Do You Need a Periodontist?

Patient at dentists office, getting teeth examined with hand-held mirror and cleaned of tartar and plaque, preventing periodontal disease. Dental hygiene, painful procedures and prevention concept.

Every year, millions of people around the world are affected by periodontal disease or gum disease. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. One major concern is that most people do not realize that they have gum disease until they experience severe pain or they actually loose teeth. This is because there are very few symptoms of gum disease, especially in its early stages.


How Does Gum Disease Begin?

The problem starts when bacteria build up between teeth and along the gum line. As this happens, very few symptoms – if any- are visible or are felt. When bacteria continue to multiply, they can cause the gums to pull away from teeth. When the gum recedes, more of the tooth gets exposed to plaque and bacteria get even closer to the root as they get below the gum line. It is at this stage that tooth loss can happen.

When gum disease reaches an advanced stage, it may still be treated but the treatments would be more extensive and much more costly. It is therefore important that it gets caught as early as possible. Visiting your trusted dentist at Pickering Square Dental regularly is the best way to know for sure that your teeth and gums are healthy.


There are also a number of signs and symptoms that tell you that you need to see a periodontist:

* Gums are swollen, red, and bleeding, especially when you are brushing your teeth and flossing.

* Gums are receding. There may also be deep pockets between teeth and gums.

* There is an unpleasant taste in the mouth which tends to return even after you brush your teeth.

* You have chronic bad breath.

* Your teeth are moving and shifting out of their former alignment. They may also feel loose.

* You feel pressure or even pain when you are eating. This is because when there is infection around the tooth root, the pressure caused by biting food and chewing can result in discomfort or even pain.

* Your teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages than usual. You feel more sensitivity as more of the roots of your teeth are exposed.


If you are noticing one or more of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with Pickering Square Dental so we can evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums. Remember that early detection is the key to fighting gum disease and saving your teeth!

What You Need to Know About Dental Sedation

Beautiful getting woman inhalation sedation at dental clinic

Many people have anxiety about going to the dentist. Because of this, some suffer dental problems that would have been avoided if they made trips to the dentist at least twice a year. If you, too, are uncomfortable with the idea of visiting your dentist for a treatment, then you should know that there is another option for you – dental sedation.

Not all methods of sedation dentistry involve actually putting patients to sleep. At Pickering Square Dental, there are a number of options for you to consider. There are techniques that can be used to make you calm before and during a procedure or simply more comfortable during procedures that last for hours. Don’t mistake dental sedation as the pain management like numbing creams and shots that dentists give. In fact, if you fear getting an injection in the gums and dental sedation can help calm you down. But that is not the only type of sedation. Read on to know more about the different types of sedation dentistry!


Oral Sedation

For oral sedation, the patient takes a prescribed sedative before the dental procedure. Depending on the case, the patient may need to take one pill the night before or up to an hour before the procedure. The patient is awake but significantly relaxed during the procedure when using an oral sedative. Those who have a high level of anxiety can benefit from this type of sedation dentistry. We will determine (depending on your case). It is mandatory to have a family member or friend with you to drive you home as it will not be safe to drive yourself when you take an oral sedative.


Laughing Gas

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is commonly used to help patients relax during dental procedures. It may be used on its own or in addition to oral sedation. Patients remain conscious while breathing in laughing gas. Because it wears off quickly after you stop breathing it in, you will most probably be allowed to drive yourself home after your procedure.


IV Sedation

There are a few variations for IV sedation. One leaves the patient conscious but not very aware of what is going on in his or her surroundings. It makes the patient sleepy and should he or she falls asleep, the dentist can wake him or her up easily. Then there is general anesthesia, which is not that common but is necessary in some cases. This is often considered for use for patients who will undergo an extensive oral surgery or those who are resistant to other varieties of sedation. This type of sedation is administered only in a hospital or a specialized and licensed clinic. The patient is totally unconscious when under general anesthesia.


Do You Need Sedation Dentistry?

If you have any concerns or if you are feeling anxious about your upcoming dental work, you can give Pickering Square Dental a call so we can determine the best sedation dentistry option for you!

