FAQ

Q. Does the Canadian Academy of Periodontology recommend the use of lasers?
A.

The Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP) does not recommend or support the use of lasers in the treatment of periodontal disease. The CAP has adopted this position because long-term comparative clinical studies have not been completed on the efficacy of lasers in the treatment of periodontal disease. In addition, claims that laser surgery causes less post-operative pain than traditional surgery have not been documented with controlled clinical trials and therefore remain unsubstantiated. It is important to note that lasers have the potential to cause permanent thermal damage to bone and tooth root structure if used inappropriately. The position of the CAP on laser treatment is similar to that of the American Academy of Periodontology as set out in “Lasers in Periodontics”, which may be reviewed in detail at http://www.perio.org/resources-products/pdf/lr-lasers.pdf

Q. Does the research on lasers support their use in periodontics at this time?
A.

At this time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that any specific laser wavelength is superior to the traditional treatment methods of the common periodontal diseases, such as periodontitis.

Q. Does the “laser curettage” offer any advantages in treating periodontal disease?
A.

In conclusion, The Academy is not aware of any randomized blinded controlled longitudinal clinical trials, cohort or longitudinal studies, or case-controlled studies indicating that “laser ENAP” or “laser curettage” offers any advantageous clinical result not achieved by traditional periodontal therapy. Moreover, published studies suggest that use of lasers for ENAP procedures and/or gingival curettage could render root surfaces and adjacent alveolar bone incompatible with normal cell attachment and healing.
(http://www.ada.org/1860.aspx)

Q. Will my insurance carrier cover the use of a laser in periodontal therapy?
A.

Insurance carriers reimburse for the procedure being performed rather than the device used to perform it. Therefore, whether your periodontist uses traditional tools for treatment or lasers, your reimbursement will be the same for that specific procedure. Before having surgery, always consult with your insurance carrier to determine what procedures are covered in your plan.

Q. Why should I choose Artek Dental Care? How are you different from other dentists?
A.

At Artek Dental Care, we are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain the best dental health possible.  Each patient is the sole focus of our attention during their visit. We allocate as much time as needed to listen to his/her dental problems and concerns in order to find a tailor made solution and provide our patients with the high quality of dental care. You will feel comfortable in our well-appointed clinic, where you can enjoy a beautiful view and quiet music while you receive gentle and attentive dental care. Our use of digital record keeping and diagnostic techniques ensures that patients are not kept waiting needlessly.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth?
A.

Bonding and veneers are great ways to solve these issues. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth. However, aesthetically, porcelain is superior.

Q. Do I have to have x-rays?
A.

For a complete and accurate diagnosis, x-rays are required to see the condition of your teeth below the surface.  Many people believe that if their teeth look white,  and they are not currently experiencing any discomfort, their oral health is fine.  Many conditions are not visible from the outside.  These x-rays, coupled with your dentist’s expertise, can be a vital step in the prevention of more serious conditions.

Q. What qualifies my dentist to be a dentist?
A.

Firstly, dentists must be a university graduate from an accredited dental program.  A dentist, registered as a general practitioner, takes a minimum of six years of University.   Specialists will spend another two to four years learning a specialty.  As well, dentists must pass the National Dental Examining Board of Canada examinations.
A dentists’ practice permit must be renewed every year with the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA+C).  For a dentist to keep his or her practice permit, the dentist must show evidence of minimum level of continued education.
Your dentist is required to have their credential displayed in their office.  This includes their degrees as well as their current practice permit form the ADA+C.

