Our team strives to help protect smiles of all ages from the onset of serious concerns, such as tooth decay and gum disease. With general dentistry, we can offer routine care that helps safeguard your teeth and gums. In today’s blog, your Lake Orion, MI, dentist takes a close look at our general dental procedures, and explains how they protect your smile.
Our Dental Checkups
A general dental exam is helpful for people of all ages, starting for kids at around age two. With a regular visit for an exam, our team can monitor your smile and identify changes that could include the presence of tooth decay, gum disease, and other common disorders. To make a diagnosis with precision and accuracy, in addition to a visual exam, we will implement digital x-rays and intraoral cameras, which provide detailed digital images using a fraction of the radiation. We can see them instantly chairside, and talk with you about your diagnosis and the current state of your smile.
For adults, we will watch for cavities, infection, gingivitis, and gum disease. We screen for oral cancer once a year, and also assess your risk of TMJ disorder, bruxism (teeth grinding), and even sleep disorders like sleep apnea. For kids, we also look for indicators of tooth decay and infection, and watch for gingivitis and issues that could lead to misalignment, such as complications with the arrival and loss of the primary teeth, or impaction in permanent teeth. We also watch for the wisdom teeth, which we typically remove in the late teen years. For children, our general dentistry treatments could also include fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help lower the risk of future cavities.
Cleaning Your Teeth
In the same general dentistry visit, we also take time to clean your teeth. A dental cleaning involves removing all plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth, and in between them. Plaque and tartar are bacterial byproducts that coat the teeth and increase the risk of bad breath, teeth stains, cavities, and even gum disease. But with a routine cleaning, we use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual pick to break up and remove all plaque and tartar completely. We then polish the teeth for a smoother surface and a brighter appearance, so you leave with a much healthier smile.
Our Periodontal Cleanings
If you have severe buildup that has led to the onset of gingivitis and gum disease, and caused sore, red bleeding, or receding gums, then you may need more than a traditional cleaning. Instead, as part of our general dental treatments, we could offer a scaling and root planing, which removes the buildup from the teeth and the compromised roots, improving overall health in the process. This could take one visit, or up to four, depending on the severity of your buildup. We will numb your tooth to keep you comfortable, and complete the procedure by polishing your smile. Moving forward, we can keep the disease in check with traditional cleanings every three to four months. You also help with good at-home oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day for two minutes, and also flossing every evening.
Treating Bruxism with Oral Appliances
General dentistry also includes treatments to manage serious jaw joint concerns that could threaten your smile’s stability. TMJ disorder occurs when the jaw joints are strained, and could lead to issues fully opening and closing your mouth. Bruxism means you grind and clench your teeth on a regular basis. Both could be caused by issues like upset bite balance, including tooth loss, malocclusion, injury, or complications with the growth and development of your smile. Warning signs include soreness in the face and jaw, headaches and migraines, tooth sensitivity and toothaches, and a popping or clicking sensation in your jaw. To offer relief, we could take digital images to create an oral appliance, one custom-made for a comfortable fit and precise treatment. The device will look like a mouthguard, and is worn as you rest at night. The oral appliance repositions the jaw to ease pressure and strain, so you avoid symptoms. The device also puts a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent further damage to your smile.
If you have any questions about general dentistry, then contact our team today to learn more.
Do You Have Questions About General Dentistry?
Contact Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI by calling 248-693-6213 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about how our team can preserve your smile with general dentistry.