Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. During your exam, we will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems; we will also check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. A dental exam might also include dental X-rays as an aid that will help your dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
During a dental exam, we will discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits and might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam might include:
• Any medications you are taking.
• Use of tobacco products.
• Consequences of tooth loss.
• Para-functional habits like bruxing
A dental exam will give you the opportunity to ask questions.
DENTAL CLEANING / HYGIENE / PERIODONTAL CARE
One of our most important goals is to ensure that you maintain great oral health. We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your gums and teeth healthy and white.
Gum disease changes the appearance of the mouth, can weaken the support for the teeth, and can affect general health. By arming yourself with the right dental products and by using them every day, having regular check-ups, and being aware of how your oral health relates to overall health, you’ll be well on your way to healthier teeth and gums – and a healthier you. If you have any questions about your current hygiene plan please ask us.
When periodontal disease is present your dentist may suggest doing a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planning. Scaling entails the scraping of plaque and tartar from the teeth above and below the gum surface. Root planning occurs simultaneous with scaling and involves the smoothing of rough layers of the teeth. Both procedures work in concert to facilitate healing of the periodontal pockets by removing harmful bacteria and shutting down areas where such bacteria can grow. A local anesthetic is typically provided during the deep cleaning, which could require more than one visit depending upon the extent of the disease; and can also be supplemented with specific local actins antimicrobials that are placed below the gums to aid in inhibiting harmful bacteria.
If the depths of the pockets reduce or stabilize as a result of the treatment, the disease can be controlled with quarterly or semiannual visits to the dentist. If the treatment is less successful, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist) for possible surgery with the objective of getting a deeper scaling underneath the gums.
Our office uses digital x-rays, which are quickly becoming adopted by a large percentage of the dental industry. A digital x-ray allows us to take an image of the tooth or teeth and put it into an imaging program. Within this imaging program, there are a number of tools that will allow us to take a very close look at the teeth and surrounding structures with amazing accuracy. As a benefit to you, the digital x-ray also provides nearly 80% less radiation than a standard x-ray. This is due to the fact that the digital version of the x-ray is much more sensitive to this radiation and has been specifically designed with the patient in mind.
HOME CARE / BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit for our patients. We perform an oral exam during your routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. During an oral exam, we will look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Using gloved hands, we will also feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, with the great majority being noncancerous. An oral exam can't determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. If we find an unusual sore, we may recommend further testing to determine its cause. The only way to definitively determine whether you have oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit our office.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed in children on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth — the molars and premolars — to help protect them from decay.
The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves — "fissures" — that make them vulnerable to decay. These fissures can be deep and difficult to clean, can be narrower than even a single bristle of a toothbrush. Plaque accumulates in these areas, and the acid from bacteria in the plaque attacks the enamel and cavities can develop. Fluoride helps prevent decay and helps protect all the surfaces of the teeth; Dental Sealants provide extra protection for the grooved and pitted areas by providing a smooth surface covering over the fissured area.
The intraoral camera is an amazing diagnostic tool for viewing different angles in the mouth that we would not have been able to just a few years ago. The camera gives us the ability to view the entire mouth on a monitor so that we can get a closer look at any potential issues or problems that may arise. In addition, the patient will have the ability to see for themselves first hand the same images we are seeing. These digital images are also excellent for gaining procedure acceptance from insurance companies.
Nightguards are used in patients that are grinders, bruxers or suffer from TMJ pain. Nightguards can help relieve the sore jaws, worn teeth, headaches and neckaches that may result from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while sleeping. Nightguards also prevent your teeth from wearing down or fracturing due to grinding. With simply a painless impression of your teeth we can fabricate a nightguard to help you.