Q. Dental insurance?
A.

Many of us have dental plans available to us through our employers. These dental prepayment plans are referred to as “dental insurance” but they are not really insurance. They are a prepayment of benefits. More often than not, we do not know the specifics of these plans and we assume that the details are cut and dry.
One very important thing to note here is that not all dental plans are the same.
Decisions on dental plans are usually made during meetings with employers or plan sponsors and employees. Dental plan carriers use different means to determine what level of coverage they will provide for you.
Another important thing to remember is the there is no fee guide in Alberta.
Dentists establish their own fee schedule according to their individual practice and costs of providing dental services.  These costs determine what each dentist will use for fees for services in their office. Try to get as much data as you can from your company or organization’s plan administrator or carrier before visiting the dentist. As there are dozens of companies selling dental plans, you cannot expect dentists and dental office staff to know about your plan and the coverage that you carry.  Each dental plan carrier who offer these plans, will set a limit as to what they will cover for each service, which often, may not be the same level as what the service will actually cost.
Dental offices are not agents or brokers for any dental plan carrier.
If you have concerns with the level of payment or coverage your dental plan carrier is giving you for services you should inform your human resource officer, union leader or employer. These are the people who work out the dental contract with your carrier and they may not be fully aware of your concerns.
It is unlikely that any dental plan would cover every service that you may need. But to leave the choice of your dental treatment to only what is covered in your dental plan, rather than what is appropriate for you and your needs, leaves your dental health and general well being in the hands of your plan carrier instead of you and your dentist.

Q. I have been hearing a lot about how oral health is linked to overall heath. Can you explain this?
A.

Links have been discovered between good oral health and a person’s general health.  New research and scientific evidence shows that bacteria may be linked to heart attacks and strokes.  People with gum disease can be susceptible to such problems, as bacteria in the mouth have easy access to the bloodstream through weakened gums.
It is believed that bacteria present in the mouth from poor dental health or other ailments enter the bloodstream.  Once in the bloodstream, bacteria infect the cells lining the arteries, building up fatty plaque blocking the arteries.
Researchers believe that people with poor dental health, including tooth decay, gum disease and jawbone infections are at two and a half times the risk of suffering a stroke.
To discuss how your oral health can improve your overall health, be sure to ask your dentist.

Q. What is periodontal disease, and am I at risk of developing it?
A.

The term “periodontal” simply means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is mainly attributed to the bacteria in dental plaque, which causes the gums to become inflammed and infected. Other factors, such as smoking or tobacco use, poor nutrition, stress or pregnancy, may put you at risk of developing gum disease.

Q. What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
A.

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child regularly goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

Q. At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
A.

We recommend that your child have his/her first dental visit no later than by age 3. Earlier visits, however, can provide us good opportunities to monitor your child’s dental development and/or give helpful advice on early dental treatment and oral hygiene for infants and toddlers.

Q. Can I bring my child?
A.

Of course! We are a very child-friendly office, we consider children to be a very important part of our practice. Babies can get cavities soon after teeth appear. Cavities can interfere with eating and sleeping, and can cause your baby pain. Dr Valerie Karn likes to see children at a young age, before any major problems occur. Starting at a young age usually means that the first dental visit will be a fun experience for your child.

Q. Do you accept credit card payments?
A.

Yes. We accept MasterCard, Visa and Debit / Interac. We work with the majority of dental insurance plans and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment.

Q. What if I have an emergency?
A.

Please call Artek Dental Care at (403) 452-6868 as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will promptly find a suitable time slot for you in our schedule.

Q. Is your facility handicap-accessible?
A.

Yes, our office is handicap-friendly, with ramps, wide doorways and hallways, spacious exam rooms, and a washroom with a grab bar. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Q. How do digital x-rays (radiographs) work?
A.

A sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image. This takes approximately 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film to develop. The digital x-ray is viewed on the computer and its full screen size makes it easier for you to see. Digital x-rays provide us with important information about your oral and dental health. Also, they are eco-friendly as they do not require chemicals to develop them like the old film x-rays.

Q. Are digital X-rays safe?
A.

While radiographic equipment does produce radiation, modern advances in technology have greatly reduced the amount of radiation that is producing. In fact, studies have shown that the amount of radiation produced by these machines is not much higher than other “normal” sources of radiation that we are exposed to on perhaps a daily basis, such as televisions and airplanes. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by up to 80 percent.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?
A.

During your first visit, Dr. Valerie Karn will ask you about your medical and dental history. Then she will examine your teeth, gums, TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint), and screen you for oral cancer. Our dental assistant will take digital X-rays of your teeth as needed. After we review your dental findings, we will discuss them with you. We will explore the treatment options available and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Karn will address them completely and respectfully to ensure that you are comfortable with the proposed treatment plan.

Q. How often should I see a dentist?
A.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year. Dental and gum disease have been linked to a number of health problems  including, but not limited to, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which means your oral health can have a major influence over your total health.

