Protecting Your Smile
Preventative Dental Services
The American Dental Association recommends that you see the dentist at least twice a year to stay on top of your oral health. During your check-up, we’ll examine each tooth individually for signs of decay or other forms of damage. We’ll examine each individual tooth for plaque and tartar buildup, and also check your gums to make sure there’s not too much space between the tissue and the teeth.
Regular check-ups also include teeth cleanings to remove plaque, tartar, and decaying food particles that can contribute to cavities and gum disease. If we detect any major dental problems, we will develop a treatment plan to address it quickly and efficiently.
Dental sealants are a thin plastic film applied to teeth that can protect molar and premolar chewing surfaces from decay. Lasting up to ten years, they create an impenetrable physical barrier against small food particles and cavity-causing bacteria.
First, we identify and fill any spots of decay. Then, we prepare your teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. After about 15 seconds, we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface, coat your teeth with the sealant, and harden it with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable. It takes about 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of teeth to seal.
Fluoride is an interesting mineral because it attracts other minerals and strengthens tooth enamel. At your check-up, we can determine whether your teeth would benefit from a fluoride supplement. If we find that your teeth could use a boost, we’ll recommend a simple solution.
We administer fluoride treatment for patients of all ages using varnish or foam trays. Often, our hygienists will recommend additional ways to keep your fluoride levels up between dental visits, including switching to tap water or using a fluoride-rich mouthwash at home.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. However, 25% of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.
During a regular dental check-up, your dentist will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A color change of the oral tissues
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
Two tests can determine if a trouble spot is cancerous. A brush biopsy is a painless test performed on areas that look harmless or do not have a clear cause in order to detect potentially dangerous cells in the early stages of the disease. A scalpel biopsy, which requires local anesthesia, is usually performed on suspicious areas.
Nightguards for Bruxism & TMJ
Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. This condition, known as bruxism, has many symptoms, including sore jaw, headaches, or earaches.
Bruxism can also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we’ll create an orthodontic appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, to prevent grinding and clenching.
DIAGNOdent uses a simple laser diode to inspect your teeth, comparing reflection wavelength against a known healthy baseline wavelength to find decay in the earliest stage. Laser cavity detection is painless, fast, and 50-75% more effective than traditional decay detection methods.
Using digital radiography, we can clearly identify all external and internal anatomical structures and accurately diagnose your dental problems. Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients, using about 80% less radiation.
Intraoral cameras give us a clearer picture of your oral health. Using a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand, we can capture images or video of the inside of your mouth. This allows us to point out problem areas and explain recommendations for treatment so you can become an informed partner in your dental care.
The remarkable TRIOS scanner from 3Shape is one of the best digital impression tools on the market. It takes thousands of images of your teeth and gums and assembles them into a three-dimensional rendering. We then use that image to design restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and more.
Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Same day emergency appointments available