Good oral health rests upon a foundation of preventive care. Preventive care is all about preventing problems before they start. This is accomplished through consistently applying good oral health habits like: brushing and flossing your teeth daily, eating a healthy diet
(low on sugar and acidic foods), and regular visits to the dentist. It is recommended that you see the dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. X-rays may be included in this routine exam. The dentist will determine how often x-rays are used as a diagnostic tool by assessing your present oral health as well as your dental history. This will allow us to help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, as well as quickly address any developing problems affecting your dental health.
Cleanings and exams are some of the most basic, yet important, preventative services we provide. It is important for children, as well as adults, to have regular dental checkups. The earlier a child is taken to a dentist, the better. Early exposure to a dentist will help them become more comfortable with dental exams. Also, many of our dental problems start in our childhood. If you can address and establish good habits early on, you will set the stage for a healthy smile for the rest of your child’s life. To schedule an appointment we invite you to call our office today.
We use dental x-rays to further evaluate your teeth and make sure you receive the dental care you need. Dental x-rays allow us to see what is going on “below the surface”. With an x-ray we are able to detect cavities that may not be visible on the outside surface of a tooth. X-rays also allow us to see the root of the tooth and the supporting bone structure as well as the gum tissues. The frequency of x-rays taken depends on your current oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. The dentist will review your dental history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not x-rays are needed.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional x-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns. A leaded apron with a thyroid collar will help minimize exposure to radiation while the x-rays are being taken and should be used whenever possible.
A sealant is a preventive dental treatment that is typically recommended for children, and sometimes for adults too. A sealant is made of an opaque tooth-colored resin material that is painted onto the chewing surface of a tooth. Teeth used for chewing, the molars and pre-molars, often have deep grooves and pits on the chewing surface that are sometimes hard to keep clean. A dental sealant forms a smooth surface over these pits and grooves effectively blocking out cavity causing bacteria from accumulating on them.
Sealants are quick and easy to apply and they can last for up to ten years with proper dental care. These sealants will be checked at each routine exam to make sure they have not worn away. Conveniently, they can easily be applied in one appointment, often as part of a routine exam and cleaning. The surface of the tooth will be cleaned and dried, the dentist will then apply a solution to the tooth that slightly roughens the surface. The sealant is then painted on the chewing surface of the tooth and dries hard in just a few minutes.
Non-Surgical Gum Treatments (Deep Cleaning)
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. This bacteria can inflame and infect the gum tissues which will eventually cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. In the initial stages it is called gingivitis and only the gums are infected. If this is not appropriately addressed and treated it can travel below the gum line and into the bone. Severe cases that are left untreated can cause bone loss, tooth loss, and permanent gum recession.
If your gums are red, swollen, tender, or bleed easily you may be developing periodontal disease. Other symptoms commonly seen in periodontal disease are loose teeth, changes in the position or bite of the teeth, persistent bad breath, and receding gums that cause the teeth to appear longer than normal.
When treating periodontal disease, the goal is to control the infection. Your treatment will be based upon your specific dental needs as well as the severity of the problem. Typical treatment includes professional dental cleanings, improved personal oral hygiene, scaling or root planning (deep cleaning done with a local anesthetic), antibiotic treatment, or gum surgery.
A dental filling is most commonly used to restore a tooth with a cavity, but may also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth. There are two main types of filling material used today: composite (white or tooth colored) and amalgam (silver). Most dentists use composite fillings exclusively for aesthetic reasons as well as health concerns over the heavy metals used in amalgam fillings.
Dental fillings are usually a simple procedure that includes a local anesthetic and removal of decayed tooth material. After all decay has been removed, the filling material is placed into the tooth and shaped to the correct shape of your tooth restoring both function and aesthetics. The material is then hardened for a long lasting restoration.
If you have a tooth that is decayed or broken, a filling is usually a great option for restoring your oral health and function. Please call our office today with any questions about your oral health.