Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Services

At the dental office of Dr. Bruce Harle our goal is to make your visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible. One of the ways we accomplish this is to make sure each patient is aware of what to expect during their first and subsequent visits.

The following are some frequently asked questions. Have a question that is not addressed here? Contact our office for more information.

Click on any of the following questions to view the answer.

Q. What should I expect during my first visit?

A. When you come for your first visit you can expect a thorough examination and report on your oral and dental health. Some of the other services you will receive on your first visit include:

  • Full mouth dental and periodontal exam
  • Radiographic exam (X-rays)
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Extra-oral exam / Temporomandibular Joint exam
  • Medical History Review
  • It is important to keep your dentist up-to-date on your medical history, as well as any medications you take or may be allergic to. 
  • Discussing your medical history ensures that precautions and concerns are addressed prior to receiving the appropriate treatment you need.
  • People who have a heart murmur or who have had a hip or knee replacement may need antibiotics before dental treatment. Specific medical conditions may dictate a change in how and/or when certain dental procedures are performed. The way you take your prescribed medications may need to be altered prior to certain procedures, as well.
  • These are a few examples of why it is important to discuss your medical history with us. Doing so ensures that you get the best care possible.

Q. Is there a connection between my oral health and my overall health?

A. There is a demonstrated connection between oral health and overall health. Medical research is confirming that inflammation in the body is a significant factor in many of the chronic diseases of aging, such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and respiratory disease. It turns out that the mouth is a significant source of inflammation, especially when gum disease is present.

When left untreated, gum disease increases your risk for these serious systemic diseases:

  • Heart Disease/Stroke – a person with periodontal disease is at greater risk for having heart disease and or experiencing a stroke. Although no direct link has been shown at this time, these diseases share common risk factors. As well, research has shown that bacteria from your mouth can get into the blood stream and attach to platelets when the gums are inflamed. These clumps of platelets and bacteria can lodge inside the walls of blood vessels, causing the formation of clots. These clots are what lead to heart disease and stroke. Keeping your gums healthy may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes – Research shows that periodontal disease and diabetes can affect one another. The presence of gum inflammation can make it more difficult for a diabetic to control their blood sugar, and conversely, high blood sugar can make it more difficult to manage periodontal inflammation. The good news is that the treatment of either disease leads to improvements in the other.
  • Respiratory Disorders – Increasing evidence suggests that the bacteria that collect in your mouth when periodontal disease is present are the same bacteria that can cause respiratory disease. This plaque-associated bacteria, if inhaled, might lead to infections such as pneumonia. The elderly are particularly at risk.
  • Pregnancy – Women with periodontal disease appear to be more likely to give birth prematurely and to produce low birth weight babies. Researchers believe that gum disease causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals which are linked to pre-term births. We also know that good oral hygiene in pregnancy can reduce the risk of infection in the mothers, as well as conditions such as pregnancy gingivitis and pregnancy gum tumors.
  • Alzheimer's Disease – Studies continue to demonstrate a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of Alzheimer's later in life.

Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits that include an examination of the entire mouth are important steps in leading a healthy life. Speak to us about the relationship between oral health and overall health.

Q. Do I really need to floss or is brushing good enough?

A. Your mouth is home to millions of microscopic bacteria that feed on the food particles left on your teeth. Brushing can get rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth, but flossing removes the bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach. If you do not floss, plaque remains between your teeth, nourishing harmful bacteria until it finally hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing; only your dentist can remove tartar.

Q. Do whitening toothpastes work?

A. Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes vary widely in effectiveness. They are designed to remove surface stains from the teeth using mild abrasives; however, unlike professional whitening that is performed by a dentist, some whitening toothpastes do not alter the intrinsic color of the teeth. Those toothpastes that are actually effective in removing stains often use harsh abrasives that can destroy tooth enamel and contribute to increased tooth sensitivity. Consult with your dentist before trying any commercial teeth whitening product.

Q. How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

A. Professional teeth whitening is effective, but the length of time you can expect it to last will vary according to your lifestyle and oral health habits. If you smoke, drink red wine or coffee, or consume other acid-containing foods and beverages, your bright smile may begin to darken more quickly than expected. Generally speaking, a teeth whitening procedure can last up to a few years. And even though the results can fade, occasional touch-ups can be done to restore luster.

Q. Do I need to make an appointment?

A. Our office is dedicated to providing our patients with the best dentistry and service possible and we work very hard to try to accommodate everyone's busy scheduling needs. When we schedule an appointment for you, it is reserved especially for you. If an unforeseen circumstance occurs and you need to re-schedule, we respectfully request that you give us two business days’ notice of the change.

Q. What payment methods do you accept?

A. Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. For your convenience, we accept debit, , cash and major credit cards. We also offer third party financing through Dentalcard.

Q. What hours are you open?

A. Our dental office is open Monday through Friday:

Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Q. What services do you provide?

A. We offer a full range of dental services from cleanings and fillings to extractions and implants. Count on us for:

  • Restorative dentistry
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Endodontics
  • Surgical Services
  • Preventive Services 
  • Implant/Prosthodontic Dentistry

Q. What resources are available to me for further oral health and/or dental information?

A. There are a number of organizations and websites dedicated to this purpose. The Ontario Dental Association website offers an excellent overview of dentistry for the layman, including explanations of industry terms as well as the various treatments available. It also offers helpful info about oral health, visiting the dentist and teaching your children about the importance of dental health.