General dentistry is not just focused on helping keep your smile pretty. Dentists want to keep your teeth functional, prevent bad breath, and watch out for other issues like oral cancer. It all begins with a comprehensive oral exam. During our exams, the dentist and the hygienist work together to check the health of your teeth, discuss other health issues, and ask about any problems you may have in your head, throat, neck, and mouth.
We use digital X-rays to help us examine your mouth. Digital X-rays, the industry standard, provide better images than X-ray films while lowering radiation exposure. We use a CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scanner to provide information on your whole mouth. CBCT images can help us diagnose issues, plan restorative treatments, and monitor the progress of those treatments.
In addition to exams, routine visits also include cleanings. Cleanings are essential to remove plaque and tartar, which reduces your chances of developing cavities or gum disease. For most people, we recommend professional cleanings twice a year. However, if you have gum disease or issues with your teeth, we may recommend more professional cleanings. If you have a child receiving orthodontic care, we may recommend more frequent professional cleanings.
If you have tooth decay, we treat it. Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is damage to the tooth. If left untreated, it will continue to progress. So, we recommend fillings as soon as we notice signs of decay, even if it is a mini-cavity. We use composite fillings. Composite fillings are the same color as your teeth, which gives a natural look to any of our restorative treatments. Getting fillings early can help avoid more severe procedures such as root canals, extractions, and crowns.
If you do need to have a crown, you may be dreading the wait. In the past, getting a crown usually meant a day spent prepping the tooth for a crown, often through a root canal, taking molds, and setting a temporary crown. A week or two later, the dentist would get in your permanent crown, and you would have to return to get it. We use the CEREC system. With it, we can scan your teeth, creating a digital model. The scanning takes 2 to 3 minutes. Then we can design and mill them within about 20 minutes. You can leave that day with a permanent crown.
We can combine most of your general dentistry services with tooth whitening. Over time, your teeth become yellow and discolored looking. It is a natural part of aging. Eating or drinking certain things can contribute to discoloration, as can smoking. We can provide in-office whitening services, in-home whitening trays, and professional gels to help maintain your white smile.
Whatever your dental needs, Greater Essex Dental can help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.