Here you’ll find some the most common (and some uncommon) questions we’ve been asked about our practice and the care we provide.

How often do I need an oral cancer screening?

Every year, nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, patients diagnosed with oral cancer often don’t survive past five years. It’s not that oral cancer is particularly fatal, the problem is that by the time oral cancer is discovered, it’s often in late stages.

Are dental x-rays necessary? Are they safe?

While many oral conditions are detectable with a visual exam, issues such as decay, bone loss, abscesses, cysts, tumors and developmental conditions can only be seen with x-rays. We use only digital x-rays. Not only are they safer, producing ninety per cent less radiation than traditional film x-rays, they are also better for the environment by eliminating the need for chemicals required for development.

I am pregnant, do I need to take anything special before my visit?

During pregnancy, hormone levels rise and can cause the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing irritation and increasing the risk of cavities. Oral infections such as gum disease has been linked to preterm birth. That’s why we recommend regular cleanings and examinations. If you’re pregnant, reach out to us for scheduling options.

Are you accessible using the TTC?

We are a short walk from the Sheppard Centre subway stop on the Yonge Line. Just exit the Sheppard Centre and walk to the northeast corner of Yonge and Sheppard. Then walk east on Sheppard, crossing Doris Avenue. We are in the big glass building on the first floor.
Click here for directions

Do dentists eat candy?

Of course we do! But we make sure not to eat too much. Eating a lot of candy is not only bad for your teeth, but not very good for your body. After eating candy, make sure you brush and floss really well.

Do you accept insurance?

We do not accept assignment from the insurance company but will process the claim so you can get the insurance cheque within the shortest period of time.  We can also arrange deferred payments or payment plans to help with the cost.

What are your fees?

We follow the suggested fee schedule outlined in the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide.

How often should I get my teeth cleaned?

For most people, having their teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist every 4-6 months is enough. However, based on lifestyle, health, and dental hygiene habits, some people may need more frequent visits to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Do you offer free parking?

All our patients receive free underground parking. Upon entering the underground garage, turn left to the visitor lot. On the walk to our office on the first floor, please stop by the security desk and sign in.

What is TMJ or TMD?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is a fancy word for jaw joint. The pain, discomfort, or tenderness in or around the jaw joints is called a TMJ disorder.

Signs that you might have a TMJ disorder (or TMD) are:

  • Facial pain or tenderness
  • Jaw pain or neck pain
  • Pain in or around the ears
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Jaw “locking up”
  • Jaw makes a clicking sound
  • Teeth that don’t come together properly when eating or chewing

There are a variety of TMJ treatment options we can present to you.

How often do I need to visit the dentist?

The recommended number of visits vary by patient. The idea is to catch problems early when they’re small. For most, this means visiting the dentist every six months. However, based on your oral health, lifestyle, medications and how quickly plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, we may suggest more frequent visits.

Generally speaking, these factors tend to influence the recommended frequency of visits:

  • How often you brush and floss
  • The types of foods you eat
  • If you smoke
  • If you have a history of gum disease and cavities
  • The types of medications you’re taking
  • Your overall health

Are your infection control policies up to date?

Our infection control procedures have always exceeded Ontario’s Public Health guidelines. Each operatory is fully disinfected after every patient. Dental chairs, counters, and all surfaces are wiped down with hospital grade disinfectants after each procedure.

Trained staff wash, disinfect, then sterilized every instrument. Anything that isn’t sterilized is disposed of. All sterilization machines are tested daily for performance.

Each operatory has its own surgically clean air purifier, which exchanges all the air in the room every four minutes.

All staff wear appropriate PPE that is changed for every patient.

I am not happy with my smile. How can you help?

Everyone deserves to be happy with their smile. We can offer you a number of options to fix virtually any problem ranging from chipped or missing teeth, severe staining or discolouring, gaps, misaligned teeth, and more. Options can range from whitening treatment and veneers, to implants and crowns. Check out our gallery to see how we can give anyone a perfect smile.

At what age should I bring my child for their first visit?

We find that children tend to do well around age three. It’s also a good idea for kids to come in with a parent or older sibling to give them a chance to become accustomed to visiting the dentist. When your child comes in for their first visit, our goal is to make it fun. We give them a chance to ride in the dental chair, meet the staff, and count their teeth.

The most important thing to remember is that if you ever suspect a problem with your child’s mouth, please make an appointment for them to be seen — regardless of their age.

What is the Dawson Academy?

The Dawson Academy is a dental education institute that teaches procedures based on a philosophy referred to as Complete Dentistry. Complete Dentistry is built on the belief that proper oral health starts with the teeth and jaw joints both being in proper placement and alignment. By applying the teachings of the Dawson Academy, we have helped hundreds of people break free from issues including jaw pain, broken teeth, and headaches.

In Canada, less than 500 dentists have been certified by the Dawson Academy. Dr. Abbott received her certification in 2015.

How do I know what my dental benefits cover?

Once we have explained the recommended treatment plan, our front desk staff can go over your coverage with you. As there are numerous plans, we always suggest giving your insurance provider a call before the visit to get an idea of your coverage. That way you’ll better be able to make informed decisions.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

We recommend you brush your teeth at least twice a day using a manual or electric toothbrush. Flossing at least once a day is also recommended.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours notice to cancel all appointments. Please be sure to contact us if you will not be able to make your scheduled appointment in order to avoid being charged a late cancellation fee for the visit.

Does whitening damage my teeth?

Occasional whitening of teeth is not usually problematic. However, if done too frequently the enamel or the root structure of the teeth can be damaged. We can recommend whitening options based on your needs and oral health.

Are you accepting new patients?

Yes, we are currently welcoming new patients. We welcome you to bring your family, friends, coworkers, and even those acquaintances you bump into at the grocery store but can never quite remember their names.

What is your practice doing for COVID-19 safety?

Our practice is complying with federal and provincial guidelines, along with those of the RCDSO. Our office has undergone a number of changes such as air purifiers in each operatory, closed doorways, and fully gowned and masked staff. We also conduct patient screening upon arrivals.

Can you chew your teeth off?

This question was asked during a presentation to a class of 9-year-olds. Technically, no you cannot chew your teeth off. However, you can grind them down to almost nothing. Signs of grinding can include a sore jaw, your teeth not coming together as they once were, or your teeth are appearing shorter or misshapen. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, book a visit as soon as possible.

The staff and Dr. Abbott are always helpful. I have had Dr. Abbott as my dentist for over 15 years and wouldn’t have anyone else as my dentist ever. I would drive a 100 km to see her. They all go out of the way to help!

Alon Z.

I have been going to this practice for years. I actually don’t like going to the dentist at all, but Dr. Abbott and her staff make the experience very good. They are very friendly and Natalie is super gentle and caring. I would recommend this clinic 100%.

Inga S.