It is important for the patient and dental team to work together to preserve the natural structure of the mouth and prevent oral disease. Key to this is making sure you are taking proper care of your teeth and gums at home, mixed with a healthy diet. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and rinsing your mouth after eating. Additionally, you should visit the dentist regularly to make sure you are on track.
Other beneficial strategies revolve around sealants and making sure you are getting fluoride.
We offer three tiers of general dentistry: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. The tier that is used for a patient is dependent on the state of their oral health. Combine all of this and the better chance you have at a beautiful (and healthy) smile.
Cleanings, exams, and X-Rays (Radiography)
During a cleaning there will be a physical exam conducted by a hygienist of the mouth. Tartar and plague will be removed, and then your teeth with be professionally flossed. This will be followed by a teeth polishing. You will then rinse and a fluoride garnish may be applied. The hygienist will also go over any oral health techniques.
Dental X-rays are conducted via an electronic sensor that takes and stores the digital image on a computer. This X-ray assists the dental team in determining the treatment plan. X-rays can reveal things like bone loss, bad root/tooth positions, issues below the gum line, cancer, cysts and more. For those concerned about radiation exposure, even though X-rays can produce a minimal amount of exposure, they are considered to be safe and efforts are taken to reduce exposure.
Oral Cancer Screening
Too many people discover oral cancer in its late stages. When it is spotted at an early stage, the survival rate is high.
This is why we take oral cancer screenings seriously and conduct a comprehensive oral cancer screening for our patients.
Some of the risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Alcohol and/or tobacco use
- Oral cancer history
- 40+ years of age
Periodontal disease can spell bad news for your gums and bone around your teeth. It is caused by plaque that remains on the tooth and eventually turns into calculus. If left for too long, this can be very detrimental, resulting in gums that are swollen and can bleed due to infection. Adopting good oral health strategies, eating right, and consistent visits to the dentist can help prevent periodontal diseases.
Here are some symptoms to watch for:
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Gums that bleed
- Gums that are red instead of pink
- New spaces in teeth
- Gums that are receding
A periodontist helps to prevent and diagnose periodontal disease. When a periodontal problem is considered moderate, the goal will be to try to get rid of the infection and then have the patient try to control it with home care. In some cases, deep scaling will be required. If the disease is advanced, more intense cleaning might be required, as well as extractions for teeth that are unable to be saved.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is paused during sleep. This can last between a few seconds to even minutes, sometimes happening up to 30-plus times an hour. This can affect your blood stream and could end up being deadly if not managed.
The common symptoms of sleep apnea are the feeling of being tired during the day, headaches in the morning, as well as insomnia.
We have the right technology and knowledge to help patients struggling with sleep apnea. Tests will need to be conducted to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea and then various treatment options will be laid out, such as sleep masks or devices that help bring the lower jaw forward during sleep. For more intense treatments, there are jaw surgery options.
Your dentist will help you determine what treatment is ideal for you.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
When people grind their teeth at night it is often a result of a “bad bite.” If this continues without treatment, teeth can become eroded and result in more dental issues down the line, including loose teeth and eroded jawbones. Common symptoms can include dizziness and neck pain.
To help with this, the dentist will conduct an exam of your jaw with X-rays and your bite, as well as review your patient history. This will allow the dentist to make an accurate diagnosis.
The treatment plan might include a realignment, which involves adjusting the relationship between how your upper teeth fit together with your bottom teeth.
The Temporomandibular Joint connects your skull to your jaw. This often works as a sliding hinge and sometimes can cause pain. This pain can sometimes stem from arthritis, injury or genetics, which is sometimes referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ). TMJ can also be caused by Bruxism (grinding teeth).
Some symptoms of TMJ can include:
- Pain near the ear
- Difficulty chewing
- Facial pain
- Jaw tenderness
Our team will conduct a thorough exam in order to diagnose TMJ and then explain the necessary treatment plan.
Occlusal is another way of saying “bite.” So an occlusal analysis is an analysis of your bite. Sometimes your bite can become unstable, which can be recognized by loose teeth, teeth that move, clicking and general pain. If your bite isn’t right, it is kind of like you are driving on misaligned tires and a comprehensive exam will be needed.
An occlusal analysis includes examining the surfaces of teeth and reviewing how they function together. This can include casts being developed that are molds of the patient’s teeth. This helps determine how much stabilization will be needed and if orthodontics, onlays or crowns may be needed.
If treatment does not take place an occlusal disease can set in, which can result in teeth becoming disconfigured. It can also cause a lot of problems with the masticatory system as a whole.