Bear Creek Dental Clinic

"Make a difference with a healthy beautiful smile"


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Bear Creek Dental Clinic, Surrey, BC

Posted on 19 July, 2015 at 4:00 Comments comments ()
Make a difference with a healthy beautiful smile” has been my personal philosophy.  This has enabled me to see possibilities beyond obvious and to provide with very best care for my patients.
   Dr. Kumudu Suriya, Dentist
   BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC)
   Clinical Instructor, UBC Dentistry

Bear Creek Dental Clinic
13588 88th Avenue, Unit 109
Surrey, BC V3W 3K8

Dr. Kumudu Suriya is now at Bear Creek Dental Clinic, 13588 88th Av., Unit 109, Surrey, BC

Posted on 17 December, 2014 at 4:51 Comments comments ()
I am no longer at the 68th & 152 clinic.
Now I am at Bear Creek Dental Clinic, 13588 88th Av., Unit 109, Surrey, BC.
Please call 604-593-7211 for dental and oral hygiene appointments.

My new clinic info is at
Please visit the link and share it.

Oral health of your kids

Posted on 30 April, 2014 at 1:20 Comments comments ()
Oral health of your kids 
Dr. Kumudu Suriya    

We take our daily food intake through our mouths.  For this reason alone, it is imperative to have good oral heath.
If you are an adult, you can take care of your oral health.  The same cannot be expected from our kids.  It is the responsibility of parents to maintain good oral heath of their children.
Some parents take a very relaxed approach to taking care of oral health of their babies. However, with simple habits, you can easily improve on oral health of your baby. 
• After each feeding, use a clean cloth to wipe gums and tooth-buds of a newborn.
• When teeth appear, brush your baby’s teeth twice a day with a small soft-bristled toothbrush and water.  Brushing before putting to bed is especially important.
• Do not share toothbrushes or any other utensils such as forks, spoons sippy-cups among family members.
• Lift up your baby’s lip regularly to check for decay, white or brown spots on teeth.
• Never use corn syrup, honey or other sugar products on your baby’s soother.
• If your baby sleeps with a bottle, fill it up only with water.  Also plan to stop the bottle between 18 to 24 months.
• Train your baby to drink from a cup when the baby is able to sit up.
There is a range of opinions on what to expect from a toddler.  But, all agree that toddlers cannot be treated as fully independent children.  Toddlers are unable to clean their own teeth properly.  Brush for them.  As they grow older, you can brush with them.  When they are about eight years old, they can brush on their own with your supervision.  Even with older children, you still have to supervise them as the issue is not dexterity, but rather they cut corners with brushing properly or skipping brushing altogether.
As British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA) points out, use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste and gradually increase it to a small pea-sized amount by age three.  This is especially important given the fact that much of the BC water supply is non-Fluoridated.
Brushing needs to be supplemented with flossing.  Focus more on where teeth are touching.  They are the areas that toothbrushes cannot reach.
Brushing teeth only is insufficient.  Brush your gums, tongue and other areas of your mouth.

As indicated in my previous articles, what you eat when and how will have an impact on your oral health.  If you have unhealthy habits, it is most likely that your children will learn them from you.  Integrate good in-house oral care into your daily routine. 
If you are taking your children to a dentist twice a year for checkups, it is easier to keep up with good oral health.  However, taking children to a dentist can put financial pressure on some parents.  This is especially true for some parents who are new immigrants, parents who have recently lost their jobs and families with relatively insufficient income or disabilities.  There are private and some government-assisted insurance plans such as Healthy Kids plan that can relieve you from this pressure.
Make oral health of children an integral part of your family health.

Dr. Kumudu Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in Surrey & New Westminster.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia and was a lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

                                                                                                                                April 2014

Bottled-juice and Teeth

Posted on 25 January, 2014 at 14:03 Comments comments ()
Bottled-juice and Teeth 
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya  
It is hard to expect people to turn their backs to hip and cool habits.  There was a time that it was sugar-loaded pop.  Now, it is bottled-juice.  More and more kids and adults are alike walking around with bottled-juice in their hands in the name of health and nutrition.  But, is bottled-juice good for your health?  Is it good for your teeth? 

