Preventive Dental Care
Baby Teeth are Important
Regular dental care begins at age one and continues every six months of a person's life. Baby teeth hold space within the jaw for the permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, the surrounding teeth can shift and tip into the space and cause problems with the permanent teeth. With regular exams we can detect problems early and help you begin and maintain a "beautiful smile for life."
Back teeth, or molars, have deep grooves and pits on the biting surface that are difficult to keep clean. Dental sealants are a clear or white plastic coating that is placed to fill in these grooves to shield against the plaque that builds up. Dental sealants are an effective and proven way to prevent dental decay in the biting surface of the back teeth.
Importance of Treatment
Regular checkups are a must
Cavities first form in the hard, protective enamel layer of your teeth. Beneath the enamel is a softer layer called dentin. If a cavity wears through the enamel and reaches the dentin, it can grow much more quickly and threaten the inner layer of the tooth, containing its nerves and blood vessels. This part of your tooth is called the pulp chamber.
If the decay is allowed to penetrate the enamel and dentin and gets into the pulp chamber, its likely the we’ll need to perform root canal treatment. That’s why regular checkups and professional cleanings are so important. They allow us to restore your tooth while the cavity is still small and confined to the outer enamel layer.
It is important to regularly monitor the health of your mouth because dental problems can grow quickly, and neglecting conditions can lead to much more serious problems. It is important to remember that your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. Many systemic problems can be avoided just by having a healthy mouth! Our goal is to help you prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, and keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Dentistry is not expensive..neglect is!
Oral Cancer Screenings
Our office is not only dedicated to your smile, we're also dedicated to your overall wellness. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
What are Cavities?
Plaque, a sticky film of food and bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth, is the culprit when it comes to tooth decay. Bacteria that naturally exist in plaque break down the starches and sugars in the food you eat. A chemical reaction occurs, and as a result, an acid is produced. Like all acids, the acid produced in your mouth is corrosive, which means that it dissolves other materials. You teeth are the victims of this corrosive action. The acid dissolves their protective outer enamel layer, eventually creating holes in your teeth, also known as cavities.
Sometimes, we can detect cavities just by looking at your teeth, but to find cavities in their early stages when they are very small, we use a dental explorer and x-rays. A dental explorer finds cavities on the surfaces of your teeth, and the explorer catches or sticks in the tiny pits created by cavities. X-rays locate cavities between teeth where the explorer can't reach.