Checkups and Cleanings
Patients of all ages – including children – should receive dental checkups and cleanings at least twice per year. Keeping routinely scheduled appointments is crucial for detecting common oral health conditions and potential issues as soon as possible. As with the other systems of the body, early detection normally means that treatment will be more conservative, effective and budget-friendly. During oral examinations, our dentists will look for signs of disease that might affect the teeth, gums and jawbones. From screening patients for oral cancer to looking for potential gum disease or tooth decay, checkups are incredibly thorough.
Like checkups, dental cleanings are necessary for protecting oral tissue and preventing disease. The objective of a dental cleaning is to remove substances like plaque and tartar, polish teeth and make sure that gingival tissue is healthy. Although some people might think that if they brush and floss properly they will not require a dental cleaning, this common misconception can harm one’s oral health. While cleaning your teeth and gums at home is very important, it is not enough. Substances like tartar as well as debris in hard to reach areas can only be removed by a professional who uses specialized instruments. Routine dental cleanings control the accumulation of tartar, which is a leading contributor to periodontal (gum) disease.
When it comes to preventing disease beyond visiting our practice regularly for routine appointments and practicing proper oral hygiene at home, there are recommended treatments that can be used to help prevent disease by strengthening teeth.
Especially popular for children, fluoride treatments are a great way to keep tooth enamel healthy and strong. Tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of tooth anatomy that serves as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria. Although tooth enamel is very strong because it is made of minerals, it can become damaged when exposed to strong acids over time. One way to strengthen tooth enamel is to utilize the naturally occurring mineral, fluoride. A fluoride treatment is fast, cost-effective and non-invasive. It involves applying a fluoridated gel or varnish over the teeth and leaving the solution there even after you leave your appointment. Fluoride will help replenish lost mineral content in enamel, thus making teeth stronger.
Another preventive treatment that might be of benefit is the application of a dental sealant. A sealant can help prevent dental caries on the biting surfaces of teeth by filling in the pits and grooves of teeth at the back of the mouth. Molars, the back teeth, are very susceptible to decay because of their grooved and pitted texture. A sealant fills these spots in and is made from cavity resistant material.
Even if patients eat healthy foods, practice good oral hygiene, and receive routine dental care, tooth decay is sometimes unavoidable. When decayed areas are small, they can be treated with a minor, minimally invasive restoration called a filling. This treatment will fill the decayed area of a tooth while protecting it from future damage. If those in need of a filling desire a discreet restoration, they can choose a tooth-colored material called composite resin. This material is made from durable glass and plastic and can be tinted to match the exact coloring of biological teeth. A composite resin filling will not affect the aesthetics of a smile but will provide effective protection against future damage to a tooth.
Tooth extractions are a common general dentistry service. An extraction involves removing an entire tooth, including its roots. Extractions might be necessary if teeth are so badly damaged or diseased that they cannot be repaired, or during childhood, when baby teeth fail to fall out quickly enough to create space for emerging adult teeth.
Another very common reason for tooth extraction is the removal of wisdom teeth. Third molars (wisdom teeth) emerge during adulthood and can contribute to many types of oral health issues including improper tooth alignment, infections, TMJ disorder and discomfort such as orofacial pain and headaches. Removing wisdom teeth is often considered a precautionary measure to preserve oral health and well being. When performing tooth extractions, our dentists take great care to provide a pleasant and comfortable experience.
Our staff at Dental Depot offer a number of general treatments to make sure that members of our communities have access to excellent oral care – especially when it comes to preventing and managing common disease. If you have questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, call one of our practices nearest you.