Frequently Asked Questions

Read the most common question we are asked by our patients.



Recent research has shown that your gums have a significant impact on your overall health, particularly cardiovascular disease. People with gum disease have a two to three times higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event compared to people without gum disease. Some research has suggested that gum disease might also increase the risk of certain forms of cancer such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers however more research is required in these areas.
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline done to treat gum disease. Gum disease is called by plaque, which can build up in your gums and become inflamed. When this happens, your gums pull away from the roots of your teeth and form spaces called pockets, getting trapped. You are unable to remove plaque from pockets with normal brushing, and left unchecked it can lead to bone and tooth loss. When you have gum disease, a process called scaling and root planing is done to remove the plaque and help restore your gum health. The process of scaling removes plaque and tartar from below your gum line, while root planing smoothes the tooth root and helps your gums reattach to the tooth. If you suspect you have gum disease and think scaling and root planning can help, contact us today.
Everybody, regardless of their oral health, has bacteria in their mouth. This bacteria naturally mixes with food byproducts and proteins, creating a sticky film called dental plaque. Plaque coats your teeth and gets under your gumne. Sometimes plaque that carries bacteria can damage your tooth enamel and cause cavities. If plaque is left too long on your teeth, it can harden into tartar. Tartar, also called calculus, forms above and below the gum line. It has been shown to lead to receding gums and gum disease, and requires removal by special tools in a dentist’s office. If you have a buildup of plaque and tartar, you should visit a dentist. Contact us today to book your appointment.
Gum disease is a condition which affects millions of people. There are a number of symptoms which can indicate gum disease, such as:

  • Persistent halitosis
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Loose & sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you might have gum disease and should visit a dentist. Contact us today to book your appointment.

Though periodontal disease is very common, there are a number of things you can do to prevent it. The most effective prevention is by following good oral hygiene practices such as:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing or using a waterpik every day to remove plaque between your teeth
  • Quitting smoking
  • Visiting the dentist for routine checkups and cleaning

If you follow these simple steps, you are well on your way towards preventing periodontal disease.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Most people in good health are eligible for dental veneers. That being said, there are certain conditions which might complicate getting veneers, such as:

  • If a tooth has decay this must be addressed before getting veneers
  • If a tooth is in an area with periodontal disease the disease must first be treated
  • If a tooth has little enamel left the veneer might not stick to the tooth
  • If too much of the tooth is missing a dental crown might be a better option
  • If a person grinds or clenches their teeth this can chip and damage dental veneers
Normal veneers are permanently attached to your teeth after removing or reducing some of the patient’s tooth enamel so that the porcelain veneers can be placed on the teeth. Prepless veneers are a less-invasive form of veneers which is similar to standard veneers but with several advantages. Unlike traditional veneers, your dentist does not need to remove enamel and the veneers can be placed directly on your teeth. Also, contrary to normal veneers, prepless veneers can also be removed. If you would like prepless veneers, contact Pretoria Bridge Dental to book an appointment today!
Anybody with a healthy mouth and clean teeth is a candidate for prepless veneers. That being said your teeth don’t have to be perfect, in fact they shouldn’t be! Veneers are for people looking to improve the appearance of their smile. If you have significant staining, cracks, chips, short, mismatched, or worn-down teeth, dental veneers are a great option to improve your smile.

Dental contouring is also known as tooth reshaping or enameloplasty is a cosmetic dental procedure which is done to change the shape, widge, or length of your teeth. Dental contouring is done by removing small amounts of tooth enamel to achieve the shape you want. Even a few millimeters of reduction in the right places can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth. If you require only a few small fixes to your teeth, dental contouring is a great option.

Dental bonding also known as bonded restoration, is a way to make minor repairs to your teeth. Bonding uses a composite resin with the same colour as teeth to reshape teeth. Your dentist will place the resin on your tooth, shape it, and then harden it with light. Dental bonding can be used to repair a chipped tooth, fill in large gaps between teeth, or restore a broken tooth to size, so if any of these issues are affecting you dental bonding is a great treatment option. If you think dental bonding could be for you, contact Pretoria Bridge Dental to book an appointment today!

