Common Questions

Answers to Clinical, Financial, and Administrative Questions

Why are checkups recommended every 6 to 9 months, even for people with great oral health?

We find cavities in the earliest stages, and often that means that you don't see or feel them. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also screen for oral cancer, a disease that affects thousands of people every year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80-percent cure rate. Gum disease is another sneaky problem that we try to detect early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss for many adults.

At what age should I first bring my child to the dentist?

A child can have cavities or dental infections as soon as teeth appear in the mouth around the age of 6 months, so most children should be examined by the age of three. Even though baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth, this can take up to 13 years. In the mean time, when decay appears on a baby tooth, it can cause painful dental infections. Also, cavities can either contribute to a loss of space, by tooth loss or tooth migration. This lack of space at a young age can prevent adult teeth from coming out normally and will lead to crowding of teeth in the teen years.

How does gum disease affect the body?

It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and surrounding bone that anchors the teeth in place. In the past decade, studies have shown that the inflammation and infection causing gum disease can also increase the risk of diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. Don’t think it’s your problem? Conservative estimates report that up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has gum disease in some form. Learn more…

What are my options to replace missing teeth?

We offer bridgework, partials, full dentures, and dental implant restorations to replace missing teeth. Learn more about these services on our services page, then call for a consultation. With X-rays, intra oral photos, and a thorough assessment of your dentition, the dentist can help you decide which replacement option will be best for you.

What is a cosmetic dentist?

Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the Canadian Dental Association, so any general dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. At the Smyth Dental Centre, we pride ourselves in offering a full range of cosmetic dental options, and we also consider the general health of your teeth as important. As such we do not advertise our clinic as cosmetic dentists but as a general family and cosmetic facility. To choose a good cosmetic dentist, review the doctor’s before-and-after photos of actual cases, ask about his or her postgraduate education in cosmetic dentistry, and make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in the office.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Absolutely. We bet you didn't know that teeth whitening, in some form, has been around since the 1700’s. Modern teeth whitening uses safe and effective bleaching gel to lighten tooth discoloration without damaging the enamel. Lately, some whitening treatments have been offered by local beauty salons at a discount rate. Be aware that the products used to whiten your teeth can damage your gums if not used properly. That is why you should always have these dental treatments done by a dental professional who can ensure proper use. Choose from Zoom! Whitening in our office or custom-made convenient take-home teeth whitening kits.

Do you accept referrals?

Yes, and thank you for your confidence. We appreciate your referrals and promise to extend the same comprehensive, caring service to your friends and coworkers that we give you every time you visit.

Will you care for my entire family?

Absolutely. We enjoy creating gorgeous, healthy smiles for patients of any age. If we find that your child – or you, for that matter – would benefit from seeing a specialist, we'll refer to a trusted colleague. Some children deal with dental appointments better at a pedodontist's office, that's what a children's dentist is called. We also refer patients who have extensive dental problems, like advanced periodontitis or problematic root canals, to specialist for optimal care. As a general dentist office, our preventive, restorative, prosthetic, and cosmetic dental services include treatments suitable for patients of all ages.

Does the dentist see emergency cases?

Yes. We will see emergency cases during regular business hours, immediately when possible. During this emergency visit, we will evaluate the severity and nature of your of your “problem” and take steps to alleviate any discomfort. You may be required to attend subsequent visits in order to correct properly the situation. If you require emergency services after hours, you can also call our answering service and listen for specific instructions. You can reach your doctor after hours, so you can get the care you need when you need it.

What payment options do you provide?

We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, debit cards, and checks. If necessary, we can hold your check for up to 14 days. We work with our patients to make dentistry affordable. If you’d like to discuss your payment options, please inform the dentist prior to booking your treatment.

Will you accept my dental insurance?

At the Smyth Dental Centre, we accept all types of dental insurance. Unfortunately, due to the multitude of insurance programs available on the market, it is impossible for us to know all the details of you personal dental insurance. That is why at your initial examination we will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan along with a cost estimate that can be submitted electronically to your insurance prior to us starting any treatment. This way, you can know what is covered under your benefits. Typically, insurance only covers a portion of the costs of the procedures. Any amount not covered by your insurance is your responsibility. As it is suggested by the Ontario Dental Association and preferred by insurance companies, we do not accept direct assignment. In other words, we ask that the full payment for services rendered be made at the time of treatment. To accelerate your insurance reimbursement, we will electronically submit your claim on your behalf. Usually, you should receive your insurance payment within 3 to 7 days.

What if I need to reschedule my appointment?

We have very flexible hours to accommodate people with different schedules. We will reserve a time especially for you. We understand that last minute changes in your daily plan might affect your availability, and we are sensitive to this. But in general, if you need to make changes to your scheduled appointment, we ask that you give us a 24 hour notice so that we can accommodate a client that might require the same time slot. For appointments of two hours or more, we require two days notice, thank you.

Where are you located?

Smyth Dental Centre is on the corner of Smyth Rd and St-Laurent Boulevard, in front of the Sciences and Technologies Museum's lighthouse. We’re on the first floor of the Smyth medical building situated at 1929 Russel Road, Suite 110. You will find convenient underground parking. Visit our contact page to see a map or get driving directions.

Contact Us

1929 Russel Road, Suite 110, Ottawa, ON K1G 4G3 CAN
Dr. Edmund Merkley Ottawa Ontario Canada dentist (613) 521-2650 smythdentalcentre@rogers.com