Your oral health is important for the well being of your whole body. While routine oral hygiene at home – including regular brushing and flossing – are crucial to keep your smile looking its best, you also need regular evaluations with your dentist. Routine dental exams and cleanings will help to prevent decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues and will leave you with a healthy, white smile.
Our comprehensive dental exams are used to look for signs of a problem, and regular screenings can detect issues while they are in the early – and most treatable – stages. A regular exam with your dentist and hygienist will include:
Often completed at the same time as your comprehensive exam, a dental cleaning is usually performed by a dental hygienist. The main procedures performed will include:
At Complete Dental, we want your smile to last a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning.
Periodontal disease – or gum disease – is an infection of the soft tissues that surround the teeth. It is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, and many people who are living with the disease don’t even know it. Regular evaluations are crucial, as they will give your dentist a chance to look for signs of gum disease and to recommend potential treatments.
Gum disease results from plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria, and if it isn’t removed, it will create toxins that can damage your gums. As gum disease progresses it will create pockets beneath the gum line that cause the gums to separate from the teeth.
There are two main stages of gum disease, and they differ in terms of symptoms and treatment options.
This is the early stage of periodontal disease. While healthy gums are a pale pink color and firm, gums affected by gingivitis will be dark red. They may bleed easily, especially when brushing and flossing, and some other telltale signs include:
The good news is that gum disease is reversible at this point, as long as you are committed to improving your oral health and you receive proper dental treatment.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. At this phase, the gums and the bones supporting your teeth can become seriously damaged. In addition to tender, swollen gums, other signs may include:
Gums affected by periodontitis can cause the teeth to loosen or fall out. Unfortunately, the damage is usually irreversible, so proper dental care is needed to prevent this issue.
There are several gum disease treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical. Contact us today if you are concerned about gum disease.
The goal of our dental practice is to preserve your natural teeth as long as possible, keeping them healthy, white, and beautiful. While extractions are a last resort, there are times when it may be in your best interest to have a tooth removed.
Extractions are typically only considered when all other treatment options have failed. There are a variety of reasons that extraction may be warranted:
Sometimes a dentist will pull a tooth to prepare the mouth for orthodontic treatment. Likewise, if a mouth is so crowded that a permanent tooth can’t erupt, a baby tooth may need to be extracted.
If tooth decay extends into the tooth pulp – the center that contains blood vessels and nerves – infection may result. A root canal and/or antibiotics may be able to help, but if they don’t, an extraction may be needed.
If your tooth has been damaged and other conventional treatments don’t allow it to look and function as it should, an extraction may be necessary.
Most notable with the wisdom teeth, if an impacted tooth is in an undesirable position, it could be best to remove it before the roots have fully formed.
If you and your dentist decide that extraction is the best solution for your dental problem, you’ll be given an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area. Forceps are used to grasp the tooth, gently rock it back and forth, and remove it from the jaw bones and ligaments. More difficult teeth – especially the molars with multiple roots – may need to be removed in pieces.
Once a tooth has been extracted, the neighboring teeth could shift, and you may experience changes to your jaw joint function or chewing. To avoid complications, your dentist can recommend various options to replace the extracted tooth.
A dental filling is a tooth restoration most commonly used to treat decay and cavities. After your tooth has been damaged, a dental filling will restore both the appearance and function.
If your dentist notices a cavity during your comprehensive exam, you may need a filling. While these are the most popular reasons for the restoration, there are other situations that might warrant a filling:
There are a few different types of materials that can be used to produce dental fillings:
Before your filing, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. The tooth is then prepared by removing the decayed portion and cleaning it thoroughly. This is done using a variety of tools, including a high-speed hand piece – sometimes known as a dental drill – and suction instruments. Remember, your mouth will be thoroughly numbed by this point, so you should be able to relax comfortably throughout the process.
Next, your dentist will use a composite restorative material in order to fill in the missing part of the tooth’s structure. It will be shaped to match the natural structure of the tooth. Before you leave, your dentist will have you bite down in order to ensure that the teeth fit together comfortably.
Fillings are extremely common and can be completed in one simple appointment at our office. Contact us today to learn more.
Root canal therapy treats the inside of a tooth in order to correct problems resulting from infection or pulp inflammation. Failure to treat these issues can lead to abscesses, severe pain, and possible tooth loss. We perform root canal therapy in order to save your tooth by repairing the structure, function, and appearance.
Root canal therapy is most commonly used to repair teeth that have become infected or experienced significant decay. When the inner pulp in a tooth is damaged, a root canal will remove the damaged portion – including the nerve – before cleaning out and sealing the inner portion of your tooth.
