Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by your Dental Hygienists. With regular dental cleanings and good home care, healthy gum tissues can be achieved for a lifetime. Everyone needs routine professional cleanings to target areas that are difficult to reach with everyday brushing and flossing. We use ultrasonic instrumentation that generates vibrational energy to clean and flush bacteria from underneath the tissue to promote health and healing. Regular dental cleanings with x-rays allow us to detect problem areas in their earliest stages and allow us to provide conservative and less costly solutions!
Please ask us any questions you may have or advise us of any concerns so that we can offer the best advice and services to provide excellent dental health.
Cutting Edge Technology
Our team at Art & Science Dentistry stays up to date on all of the most cutting-edge technology and techniques and we utilize digital x-rays to give you the highest quality dental care possible. Digital x-rays have a number of benefits over traditional film x-rays, all of which help us to diagnose and treat our patients with the precision they deserve.
Oral Cancer Screening
An Important Part of Dental Care
Although oral cancer may not get as much attention as some more widely-known types of cancer, that doesn’t mean it’s any less deadly. In fact, it is estimated that in the United States, oral cancer is responsible for killing one person every hour, every day. While it accounts for a relatively small percentage of all cancers, oral cancer is dangerous because it isn’t usually detected until it has reached an advanced stage. At that point, the odds aren’t great: only about 6 in 10 people will survive after five years of treatment.
At Art & Science Dentistry we will look for signs of abnormal tissue. Typically, we will see visible symptoms like red and white bumps, hard lumps, rough patches, or changes in the position of your teeth. Much of the screening is done visually. However, our team of Dental Hygienists and our doctors will also do a physical exam to check for signs of oral cancer. They will gently feel your cheeks and the inside of your mouth while wearing gloves. This is to identify whether or not you have any strange or hard lumps within this tissue. Remember, oral cancer can impact all areas of the mouth, so the examination must be thorough. Since technology is constantly improving, we may use other testing resources when you come in and will be happy to discuss the process with you at your regular checkups.
All of our patients benefit from oral cancer screenings and they are an important part of your regular dental checkups. Patients at a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves and crevices, called pits and fissures, of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves from food and bacteria and creating a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist in only a couple of minutes per tooth.
The tooth to be sealed is thoroughly cleaned and then isolated with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the tooth. The tooth is then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions.
Proper home care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits will extend the life of your new sealants.
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies and is the most efficient agent available to help prevent tooth decay. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health professional organizations.
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surfaces of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride is applied by using fluoride-containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinse and gels. We generally recommend that a professional application of fluoride is applied twice a year during dental check-ups.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. We generally recommend the use of home and/or professional treatments for the following reasons:
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is also important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks and visit your dentist on a regular basis.
Nutrition and Dental Health
We have all heard about how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet and watch our sugar intake to keep ourselves healthy and fit. But did you know that your diet has a pronounced effect on your oral health or that your teeth and gums often show the first signs of poor nutrition?
The types of foods you eat and even when you eat them can have a dramatic effect on your teeth and gums. Certain types of food have been linked to higher levels of cavity-causing bacteria. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies caused by a poor diet affect your overall health, as well as increase your risk of needing gum disease treatment.
Optimally you should try to maintain a balanced and varied diet in accordance with the standards set by the American Dietic Association and National Institute of Health. By choosing a diet rich in nutrients and fiber you will be doing a good thing for your teeth and your body will thank you too!
Your dentist and hygienist will discuss how your diet impacts your dental health and may make recommendations about changes you can make that will impact your dental health as well as your overall health.
Custom Night Guard
If you or someone you know experiences severe tooth, jaw or facial muscle pain, it may be from the effect of grinding or clenching your teeth. An effective solution, night guards offset the wearing down of your teeth. A night guard is a proactive step to protect your existing healthy teeth. A clear, thin removable device, your custom-made splint is worn over your lower or upper teeth as you sleep. Although it will feel like a mouthful, you’ll get used to the feeling within a week. Studies suggest those who grind and clench their teeth may experience up to 80 times the normal tooth wear per day compared to those who do not.
A night guard also alleviates the majority of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain. Please read more in our TMJ Evaluation services section.
Custom Athletic Mouth Guard
If you’re an avid athlete or the parent of one, you know the importance of proper protective gear. But did you know that up to 40 percent of all sports injuries involve the face? Protect your smile and mouth with a comfortable, custom-molded mouthguard to dramatically reduce the risk of sports-related oral injury.
Custom molded mouthguards are comfortable, practical and protective. A dental laboratory creates the custom-made mouthguard after impressions of your teeth are taken by your dentist.
What Is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a comfortable piece of athletic gear that fits over your teeth and can help protect your smile as well as your lips tongue, face and jaw. New research indicates that mouthguards can even reduce the severity of concussions.
While football, hockey, boxing and rugby players would obviously benefit from mouthguards, others, like bicyclists, weightlifters and gymnasts made the ADA’s list of athletes who need mouthguards. Studies show that 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sports-related. Because the face is an important part of a person’s image, self-confidence and sometimes success, a custom mouthguard is important to help protect your beautiful smile.
Over 50 million Americans annually have headaches so severe that they seek medical help. Most of these people state that their head pain is a disruptive force in their daily lives. The majority of these patients suffer from neuromuscular problems with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). TMD is a group of separate but related disorders of the temporomandibular joint and all the associated muscles, ligaments, nerves, etc. Unfortunately, TMJs are the most frequently misdiagnosed of the neuromuscular medical/dental conditions. After a thorough examination and appropriate x-rays, our team will help to identify the source of the pain. Your dentist will then recommend what type of TMJ treatment is needed for your condition and begin moving forward with a step-by-step treatment plan.
TMD symptoms are related to the TMJ joints and affect the dental and oral structures, the jaw, the chewing muscles, as well as nearby head and neck structures. TMD symptoms can often be confused with other medical issues because some of the symptoms are similar. This is why it is recommended that patients who think they may be suffering from TMD be evaluated by a dentist. The common issues associated with TMD include:
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination. This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.
A periodontal probe, a small dental instrument, is gently used to measure the space between the tooth and the gums. The depth of healthy gums measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if the space is deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the space usually gets deeper.
Your dentist or hygienist will use the measurements, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis on the health of your gum tissue.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed and likely to bleed.
As plaque continues to build up, it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar, and the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets of space form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.