The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!
There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.
Digital Dental X-Ray
Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a specialized digital camera.
No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. Advances in dental technologies now make teeth cleanings more comfortable than ever.
An ultrasonic scaler is now used in conjunction with a traditional probe to remove deposits, kill harmful microbes and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums through high-frequency sound waves. Many patients find our cleanings more enjoyable because they are quicker, quieter and pain-free.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and can be performed during regular dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers and heavy drinkers.
Tooth Colored Fillings
If your silver fillings make you feel self conscious when you smile, or it's simply time to replace them, consider tooth colored fillings. Tooth colored fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! Made of composite resin, tooth colored fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. Tooth colored fillings are strong, stain-resistant and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.
A dental crown is one of the premiere treatments for teeth with extensive decay or damage. Dental crowns can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth, or to cover a tooth after a root canal procedure. At Presidio Dental we use the highest quality matierial to make your crowns, including porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia. These beautiful and strong materials eliminate the problem that some crowns (containing metal) have of showing dark gray at the gum line over time. Our crowns match the natural color of your teeth and are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. Because they're metal-free, porcelain/ceramic dental crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies also.
On your first visit, the crown prep is completed, an impression is taken, and a temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth. The impression is sent to a laboratory here in Oro Valley to create each hand-painted final restoration. With good oral hygiene and minimal wear and tear, your new dental crowns should stay strong and beautiful for a long time to come.
Sleep Apnea Appliances
If you wake up feeling groggy every morning, or have a difficult time concentrating throughout the day, you could have sleep apnea. Apnea is Greek for “without breath.” People who suffer from sleep apnea literally stop breathing while they sleep, for about 5-15 seconds at a time. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of chronic sleep deprivation, daytime sleepiness and poor concentration and can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.
Sleep apnea can be treated in a number of ways. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is one of the most common treatments, but many patients have a difficult time adapting to the bulky CPAP mask. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Sleep apnea dentists offer comfortable and effective alternatives minus the bulk. Our dental devices open the airway to ensure that you breathe properly while sleeping and can, finally, get a good night’s rest.
A deep cleaning may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process. First, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothed. A deep cleaning helps treat periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.
Root canals get a bad rap, but you don't need to believe the rumors. With today’s technology, the dreaded root canal isn't dreadful at all! Root canals are needed when either decay or an injury infects the inner tooth (the pulp). In the earliest stages of infection, you may not feel any pain at all. But when it progresses, you could have a toothache and swelling, or a dental abscess might form. Root canals remove the infection and prevent it from spreading.
Oral surgery is an umbrella term for surgical treatments such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extractions and bone grafting. Dental implants, an excellent solution for missing teeth, are surgically placed tooth roots that hold dental crowns in place. A wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended if there isn't enough room in your mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth and they become impacted, partially erupted or infected.
If you've been living with persistent jaw pain, ear pain and headaches, you could have TMJ – temporomandibular jaw disorder. TMJ can often be traced back to an improper bite, misaligned jaw joints, or an injury to the jaw or face. TMJ treatment from a dentist can relieve the discomfort. Although TMJ treatment varies from patient to patient, it typically involves one or several procedures, including the use of an orthotic splint, enamel reshaping, dental crowns, dental braces or night guards. The goal of TMJ treatment is to stabilize your bite so that your teeth, jaw muscles and jaw joints work properly together without strain – and without pain!
In-Office CT Scan (3D Cone Beam)
More and more orthodontists, oral surgeons and other dental specialists are using a new dental imaging technology called 3D cone beam scans – and for good reason. 3D cone beam scans produce high-quality 3D images of teeth, teeth roots, jaws and even the skull. These 3D images allow dental professionals to identify potential problems that oftentimes go unnoticed with traditional dental images. 3D cone beam scans have benefits for patients, too: they emit far less radiation than traditional dental X-rays!