Two crucial aspects of effective oral health care are comprehensive dental exams and professional dental cleanings. This is common knowledge, and most patients at our St. Paul Family Dentist understand that these two preventive procedures are essential steps in providing our dental professional with sufficient information to treat us effectively.
But many new patients may be unaware of exactly what is involved in a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. The following is a brief summary of the steps that should be taken:
- A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by our St. Paul Family Dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays: This step is essential for detecting decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays will also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Your dentist should check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: It is essential to check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces should be checked for decay
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) should be performed by a registered dental hygienist. Appointments for cleanings include a dental exam as well as the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): When plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth it hardens and forms a deposit known as Calculus. Brushing will not remove Calculus since it is calcified and adheres to the teeth above and below the gum line; calculus can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. Plaque is actually a collection of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. These bacteria produce toxins that will inflame the gums and ultimately lead to periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Polishing is the final step in the process of your professional cleaning and removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Regular dental cleanings and exams are an easy, cost-affordable method for avoiding periodontal disease and other oral health problems. Please contact our dentist office today to make an appointment for these important services.
Many patients who visit our St. Paul TMJ Dentist office come to us with the very basic question, “What is TMJ?” They may have been experiencing what seem to be symptoms of TMJ such as pain in the face, jaw and head as well as neck aches. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.)Painful symptoms such as headaches, tooth, and neck pain are a result of excessive pressure on the Temporomandibular joint. This is caused by damage resulting from decay or trauma, causing uneven surfaces on your teeth. This can result in an unbalanced bite that puts abnormal amounts of stress on the TMJ.
If your TMJ symptoms include a clicking or popping noise in the jaw, this is actually the sound of the joint breaking down. The sound is caused by cartilage in the joint becoming permanently malformed from prolonged overuse. You may also experience soreness in facial muscles as a result of continued stress. Another of the common TMJ symptoms is ear congestion or ringing in the ears.
So exactly what does TMJ treatment consist of? If your symptoms are caused by an improper bite, the team at our St. Paul TMJ Dentist can create a custom-made mouth guard is designed to reposition the TMJ and surrounding muscle into a relaxed position. The mouth guard will stop the pain and return the mouth to a stable, comfortable position.
If you believe that the symptoms you are experiencing are related to TMJ, contact our office Teeth grinding, headaches, and neck or jaw pain can be eliminated with the proper TMJ treatment. We will arrange a consultation with our dentist to discuss your situation and explain possible options, including a custom mouth guard. Chronic TMJ pain does not have to take over your life.
If you want to correct your slightly misaligned teeth, but don’t have time to go through lengthy treatment, the St. Paul Invisible Braces Dentist may have the perfect solution. Six Month Smiles can help you attain a perfectly aligned smile in only six months.
How do Six Months Smiles braces differ from Invisalign?
Both Six Month Smiles and Invisalign are discreet and correct minor tooth misalignment. The difference is that Six Month Smiles orthodontics use clear wire and tooth-colored brackets to gently straighten only the teeth that are visible when you smile. Many adults and teenage patients are candidates for either option. The deciding factor is based on the individual needs and desired goal of treatment. Your dentist will work with you to decide which may best for you.
How can Six Month Smiles work so quickly?
Six Month Smiles is not designed to correct the dental bite of your back teeth like conventional braces so the treatment time is significantly shorter. Front teeth - those that show when you smile – can be repositioned more quickly than your back teeth, so your treatment is finished when the front teeth are positioned in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. The rate of movement is not different from traditional braces, but total treatment takes less time.Are Six Month Smiles orthodontics noticeable?
The Six Month Smiles treatment system uses clear wire and tooth-colored brackets to blend naturally with your teeth. Many adult and teenage patients choose Six Month Smiles orthodontics because they don’t have to wait for years while wearing shiny metallic braces that mar their appearance.
If you’re interested in learning more about Six Month Smiles or Invisalign treatment, please contact the Invisalign St. Paul Invisible Braces Dentist to schedule an appointment for a consultation. We will be happy to discuss your needs and which treatment option may be best for you.
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