The Hero’s Journey
In our office, we consider you, the patient, to be our dental hero, on your personal journey to health. We recognize that you may be reluctant to embark on this journey. There is the unknown, the mystery of what is to be found in a serious examination of your oral health. It can be anxiety provoking for some or just annoying to take the time.
In the end, it is your responsibility, your comfort, your life, your health, and your problems, your wellbeing, or suffering. Dentists often take responsibility for your health. “Just follow the doctor’s orders and you will be fine.” This approach is rarely optimal. Most patients do not follow all of the doctor’s recommendations. Just ask yourself if you floss all the time. You have been asked to do so, and you know you should, but most of you do not. People get decay, pain, abscesses and lose teeth. Often it seems that eventual loss of teeth, ill dental health and loss of a bright smile is one’s inevitable destiny. Why is this?
Well, if you believe your health is someone else’s responsibility, then you likely don’t worry about why it happens or why self care matters. “That is the dentist’s job, or the hygienist’s responsibility, when in fact, it is your health and joy, or your pain and suffering, that results. Your dentist and hygienist do not suffer your tooth ache, or your abscess, you do.
Our society has allowed patients to sometimes abdicate their responsibility, and we dental professionals sometimes take control, either in a paternalistic or authoritarian manner. This usually does not result in good long-term health outcomes. People who achieve extraordinary health work at it with dedication. They own their success or failures. People who are well informed and who take responsibility, make the best choices. They change behaviour, take action, and achieve the highest levels of health and success.
Yes, this implies that health in dentistry is behavioural. In fact, 95% of what we treat is behavioral disease. Without your healthy behaviors, we can only patch and repair, over and over again. The good news is that dental disease is only your destiny if you let it be. With your participation we can virtually eliminate disease and maintain a healthy mouth for a lifetime.
So, you may be asking; how do we do this? Well, you need to understand the condition of your mouth and the meaning of this condition, in the long term. In other words, you need to understand the consequences of your current condition, and choices you can make, going forward. You have a probable health outcome, based on your current condition and behaviours. Your future depends on your current condition, your choices, and how you change your behaviours. We are committed to the time and effort required to help you achieve an understanding of your current condition and possible health future. Then you will decide how to move forward, making behavioral choices, and creating an action plan.
We will inform you of the condition of your mouth and the coming consequences, along with the benefits of treatments available. You may want a more attractive smile, a more functional biting system, a more comfortable mouth, or simply fewer problems.
We will inform you of available treatment possibilities, as well as benefits and cost. As we engage in the consultation process, a new path will emerge. It will become very clear to you; what you want to do, what you must do, and what you need, to achieve your new goals. Your journey will be based on your values and goals, and will be supported by us, your dental team.
You can avoid pain and suffering, tooth loss and embarrassment, ill health, and lack of confidence. We have evolved systems and a team of skilled professionals who will guide and support you along the way, as you choose the path to health and wellness.
Most people will lose many or even all of their teeth as they age. This is not fate; it is a choice. Dental disease is mostly behavioural, so you can make choices that work towards and deliver excellence in health. The result for you, what is at stake, is your health future. Our role is to act as your guide. Our goal is to help you achieve outstanding health, confidence, vitality, and longevity. The journey is yours to create, and the results of your quest are yours to enjoy and celebrate.
We look forward to helping you achieve the health future of your choice.
Not everyone is ready to engage a path of a dental makeover when they want one. Many want to maintain their health as is for now. There are many reasons for this. Often there are barriers to achieving dental health. You may have children in ortho, have just purchased a new house that needs a kitchen, lost a job, have a fixed income or be busy taking care of a loved one who is in ill health. We all have these life circumstances at times in our lives.
When we cannot engage with treatment as we would like, when we are not ready, there are always alternatives. We can go into a holding pattern. Our hygiene crew can help you maximize preventive treatments to hold the health of your mouth as is. We can support you until you are ready to make changes. Often larger treatment plans are not possible, but when life circumstances change, you can still be ready to proceed, having preserved your dentition in a healthy state while you are waiting for treatment.
Other patients want to move ahead but at a slower pace, achieving a complete treatment plan over time. You may have a larger plan, but these can often be staged or phased over time to achieve the same final result. The important thing is to have a plan, a clear desired outcome. If you have a road map, you are more likely to get to where you want to go.
It is our pleasure to help you get to your destination in a manner that works for you.
