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So, You’re Getting a Cavity Filled…

First things first – don’t panic! 90% of the population have cavities, so a filling is a very common procedure. We’re going to walk you through the steps so you know exactly what you’re in for – because (as they say) the best defense is a good offence.

Some quick tips for getting psyched up for a cavity filling:

  1. Proactivity! Be consistent with regular brushing and flossing, before, during, and after your filling.
  2. Prying! Ask your dentist as many questions as you can before the procedure: do they have cameras so you can see what’s going on? What kind of anaesthetic do they use? Do they have a flavoured numbing gel you can use?
  3. Paperwork! Make sure your dentist has all your insurance information on file, so you don’t have to do paperwork with a numb mouth.
  4. Put Your Feet Up! Try your best to relax when you get there. Try breathing techniques, meditation, or establishing a ‘stop’ signal with your dentist in case you need to take a break. But avoid self-medicating, as it might interfere with dental anaesthetics.

Dental patients in the big chair at Archer Dental Rosedale

Settle in the chair and do whatever you need to get comfortable (within social norms;). Chat with your dentist before you have wads of cotton in your mouth; ask if you can listen to music (load your phone with your favourite jams or podcasts, or the dentist might provide headphones), and some offices are even offering Netflix so you can catch up on some streaming! But maybe stay away from Little Shop of Horrors…

Real talk: this is the needle bit, but it looks worse than it is. No one wants to see a needle coming at their gums, but thanks to the numbing gel you won’t feel any pain. Just breathe deeply, close your eyes if you want, crank some Beyoncé, and it’ll be over before you know it.

Real talk: this is the needle bit, but it looks worse than it is. No one wants to see a needle coming at their gums, but thanks to the numbing gel you won’t feel any pain. Just breathe deeply, close your eyes if you want, crank some Beyoncé, and it’ll be over before you know it.

Your dentist will insert a rubber dam or cotton rolls to keep your tooth isolated and dry, so now is not the time for small talk. They’ll also insert a bite block to prop your mouth open, so you can relax your jaw.

Your dentist will use a hand-held dental tool to remove any decay. It’s going to make noise and look a bit scary – but it’s totally painless, so don’t fret! Your dentist might use an intraoral camera to show you what’s happening, so you can satisfy your cavity curiosity.

It’s time to fill ‘er up! Your dentist will likely use a composite filling; a mixture of acrylic resin and powdered glass that’s easy to match to the colour of your teeth, giving you a more natural smile. They might also use a metal amalgam, which is easier to work with and more cost effective – but silver, and therefore much more noticeable.

Once your dentist has selected and placed the filling, they use an etching material to remove any bacteria and the (delightfully-named) smear layer. Now it’s time for a quick rinse and dry before re-wetting with a desensitizing agent.

Your dentist will finish the filling process by placing a flowable type of composite material onto your tooth. They’ll start adding layers bit by bit, building up the filling then carving and etching to create the natural shape of a tooth. It’s basically sculpture – your dentist is creating a tiny tooth work of art!

This one is pretty straightforward…your dentist will use the air gun pictured on the left to clean and dry your tooth!

Your dentist will use a blue light to ‘set’ the filling: it polymerizes the composite material, hardening it.

At this point, your dentist is going to do everything possible to make the filling feel and look like a natural tooth.

They’ll polish the filling, using specially shaped implements to bring out the curves and grooves, then use special polishing cups and stones to make everything silky smooth.

To make sure the grooves of your new filling nestle snugly into the grooves of your other teeth, the dentist will use articulate paper to do a quick bite test.

cotton mouth after cavity cured light

On the off chance your filling isn’t sitting quite right, the dentist might pop back in to make some adjustments with the polisher. But, a good dentist will get the bite right 99.9% of the time, so this step might not be necessary.

Your dentist might take an intraoral photo so you can see your tiny tooth work of art for yourself, and then you’re free to go and smile a little wider with your brand new filling!


April is also Oral Cancer Awareness Month

We’ve been celebrating Oral Health Month but there’s an illness we think it’s important to focus on this April – Oral Cancer.

So what signs and symptoms should you be on the lookout for?

If you notice patches on your lips or on the inside of your mouth, if you have a sore on your lips or mouth that doesn’t heal, if you have loose teeth, difficulty swallowing (or pain when swallowing), a lump in your neck, or experience numbness in your lower lip and chin, it’s time to schedule an immediate visit with a health care professional. Two other potential symptoms to be aware of are difficulty wearing your dentures and/or a persistent earache.

Oral cancer can originate anywhere in your mouth and throat and most oral cancers start with flat cells (that form the aforementioned patches) that cover the surface of your mouth, lips, and tongue.

People who use tobacco, consume alcohol heavily and have been infected with HPV, or have a personal history of oral cancer have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Other risk factors include sun exposure, diet, and betel nut use.

Just like with all cancers, the key to survival is catching it as soon as possible. This is why it’s vitally important to visit both your dentist and your doctor on a regular basis and to stay on top of your check ups.

