Come visit us at

Come visit us at

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I had two emergency patients come in this past week and both said the same thing, "Doc, I haven't been to the dentist for years because I don't have insurance."
I wrote a similar blog about 5 years ago but I felt that I need to say a number of things regarding not having dental insurance.  I wrote similar things in my blog back then but because this happens so often I felt that I need to write again on this subject so that if someone is not going to see the dentist because they don't have dental insurance, maybe they will read this and change their minds.

This is exactly what I told those patients when they said they couldn't go to the dentist because they didn't have insurance.
1.  Here you are and you don't have insurance.  So actually when you want to go you can go.
2.  You will pay more now than if you had regular dental care since now, things will be more complicated.
3.  When you haven't taken care of your teeth for years and you finally get insurance, don't think that it will cover the cost of large amounts of dentistry.  Remember, most plans have maximums after which you are paying out of pocket.  Not all plans cover major work such as crowns which you now may need since your mouth is falling apart.  Again, this will be out of pocket.
4.  Regular dental care is much cheaper than emergency dental care.  Regular care will allow you to do a small filling in a tooth versus a root canal, buildup and crown at 10 times the cost because you waited.  We all understand that we need to change the oil in our cars from time to time.  We all understand that it is cheaper to change the oil than the engine.
5.  If you think you couldn't afford the regular care then take a little more time between appointments to help you financially. ( But still go from time to time!)
6.  Don't forget that you pay for your dental benefits!  Your employer removes a certain amount monthly for your benefits from your paycheck.  So even when you get benefits you are still paying for them.  If you don't have benefits then perhaps put aside the amount you think your employer would remove monthly and then you are saving for your own dental benefit.

I never tell someone what they can or cannot afford, since I can never put myself in their shoes.  What I do try to do is to help people look at this problem from a different perspective which I hope will help them in the long run save their teeth.

Having fun in Hamilton Ontario Canada

All the best

Dr. Ron Barzilay

Monday, August 21, 2017

I had a Root Canal, I had a Crown and the Tooth still hurts! Why?

I had a root canal treatment.  They put the crown on afterwards and now the tooth is still sensitive.
Why does this happen?
Well let us start off by saying that root canal treatment is highly successful but highly successful does mean that there are failures.  Even with a success rate in the 90 percentile and above, if you are one of the few where it doesn't work, it is very unpleasant.
Why can a root canal treatment fail?  There may be an extra canal or 2 which we did not see and accordingly did not clean and therefore bacteria was left in the tooth.  As good as we get, and we are always getting better with greater magnification and better techniques, we still miss canals. Sometimes there maybe a fracture in the tooth which causes ingress of bacteria and dooms the tooth.
These things can happen and even with our best efforts a root canal may fail.  Keep in mind, our success rates are always improving and at 90 plus success rate we are not doing to bad.

All the best

Dr Ron Barzilay

enjoying doing Dentistry in Hamilton Ontario

Monday, July 24, 2017

My Child is grinding his teeth at night and it is driving us crazy! What should we do?

I have had patients come in and ask me this question.  In the past I would have said that there is nothing you can do and they will grow out of it.  Today, I would ask them if the child is also snoring. I would ask a whole range of questions to see if possibly they have a number of different issues.  Depending on the results of our screening I may now refer the child to their family doctor to possibly send the child for a sleep assessment.  We would be concerned regarding the possibility of sleep apnea.  Today we understand that bruxism (teeth grinding) maybe the brains' way of trying to wake someone because the brain may not be getting enough oxygen. There is no question that as the child grows the airway will get larger and the problem of bruxing usually fades.  But you need to ask yourself is it worth waiting if it is an airway problem and your child is not getting enough oxygen to their developing brain.  How many nights without oxygen for a child brain is enough?   For this reason there are pediatric sleep studies and if the child has sleep apnea the treatment usually involves  removal of tonsils and adenoids and possibly orthodontic expansion of the maxilla.  The airway is openned and the child usually does better at school, stops snoring and bruximg and a whole range of other problems tend to improve.
All the best
Having fun doing dentistry in Hamilton Ontario

Dr Ron Barzilay

Friday, June 9, 2017


I get this question many times from parents.  Many times I get children and adults coming into the office and it is clear that they are not brushing their teeth.  When I ask if they brushed their teeth today, they answer "yes".  It is perfectly clear to me that they have not brushed their teeth but I move on because I don't want to embarrass anyone by confronting them.  How do I know they didn't brush?  It is quite clear by the amount of debris on the teeth.  Even if they did the worst job possible, you wouldn't have this much debris on the teeth.
I recently had a young man of 13 in the office.  He had just had his braces removed perhaps a month or two earlier and his gums were inflamed, fiery red.  I ran a probe over his teeth and huge amounts of white gunk (plaque) came off with the probe.  I asked him if he brushed his teeth today and he answered "yes he did".  The amount of plaque and the redness of his gums really worried me because this was a fork in the road for this young man.  Either a life of cavities and gum disease and eventually tooth loss or a beautiful smile with minimal tooth issues.  I asked him how long he had brushed his teeth today and he said a half hour.
I gave him a new tooth brush in the office and asked him to brush his teeth the way he does at home.
He brushed a little here and a little there and told me he was done.  I asked him how long he thinks that he brushed his teeth for and he answered, 1 minute!  I told him that he had brushed for 20 seconds.  I then took the tooth brush and systematically brushed his teeth so that I reached every area in his mouth in a systematic fashion..  I brushed his teeth this way for 2 minutes then I asked him to repeat what I had done.  He tried, didn't quite do it that well but he started to get the idea.  I guided him to  the the system that would let him clean every area and to how long it should take.  I told him he needs to do this morning and evening.  I had him back in two days and we repeated the same process with him brushing then with my repeating  and then with him brushing again.  I brought him in a week later and his oral hygiene had improved tremendously.  The red was almost gone and the teeth were clean.  We repeated again what we had done previously and I am bringing him in again in a month from now.
So how do you get them to brush?  You need to be involved, you need to work with your kids.  You need to let them understand that you are going to keep working with them until they brush their  teeth regularly and the way you show them.  The actual technique of brushing is not as important as the regularity of brushing and the time spent each time they brush They will come to the realization that it will be better for them if they just put a little effort into it themselves.  Eventually this will become a habit and they will brush for life.  You have to think of yourself as their personal trainer in the brushing department except that you are not getting paid.  Remember, spend the time with them!!!!

All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
Having fun doing dentistry in Hamilton Ontario