Regular dental exams are necessary to maintain the best oral health possible. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least two times per year for a comprehensive dental exam. What does a comprehensive Dental Exam include? At Oak Lane Family Dental, we will ask questions so that we understand your recent medical history to determine the best treatment options for your overall health. We examine your mouth and decide whether or not you need x-rays. Our exam includes the following:
- Diagnostic digital x-rays to analyze the teeth and bone structure.
- Periodontal screening for evidence of gum disease.
- Analysis of bite problems and alignment or jaw issues.
- Examination on each tooth to check for cavities, the condition of other dental works, evaluation of cracks or missing teeth.
- Oral cancer screening by thorough exam of the tissues inside and surrounding your mouth.
Dental X-rays allow Dr. Pippen and Dr. Watson to detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. We offer the latest in digital imaging, which provide excellent resolution with less radiation exposure. Digital x-rays emit half the amount of radiation associated with traditional X-rays and are less time consuming. A small sensor is placed in your mouth; a picture is taken, and the images are immediately transferred to the monitor in our office and can be reviewed with you from the computer screen.
Despite our best efforts to save a tooth, sometimes an extraction is the only alternative. If an extraction is necessary due to disease, decay, crowding, trauma, cracked or broken tooth, Oak Lane Family Dental is committed to providing you the most comfortable procedure possible. Prior to the extraction the dentist will numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, you will be instructed on the post extraction regimen to follow. In most cases, a small amount of bleeding is normal. We recommend a few simple tips to make recovery easier.
- Don’t smoke.
- Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours.
- Rinse your mouth gently with warm salty water 24 hours after the removal to lessen normal soreness associated with extractions.
- Follow the diet your dentist suggests.
- If swelling occurs, apply a cold cloth or ice bag and contact our office.
- Brush and floss the other teeth as normal but use caution at the removal site to allow fastest healing possible.
After having an extraction these procedures and follow-up care are there for your benefit and comfort. No one likes the idea of losing a tooth; however, there are options we can provide to fill the empty space or replace the tooth. Treatment options include implants, dentures, partial dentures and bridges.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in during young adulthood, somewhere between the ages of 17 and 24. As part of your regular dental visit, Dr. Pippen and Dr. Watson will perform an examination to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned. Problems occur when the wisdom teeth come in partial, are positioned sideways or are impacted. If this occurs, your wisdom teeth may need to be extracted. Not doing so can lead to misaligned teeth, decay of adjacent teeth, or periodontal (gum) problems. If you experience pain, swollen gums, infections, crowding, damage of surrounding teeth, nerves or jawbone, please call our office. If wisdom tooth extraction becomes necessary, the team at Oak Lane Family Dental will provide you with the information or referral that you need for the safest and most comfortable extraction procedure possible.
The condition of your mouth changes over time. Regular dental visits are important so your dentist can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth, but your overall oral health to help you prevent and manage dental disease and achieve optimal oral health.
At Oak Lane Family Dental, we encourage our patients to receive a professional hygiene check and cleaning at least twice a year. It is important that you stay up to speed on the condition of your teeth, so that if problems are detected, they can be treated early to avoid developing more serious issues. Our goal is to detect, treat, and prevent future gum disease. In order to maintain good oral health and a bright smile, please call our office at (601)587-7737 to schedule a professional cleaning.
Oral Cancer Screening
It is estimated that over 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancer this year. When cancer is detected and treated early, disease and treatment-related health problems are reduced.
During your dental visit, our team will talk to you about your health history and look for signs of oral cancer. The screening begins with a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
In between visits to Oak Lane Family Dental, please be aware of the following signs and symptoms and contact us if they do not disappear after 14 days.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
- A sore or irritation that doesn't go away.
- Red or white patches.
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips.
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area.
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.
Oral Cancer is a serious health risk and should not be taken lightly. Regular dental visits allow early detection. Please call today for a dental exam and a full oral cancer screening at Oak Lane Family Dental.
Night guards may assist in preventing migraine pain and may assist in preventing tension-type headaches. We will be happy to discuss this option with you on your next visit.
Athletic Mouth Guards
Protection of your teeth during athletic activities is important. We can help by creating custom mouth guards with colors and designs of your choice. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard. While collision and contact sports are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating. Please call our office to schedule a consultation.
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a result of the bacteria located in plaque. If not consistently removed, this bacteria build up, infecting your teeth, gums, and eventually the bone that supports your teeth. This a common cause of tooth loss. Periodontal disease has three major stages of progression: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it.
Warning signs that can signal a problem include:
- Gums that bleed easily.
- Red, swollen, tender gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste.
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating.
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Change in the fit of partial dentures.
Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not confirmed, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.
The longer the disease is allowed to advance, the more damage it causes. Oak Lane Family Dental can help. With advancements in detection and treatment, we can discover periodontal disease early and begin treatment before complicated issues arise. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our services, please contact Oak Lane Family Dental today at (601)587-7737.