Cosmetic Dentistry 101

Beautiful smile and white teeth of a young woman. Matching the shades of the implants or the process of teeth whitening.

With all the TV shows about makeovers, you probably have heard of cosmetic dentistry. And if you are interested in improving your teeth, then you are in the right place. In this post, we are going to talk about everything that you want to know about cosmetic dentistry.

Basically, cosmetic dentistry is the term we use in the industry to describe procedures that can improve the look of teeth but not necessarily make them healthier. So they are not necessary, but they do offer various benefits including boosting a patient’s confidence, reducing teeth grinding, and making cleaning much easier.

What is the Difference between General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry?

We use the term collectively to refer to common procedures like extractions, cleanings, root canals, and fillings which are all available at Pickering Square Dental. These procedures are performed often because they are needed to address dental problems or to keep one’s teeth and gums healthy.  Cosmetic procedures, like we have mentioned are options for patients who want a better looking smile.

How Cosmetic Procedures Have Improved

We have seen improvements in the field of cosmetic dentistry that have resulted in quicker, more effective, and sometimes even pain-free procedures. For example, laser teeth whitening and gum treatments do not require anaesthetic because they are painless. There are also more complicated procedures like implants where we use state-of-the-art lasers to make accurate incisions and the patient is sedated. All the improvements take us one step closer to achieving the perfect smile without pain and anxiety!

Here some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures:

Whitening Treatments

There are a number of forms of whitening treatments that include bleaching and laser treatments. The most advanced ones can make your teeth up to 16 shades lighter!


These are porcelain shells that are securely bonded to the front of the tooth or teeth. They are often used when a tooth or a few teeth are discoloured or sometimes as an alternative to orthodontics. Over time, veneers have improved so much that they can match your real teeth so that no one can even tell you’re wearing veneers! The procedure requires that a part of the tooth be shaved. If you are considering getting veneers, know that they will eventually need repair or replacement because porcelain wears away.


Traditional braces and Invisalign are available to those who want to straighten their teeth. Depending on what you need, we can recommend the best approach for you when you come for a consultation.

Bridges and Crowns

Large gaps or missing teeth can be improved by bridges. They are a more affordable and much less invasive procedure than implants or orthodontics. Crowns can cover and repair cracked or chipped teeth and restore their normal shape.


Dental implants are used to replace decayed or damaged teeth. Advancements in dental implants have resulted in products that can closely match the rest of a patient’s teeth so they’ll blend naturally.

Cosmetic dentistry and all the other procedures we offer at Pickering Square Dental can help give you the smile you have always dreamed of. Visit us for a thorough check up and you can tell us what you want. We’ll discuss your best options so you can achieve the perfect smile.

Answering Common Dental Implant Questions

woman take tooth implant false tooth on green background

Today, no other treatment can match the promise of dental implants when it comes to tooth replacement. If you are considering getting implants, there are probably a lot of questions on your mind that you want to be answered – What does it feel like to wear implants? How long do implants last?

Because we want you to know as much as you can about implants, we listed down some of the most questions our patients ask us, and our answers to those questions.

What are implants made of?

Implants are made of medically pure titanium alloy or titanium. This material is the same one that has been used in hip implants for years. It is not known to result in any type of rejection.

Should I be worried about complications and infections?

During the surgery, we do everything to keep a completely sterile field to minimize any potential post-operative infection. As a precautionary measure, appropriate antibiotics may be prescribed. Of course, once the implants are engaged in your prosthesis, you should ensure that you’ll maintain a good oral hygiene.

What do I need to do to receive dental implants?

The first thing you need to do is to schedule a consultation with us. We will do a thorough check-up and set up the perfect care plan for you. We will also give you instructions regarding the procedure, including the visits you need to make.

How long will the dental implants last?

In general, dental implants can last you forever. There won’t be any need for a replacement or repair. Just remember to follow our suggestions on how you should care for your oral health.

Will it be too obvious that I’m wearing dental implants?

Unless, you tell them, no one will know that you are wearing implants! They’re not noticeable at all!

Will the implants be uncomfortable? Will they feel like my real teeth in time?

