May 3, 2019 Uncategorized

What to Expect at your New Patient Exam

For many people, visiting the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing, or even scary experience, especially if you have had a bad experience in the past or if you’ve never been to the dentist before. Sometimes, simply understanding what will happen at your new patient exam is enough to ease those worries and inspire a positive and even enjoyable first trip to the dentist.

Step 1: Introductions

Your new patient exam will begin with a friendly and compassionate introduction to your dentist. This will allow you an opportunity to share any of your concerns, provide your dentist with information about your medical history and discuss medications that may be impacting your oral health.

Step 2: Radiographs and Photographs

Following introductions, your dentist will order any necessary radiographs (also known as x-rays) in order to be able to examine and assess areas not visible to the naked eye. Your dentist will recommend which areas to take x-rays of based on your specific needs.

You will be asked to bite down on the digital sensor support while the X-rays are taken. This may be uncomfortable for some, but rarely lasts more than 7-10 seconds.  Since Dr. Syed’s office uses only digital x-ray technology, the x-rays are available immediately. Your dentist will review all of the findings with you after performing the full examination to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is happening inside your mouth.

At Dr. Syed’s office, you will also have photographs taken to record the appearance of your teeth, face and smile.  This will help you and the dentist to address any concerns about your smile, bite and tissue structure.

Step 3: Examination of your neck region

In addition to the examination inside of your mouth, your dentist will observe and examine the area outside and around your mouth. In order to completely understand your overall oral health, your dentist will look at the following:

  • The state and functionality of your temporomandibular joint. This join connects your jaw to your skull and may be responsible for pain or tenderness in this region.
  • The overall wellbeing and condition of the bones in your face, jaw and around your mouth.

Step 4: Visual Inspection of your mouth

Following the external examination, the dentist will visually inspect your mouth. The dentist will inform you of everything they are about to do and warn you if anything will feel uncomfortable or unusual. Using dental instruments such as a mirror, probe, and air spray (none of which will hurt!), your dentist will examine inside your mouth for the following:

  • Damaged, missing or failing restorations
  • Any signs of cavities
  • Gum conditions, specifically looking for periodontal pockets, inflammation or other signs of gum disease (which can lead to tooth and bone loss)
  • Conditions of previous dental work such as root canals, bridges and crowns
  • Signs of mouth or throat cancer such as white lesions or blocked salivary glands as a part of an oral cancer screen.
  • Suspicious growths or cysts, if any
  • The location and positioning of your teeth (e.g., spacing, bite)
  • Signs of clenching or teeth grinding


Step 5: Follow up and Next Appointment

Your dentist will take the final few moments of your new patient exam to discuss their findings with you, answer any questions you may have, and make a plan to meet your specific oral health care needs. The entire appointment typically lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Now that you know exactly what to expect from your new patient exam at the dentist, it is time to go ahead and reserve your appointment. Our team at Dr. Syed’s office pride ourselves on our compassionate, friendly and professional environment and would be happy to take you through this experience. Call us now to book your first trip to the dentist!


April 7, 2019 Uncategorized

The chocolate bunnies and endless gatherings over Easter weekend can wreak havoc on your health, and that includes your teeth. Travelling, a change in routine, lack of sleep, and endless delicious temptations on party snack trays are enough to throw even the healthiest person off track. That is why our team has compiled this blog to help you understand what the primary risks are for your oral health this holiday season. Read along for lots of useful and inspirational tips and tricks to stay toothache and cavity free!

According to the Ontario Dental Association, there are four primary culprits when it comes to your oral health and holidays: Sugar, Starches, Spirits, and Stress.


Foods that are high in sugar are known to heighten your risk of tooth decay. Imagine this: inside your dental plaque, there is a whole ecosystem of bacteria that feed on the sugar inside your mouth in order to create acid that ultimately harms the enamel protecting your teeth. Be mindful of sugar intake and steer clear of too many sugary and sticky foods this holiday season.


That delicious Easter cake, that loaf of fresh bread, and any other food that is carbohydrate based will actually break down into sugar and cause the same impact on your teeth as sugar itself. Beware of overindulging in foods that stick to your teeth and skip the seconds on dessert.


Just like sugar and starches, spirits (as well as fruit juices, energy drinks and even carbonated water!) have high amounts of sugar and acid as well, which unfortunately, increase your risk of both cavities and sensitive teeth. Moderate consumption of spirits over the holiday season is the best defense against tooth pain.


It is not just your mind that gets stressed out, in fact, your mouth gets stressed out too! On the one hand, stress may cause people to ignore their oral health needs and make consumption decisions that are dangerous for oral health. On the other hand, stress can trigger long term and high-risk oral health issues such as jaw pain, teeth grinding, gum disease, or dry mouth.

Understanding that each of these four S’s are deeply interconnected is just as valuable as stopping and taking a deep breath before satisfying those cravings. A study from the University of New Brunswick established a dangerous correlation between stress and sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine, arguing that “some substances are mistakenly considered harmless stimulants although they often significantly increase stress”. These stimulants and stress triggers are the most common during long weekends and holiday festivities when the peer pressure to indulge is widespread. [1]

In order to protect yourself from a whirlwind of stress on your body, mind, and teeth this Easter, try following the following tips:

  1. Maintain your routine: Are you planning to visit family? Being away from home is no reason to skip your regular routines. From brushing your teeth twice daily, to regular flossing, to exercise, and ample rest, try your best to squeeze in the aspects of your health that keep you (and your teeth) strong all year long.
  2. Take a breath: It may sound simple but stopping before you indulge or experience stress to simply take a big breath is often enough to relax your mind (thus reduce stress) and make you more mindful of your consumption. Perhaps you don’t need that extra cocktail and cookie combo after all.
  3. Consume the good stuff: Did you know that nuts are stock full of vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your teeth, or that cheese neutralizes some acidity caused by things like sugar and spirits? Head to the cheese and nut tray so you can stay social without damaging your teeth.
  4. Be flexible: Remember, the indulgences over long weekends and holidays are temporary. If you falter and overindulge one day, don’t stress yourself out even more by settling into a place of guilt. Instead, remember to just take that deep breath before the next chocolate bunny arrives.

Dr. Syed and her team are devoted to providing a high standard of dental care and patient education to everyone who walks through the clinic door, anytime of the year. We hope that you can remain mindful of your consumption, remember to brush and floss regularly, and take time out to truly rest while still enjoying your time with friends and family. Your teeth (and your dentist) will thank you. Call us now to schedule your next appointment.

[1] https://www.unb.ca/fredericton/studentservices/_resources/pdfs/wss/stress.pdf



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