Preventive Dentistry: Safeguard Your Smile
At our practice, everything starts with preventive dentistry because we’d much rather help you avoid developing cavities and gum disease rather than have to fix them later. This will not only keep your smile looking and feeling better over time, but it will also keep your dental costs nice and low! With just two preventive appointments each year, we can give you a beautiful smile you never have to worry about. To schedule your next checkup, be sure to contact us today.
Checkups & Cleanings
It is recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice year or more frequently if you are prone to cavities and gum disease. Regular visits are preventive, and they help Dr. Landry identify and treat problems before they become big ones. During your visit, Dr. Landry will take any necessary x-rays and tests and examine your mouth, jaw, head, and neck. A bite analysis, tooth-by-tooth evaluation, and an oral cancer screening may also be performed.
One of our hygienists will then clean your teeth, and Dr. Landry will take a final look and perform difficult plaque or tartar removal if needed. Teeth cleaning is usually performed without anesthesia, but be sure to tell us if your mouth is extra sensitive or you have dental anxiety. First, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from every tooth surface using special instruments. Next, your teeth will be polished with a gritty paste to make them smooth.
Periodontal therapy is a collection of treatments specifically designed to help patients who have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), which is an infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. This bacterial infection is actually the most common dental problem in the entire world, and if left untreated, it can cause severely painful gums and even tooth loss!
At Lapalco Family Dental, we take the health of your gums just as seriously as your teeth, which is why we will screen them every time you come to see us. If we spot even the slightest sign of infection, we’ll be able to quickly treat it using what we call a “deep cleaning.” This will consist of two separate procedures known as scaling and root planing.
With scaling, we’ll use an ultrasonic scaler to gently clear away any plaque and tartar deposits located around your gum line, and root planing will then be used to smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots, decreasing your chances of developing more periodontal disease in the future.
TMJ / TMD Therapy
The joints on your lower jaw that allows it to move fluidly whenever you speak, eat, laugh, or yawn are actually called the TMJ, or temporomandibular joints. As with other joints in your body, they can sometimes become strained, injured, or arthritis, and this can lead to a variety of dental and overall health problems, including chronic pain in the jaw and even migraine headaches.
If you are exhibiting any signs of a TMJ disorder (known as a TMD), we’ll be able to determine the root cause of your pain so we can directly treat it. This may involve giving you simple stretches to do throughout the day to loosen your jaw muscles, or we made need to slightly reshape some of your teeth in order to help your jaw close more comfortably. In most cases, we’ll give you what is called an occlusal splint, which is a small, custom-made mouthguard you’ll only need to wear to bed that will help realign your jaw and alleviate any TMD-related symptoms.
Nightguards for Bruxism
Do you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw or do your teeth appear to be worn down? If so, you may be suffering from bruxism, or unconscious jaw clenching and teeth grinding, while you sleep. To prevent this sneaky problem from damaging your teeth, we can give you something called a nightguard, which is a custom-made mouthguard you’ll wear when you go to bed. It will place a protective barrier between your teeth to keep them from grinding together, and it’ll be designed to fit comfortably over your teeth.
Mouthguards / Sportsguards
Dental injuries are actually some of the most common sports injuries, and many of them can easily be avoided by simply wearing a mouthguard. If you regularly participate in sports, we can provide you with your own specially-designed mouthguard made for just your smile. Our mouthguards are much stronger and thicker than store-bought ones, and they also fit much more comfortably and won’t interfere with your breathing or speaking.