McKenzie Towne Family Dental - General Dentistry

At McKenzie Towne Family Dental, we know that General Dentistry is a large subject to cover. However, we have broken the topic down into sections so that you can find information you are looing for quickly and easily. Many topics have educational movies to provide further insight into the service you are looking at.

While the services described below are NOT comprehensive, we recommend that you contact us at (403) 257-1180 if there is a specific service you need that is not listed.

Tooth Colored Fillings

At McKenzie Towne Family Dental we are pleased to offer our clients an alternative to traditional Mercury Amalgam fillings and a more affordable option to Ceramic Restorations. Many of our clients find that these fillings are esthetically pleasing (as they are tooth colored) and this makes them a compelling choice to other restorations options.

So with the decline in the use of amalgams by dentists, over 70% over the fillings created today are composed of resin or synthetic composite materials. Composite fillings are made up of acrylic and glass particles, and contain no mercury or other metals. The filling material is white or matched to the colour of your teeth and has a very natural appearance. However, it should be noted that these types of fillings, while improving strength because they are fused or bonded to the tooth, are only a short-term solution for larger fills, with a life of around two years.

How is a composite filling placed?
Following preparation, we place the composite in layers; using a light that specializes in hardening each layer. When the process is finished, we shape the composite to the tooth. Then we will polish the composite to prevent staining and early wear.

What is the cost for tooth filling with composite material?
Prices vary, but composites average about one-and-a-half times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the molar teeth. They pay up to the price of a silver filling on the molar teeth, with the patient paying the difference.

What are the benefits of composite fillings?
Esthetics are the main benefit, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

What are the disadvantages?
After receiving a composite, a patient may experience minor post-operative sensitivity. If this happens, the sensitivity usually dissipates within a few weeks.

How long will a composite tooth filling last?
Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years.

Some of the benefits to "Composites" are:

  • Composite filling material bonds directly to the tooth structure. Because of this, we have to remove far less tooth than we would have to if we were to do an amalgam filling. This reduces the risk of tooth fractures, and root canals as the patient ages.
  • Amalgam filling material is not considered the optimum choice by most dentists.
  • Amalgam fillings expand over time. This leads to a weakening of the tooth structure, and can cause fractures.
  • Composite fillings, however, support the tooth structure and thereby strengthen the tooth. Composite fillings are not only cosmetically far superior, but, as mentioned above, their "wear rate" is the same as amalgam fillings.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at 403.257.1180!


Crowns are dental restorations that are more commonly known as "caps". These restoration are quite extensive in that they cover all tooth surfaces.

Crowns may be the ideal treatment optionwhen previous fillings have broken, fractured orchipped surfaces are noted, or tooth sensitivity is involved. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth that are malformed, malpositioned or discolored.

Crowns can be made from various materials, which include porcelain, Zirconia based porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, and full cast metal. Based on numerous factors including esthetics, position within the mouth, habits such as grinding, and your personal preference, a full assessment will be needed to determine which material is appropriate for you

Some of the indications for requiring a crown are:

  1. A previously filled tooth where there now exists more filling than tooth. The existing tooth structure becomes weakened and can no longer support the filling.
  2. Extensive damage by decay or breakage.
  3. Discolorations and compromised esthetics.
  4. Fractures
  5. Root canal - After root canal therapy, teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture. These teeth need to be protected and strengthened by a crown.
  6. Bridges - When missing teeth are replaced with a bridge, the adjacent teeth require crowns in order to support the replacement teeth. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your teeth.

So if you are interested in a long-term, cost-effective, esthetic and durable restoration, a crown may be the best treatment option for you!

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at 403.257.1180!


A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.

There are many different types of bridges, depending on how they are fabricated and the way in which they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Bridges are most commonly made using the indirect method of restoration by which the bridge is fabricated outside of the mouth and cemented in afterwards.

A bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated. In other words, the abutment teeth are reduced in size to accommodate the material to be used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth in a correct alignment and contact with the opposing teeth.