Dental implants are comfortable. In truth, after a short period of adjustment, you will actually forget that you’re wearing them at all! Because an implant will replace your tooth’s entirety (and a restoration will replace the tooth crown), you get to enjoy the same stability that you got from your natural tooth. You need not worry about anything because all your activities like speaking, eating, and of course smiling, will all return to normal quickly.

Get all your questions answered and gain all the information you need to consider dental implants through a consultation with our practice. Contact Pickering Square Dental today!

Non-Dental Medical Issues Your Dentist Might Find

Dentist and patient

As you know, dentists can easily diagnose oral health problems like cavities and gum disease. What you may not know is that they can also discover issues that are non-dental!

Here are five non-dental issues that your dentist can detect during a check-up:


This is a condition in which your body doesn’t have sufficient red blood cells circulating. Some signs of anemia include pale lining of the mouth, smooth tongue without the usual bumpy texture. Your Pickering Square Dental dentist may recognize these signs and let you know about it.


Dentists can easily recognize the early signs of diabetes like dry mouth, loose teeth, and receding, dry, or bleeding gums. Diabetes can make your immune system weak and cause oral wounds and infections to take much longer to heal.


Anybody can experience osteoporosis. Dentists can spot some of the warning signs of osteoporosis, including a receding gum line and loose teeth. These are signs that the bone supporting your teeth is changing. Going to a dentist on a regular basis makes it easier for your dentist to detect these signs.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is among the most common cancers diagnosed every year. Often, dentists are the ones who discover the early signs of this disease. Some of those signs include red or white lesions in the mouth. There are a number of factors that increase one’s risk of oral cancer, including smoking, heavy drinking, and the presence of HPV. If you want to be checked for oral cancer, you can visit Pickering Square Dental and we can do an oral cancer screening for you.


Some of the most common signs of HIV can manifest inside the mouth. These include lesions, warts, and spots on the tongue that can be brown, purple, red, or white, and other oral infections.

See, the dentist’s ability to detect signs of various diseases is one more reason for you to keep all your dental appointments. Aside from the dental care you’ll receive, going for a regular checkup could be the difference between catching the signs of a disease before it progresses and finding out too late. Visit Pickering Square Dental to get the best oral health care and a thorough checkup!

Hello! How are Your Gums Doing?

Young female sitting in dentist office and looking at her doctor with smile

Have you ever noticed blood in the sink when you brush your teeth? Do you feel embarrassed at times because you believe you have bad breath? This could mean you have gum disease or gingivitis.

If gingivitis isn’t treated at once, it can progress to an even worse dental health problem which is periodontitis.

Most people brush their teeth twice a day, but is that enough?

To help reduce your risk of getting gum disease, here are some tips:

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time. Ideally, you should brush your teeth before you go to bed and at least once more in the day. At times, people feel like they don’t have time to brush for the entirety for two minutes, but you should really make it a point to brush your teeth for at least that long. If it helps, you can set a timer on your phone so you’d know when you’re done.  Lastly, proper brushing technique is critical to your overall success too.  Ask us to tweak your technique or routine at your next visit.

Change your toothpaste. If you constantly have bleeding gums, you might have to switch to a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for this condition. There are clinically proven products that are available commercially, but of course, you can always ask your dentist at Pickering Square Dental for recommendations.

Don’t skip the floss! You want to be sure that you are cleaning the space between your teeth thoroughly. Often, bacteria hide in places where your toothbrush cannot reach. Regularly cleaning between your teeth prevents both gum disease and tooth decay. Some people find flossing a little tricky, so you might want to check out interdental brushes to reach the gap in between your teeth.  Ask us to tweak your tweak your technique. 

Swish some mouthwash. You want to protect your mouth in those hours between brushing. Mouthwash can help you with that by lowering the levels of bacteria in your mouth. Remember, though, that mouthwash should be used in addition to regular brushing and flossing and not instead of. Mouthwash can help in rinsing out food particles from your mouth and of course, it can deter bad breath with its fresh and minty smell.

Stop smoking. People who smoke are more susceptible to gum infection because tobacco causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. This results in reduced flow of nutrients and blood to the gum tissues.

Don’t wait for things to get worse. If you notice any sign of change at all in your gums, including redness, tenderness, and bleeding, contact your dentist. That can be an early sign of gum disease.

