General Dentistry in Montgomery
Comprehensive Evaluation / Oral Examination
An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities. Radiographs allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head and neck area.
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. Once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are polished.
Custom Mouth Guards
Many sports require athletes to use a mouth guard to protect their teeth while practicing and playing. Frequently used in contact sports, the mouth guard covers the gums and teeth to provide protection for lips, gums, teeth, and arches. A properly fitted mouth guard can reduce the severity of dental injuries.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth roots after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative procedures may need to be removed. Before removal of the tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is loosened from the jawbone and surrounding ligaments and tissues with a gentle rocking motion. Once it is loose, it is gently removed. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions About General Dentistry
What does general dentistry include?
General dentistry is the term used for basic dental care that most dental offices provide. It includes dental cleanings, oral examinations, X-Rays, cavity fillings, and other general dental procedures. General dentistry usually includes patients of all ages.
Is it worth it to fill a cavity in a baby tooth?
Many parents question whether or not it is worth it to have a cavity filled when it occurs in a baby tooth that will just fall out later. However, a cavity can cause pain if it is left untreated. And extracting the tooth leaves a gap until the permanent tooth comes in that could cause the other teeth to shift out of place. It is still best to have a simple cavity filling done.
What is the best toothpaste to use?
There are many different toothpastes on the market and many of them target specific dental issues. There are also prescription toothpastes that have higher concentrations of fluoride than over the counter toothpastes for increased cavity protection. Talk to your dentist about your specific dental needs and ask what kind of toothpaste they would recommend.
How often should you go to the dentist?
It is recommended that the average patient should go to the dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings and exams. Most dental insurance plans cover appointments on this schedule. In some cases a dentist may recommend that a patient come in more often for cleanings if there are specific risks or dental health concerns.
At what age should a child start going to the dentist?
Many parents are unsure about the right age to start taking their children to the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends taking your baby to the dentist by their first birthday or within 6 months of their first tooth coming in. Starting early and keeping up with routine appointments helps children get used to going to the dentist and monitors for any potential problems.
Are teeth whitening treatments safe?
There are many different teeth whitening treatments, both over the counter and professional strength from your dentist’s office. Dentists recommend professional teeth whitening because it is highly effective, the results last longer, and it is safer for patients’ teeth than store bought products.
What should be done about teeth grinding?
Teeth grinding is a very common habit. Most people are not even aware that they are grinding their teeth because it happens most often while sleeping. Dentists recommend a mouth guard to protect the teeth and jaw from the pressure of grinding. Your dentist can make you a custom fit mouth guard for greater comfort while you sleep.
What is gum disease and how do I know if I have it?
Gum disease is a common oral issue. When plaque builds up on the teeth and along the gum line, the bacteria can infect the gums. Common symptoms include sore and bleeding gums. Your dentist can perform procedures such as scaling (removing hardened plaque) and root planing (smoothing the surface of the tooth roots) to cure and prevent gum disease.