The foundation of a great smile is a commitment to general dental care. Your six-month visits keep your teeth clean and healthy and help prevent problems down the road by letting us spot them early. We can address your unique concerns and develop a relationship that ensures continuity of care.
The Importance of Hygiene Visits
One of the most important reasons to visit the dentist is to have your teeth cleaned by a professional hygienist. Plaque and tartar form on teeth over time. Plaque is soft and sticky, but regular brushing can usually remove most of it. But plaque hardens into tartar, which is beyond the scope of your typical toothbrush and floss. Tartar accumulates below the gumline as well as on the surface of the teeth. If you don’t remove plaque, you risk more serious problems with your teeth and gums later on. Recent research shows a definite link between untreated gum disease and other serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Having your teeth cleaned regularly is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy!
What is Wellness Dentistry?
Let’s say you become ill and decide to go to your doctor for care. And let’s say that you are treated and you recover. That’s just great! But what if you went to your doctor when you were NOT ill and you learned how NOT to get sick? That would be even better! That’s what we call “Wellness Care.” And that’s just what we do in our practice. We can certainly get your teeth and gums healthy and repair any damage just like any dental office can. But we go a step further and show you how to avoid dental problems before they become problems. We start with a very thorough examination. Most of our patients say they’ve never had such an extensive examination of their gums or teeth. We examine your bite and how your teeth come together, we look for oral cancer, gum disease, signs of wear on the teeth, and any problem that you might encounter at a later date. We want to head off any problems and make your teeth and gums healthier so you will be spending less time in the dental chair!
Saving Hopeless Teeth
Teeth with roots that have been damaged or infected used to require extraction, which can cause a lot of problems and should be avoided whenever possible. The good news is that we are well experienced in advanced root canal therapy. A root canal is a procedure to fix a tooth by removing the pulp chamber of a tooth and filling it with a filling material. This is often necessary when dental decay reaches the nerve of the tooth (or the tooth has become infected), and a simple filling will not be suitable.
In the not-too-distant past, the situation mentioned above would have required the tooth to be extracted. When dentists started performing root canals, they were quite dreaded, and the root canal has received a reputation as something to be avoided. However, with modern anesthetics and technology, root canals are often manageable.
Senior Dental Care is Different
Just as our bodies change as we get older, our teeth and gums do too. Years of plaque buildup, as well as consuming coffee, tea, or tobacco, can make teeth turn dark. Ask us about procedures that can combat these problems. Reduced flow of saliva is sometimes a side effect of medications. There are simple products that can help this condition. Your fillings are getting older, too. They can weaken or crack. Regular check-ups will allow us to stay on top of your existing fillings. Gum disease and root decay can be major problems in seniors. Daily cleaning and good nutrition are critical for healthy gums. If your gums become red or begin to bleed or your teeth start to feel loose, contact us immediately.
Are You Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic?
Did you know there is a link between your dental health and your ability to successfully control blood sugar levels? And did you know that not all dentists are equally prepared to assist diabetics with their dental health? Untreated gum disease makes your diabetes worse and diabetes makes your gum disease worse. It’s a vicious cycle. You’ll be glad to know that we have received special training on dental care for diabetics. Call us today for a complimentary consultation about dentistry for diabetics. No one here will ever criticize you for having put off dental care. You can be assured of compassionate and completely non-judgmental care. We can help.
Oral Cancer – Minimize Your Risk
It’s an often-unknown statistic that oral cancer causes one American death every hour. For 40 years, this mortality rate hasn’t changed. But it’s not all bad news. Early detection means a 90% cure rate for oral cancer. That’s why we conduct a visual screening for oral cancer at every six-month checkup and cleaning and have some advanced screening options available, as well. If the hygienist or doctor sees anything that gives them cause for concern, they’ll refer you to an oral surgeon. This screening could literally save your life!
Do You Suffer from Bad Breath?
It can not only ruin your social life, it’s often a sign of more serious health problems. Gum disease could be present when you have chronic bad breath. Major advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of bad breath have encouraged Dr. Hale to add a Fresh Breath Center to our practice. Fresh breath can be yours again!
