How often should I have a dental check-up and cleaning?
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.
Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, our team will check and monitor many things to aid in detection, prevention, and maintenance of your dental health. These include:
- Medical history review: Gives us important insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.
- Oral cancer screening: Evaluation of the soft tissues of the mouth and the lymph nodes in the area for any lesions or signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces and restorations will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc. to ensure proper seal and function.
- Removal of plaque and calculus (tartar): Plaque is a film made up of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva that causes inflammation and gingivitis. When plaque is not cleaned from the above and below the gum line it hardens and becomes calculus, which can only be removed with special dental instruments. The presence of calculus can lead to bone loss and periodontal disease.
- Oral hygiene and dietary recommendations: We will review and recommend oral hygiene aids and diet modifications as needed.
As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and doing so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.
How can I approve the appearance of my smile?
At-home teeth whitening systems: We create a custom tray from a mold of your teeth, and provide you with a prescription-strength gel to dispense in the trays when you use them at home. We will instruct you on when and how to use the trays to achieve your desired result, depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening.
In-office teeth whitening: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately. While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth. A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened.
Replacing old, discolored, unattractive restorations
Composite (bonding) fillings are tooth-colored restorations that can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. They are one of the most conservative ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.
Crowns (caps) are optimal when a tooth is too damaged to be repaired with a filling. A crown encases the entire tooth, protecting the remaining tooth structure, and is usually made of custom-shaded porcelain or gold.
Porcelain veneers - Used primarily in the front teeth, veneers are made of thin porcelain permanently cemented to the front surface of teeth. They are a great solution for fixing discolored, pitted, chipped, malformed, or slightly crooked or spaced teeth.
Aligning teeth and correcting bite with invisible orthodontics
What options do I have if I’m missing teeth?
Options for replacement of missing teeth:
Implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and can also help to support dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw bone where a tooth was lost. An artificial tooth is secured on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, durable, and natural-appearing tooth replacement options.
Fixed bridges are porcelain restorations anchored (cemented) permanently to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed (not removable), very sturdy, and natural looking. The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will have to be crowned (capped) to hold the bridge in place.
Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are used when many or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. They are made to closely resemble the patients’ original teeth, and are the most affordable tooth replacement option. However, they can be difficult to adapt to.
I think I’m clenching and grinding my teeth. How can I protect them?
There are many reasons why patients clench and grind their teeth. If this problem is not properly addressed, it can lead to severe tooth wear, root recession, tooth microfractures along the gum line, joint discomfort, and even tooth loss. We can protect against these outcomes by fabricating a custom-made guard that patients wear on either the top or bottom teeth, usually only while they sleep. Our dentists will evaluate your dentition to determine whether you would benefit from this intervention, or an alternative, based on your individual situation.
What should I do if I have a dental emergency?
Do not touch the roots of the tooth, only the crown/chewing surface.
If the tooth has dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently with your saliva or milk. Do NOT try to clean it with soap or chemicals.
Try to place the tooth back in the socket right away. Gently bite on gauze to keep the tooth in place. If it does not go back in the socket, tuck the tooth in your cheek or in a container covered by your saliva or milk.
Get to a dentist as soon as possible- ideally within 30 minutes. The sooner you are seen, the more likely the tooth can be re-implanted successfully.
Are you taking new patients?
Which insurance plans do you accept?
Our office accepts most insurance plans, and we will gladly submit any claims for services rendered in our office. Many dental insurance companies have a wide variety of insurance plans. Please call our office with your specific insurance plan information and our team will be happy to inform you if it is one we accept.