Oasis Family Dental Centre

Oasis and TLC Provide Dental Care in Guatemala

Change for Children’s Dental Brigade to Comitancillo, Guatemala was a whirlwind adventure. Between TLC Family Dental and Oasis Family Dental, five team members, including Dr. Sharma, Heather, Nadia, Nicole and Tracy, travelled to the Guatemalan Highlands to provide free dental care to many children (and some adults) who are not able to obtain regular access to a dentist.


Working closely with AMMID, a local organization, we were able to visit four indigenous communities, as well as a clinic within Comitancillo itself, and provide dental care in make shift clinics that were set up inside of classrooms. AMMID was very well organized in terms of preparing for the clinics before we arrived by pre-screening those with dental concerns so that we were able to prioritize those with the greatest need. Once we were able to see all of the children (usually upwards of 100 a day), if time allowed, we would see the teachers and any of the locals who were in need.


After a day spent sightseeing in Antigua, we sat through a 7 hour truck ride (speed limits were often 40 km/hour, with many speed bumps on the highways), and we arrived in Comitancillo, and the hotel that we would call home for the next week. We soon discovered that we had one bathroom and one shower that would be shared between the seven of us staying on our floor. The fact that the shower had no hot water didn’t dampen our spirits; in fact it would turn out to be quite refreshing after a long clinic day.


We quickly fell into a routine on clinic days. Our morning wake up was at 5:45AM, and after preparing for the morning, we would walk to our breakfast, which was located at a restaurant about a five minute walk (uphill both ways) away from our hotel. Street vendors would be setting up shop for the day at 6AM, many of them squeezing fresh orange juice and heating up their grills for breakfast. Our hosts made sure we were well fed, serving us eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, granola, beans, as well as café con leche and an assortment of fresh fruits. After breakfast, we would walk back to our hotel and load up the trucks to take us to our clinic for the day.


The four indigenous communities that we visited were Chamaque, Tuixcajchis, Piedra de Feugo and Taltimiche. Every community was so grateful that we were there, that there was a presentation made by the school every morning. We would watch as children wearing traditional Guatemalan garments would perform traditional dances for us. Ruben, our local contact with AMMID would speak to the children, parents and teachers about how oral health is so important, and how limiting and eliminating the consumption of sugars (such as candy and soda) would help prevent tooth decay. Ironically, during one of these speeches, a truck carrying thousands of glass bottles of Coca Cola pulled up in front of the school, making a delivery to the shop across the street. Rori, a University of Toronto student, living in Comitancillo while doing her thesis, informed us that being able to afford sugar and sugary products was often a sign of wealth, which was why many were choosing to drink pop as opposed to water. At one point we witnessed a mother feeding her infant Coca Cola straight from the bottle. Dr. Sharma spoke with her and let her know how unhealthy that was. Each morning presentation also had the salute to the flag, followed by the Guatemalan national anthem, which runs at a lengthy five and a half minutes long.


After the morning festivities were completed, it was time to get to business. Dr. Sharma would start triaging the long line up that had already begun. While the three dentists were hoping that we would be able to save as many teeth as we could, it quickly became evident that the majority of our work would be extractions. The primary language spoken in the communities was Mam, and while the students were learning Spanish, we would often have to translate from English to Spanish to Mam and vice versa. Because of the malnourishment that many suffered from, the children were very small for the size. A six year old would be the average size of a three or four year old here in Canada. It was often hard to see how bombed out the teeth were on some of the children. Although many were scared of the uncertainty, and there were many tears, you had to remind yourself that you were there doing a service and you were helping to get the children out of pain, pain that they likely had lived with for a long time and became complacent with. We were also able to pick up on some Spanish phrases, such as “muy fuerte (very strong), so that we were able to provide some comfort to the children.


But it wasn’t all dentistry. We were able to learn some very cool Guatemalan traditions of the Mam people. Ruben invited us to his home to participate in a chuj. The chuj is a small room built adjacent to their home out of adobe bricks. The room is filled with smoke from burning logs, and hot coals that produce steam when water is poured out. It’s not your average sauna, it is a very-very-very hot and small space. The chuj is traditionally used every week to sweat out impurities and toxins and to rejuvenate yourself. When you come out of the chuj (even after your second venture in) you feel very relaxed. Our hosts had us drink a special tea made from herbs and plants grown around his house that helps regulate your body temperature. Although Guatemala is closer to the border, the highlands are quite high in altitude and temperatures are quite chilly during the early morning and evenings, so it is a little bit of a shock when you leave the super hot chuj and venture into the regular temperature outside.