Solutions for Traditional Denture Wearers
With a breakthrough in design and fit, we can provide natural-looking, slip-proof dentures! This technique secures the denture plate so securely that you no longer have to worry about the foods you eat or that your dentures might shift or slip. If you are a denture wearer, be sure to ask us about this. It will make your life so much easier.
No Mercury! No Metals! No Kidding!
For years, the silver-mercury amalgam was the standard filling material used in dental practices, and many practices still use it. While they are a reasonable restoration, amalgams have certain shortcomings. Metal does not bond well to teeth, so decay can and does eventually leak into the tooth. But the biggest reason many of our patients are choosing the white bonded fillings has to do with the way they look. Many people just don’t want an ugly black plug in their teeth. We offer modern restorations that are a natural-looking white, contain no metals, and can actually strengthen your teeth. They also bond very tightly with the healthy part of the tooth so there is much less chance of decay in the future.
Bonded White Fillings
Oral health can have a far bigger impact on a person’s life than regular cleanings and the occasional filling can address. Many patients who’ve dealt with injury, illness, bite problems, and simple wear and tear can have chronic problems that they don’t even realize began in the mouth. Bruxism (tooth grinding), TMJ, periodontitis, crooked or misshapen teeth, and missing teeth can combine to cause headaches and migraines, toothaches, chronic bad breath, and an unattractive appearance. But you don’t have to live like that.
Dr. Hale will sit down with you to discuss your concerns, symptoms, and goals. After taking digital X-rays, photos, and imprints of your mouth, he will present options for a treatment plan to address your issues and achieve a healthy, pain-free, beautiful smile. We can also discuss phased treatment and financial planning that will put your dream smile within reach.
Do You Suffer from Headaches, Popping Jaw Joints, or Pain While Eating? Neuromuscular Dentistry May Be the Answer
Neuromuscular dentistry consists of specific treatment procedures that deal with your jaw joints and how your teeth mesh together. If your teeth don’t come together just right due to a jaw joint disorder, they can become worn down and you may not be able to chew your food correctly. This can also cause a variety of head and neck pain. Many people with jaw joint problems clench their teeth at night, which can damage teeth or dental work. It does no good to give a patient a beautiful new smile that will then be destroyed by a bad bite. We want your teeth to last a lifetime!
Dr. Hale has been extensively trained in neuromuscular dentistry. We’ve successfully treated many patients who have sought relief from their pain from physicians, chiropractors, and neurologists and have been told they are difficult cases. If you have aches and pains in your temples or jaw muscles, or perhaps suffer from earaches, headaches, or problems with your jaw locking up or making popping sounds, you may benefit from neuromuscular dentistry.
What is Xylitol and What Does it Have to Do With Reducing Cavities?
Xylitol is a natural substance found in fruits, berries, mushrooms and other vegetables. Our own bodies produce from 5 to 10 grams every day. It is particularly effective in combating tooth decay caused by eating foods high in sugars and starches. Over 25 years of clinical testing confirms that xylitol is the best sweetener for teeth. It has been endorsed by dental associations in Finland, Norway, Sweden, England, Ireland, Estonia, and the Netherlands.
Xylitol can be taken in the form of chewing gum, tablets, toothpaste, mouthwash, or even candy. It’s also very helpful for those suffering allergies and also comes in a nasal spray. In our practice we offer and encourage our patients to use xylitol products. The results have been amazing. If you want fewer cavities and better upper respiratory health, ask us about xylitol!
To Your Overall Health and Vitality
Research shows that dental health is more than just a nice smile and no toothaches. From having strong teeth to properly chew food, to healthy gums that perform their protective function, excellent dental health is an important component to the overall wellness and vitality of your body. In recognition of the importance of dental health, Dr. Hale has implemented a process that goes beyond the “diagnose and repair problems” approach that is common in the dental profession. With this process, your dental health (and particularly your gum health) is tracked on graphs from visit to visit and maintained in our computer, where you have a visual history of your dental health. From there, you and Dr. Hale can set health goals. Our practice works with you, much like a coach or trainer, in achieving those goals.