Preventative Dental Care
COMPREHENSIVE ORAL EXAM
At your very first visit, we will conduct a comprehensive oral exam, which includes reviewing your dental concerns, history, goals and oral hygiene. Appropriate digital x-rays and periodontal charting are completed, and we perform a soft and hard tissue exam, oral cancer screening and TMD screening. We will then be able to determine the overall health of your teeth, gums and jaw, so we may give you treatment recommendations.
At least once every 6 months, we recommend a thorough cleaning, periodic exam, periodontal charing and appropriate digital x-rays. During this process, we can identify any changes to your teeth and mouth overall. We may recommend more frequent cleanings to maintain your periodontal health as necessary.
Digital radiography is a form of imaging where digital x-ray sensors are used to capture images. This technology is safer for the environment because it eliminates the use of harsh chemicals and film. In our office, we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional film x-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque where it is too narrow to allow even one bristle in to clean. These grooves can develop cavities over time, so the dentist will seal the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin tooth colored material to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bonding agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then, the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with curing light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish which matches your tooth.
Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. Currently most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite fillings instead of amalgam. Our goal is to always detect cavities early so they can be treated easily, conservatively and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and then requiring root canal treatment or an extraction.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one’s teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, the teeth are in jeopardy just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get periodontal disease treated at the earliest stages, which may not have any symptoms and can only be detected by your dentist.