Dental Restoration

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. CEREC Crowns are the next generation of ceramic crowns. CEREC crowns are made with Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing to create a new tooth that perfectly fits on your damaged tooth and matches the rest of your teeth. CEREC crowns can be done in a same-day appointment, making them a popular convenient option.
CEREC crowns are an excellent option for a number of reasons. The most obvious advantage of CEREC crowns is that they can be installed in a day. Previously dental crowns took several appointments to be placed on the patient, but this is no longer the case. CEREC crowns are also made from a very strong ceramic or resin which is durable and long-lasting. CEREC crowns are also made with computer-aided design and manufacturing, so the crowns are produced to be a perfect match to the rest of your teeth – all in the dentist’s office.

A dental crown, sometimes called a cap, is an artificial tooth used to cover damaged, decayed, misshapen, or discoloured teeth in order to protect and/or restore it. Dental onlays on the other hand are dental restorations that are used for teeth damaged by cavities, decays, or fractures.

Your dentist is the best person to help you determine whether you should get a dental crown or an inlay. Contact us today to book an appointment to see if you should get onlays or crowns.

Like the name suggests, dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth with healthy teeth around it, dental bridges are a great choice for replacing the tooth. Dental bridges serve a similar purpose to dental implants, with the advantage of being more affordable and quicker to install. While dental implants cost more and require more time to install, they last longer and have a more natural look, especially if they are at the front of the mouth. If you’re not sure whether you should get dental implants or a dental bridge, contact Pretoria Bridge Dental today to book an appointment. Our dentist can help you make the right choice to replace your missing tooth or teeth.
If you’ve just received dental fillings, you are probably wondering how you can take care of them. Luckily, the answer is easy – just keep up with a regular dental care routine. This means brushing and flossing twice a day, regularly seeing the dentist and keeping them informed of any changes or issues you notice. Over time, dental fillings do degrade and will eventually need to be replaced. When this happens, you might notice a number of signs such as sharp pains, or feeling jagged edges or cracks when you feel the area with your tongue. If you notice this, odds are your filling has cracked and you will need to have a dentist locate the problem and fix it as soon as possible. If you are having issues with your dental fillings, contact us today for an appointment. We can help you with your dental fillings!

Dental Implants

Dental implants are recommended for people who are missing a tooth or teeth because of injury, disease, or tooth decay. When a patient has sufficient jawbone available and is in good general health, a dental implant is viable. Your dentist is the best person to evaluate whether or not dental implants are the best option for you.

The dental implant procedure consists of several steps. First, your dentist will examine your mouth and take x-rays to find out if dental implants are right for you. If your dentist determines that implants are suitable.

The actual surgery is often done in several stages to allow the jawbone to heal completely around the implant before the finishing work is done. In some cases, the jawbone must be grafted.

The next step is to place the tooth root implant into the bone socket of the missing tooth. The jawbone will heal around the root implant, keeping it securely within your jaw. This healing process can take between 6 and 12 weeks, depending on the individual.

After you heal, the next step will be to place an abutment – which is a small connector post – to the implant. The new tooth, or crown, which is made based off of impressions of your teeth, is then installed onto the abutment. At this point, your implant will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.

Both dental bridges and dental implants are options for permanently replacing a missing tooth or teeth. The biggest difference between the two is how the new teeth are kept in place. An implant involves inserting a root implant into your jawbone and installing a dental crown on top. With a dental implant, the tooth stands alone and you can floss around it. Dental bridges, on the other hand, involve shaving off the enamel of surrounding teeth and placing a dental bridge across the affected teeth. The bridge’s teeth are all connected, so you are unable to floss between them. This can lead to some complications down the line. Generally speaking, dental implants are more durable, easier to maintain, and have fewer complications down the line. If you are unsure whether to get dental implants or a dental bridge, contact Pretoria Bridge Dental today. We can help you decide.

