Dr. Erwin can effectively and safely treat gum disease and dental decay, as well as prevent future disease from forming. Our dental practice is committed to educating our patients on the best preventative measures to maintain healthy, strong teeth.

How often should I get a dental exam?

Generally, most patients should schedule a dental exam twice a year, every 6 months. This will allow the dentist to check up on your dental health, identify potential health risks, and professionally clean your teeth. However, your dental treatments vary with each individual’s unique needs. Some people may only need two visits a year, while others may need multiple. Your dentist will be able to tell you how often you need to make an appointment for the dentist.

What happens at a dental cleaning?

At your dental appointment, the dentist will perform a thorough examination and deep cleaning of teeth, jaws, and gums. Here’s what you can expect at our office:

    1. X-Rays: The dental hygienist will take x-rays of your teeth, so the dentist can see the structural development of your teeth and jaws. Radiographs are needed to see issues below the surface, like cavities, impacted teeth, overgrown jaws, etc.
    2. Visual Examination: The dentist will check the teeth for dental decay, gingivitis, or any other abnormalities. If you have been experiencing any problems with your teeth, gums, or jaw, now is the time to tell your dentist. The doctor will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
    3. Plaque & Tartar Removal: Finally, the dentist will start to clean your teeth by scraping away plaque, tartar, and calculus deposits. Dr. Erwin can use a scaler or laser dentistry to remove this buildup.
    4. Professional Brushing: After the dentist rinses away the majority of plaque and tartar, you will receive a professional brushing treatment with a grainy, fluoride toothbrush to remineralize your enamel.
    5. Professional Flossing: In order to remove any debris in between your teeth, the dentist will perform a professional flossing.

At the end of the dental cleaning, you will be given a cup of mouthwash to flush away any remains. Feel free to ask the dentist questions before or after treatment and ask questions.

Are dental x-rays dangerous?

Dental x-rays emit such little radiation, they have no effect on the body. Regardless, the dental hygienist will equip you in a protective lead apron, so no radiation can reach the body. The dentist will also only take x-rays as needed, so you won’t need to take an x-ray every single time you visit the dentist.

Although the dentist can tell many things by looking at your teeth, there are issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. X-rays help dentists see what’s underneath the surface. They’re needed for accurate and efficient diagnosis of dental problems, so our dental team can treat the problem successfully.

Why is preventative dentistry important?

As a holistic dental practice, we focus on preventative dentistry, the long-term practice of caring for teeth every day to keep them healthy, rather than waiting for the dentist to fix problems later on. Preventative dentistry includes basic dental care practices such as brushing, flossing, nutrition, and visiting the dentist regularly. Keeping up these habits will save a lot of time and effort later on!

We make it a priority to educate patients about proper preventative care because without it, patients are at risk for periodontal disease, teeth decay, pulp infection, or worse. While most of these problems are treatable, they can be costly, time-consuming, and even painful. Your dental health is also directly related to your overall health. Your teeth are needed for speaking, eating, and smiling every day!

What is periodontal disease?

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition of the gums caused by bacteria that hardens under the gumline. Failure to properly take care of the teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum infection from bacteria. There are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. The former is a mild version of the periodontal disease that only affects part of the gums. It can cause redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. Luckily, gingivitis can be treated with proper dental hygiene.

Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a severe form of periodontal disease that affects the bone and tissue of the teeth. Pockets form between the tooth and gums, which can lead to tooth loss. Symptoms of periodontitis include swelling or puffiness of the gums, redness, receding gums, pus between the teeth and gums, bad breath, loose teeth, pain when chewing, and bleeding of the gums.

Periodontitis is difficult to treat, but it is entirely preventable. Brush twice a day, floss, use mouthwash, and get regular dental checkups to reduce your chances of developing it. Your dentist will be able to detect whether you are at risk of gum disease and help you treat it before it gets extreme.