Once the teeth are prepared, an impression is taken and sent off to a lab for processing. The new bridge is usually sent back to the office within 1-2 weeks. To ensure protection and esthetics, a temporary bridge is made in-office while the final bridge is being processed. Once returned, the temporary bridge is removed and the final bridge is permanently cemented.

Not only does a bridge restore function and esthetics, but it also prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting out of position and fill spaces that would otherwise leave surrounding teeth susceptible to tooth decay. Clearly a dental bridge is an excellent treatment option.

The best candidate for a dental bridge is a person with one or more missing teeth and good dental hygiene. Special attention to hygiene at home will need to be taken, especially flossing under the bridge. Furthermore, dental visits, including professional cleanings, should completed every six months.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at 403.257.1180!


Dental Implants are small, titanium, screw-shaped threaded cylinders that are placed into the bone in the upper (Maxillary) and/or lower (Mandibular) arches of the mouth. They are used to replace one or many missing teeth, or to stabilize dentures. Titanium is an inert metal that is capable of creating a very tight bond with bone. Titanium is used in other operations such as knee or hip replacements -- so it is a proven surgical component.

The implant acts like the root of a natural tooth, and bone actually forms around a special coating on the implant to hold the implant firmly in place. This process is referred to as osseointegration. A crown, with the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth is then affixed to an abutment which is connected to the implant. The 'abutment' is simply a small connecting piece between the implant and the crown.

In cases where there are multiple missing teeth, or where the patient has previously had dentures, multiple implants are placed in the mouth to allow for implant-supported crowns or bridges, ball abutment retained overdentures, and/or bar-supported overdentures.

The success rate for dental implants is very high; and, with proper care, good dental hygiene, and a healthy life style, it is rare that implants will fail. Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of implants have been placed. Many of the 'original' implants are still functioning without problems. Technology and procedures have advanced significantly since the first implants were placed. The success rate is now in the 95%+ range. Some reasons for failed implants can be attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle (smoking), or to poor dental hygiene.

What are the benefits of Dental Implants?

  • There is a significant improvement in the overall quality of life for patients who have implant-supported or retained dentures, as opposed to standard or conventional (free-floating) dentures.
  • Implants maintain, or realign, facial structure and profile, and preserve bone.
  • Dental Implants are easy to clean, and do not decay.
  • Implants help to preserve adjacent natural teeth. With an implant-supported bridge, there is no need to stress or traumatize adjacent natural teeth in order to hold the bridge in place. Traditional removable partial dentures also place stress forces on the remaining natural teeth.
  • Implant-supported crowns and bridges have a longer functioning life than conventional crowns and bridges placed over natural tooth structure.
  • Implants help to prevent the appearance of premature aging due to bone loss. Osteoporosis can accelerate bone loss with patients using standard or conventional dentures.
  • Patients who wear conventional full dentures often experience difficulty eating, speaking and smiling. Implant-supported dentures virtually eliminate embarrassing denture slippage. The implants 'anchor' the dentures.
  • Implants are cost effective when taking into account the functioning life of the implant.

If you are interested in learning more about this service
or desire to improve your smile then contact McKenzie Towne Family Dental today!

Root Canal

You are probably visiting this section because you feel you may need an endodontic treatment, or a "root canal".

When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or dies, root canal therapy is necessary to save the tooth. It is generally a comfortable treatment that can save your tooth and keep your mouth healthy.

What is endodontic treatment?

"Endo" is the Greek word for "inside" and "odont" is Greek for "tooth." Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth.

To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel is a hard layer called the "dentin". And inside the dentin is a soft tissue called "the pulp". The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.

The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth's growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp.

Why would I need this procedure?

Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay extending into the pulp, repeated dental procedures on a particular tooth, and fracture or breakage. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause severe pain or lead to a dental abscess.

Symptoms of Infection

  • The tooth is sensitive to hot or cold
  • The tooth hurts when biting or pressure
  • There is a throbbing, severe tooth pain
  • The area is swollen
  • You have a bad taste in your mouth

Sometimes, there are no obvious or noticeable symptoms to let you know there is a problem! Only regular dental visits and digital x-rays, as well as a detailed clinical examination, can reveal the underlying trauma.