While we don’t advocate smoking, smokers are eligible for dental implants. The most important factor for determining eligibility for dental implants is the patient’s general health. If you are in good enough health to have a tooth pulled, you are likely eligible to receive a dental implant. If you want to get a dental implant, contact Pretoria Bridge Dental today. We can help you.

Dental Emergency

A dental emergency can be any dental problem that is in need of immediate treatment in order to stop bleeding, alleviate severe pain, or save a tooth. Severe infections in the mouth and gums are also considered a dental emergency since they can be life-threatening if they are not treated quickly. If you think you’re in need of emergency dental services, contact our experts today.

The first thing you should do is contact us. If we are able to fit you in for a same day appointment, then we will book it for you. If not, we will direct you to somewhere that you can receive the care you need.

Proper oral care is the first step to avoiding dental emergencies involving tooth pain or bleeding that is caused by tooth decay or a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. That means brushing twice daily and flossing before bed. To avoid dental emergencies involving broken, cracked, or lost teeth, take the following precautions:

  • See your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings.
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
  • Don’t chew rock solid foods like ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy.
  • Use scissors to cut things. Never use your teeth to open anything.

If the pain you are experiencing is unbearable and seems like it is spreading along your jaw or neck, or if your mouth is bleeding and won’t stop, then you should head to the closest emergency room for treatment. Once the immediate problem has been dealt with, it is important that you follow up with your dentist to discuss the incident and have them conduct an assessment to see if further treatment is needed.

If you are experiencing unbearable tooth pain and can’t see your dentist right away, there are a few things you can try to soothe the pain until you are able to get to the clinic.

  • Rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water.
  • Gently floss to remove food or plaque between your teeth.
  • Apply a cold compress to your cheek


A dentist can assess and diagnose a patient’s TMJ symptoms and recommend effective forms of treatment. For instance, if a patient’s TMJ issues come from teeth grinding or jaw clenching, they can recommend a dental appliance such as a dental plate or splint to keep them from causing further damage and allow the TMJ joint to rest and recover. Furthermore, a dentist can refer the patient to a specialist for treatment, or a physiotherapist if needed.

TMJ disorder is not life-threatening, however leaving it untreated can lead to increased pain, discomfort and tension in the jaw that can affect other areas of your life. Parts of your life may change to revolve around relieving your pain and discomfort. Chronic pain has also been shown to lead to the development of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Don’t ignore jaw pain, especially when you experience it regularly. Contact us instead to see if we can help!

There are a number of different causes for TMJ pain to flare up including:

  • Stress which can cause jaw clenching and teeth grinding when awake or asleep.
  • Hormonal changes caused by medications or supplements.
  • Hard and chewy foods which can add more stress to an already strained TMJ.
  • Poor posture which can shift your lower jaw forward, disrupting its normal function.
  • Weak neck muscles that don’t support the TMJ properly.

Yes, it can. In fact, many people who begin to experience TMJ symptoms tend to have them on one side of their face. As the disorder progresses, it usually begins to affect the other side of the face as well. However, in some cases, it can continue to affect only one side of the face.

If you have TMJ pain that is making it difficult to sleep, try lying on your back. This is the best position to keep your neck and back in good alignment, and keep pressure off of your jaw, alleviating pain, and allowing the joint to rest and recover while you sleep.

In most cases, surgery is not required to treat TMJ dysfunction. Non-surgical approaches are taken to relieve you of the symptoms you are experiencing. Typically, a mouth guard or night guard will be recommended to treat TMJ. In cases that are more severe, your dentist will refer you to an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon for corrective jaw surgery.

Practice good posture and relax the jaw muscles whenever you can to avoid acquiring a TMJ issue.

Additionally, it’s crucial to have routine dental exams so that your dentist can identify any potential bite or jaw problems early on and give you the chance to take additional preventative steps.

Please get in touch with Pretoria Bridge Dental if you have any additional queries about TMJ or TMD. we specialise in treating TMJ issues in the Ottawa area.

These two terms are related and frequently used interchangeably. Temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, is the joint that joins the lower jaw to the skull. Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD, is what happens when the TMJ is impacted by problems that frequently cause discomfort or pain. It’s not uncommon for the term TMJ to be used in place of TMD.

