General dentistry is concerned with the overall maintenance and treatments of general conditions affecting the teeth, jaw, and gums. This area of dentistry involves preventative care, meaning, it helps patients achieve good oral health, and then maintain it. Our general dentistry procedures help diagnose and treat problems before they grow to be bigger, more painful, and expensive issues. Routine dental visits help to keep your mouth healthy, but are also vital to overall health. Making regular visits to the dentist can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, as routine dental cleanings and check-ups allow your dentist to identify problems in the early stages, which keeps your smile bright and healthy.
We develop comprehensive treatment plans for all of our patients to help you maintain and achieve your best oral health. This includes advanced restorative treatments and cosmetic procedures in addition to general dental treatments.
Our general dentistry treatment includes:
Routine Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings help your dentist to monitor your oral health. A typical dental cleaning involves diagnostic and preventative services including removing plague and calculus from the teeth, polishing the teeth, X-rays, oral cancer screenings, and evaluations for gum disease.
Digital X-rays & Panoramic X-rays
Taking a digital X-ray is a faster procedure than a traditional X-ray and the images can be enlarged and viewed on a TV or computer screen within seconds. This is a safe procedure, and because there is no chemical processing needed, it is safer for you and the environment.
Panoramic X-rays are taken every five to seven years and give your dentist an entire view of your mouth. They are useful in diagnosing and viewing changes in your mouth and oral health.
No matter which type of X-ray you receive, it is a useful diagnostic tool and helps your dentist identify changes to your mouth and oral health. An X-ray is used to show:
- Areas of decay between teeth or below existing fillings
- Infections in the mouth bones
- Gum diseases
- Cysts or absesses
- Developing abnormalities
- TMJ dysfunctions
- Some types of tumors
- Deep cavities
Sealants are applied to teeth with deep grooves in them – both baby teeth and permanent molars – to help protect the chewing surfaces from decay-causing bacteria. Sealants are made out of a plastic resin material that bonds into the grooves of teeth, creating a barrier against food particles, plague, and even acidic drinks and food. While proper brushing techniques are important for cavity prevention, toothbrushes can't always clean into the deepest crevices of our teeth. Sealants help to compensate for this. A sealant can last for up to 10 years before it needs replacement, and both children and adults can benefit from this dental procedure.
Gum Disease Prevention
Approximately half of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. These conditions span from mild cases of gingivitis to more severe case of periodontitis. As we age, the risk for gum disease increases, because our teeth wear down, become more sensitive, and our gums naturally recede. If gum disease is left untreated, it can destroy the supporting bones in your mouth. This is why treatment and early prevention are essential. We maintain the highest level of care to help you and your family maintain lifelong oral health, and to prevent gum disease from ever developing.
Oral Cancer Screenings
While oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose because it has many symptoms associated with other medical conditions. Continuous pain in your mouth, bleeding gums or cheeks, difficulty moving your jaw and swallowing, and oral sores are often symptoms of oral cancer. Maintaining good oral hygiene and scheduling regular visits to the dentist are essential to oral cancer prevention. Quitting smoking (or avoiding it altogether) and eating a balanced diet are also good prevention techniques.
We conduct oral cancer screenings in a number of ways, including the Velscope™, This method identifies abnormalities in soft tissue that can lead to oral cancer. Dockham Dental Care also uses digital and panoramic X-rays to find problems associated with your jaw and possible tumors.
This treatment option is used to treat mild to moderate cavities, and can be used in preventing new cavities from forming. Ozone treatment actually neutralizes the acid on the surface of your teeth, which makes it harder for bacteria to thrive, because bacteria feeds off the acid. This treatment option sterilizes gum pockets and areas that are affected by gum disease, and can be a solution for patients with cold sores.