Good oral hygiene habits are essential to optimal dental health, and proper cleaning at home – though very important – is only your first line of defense. To ensure that your teeth look their best now and for years to come, you also need to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Professional cleaning removes plaque – the sticky, bacteria-filled film that adheres to the surface of your teeth. Plaque that gathers along the gum line and other hard-to-reach spots can irritate the gums and lead to gingivitis (signs include red, swollen, or bleeding gums). If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the irreversible gum disease called periodontitis.
Tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease) are the primary causes of adult tooth loss, so it’s important to know the state of your periodontal health. Research has also found a relationship between gum disease and more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you could be at risk for periodontal disease.
- Red, swollen gums.
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss.
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Persistent bad breath.
- Pus between the teeth and gums.
- Teeth that seem to wobble in their sockets.
Do you suffer from ailments such as persistent headaches, ringing in the ears, popping of the jaw, or chronic pain in the jaw, neck or shoulders? If you answered yes, the culprit could be temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is the joint immediately in front of the ear where the lower jaw, or mandible, joins the temporal bone of the skull. You may have never heard of it, but you use your temporomandibular joint thousands of times every day – each time you talk, chew, or swallow. In addition to being one of the most frequently used joints in the body, it’s also one of the most complex. By carefully repositioning the jaw through advanced dentistry procedures, we can restore your bite to a more functional balance.
Most dental problems can be prevented with regular dental care and plain old common sense. However, accidents do happen. Getting immediate treatment for a broken tooth or severe toothache, as well as conditions such as severe and constant pain in the mouth, significant bleeding that will not stop, and severely swollen gums or jaw, can mean the difference between saving a tooth and losing it. Because time is often of the essence when a tooth is knocked out or chipped in an accident, our dentists are available to treat dental emergencies as they occur.
People are not born with an innate fear of going to the dentist. They learn it through traumatic experience in the dentist’s chair, which is why it is particularly important for us to make a good first impression on our pediatric patients. As a family-oriented business, we pay special attention to our younger patients and encourage parents to bring their children in for regular checkups as early as possible, rather than waiting until a painful problem develops. Our staff is dedicated to providing quality care in a gentle, positive, and fun environment.
Sealants are a powerful weapon in fighting cavities. In fact, when correctly applied, these thin but durable plastic-like coatings are nearly 100 percent effective in preventing tooth decay. Sealants are generally applied to the back teeth (the molars), where even the most diligent brushing and flossing sometimes won’t adequately remove food particles and bacterial plaque. During the procedure, the affected teeth are first professionally cleaned, thoroughly dried, and slightly roughened (to help the sealant adhere directly to the tooth). Then, we paint a thin layer of liquid plastic on the pitted surface and cure the plastic with a special light. After curing, the plastic becomes a hard, thin layer covering the treated portions of the tooth.
Proven to be one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay, fluoride treatment is always highly recommended for pediatric patients. Fluoride also plays an important role in adult dental care. Our staff stays up to date on research concerning the many benefits of fluoride – from its ability to kill bacteria to the fact that it can seep between existing dental work to prevent further decay. Clearly, fluoride is an important aspect of keeping your teeth at their best.
For best results, consider getting a fluoride treatment at each checkup, as well as a prescription for fluoride gel to use at home. Ask a member of our staff for the option that is best for you.
Getting dental x-rays done the traditional way can be, at best, an uncomfortable experience as you bite down on sharp swatches of film wedged against your jaw and cheek. At its worst, the process can be genuinely painful.
By obtaining dental X-rays through digital radiography, we are able to eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with this dental rite of passage. During the procedure, a technician simply glides a small sensor around the inside of your mouth, and the images appear instantly on a computer screen. Though they look very much like the dental X-ray films you’re used to seeing, these images can be enlarged and manipulated, making them especially helpful as we determine what is going on inside your mouth.
Panoramic X-rays provide a wide view of the teeth, jaws, and the mouth’s surrounding tissues. Seeing all of these elements in one image gives us a general idea of how all of your teeth function together. For example, we can use panoramic X-rays to evaluate third molars for their removal, to look for facial bone fractures, cysts, or tumors, and to check for disease in the jaw joints.