Oral Hygiene

Generally speaking, when it comes to oral hygiene, it is recommended to visit the dental clinic every six months for a dental cleaning. Patients who require deeper cleaning due to excessive buildup of plaque and tartar, or have been diagnosed with periodontal disease will be recommended to have their teeth cleaned as frequently as once every three months.

You will notice that your teeth appear to be a little whiter after a dental cleaning than they were beforehand. Tartar has a yellow tint to it, and when it is removed, that colour won’t be as prominent in your smile. Cleaning will also remove surface stains from your teeth which will also give it a whiter appearance. Deep stains and discolouration are the only things that can’t be removed through dental cleaning. For that, we have teeth whitening treatments that are very effective.

Once the hygienist has finished the cleaning treatment, your dentist will perform a final examination of your mouth. They will check for gum disease, confirm the presence of any cavities, check for issues with teeth grinding or jaw clenching, and check the alignment of your teeth. If you have x-rays taken, your dentist will review them and address any concerns that they find and recommend follow-up treatments.

This depends on if, and what type of fluoride application was completed. The dental hygienist will be able to give you the proper instructions.

Regardless of whether you received a flouride treatment or not, you should avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks like sodas, citrus fruits, tomatoes or red wine, as well as spicy or heavily seasoned foods for at least 24 hours. These foods and drinks can cause some irritation and discomfort in a freshly cleaned mouth.

A regular dental cleaning will remove teeth stains and polish your teeth. A deep cleaning will do this as well, but also include the removal of tartar and plaque through a process called scaling. This deep cleaning is necessary for removing bacteria colonies on your teeth and under your gum line.


Endodontics is a specialized branch within dentistry that focuses on diagnosing and treating issues related to dental pulp or the soft tissue within the tooth. These sorts of dental pulp problems usually result in the need for root canal treatments, which endodontists perform.

Compared to your regular dentist, endodontists have specialized expertise within the dentistry practice. Endodontists specialize in diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatments. Endodontists don’t perform filling procedures or clean teeth.

Endodontics focuses on diagnosing and treating issues inside the tooth or root canal. Periodontics focuses on diagnosing and treating issues related to gums and the jaw bone.

A root canal will usually require two or three visits to complete. The first visit will treat the pain that is caused by tooth infection. The following appointments involve removing the infected matter from the tooth and placing a crown over it.

Most of the time, it is better to try and save a tooth than to remove it. A tooth extraction has a longer recovery time and is more painful than a root canal. There is also extra dental work and recovery time needed to replace the extracted tooth. Still, there are some cases where tooth extraction is the better course of action. Our dentists will provide all available options and recommend the best course of action so the patient can make an informed decision.

Yes, you can. However, you must limit yourself to soft foods which aren’t too hot or too cold for two to three days after your root canal treatment is complete and the crown has been placed.

It is normal to feel tenderness in the treated area for a few days after a root canal procedure. Root canal pain usually peaks between 17 and 24 hours after the procedure and then subsides over the following days. It is also possible to feel jaw pain after the procedure due to keeping the mouth open for the whole procedure. Elevating the head when sleeping for the first few nights after the procedure will help with pain. If severe pain lasts for more than a few days, notify your dentist or endodontist immediately.

Throbbing tooth pain is a sure sign that there is tooth damage. This could be in the form of a cavity or an infection in or around the tooth. Unexplained tooth pain should always be checked out and treated before it gets worse. If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact us right away to set up an appointment to have it checked out.

Family Dentistry

Your first appointment will likely be more detailed than most checkups and cleanings to allow your dentist a thorough look at your teeth. This appointment usually involves a detailed examination of your teeth, an x-ray of your mouth and a conversation with your dentist to discuss your previous dental history. This first appointment allows you and your dentist to become acquainted, and lets your dentist find out what best suits your dental needs.

Book your first appointment with Pretoria Bridge Dental today!

Children should come for their first dentist appointment around the time when their teeth start coming in, or when they are 1 – 3 years old. While most children are unlikely to have dental problems, it is always best to be sure.

