While you may be excellent at brushing your teeth and flossing on your own, that does not eliminate the need for a routine checkup from your dentist. Only certified dental professionals are able to provide a thorough cleaning and assessment of your oral health.
It is true that prevention is much easier than a cure. Our patients who take great care in their preventive oral health have much healthier mouths than those who do not routinely keep up with their preventive care. Prevention is our priority at the office of Dr. Brent Copeland, and we have a variety of treatment options to assist you in maintaining ideal oral health.
Professional Cleaning: Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is a great start to good oral hygiene. But you also must have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year, and more often for those who suffer from gum disease.
Professional cleanings involve special tools designed to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces that your home toothbrush simply won’t be able to remove. After removing all excess plaque, our dental hygienists will give you a fluoride treatment if recommended and polish your teeth to leave them looking and feeling fresh.
Comprehensive Oral Exams: After your teeth are shiny and clean, Dr. Copeland will conduct a comprehensive oral exam of your teeth, gums, and jaw to check for any emerging issues that may need extra attention. This exam includes a complete set of digital X-rays, a check for signs of decay, and an oral cancer screening. The office has two intraoral cameras that we use to help educate our patients. These cameras allow us to show you the fillings, cracks, fractures, etc. that we are referring to when making treatment recommendations. This will give you a visual of what is happening inside your mouth and why we need to fix it.
Cancer Screenings: Dr. Copeland will perform a cancer screening of the mouth, head and neck by visually examining for precancerous spots or sores and using a palpate maneuver to check for signs of oral cancer. This is a pain-free screening that may only tickle a little bit.
Home Maintenance Instruction: Our dental hygienists will go over how to best take care of your teeth between visits. A few tips include: brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, changing your toothbrush every three to four months, and eating a mouth-healthy diet which limits sugars, along with other helpful information.
Digital X-rays: We utilize digital X-ray technology to detect tooth damage and potential diseases early on that may not be visible to the naked eye. With this tool we are able to detect problems sooner, which can allow for more conservative treatment. Dental X-rays differ from traditional X-rays in that they release less radiation and provide instant images to be viewed on computer screens in each operatory.
Diagnostic Impressions: A diagnostic impression is a mold of your teeth made with an elastic material. Impressions assist in diagnosing and treating dental problems, as they serve as models when dental appliances to correct the problem must be made.
Consultation and Treatment Planning: For patients who have already developed decay or other dental diseases, Dr. Copeland will explain the options available to treat your issue and create a comprehensive plan of action.
Gum Disease Diagnosis: A periodontal exam is part of a routine dental exam. We look for signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums, receding gum lines, pockets between teeth and gums, and hard plaque above or below the gums. Severe cases will cause bone damage and other problems that can be detected with our digital X-rays. Once diagnosed Dr. Copeland will create a comprehensive treatment plan to address your specific needs.
Fluoride Treatment for Children and Adults: Fluoride is beneficial for patients of all ages. Fluoride provides an invisible coating that acts as a shield for your teeth to prevent plaque and tartar from reaching the tooth enamel. Fluoride can also reverse early decay by re-mineralizing teeth that are experiencing a lack in protective minerals.
Protective Sealants for Children: Dental sealants are applied when the first adult molars arrive, generally around age 6 or 7. These are plastic coatings applied over the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars to prevent food particles from building up in the crevasses of teeth, which can cause cavities and tooth decay.