Bruxism is a condition in which people clench and grind their teeth while asleep. It may seem like a harmless act, but bruxism can cause significant damage to teeth and be annoying for those who have to listen to their sleeping partner’s teeth-grinding habit nightly. We provide custom-made night guards that can prevent this harmful, unconscious habit. Our night guards protect teeth and keep smiles looking topnotch. Additionally, our night guards are constructed to align with your mouth perfectly. They work as a barrier between each row of teeth, and patients who have bruxism are encouraged to wear them every night.
Beyond the basics of brushing, flossing, and regular six-month checkups, we recommend a full set of digital exams to more closely examine the under-surfaces of teeth. This comprehensive data capture will provide a personalized electronic dental record for patients and help our dentists more fully understand your dental needs and issues.
Like all health-related matters, the key to a killer smile is being able to detect any issues well in advance as well as overall prevention. Regular dental exams—preferably checkups every six months—will help prevent current dental problems from getting worse. Finding potential issues early on will enhance your oral health and, in the long run, be more economical.
We will first visually inspect your teeth to look for plaque, tartar, and possible tooth decay. Following that, our dentists will look at the all-important gums for signs of possible discoloration or puffiness. And to reiterate, digitized X-rays may be needed to get a clearer picture of patients’ status. And of course, we provide meticulous teeth cleaning to remove any buildup and surface stains.
Dental sealants offer extra protection for teeth and are a good option for young patients whose teeth are still developing and for adults who may be dealing with tooth decay. Our patients receive tooth sealants during regular checkups as we determine which sections of the teeth may be decaying. Usually this is in the molar region where food is most prominently chewed. Applying dental sealants takes just minutes but can protect teeth for up to a decade.
We mentioned digital X-rays earlier, but let’s touch on them again since they have evolved greatly and can be important during checkups. In addition, we know that patients are often concerned about the effects of radiation, so we always emphasize that our X-rays are more comfortable and much safer, quicker, and expedient than ones from decades past. Digital X-rays, in fact, have become one of the most cutting-edge dental technologies to emerge in the last several years. Our X-rays provide advanced images of teeth that can be observed right away by our dentists and patients on a high-quality LCD monitor.
We want you to know that digital X-rays have 90 percent less radiation and offer outstanding diagnostic info. This gives patients the reassurance that we are observing possible dental issues in their earliest development.
An alternative to the more typical X-rays is intraoral photography, which can capture such issues as fractures, cavities, and discoloration of teeth. These images are taken with either a digital camera or a 35 millimeter camera and offer crystal-clear views.
The ever-important topical fluoride treatment is a way to protect teeth against daily damage. It’s especially crucial for our patients who are susceptible to tooth decay and for children, whose teeth are in the developmental stages. Chances are we will recommend this treatment for children every six months, but don’t worry, fluoride treatments are a fast and painless way to fortify teeth. Without getting too scientific, the application attracts minerals that protect tooth enamel between checkups. Our dentists often recommend this treatment.
Gum Disease Treatment
We check gums thoroughly during every checkup for signs of gum disease. Our dentists look for gums that may be bleeding or swollen, which is common. Unfortunately, more than 80 percent of patients have some form of gum disease. On the positive side, we can provide treatments for the gums that are highly effective and free of pain.
Let’s start with gingivitis, which is the least harmful type of gum disease. Treatment for gingivitis usually involves a thorough cleaning and recommendations to brush and floss well every day. For more advanced gum disease such as periodontists, we recommend what’s known as scaling and root planing. This takes care of hard-to-remove deposits located underneath the gum line.
There is also the option to perform laser gum surgery, which is a fresh alternative to scaling and root planing. This method uses high-speed beams of light that effectively remove tartar and plaque. Advanced gum disease may require periodontal surgery.
Oral Cancer Screening
Like many of our procedures, screening for oral cancer is painless and fast. Our dentists make sure during every six-month checkup to look for symptoms of oral cancer, which strike almost 35,000 individuals in the U.S. every year. As with all types of cancers, the key to stemming oral cancer is to detect it early and start treatment right away.
Males are especially prone to this form of cancer, so it is crucial they get regular dental screenings. People who are 60 years of age or more and those who smoke or drink often have a higher risk of getting oral cancer. We recommend regular six-month dental checkups for these individuals.
We feel porcelain dental crowns are superlative in terms of looks and quality when compared to other crown types, which include gold, stainless steel, and silver. Porcelain is designed to match the natural color of teeth, making them almost indistinguishable. Additionally, they are free of metal, which can be allergic and harmful to the blood. Sturdy and beautiful, porcelain dental crowns are an outstanding option for patients who need such work done.
Resin can be described as “tooth-colored fillings” in the sense that they also match the natural color of people’s teeth, whatever that may be. This is a fantastic choice for patients who have medium-sized to small cavities. Resin is durable, resistant to stains, and less invasive than amalgam fillings. Patients who need to replace teeth or who are concerned about feeling self-conscious when they smile will find resin fillings to be an ideal option.
Those who find visiting the dentist to be an extremely stressful, anxiety-ridden activity may want to consider sedation dentistry, a process that allows patients to relax during visits.
Patients can select from different types of sedation. Nitrous oxide offers minimal relaxation through inhalation and is calming but wears off quickly. Another choice is electronic anesthesia, which is also mild and utilizes electronic impulses for relaxation. Conscious sedation can be attained through a pill and offers a bit higher level of sedation. Deeper sedation via an intravenous option works quickly for atypically nervous patients and for those undergoing surgery. Still, patients are easily awakened even under this form of sedation. Lastly, complete sedation (unconsciousness) is accomplished through a general anesthesia, and the result is a less easily awakened state than deep sedation. Again, this would be reserved for the most nervous of patients.
Scheduling regular teeth-cleaning sessions with our dental hygienists is the single most effective way to remove harmful plaque deposits that can cause serious future issues. No matter how often you do the important things such as brushing and flossing, we still recommend six-month checkups. And though many may be used to the harsher, manual forms of teeth cleaning using dental tools, we are pleased to say that we offer more modern options that are just as effective.
Ultrasonic cleaning, for instance, is done by a laser and has become a popular alternative to the usual instrumentation method done manually. The ultrasonic scaler removes nasty deposits, killing bad microbes and ousting bacteria in the teeth and gums. Patients who are tired of having their teeth scraped are always impressed with these high-frequency sound waves that are quiet during cleanings as well as faster and much less invasive.