If ever you have any concerns about your child’s oral health, don’t hesitate to contact us!

A child’s first dentist appointment is in part about examining and cleaning the teeth, but it is also about getting them comfortable with their dentist and the dental office. Having a positive experience at the dentist at a young age helps make children more comfortable with dental visits.

Contact Pretoria Family Dentistry today to learn more about what happens at a child’s first dentist appointment.

Yes! We are always willing to accept new patients. Good oral hygiene is a very important part of protecting your overall health and Pretoria Family Dentistry is here to help. New patients should make sure to inform us of any relevant dental or medical conditions at their appointment so that we can provide you with the best care.

Contact us today to speak to a member of our staff and to book an appointment.

There are many things that you can do to help make sure that your teeth stay clean. The most important thing is to brush your teeth 2 – 3 times a day, once should be before you go to sleep at night. Make sure that you are using a toothbrush that is comfortable and doesn’t cause you pain. You should replace your toothbrush every 2 – 3 months, or sooner if the bristles become worn. We recommend a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for those over the age of 3 years old. Regular flossing also helps to keep oral hygiene up to a good standard.

If you have any questions about personalized dental hygiene, contact Pretoria Family Dentistry today to speak to one of our staff members!

For babies, toddlers, and children, booking a dental check-up or dental appointment every 6 months is typically an appropriate interval to ensure your child’s teeth are healthy and all oral problems are caught in the early stages. Depending on your child, their oral hygiene habits, and overall oral health, your dentist may wish to schedule appointments more or less frequently. That being said, generally speaking, booking a dentist appointment every 6 months is enough to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other periodontal issues.

As for adults and even teenagers, it’s more common for dental appointments to be booked closer to 1-year intervals. Depending on your oral history, and the current state of your gums and teeth, your dentist will likely suggest an appropriate time frame that makes sense for you. This could be every 6 months if you’re struggling with frequent oral issues like gingivitis or cavities, or it could be closer to 1 or 2 years if you rarely have issues during your appointments.

At Pretoria Bridge Dental, we take dental anxiety very seriously. We understand many of our patients suffer from stress and anxiety when it comes to booking and arriving at their dentist appointments. We always want to make sure our dental patients feel as comfortable as possible during their dentist appointments. All of our staff are extremely friendly, helpful, and well-trained so you can rest assured you will be getting the best care possible.

Due to the state of dental anxiety in Ottawa, our dental office also offers sedation dentistry to our patients. Sedation dentistry is commonly used for patients (if they wish) to ensure their dentist appointments and procedures go smoothly. Sedation dentistry can help patients who avoid the dentist altogether, significantly reduce dental anxiety, and can even make appointments go quicker! Contact our team today and inquire about our sedation dentistry services.

Encouraging children to actively participate in oral hygiene can be difficult. Even more so when it comes to forming long-term oral hygiene habits. To promote good oral hygiene habits for your children, below we will list a few helpful techniques and tips we have found to be successful for many parents:

  • Start good oral habits early
  • Teach your kids to brush their teeth at least twice daily
  • Limit or avoid certain foods that can impact oral health
  • Lead by example and have dedicated brushing and flossing times during the day
  • Find fun oral hygiene supplies and involve them in the selection
  • Reward your children for consistency and proper techniques

When children are involved, reliable emergency dental care can be a top priority for parents when they’re choosing a family dentist. If you or your children are ever in an accident that requires emergency dental care, the team at Pretoria Bridge Dental can help ASAP. We offer patients same-day services and often can book appointments within a few hours depending on the severity. We know dental emergencies can strike at inconvenient times (including outside typical working hours). If this ever happens to you or a family member, call our team at 613-236-5202 and we can help address the situation quickly.

Absolutely! We understand life can get busy if you have a full-time job while juggling taking care of one or multiple children. A large portion of our dentist patients are full families that have limited availability to book appointments. Oftentimes they are only able to book an appointment if the entire family can be seen on that same day. At Pretoria Bridge Dental, we can help accommodate all sorts of situations to ensure we make your life as easy as possible to book the proper oral care you and your family need.

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