Because gum disease is a progressive condition, you should not leave it untreated. If you’re concerned, you can call Pickering Square Dental and book an appointment as soon as possible.

A Closer Look at Antibiotics in Dentistry

Pills, tablets capsules heap in hand, close up view

At Pickering Square Dental, your dentist provides dental procedures that are safe and comfortable; and for most patients, medication is not necessary. However, there are cases wherein the patient’s medical history indicates that he or she would benefit from what is known as “antibiotic prophylaxis”.

What is Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

Basically, it means taking preventative antibiotics before a procedure. To help you understand this better, let’s go and pay closer attention to what goes on inside your mouth.

There are more or less 600 species of bacteria living inside your mouth, and that is normal. But there are some dental treatments that can allow some of these bacteria to reach your bloodstream. This situation is called bacteremia. Usually, bacteria in the bloodstream are quickly mitigated by the immune system which recognizes those “non-self” cells that are in your blood and zap them.

Unfortunately for some patients, bacteremia can put them at risk for other infections in their bodies which can be dangerous.

Who Needs Antibiotic Prophylaxis?

Antibiotic prophylaxis is primarily recommended for patients with certain heart conditions and some transplant situations. That is why it is important that you discuss your medical history with your Pickering Square Dental dentist so we’d know how we can provide you with the best dental care possible. In certain cases where a patient’s medical history affects oral care, your dentist can work with other professionals in your healthcare team.

Patients who may require antibiotic prophylaxis are people who have had:

  • A heart transplant
  • A history of infective endocarditis
  • An artificial heart valve
  • Heart conditions since birth
  • Some transplant situations

It was previously recommended by experts that patients with joint replacements get antibiotic prophylaxis, too, but this has been re-evaluated and is no longer considered standard procedure. If you have further inquiries about these changes, you might want to speak to your orthopaedic doctor. Of course, you can also reach out to your Pickering Square Dental dentist who is up-to-date about these matters.

We know that the terms bacteremia and antibiotic prophylaxis can be quite intimidating or even scary. But it’s always better to know and understand what they really mean. If you or a loved one needs a dental procedure and you are not sure whether or not antibiotic prophylaxis would be necessary, don’t be afraid to ask about it. You can have a conversation about it with your trusted dentist, and we’re sure your primary care provider or your cardiologist, specialists or physician would be willing to answer your questions, too. Together, we can ensure that the dental procedures that you’ll have will always take your health history into consideration and we’ll make certain that we will not put you in any risks.


Back-to-School Dental Checklist for Healthier Teeth

Back-to-School Dental Checklist for Healthier Teeth

So, you’ve got everything ready and you’re excited to go back to school. Wait! How about your back-to-school dental checklist? You should not forget it because it’s going to be your key to keeping that strong, healthy, and beautiful smile – and you don’t want anything less, eh?

Because we don’t want you to forget anything important, we rounded up some of the most important things that you should definitely add to your checklist:


It’s very easy to forget about brushing your teeth when you’re rushing off to school in the morning or when you’re crawling your way to your bed tired from the very busy day at school. The thing is, you don’t just have to establish an oral hygiene routine, what’s more important is that you make time for it. Brush your teeth every morning and night. Floss your teeth once or twice a day, too. It’s also a good idea to rinse the mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. Sticking with this routine will reduce your risks of having dental concerns. That means no emergency appointments with the dentist and no missing out on school in the future!


Visiting your dentist every six months is very important if you want to have a clean and healthy mouth. You may think that you’re taking good enough care of your teeth, but there are things that only a dental professional can see. You can call Pickering Square Dental and we can easily schedule you for a check-up and cleaning!


Healthy food is good not only for your body but also for your teeth. Choosing healthier food for your lunch and snack every day can help you keep a strong set of teeth. Don’t have any ideas what to pack? You can add vegetables, fruits, and string cheese, among others. Swap your usual can of pop for good old water.


If you are an athlete, it is always a good idea to protect your teeth and gums with a sports mouth-guard that is customized just for you.  You can find off-the-shelf ones, but you won’t get the same level of protection and comfort that you would from a custom-made appliance.  You can have yours made at Pickering Square Dental.  Dr. Lean, the official dentist of the Toronto Maple Leafs customize one for you, too!

