Alta Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We encourage your questions because we want you to be a fully informed participant in your dental care. Your questions also help us understand what matters to you most and how we can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently from our patients, but you may have others that aren't listed here. Please don't hesitate to call us at (604) 876-5032 or email us using our convenient online contact form. 

Other

Yes, we are always pleased to welcome new patients to our practice. If you are ready to schedule an appointment, please call us at (604) 876-5032 or email us using our convenient online contact form.

We follow the Dental Fee guide by the British Columbia Dental Association and insurance coverage is different for each plan. Our team is very knowledgeable on each provider and can assist you to determine your insurance coverage. 

You will find Alta Dental Studio located on Kingsway in Vancouver’s East Side near Victoria Street. Some nearby landmarks are T&T Supermarket, Kensington Gardens, General Brock Park, Kensington Park, Slocan Park, and Trout Lake Community Center.

Our dental practice has served Vancouver residents since the 1980s and we welcome patients of all ages, including children. Our dentists and team are kind and compassionate, and they combine their knowledge and expertise to provide our patients with comprehensive dental services that make it simple to get all of your dental care in one convenient location.

We know that every patient has different dental needs and concerns, so we customize your care based on what is important to you and what you need most. You won't find a cookie-cutter approach to dentistry at Alta Dental Studio. Instead, we take time to get to know you and your health history so we can understand and help you achieve your smile goals.

We also offer weekday and Saturday appointments from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm to make it easy for you to fit dentistry into your hectic schedule without much disruption.

Call our Vancouver dental office today if you're interested in learning more about us, or you would like to schedule your next appointment.

Dental plans that many employers offer are meant to assist you in paying for your dental treatment. Insurance companies who provide the dental plans are called benefit carriers.

Benefit carriers reimburse your treatment depending on the level of coverage that your employer determines. When you visit our Vancouver dental clinic, it is our role to develop a treatment plan based on your unique oral health needs. However, you may require different treatment than what’s covered by your dental plan, and it is your right to choose whether or not you want to proceed.

Our helpful team will be happy to get in touch with your benefits carrier to find out if they cover the treatment we recommend. You are responsible for paying the portion that's not covered, and at Alta Dental Studio, we offer payment plans and financing options to help. If you are uninsured and cannot afford to pay your entire bill at once, we will help you find a financing arrangement that allows you to get the essential care you need for a healthy smile.

We don’t want anyone to forgo dental care for financial reasons. Please call our office at (604) 876-5032, and a helpful member of our team will be happy to assist you.

Crowns & Bridges

Depending on the circumstances, a broken dental crown may or may not be salvageable. If the break or fracture is minimal, your Vancouver dentist might be able to repair your crown. 

However, if the crown is cracked or chipped, it may be time to consider a new restoration for your smile. Your dentist at Alta Dental Studio might recommend a new crown to protect your tooth better. 

Just like your natural teeth, crowns do wear and can break down over time. Avoiding biting into hard foods like apples, carrots, or crusty bread can help protect both your natural teeth and crowns from fractures. Crowns are also susceptible to chewy foods like steak or taffy that could pull them off your tooth.

Wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep can also guard your restorations against damage.

An excellent home care routine can also protect your teeth from tooth decay and other damage. Bacteria is capable of sneaking underneath your crown and causing cavities and other damage inside your tooth if you're not diligent about a consistent brushing and flossing routine.

If you're having trouble with a current dental restoration like a tooth crown or filling, your dentist in Vancouver is here to help. Contact Alta Dental Studio today at (604) 876-5032 to schedule an appointment.

 


 

At Alta Dental Studio, our dentists usually provide several replacement options for patients with missing tooth. Bridges and implants are both reliable solutions, but have their own pros and cons for our patients to consider. The biggest difference between the two procedures is how new teeth are held in place. 

