a broken or misshapen tooth, or one that’s been weakened by large cavities?  If this is the case you may need a dental crown –and this post is for you.

Like most scientific fields, dental technology and knowledge have advanced in the realm of dental crowns and the traditional approach is no longer the only choice.  Dental crowns done by an aesthetically trained dentist are significantly more natural looking and shaped to fit your smile, preserve more of the original tooth structure, and the temporary crown used in the process is so natural looking and functional that many people would be happy to keep it.

To discover why aesthetic crowns look more natural, we have to explore why teeth look white in the first place.  In essence, light reflects off of the structure of a natural tooth, so it looks relatively bright. Traditional crowns however are made of metal and are covered with a porcelain material that makes them look white.  The metal inside the crown absorbs light rather than reflecting it, therefore making it less translucent and quite noticeably not a natural tooth.  The other related downside of the traditional porcelain fused to metal crown (PFM), is that sometimes the metal inner part of the crown near the gum-line will begin to show.  This dark line stands out sharply and is not aesthetically pleasing.

An aesthetic crown is made from a solid block of ceramic, like a statue that’s carved from a solid piece of stone.  The way it reflects light mimics that of a natural tooth and therefore looks perfectly natural among  your own teeth.  Metal showing along the gum-line is not possible, as there is none used.

Another huge advantage of the aesthetic crown is the comfort of the process.  All crowns are made in a dental lab, so there is a waiting period between having the tooth prepared and the crown being fitted.  Traditional dentists use a temporary crown that is meant only to cover the tooth, and not so much to be functional or to look good.  In the aesthetic crown process, the opposite is the case.  Not only is the temporary crown shaped exactly as the real crown would be, it feels as good as the real thing.

Beyond appearance and comfort, the aesthetic crown has one more significant benefit.  Since the aesthetic crown is placed with adhesive rather than cement, less surface area of the original tooth needs to be in contact with the crown.  This means more of your healthy original tooth surface can be preserved.

Contact us today to book an appointment or visit our website for more information.

Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo.  Our Nanaimo dentists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care.  At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.