Dental Exams and Digital X-Rays
At Advanced Family Dental, Dr. Matheson, Dr. Plaza, Dr. Lazaroff, and their team encourage patients to visit every six months for a comprehensive dental exam and thorough cleaning. Regular checkups are essential for the best possible oral health. For patients with specialized treatment needs, dental visits may be scheduled more frequently as needed.
As Lakewood, CO dentists, our staff at Advanced Family Dental strives to keep every patient smiling brightly for a lifetime. Recent studies have found compelling links between poor oral health and a range of chronic illnesses that can impact an individual’s overall health. Researchers have found that those suffering from dental decay and gum disease have a higher risk of developing such chronic illnesses as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and cancer. As more research continues to delve further into explaining these connections, it’s become clear that your oral health plays just as big a role in maintaining your overall health as it does your teeth and gums.
Long-Term Dental Hygiene
Regularly scheduled visits to a Lakewood dentist at Advanced Family Dental are fundamental for good dental health, preventing gum disease, and keeping your smile healthy for life. But to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, patients need to practice quality at-home oral care that includes:
- Brushing twice daily. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day – once in the morning and again at night – for at least two minutes each time you brush. If possible, brushing after every meal can further prevent the development of dental decay and disease.
- Flossing daily. In some ways, flossing actually does more to help protect the long-term health of your teeth than brushing. That’s because flossing removes food and bacteria from areas of the mouth your toothbrush cannot reach – between your teeth and below the gum line. Despite the important role flossing plays in protecting long-term oral health, studies have found that only 40 percent of Americans floss daily.
- Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Our family dentist in Lakewood at Advanced Family Dental recommends patients consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing. Just as with flossing, rinsing helps to remove bacteria from hard to clean areas of the mouth your toothbrush may have missed. To keep your mouth from drying out, consider using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
Even if you brush and floss thoroughly every day, there are places in your mouth that cannot be reached through these methods. Dental plaque and calculus build-up, requiring a professional cleaning by our registered Lakewood dental hygienist to ensure their removal in those hard-to-reach places.
At Advanced Family Dental, we take the time to instruct our patients about appropriate at-home dental hygiene to maintain optimal oral health and a healthy smile. Dr. Matheson’s team will guide you in all aspects of at-home dental hygiene, including proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Dr. Matheson may decide that fluoride should be part of your overall treatment. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize teeth, stop developing cavities, and make your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth.
Dr. Matheson may recommend fluoride treatments to patients who:
- Take prescription medications that cause dry mouth as a symptom. A healthy mouth needs a steady flow of saliva to flush away bacteria and foods particles that remain after eating. If the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, you have a higher risk of developing dental decay. Fluoride treatments can help to strengthen your teeth against decay.
- Suffer from a receding gum line. When your gum line pulls away from the base of your teeth, it exposes the delicate roots to oral bacteria that can erode away at the foundation of your oral health.
- Wear braces. When not cleaned properly, braces can cause food and bacteria to become trapped n the mouth where they can contribute to the development of decay and disease.
The surfaces of our teeth are grooved, collecting food particles and plaque in the course of daily life. These grooves make it difficult to thoroughly clean teeth through traditional brushing and flossing. Dr. Matheson can provide tooth sealants that are applied quickly and easily, effectively “sealing” the tooth’s deep grooves and providing protection from decay.
Dr. Matheson can complete this minor procedure in one visit to his Lakewood dentist office through the application of a tooth-colored coating directly onto the surface of the patient’s teeth. Tooth sealants are safe for children and adults, and they can be applied in only a few minutes. Sealants are incredibly durable, lasting for several years before a reapplication may be needed.
Many symptoms can be associated with bruxism, which is also known as teeth grinding, including jaw pain, headaches, sensitive teeth, and ear or neck aches. The effects of teeth grinding can include broken, chipped, or cracked teeth.
If you suspect that you grind your teeth during sleep, it’s important to make an appointment at Advanced Family Dental for an official diagnosis. Dr. Matheson can help you discover whether or not a medical condition may be contributing to this habit.
If Dr. Matheson determines that you grinding your teeth, he can provide a custom nightguard from a simple impression of your top and bottom teeth. Dr. Matheson will take the time required to ensure that your nightguard fits perfectly for maximum protection.
Periodontal Disease & Scaling and Root Planing
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or periodontitis, is a result of infection of the bone and gums that surround teeth. A build-up of plaque that contains harmful bacteria erodes gum tissue, causing it to become irritated and turn red, swell, and bleed easily.
It’s essential for periodontal disease to be treated to prevent further damage that can result in tooth loss. If this condition remains untreated, gum tissue separates from the teeth, causing spaces (also known as “pockets”) to develop between the teeth and the gums.
Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for periodontal disease. This method allows dentists in Lakewood, CO Dr. Matheson, and a registered dental hygienist to provide a deeper cleaning between the compromised teeth and gums, preventing the progression of the disease.
Root Canal Therapy
There are times when a tooth can become damaged and requires root canal treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth.
A root canal is necessary when the nerve tissue inside the structure of a tooth becomes infected. An infection can be caused by a simple crack in the tooth, repeated dental work, or deep decay. There may be no outward signs that a tooth has been damaged, so it’s important to come in for regular appointments to get your whole mouth checked.
If your tooth is damaged, Dr. Matheson will perform a root canal to restore the tooth. In this procedure, infected nerve tissue is removed and any remaining infection is treated. Root canal therapy usually involves one office visit for Dr. Matheson to complete, and he will provide a crown or restoration to protect the tooth.