It was hard leaving to go home. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to the people from AMMID who had worked so hard in organizing the brigade for us. The people of Comitancillo had beautiful hearts and treated us as family. They were so gracious, often giving us hugs after treatment had been completed. We hope to see many of them again in the future. It was also hard leaving because our flight out of Guatemala City was delayed 10 hours. We arrived back in Edmonton 24 hours later than we expected. The travel was exhausting, but the memories that we made are ones that will never be forgotten.

Upcoming Trip to Guatemala

In two weeks time, members of Oasis Family Dental Centre and TLC Family Dental Centre will be heading to Comitancillo, Guatemala with Change For Children to give dental care to those in need. The villages that the brigade will visit do not have access to dental or health care, and many are living with constant tooth pain. Dental infection can lead to many other health issues. If you are interested in learning more about the dental brigades, or other ways you can help, please visit https://changeforchildren.org

Don’t forget to check back here in about a months time to see how the trip went!

Dental Care Made Affordable

We know that dental work can be expensive. We also know that it can be easy to put your dental needs on the back burner. Poor dental health can lead to health issues in other systems of your body. Dental infections, if left untreated, can spread to other areas of the body and be potentially life threatening.


 We want to make sure that your dental needs are being taken care of. If this causes a financial burden on yourself or your family, we have another option that may allow you to get the dental work that you need at an affordable rate.


Oasis Family Dental Centre and TLC Family Dental Centre have partnered with Health Smart Financial- a third party loan service that will take care of your dental bill (at an amount that you are pre-approved for) and allow you to pay back interest-free over 12 months.


If you are interested in learning more about Health Smart, you can click the link below. Alternatively, you may stop in at one of our locations for more information. Our friendly staff will be happy to submit an application to check to see how much you would be approved for, if you would like!





How can my diabetes affect my oral health

shutterstock_96792142Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on many aspects of your body, including your mouth. Studies have shown that those with diabetes are more prone to caries (tooth decay), dry mouth, periodontal disease (gum disease), delayed healing and more. The more uncontrolled the diabetes, the more prevalent these issues become. Some of these conditions aren’t necessarily obvious until it may be too late, which is why it is important to consult regularly with both your medical doctor and dentist. In addition, some diseases such as diabetes can present with signs and symptoms in the oral cavity even before a diagnosis of the disease is made. Therefore, regular dental hygiene visits and dental examinations are an important part in maintaining your overall health.

Dr. Daniel Nosyk, B Sc. D.M.D.

Oasis Dental’s Annual Kids Day 2016

Oasis Family Dental Centre held their annual “Kids Day” this past Saturday, September 24 and it was a huge success. We saw just under 100 patients for their routine dental exams and hygiene appointments! Along with their routine appointments, we supplied the children and their parents with oral hygiene instruction as well as how to avoid caries by ensuring your child is getting the proper nutrition (and avoiding copious amount of sugars, including juice). Aside from their visits, we also had other forms of entertainment including face painters, a magician, balloon animals and a bouncy castle. We have not chosen a day for next year though, however we are keeping a list of patients who want to come! Call the office at 780-986-0016 and let us know if you are interested in attending next year, and we will be sure to call you when we have chosen a date.

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What is a cavity?

A cavity is the result of the demineralization of tooth structure. It is typically what your dentist is referring to when they are discussing caries.

Enamel makes up the hard, durable outer surface of a tooth. Enamel gives our teeth shape. Dentin is the next layer of tooth structure beneath the enamel. Dentin is a porous layer supporting the enamel and provides our teeth with colour and strength. Within the dentin lies the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth. Another substance, called cementum, surrounds the roots of our teeth and typically is hidden under the bone and gums that surround our teeth.

Plaque bacteria, if left unattended for too long, will use the sugars in our diet to produce acid that is strong enough to penetrate through the crystalline enamel structure of our teeth. The initial stages of this breakdown is called demineralization. As this demineralization process continues, caries (cavities) form. Once the acid makes its way to the dentin it will affect the dentinal tubules and cause an inflammatory response from vital pulp tissue which may result in tooth pain.