Dental implants are individually placed into gum and serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replacement tooth in place. This also helps prevent bone loss and preserves jaw structure in the long run just like how your natural teeth do. An implant can be cared for just like any natural tooth. It also does not require removal of potentially healthy structure form the neighboring teeth to support it. A considerable time span is needed to complete the procedure. In such cases your doctor can place a temporary tooth in the empty space while you heal.

In comparison, a bridge provides a replacement tooth by using teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. They can generally be completed in a week. Teeth adjacent to the missing teeth will need to be reduced, which may compromise the healthy tooth structure. Since a bridge does not replace the missing root structure, you are at an increased risk of bone loss over time. Also, keeping a bridge clean requires frequent cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup.

Every patient is different. Schedule a consultation appointment at Alta Dental Studio. Our experienced dentists will work with you to identify the best option for your tooth, your long-term oral health, and your budget.

Dental Implants

Dental implant treatment requires a number of visits over several months. The whole process may take from three to nine months, depending on the complexity of your treatment and how well you heal. First, record of CT scan, impressions, and photos are taken of the jaw and interested area to evaluate bone, gum tissue, and space available for a dental implant. Once the implant is placed, there is a healing period from three to six months. Once the implant is integrated with your body, the artificial teeth or implant crowns are then securely attached to the implant, functioning just like any natural teeth.

At Alta Dental Studio, our dentists usually provide several replacement options for patients with missing tooth. Bridges and implants are both reliable solutions, but have their own pros and cons for our patients to consider. The biggest difference between the two procedures is how new teeth are held in place. 

Dental implants are individually placed into gum and serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replacement tooth in place. This also helps prevent bone loss and preserves jaw structure in the long run just like how your natural teeth do. An implant can be cared for just like any natural tooth. It also does not require removal of potentially healthy structure form the neighboring teeth to support it. A considerable time span is needed to complete the procedure. In such cases your doctor can place a temporary tooth in the empty space while you heal.

In comparison, a bridge provides a replacement tooth by using teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. They can generally be completed in a week. Teeth adjacent to the missing teeth will need to be reduced, which may compromise the healthy tooth structure. Since a bridge does not replace the missing root structure, you are at an increased risk of bone loss over time. Also, keeping a bridge clean requires frequent cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup.

Every patient is different. Schedule a consultation appointment at Alta Dental Studio. Our experienced dentists will work with you to identify the best option for your tooth, your long-term oral health, and your budget.

Dental implant serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replace tooth in place to prevent bone shrinkage and preserve surrounding tissue. An artificial tooth attached to your implant will function and look naturally. Dental implants are very strong and last many years.

180 million North Americans are missing at least one of their teeth. Missing tooth can feel uncomfortable and even embarrassing sometime. But did you know that missing tooth can have big impact on your oral health? It leads to bone loss around the area, and changes jaw structure and muscles over time. The adjacent teeth can also shift and drift out of place, leading to change in your bite, potential gum disease and possible tooth decay. Fortunately, our dentists have received special training on the latest techniques and technology to replace missing teeth. After a specialized exam, our dentists will work to help you find a solution that matches your needs.

When the tooth has been missing for a long time, dental implants may not be a suitable option as the bone has been receded so has the gum tissues. If this is the case, bone grafting may help with supporting and securing the implant in place. The role of thumb is to act quickly to replace the missing teeth.

Emergency Dental Care

If you see visible damage to your teeth or experience pain which may indicate an underlying dental problem, call our office to schedule an appointment. You may need immediate dental care if you are suffering the following - loss of a tooth, a crack or fracture to a tooth, loose teeth, serious mouth infection or dental abscess, severe pain, swelling or bleeding that develops soon after a dental procedure, and loss of a filling or crown. Contact our office at (604)-876-5032. Our gentle and caring doctors and staffs will be here to provide you the best dental care solution and get the relief you need.

At Alta Dental Studio, patients are our top priority. We understand that some oral health emergencies cannot wait until the next day, and requires immediate care. Our dental team will do everything we can to bring you in as soon as possible to make you feel at ease and be less pinic with the emergency situation. Alta Dental Studio offers same-day emergency appointments. Call the office right away to schedule your appointments, and make a note of which tooth is hurting, how long has it been hurting, and how the tooth reacts to cold or hot foods or drinks or to pressures. The more details you provide, the better we can assist you. 

