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.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects thousands of Americans yearly. We use the latest technology to detect changes in oral tissue consistencies and/or lesions. A specialized light is shined into the mouth to detect unhealthy tissue. Healthy tissue looks lighter under the light while spots of bad tissue appear dark. With early detection, cancer may be caught before it has time to spread, potentially saving lives.
VELscope Vx provides the most powerful technology available for assisting in the discovery of oral mucosal abnormalities. VELscope Vx plays a key role in the early discovery of such abnormalities, which can be critically important in the fight against oral cancer. When used as an adjunctive aid in combination with traditional oral cancer examination procedures, VELscope facilitates the early discovery and visualization of mucosal abnormalities, including oral cancer. In one or two minutes, with no rinses or stains required, a VELscope system examination helps healthcare professionals assess their patients’ overall oral health.
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.
If gum recession is present and tooth roots are exposed, a gum graft may be recommended. This procedure is used to control and prevent further gum recession and subsequent damage to the surrounding teeth and bone structure. Often, a soft tissue graft also improves the appearance of a patient’s smile and sensitivity to heat and cold. There are several reasons a gum grafting procedure may be recommended for a patient, including cosmetic, comfort, and health considerations.
During a soft tissue graft, tissue is surgically placed to cover as much of the exposed root area as possible. Often, a tissue flap is created to allow the added tissue to be joined to the existing gums to facilitate tissue growth and healing. This procedure may be used to treat one or several adjacent teeth at the time of the surgery.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. When root canal therapy is performed, infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth chamber. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed to limit the possibility of future infection. Soon after the root canal is performed, the tooth is restored with a dental crown or filling to protect the tooth and restore normal tooth function.
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.
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.