Your primary general dentistry care requires regular dental exams. This is simply the best way that you can prevent dental issues before they take hold, get worse, and require more complex treatments. When you come to Platte Valley Dental Care for dental exams, your dentist will assess your teeth to determine if you have any decay, cracks, old fillings that should be replaced, or signs of gum disease. These are all conditions that, if they are identified in a timely fashion, can be corrected fairly easily.
Most people are surprised by how quickly cavities can grow and spread. Gum disease is another issue that should never be allowed to gain ground, because if it does, you run the risk not just of losing your teeth. Gum disease can even raise your vulnerability to heart attacks and strokes.
So, brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for dental exams. Your oral health depends on it.
You might be surprised to know that many patients tell us that they hate the idea of dental x-rays even more than they hate the needle and the drill. It really should not be surprising, though, if you think about how dental x-rays used to be done. The dentist or dental technician would make you open wide, place a huge chunk of film in your mouth, and then tell you to bite down on it and not move a muscle. Then, if the image was not captured properly the first time, you would have to undergo the whole procedure again. And again, until a clear image resulted.
Today, though, dental x-rays are done with tiny intra-oral cameras that cause little or no discomfort, and it is almost always perfect on the first try. Another benefit is that you do not have to waste time sitting in the dentist chair while films are developed, since they are sent straight from the camera to a computer. The dentist gets a fully accurate picture of your mouth that enables him or her to identify problems and recommend treatments with no guesswork.
The aftermath of a dental cleaning feels so good. Your mouth is so fresh, your teeth feel smooth, and you know that as long as you brush and floss the way you should, that great feeling will continue for months. The thing about dental cleanings, though, is that it’s not just about feeling good – dental cleanings are actually your first line of defense against gum disease.
Why is this? It’s because no matter how vigorously you brush, and how often you floss, you are never going to be able to get under the gum line, where bacteria, plaque and tartar build up. When they do take hold, you can develop gum disease and even end up losing your teeth.
Dental cleanings used to be uncomfortable, with all kinds of instruments being inserted into your mouth, scraping away. Now, most of the cleaning is done using completely painless ultrasound technology to blast away contaminants. So if you have been putting off having your teeth professionally cleaned, come and see us at Platte Valley Dental Care for a painless, thoroughly effective cleaning.
What exactly is dental hygiene? Of course, it means brushing and flossing, not allowing sugars and starches to build up in your mouth between cleanings, rinsing if you are somewhere that brushing is not going to be practical, using mouthwash, and so on. But how many of us actually get our dental hygiene right? You might be surprised to learn that a lot of people think they are getting their dental hygiene just right, but are making mistakes.
The thing is, you can brush and floss compulsively, but if you do not know the proper techniques, it will do you little good. Using the wrong type of toothbrush can also sabotage your dental hygiene efforts.
So, what can you do? Come and see us at Platte Valley Dental Care. Our dental hygienists know the right ways to brush and floss, and the best products to use. They will be happy to share their knowledge with you when you come in for your semi-annual cleaning.
Your kids brush their teeth at least twice daily, right? And you have shown them how to floss? So why are they still getting cavities?
The thing is brushing and flossing will clean most contaminants off the front of your kids’ teeth, but there are crevices in the molars that are very hard for small hands to reach. These little pits and dips trap food and bacteria, and that is what causes cavities to develop in young teeth.
Dental sealants can be the solution. Sealants are a non-invasive treatment that works to prevent tooth decay, allowing the teeth to be healthy while they mature. Sealants are made from resinous materials that coat the back teeth. Essentially, they are painted on, and work to seal all those little crevices that let contaminants in. You only need one visit to have sealants applied to your child’s teeth. The sealants bond to the teeth, harden in minutes, and work to prevent decay.
Periodontics is a general dentistry treatment that leads to healthy gums, meaning healthier teeth. If your gums are diseased, then they could bleed, swell or recede, and ultimately cause your jawbone to deteriorate. Then your teeth will loosen and begin to fall out. Usually, about 80% of Americans develop gum disease to one degree or another by the time they are 45, so that should give you an idea of how important it is to take care of your gums.
To prevent gum disease, you need regular dental examinations and cleanings. If it has taken hold, then you might need periodontics. These are treatments that can involve root planing and scaling to get deep in under the gum line. It is invariably best, though, to tackle these issues before they have the chance to take hold, so again, your best course of action is prevention with regular checkups and cleanings.
Your grandparents (and maybe even your parents, if they had kids late in life) generally had their teeth filled with metal compounds that contained, among other things, sliver and mercury. It was all that was available back in the day.
Today, though, your dentist is more likely to recommend composite fillings. They are made from materials that contain no metals, and can be shaded to match your natural teeth. Metal fillings are still sometimes used for areas in the back of the mouth of a patient who bites down hard, but most of the time, composite fillings will get the job done just as effectively. The best thing, too, is that if you have composite fillings in your back teeth, it will not matter how wide you open your mouth. You can laugh a lung up, show your joy to the entire world, and never have to worry about revealing a mouth full of metal.
Composite fillings can be used for minor imperfections, and even for more serious issues short of those that might require a crown.
Oral Cancer Screening
Is there any word more frightening than “cancer”? Probably not. If you have lived long enough, you have most likely had friends and relatives who have succumbed to lung cancer, colon cancer, brain cancer and any number of other types of cancer.
But how often do you think about oral cancer? How many people do you ever see wearing burgundy ribbons – it’s the color for oral cancer, but it’s not exactly commonly worn. Maybe if people knew how frequently oral cancer can hit, it would be.
The fact is that oral cancer is not uncommon. Several thousand cases are diagnosed in America in any given year. And if you have oral cancer, and you do not get treatment, you could die.
Even if you nether drink nor smoke, you could develop oral cancer. Of course, it’s good if you do avoid those habits, but simple avoidance is not a guarantee. You can still develop oral cancer. That is why it is so important to be screened regularly. At Platte Valley Dental Care, we bring in an oral cancer specialist on a regular basis to screen you as part of your routine oral care.
If you are experiencing severe dental pain, then there is a very good chance that you need root canal treatment. Root canals have a bad reputation, but it is undeserved. The treatment itself is not painful; in fact, it eases the pain that brought you to your Platte City dentist in the first place.
The way the treatment works is that your dentist will give you a local anesthetic. It is really no different from having a filling done. Then, the bad root is extracted, the tooth is filled, and a crown is created to protect the tooth from further damage. At Platte Valley Dental Care, we have a specialist who comes into the office periodically to help our patients who need root canals, so if you are in pain, get in touch with us. We can help.
For general dentistry and preventative dentistry care, call us at Platte Valley Dental Care in Platte City, Missouri. We can help you to maintain a good regime of regular dental care, and refer you to specialists if you need treatment for specific disorders. Our number is 816-858-2027, and we look forward to hearing from you.