FAQ

Q. Does the Canadian Academy of Periodontology recommend the use of lasers?
A.

The Canadian Academy of Periodontology (CAP) does not recommend or support the use of lasers in the treatment of periodontal disease. The CAP has adopted this position because long-term comparative clinical studies have not been completed on the efficacy of lasers in the treatment of periodontal disease. In addition, claims that laser surgery causes less post-operative pain than traditional surgery have not been documented with controlled clinical trials and therefore remain unsubstantiated. It is important to note that lasers have the potential to cause permanent thermal damage to bone and tooth root structure if used inappropriately. The position of the CAP on laser treatment is similar to that of the American Academy of Periodontology as set out in “Lasers in Periodontics”, which may be reviewed in detail at http://www.perio.org/resources-products/pdf/lr-lasers.pdf

Q. Does the research on lasers support their use in periodontics at this time?
A.

At this time, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that any specific laser wavelength is superior to the traditional treatment methods of the common periodontal diseases, such as periodontitis.

Q. Does the “laser curettage” offer any advantages in treating periodontal disease?
A.

In conclusion, The Academy is not aware of any randomized blinded controlled longitudinal clinical trials, cohort or longitudinal studies, or case-controlled studies indicating that “laser ENAP” or “laser curettage” offers any advantageous clinical result not achieved by traditional periodontal therapy. Moreover, published studies suggest that use of lasers for ENAP procedures and/or gingival curettage could render root surfaces and adjacent alveolar bone incompatible with normal cell attachment and healing.
(http://www.ada.org/1860.aspx)

Q. Will my insurance carrier cover the use of a laser in periodontal therapy?
A.

Insurance carriers reimburse for the procedure being performed rather than the device used to perform it. Therefore, whether your periodontist uses traditional tools for treatment or lasers, your reimbursement will be the same for that specific procedure. Before having surgery, always consult with your insurance carrier to determine what procedures are covered in your plan.

Q. Why should I choose Artek Dental Care? How are you different from other dentists?
A.

At Artek Dental Care, we are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain the best dental health possible.  Each patient is the sole focus of our attention during their visit. We allocate as much time as needed to listen to his/her dental problems and concerns in order to find a tailor made solution and provide our patients with the high quality of dental care. You will feel comfortable in our well-appointed clinic, where you can enjoy a beautiful view and quiet music while you receive gentle and attentive dental care. Our use of digital record keeping and diagnostic techniques ensures that patients are not kept waiting needlessly.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth?
A.

Bonding and veneers are great ways to solve these issues. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth. However, aesthetically, porcelain is superior.

Q. Do I have to have x-rays?
A.

For a complete and accurate diagnosis, x-rays are required to see the condition of your teeth below the surface.  Many people believe that if their teeth look white,  and they are not currently experiencing any discomfort, their oral health is fine.  Many conditions are not visible from the outside.  These x-rays, coupled with your dentist’s expertise, can be a vital step in the prevention of more serious conditions.

Q. What qualifies my dentist to be a dentist?
A.

Firstly, dentists must be a university graduate from an accredited dental program.  A dentist, registered as a general practitioner, takes a minimum of six years of University.   Specialists will spend another two to four years learning a specialty.  As well, dentists must pass the National Dental Examining Board of Canada examinations.
A dentists’ practice permit must be renewed every year with the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA+C).  For a dentist to keep his or her practice permit, the dentist must show evidence of minimum level of continued education.
Your dentist is required to have their credential displayed in their office.  This includes their degrees as well as their current practice permit form the ADA+C.

