Cleaning & Prevention

Exams, Cleaning, X-Rays, & Sealants

Dental Cleanings

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day to reduce the severity of plaque. To completely remove plaque and tartar, you must also schedule professional dental cleanings at least once every six months.

If Dr. Jack or Dr. Carter notice signs of plaque and tartar underneath your gums, which can lead to periodontitis and gum disease, then they may recommend a periodontal cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing.

Dental Examinations

Plaque forms constantly from the saliva, food debris, and oral bacteria that linger in your mouth, and brushing and flossing is essential to removing it. If it remains long enough, it will calcify into tartar, and will stay there until removed by your hygienist.

A regular dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is the careful but thorough removal of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth, and along your gum line. The procedure is simple and quick, and is performed during the same visit as your dental examination.

Sealants

Children and teenagers are the primary candidates for sealants and carry a higher chance of developing decay. Sealants become necessary once the permanent back teeth (six-year molars) emerge, or during cavity-prone years of 6 to 16.

Adults with no tooth decay who obtain deep grooves or depressions will benefit from sealants.  Baby teeth occasionally require sealants if the child is cavity-prone or has deep grooves or depressions. 

What do sealants involve?

The process of sealants is a quick and painless procedure. It only requires a few minutes per tooth and easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist.

The teeth are first carefully cleaned and kept dry with absorbent material. The enamel surface is then coated with an acid solution that allows the sealant bond to the teeth. After the treated teeth are washed and dried, the deep grooves and depressions of the enamel are carefully brushed with sealant material. The type of sealant used during the process determines whether the material will harden immediately or with a special curing light.

Proper protection, regular dental visits, and a healthy diet will assist in maintaining your new sealants.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring is common, but despite the noise it causes, not many people consider it a serious condition, and often it isn’t. However, over time, chronic snorers can experience an increased risk of health issues. They may also be suffering from a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Patients with OSA may not realize they have this condition. Yet, lack of awareness can exacerbate the risks that the disorder may place on their overall health. Snoring is a definitive symptom of OSA, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The patterns of snoring associated with OSA are distinct, and are caused by your airway gradually closing due to over-relaxed, or over-sized, oral tissues. The obstruction can cause patients to stop breathing for up to ten seconds or more, and the pattern can repeat itself up to hundreds of times a night.

To accurately diagnose OSA, we may recommend that you visit a sleep specialist to undergo an overnight sleep assessment. The assessment will reveal details of your sleeping and breathing patterns, and can help experts determine with certainty whether or not you exhibit obstructive sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, then your sleep expert might recommend treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, an oral sleep appliance may be a possible treatment option designed to keep your airway open and clear while you sleep. The appliance is similar to a mouth guard, and is significantly more manageable than the cumbersome CPAP machine.

Bruxism / TMJ Treatment

If you catch yourself grinding your teeth often, or if the noise from your teeth-grinding keeps your partner up at night, then you may benefit from customized bruxism treatment. Bruxism describes chronic teeth-grinding. Unlike typical clenching, bruxism can be difficult to stop, or even notice, because it tends to occur most often at night. If it isn’t addressed, bruxism can lead to severe wear and damage to your teeth, resulting in tooth sensitivity and increased risk of further dental issues. In most cases, we can protect a patient’s smile from bruxism with a custom-designed oral appliance, or sleep guard, that acts as a buffer between teeth.

To determine if bruxism treatment is right for you, we will perform a comprehensive examination to check for tell-tale signs, such as excessive wear on your teeth. If bruxism is an issue, then the doctor may prescribe a custom-designed nightguard that you can wear at night to prevent damage from teeth grinding. If your teeth have already suffered excessive wear or damage, then your treatment plan can also include restorative measures to repair the damage. 

First-Time Patient?

You can do your paperwork online to save time!