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Patient Education

We believe that informed patients make the best decisions for themselves. At the Marshall Clinic, we offer a pre-exam meeting to every new patient: you’re welcome to discuss your concerns, objectives and questions with your new Vancouver dentist.
Patient Education We believe that informed patients make the best decisions for themselves. At the Marshall Clinic, we offer a pre-exam meeting to every new patient: you’re welcome to discuss your concerns, objectives and questions with your new Vancouver dentist.

Oral Health FAQs

Why is it important to floss?

Flossing cleans the surfaces between your teeth that cannot be reached by your toothbrush. It disrupts bacteria which live in your gum tissues. If those bacteria are not removed, they can cause bleeding gums, decay and possible bone loss.

How often should I brush and floss?

The Marshall Clinic recommends brushing your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should be done at least once per day, preferably before bedtime.

How does tooth decay happen?

Tooth decay is a complex process mediated by bacteria living on our teeth as part of a complex bio-film.  For more info on how this process works and how to treat it visit the Carifree website:

How do my medications affect my oral health?

Some medications can affect your salivary flow. A dry mouth leaves your teeth more susceptible to decay-causing bacteria. If you have questions about the effects of your medication, ask your dentist at the Marshall Clinic.

Does the health of my mouth really affect the rest of my body?

Yes. There are many connections between the health of your mouth and the rest of your body. Chronic oral infections like periodontitis can negatively affect people with heart disease and diabetes, and can also result in pre-term babies for pregnant women. Acute oral infections can be life-threatening.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

It depends. Every person’s periodontal health is unique and dynamic. The recommended continuous care interval can range from every three months (for someone with periodontal disease) to once per year (for an optimally healthy person). This interval is influenced by patient susceptibility, oral hygiene effectiveness and systemic health.

What age should be child first visit the dentist?

It’s recommended that a child’s first dentist visit is within 6 months of their first tooth coming in and one year of age. We strongly believe that a good start can make a big difference in a person’s oral health for a lifetime. The Marshall Clinic offers special dental appointments for children at our Vancouver dental clinic.

Why do I need X-rays?

X-rays are a critical part of the dental diagnostic process. They let us see bone levels, cavities, issues under fillings and aid pathology. We recommend X-rays based on each patient’s individual needs and current risk status.

How much radiation do X-rays have? Are they safe?

The average dental X-ray contains around 0.150 mSv of dental radiation, similar to the dose you’d receive during a cross-country airplane flight. Your exposure is further reduced by the use of a lead apron. The Canadian Dental Association has deemed dental X-rays safe to use for examination purposes.

Common Dental Issue FAQs

Why do my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is caused when normal, healthy bacteria around your teeth stagnate. These bacteria begin to release toxins, attacking your gum tissue and making it ‘leaky’ – expressed as bleeding. It’s important to visit a Vancouver dentist if gum bleeding occurs, as inflammation can also cause bone loss in susceptible people.

What is tooth grinding, and how can I treat it?

Many people unconsciously play with or rub their teeth during the day and/or night. This behaviour can cause premature tooth wear, loose teeth, and muscle or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain. It can be caused by disharmony between how teeth fit and where muscles and your TMJ want to function. For some people, it’s caused by your brain sending signals to your muscles while you sleep.

Treatment can range from biofeedback to making a nightguard. The doctors at Marshall Dental are experts in helping your bite fit harmoniously – please book a consultation if you experience tooth grinding and/or jaw pain.

My past dental experiences have been painful. Does it have to be this way?

Absolutely not. At the Marshall Clinic, we know that if we take our time and are careful, we can treat you with little to no discomfort. Know that your comfort is our primary focus, and we will constantly check in with you to ensure you’re okay. You are the boss – we’ll stop any time you need us to.

We have many patients who previously believed they needed to be sedated to have their dental work done. Those patients now visit us with no significant anxiety! Read testimonials from our patients to learn about their experiences.

How do you work with people who are afraid?

Before we enter the clinic, we welcome you warmly and sit down in a comfortable, relaxing place to hear your story and concerns. As the patient, you have total control – we’ll ask permission prior to continuing with any procedure. You’ll never be rushed; we’ll make time to answer your questions and treat you with optimal TLC.

How do I replace a tooth (teeth)? How long does it take?

There are many ways to replace a missing tooth, from a partial denture to a fixed bridge, to an implant or crown. Your dentist at the Marshall Clinic will be able to determine which option is best for you

How long do implants last?

Implants are a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. Titanium implants will be anchored in your bone. We recommend implants because most conventional crown and bridge work fails due to decay, while implants cannot decay.

How long does it take to replace a tooth with an implant?

Again, the length of time depends on many factors. The time that is required to place and restore the implant ranges from immediate to one year.

What if I have a problem after hours?

The Marshall Clinic is always available in the case of a dental emergency. If you are having a problem or are in pain, we will be there to help you via a conversation or meeting at our clinic. Call our office to get the phone number of the dentist on call, and we’ll be happy to assist you.