If you need more tips on how you can turn your smile into your best asset this school year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Every member of our team will be more than happy to talk to you!

Crossbite: What You Need to Know


When a child is brought to the dentist, braces may be the last thing parents expect to hear about.  Many do not know that even kids as young as three or four can be diagnosed with a crossbite, and if that’s the case, parents should be prepared to hear about braces, retainers, and sagittal expanders.  But before those orthodontic appliances are discussed, you are probably wondering – what is a crossbite and what should be done about it?  Here are the answers.


What Is a Crossbite?

A crossbite can involve just a single tooth or several teeth on either side of the mouth (or even both). If any of your or your child’s tooth or several teeth lay closer to the tongue or cheek instead of standing together evenly, you probably have a crossbite.


What Can Be Done About It?

The dental industry is still divided into two sides when the topic is the right time to initiate crossbite treatment. Some suggest that treatment should start as soon as a diagnosis is made, which can be as early as three years old. Others say that parents should wait at least until a child’s molars come out. But even with the difference of opinion regarding when treatment should be done, all dental professionals agree that crossbite is not a condition that should be left untreated. Why? Because it presents a number of complications that include gum and tooth wear, temporomandibular joint disorder, and even facial asymmetry.


What Is the Treatment Like?

Crossbite treatment aims for the bite pattern to match evenly on all sides, and that involves adjusting how a child’s teeth are spread using dental appliances. It can be done using dental expanders which are similar to orthodontic retainers. They include a screw that you can tighten every night to “spread” a child’s bite to the width prescribed by the dentist. Other options like dental headgear, clear aligners, and braces may also be used, usually when a single tooth is out of alignment.


Crossbites are generally considered as a genetic condition, so they are not that common. But if your child happens to have it, know that it is imperative that crossbite is treated before it can permanently affect your child’s oral and facial development. That’s why if your visit to the dentist leads to a discussion about your child having a crossbite and needing to wear a dental expander, don’t just shrug it off. Learn more about it and the necessary treatment to address this problem.


Have your child scheduled for a dental check up with Dr. Marvin Lean at Pickering Square Dental. He can tell if your child has a crossbite and offer you the best treatment approach possible.

Make Your Child’s First Dental Visit a Success

Little girl at the dentist

As your kids get older, their biannual dental checkups and cleanings become more important, not only for their oral health but their overall well-being as well.


But as a parent, you probably already know how the very first visit can be a little scary both for you and your little one. If you have a son or daughter who is soon to make that initial visit, then you should read on.


Here are some useful tips to make sure that your child’s first dental visit is a success:

  • Encourage your child by giving him or her positive words, explaining that the dentist is a friend and the dental office is a nice and happy place. More importantly, reassure that there is absolutely nothing to be worried about or scared off. After all, the dentist will only make those little teeth whiter and prettier!


  • Be creative with it! Search for children shows and find books that tell fun dental stories. There are a lot of materials available online. You can also try playing pretend with your child. If it helps, buy some safe toy dentist tools at the nearest toy store. Take turns in being the patient and the dentist. This will give your child the idea that a dental procedure is fun and actually stress-free.


  • Take your child grocery shopping where you can encourage him or her to choose his very own dental supplies. Let your little one pick out his or her own toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental floss. This will tell your child that you are allowing him or her to make the decisions about caring for those pearly whites.


  • As early as possible, teach your child the importance of keeping his or her teeth and gums healthy. Let your toddler know that brushing teeth after every meal and visiting the dentist means no cavities!


  • Choose a dental facility that is child-friendly. You don’t know how bad it can affect your child’s attitude towards going to the dentist if the hygienist or even the receptionist is somewhat rude or even just really formal. You want to make sure that you go to a dental office that welcomes children and whose staffs know how to make kids’ dental visits fun and hassle-free.


Is your child big enough for that first dental visit? Start preparing him or her at home and when everything is ready, come and visit us at Pickering Square Dental! We’ll make sure your little one’s initial visit to the dentist is a memorable one… in a really good way!