As medical knowledge continues to advance, the importance of a healthy connection between your total bodily health and your oral health is becoming better understood. It is for this reason that we should begin to view our dental health as more than a means to a bright smile—it’s also a necessity for leading a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Poor oral care has been shown to be linked with health risks that go far beyond our mouths. Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks are only a few of the dangers a patient might face if they neglect their dental health.
Thankfully, Vibrant Dental is here to provide the assistance patients need to keep a positive connection between their oral care and well-being.
What Does Complete Health Dentistry Do?
Prevention is often the best solution when it comes to good health. This is especially true concerning dental health! That is why Vibrant Dental provides a multitude of proactive measures that ensure our patients are happy and healthy.
These measures include thorough dental exams which monitor any change in the teeth and jaw, as well as soft tissue like the tongue or gums. Thanks to the combination of our top-tier technology and experienced dental team, we can also provide screenings for periodontal disease and oral cancer.
These diligent examinations help us stay vigilant against any deterioration in a patient’s dental health. When these examinations are combined with routine cleanings, the benefits aren’t just a healthier smile, but a healthier lifestyle!
What Goes Into a Thorough Dental Exam?
At Vibrant Dental, we take a proactive approach to your oral health. To monitor the state of your oral health, our dentists undertake a detailed examination of your mouth. This thorough examination can help your dentist discover many health abnormalities in their infancy allowing you to be treated as fast and painlessly as possible.
Your dental exam is a close inspection of your teeth, gums, tongue, jaw, and inner cheeks. This exam is very similar to a regular cleaning. There are typically no incisions or other invasive procedures performed as part of a regular examination.
Instead, an examination like this is used to assess the overall health of your mouth. We may make suggestions on procedures but will make sure to inform you of all your options before doing so.
What Should You Expect?
A dental exam examines various parts and functions of your mouth. During the exam, we will:
- Evaluate overall oral health and hygiene.
- Evaluate your risk of such conditions as tooth decay, gum disease, or bone disease.
- Check your jaw and tooth alignment for issues.
- Possibly examine your teeth and jaw through x-rays or similar methods.
A thorough dental exam is a painless, preventative process. Your dental exam will help our dentists and dental hygienists properly care for your teeth by identifying cavities or advanced symptoms of infection and other ailments.
Periodontal Disease Screening
Periodontitis is commonly referred to as gum disease. This is a condition characterized by an infection that causes inflation and gum tissue damage. Periodontitis is a very preventable disease. Those who diligently engage in good oral hygiene can expect to avoid the worst side effects of this ailment.
Individuals practicing poor oral hygiene may experience multiple symptoms of periodontitis such as:
- Swollen or irritated gums.
- Discolored gums.
- Gums that bleed easily.
- Bad breath.
- Painful chewing.
- Tooth pain.
- Loose teeth.
If you believe you have periodontitis, come in for an examination as soon as possible. Gum disease is an infection and the faster the infection can be addressed, the sooner we can help you overcome any pain and discomfort.
Causes and Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is typically caused by bacteria or other microorganisms that reside in your mouth. Gum disease may also be caused by tartar build-up on the surface of your teeth, which may trap harmful bacteria inside. If long periods of poor dental hygiene persist or microorganisms are otherwise given time to propagate, symptoms may arise singularly or in force.
Regularly brushing and flossing can clear out most of the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease. We may recommend you clean your teeth more often, use special kinds of toothpaste or mouthwash, or come in for additional treatments.
Additional treatments can range from more frequent teeth cleanings to minor surgical operations. Treatment would focus on removing harmful bacteria either by scraping off the tough tartar that has trapped it or treating infected tissues.
Severe cases of gum disease may call for an escalated treatment. Cases requiring this advanced treatment are rare and mostly apply to those who do not adequately practice good oral hygiene.
How Does an Oral Cancer Screening Work?
Oral cancer, like other cancers, is caused by abnormal or mutated cells. If left undiscovered or untreated, cancers can cause serious health problems.
