The foundation of a great smile is a commitment to general dental care. Your six-month visits keep your teeth clean and healthy and help prevent problems down the road by letting us spot them early. We can address your unique concerns and develop a relationship that ensures continuity of care.
The Importance of Hygiene Visits
One of the most important reasons to visit the dentist is to have your teeth cleaned by a professional hygienist. Plaque and tartar form on teeth over time. Plaque is soft and sticky, but regular brushing can usually remove most of it. But plaque hardens into tartar, which is beyond the scope of your typical toothbrush and floss. Tartar accumulates below the gumline as well as on the surface of the teeth. If you don’t remove plaque, you risk more serious problems with your teeth and gums later on. Recent research shows a definite link between untreated gum disease and other serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Having your teeth cleaned regularly is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy!
No Mercury! No Metals! No Kidding!
For years, the silver-mercury amalgam was the standard filling material used in dental practices, and many practices still use it. While they are a reasonable restoration, amalgams have certain shortcomings. Metal does not bond well to teeth, so decay can and does eventually leak into the tooth. But the biggest reason many of our patients are choosing the white bonded fillings has to do with the way they look. Many people just don’t want an ugly black plug in their teeth. We offer modern restorations that are a natural-looking white, contain no metals, and can actually strengthen your teeth. They also bond very tightly with the healthy part of the tooth so there is much less chance of decay in the future.
Saving Hopeless Teeth
Teeth with roots that have been damaged or infected used to require extraction, which can cause a lot of problems and should be avoided whenever possible. The good news is that we are well experienced in advanced root canal therapy. A root canal is a procedure to fix a tooth by removing the pulp chamber of a tooth and filling it with a filling material. This is often necessary when dental decay reaches the nerve of the tooth (or the tooth has become infected), and a simple filling will not be suitable.
In the not-too-distant past, the situation mentioned above would have required the tooth to be extracted. When dentists started performing root canals, they were quite dreaded, and the root canal has received a reputation as something to be avoided. However, with modern anesthetics and technology, root canals are often manageable.
Oral Cancer – Minimize Your Risk
It’s an often-unknown statistic that oral cancer causes one American death every hour. For 40 years, this mortality rate hasn’t changed. But it’s not all bad news. Early detection means a 90% cure rate for oral cancer. That’s why we conduct a visual screening for oral cancer at every six-month checkup and cleaning. If the hygienist or doctor sees anything that gives them cause for concern, they’ll refer you to an oral surgeon. This screening could literally save your life!
Senior Dental Care is Different
Just as our bodies change as we get older, our teeth and gums do too. Years of plaque buildup, as well as consuming coffee, tea, or tobacco, can make teeth turn dark. Ask us about procedures that can combat these problems. Reduced flow of saliva is sometimes a side effect of medications. There are simple products that can help this condition. Your fillings are getting older, too. They can weaken or crack. Regular check-ups will allow us to stay on top of your existing fillings. Gum disease and root decay can be major problems in seniors. Daily cleaning and good nutrition are critical for healthy gums. If your gums become red or begin to bleed or your teeth start to feel loose, contact us immediately.
If it’s time for your next cleaning, or if you’re ready to schedule a no-cost/no-obligation consultation, call us now at (610) 667-6666.