GENERAL AND PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY
Our goal as your dental provider is to focus on your overall health, not just your oral health. Many health conditions are linked directly to the health of the mouth, and our mission is to improve our patients’ well-being as well as their smiles. We begin that care on a foundation built on disease screening, early diagnosis, minimally invasive care, and preventive care.
When our dentists examine a new patient, we focus just as much on their overall health as the health of their teeth. We screen for conditions like high blood pressure as well as sleep apnea. Assessing and understanding your whole health helps us establish a baseline by which we will monitor changes in your smile and take steps as necessary. During your exam, our dentists will asses your gum health, bone levels, TMJ health, screen for oral cancer, identify areas of decay, and recommend any necessary therapies to correct problems that may exist. All new patients receive a comprehensive exam, and then a periodic exam at their biannual check-ups to monitor for any changes that may have taken place.
Digital radiographs use less radiation and decrease the time that our patients spend in a dental office. With our digital equipment, x-ray images are instantly visible on our in-room monitors, eliminating the need for lengthy chemical processing times and equipment. These images also increase our ability to communicate clearly with patients, as we are able to enlarge each x-ray on the screen and discuss any findings that may be present.
Routine preventive cleanings are an effective way to combat gum disease, bone loss, bad breath, and loss of teeth as we age. During prophylactic cleanings, calcified tartar deposits are removed from the teeth and root surfaces. We also polish away superficial stains from things like coffee or tobacco products. At cleaning appointments, we will assess the level of gum attachment and bone height around your teeth, so that gum disease can be addressed early on when it is easily reversible. We also recommend that every patient receives a fluoride treatment at each hygiene visit. A customized oral hygiene plan is reviewed with each patient. We understand not everyone is able to brush or floss a certain way, so we’ll discuss different options that can work for you, like water flossing or electric toothbrush styles.
Professional strength topical fluoride treatments are one of the best ways to combat tooth decay, sensitivity, and keep teeth strong. We apply a fluoride treatment to every patient after every cleaning appointment. After cleanings is a great time for fluoride to be absorbed, because the pores of the teeth have been cleaned and excess buildup removed. Fluoride encourages calcification of the tooth, repels decay, as well as strengthens weak enamel. For patients who have an increased risk of tooth decay or severe sensitivity, we may also prescribe a professional-strength gel to use at home.
Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint TMJ can make everyday experiences extremely uncomfortable. From headaches to difficulty chewing foods, TMJ disorder impacts people all day long. Thankfully, we can screen for this condition here in our practice, and our dentists offer therapeutic splints to minimize the effects of the disorder. In most cases, non-invasive therapeutic approaches are more effective at managing TMJ disorders than surgical treatments.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a silent killer that affects adults of all ages, including those who are considered to be young and healthy. Risk factors like HPV, alcohol, and tobacco can increase a person’s risk of developing oral cancer, but they’re not the only cause of the disease. Most of the time, people are unaware that cancerous tissues exist until they become large and extremely advanced. Our dentists perform a complex oral cancer screening on every patient, during every exam. We check for warning signs of precancerous tissue such as sores that do not heal, lesions that are present on only one side of the mouth, and white or red areas on your soft tissue that indicate cellular abnormalities.
At Grove Park Dental we love for patients to be able to see what our dentists see. With our intra-oral cameras, they can! Our small, HD cameras are on a thin wand that can be used to capture images in any area of your mouth. They’re great for showing leaky fillings, fractured teeth, or areas of concern that might otherwise have no symptoms at all. We want all of our patients to make informed choices about their oral care, and by utilizing intra-oral cameras, we can better educate patients on their personal oral health. Each image is displayed on our in-room monitors, and can be saved to your electronic patient file or even printed out for you to bring home to discuss with your family.
Symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, heavy tartar buildup, and bone loss. Our Perio therapy program helps patients regain control over their oral health so that they don’t risk losing teeth to gum disease. Untreated periodontal disease allows bone loss to continue to the point where teeth become mobile and fall out. The condition is also directly related to systemic health complications like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, and premature birth rates. During our deep cleanings, disease-causing bacteria are removed so that gum tissue can heal itself. We also offer Arestin, which is a locally administered antibiotic capsule. It is placed in areas of severe infection and provides dramatic results in the treatment of gum disease. The treatments may be broken up into 2 different appointments, treating one side of the mouth at a time.
Bruxism (grinding) or clenching can cause premature wear of your teeth, headaches, broken restorations, damage to the TMJ, and be troublesome to the person that you sleep next to at night. Stress is a common cause of grinding and clenching, and it can be a difficult habit to break. For these patients, we offer custom-fitted acrylic night guards to protect their teeth and dental treatments.