A routine cancer screening can help medical professionals identify cancers in their earliest stages of development. Discovering cancers early can allow for sooner treatment and a more optimistic recovery.
An oral cancer screening is usually just an examination by your dentist. To check for cancers, your dentist will inspect your mouth for areas that seem abnormal. In most cases, this is the extent of the screening.
If abnormalities are found in your mouth, throat, or surrounding areas, your dentist may recommend further tests. Two tests, in particular, may be requested:
- An oral cancer screening dye.
- An oral cancer screening light.
Oral Cancer Screening Dye
Screening for cancer using the dye is a simple process. A special dye that is absorbed by cancerous cells is swished vigorously in the mouth for a few moments before spitting and rinsing.
Your dentist or doctor will then check your mouth for discolored patches. Some may feel discomfort from the dye or having their mouth examined shortly after, but for most, the process is not generally uncomfortable.
Oral Cancer Screening Light
Using an oral cancer screening light is simple. Using a special light that reveals abnormalities in the mouth, a dentist will make a careful inspection of your gums, throat, and other areas near or around your mouth. Some discomfort may be felt in the examination from either the individual providing the screening, or some of the tools that allow them to safely probe your mouth.
What Happens in a Routine Teeth Cleaning?
Treating your teeth with regular cleanings is a great way to prevent diseases, address recurring issues, and fortify your teeth for the future.
A routine teeth cleaning can be performed by one of our qualified dental hygienists or in part by our professional dentists. In either case, your teeth are in good hands.
Initially, your teeth will be thoroughly examined to look for cavities, disease, or other conditions that can lead to discomfort or serious problems down the road.
The teeth are rigorously cleaned in several steps:
- Plaque and tartar removal.
- Gritty-toothpaste cleaning.
- Expert flossing.
- Fluoride treatment.
Plaque and Tartar Removal
Cleaning plaque and tartar off the teeth is a vital portion of your oral health. Both plaque and tartar can allow harmful bacteria or other microorganisms to fester and cause harm and discomfort to your teeth. Removing these helps to prevent cavities and infections from causing damage and discomfort.
Plaque buildup is gently scraped from the surface of your teeth leaving the tooth free of harmful bacteria. Tartar generally cannot be removed with at-home treatments and often requires a professional’s help.
Gritty Toothpaste Cleaning
After most or all of the tartar has been removed from your mouth, your teeth will be given a thorough brushing using a high-powered toothbrush and special toothpaste.
This gritty toothpaste combined with the special toothbrush work together to clean off the surface of your teeth. Like sandpaper scrapes off unwanted fibers on wood, this cleaning combo scrapes off most of the harmful bacteria and small deposits of tartar on your teeth leaving the tooth’s surface clean in its wake.
Complete Expert Flossing
Flossing is important for your complete dental health. It gets the plaque and food out from between your teeth. Many people may find flossing difficult. Getting a good angle, especially in the back of the mouth, can be challenging.
Here at Vibrant Dental, we train to get the toughest corners in your mouth. If you have braces, we have lots of experience cleaning around the brackets and under the wires. During your visit, we will give your teeth a thorough flossing that will get any plaque you may have missed.
Preventative Fluoride Treatment
After a good rinse, we’ll apply fluoride to both your top and bottom teeth. This may feel a little strange; it’s like resting your teeth in whipped cream that tastes a bit like toothpaste. Your teeth will remain in the fluoride trays for a few minutes.
Fluoride is a special chemical that can act as a shield against harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. When applied properly, fluoride can help protect your teeth for several months, in just enough time to come back in and get your teeth cleaned again!
Call Today for a Healthy Smile and a Healthy Life!
At Vibrant Dental, we have an unwavering commitment to your overall health and happiness. Excellent oral health contributes to better overall physical and even mental health!
Schedule a consultation today and discover how complete health dentistry can help you take a proactive stance in protecting not only your dental health, but your overall well-being.