How does this procedure save my tooth?

We first remove the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully clean and shape the inside of the tooth, then fill and seal the space. Afterwards, a crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.

Will I feel pain during or after the procedure?

Many endodontic procedures are performed to relieve the pain of toothaches caused by pulp inflammation or infection. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.

For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Post-operative treatment of possible pain is something that you and your dentist will discuss.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your endodontic treatment is completed. However, as with any dental treatment, if you have severe or persistent pain or pressure, call our office!

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!


What are Dentures?

Dentures (also known as false teeth) are prosthetic teeth worn by those who have lost their natural teeth through injury or illness. There are many different types of dentures designed to address a variety of dental situations. Dentures may be removable or implant supported, and they may replace teeth on the lower mandibular arch or the upper maxillary arch.

Those who have lost their teeth find both functional and aesthetic benefits from dentures. Well-made dentures allow the wearer to enjoy all kinds of food, whereas missing teeth or poor dentures significantly restrict chewing ability. Dentures also support the lips and cheeks, improving the appearance of a patient who has lost his or her own natural teeth.

Dentures are custom designed to fit each patient's mouth, and skill and patience are required to create an effective set. Poorly made dentures can cause significant discomfort and erode the gums and bones of the jaw, leading to greater oral problems. A combination of implants and removable pieces are often the best option. Additionally, dentures help strengthen muscles controlling your expressions that require the support of your teeth, rid you of pronunciation problems caused by missing teeth and aid with chewing.

Who is a candidate for dentures?

If you've lost, or are losing, all of your teeth a complete denture is something to discuss with your Chestermere dentist. If some of your teeth remain and are healthy, a partial denture may be your way to a great smile.

This procedure should be thoroughly discussed with your dentist as there are several personal and medical factors to take into consideration. You may instead be a candidate for dental bridges and dental implants as optional procedures.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!

Laser Solutions

We are proud to offer our patients Laser Therapy. Using the "name" Diode Laser, we are able to offer his patients a method that requires fewer shots, less anesthesia, thus reducing patient anxiety and providing a more relaxing overall dental experience.

What is Laser Therapy?

A laser is a high tech devise that generates a tiny beam of very concentrated light . This beam of light brings energy into your mouth through a tiny fiber, to help remove areas of infection and remove gum disease around the teeth with great precision and accuracy.

The laser beam sterilizes the affected area and seals off blood vessels, which minimizes the chance of infection or bleeding. Patients are also much more comfortable during and after treatment with laser therapy. The need for local anesthetic is reduced but it is usually used to make sure that you feel absolutely nothing during the treatment.

What Procedures can be Performed?

At McKenzie Towne Family Dental our "Name" Laser is idea for performing a majority of Gum Tissue Removal procedures. It also has the ability to desensitize "canker" sores, herpetic lesions, and other oral irritations. Although many of these treatments are completed with no, or only topical anesthetic, we often numb the area to ensure complete patient comfort.

  • Surgical and Dental Procedures
  • Gum Disease
  • Upper and lower frenum removal
  • Cosmetic Purposes
  • Treating vascular lesions from oral tissue
  • Lesion Removal

What are the Benefits of Laser Therapy?

This type of laser has many advantages for both patient and practitioner. Patients notice how quickly the gum tissues are treated and that little or no post-operative discomfort occurs.

  • Promotes Faster Healing
  • Reduced Risk of Infection
  • Decreased Sensitivity
  • Less Time in the Dental Chair
  • Helps Reduce Anxiety
  • Minimize bleeding and swelling
  • Less Post-Treatment Discomfort

For our team at McKenzie Towne Family Dental, this laser is small, easy to use, and effective in treating the gum tissue without having to refer patients elsewhere. It is used in conjunction with other treatments so that multiple appointments are not necessary.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports. At McKenzie Towne Family Dental we don't just use any Mouth Guards. We specially fit you for custom Mouth Guards, specifically designed for your mouth and your needs.

