Preventative care is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure your oral health stays strong for the long run. Our practice offers a wide array of services to stop those small problems from becoming a big issue.
LifeSmiles Dental provides a comprehensive exam at the time of your cleaning so you know exactly where your oral health stands and what steps are needed to keep your smile shining at its best. Routine exams allow us to identify areas that need attention early so we can fix them quickly and easily while preventing more serious problems from occurring in the future.
LifeSmiles professionals perform a comprehensive oral cancer screening during every exam to catch abnormalities early. Cancer is a word no one wants to think about, but identifying problems early means a better prognosis long term for you and your health.
At LifeSmiles Dental we use state-of-the-art digital imaging to get the perfect image of your teeth. This results in a quick and comfortable experience while keeping the standard radiation one is exposed to during x-rays to a minimum. The higher resolution imagery produced using this method means we’re able to catch issues earlier which can mean a simple fix in place of a major procedure. We’re able to instantly upload your imagery to our computers allowing us to review your results with you right away rather than wait for film to develop. Dental radiographs allow the clinician to visualize the tooth surfaces that can’t otherwise be seen, even with the help of magnification. Radiographs help us evaluate these areas and allow us to detect disease.
During your visit, our hIghly skilled dental hygienists gently clean your teeth, getting rid of plaque, calculus and staining throughout your mouth. This includes caring for those hard to reach areas that are typically difficult to keep clean at home. An antibacterial mouth rinse will be given at the start of the appointment. The hygienists will then clean, polish and floss your teeth as well as place a fluoride varnish application. Throughout the cleaning process we will educate you on the latest tips and tricks to help you best take care of your pearly whites. We may even send you home with a free sample or two!
Scaling and Root Planing
Known as periodontal therapy or “deep cleaning”, scaling and root planing is for those with periodontal disease. Our dental professionals target the areas where bone loss has occurred and the gums have detached from the tooth creating a pocket where food and bacteria get trapped while causing calculus to build up. These areas are difficult to keep clean at home, so professional periodontal therapy is needed to maintain your mouth’s state of health and to prevent the periodontal disease from progressing.
Child's First Visit
Your child’s first visit should occur within six months of their first tooth coming in or by one-year-of-age. Typically, a short appointment consisting of a gentle examination of your child’s teeth and gums is performed by our dental professionals. A fluoride varnish will be applied during this visit to protect the teeth against future decay. At LifeSmiles Dental we take the time to discuss how to best care for your child’s teeth and answer any questions you may have while giving your special little ones the care and attention they deserve.
Each routine hygiene visit that occurs following their first appointment, we will slowly introduce your child to the dental environment in a comfortable, fun manner with the goal of working up to performing a comprehensive cleaning and taking digital x-rays.
A protective coating is placed in the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This protective coating seal the grooves that are prone to trap food and bacteria and help prevent decay from forming in the future.
Guards / Retainers
The first step in custom fitting you for a mouthguard or retainer is taking impressions of your teeth. The impressions will be used to make your retainer or mouthguard to protect your teeth while ensuring a comfortable fit unique to you. Here are some of the more common items our patients typically come in to see us for:
- Mouthguard – protects teeth from a dental injury during high impact events like contact sports
- Occlusal guard – protects the teeth from grinding
- Orthodontic retainers – worn to maintain the alignment of your teeth after orthodontic treatment to prevent shifting and relapse
TMJ: Otherwise known as the temporomandibular joint, TMJ refers to the jaw and the surrounding facial muscles that control chewing, speaking and swallowing
TMD: Also known as temporomandibular joint disorder, TMD symptoms include: pain in the jaw, headaches, ringing in ears (tinnitus), hearing a clicking/popping/grinding noise when opening or closing the jaw, the jaw locking or feeling of getting stuck, bite changes, teeth not properly aligning, breaking teeth and sensitivity to temperature changes.
- Arthritis, trauma, improper tooth/jaw alignment, grinding teeth, stress
- Fabricating a night guard or splint appliance to relieve muscle pain and prevent further wear of your teeth
- Aligning your jaw into a healthy position
- Jaw exercises recommended by one of our professionals
- In some cases a prescription medication is needed to relax the muscles
For patients struggling with jaw pain or any of the above symptoms, a complete TMJ evaluation will be done during your visit along with x-ray imaging. Once a proper diagnosis has been made, an appropriate appliance may be made to help relieve your symptoms.
Sleep apnea is sleeping disorder in which your breathing starts and stops repeatedly, It is commonly caused from the muscles in your throat relaxing and blocking your airway. Symptoms include:
- Episodes of gasping for air while sleeping (reported by others)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
We can work collaboratively with your physician to achieve a diagnosis and craft an effective treatment plan moving forward. Your treatment plan may include custom fitting an oral appliance that will be added to your nighttime routine.
Oral appliances are custom fit and can be made as a therapeutic option to wear while sleeping. They thrust your lower jaw forward in order to prevent blockage of the airway while you rest. An oral appliance is a good option if diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea or you’re unable to tolerate CPAP.