Data released in UK indicates that dental problems have become the third most common reason for children who have been admitted to hospitals.  Laura Donnelly sees bottled-juice as one of the contributing causes.  Her main point was simplified in the following The Sunday Telegraph illustration on “what’s hidden inside a bottle of fruit juice.”

It is hard now to find someone who does not understand that sugar left on tooth surfaces provide suitable conditions for harmful bacteria to multiply into colonies.  But, do all people understand that excessive levels of mouth acidity can damage tooth enamel.   Not all people who resist sugar-loaded solid sweets reject sugar-loaded pop.  It is important to understand that pop is not only sugary, but is also acidic.  When both sugar and acid are present, damage to teeth will happen at a faster rate.  In children, the negative impact is faster and more severe as their teeth enamel is softer than adults.

Some people who have rejected pop due to sugar and acid content seem to be less critical on bottled-juice.  They need to realize that bottled-juice can be sugary and more acidic than pop.  More importantly, drinking bottled-juice in between meals make the situation worse by making mouth acidic.

Brushing teeth after an acidic drink may not be the smartest thing to do.  According to Professor Laurence Walsh, waiting at least half an hour before brushing will prevent more damage to already softened teeth.

You are not helpless.  Take ownership on your actions and habits. 
 • Remember that bottled-juice is not the very best drink available. 
 • Do not give your child bottled-juice as a pacifier. 
 • If you need to have a bottled-juice, have it with a meal. 
 • If you cannot control drinking bottled-juice in between meals, do not drink them over several hours.  
 • To reduce juice contact with teeth, whenever possible use a straw to drink bottled-juice. • Between meals, drinking tap water is a healthy choice. 

Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), April 2013

Non-dental Toothaches

Posted on 25 January, 2014 at 13:11 Comments comments ()
Non-dental Toothaches 
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya
The causes of toothache can be dental and non-dental.  The majority of cases fall into dental origin.  For this reason, my previous article on Sensitive to Teeth Sensitivity focused first on toothaches of dental origin.  

This article conceptualizes on some reasons related to toothaches of non-dental origin.   When a patient believes that a toothache is originating from a tooth, the expectation is to treat that tooth.  If a dentist finds a problem in the tooth that a patient is isolating, the treatment of the tooth is often the solution.  When the toothache is present even after a procedure, it may not be a result of an unsuccessful treatment.  It is possible that in addition to a dental problem in the isolated tooth, the patient has unresolved toothaches of non-dental origin.  It is in this sense that looking only for problems in teeth can make diagnosis as well as treatment of teeth problematic.  It is also important to investigate on causes of non-dental origin that can contribute to toothaches.

Here are some non-dental causes of toothaches.

Muscle pain
Strain on jaw muscles can refer pain to teeth.

Migraines and cluster headaches 
Headaches that result from changes to nerves and blood vessels in our heads may feel as toothaches.

Heart problems
When heart problems refer pain to shoulder, arm and jaw, it is also possible to spillover pain to teeth.  

Problems in maxillary sinus 
Pain to upper teeth may be a pressure build up in maxillary sinus.  Usually this type of pain is felt in several teeth as well as pressure below eyes.

Salivary gland dysfunction In absence of protective saliva, the health of teeth and supporting structures will be compromised.  In addition, when salivary glands are dysfunctional, referred pain can occur in teeth.

Trigeminal neuralgia Trigeminal nerve provides sensations to face and teeth.  Trigeminal neuralgia is a nervous disorder that affects trigeminal nerve, causing intense pain in areas of face and sometimes mimicking a toothache. 

With advances in medicine and technology, there are new solutions to toothaches.  However, while elimination of pain is possible for some of these situations, other times it is only possible to manage pain.

In attempting to identify causes behind these toothaches, other health issues may be uncovered.  General dentists may need to refer patients to specialists or work in consultations with specialists when dealing with patients who have toothaches of non-dental origin.  When you visit a dentist, try to have an open dialogue without limiting to teeth.

Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), February 2013

Sensitive to Teeth Sensitivity?

Posted on 15 December, 2012 at 13:42 Comments comments ()
Sensitive to Teeth Sensitivity?
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya

I can’t remember anyone talking about sensitive teeth when I was a kid.  Now I see many people who are concerned about their teeth sensitivities.  Does this mean that people are becoming more expressive on their teeth sensitivities?  Is it possible that teeth sensitivities are on the rise?  In any event, for sure, teeth sensitivities are not ignored now.