There are three types of mouth guards to consider:

  • Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.

  • Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The "boil and bite" mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.

  • Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist's instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.

Generally, mouth guards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), Dr. Magharius will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Since your mouth guard is a custom appliance Dr. Magharius will suggest the best mouth guard for your needs. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.

If you grind your teeth at night, a special mouth guard-type of dental appliance -- called a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint -- may be created to prevent tooth damage.

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards should be used by anyone -- both children and adults -- who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard.

Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage.

Why Use a Mouth Guard When Playing Sports?

Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of using a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!

Grinding Appliances

A Custom Grinding appliance, also know as a Night Guard, is a plastic device that gets worn usually on the upper teeth while asleep. Some patients may opt to have one made for the lower arch due to having a “gag” reflex.

McKenzie Towne Family Dental - Custom Grinding ApplianceAt McKenzie Towne Family Dental every grinding appliance is made custom so that it fits you and meets your specific needs.

Why Do I Need A Night Guards?

A night guard is used to prevent excessive wear on the teeth cause by tooth grinding during sleep. This medical condition is known as Bruxism, which can also lead to other problems in the jaw. Clenching and grinding can make the chewing muscles tired, and causes them to go into spasm, causing pain at the TMJ.

Clenching and grinding are very common. They are often a result of an imbalance in how your jaw or muscles would like your jaw to close and how your teeth fit together. Your 'bite' can trigger you to grind or clench at night with much greater force than during the day. The dental signs of grinding can include flattening of your teeth, tooth fractures, gum recession, and indents/notches on the roots.

The signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles
  • Ear ache — because of violent jaw muscle contractions, not a problem with your ear
  • Dull morning headache
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Chewed tissue on the inside of your cheek
  • Interrupted Sleep
  • Head and Neck symptoms

To get a night guard, we will first take impressions of your upper and lower teeth. These those molds will be sent to our in house lab. From there they will construct a custom fitted night guard that you should put on right before you sleep and remove upon waking.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!

Snoring/Sleep Apnea Appliances

Oral appliances have a definite role in the management of selected patients with sleep apnea and/or snoring. The appliance will not cure the apnea and/or snoring but works non-surgically to realign the jaw and/or tongue to keep the airway open. Its intention is to prevent the apnea and/or snoring from occurring during sleep and so it must be worn each night to produce the desired effect. Regardless of how long it is worn, the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea or snoring will return when the appliance use is discontinued. There are no guarantees that an appliance will be successful in every patient due to physiologic and anatomic variations and patient tolerance of the appliance.

Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are devices worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth guards. They have several advantages over other forms of therapy. Oral appliances are comfortable, easy to wear and care for, and non-invasive. They are small and convenient, making them easy to carry with you when you travel. At McKenzie Towne Family Dental all our Snoring/Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances are custom made to suit your specific physical needs.

Oral appliance therapy is becoming recognized by the medical community as an effective treatment option in the management of sleep breathing disorders. Medical and dental researchers have joined together to evaluate and improve the outcome of treatment with oral appliances. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances be used in patients with primary snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnea and in patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea who are intolerant of or refuse treatment with nasal continuous positive airway pressure.

Research shows that oral appliance therapy is 85%-90% effective in reducing or eliminating snoring and 60%-70% in reducing mild-to-moderate sleep apnea to normal.

Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating obstructive sleep apnea, including general health and weight management, surgery or nasal continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). Combination therapy should be coordinated by the attending sleep physician.

Oral appliances work in several ways:

  • by repositioning the lower jaw and/or tongue
  • by stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
  • by increasing the tone of the throat muscles

Oral appliance therapy can take from several weeks to several months to complete. Even after the initial phase of treatment is complete, follow-up visits should continue in order to ensure treatment remains successful and to evaluate the response of the teeth and jaws.

There are two basic categories of oral appliances: tongue-retaining devices and mandibular advancing devices.

If you desire to improve your smile and potentially
your quality of life then contact us today at (403) 257-1180!