|Preventive, Cleanings and Exams
Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:
• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:
Regular examinations are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.
Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.
Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.
Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3ml may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.
There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
|Lasers in Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry
Lasers allow dentists to very precisely reshape tissues to proper contours for the best esthetic result possible. They allow this to be done with the least amount of postoperative pain and swelling which is a big advantage lasers have over other methods. Lasers can be used safely and effectively in many soft tissue procedures in dentistry.
Reshaping or removing gum tissue (Gingivectomy).
This type of procedure may be done for the following reasons:
Clipping muscle attachments (Frenectomy)
The procedure is primarily used to remove an attachment that is interfering with normal speech or causing excessing soft tissue loss around teeth.
Removing soft tissue growths (Firbroma or Hemangioma removals)
The procedure is used to remove excess tissue or growths that may be an esthetic or functional issue.
Removing swollen tissue (Gingivoplasty)
This procedure is used to remove excess tissue caused by systemic disease, medication, or poor oral hygiene.