Dental Cleanings and Exams

5 things a dental cleaning and exam can do for you

  1. Prevent cavities

The whitish film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth enamel and, if left unattended, can lead to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.

  1. Stop tooth loss

Gum disease, which starts with built-up plaque, is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. Luckily, the chance of this happening to you can be greatly reduced through regular dental cleanings combined with good oral hygiene habits.

  1. Brighten your smile

Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth. The result? A whiter, brighter smile!

  1. Freshen your breath

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.

  1. Boost your overall health

Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Emergency Dental Care

If you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, please give our office a call at 970-247-4848 right away. Our team can help you determine if you need to come in as soon as possible or if we can schedule a convenient appointment at a later time. Afflictions including a severe toothache, a broken tooth, or a knocked-out tooth usually require immediate attention. Certain situations like a chipped tooth or broken dentures can sometimes be taken care of later in the day or week. The best course of action is to get in touch with our office as soon as you can so we can advise and either prepare a treatment room or schedule your appointment.

Periodontal Treatment

Please read more about Periodontal Treatment from the ADA paper on Treating Periodontal Diseases.

TMJ Treatment

The temporomandibular joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. Located on each side of the head, your TMJ work together when you chew, speak or swallow and include muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. They also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward and side to side.
Each TMJ has a disc between the ball and socket. The disc cushions the load while enabling the jaw to open widely and rotate or glide. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.
Possible causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • arthritis
  • dislocation
  •  injury
  • tooth and jaw alignment
  • stress and teeth grinding
  • Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Depending on the diagnosis, the dentist may refer you to a physician or another dentist.
    There are several treatments for TMJ disorders. This step-by-step plan from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research allows you to try simple treatment before moving on to more involved treatment. The NIDCR also recommends a “less is often best” approach in treating TMJ disorders, which includes:
  • eating softer foods
  • avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
  • modifying the pain with heat packs
  • practicing relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation or biofeedback.

If necessary for your symptoms, the following treatments may be advised:

  • exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles
  • medications prescribed by your dentist; for example, muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs or anti-inflammatory medications
  • a night guard or bite plate to decrease clenching or grinding of teeth.

In some cases, your dentist may recommend fixing an uneven bite by adjusting or reshaping some teeth. Orthodontic treatment may also be recommended. Your dentist can suggest the most appropriate therapy based on the suspected cause.

Tooth Extraction

Every patient is different, which means that reasons for tooth extractions can vary.
However, we’ve curated a list of the most common reasons someone may need an extraction, such as:

  • Your tooth is severely infected and a root canal isn’t a viable option.
  • Your tooth is severely damaged from a trauma.
  • Your wisdom teeth are impacted or crowding your existing teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

One of the most common extractions we perform at our office is wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom teeth are your third and last set of molars and they can often be problematic when they come in. They can cause crowding, become lodged underneath the gum line, push other teeth, and more. If you are having issues with your wisdom teeth, please call our office to book a consultation as soon as possible!

Special Needs Dental Care

Our Doctors and staff at 2nd Ave Family Dental are committed and trained to provide dental care for children and adults with special needs. We will work with both the patient and caregivers to ensure the best possible results.
Individuals with special needs are often at greater risk for tooth decay and dental disease for many different reasons. At each visit, we review your current oral hygiene routine and make recommendations to make oral hygiene easier at home. We do not restrain the patient at our office. We work with the individual to accomplish as much treatment as they are comfortable without restraint. If more extensive work needs to be done, sedation options can be discussed in order to safely treat your loved one. Our office is committed to helping children and adults with special needs receive the care they need in a compassionate, comfortable environment where they can feel safe.
Special needs dentistry is designed to help patients who have physical or mental limitations to enjoy good overall health. It includes dental services for patients with conditions such as, but not limited to:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental delays
  • Down syndrome

We also work with caregivers, guardians, and primary care providers in order to provide the best care our patients deserve. If you are the primary caregiver for an adult or child with special needs, we invite you to speak with us about your options for personalized dental care. Please call our office to learn more and to make an appointment with our dentist.

Call 2nd Ave Family Dental in Durango today!
(970) 247-4848

Our Doctors proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families in Durango, the Four Corners area – and beyond!
Schedule your consultation today to discover why Second Ave Family Dental is a great choice for creating world-class smiles – with a universal approach to empathetic dental care!