In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms to indicate that you need a root canal. If you do notice any changes, there are some signs that are more common than others:
If you suspect a problem with a tooth, your dentist can examine it to identify the source of your discomfort. X-ray imaging, percussion testing, and electric pulp testing can all help us determine if a root canal is warranted.
The wisdom teeth are the third molars – the last of the permanent teeth in your mouth, and the last to erupt. They usually make their presence known from ages 15 to 25 – and not always in a good way. Many people have their wisdom teeth removed, and even if yours don’t seem to bother you, they could be causing some significant problems that you can’t see.
While wisdom teeth removal is common, it isn’t a necessity. There are several reasons why your dentist might recommend surgical extraction:
If you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you’ll be scheduled for surgery. In most cases you will be sedated so that the wisdom teeth can be removed safely and without pain. You’ll be asleep throughout the entire procedure.
After your surgery, a responsible party is required to drive you home. You may experience some mild swelling and discomfort for a few days, and it might take a several weeks before your mouth heals completely. During this time, it is especially important to listen to your dentist’s instructions, as this will lead to the fastest possible recovery.
Whether you grind your teeth at night or you are involved in potentially hazardous athletic activity, the right mouth guard will be an important piece of equipment in your life. Likewise, if your child plays sports, a mouth guard will work hard to keep his teeth and mouth safe. Mouth guards are a wise investment that can save you from pain, discomfort, and future dental expenses.
If you are in need of a mouth guard, it is important to note that there are three main types:
To extend the life of your custom-made mouth guard, it is important to follow proper care instructions:
Your dental insurance may cover some of the cost of your custom-fitted mouth guard. Contact us today to learn more about our mouth guards and which option is right for you.
Sedation dentistry is a practice that uses different medications to help patients stay calm and relaxed while in the dental chair. If you or your child have dental anxiety or have had previous bad experiences with another provider, our sedation dentistry services can make you feel more comfortable.
In any dental practice, there are many different types of sedation that can be offered, depending on the specific procedure:
In addition to sedation dentistry, we also provide a local anesthetic with most of our procedures. This involves a numbing medication that is administered into the gums with a needle. Whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled or experienced a dental injury that we need to treat, a local anesthetic is a good first step for pain relief.
There are many reasons that you might want to use sedation dentistry during your appointment. If you have a fear of the dentist or other anxieties, sedation is a safe and comfortable treatment method that allows us to get all necessary work done in one appointment. Other procedures – specifically extractions and surgery – are also more easily tolerated if you are sedated.
Talk to us today to learn more about our sedation dentistry offerings.
The temporomandibular joint – or TMJ – acts as a hinge connecting your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. If you place your fingers just in front of your ear, you should feel a bony structure that moves as you open and close your mouth. A healthy TMJ will allow your jaw to move freely and without pain, but TMD – or temporomandibular joint disorder – can result in some problems.
TMD isn’t completely understood. There are several issues that can cause trouble with the TMJ:
The signs of a TMJ disorder will vary on a case by case basis, but there are some that tend to be more common:
To treat you TMJ issues, we’ll first need to find the cause of the problem. This will directly affect the treatment that we suggest, and there are several options:
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your jaw joint, call us today to set up an evaluation.
At Complete Dental, we use i-CAT 3D dental imaging to provide the most accurate diagnostics for our patients. This innovative system offers quick, effective, and comfortable dental imaging solutions that can lead to the most precise diagnosis of your dental issue.
Our 3D imaging technology provides data for a variety of dental services. In our practice, we can use i-CAT for more information about a variety of dental problems, including wisdom teeth extractions, impacted teeth, and TMJ treatment. However, there are many ways that these cans can be used in the field of dentistry:
Scans using this technology are completed quickly. You’ll be required to sit in a stationary position, and then a cone beam will take hundreds of pictures of your face. These images are then compiled in order to create an exact 3D image of your jaw, face, and other inner mechanisms. Your dentist will be able to zoom into specific areas and can view problem spots from alternate angles.
There are many benefits to the use of 3D imaging in a dental practice. These scans allow your dentist to view the internal structures of your teeth, jaw, face, and skull. Unlike other imaging options, 3D imaging will allow your dentist to view bone structure, tissues, nerves, and bone dentistry, which can’t be viewed with a comprehensive exam. 3D imaging is also quick, which means that it uses far less radiation than traditional imaging options.
Contact us today to learn more about our i-CAT 3D imaging services.