A painful tooth can stem mainly from four distinct situations – decayed tooth, post-operative sensitivity (last for a period of time after a filling), referred tooth pain and dentin hypersensitivity.  A future article will focus on referred tooth pain.  This article focuses on dentin hypersensitivity, enabling you to take preventative steps.

The part above the gum line of a tooth is called a crown.  A layer of hard material called enamel protects the crowns of your teeth.  The part below gum line of a tooth is not fully protected with enamel.  A layer as not as hard as enamel called cementum covers the largest area below gum line.  Underneath both enamel and cementum is dentin.

Dentin is not as hard as enamel and contains tiny microscopic tubes (tubules).  About twenty percent of tubules have nerve fibers penetrating inner dentine by no more than a few microns.  When gums recede, dentin may also be exposed.  The result is dentin hypersensitivity or commonly known as teeth sensitivity.

What are the major causes of teeth sensitivity?
• brushing too hard 
• grinding teeth 
• keeping mouth acidic 
• neglecting oral hygiene 
• gum disease

What can you do? 
• Don’t brush too hard.  Avoid hard toothbrushes.  Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. 
• Brush twice a day with a proper technique to prevent plaque build up.  This will also reduce the chances of periodontal disease that can cause receding gums. 
• Rinse your mouth to flush out acid build up in your mouth.  Rinsing is especially important when you consume acidic drinks (orange, lime, pop-drinks, etc.) or food. 
• Use fluoridated dental toothpaste to help strengthen enamel.  This is important in light of the fact that BC tap water is mostly non-fluoridated.  You may also want to use toothpaste recommended for sensitive teeth. 
• Avoid using unsafe teeth-whitening products. 
• It is easy to avoid grinding teeth during the day as you can control your action while you are awake.  If you grind during night, you cannot control your actions.  You could use a mouth guard. 
• If you have a small cavity, do not wait till it becomes a major one to see a dentist.

With increasing life-expectancy, you have more years to chew.  If you take preventative measures, you will have a pleasant experience when drinking and eating.

Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), November 2012

If you have dental fear …

Posted on 21 November, 2012 at 15:27 Comments comments ()
If you have dental fear …
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya
You are aware that dentists make you sit on their dental-chairs not similar to couches at your homes.  When you look around from dental-chairs, you realize that the surroundings are not similar to your living rooms.  You see various dental instruments and some employees wearing masks.  You also know that your dentists will make you open your mouth and do things that you would not normally do at home.  This nature of disorientation is perhaps enough to spin many of you out of your comfort zones.  However, it is not this nature of disorientation that is known as dental-anxiety, dental-fear or dental-phobia.
Dental-anxiety is a feeling of nervousness or uneasiness of visiting a dental office or receiving dental treatment.  In contrast, dental-phobia is extreme or terrified fear.   What is generally known as dental-fear rest in between these two.  In other words, dental-anxiety, dental-fear or dental-phobia is mild to severe variations of dental fears.
If you have had a direct negative experience at a dental office, there is a chance that you may develop dental fear.  If one of your immediate family members or best friends had a negative experience, you may have used their experience also to compound on your fears.  In addition to this, there are other indirect negative experiences such as anecdotal negative stories in mass media and feeling of helplessness that can compound on dental fear.  Those who have dental fears habitually avoid professional dental care until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment.  In fact, invasive treatment often reinforces fear of dentistry.
If you have dental fear, you may want to try the following to reduce or overcome your difficulties. 
 •  Find a dentist who is able to communicate in your language of choice.  This will breakdown communication barriers and provide an opportunity to build trust. 
 •  Once you have found the dentist, visit the dental office, meet the receptionist and talk to the dentist.  See the environment in person. 
 •  Cut down the dwelling time before a dental appointment.  Ask for a morning appointment.  Don’t think too much of your fear.
•  Agree first to have a small procedure at the dental office, enabling to have a positive experience.  Do not wait till a minor procedure become a major one.  Usually, minor fears turn into major fears when anticipating a major procedure. 
 •  Listen to your personal choice of music during your visit. 
 •  Come to a signaling agreement with the dentist to have an immediate stop, need a break, more suction, etc. 
 •  Many of the general dentistry can be done with local anesthetics (a numbing solution).  However, let the dentist know if you prefer a particular type of sedation (a method of putting to sleep).
Although all Canadian dentists are trained today with improved sedation methods and comfort-maximizing dental instrumentation, finding a dentist that you feel comfortable will allow you to have pleasant experiences with your routine dental care.
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the UBC and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.
Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), October 2012

