Through routine cleanings, early detection of cavities, and other preventative procedures, we are able to help you keep your smile in the best possible condition in an economical way.
Even when you brush and floss faithfully after every meal, tartar and plaque can build up on your teeth, particularly along gums, between teeth, and in other hard-to-reach places. This is why it is so important to schedule regular dental visits. During your appointment, our dental hygienist will carefully clean and polish your teeth, which will eliminate harmful bacteria that will cause periodontal disease. We will then examine every tooth, look for cavities, weak spots, and failing restorations, that require care. If we can catch these problem spots early, we can provide minor, instead of complex restorations which will help prevent further damage.
As part of your essential examinations, your dentist will also provide an oral cancer screening. This evaluation is repeated at each hygiene interval. We hope to supplement your yearly medical examination by taking a careful look at the soft tissue both inside and outside your mouth to ensure there are no “silent” problems of which you may be unaware. So any oral cancers, if detected early, can be treated successfully.
Preventing and diagnosing disease of the gum and bone are also extremely important. Limiting damage and correcting problems can help you avoid tooth loss and replacement. To decrease your risk for dental disease, we strongly encourage our patients to schedule routine dental exams and cleanings at least every six months. We have many patients that schedule every 3-4 months as well. Of course, each individual patient's interval is always based on their need established by a diagnosis of their periodontal and restorative status.
Even patients that are completely edentulous (no teeth) should have a yearly dental exam. At that time we will radiograph the jaw bone for abnormalities, check the soft tissues for soft tissue growths, and clean any dentures that the patient may have. This examination can save a patient’s life if oral cancer is found early enough for treatment.
Sometimes problem areas form in places we can’t easily see, such as between the teeth or beneath gums. We use x-rays to identify these hidden concerns. By enabling us to inspect every inch of every tooth, x-rays help us catch and immediately address problems that might not have been seen with the naked eye. Our practice has a digital x-ray system that has several benefits for our patients. The radiation exposure is a fraction of what it was with traditional dental x-rays, we see the image on our computer screens within seconds, we can magnify and change the image for more clarity, and we can even email the images to specialists to coordinate treatment. We recommend having cavity detecting x-rays taken at least once a year and a Full Mouth Series or Panoramic x-ray taken every 3-5 years based on the dental history provided.
Important as regular visits with your dental hygienist is, they are no replacement for the daily maintenance needed by your smile. To help prevent plaque from building up, you should brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. Preventing plaque, in turn, prevents cavities and gum disease.
We know you want to keep your smile looking its best even between visits. We provide all our patients with the most up-to-date oral devices and techniques so they can do just that. Talk with a member of our staff to learn the best strategies you can use at home to maintain healthy teeth and gums.