Our goal as dental professionals is to not only provide you with exceptional dental care while visiting our office, but to set you up for success when continuing your dental health regimen at home. As part of our our relationship, we can help you establish a routine that will help keep your teeth healthy for years to come! We offer comprehensive hygiene appointments that include chair side procedures such as prophylaxis, radio graphs, fluoride and periodontal treatments, as well as on one time with your hygienist to provide feedback and support that you can take home with you.
Whether it be questions regarding how often you should be flossing, what type of toothpaste you should use, how you can make your smile whiter, or even solutions for clenching and grinding, our team of hygienists is here for you to address all of your dental health needs. We look forward to taking care of you!
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious and is one of the most commonly untreated diseases in the world. Clinically, periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, which is an opaque film on the teeth. As the plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, it hardens and becomes tartar which harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This creates the early stage of gum disease, also known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis progresses into Periodontitis which results in destroyed tissue surrounding your teeth, as well as the bone that holds your teeth in place.
Interestingly enough, with the exception of bad breath and bleeding gums, there are very few early warning signs of Gingivitis and Periodontitis. The disease progresses quietly until teeth become loose and the damage is already done. While there are some very obvious dental consequences of the disease, it has also been linked to stroke, heart disease, and even diabetes.
The best way to avoid Gingivitis and the subsequent Periodontitis is to maintain your regular hygiene visits and to keep a home care routine as recommended by your hygienist. If you feel you may have gingivitis, or if you have loose teeth that need addressing, we hope you reach out to us so that we can start helping you as soon as possible! Regardless of the situation, our talented dentists can start providing you with immediate care without judgement or lectures.
Scaling and Root Planing
An essential treatment for Gingivitis is scaling and root planing with a dental hygienist. During this procedure the hygienist will scale and polish your teeth to remove the built-up tartar and plaque . Often times the visits are broken down into four appointments to allow sufficient time to remove the tarter from each of the mouth's quadrants. Breaking the appointments up also allows the patient to have the highest level of comfort during the procedure, as the appointments often require quite a bit of time. The procedure is often done without local anesthetic, but if extra comfort is necessary, it can certainly be provided.
Once a patient has had scaling and root planing, their hygienist may recommend special home care instructions, as well as place the patient on a 3 or 4 month recall to ensure the procedure was successful and the gums are returning to a healthy state.
Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay on your molars. Molars 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. When the first molars come in, it is likely that your dental hygienist or dentist will recommend placing sealants.
Placing sealants is a quick and easy process, and most of the time you can accomplish it with your hygienist! To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the tooth in question. 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 can last for about 10 years.