Periodontal Specialists – Dr. Herbert Veisman

Should I replace that missing tooth?

Many people often wonder what they should do about missing teeth? Should you get a bridge, a denture (flipper), an implant, or how about nothing at all. The answer is simple. The only teeth we typically do not replace if they are lost are our wisdom teeth. That is because most people lose their wisdom teeth because they simply don’t have enough room in their mouths for them. Otherwise, you should seriously consider replacing all other missing teeth. Why? Because teeth have two purposes: to grind food or to incise or bite into food. Our front teeth are used to bite into food while our back teeth (up to our second molars) are used to chew food. If you begin to lose back teeth, you still need to chew your food. But now you are missing the big, strong back molars or premolars, which are designed to chew and take the heavy load of chewing your food. If you don’t have these strong, big, back molars, the food begins to transfer to the teeth closer to the front of the mouth. The teeth in the back of the mouth are large and are designed to take the chewing load. Think of it as a nutcracker. You always place the walnut as close to the narrow portion of the nutcracker as possible to crack the nut. The mouth is exactly the same. The back of the mouth is the narrow portion of the nutcracker. If you lose back teeth, the food must now be moved by your tongue to the front teeth. However, the front teeth are not designed to chew but only to bite into food. As such, with too much load or pressure from chewing, they can crack. Why? Because they are smaller and narrower and can’t tolerate the load of chewing. So if you begin to lose your back teeth, eventually you may crack and split your front teeth from overload. Also, when you lose teeth anywhere in the mouth, the teeth begin to shift positions to fill in the gaps. If you are happy with the way your teeth appear because you were born with nice teeth or had expensive orthodontics when you were younger, you could now experience a shift of these nice teeth and your could lose that beautiful smile. Large gaps could appear or your teeth could begin to overlap and you will not be happy with the results.

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Stress and Oral Health during COVID19

There are many ways that stress can impact on your oral health. We have seen over the past year during COVID19 many oral manifestations of stress and neglect such as: fractured teeth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, wear and tear on teeth (flattening of the chewing surfaces), TMJ (jaw) and muscular pain, and more susceptibility to oral infections due to a decrease in the efficacy of the immune system. Our immune systems have been challenged by the seemingly overnight changes in our lives such as:  financial circumstances, family relationships, and social interaction not to speak of an overall physical deterioration due to the lack of access to physical fitness centres. When we are stressed, our bodies release hormones that lead us to eat more, exercise less, sleep poorly, and live with a heightened sense of anxiety or depression. It stands to reason that we are all on the “edge” right now and when this happens, we don’t take as good care of ourselves, including our oral health. As such, our immune system becomes more compromised and we become more susceptible to other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. There are many associated links between periodontal (gum) disease and other systemic physical illnesses. For example, there are strong links now documented in the scientific literature between gum disease and: Alzheimers, pulmonary and vascular disease, arthritis, low-weight and pre-term babies, diabetes, and early tooth loss. Studies show that those of us who lose our teeth early also don’t live as long due to malnutrition in later life. The science conclusively shows that with increased stress come increase in physical ailments. That is why it is crucial that you give us a call and come in for an overall examination to ensure that there aren’t any hidden problems in your mouth that can get exacerbated and translate to bigger health issues down the road.

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The True Cost of Dental Tourism

There is a growing interest in people searching for the best countries for dental tourism. While the immediate costs may seem like a bargain, in the long run, it can be more costly in price and have negative impact on your health. Jenny was just such an example. She went to a country in Central America for dental implant treatment. When she returned, she fell ill and was diagnosed with Hepatitis C which has severe long term consequences including cancer of the liver. She wanted to save a couple of thousand dollars and have a dream vacation at the same time. Instead, she is now living a nightmare. The problem with having dental treatment overseas is that most countries don’t have regulatory bodies to control their dentist member’s actions. As such, there is no accountability or repercussions for dentist’s unprofessionalism or incompetence. We all want to like and trust those who take care of us. But many in other parts of the world cannot be trusted to have the qualifications or credentials to complete complex treatment. If something goes wrong, you’re on your own. Legally, you are out of options and medically you’re financially on your own to bear the burden of future poor health and associated costs. This is a very undesirable situation. You are better off waiting and saving money or opting for other treatment plans (less expensive dentures instead of implants) for the moment until you can afford to have a specialist do the treatment right. The consequences of someone destroying your health are too severe.

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Why should I replace my missing teeth?

People lose teeth for all sorts of reasons: tooth decay, gum disease, accidents/trauma, or simply just wear down over time. Losing a tooth at the front of the mouth could impact your appearance. It will also impact your ability to bite into food properly. Losing a tooth at the back of the mouth will impact your bite and ability to chew your food properly. But if you lose many, most, or ALL of your teeth, this could affect your ability to live a long and healthy life.

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Why see a periodontist for your dental implants?

As a periodontist, I have three more years of extra training above and beyond what a General Dentist has. A general dentist has 4 years of dental school training. There is MINIMAL time spent on dental implants because it is a specialized procedure taught in either Periodontics or Oral surgery training for 3-4 years following a year of hospital based residency AND specialty school training.

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How to Find a Good Periodontist

The best way to find a good periodontist is to start with the reviews online. You can check RateMDs and Google. You can enter keywords or phrases like “Best Periodontist Toronto”, “Best Dental implant surgeon Toronto”. This will at least give you a good start. Read the rest of this entry »

Aftermath of COVID19

During the week of March 15, 2020, The Royal College of Dentists of Ontario and the Ministry of Health for the province of Ontario have effectively shut down the practices of 7000 dentists in Ontario. The only services which are considered acceptable are emergencies, such as broken teeth or attending to someone with facial injury. However, because of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), most dentists are not in a position to treat patients even for such emergencies. Read the rest of this entry »