At White Oak Dental LLC, general and family dentistry encompasses various treatments that fall under the primary dental care umbrella. Preventive routines are the main focus of general and family dentistry because they help patients maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. Preventive care includes regular professional cleanings, exams, oral cancer screenings, and more. Good oral hygiene at home is also vital to maintaining a healthy smile.
Dental Cleanings & Exams
During a dental cleaning and exam, your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and check for cavities, gum disease, or other oral issues. They will also review your current oral hygiene routine and recommend changes. We may professionally clean your teeth using ultrasonic scalers to clean both above and below the gum line. We may also use an abrasive paste to polish away stains on the tooth surface and remove plaque buildup. We’ll use a unique scaler instrument to remove plaque beneath the gums. We may recommend additional treatments if we find evidence of tooth decay, oral cancer, or other oral health conditions.
If you experience a dental emergency, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment. A dental emergency is a situation in which a dentist must perform the treatment to resolve an issue causing discomfort or pain for the patient. Common dental emergencies include cracked teeth, broken fillings, severe toothaches, and more.
Dental Emergency Instructions
- Apply ice or a cold compress to the swollen area to reduce swelling and pain.
- Avoid hard foods until the discomfort subsides.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed on the packaging label.
- Place a piece of sugar-free gum into the mouth near the chipped or cracked tooth to prevent contact with the tongue or inner cheeks.
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
In addition to regular checkups, good dental hygiene at home can prevent many dental emergencies. Brush and floss daily to remove plaque between teeth and at the gum line, which can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks that can increase your risk of tooth decay. And be sure to schedule your routine cleanings and exams every six months.
A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied to the teeth' surface. They are usually placed on the back teeth but can also be placed on chewing surfaces and premolars. They are often used to prevent cavities and tooth decay. They are typically applied to the permanent molars in children or teens as a preventative procedure.
A fluoride treatment is a simple procedure that can significantly impact your oral health. This simple process uses a concentrated form of fluoride varnish, gel, or foam to protect your teeth from tooth decay and cavities while remineralizing tooth enamel and improving oral health.
A nitrous oxide treatment, also known as laughing gas, is a type of sedation dentistry that involves inhaling a gas mixture through a mask that covers the nose. The gas is inhaled along with oxygen and provides a calming effect on the patient. This gas is also mixed with pure oxygen for pain relief during specific dental procedures that may require drilling or tooth extractions.
A night guard is an oral appliance that is custom-fitted to your teeth. It prevents clenching, grinding, and other forms of teeth-grinding at night while you sleep. By avoiding damage to your teeth, a night guard also helps to keep your smile looking beautiful and healthy. It also has the added benefit of reducing headaches caused by teeth-grinding or tension in the jaw muscles.
Oral Cancer Screening
An oral cancer screening can help detect cancerous and precancerous cells in the mouth. A dentist will perform the screening during your regular teeth cleaning appointment, which involves rinsing the mouth with a water solution, visually inspecting your gums and cheeks for abnormalities, and taking x-rays to detect any abnormal lesions or growths. The dentist may also use a blue light to better see sores on the lips. If caught early, oral cancer can be treated with surgical removal or targeted radiation, resulting in higher survival rates and less chance of metastasis.
Scaling and Root Planing
This deep cleaning procedure is recommended for moderate or severe gum disease patients. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums, causing inflammation and swelling. It can eventually cause the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where plaque and tartar can accumulate.
Plaque and tartar buildup can cause tooth decay and worsen existing gum disease. These problems can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smoothen the tooth roots to prevent future buildup. By helping patients maintain good oral health, this procedure can help prevent other serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Tooth extraction, also known as tooth removal, is the procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. When a tooth has severe structural damage, it may need to be extracted. This can result from trauma to the mouth or decay that has gone too deep to be repaired with a filling. A tooth may also need to be extracted after orthodontic treatment is complete. We can typically remove teeth in our office using sedation dentistry to minimize discomfort and anxiety for our patients. After the procedure, we may recommend options to replace the missing tooth, such as dental implants or a dental bridge.
For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit White Oak Dental LLC at 11247 Lockwood Dr. Suite A, Silver Spring, MD 20901, or call (301) 681-6306.