Prevention

Dental Exams

Your initial visit will involve a comprehensive dental examination which evaluates your overall dental health. At regular check-ups your dentist and hygienist will do the following:

  • Examination of X-Rays – Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss as well as checking the position of teeth and roots.
  • Oral Cancer Screening – checking the face, neck and oral tissue for unusual lumps or patches. A VELscope screening can also be done.
    Examination of Tooth Decay – checking all teeth for any erosion of tooth structure.
  • Examination of Existing Dental Work – checking the status of all restorations such as fillings, crowns, bridges and veneers.

Professional Dental Hygiene Cleanings

Your initial visit will involve a comprehensive dental examination which evaluates your overall dental health. At regular check-ups your dentist and hygienist will do the following:

  • Examination of X-Rays – Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss as well as checking the position of teeth and roots.
  • Oral Cancer Screening – checking the face, neck and oral tissue for unusual lumps or patches. A VELscope screening can also be done.
    Examination of Tooth Decay – checking all teeth for any erosion of tooth structure.
  • Examination of Existing Dental Work – checking the status of all restorations such as fillings, crowns, bridges and veneers.

Digital X-Rays

X-Rays, also called radiographs, are among the most valuable tools the dentist and hygienist has to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. It allows these dental professionals to detect problems that would otherwise not be seen and then use this information to develop an accurate treatment plan. This can save time, money and unnecessary discomfort.

Digital X-rays are the latest technology. They use an electronic sensor instead of film to capture the images and store them on computer. The image can be viewed instantly and enlarged so that potential problems are detected more easily. As well, the technology reduces radiation by about 80% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays. X-rays can reveal:

  • Infections in the bone
  • Periodontal disease
  • Cancerous or non-cancerous tumours
  • Bone loss
  • Small areas of decay between teeth and existing restorations
  • Abscesses or cysts
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Tooth positioning

Periodontal Disease Treatment

In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Gums may be red and bleed a little when you brush, but otherwise you may not notice anything. At this point, the gum disease can be reversed with proper dental care and modification of your home routine. However, if not treated, the gingivitis can get worse and you might start to notice bleeding from your gums when eating harder foods.

As gingivitis progresses, an infection develops where the gum is attached to the teeth. You may see puffy gums, traces of blood on your toothbrush, or a change of colour in your gums. Even with these symptoms, you still might not experience any pain in your mouth.

If not treated, over time gingivitis can lead to the breakdown of your gum, bone, and other tissues that are holding your teeth in place.

The treatment we provide will depend upon the type and severity of the gum disease. If caught in the early stages, 1 or 2 hygiene cleanings and further home care instruction will generally be the recommended treatment. If the disease has progressed to advanced stages, then deep cleaning through scaling, irrigation and root planing will be required. Calculus and plaque are removed from above and below the gum line allowing the gums to heal. To control the infection and help with healing, medications and mouth rinses may also be recommended.

If this treatment does not heal the gums, periodontal surgery and/or referral to a periodontist may be recommended.

VELscope Oral Cancer Screening

The VELscope is a tool to aid in the early detection of oral cancer. The VELscope examination is a non-invasive, painless procedure which takes only a few minutes. The system utilizes a narrow band of safe, high-energy blue light and specialized filtering technology to help thoroughly evaluate the oral tissue for abnormal areas of concern, such as potentially cancerous lesions that may not be evident under white light. This breakthrough technology may allow us to see things we may be unable to view in cancer screening during regular exams. It may assist us in detecting disease at earlier stages. If detected early, oral cancer is 80 to 90% survivable.

Bite Adjustments

It is important for your oral health to have your teeth properly align when you bite. If not aligned, pressure on the teeth can lead to fractures in the enamel, to muscle pain & spasm and to grinding.

Equilibration is the process of adjusting your bite by reshaping the surfaces of your teeth. The first step involves locating the stable position of the jaw joints. A bite registration is then taken to record this position for reference. Secondly, impressions of the teeth are made so that the dentist may use the casts to make adjustments and determine the optimal amount positioning of the teeth to achieve a balanced bite. Finally, using the casts as a guide, adjustments are made to the teeth.

Night Guards

A nightguard is a plastic shield used at night to protect the teeth from wear due to jaw clenching and grinding of the teeth. This is a common condition which affects both adults and children. Symptoms include excessive tooth wear, headaches, jaw and ear pain (most noticeably first thing after waking) and damage to the jaw joint. A nightguard is worn either over the lower or upper teeth and creates a shield between the teeth to prevent clenching, grinding and tooth wear.

We take an impression of your teeth and a nightguard is created that customs fits your teeth. Over the counter nightguards or mouthguards are not recommended for night wear because they are not as effective and may create discomfort.

It is important to wear the nightguard every night to reduce problems associated with grinding and clenching. Some patients may eventually stop over time. Maintenance of the nightguard is simply brushing and rinsing after each use.

mouthguard

A mouthguard (or sportguard) is a device that is used during the day to aid in the prevention of injury to the teeth, lips, tongue and gums during physical activity. While the number of mouth injuries caused by sports activities is relatively low, the cost of these injuries is relatively high, especially if there is damage to the teeth. Depending on the type and extent of injury, a single blow to the mouth may result in months or even years of treatment. When you are hit in the mouth or jaw, a mouthguard acts as a cushion that redistributes the force of the blow, so the impact is absorbed more evenly. They even help reduce the chance of concussion from a severe blow.

As with nightguards, we will take an impression of your teeth and create a custom-fitting appliance.

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Georgia Dental Group

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