Invisalign

Wearing traditional braces isn’t the only way to achieve a beautiful smile and straight teeth. Transforming your smile has never been so easy with the help of Invisalign. Invisalign are a series of clear, thin, and nearly invisible alignment trays that are custom fitted to effectively re-align your teeth over time. Invisalign is typically used for patients with mild to moderate crowding or spacing issues. Length of the treatment depends on your specific orthodontic condition.

Come in for a free consultation! Our team will take measurement of your teeth and gum, and will provide you treatment options that best suit your oral condition.  

The answer to this question differs for every patient. Depending on your specific needs, treatment with Invisalign in Vancouver can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, and sometimes even less in some cases.

Invisalign can correct teeth that overlap, have spaces between them, or are crooked. Invisible braces can also correct small bite misalignment concerns like:

  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

If you are dealing with more complicated bite concerns, our dentists may recommend traditional braces or other treatment forms to help you achieve your smile goals.

The best way to determine how long your particular case may take is to schedule an evaluation with one of the dentists at Alta Dental Studio. After a thorough examination, and taking some photos and x-rays of your teeth, they will be able to tell you if invisible braces in Vancouver is the right treatment for you, and give you an estimate of how long it will take.

Cost is also determined by the length and complexity of your case. So our team will review your treatment expense as well as your payment options during your evaluation.

If you're ready to move forward with a straighter, more beautiful smile, we encourage you to contact Alta Dental Studio today at (604) 876-5032 to schedule your evaluation.

Researches show that crooked teeth have big impacts on one’s social life and how they are perceived by others. Most often, people with crooked teeth feel insecure and lack of confidence, so they stop smiling. It is also very difficult to achieve best oral hygiene or to maintain optimal oral health as the surfaces of crooked teeth are hard to clean. If left untreated, one with crooked teeth are likely to experience gum bleeding and receding, cavities and even more.

At Alta Dental Studio, you can pinpoint what you would like to change about the appearance of your teeth. Our dentists will provide several solutions to help you achieve your goals, and to fully grasp the benefits of the treatment that will have not only on your mouth, but your overall health and confidence.

 

Preventive Dentistry

We determine the frequency of dental visits based on your individual oral health needs. By seeing you on a routine basis, we can catch problems when they are still small and easy to treat.

Six months is an appropriate interval for many people to maintain a healthy smile, but we may suggest more frequent cleanings and exams based on your needs. The way you care for your teeth and gums, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and the type of problems you experience all help determine how often you should have dental exams and cleanings.  

Seeing us at regular intervals allows us to find and treat problems before they cause discomfort and result in an emergency trip to the dentist. During these appointments, we use technology like digital x-rays to give us a highly detailed view of what’s happening inside your teeth. Not only do they help us diagnose small problems, but the x-rays also become part of your permanent patient record so we can refer to them as needed in the future.

Our hygienist will look for signs of gum disease and provide a thorough cleaning. If you show signs of gum disease, they will recommend a treatment plan to restore your oral health.

If you think it’s time for your next exam and cleaning, please call Alta Dental Studio to arrange an appointment.

Hormone and eating habit changes are the big factors for developing gum disease and cavities during pregnancy. If you experience discomfort of gum, such as any pain, swelling, and bleeding, make sure you visit your dentist and don’t leave the condition untreated. Poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby.

Gum Disease

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, gingivitis or gum inflammation may occur and aggravate resulting in red, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums. If gingivitis is not taken care of, the infected gums may recede over time, the bones that supports the teeth can be lost, and the teeth can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted. Periodontal disease during pregnancy may also lead to undesirable pregnancy outcomes such as pre-term birth and low-birth weight baby. These babies are prone to have developmental problems, asthma, ear infection, and at increased risk of infant death.