To Reduce Oral Cancer Risks

Posted on 11 October, 2012 at 1:11 Comments comments ()
To Reduce Oral Cancer Risks 
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya
We should not assume that it is only people with certain questionable habits are at risk of having oral cancer.  It is important to understand that some develop oral cancer without any certain questionable habits.  You may even know people who have had healthy lifestyles as well as abusive habits suffered from oral cancer.

The term oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat (the pharynx).  When you visit your dentist, do not limit your discussion with the dentist just to teeth.  In fact, if you disclose your concerns of your mouth, your dentist may be able to detect problematic situations (if any) related to oral cancer.

Studies indicate that the following will put someone at risk for oral cancer:
• cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use or combination 
• betel nut chewing 
• sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (especially HPV 16) infection 
• sun exposure to lips 
• age over 40
• diet low in fruits and vegetables

When detected early, oral cancers can be treated more successfully.  Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer are: 
• bleeding or pain in the lip or in the mouth 
• a sore that does not heal on the lip or in the mouth 
• irritation, lump or thick patch in the mouth, lip, or throat 
• white or red patch in the mouth 
• numbness in the tongue or other areas of the mouth 
• problems in speaking clearly 
• difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue 
• difficulty in chewing or swallowing 
• feeling that something is caught in the throat 
• swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable 

Often, symptoms like those listed above do not necessarily mean cancer.  However, if you have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, you should see a dentist for a painless oral cancer exam that takes only a few minutes. 

Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.  She is a Clinical Instructor at the UBC and was a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya. 

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), September 2012

Simple steps for good oral health

Posted on 11 October, 2012 at 0:52 Comments comments ()
Simple steps for good oral health
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya
Eating is something we all do on a daily basis.  Our mouths are busy places.  Inside our mouths are also places where there are many tiny organisms live.  Among them, bacteria are the main category.  Not all of these bacteria are harmful.  But, harmful bacteria can be a major problem.  They can attach themselves to surfaces such as the enamel that covers our teeth.  If they are not removed, they will multiply into colonies of bacteria.  When food pieces and residues mixed with saliva (spit) are present, these bacteria create a whitish film on teeth.  This film is commonly known as plaque.  If you let plaque accumulate in your mouth, that could cause cavities in your teeth as well as gum disease.

As long as you understand that what we eat as well as what we leave in our mouths after eating will create problems for us, finding practical solutions is doable.  Changing what people eat may be difficult.  What can be easily done is cleaning our mouths.

(1) You need to flush out food pieces and residues from your mouth.  Each time after eating, drink water.  While drinking, rinse your mouth.
(2) In light of the fact that much of the BC Lower Mainland water supply is non-Fluoridated, it is important to brush your teeth properly with a Fluoridated toothpaste at least two times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.  Make sure to clean not just teeth, but also areas such as tongue and gums.
(3) Floss your teeth regularly. A practical strategy is to floss before you go to bed.  Flossing may reach surfaces where brushing cannot reach.

Some of the solutions to oral health are as simple as adhering to proper oral hygiene habits.  It is not something just dentists and other dental professionals alone can do for you.  It is rather something that many of you are able to do for yourselves.  Include in-house oral care into your daily routines.

If you have children, make them a part of your daily routine.  Make sure to use appropriate type of toothpaste so as to be compatible with their age and needs.  The same should be done with senior citizens under your care.  Studies show that family approach to daily oral care works well.

Take charge of your oral health through prevention as it is easier to reduce your chances of needing root canal treatments, tooth extractions, implants and more.
Dr. Kumudu Wijesinghe Suriya, BDS (Peradeniya), DMD (UBC), is a dentist who practices in New Westminster & Surrey.

Sri Lanka Times (BC, Canada), August 2012