Cleanings & Prevention
Prevention is always better than treatment. By actively preventing disease and decay through regular home care, professional dental cleanings and regular exams, you will maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
In addition, effective prevention can help you avoid costly treatments in the future to remove decay, restore teeth and treat gum disease. Regular prevention is truly your best investment.
Dental x-rays or radiographs are very important. They allow the dentist to see things about your oral health that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven't grown all the way in.
By using an x-ray to diagnose these problems, we can help save you money in the long run from surgeries or other treatments that might become necessary if we didn't find the problem early. In some cases, where dental x-rays show the location of tumorous growths, x-rays can be responsible for saving your life.
Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your appearance. A beautiful, bright, healthy smile can increase self confidence and overall life satisfaction.
Many regular dental treatments can be cosmetic. Modern tooth-colored fillings are virtually invisible when compared to traditional silver fillings. Tooth-colored crowns or caps can be placed instead of gold or silver. In this section, we will look at some of the best treatments we can use to greatly improve your smile and the way you feel about yourself.
Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95% chance of experiencing some tooth decay. When tooth decay does occur, it is highly important to remove the decay, clean the tooth and repair the tooth with some type of restoration. Additionally, lost or missing teeth need to be replaced to protect your overall oral health.
In this section, we will look at the various restorations we can use to protect and restore decayed or missing teeth.
Gum disease (Periodontal Disease) is responsible for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss. It is characterized by swollen, inflamed gums surrounding the teeth. Plaque, a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva and bacteria gets inside the space between the gum line and the tooth. If not removed, plaque hardens into a substance called calculus or tarter that is very difficult to remove. Eventually, the bacteria in the plaque and tarter eat away at the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth, creating deep pockets. As bacteria spread, the pockets become deeper until the bacteria finally eat away the bone that holds the tooth in place, destabilizing the tooth and making it feel loose.
Think of it as if bugs are eating away at the soil around a tree trunk. Eventually, they eat away all of the soil and part of the tree's roots, causing the tree to collapse.
How is gum disease treated?
Gum disease is treated by carefully removing the bacteria and substances that form in the pockets around the teeth. The removal of this material occurs on a microscopic level and requires great skill. Our dental team has had advanced training regarding how to effectively remove all of the bacteria.
This process of removing the bacteria usually requires several visits to our office. Once the bacteria has been removed, the pockets must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis by a certified dental hygienist. Otherwise, the bacteria will return.
How to care for gum disease
Keep in mind that once you have contracted periodontal disease, you will always have the disease due to the damage that it does to your body. Careful daily hygiene and regular dental visits to clean your pockets are required to keep the bacteria from returning. After the initial dental appointments to remove the bacteria, you will be placed on a regular appointment schedule called "periodontal maintenance" to keep your pockets free of bacteria.