Prevention of caries is one of the main goals of good diet and sound oral hygiene. Caries are diagnosed by your dentist using visual and radiographic cues. It is recommended to treat carious lesions (cavities) in the early stages to prevent both severe tooth destruction and potential tooth pain; thus stressing the importance of regular dental exams.

Dr. Daniel Nosyk, B Sc. D.M.D.

My teeth do not hurt. Why do I need to go to the Dentist?

The feeling of dental pain is often the end result of long-standing oral disease. Regular dental examinations can catch and assess common problems early on in the disease process. This early  detection of dental or soft tissue disease can potentially save you from more expensive dental procedures or unrelenting pain.

Dental examinations involve much more than just looking at your teeth and are just as important for people who have lost their teeth.  Typically, your dental team will perform a complete review of your medical history. Certain aspects of your medical history may include health conditions that can be associated with oral health problems or may in turn affect the success of certain dental treatments. Your dentist or hygienist will perform an extra oral head and neck examination as well as an intra oral examination, which includes an oral cancer screen. These examinations look for hard and soft abnormalities or inflammation that could indicate general and oral health problems. In addition to examining your dentition for caries and other tooth conditions, your dentist and hygienist will assess your periodontal or “gum” health. Radiographs, also known as “X-rays”. are a critical diagnostic aid utilized by your dentist and are recommended to be taken if necessary depending on your oral health status.

Your dentist will explain to you what is happening during your examination and will also let you know about his or her findings. It is very important for you to be aware of your oral health status because you plan the most important role in maintaining it. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your dental office.


Dr. Daniel Nosyk. B Sc. D.M.D

At what age should I bring my child to the dental office for their first visit?

Kids Day TeamIt is recommended by the Canadian Dental Association to schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist within the first 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth or by the age of one year.

The age of one year is a dynamic and exciting time for the growth and development of your child’s oral cavity and it is a perfect opportunity to create a positive and long lasting relationship with their Dentist and dedicated team of oral health care professionals.

During your child’s first visit, time is taken to examine your child’s oral cavity as well as to inform you of what changes you can expect to see throughout your child’s development. Also, early problem signs can be detected and treated.

Your child’s first visit can be a great opportunity to ask any questions that you may have regarding your child’s oral health as well as to gather valuable information regarding diet and oral hygiene an how together they can prevent Early Childhood Caries.

It is never too early to instill healthy oral habits and knowledge that will lead to a lifetime of outstanding oral health.


Dr. Daniel Nosyk, B Sc. D.M.D

I have some missing teeth, what are some of my options to replace them?


Partial edentulism (missing teeth) can present a variety of problems for many people. Tooth loss can be the result of caries, trauma or periodontal disease to name a few and can create problems for the remaining teeth. There are many options to replace missing teeth, For most patients there is usually more than one treatment option that would suit their mouth in which emphasizes the importance of regular visits to your dentist.

Implant placement is considered to be the first option when replacing single or multiple teeth. A dental implant can support one or multiple teeth and multiple implants can also support complete upper or lower dentures. Implants today are widely thought to be the most appropriate single tooth replacement treatment option.There are multiple factors that need to be examined with your dental professional team before having an implant placed. These factors include but are not limited to: how much bone remains in the implant site, how much space remains between adjacent teeth, and how a patient’s systemic health will affect the prognosis of an implant.

Fixed partial dentures (bridges) are another treatment option to replace missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns placed on teeth adjacent to the edentulous space with a pontic (fake tooth) or pontics attached to these crowns. Bridges have been an appropriate way to treat partial edentulism for many years and are still used today. Bridges also have specific indications and contraindications that need to be discussed with your dentist when determining if a bridge is an appropriate option for you.

Removable partial dentures are considered another option for the treatment of missing teeth. Removable partial dentures are removable appliances that are made to utilize the remaining teeth as retentive features. Theya re most commonly used in cases where there are multiple missing teeth. As with all the other treatment options discussed, there are indications and contraindications to partial dentures.

The options discussed above are only a brief summary of the options to treat partial edentulism. Regardless of the number of teeth missing, regular examinations and open communication with your dentist and dental professional team will allow you to be informed and benefit from the best treatment options for you.


Dr. Daniel Nosyk, B Sc. D.M.D.