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Preventive Services

Dental Hygiene

While at our office, we make sure that you receive the highest level of service and ensure that our dental work is of the highest quality. To ensure that you maintain great oral health, this level of quality needs to extend into your personal oral hygiene routine. Everyone's routine should include brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste

containing fluoride and flossing once a day. Flossing and brushing your teeth for at least two minutes can effectively remove the plaque before it turns into tartar. Proper technique is crucial. We highly recommend using an electric toothbrush because it makes cleaning your teeth at home easier than using a manual toothbrush. For you convenience, we have electric toothbrushes available for purchase at a highly discounted price.

We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and white. If you have any questions about your current hygiene plan, please ask us.

Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Your gums are essential to oral hygiene as well. We can provide periodontal cleanings and treatment, or refer you to one of our recommended specialists. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Preventive Cleaning and Exam

A professional cleaning (prophylaxis) is a critical component of maintaining your healthy smile. Prophylaxis includes removal of plaque (soft, sticky, colorless),tartar (hardened plaque), and stain. Also included is a professional polishing of your teeth. If you do not remove all the plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing daily, it will harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional. Most patients benefit from having their teeth and gums professionally cleaned every six months, although some may need more frequent cleanings dependent on their oral health.

Most people think that the dentist performs a dental exam simply looking for decay (cavities.) During your exam, you are being screened for oral cancer, periodontal (gum) disease, biting & chewing function, and for tooth decay. Inflammation anywhere in your body, including your gums may be a sign of greater health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. Chronic, long term inflammation has shown to have many negative overall health effects.


Digital ImagingPan_x_ray.jpg

A panorex is a very impressive piece of imaging machinery in that it is capable of identifying many issues and structures that a normal x-ray is not. Initially you will stand in front of the machine with your chin on a small ledge. Once positioned in the machine, it will rotate around your entire head taking a full 360 degree view of the teeth, head, sinuses and bones.

The ability to view the full structure of your head as a whole is very informative to the dentist. It will allow us to see any potential problems and make sure that everything is functioning as it should be. The panorex is capable of viewing specific types of structural problems, infections or asymmetry among many others.

The intraoral camera is an amazing diagnostic tool for viewing different angles in the mouth that we would not have been able to just a few years ago. The camera gives us the ability to view the entire mouth on a monitor so that we can get a closer look at any potential issues or problems that may arise. In addition, the patient will have the ability to see for themselves first hand the same images we are seeing. These digital images are also excellent for gaining procedure acceptance from insurance companies.

Digital x-rays are quickly becoming adopted by a large percentage of the dental industry. A digital x-ray allows the dentist to take an image of the tooth or teeth and put it into an imaging program. Within this imaging program, there are a number of tools that will allow the dentist to take a very close look at the teeth and surrounding structures with amazing accuracy. As a benefit to the patient, the digital x-ray also provides nearly 80% less radiation than a standard x-ray. This is due to the fact that the digital version of the x-ray is much more sensitive to this radiation and has been specifically designed with the patient in mind.


Fluoride

Fluoride is naturally present in groundwater. Research shows that communities that fluoridate their water system to the amount of .7 milligrams per liter of water helps prevent at least 25% of tooth decay in children and adults. This is the reason fluoride is called "Nature's Cavity Fighter." Tooth enamel is the outer most layer covering your teeth. It is made from calcium and phosphate. When you eat food, it produces acid. That acid starts to strip the calcium and phosphate from your teeth. Your own saliva helps interrupt the acid and adds the calcium and phosphate back. If your saliva also has fluoride in it from toothpaste and drinking water, it makes your teeth stronger and helps prevent decay.

If you have well water or drink only bottled water, you may want to test your water to determine if you are getting the benefits of fluoride. If it is determined you are not getting a sufficient amount of fluoride, Dr. Chad can prescribe the supplements.

In addition to drinking fluoridated water and using toothpaste with fluoride in it, we offer fluoride treatments. The treatment is quick and painless. We will "paint" a thin layer of fluoride varnish on your teeth. These treatments strengthen the enamel and may even reverse very early cavities that have just started to form. After the treatment, you will need to avoid chewing gum for the rest of the day. Please refrain from brushing your teeth for at least a couple hours. You may eat or drink immediately after treatment.


Sealants

Sealants are not just for kids, they can benefit everyone. It is a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.

To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants may last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.