Q. Dental insurance?
A.

Many of us have dental plans available to us through our employers. These dental prepayment plans are referred to as “dental insurance” but they are not really insurance. They are a prepayment of benefits. More often than not, we do not know the specifics of these plans and we assume that the details are cut and dry.
One very important thing to note here is that not all dental plans are the same.
Decisions on dental plans are usually made during meetings with employers or plan sponsors and employees. Dental plan carriers use different means to determine what level of coverage they will provide for you.
Another important thing to remember is the there is no fee guide in Alberta.
Dentists establish their own fee schedule according to their individual practice and costs of providing dental services.  These costs determine what each dentist will use for fees for services in their office. Try to get as much data as you can from your company or organization’s plan administrator or carrier before visiting the dentist. As there are dozens of companies selling dental plans, you cannot expect dentists and dental office staff to know about your plan and the coverage that you carry.  Each dental plan carrier who offer these plans, will set a limit as to what they will cover for each service, which often, may not be the same level as what the service will actually cost.
Dental offices are not agents or brokers for any dental plan carrier.
If you have concerns with the level of payment or coverage your dental plan carrier is giving you for services you should inform your human resource officer, union leader or employer. These are the people who work out the dental contract with your carrier and they may not be fully aware of your concerns.
It is unlikely that any dental plan would cover every service that you may need. But to leave the choice of your dental treatment to only what is covered in your dental plan, rather than what is appropriate for you and your needs, leaves your dental health and general well being in the hands of your plan carrier instead of you and your dentist.

Q. I have been hearing a lot about how oral health is linked to overall heath. Can you explain this?
A.

Links have been discovered between good oral health and a person’s general health.  New research and scientific evidence shows that bacteria may be linked to heart attacks and strokes.  People with gum disease can be susceptible to such problems, as bacteria in the mouth have easy access to the bloodstream through weakened gums.
It is believed that bacteria present in the mouth from poor dental health or other ailments enter the bloodstream.  Once in the bloodstream, bacteria infect the cells lining the arteries, building up fatty plaque blocking the arteries.
Researchers believe that people with poor dental health, including tooth decay, gum disease and jawbone infections are at two and a half times the risk of suffering a stroke.
To discuss how your oral health can improve your overall health, be sure to ask your dentist.

Q. What is periodontal disease, and am I at risk of developing it?
A.

The term “periodontal” simply means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is mainly attributed to the bacteria in dental plaque, which causes the gums to become inflammed and infected. Other factors, such as smoking or tobacco use, poor nutrition, stress or pregnancy, may put you at risk of developing gum disease.

Q. What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
A.

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child regularly goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

Q. At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
A.

We recommend that your child have his/her first dental visit no later than by age 3. Earlier visits, however, can provide us good opportunities to monitor your child’s dental development and/or give helpful advice on early dental treatment and oral hygiene for infants and toddlers.

Q. Can I bring my child?
A.

Of course! We are a very child-friendly office, we consider children to be a very important part of our practice. Babies can get cavities soon after teeth appear. Cavities can interfere with eating and sleeping, and can cause your baby pain. Dr Valerie Karn likes to see children at a young age, before any major problems occur. Starting at a young age usually means that the first dental visit will be a fun experience for your child.

Q. Do you accept credit card payments?
A.

Yes. We accept MasterCard, Visa and Debit / Interac. We work with the majority of dental insurance plans and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment.

Q. What if I have an emergency?
A.

Please call Artek Dental Care at (403) 452-6868 as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will promptly find a suitable time slot for you in our schedule.

Q. Is your facility handicap-accessible?
A.

Yes, our office is handicap-friendly, with ramps, wide doorways and hallways, spacious exam rooms, and a washroom with a grab bar. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Q. How do digital x-rays (radiographs) work?
A.

A sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image. This takes approximately 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film to develop. The digital x-ray is viewed on the computer and its full screen size makes it easier for you to see. Digital x-rays provide us with important information about your oral and dental health. Also, they are eco-friendly as they do not require chemicals to develop them like the old film x-rays.

Q. Are digital X-rays safe?
A.

While radiographic equipment does produce radiation, modern advances in technology have greatly reduced the amount of radiation that is producing. In fact, studies have shown that the amount of radiation produced by these machines is not much higher than other “normal” sources of radiation that we are exposed to on perhaps a daily basis, such as televisions and airplanes. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by up to 80 percent.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?
A.

During your first visit, Dr. Valerie Karn will ask you about your medical and dental history. Then she will examine your teeth, gums, TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint), and screen you for oral cancer. Our dental assistant will take digital X-rays of your teeth as needed. After we review your dental findings, we will discuss them with you. We will explore the treatment options available and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Karn will address them completely and respectfully to ensure that you are comfortable with the proposed treatment plan.

Q. How often should I see a dentist?
A.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year. Dental and gum disease have been linked to a number of health problems  including, but not limited to, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which means your oral health can have a major influence over your total health.

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