Pediatric & Family Dentistry
Browse our Pediatric Dentist page for detailed information about when to start your child’s professional dental care, basic oral health for children, and specific dental issues to watch for in your children. Instilling strong oral care habits in your children will provide for their healthy dental future.
Preventive Dentistry for Adults
Throughout our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook or skimp on oral care. A reminder of how you should be treating your teeth can prevent substantial tooth and gum damage later in life. Seeing your dentist for regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings will aid in the prevention of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
During your cleaning, our dental staff will speak with you about:
Additionally, our hygienists remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) from your teeth, as well as polish them to give you a fresh, glowing smile. The benefits of regular dental cleanings range from fresher breath and a brighter smile to identification of more serious health issues by your dentist. Many significant illnesses are manifested early on in your mouth, including diabetes and kidney disease. A quick cleaning and examination can provide vital premature identification of that disease.
Periodontal disease, also referred to as periodontitis or gum disease, is a wide-ranging spectrum of soft tissue infections in the mouth. Typically following gingivitis, or inflamed gums, periodontal disease is the next step of infection. It is easily recognizable by your dentist and is easily treatable in stages of infancy. The recognition of periodontal disease is the most important reason for you to keep regular dental checkups, as an early treatment will save your mouth and your money. Avoid potential shifting teeth, root canals, and tooth loss by seeing your dentist for a periodontal disease examination.
What are some signs of periodontal disease?
Been away from the dentist for a while and concerned about your oral health? If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, the issue could be periodontitis and you should seek a professional examination:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red, inflamed gums
- Painful or bleeding gums
- Trouble chewing
- Oddly loose teeth
- Heightened tooth sensitivity
Your dentist will work with a local periodontist to determine the best course of treatment for your periodontitis.
What are the most common treatments for periodontitis?
- Deep teeth cleaning – Simply a more thorough version of the cleaning you undergo at regular dental exams, this deep cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from your gum line (a process known as scaling). Your dentist will also undertake root planing, removing bacteria and roughened surface of your teeth’s roots. These practices are non-invasive and simply involve dental scaling (scraping) tools. After the cleaning, your dentist will likely recommend a strong mouthwash to help you battle future infection.
- Tissue rejuvenation – Tissue grafting procedures stimulate weakened bone and gum tissues, allowing for tissue regeneration. Antibiotic treatments may be applied to the tissues.
- Pocket reduction – A surgical treatment that both removes deep deposits of tartar and reduces infected spaces between the teeth and gums will speed your healing process.
- Dental implants – If teeth are lost due to periodontal disease, dental implants in combination with porcelain crowns will restore the tooth and root structures unnoticeably. Your dentist and periodontist may employ tissue regeneration to strengthen the surrounding bone in preparation for the implants.
Certain dental conditions are much more likely to occur in patients over the age of sixty, and we will take extra care during seniors’ dental check-ups to check for signs of:
- Oral Cancer
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Cracked tooth syndrome
- Worn dentition / Brittle teeth
- Dry mouth
- Worn or broken fixed bridges
- Need for dentures or partial dentures
Velscope Oral Cancer Screening
During exams, we take special care examining the inside of your mouth for oral cancer. Oral cancer is much more likely to strike patients over 40, occurs more frequently in male tobacco users and drinkers, and can be fatal. Yet signs of oral cancer are caught in the cancer’s early stages, the prognosis is much more positive and treatment successful.
Oral cancer develops on the tissues inside the lips, the mouth, back of the throat, tonsils, and salivary glands. Our dentists use the VELscope Vx to aid in detection of cancer on these surfaces. The VELscope light stimulates fluorescence of healthy tissues in your mouth, allowing your dentist to identify disrupted areas that cannot yet be seen by the naked eye. VELscope Vx specifically aids in early detection of cancerous tissues, making it a vital part of our fight against oral cancer.
Grinding (bruxism) is dangerous because it often goes unrecognized. Sufferers can grind subconsciously, while stressed or while asleep. If bruxism is left untreated, it can cause cracked or chipped teeth, gum and bone damage, broken fillings, enamel wear, a loss of bite alignment, and head, jaw, and mouth pain. Bruxism may seem commonplace or innocuous (30-40 million Americans are documented tooth grinders), but its effects can be devastating. Your dentist will easily notice signs of bruxism, so it is vital that you let your dentist know if you are experiencing general mouth pain. We will outfit you with grinding trays to ease wear and pressure on your teeth.
Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Cracked tooth syndrome is a common side effect of long-term bruxism. Grinding creates unnecessary pressure on your teeth, especially your molars, and leads to tiny cracks forming beneath your gum line. These cracks are invisible but cause biting and chewing pain. Let your dentist know if you are experiencing general pain across your back teeth.
Worn Dentition and Brittle Teeth
Worn dentition, or eroded teeth, removes vital dental defenses. Without proper enamel and tooth surface, your tooth roots and nerves can become exposed. When the hard enamel tooth surface wears away, the softer internal dentin is left to defend the tooth. This leads to extreme tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease. Your dentist will recommend a prescription fluoride toothpaste and potential in-office fluoride treatment to protect your softened teeth and exposed roots from decay.
Like bones and other calcified structures in the body, the teeth become more brittle and break as they age. After the age of 50, your teeth will typically begin to lose moisture and become prone to breaking. Brittle teeth are worsened by other oral diseases, and can be a sign of a larger health issue.
Brittle and worn teeth can be protected and strengthened with several modern dental treatments, including porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, and Lumineers. These thin structures will encase worn or damaged areas of your teeth to create a new enamel-like layer, improving chewing functionality, bite, and appearance.
As we age, the salivary glands’ health deteriorates and they produce less moisture. Dry mouth is a common concern of patients over the age of 50, worsened by various medications and by stress. Without a cleansing bath of saliva in the mouth, acid produced by bacteria increases and your teeth are much more vulnerable to decay. Your gums are also likely to become inflamed, tender, and reddened. Our team has treated senior patients for decades, and we are prepared to battle your dry mouth. Out practice offers therapeutic oral rinses to protect your teeth and help prevent future extensive dental repairs.
Worn or Broken Fixed Bridges
Fixed bridges rely on surrounding dental and natural structures in the mouth to survive, and a single structure’s weakening can lead to your fixed bridge loosening, breaking, or falling out. Our team has years of experience repairing bridges, and want to ensure that your have strong bridge support to maintain a healthy bite. Additionally, if you have an older bridge that may contain metal and not blend with your surrounding teeth, we would be happy to remake you a ceramic structure that will be unnoticeable in your mouth. Make an appointment to fix a bridge or simply speak with a dentist about how to ensure that your bridge stays healthy and strong.
Dentures or Partial Dentures
Dentures, removable replacements for your natural teeth, have become much more natural and comfortable with modern dental technologies. Our dentists often recommend installing dentures or partial dentures in tandem with dental implants, so that your dentures sit more comfortably in your mouth. Dental implant-supported dentures last longer, are more functional, and far less noticeable.