The first step to prevent tooth decay and gum disease? Keeping up with dental hygiene and oral health. From a young age, we are taught to brush our teeth twice a day and floss.
You can keep your mouth clean, but it takes a professional to spot the early signs of these conditions. Regular dentist visits, ideally once every six months, keep your teeth in tip-top shape, helping you look and feel good along the way.
Poor oral health, such as tooth infections, often correlates with cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses. Proper care of the teeth, tissues and gums is one preventative measure for a healthy body and reduces the need for more invasive, expensive dental procedures later on. Here’s what you can expect at your next visit with Smile Dental Center.
Comprehensive Dental Exams
This thorough exam starts with the teeth and gums, further encompassing the mouth, head and neck. In the process, we check for any abnormalities – including the early signs of oral cancer – and does a comprehensive, professional cleaning to remove any deposits your at-home toothbrush didn’t catch.
A radiograph may further be performed to detect any cavities, issues with existing dental restorations and gum and bone recession. It also presents a more holistic picture of your oral health and hygiene.
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Properly called “oral prophylaxis”, teeth cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar stubbornly stuck to the surface. Specialized tools are used to clean your teeth, without damaging them and the surrounding gums, including an ultrasonic device to loosen up larger pieces of tartar. Hand tools assist with removing smaller deposits and smoothing out the tooth’s surface. Once everything is cleaned, the dentist polishes the teeth for a smooth, buildup-free appearance.
Without regularly scheduled teeth cleanings, particles of food end up lodged in your mouth’s hard-to-access areas. The longer they stay, the greater your chances of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
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Custom Mouth Guards
Our teeth are one of the body’s greatest assets! If you’re an athlete, it’s important to protect them from damage. While sporting goods stores have plenty of one-size-fits-most, preformed mouth guards, you need a custom fit. When it comes to protecting your teeth, as well as your lips, gums and arches, a properly fitted mouthguard greatly reduces your chances of a dental injury.
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Scaling and Root Planing
In this non-surgical procedure for treating gum disease, one of our dentists utilizes specialized instruments to remove any plaque and tartar that have built up below the gum line. From here, planing helps smooth out the roots. In turn, the area has a better chance of healing and the gums can then reattach to a cleaner, smoother surface.
Root Canal Treatment
When tooth decay goes all the way down to the nerve or an infection occurs, your dentist may need to perform a root canal.
During this procedure, the dentist removes any infected or inflamed tissue from the tooth chamber, before cleaning and disinfecting the tooth’s inside. To greatly reduce your future chances of infection, the tooth is filled and may receive a crown to strengthen its structure and keep normal tooth functions.
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Root canals and other restorative procedures can’t save every tooth. At this point, one of our dentists may recommend extractions.
During the procedure, the dentist first numbs the area with anesthesia. Using a gentle back-and-forth motion, the dentist slowly and carefully loosens the damaged tooth from the jawbone and any neighboring tissue and ligaments, before removing it fully. Stitches may be applied to help the surrounding areas heal properly.
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Experiencing severe pain due to an inflamed tooth? We see emergencies same day!