Comprehensive exams include evaluation of the following:
Existing dental conditions & needed treatment
Blood pressure screenings
Digital Radiographic (x-ray) needs
Periodontal screening to determine health of the gums & supporting structures
The Doctor will review all findings and discuss possible treatment options to help you achieve the smile that you want and deserve. Establishing a relationship and returning for scheduled dental appointments will ensure a lifetime of smiles for you and your family.
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the perment back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids that contribute to dental decay. Toothbrush bristles cannot reach into the deep depressions and grooves of teeth and the sealant helps to protect these areas.
Sealants are easily applied and take only a few minutes for each tooth. The teeth are cleaned and prepared for the sealant and the material is “painted” on the chewing surface and usually hardened with a special light. Sealants will be checked at each appointment to make sure they are retained, and will generally last several years before reapplication is needed.
Fluoride therapies are available in both in-office and home care delivery, and can be an important part of a prevention plan for patients of all ages. Recommendations for fluoride can include an in-office treatment with a tray and gel or foam fluoride, or fluoride varnish, which is more highly concentrated and brushed onto the teeth.
It is important to follow all recommendations made by your dentist and to also be aware of the fluoride levels in your water, both community water supplies and private wells.
Proper growth and development is an important aspect of total body health. If a child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, the other teeth could shift and cause crowding by shifting to fill the vacant space. This could inhibit the eruption of the permanent tooth and cause further difficulties with chewing or speaking related to improper growth and development. To prevent this, a dentist would insert a space maintainer to hold the spot left by the missing tooth. This could be a band or temporary crown attached to one of the adjacent teeth. Later, as the permanent tooth grows into the spot, the space maintainer is removed. A future full of smiles is now possible!
Oral cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. This is why every exam includes an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer often starts as a tiny unnoticed white or red spot or sore in the mouth that does not go away, often with no pain or sensitivity at the start. It can affect the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue and hard or soft palate. Oral cancer most often occurs in those with increased risk factors some of which include:
- Tobacco use, including smokeless
- Age 40 and over
- Frequent alcohol use
- Prolonged exposure to the sun increases risk for lip cancer
- HPV virus
However, more than 25% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no other risk factors. Regular check-ups are essential for early detection.