Lauderhill Preventive & General Dentistry
Since the top priority in every dental care plan is to help patients maintain the optimal level of oral health and keep smiles whole and healthy for life, it makes sense that we start each patient out with a solid foundation in preventive dental care. Brushing and flossing each day and visiting our office two times each year can dramatically reduce patients’ risk for common oral health issues allowing them to preserve whole, healthy form and function. Contact Den-Care to find out more or schedule your dental checkup today. We welcome patients from Lauderhill, Coral Springs, and surrounding communities.
Checkups & Cleanings
We recommend patients visit our office at least two times each year in order to prevent most oral health issues and diagnose and treat those that cannot be prevented in their earliest stages. Each six month checkup at our Lauderhill, FL dental practice includes four main parts: diagnostics, evaluation, cleaning, and consultation. The first step is diagnostics which includes a number of state-of-the-art tools to allow our dentist and team to have a complete view of the underlying structures of teeth, the state of existing dental restorations, and how the bite is functioning as a whole. Then, we complete a careful inspection of the visible parts of patients’ smiles screening for signs of common oral health concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), and oral cancer. Next, one of our skilled hygienists systematically removes plaque and tartar buildup from each surface of teeth. During the professional cleaning, hygienists may also point out specific areas to concentrate on during at-home hygiene routines, make product recommendations, and answer any questions you may have. Finally, the dentist sits down to discuss the results of this analysis, offers treatment recommendations, carefully explains your possible solutions, and works with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.
For many patients, daily brushing and flossing and biennial trips to the dentist are adequate to protect teeth from decay-causing bacteria, plaque, and tartar. However, young patients who are still developing their oral hygiene skills and adults who are prone to decay may benefit from an added layer of protection using dental sealants. These thin coatings of clear plastic create a physical barrier between teeth and bacteria preventing tooth decay. This is especially important for the back teeth, molars, that have deep pits and grooves in the biting surfaces. Even the most diligent brushing and flossing routine may not be able to completely remove bacteria and plaque from these crevices that are often too narrow for even a single toothbrush bristle to access. Sealants can be quickly and painlessly placed as part of any dental checkup and teeth cleaning. We paint a thin layer of liquid sealant over the teeth to be protected, and once it hardens in place, patients’ smiles are covered for several years.
TMJ and bruxism have a variety of causes, and while the conditions are not always related, the treatment for both of these common oral health issues may be the same. In many cases, a custom crafted oral appliance known as a nightguard worn during sleep can significantly reduce the strain or stress on the jaw joints that leads to TMJ dysfunction as well as placing a physical barrier to protect teeth from unconscious nighttime grinding and clenching.
Protecting smiles during athletic events is essential for patients of all ages, but since sports related injuries are the leading cause of tooth loss for people under the age of 25, it’s especially important for these patients. We recommend patients use custom crafted sportsguards from our office rather than those mouthguards available from local sporting goods stores as the custom options we provide fit more comfortably and increase the likelihood that patients will wear their guards consistently protecting their teeth effectively during every sporting event.
Oral Cancer Screenings
While many patients who don’t smoke think they shouldn’t have to worry about oral cancer, there are a number of activities that increase the likelihood that patients will suffer from oral cancer, and more than 30% of those diagnosed do not engage in any of the high risk behaviors. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to decrease the number of deaths attributed to oral cancer (about one each hour on average) is to diagnose and treat oral cancer in earlier stages. Caught in its earliest stages, the majority of patients are able to fully recover from oral cancer. However, according to some recent studies, the majority of patients diagnosed each year do not live five years beyond their original diagnosis. For these reasons, oral cancer screenings are an integral part of every six month checkup at our Lauderhill, FL dental practice.
As teeth develop below the gum line, fluoride ingested from fluoridated water may be adequate to ensure the development of strong, healthy teeth. In some cases, we may recommend fluoride supplements for developing teeth. Once teeth erupt from the gum line, topical fluoride is necessary to continue to fortify dental structure. Many patients receive adequate fluoride from toothpastes and mouth rinses, but in some cases, we may recommend professional topical fluoride applications during six month dental checkups to further strengthen tooth enamel.
Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal (gum) disease effects more than half of adults over the age of 30. One reason gum disease has become so wide spread is that the warning signs are extremely subtle for the mild form of gum disease, gingivitis. Many patients never notice there’s an issue until their dentist or hygienist points out the inflamed gum tissue. We are usually able to catch gum disease in this early state during six month checkups, and the treatment for gingivitis is typically more frequent professional cleanings and improved at-home hygiene. For those patients who experience the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis, we typically recommend a combination of scaling, the systematic removal of plaque and tartar around the gum line, and root planing, the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup.
While most dental emergencies are unavoidable, one way to reduce stress during an emergency is to have a plan of action in place before hand. Den-Care is happy to help our patients who experience a dental emergency whenever they need us. Simply contact our office, and in many case, our team will schedule a same day appointment. Even if we’re unable to schedule an appoint on the day you contact us, we’ll take time to walk you through necessary first aid and pain management tips to keep you comfortable and protect oral health until you reach our office. Some of the most common dental emergencies we treat are:
- Avulsed (knocked out), chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Avulsed, chipped, cracked, or broken temporary or permanent restorations
- Broken or damaged partial or full dentures
- Severe toothache especially when accompanied by sensitivity to changes in temperature that may indicate root canal infection