Our Great Support Team
Our office recognizes that it is necessary to reach out to specialists at times to accomplish works that are beyond our clinical expertise. The jack-of-all-trades is master of none, so we reach out to our network of highly skilled specialists for works beyond our scope of treatment. We are a like-minded team that shares similar training and philosophy in multidisciplinary dentistry. We meet on a regular basis to discuss and study the complexities of diagnosis, planning and treatment of complex cases. Our office team remains the project manager, as it were, coordinating the various specialists on the team to achieve the optimal result for each case. We are proud of our network of specialists, who are experienced, well trained, highly talented and leaders in their field.
Questions and Answers
What if I am afraid of the Dentist?
- We understand! Many people have had experiences where they have been hurt or mistreated, setting up a lifetime of anxiety. We’ll do our best to make you comfortable. It is important for us to find out why you are afraid so we can work together to deal with the issue.
- New advances in dentistry means better comfort levels: topical anesthetic, reliable freezing techniques, a relaxing environment, comfortable dental chairs, and an assistant who is with you at all times.
- Rest assured that our team is not only experienced, but warm and caring. Many of our formerly nervous patients have said they now actually look forward to their visits. Honestly!
Are you expensive?
- Most of our fees for checkups are at or slightly below the standard fee guide for Quebec while some treatments may be slightly higher. In the long run, our excellent preventive services will maintain your health and reduce the need for future dental work. Saving through prevention can be substantial. Relative to the quality of our services, the fee structure is very competitive and reasonable. You will always be provided with an estimate for your treatment plan, and payment plans are available.
I am told that I have bad breath. Is this a problem and can you help?
- Well, it can be a problem. Most cases of bad breath are due to gum disease or the harboring of bacteria on the top of the tongue. Some cases are due to sinus infections. Only a very small percentage of bad breath is as a result of what we eat. And yes we can help!
My mouth is dry. Is this a problem?
- It can be. Dry mouth can be uncomfortable, lead to more tooth decay and gum disease. If your mouth is dry, you should tell Dr. Hamilton or your hygienist, so they can help you.
My spouse snores. Can you help us?
- Snoring is troublesome for the sleep partner, who is kept awake. But for the snorer, it can lead to sleep apnea, which can be a debilitating and lethal condition. If you witness problems breathing at night and your spouse has abnormal daytime sleepiness, he or she may have sleep apnea and need the help of a sleep doctor. Call our office for a consultation or referral.
I am embarrassed to call for an appointment because it's been so long since my last dental visit. Are you going to lecture me?
- We will never judge you or embarrass you. Our goal is to help you advance from your current state, whatever that is, to a new level of health and comfort. Believe me, nothing will shock us. We are coaches and councilors, not judge and jury. You should never feel like you are on trial, and you will never be scolded or made to feel guilty. You will be informed of your status, and you’ll be free to make your choices from there. Don’t let fear be your guide. We don’t bite.
Where can I park?
Underground parking is available in Westmount Square with the entrance off St. Catherine Street (between Wood and Greene). The parking is not paid by our office but Valet service is free and you can get 3 hour validation of your stub with a modest purchase in one of the mall stores, including the SAQ.
Additional pay parking can be found on Tupper Street and in Plaza Alexis-Nihon (entrance on Ste-Catherine between Atwater and Wood). From Plaza Alexis-Nihon, follow the signs in the metro to Westmount Square.
There is also meter parking on all the surrounding streets.
What causes tooth decay?
- The simple answer is sugar and plaque (bacteria in the mouth). If we don’t feed sugar to the bacteria, or if we remove all the bacteria, we won’t get decay. The solution is prevention through good home care and good hygiene care, as well as quality restorations. Fluoride treatments can be very effective in controlling decay in young people and seniors.
Can you help me avoid unnecessary dental work?
- You bet we can. Preventive dentistry is one of the things we do very well. We will show you how you can prevent 90% of dental problems by simple, inexpensive home care. We will coach you so you are an expert in maintaining your dental work and in keeping your mouth disease free. Regular and thorough hygiene support with fluoride treatments complement what you do at home. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy for your lifetime.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease or periodontitis, is an inflammatory disease caused by the presence of bacteria on the teeth. The body’s inflammatory response to the bacteria results in loss of the supporting bone around the teeth. Eventually the teeth become loose and are lost. Inflammatory proteins in the blood can lead to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and pregnancy complications. Regular checkups and good home care keep gum disease at bay.
Westmount Dental Care
When you need us, we’ll be here. Just call us or click below “Book now” and one of our team members will contact you shortly.
1 Westmount Square, Suite 420 Westmount, Quebec H3Z 2P9