Dentistry involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders, and diseases affecting the teeth, gums, and maxillofacial region of the body. General dentists provide services relating to the general maintenance of oral hygiene and the promotion of healthy teeth. In other words, general, restorative, and/or family dentistry focuses on dental problems that require necessary treatment.
For more information on general dentistry, please click on the links below.
A professional dental cleaning (also called a prophylaxis) is probably the most common procedure that you might associate with a general dentist. A dental hygienist commonly performs a prophylaxis. The prophylaxis includes scaling, which is the removal of plaque and tartar from the outer surface of your teeth, and root planing, which cleans the part of your teeth below the gum line. To give your teeth a squeaky clean and shiny feeling, the hygienist uses special instruments designed for the spaces between teeth and under the gum line. The instruments are sharp enough to remove the bacteria without harming the enamel on your teeth. By seeing your friendly hygienist at least twice a year, you can help yourself maintain optimal oral health. Yes, you have to still brush and floss at home — at least two times each day!
Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth — whether you are young or old! Fluoride, which originates from one of the periodic elements, is present to some degree in all water sources, foods, and beverages. However, we will strongly recommend that you supplement your natural intake with a fluoride treatment at the end of your prophylaxis, or cleaning. So, at the conclusion of your cleaning, the hygienist will have you choose from a fluoride varnish or gel to help protect your teeth between visits to the dentist. Your teeth will thank you.
Fluoride is one of only two procedures recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that combat tooth decay. The other is flossing. That’s right — fluoride in conjunction with flossing will make it more likely that you will hear the words, “No cavities. We will see you in 6 months!”
A sealant is a protective, plastic material (actually a composite resin) that is placed directly on the chewing surface of your molars and premolars. Sealants protect the enamel on your teeth from erosion and drastically reduce the occurrence of tooth decay. Applied correctly, sealants can last several years. Sealants are a wise investment, especially for your permanent teeth.
Beautiful Smiles guarantees their sealants to be problem free for 2 years, as long as you maintain good oral health and receive regular, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments in our office.
If your teeth show signs of tooth decay we will restore it with a filling. Beautiful Smiles only places composite resin fillings. In other words, the filling will be white, or tooth-colored. White fillings are better for your body because they bond directly to your tooth; they also require less of your natural tooth to be removed.
Beautiful Smiles guarantees their fillings to be problem free for 2 years, as long as you maintain good oral health and receive regular, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments in our office.
Pain-Free Fillings (Air Abrasion Machine)
For the smallest areas of decay or toothbrush abrasion, our doctors may use an “air abrasion” machine. The air abrasion machine blasts away the tooth decay with air and a powder mixture. An alternative to drills and needles, the air abrasion machine takes the fear out of treating cavities for both children and adults. With air abrasion, there is no need to get numb, the appointment is short in length and it is pain free.
Remember, it is always better to brush and floss regularly to prevent tooth decay.
Does your jaw feel stiff or do you have difficulty opening your mouth wide? Are your teeth sensitive to cold drinks? Do your jaw muscles feel tired in the morning? If so, we may recommend a night guard as treatment for your bruxism — the habitual clenching or grinding your teeth. A night guard is an acrylic appliance used to prevent excessive tooth wear and jaw damage caused by grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth. This activity primarily happens at night while you are sleeping. You may also clench your teeth during the day, if you are under a lot of stress at school, work, or home. The night guard will help to eliminate the pain and discomfort that you feel in your jaw, which is a direct result from clenching or grinding. Over time, if not treated, the pressure from bruxism can actually kill your teeth. Don’t wait until it is too late — call today so you can sleep better tonight.
Athletic Mouth Guards
Children, teenagers, and young adults most commonly experience tooth loss and oral injuries because of sports and athletic events. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, athletic mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year in the United States. If you, your son or daughter, or a relative plays soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, football, or hockey, we will encourage you to consider a custom-fabricated mouth guard as the most effective means of protection for your teeth. Mouth guards are also a good investment for other activities like rollerblading, skateboarding, martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, and mountain biking.
Finally, the color of the mouth guard can be customized to match your team colors. You can also design your own color scheme to express your individuality!
Did you know that snoring is actually a sign that you have stopped breathing? Actually, if you snore, you are just like 80 million others who live in North America. Snoring can create tension among family members, and, if not treated, severe cases of snoring can lead to asphyxiation.
Beautiful Smiles has a solution for you — an anti-snoring device. The custom fabricated dental device, which you wear at night, helps your airway stay open, allowing easier breathing and preventing snoring. Imagine a peaceful night of sleep and pleasant dreams. Call us today!
Anti-Thumb Sucking Devices
Are you concerned about your child’s thumb sucking and wonder if it is harmful? At what age should your child stop? What could happen if your child does not stop? Is the thumb sucking causing damage to your child’s teeth? If you are asking yourself these or any other questions related to thumb sucking, we are here to help with answers and solutions.
As a natural reflex, thumb sucking serves many purposes from feeling secure to offering comfort to inducing sleep. As permanent teeth come in, though, thumb sucking can lead to problems with how your child’s teeth align or develop. Thumb sucking can also cause damage to the roof of the mouth. In severe cases, we can prescribe the use of a mouth appliance to prevent thumb sucking.
Oral Hygiene Instruction
For patients with poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, and/or periodontal disease, we may recommend oral hygiene instruction. During the procedure, the hygienist will provide you with home care instructions — and show you a video on the importance of good oral health. The instructions are very positive and include tips on proper brushing and flossing techniques — and how long to brush and how often to brush.
Nutritional counseling focuses on food selection and dietary habits that promote overall good oral health. The counseling also is used as a tool in the treatment and control of periodontal disease.
If you smoke and want to stop, we can help you with tobacco counseling. The counseling focuses on controlling and preventing tooth decay, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Tobacco cessation services will help you kick the habit!