Cavities

Pregnant women may also be prone to cavities as a result of changes in their eating habits. Without proper oral hygiene, cavity-causing bacteria can feed on food residues on the teeth resulting in plaque, and eventually cavities. If cavities are left untreated, and the oral hygiene is poorly practiced, these cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted from the mothers to their developing babies and can lead to early childhood cavities.

The frequency of dental x-rays is determined by your oral health. If your teeth are healthy and you haven’t experienced any dental problems recently, you probably won’t need an x-ray at every appointment. However, patients whose dental situation is not as stable or who are being monitored by our doctors may require x-rays more frequently.

At Alta Dental Studio, we understand the concerns many of our patients have about radiation exposure. You should know that a set of four bitewing x-rays exposes you to no more radiation than you naturally receive every day from the environment. However, we assure you that your safety and comfort are our priorities, so we offer state-of-the-art digital x-rays that reduce your exposure by as much as 80 percent compared to film x-rays.

Dental x-rays are a vital diagnostic tool that we use to prevent minor problems from becoming major problems. If we recommend x-rays, our doctors will explain why they’re necessary and how they will benefit your treatment. We never recommend x-rays without a good reason, and if you ever have concerns, please let us know so we can address them.

Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed to your child through saliva. Though the babies may not have teeth growing out of the gums at the beginning, they are likely to develop cavities later if the bacteria reside in their mouth.

Continue caring of your own oral health is still very important.

  • Continue with good oral hygiene practices at home. Brush at least twice a day and floss everyday.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning. Don’t leave cavities and periodontal (gum and bone) disease untreated.
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes or spoons with your baby.

Practicing good dental care early helps your baby eat and speak clearly. Poor oral hygiene and poor eating habits can increase the risk of developing cavities in early childhood, which may affect the underlying adult teeth.

  • Practice good daily dental care on your baby by cleaning and checking the teeth and mouth everyday.
    • Cleaning: Gently clean your baby's mouth using a soft baby toothbrush or wet face cloth. When baby teeth begin to erupt, use a toothbrush with a grain of rice size fluoride toothpaste. Brush your child's teeth twice a day, in the morning and especially at bedtime. Once your child turns 3 year old, brush your child’s teeth using a "pea-sized" amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft child's toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste used in these amounts is considered safe and effective against tooth decay.
    • Checking: Lift the lip to see along the gum line. Look for white or brown spots which may be early signs of tooth decay.
  • Limit sugary foods such as juice, sticky foods, and sugary snacks.
  • Introduce your baby to using a lidless cup with water between 6 and 9 months of age.
  • Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Rinse after meals and snacks.
  • Visit your dentist within 6 months after your child's first tooth appears or when they are about 1 year old.

Here are some tips for you to maintain good oral health during pregnancy.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush or thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouth rinse after meals and snacks.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
  • Floss your teeth every day before bedtime
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods everyday based on Canada’s food guide. Get enough calcium and vitamin D for you and the fetus to a stronger teeth and bone development. Limit sweet foods.
  • Regular dental check-ups and cleaning are needed during pregnancy. Any pain, swelling or infection in the mouth should be treated right away. Make sure your dentist or dental hygienist is aware of your pregnancy before any treatments, x-rays, local anesthetics, and prescriptions.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, parents are encouraged to bring their child for an assessment within six months of first tooth eruption but no later than one year of age. If you wonder why your little one needs to see us so early, the reason is that baby teeth play a significant role in keeping maintaining their oral health.

Baby teeth are placeholders that leave room in your child’s jaw for permanent teeth to erupt properly. They also help them learn how to speak clearly and navigate solid foods. If a baby tooth is lost too soon because of decay or infection, neighbouring teeth start to drift into the open space. When the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, it may come in at an odd angle because there’s not enough space for it to erupt properly. This can lead to orthodontic issues as your child grows.

It’s a good idea to start early at home by cleaning your infant’s gums with a damp cloth. This routine helps to keep your child’s gums clean, but it also helps them get accustomed to the idea that taking care of their teeth is important. Once they have their first tooth, continue brushing with a soft toothbrush. Limit the number of sweets they consume and help them learn how to make on healthy food choices from the very beginning.

