Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease, while keeping your tooth surfaces clean can help keep the cavities away. Our Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They will also educate you on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.
Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” which means inflammation around the tooth. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces called “pockets” that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Our dental hygienist removes the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease. Periodontal disease is not a “curable” disease, but it is controllable in most patients. After this treatment is completed, our patients continue on a 3-4 month visit to maintain good oral health.
Fluoride helps by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride is most important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16years because it helps prevent and reverse early tooth decay.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food. They are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly flows and bonds into the grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth. They take just a few minutes per tooth and save hours of time in the dental chair. Dental sealants are done usually on children.
An intraoral camera is an indispensable diagnostic and educational tool. The tiny device is a video camera that moves around inside the mouth and generates a tooth-by-tooth video exam of the teeth. With the images produced by the intraoral camera, patients can see each of their teeth and dentists can indicate problems such as broken teeth, plaque, decay, gum disease, and defective fillings. Using an intraoral camera allows patients to better understand their dental needs by seeing what the dentist sees and then having it explained. A good quality picture also provides us with a great tool to get the best insurance coverage for your dental needs.
We offer in-office digital x-rays for your convenience. Digital x-rays are computer-generated images. These images require up to 90% less radiation than with conventional film type x-rays. Digital x-rays take pictures via a small electronic sensor and instantaneously transmits a picture of the tooth onto the video monitor in the treatment room, therefore, we can see your teeth and surrounding structures immediately!
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is simply a gas which you can breathe in. It has no color, smell, and doesn’t irritate. After 5 minutes or so of breathing in the gas, you should feel a euphoric feeling spread throughout your body. It kills pain – and it induces a pleasurable feeling. You will feel a bit light headed and often people get ‘the giggles’ (hence the name laughing gas!). There’s no “hangover” effect – the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home and don’t need an escort.
If you have a fear of dentistry and need a little assistance with anxiety, nitrous oxide will ease your concerns. We will have it set up for you at your request.