Cleaning

It is vitally important to the health of your teeth to have a professional cleaning at least twice yearly. During these visits, our professional hygienists will remove the disease causing plaque and tartar and gather diagnostic data for your examination. This is important because plaque left on the teeth can cause cavities and gum disease. Both of these diseases can become painful and result in the loss of teeth. These conditions can also be time consuming and expensive to treat. Additionally, it has been proven that an unhealthy mouth can aggravate other system medical issues, including heart disease.

As your teeth are being cleaned, our knowledgeable hygienists will evaluate your home care and suggest brushing and flossing techniques specific to your needs. They will take measurements around each tooth, looking for signs of gingivitis and gum disease. Other factors, such as nutrition, medications and existing medical conditions are considered when determining the overall health of your mouth. Any or all of these will be addressed as deemed necessary.

At each cleaning appointment, the doctor uses specific diagnostic aids in order to conduct an exam. Once a year, bitewing x-rays are taken to determine the integrity of existing restorative work and to detect new cavities between teeth. Panoramic x-rays are taken every three to five years. These are used to detect pathology of the teeth, jaws and joints.

After reviewing the collected data, the doctor will then inform you of any issues that need to be resolved. A customized treatment plan will be developed. As there are sometimes several ways to implement the necessary treatment, the doctor and patient will work together to create a treatment plan that works for both parties. We are aware that finances and insurance are a factor in this process. Our office has highly trained insurance specialists who can help you understand and use your insurance benefits in a way that works best for you. We also offer financing through Care Credit.

A dental cleaning is an excellent opportunity for you to question our practitioners about any changes you would like to see in your teeth. We invite you to explore the possibilities that are available such as whitening, cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics. Even a small change can make a huge difference in the confidence of your smile.

Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal disease is loss of the tissue that attaches the teeth to the jaws. It occurs when teeth are not cleaned for an extended period of time and calculus is allowed to build up on the teeth. Calculus is a deposit of hardened plaque that sticks tightly to the teeth. Brushing and flossing cannot remove it. It must be removed by professional cleaning. Calculus contains dead bacterial cells that are inflammatory to the gum tissues surrounding the tooth. Over time, inflammation of the gums leads to loss of the tissue around the tooth and the underlying bone. In severe cases the teeth can become loose and infected, resulting in the loss of teeth.

Fortunately, the treatment for mild forms of periodontal disease is simple: we clean the teeth below the gumline, removing all the calculus. This will not repair the damage caused by periodontal disease, but it stops the process and often results in tightening of the teeth and reduction of inflammation. Sometimes we use local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. We may also clean the teeth in multiple visits for the patient’s comfort and convenience.

Moderate to severe periodontitis often needs to be treated by a periodontist, who is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease. We work with several excellent periodontists who can manage your moderate to severe periodontal disease. They use advanced techniques to control and even reverse the damage caused by periodontal disease.