Dental Checkups and Cleanings:
A dental cleaning is a procedure done by a dental hygienist to get into hard to reach areas of the gums and teeth in order to remove plaque, bacteria and food debris. Dental cleanings should be scheduled at least 6 months, in order to ensure proper and adequate removal of plaque and tarter build up around the teeth and gum tissues. Plaque is a hard substance that adheres to the surface of a tooth. Too much plaque and tartar can cause gum disease and problems with teeth. With a professional dental cleaning, special tools eliminate plaque and tartar build up effectively are used by a qualified dental hygienist leaving your teeth tarter free. Because plaque and tartar buildup happen on a daily basis, patients should still brush and floss regularly.
During a dental cleaning the dental hygienist will get inside the hard to reach areas and clean out the spaces in between the gums and teeth. If the patient is suffering from gum disease or early gum disease, a deep cleaning, periodontal scaling or root planing may be recommended. In this procedure, the dental hygienist gets into the gum tissue under the tooth and into the pockets where bacteria can hide. A patient with pockets deeper than 4 mm is usually recommended to have a root planing or scaling. Patients with periodontal disease are recommended to have more than two cleanings per year.
At All Smiles Family Dental, we take great pride in caring for your whole family. We work with you and your family members to provide prevention and oral care to fit your schedule and budget. We care about your smile and want everyone of all ages to feel welcome in our relaxing and comfortable environment. We understand the difficulty of scheduling for multiple family members and how hectic it may be. At All Smiles Family Dental, we make it easy to schedule appointments for you and your entire family at the same time, eliminating the need to come for multiple visits for different family members.
At our office, we take pride in creating and maintaining beautiful and healthy smiles for our younger patients in an environment that is lighthearted and fun. With an emphasis on establishing oral health habits that last a lifetime, we offer a comprehensive program of preventive care and closely monitor the dental health of our pediatric patients as they grow.
As an added level of protection to guard against childhood dental decay, we recommend periodic fluoride treatments and the application of dental sealants on the biting surfaces of the newly erupted permanent back teeth.
As an added level of protection against dental decay, it is recommended that children receive periodic fluoride treatments as part of a program of preventive dental care. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent cavities by making the hard outer enamel of the teeth more resistant to the acids produced by the harmful sugar processing bacteria in dental plaque. It can also help to remineralize the teeth to reverse incipient decay.
During a periodic checkup visit, we recommend the application of a topical fluoride to help strengthen and protect both a child’s baby teeth and the permanent ones. Topical fluorides can be applied as a foam, gel or varnish. Whatever type is selected, the procedure is quick and painless. Once the teeth are cleaned the fluoride is simply painted on the surfaces of the teeth or placed in a small tray to sit over the teeth for a brief period of time. Fluoride treatment require no eating or drinking for half an hour as the fluoride is absorbed into the surface of the teeth. The dental hygienist will provide specific and detailed instructions as needed.
Fluoride treatment may also be indicated in adults who are at a higher risk for developing tooth decay.
For extra protection, the dental hygienist can apply dental sealants which are a thin coating painted onto the chewing surfaces the back teeth that can help prevent tooth decay for a number of years. The protective coating blocks out germs and food particles. The sealant is most effective the first two years and then reduces effectiveness by half after that.
Nightguards for Clenching and Grinding:
While clenching and grinding can happen any time of day, it often occurs at night causing an individual to wake up with any number of symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, and sore teeth that may feel loose. Although, stress and anxiety are the most common causes of this, there may be other contributing factors such as a sleep disorder, an abnormal bite, as well as teeth that are missing or poorly aligned.
To alleviate the symptoms, wearing a night guard while sleeping is frequently recommended. This appliance is designed to fit over the teeth and to keep the jaws slightly apart. Wearing a night guard prevents a number of damaging events, including muscle strain, excessive pressure on the jaw joint (the TMJ), and such dental damage as chipped or cracked teeth resulting from the teeth grinding against each other.
In addition to preventing damage to the soft and hard tissues surrounding the orofacial cavity, a custom night guard fabricated at the dental office can help curb a bruxism habit and give the wearer a better night’s sleep.
Every year millions of cases of dental and facial injuries occur as the result of sport-related trauma. While all sports have some risk of oral injury, it is especially prevalent in recreational activities that involve frequent body contact with other players or the ground, as well as the possibility of being struck by other objects such as, balls, bats, or sticks.
One way to significantly reduce the risk of damage to your teeth, cheeks, lips, tongue, face, or jaw as the result of a sports-related injury is to wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a removable appliance made of a sturdy plastic that sits comfortably over your teeth. Typically, mouthguards are designed to cover just the top teeth but may also be fabricated to include the lower teeth as well depending on your particular situation. Individuals who wear braces or have some types of dental work may require a specific type of mouthguard that provides more coverage.
There are three types of sports mouthguards on the market, including pre-formed and ready to wear stock mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom mouthguards fabricated by your dentist. Our office will help you to select just the right sports mouthguard to protect your smile. While the first two choices offer some level of protection, the best and most comfortable mouthguards to safeguard your smile are the ones individually designed and customized by your dentist.
Oral Cancer Screening:
Oral cancer accounts for 2.9% of all diagnosed cases of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society it is estimated that 51,000 people across the country will develop oral cancer this year and that 10,000 fatalities are expected from the disease.
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the orofacial complex but is most often found on the tongue, the tonsils and oropharynx, the gums, floor of the mouth, lips, cheek lining or the hard palate. While the disease can affect anyone, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women. Those particularly at risk for oral cancer are men over the age of 50 who are heavy smokers and frequently drink alcohol. Additional risk factors may include UV exposure from the sun or sunlamps, GERD (gastro-intestinal reflux disease), prior head and neck radiation treatment, exposure to certain chemicals and poor diet. While the death rate from oral cancer has been decreasing in the past several decades thanks to early detection and advanced methods of treatment improving the outcomes of care, there has been a recent rise in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer due to increased transmission of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV).
As part of a comprehensive exam, the dentist will perform a screening for oral cancer. To start, the dentist will review the patient’s medical and dental histories and ask if there have been any changes to his or her oral health or overall health. The dentist will then carefully check in and around the oral cavity as well as the head and neck area for any of the following signs or symptoms that may indicate the presence of a problem