Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are the standard way to take care of your dental hygiene, but they're only a few steps that can help you maintain that beautiful smile. A healthy mouth takes more than just brushing your teeth. You can think about improving your brushing technique, ditching the daily soda habit, and saying good-bye to other vices that affect your oral health. If you are apprehensive about visiting the dentist we also offer sedation to those patients that may be a little anxious or nervous about their dental visit.
New patients receive a comprehensive examination which includes a screening for oral cancer, gum and bone disease, blood pressure, and systemic disorders. A routine oral exam is performed annually on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since the previous visit. The space between the gum and tooth, call the pocket, is measured with an instrument called a “probe”. Pocket depths more than 4 millimeters could indicate disease and infection. The deeper the pocket, the greater the extent plaque bacteria collects and infection in gum disease develop. Tooth scaling and root planing occur as needed. Routine cleanings also include a professional polishing (Prophy) that removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line. X-rays are taken as needed.
Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your teeth and jaw bone and also offer up to 80% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of dental problems, as well as provide a clear picture for a dentist to accurately diagnose and provide the necessary treatment. We place a small sensor in your mouth. The sensor is connected to a computer by a thin wire. Next, an x-ray beam is sent through your teeth and into the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to image other sections of your teeth. The digital dental x-ray system is more sensitive than dental x-ray film systems, so your exposure to x-rays is significantly less. The large and images let you see what your dentist sees, so it's easier for you to understand how your dentist will treat your teeth. Your dental checkups take less time, and its fun to watch this system work! Most patients are amazed.
Digital Panoramic X-Rays
Panoramic x-rays offer patients a complete detailed image of the entire mouth including the teeth, jaw (upper and lower), sinuses, and jaw joints (TMJ). It provides a complete picture on how everything looks and relates to each other.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography
CBCT stands for "cone beam computed tomography". This is a particular x-ray machine that is used in situations where standard x-rays are not sufficient. The CBCT uses advanced technology which allows us to view 3D images of a patient's dental structure, soft tissues, bone and nerve pathways within the face and mouth. These special x-rays allow for precise treatments to be put in to affect due to its high quality images and the details within.
Some of the most common procedures in which the CBCT is used are:
- Impacted teeth
- Locating oral pain
- Evaluating jaws, nerves, nasal cavity, and sinuses
- Reconstructive surgery
- Implant placement
- Diagnosing TMJ
Step 1 - Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along the outer and inner tooth surfaces.
Step 2 - Brush each tooth individually. Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush, use the same circular motion.
Step 3 - Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor-producing bacteria.
Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns); this finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, reverse the C-shape to clean the adjacent tooth surface as well.
As you finish cleaning each tooth, wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next teeth.
Fluoride, a substance that's found naturally in water, plays an important role in healthy tooth development and cavity prevention.
Fluoride combats tooth decay in two ways:
- It strengthens tooth enamel, a hard and shiny substance that protects the teeth, so that it can better resist the acid formed by plaque.
- Fluoride allows teeth damaged by acid to repair, or re-mineralize, themselves.
Fluoride cannot repair cavities, but it can reverse low levels of tooth decay and thus prevent new cavities from forming.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these fluoride supplements be given daily to children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. The dosage will change as your child grows. Only children living in non-fluoridated areas or children who drink only non-fluoridated bottled water should receive supplements.
Most children get the right amount of fluoride through a combination of fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated water or supplements. Too much fluoride before 8 years of age can cause enamel fluorosis, a discoloration or mottling of the permanent teeth. This condition is unsightly but harmless and often can be treated with cosmetic procedures.
Plaque is essentially the start of gum disease problems. Plaque is a build-up from bacteria in the mouth and particles from the foods you eat every day. Once sugars are introduced to plaque, it turns into a tooth destroying acid that sits just above the gum line. Plaque that is allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time can cause cavities, gingivitis, and other problems in your mouth. If it's left longer than that, serious dental procedures may be required to restore your decaying smile.
Tartar and Tooth Scaling
Tartar is plaque that has had time to harden and is that white (sometimes yellow) substance found at the base of the tooth just above the gumline. Tartar is usually requires professional care for proper and thorough removal. Tooth scaling is a service that involves using a tool that is specifically designed to break-apart and remove tartar. We gently run the tooth scaling tool completely around the teeth surfaces of teeth that have any signs of tartar which effectively cleans the gumline and smooths the tooth enamel. Every time you come in for a dental checkup, tooth scaling is performed to help prevent future dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.