If you want to learn more, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation’s Website here:


Oral Health Month

April is Oral Health Month and we think it’s the perfect time to take stock of your overall dental health and to create some attainable goals for yourself moving forward:

  1. Has it been  6 months or more since your last dental check up? That’s a sign that it’s time to book your next appointment.
  2. Are you flossing and brushing your teeth daily? Chances are you’re doing one or the other fairly consistently but not both.
  3. Do you try to incorporate as many healthy foods into your diet as possible and are you aware of the potentially negative effects that some of these healthy foods can have on your teeth (consuming too much lemon, for instance, can wear down your enamel)?
  4. What can you do to improve your oral health routine? Whether it’s following up on suggestions your dentist has given you in the past or making the choice to take better care of your health as a whole, April is a wonderful time to take control of your physical and mental well being!

Want to book an appointment online? Use the buttons in the header and footer of the website.

A Day in the Life at Archer Dental

Ever wondered what goes on at Archer Dental outside of your appointment? Here are some highlights from our Archer Dental instagram account (where we aim to give you a firsthand look at what life is really like in our dental offices).

This is our Runnymede location:

And this is our Rosedale clinic. No matter where you live in the city, we want to make sure our offices are accessible to you.

No matter where you live in the city, we want to make sure our offices are accessible to you.

We treat patients of all ages and backgrounds:

We do our absolute best to make sure our practice is completely accessible:

And we’re constantly thinking about how we can improve things to help serve you better.

So from our team to you at home:

Thank you and be sure to check us out on instagram!

‘Spring Cleaning’ For Your Oral Health

With Spring only a couple of weeks away, we think it’s the perfect time for you to give your oral hygiene routine a thorough make over!


Here’s our checklist to help you stay on top of your dental care:

  1. Get a new toothbrush. We recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, and mid March is the perfect time to pick a new one up.

  2. Check the expiration date on your oral hygiene products. Just how long have you been holding onto that bottle of mouthwash or that denture cleaner? Give the label a good check to make sure everything is still in good standing (while you’re at, why not check the labels of any other medications you may be keeping in your bathroom cupboard as well?)

  3. Book a cleaning. You should be coming in for a cleaning, at minimum, every six months. Now’s the time to check your calendar and make sure you’re up to date.

  4. Freshen up your breath. Stock up on (sugar free) chewing gum and mints and make sure you’ve always got some on hand in your backpack, purse, or wallet. You never know when you’re going to need them.

  5. Prevention is the best medicine. If you’ve noticed anything about your oral health that seems abnormal or off, make a note of it and see if it changes or gets better. Make sure you book an appointment with your dentist if things get worse or don’t improve!

The Real Meaning of Oral Health

For most people, the term oral health probably means ‘brushing your teeth’, ‘flossing’, and ‘going to the dentist.’ That definition of oral health isn’t wrong, necessarily, it’s just not complete.

This year, we want to help our patients learn that oral health is so much more than just going through the motions of your personal hygiene routine; It’s about being proactive and thinking ahead.

The phrase ‘New Year, New You’ is cliche but that doesn’t mean it lacks merit. Now is the time to take control of your health. Good oral health doesn’t just mean being free from gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, or oral cancer – it means being able to go about your day without pain or discomfort that stops you from living life to the fullest.

Are you happy with your smile? Do you think you’re doing everything you can to keep your teeth and mouth happy? Now is the time to ask yourself if you’re truly satisfied with the state of your dental care or if there’s more that can be done to improve your quality of life.

Dental New Years Resolutions that Everyone Should Stick To

Whether you’re a believer in new years resolutions or not, there are a few things that everyone should be focusing on this year in regards to their oral health:

Brush Every Day

It might be tempting to skip brushing your teeth after a night out on the town or on a lazy Sunday morning, but it’s a bad habit that can quickly spiral into something more serious. Skipping brushing your teeth every once in a while isn’t the end of the world but when it starts to become a habit, it can pose a real problem to your overall oral health. No matter how tired you are, force yourself to keep brushing your teeth and to make it a regular part of your routine.

Floss Regularly

Flossing can be a bit of a pain to remember on a daily basis but it’s such a vitally important part of your dental hygiene routine. If the traditional long string style of floss is unappealing to you, there are a number of other styles (like floss sticks) you can try out that make flossing quickly and efficiently a breeze.

Cut Down on your Sugar Consumption

While too much sugar has negative effects on your entire body, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to cut it out completely. Try reducing your intake as much as you can and the next time a craving hits, reach for an apple or a banana instead of an over-processed sugary snack. If you find you’re still struggling with sugar cravings, there are a number of healthier substitutes you can try ranging from honey and maple syrup to stevia.

The Doctors of Archer Dental

We love getting to know our patients during their appointments so we thought it was only fair to return the favour!

We recently launched a new page on our website called, ‘The Doctors of Archer Dental and we’re proud to share a little bit about ourselves with you.

Dr. Grant Yiu

Originally from Alberta, Dr. Grant Yiu talks about his love of finding the perfect solution for each patient and getting to know them and help them develop great oral health habits!

You can check out our website to learn more about our dentists and our 3 dental hygienists (Lala, Krista, and Mary)

We Won Now Magazine’s ‘Best Toronto Dentist’ Award for 2016!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we’re the winner of Now Magazine’s Best of Toronto ‘Best Dentist’ award for 2016!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us, who is currently or has been a patient of ours, or who referred other patients to our practice. We are truly grateful for all of you and appreciate your loyalty and dedication.

In honour of this award, we’ve put together a little ‘Thank You’ video:

We honestly could not do it without you. Thank you again!