If it’s time for your child’s first visit, please call Alta Dental Studio to arrange an appointment. We love working with children and can’t wait to meet your little one!

Root Canals

At Alta Dental Studio, you will receive detailed post-operation instructions and home-care guidelines after treatments. It’s also important to carefully follow the instructions for medications if prescribed. Some tenderness and soreness in the area of treatment after procedures are normal. In situations where the crown of the tooth is heavily damaged or decayed, a root canal treatment may include rebuilding the tooth interior with composite and a crown to restore it to optimal appearance and function. After your procedure, you should wait until the numbness in your mouth wears off before eating. Don’t chew or bite down on the treated tooth until it is fully restored by your dentist. Take care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings to maintain your teeth for lifetime. 

You may need root canal when the nerve or pulp of the tooth becomes infected and inflamed due to dental decay, a cracked or broken tooth, or an injury to the tooth. The most common symptoms are mild to severe toothache, with teeth sensitivity to pressure, hot or cold foods or drinks. The purpose of the treatment is to completely remove the infected nerve and pulp and, seal up the tooth, and restore it to natural function.

Call our Alta Dental team to schedule your appointment, and make a note of which tooth is hurting, how long it’s been hurting, and how the tooth reacts to cold or hot foods or drinks or to pressures. After a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth, our dentists will provide treatment options best suit your needs

 

Teeth Whitening

Have you felt like your smile may not be as bright as you'd like it to be? Do your teeth appear more yellow than they once were? The good news for those seeking a brighter smile through teeth whitening in Vancouver is that the procedure is indeed safe for your tooth enamel.

The active ingredients in high strength bleaching gels, typically either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, penetrate tooth enamel to reach discoloured molecules. These ingredients then break down the bonds holding those molecules together, so teeth appear whiter again. 

Today's teeth whitening gels also contain ingredients to help reduce tooth sensitivity, which can sometimes be a side effect of bleaching your teeth. Your Vancouver dentists also provide custom teeth whitening options that help protect your gums and soft tissues from the irritation of bleaching gel. Custom teeth whitening trays leave no room for bleaching gel to escape and harm your gums.

If you are interested in teeth bleaching in Vancouver, we encourage you to contact Alta Dental Studio today at (604) 876-5032 to learn more about your options. We offer both in-office treatments and take-home teeth whitening kits that are extremely effective and will have you smiling your brightest smile in no time.

According to Canadian Dental Association, there are two main categories for teeth whitening products – surface whiteners and bleaches. Surface whiteners, such as teeth whitening toothpastes or chewing gums, are less likely to cause tooth wear, but the effectiveness of these products is limited to surface stains. In contrast, bleaches are capable of altering the colours of the tooth itself, but bleaching should be done professionally under a dentist’s care for safe and effective results as the responsiveness to a bleaching treatment will depend on nature of the stains and the dental treatments you have received before such as fillings, root canals, crowns and so on.

At Alta Dental Studio, we use Pola whitening products because we have found them to produce the brightest, most consistent results. Pola whitening products contains the fastest bleach available to safely whiten teeth at a neutral pH to protect your tooth and gums.

The natural colour of teeth is within a range of light greyish-yellow shades. The degrees of brightness depend on many factors such as age, genetics, trauma or disease, dental hygiene, medication uses, and foods and drinks consumed. Some of these factors can possibly be prevented, but some cannot. Avoiding the following foods and drinks may help prevent further discolouration of your teeth: coffee, tea, dark sodas, colas, wines, tobacco, and some dark and vibrant vegetables and fruits.

Not finding what you need?
Alta Dental Studio has been open safely since May 2020 when we resumed full dental services. We are taking all precautions right now with COVID-19 in addition to our highest-standard sterilization and infection controls that we have always had in place.

A list of enhanced health and safety-related practices have been firmly implemented