Preventative dental care is a part of general dentistry. Routine dental care, including dental cleanings and exams, root canal therapy, and fillings, can prevent future dental problems. Early intervention is important to preserve the smile and avoid complex dental care. To keep teeth and gums healthy, we offer general dentistry treatment for patients at Smile Land Family Dental in San Antonio, TX. We also provide general dental services to the public in San Antonio.
General Dentistry in San Antonio, TX
Regular dental services help prevent dental problems that require more complex and invasive treatment. Addressing common problems like tooth decay and cavities can prevent the spread of infection. General dental treatments can also potentially save natural teeth. Dental treatments that fall under preventative dentistry include:
Tooth Cavity Treatment (Fillings)
Dental cavities are common dental problems, and fillings are natural treatments for cavities. Cavities develop when harmful bacteria multiply, typically in areas that are difficult to clean.
Harmful bacteria feed on food particles left in the mouth and form plaque. These bacteria also produce acids that begin to eat away at the natural tooth enamel. This is why patients can experience soft enamel and holes in the teeth when tooth decay occurs.
Once the bacteria reach the inside of the enamel, they attack the dentin or underlayer beneath the enamel. Dentin is the part of the tooth that contains sensitive nerve fibers. The nerves send out signals of sensitivity and pain to indicate a problem. When the cavity is too large, it can damage the nerve.
However, we will recommend a dental filling if we find a cavity soon enough. Fillings seal teeth after we treat cavities. Our fillings use tooth-colored materials. Unlike traditional metal fillings, white fillings blend in with the smile. These fillings
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is a common treatment if the nerve of your tooth is damaged for any reason. Contrary to common perception, root canal therapy does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. We use anesthesia so patients will not feel pain during treatment.
During root canal therapy, we thoroughly clean the canal within the tooth. After we remove harmful bacteria from the canal, we provide a temporary filling. The infected area usually heals quickly. There may be discomfort for a few days before the area feels normal again.
The next step is to fix the tooth permanently. We replace the temporary with a permanent filling called the core. We may install posts into the canals to finalize this procedure. These posts help support and strengthen the core. Finally, a crown covers the entire area to provide a protective cap for the tooth.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Dental prophylaxis, or dental cleaning, is a common and routine dental treatment in our office. Cleanings are preventative, meaning they help stop dental problems that affect your oral health.
We recommend that patients visit our office every six months. Patients with chronic gum disease may visit us more frequently. Our team will recommend a dental schedule that fits your dental needs. There are multiple steps in a professional dental cleaning:
Perform an Examination
First, we examine your smile with a small dental mirror. We will look for signs of damage and decay. Our team will also look for signs of oral cancer, including white and red patches in the mouth and chronic mouth sores. Based on this examination, we can recommend further treatment or dental X-rays to catch and treat dental problems early.
Remove Plaque and Tartar
Scaling treatment removes bacterial buildup from the teeth and gums. During scaling, we use a stainless steel dental tool to remove plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that can cover the teeth and gums if you do not thoroughly clean your smile. Tartar is a hardened plaque and can appear as white deposits between teeth.
It’s normal for us to scrape teeth during dental cleanings. This scraping sensation removes calculus, or tartar, from the teeth, gums, and underneath the gum pockets.
Perform a Gritty Toothpaste Cleaning and Polishing
A gritty toothpaste cleaning removes the remaining bacterial buildup from the teeth. You can choose your toothpaste flavor, and the fluoride in the toothpaste will help protect the tooth enamel. This toothpaste also polishes the teeth, smoothing the tooth to prevent bacteria from affecting rough tooth surfaces.
Flossing and Rinsing
Flossing between teeth ensures that food and bacteria are completely cleaned from the mouth. We will floss between each tooth during your cleaning.
You can encounter bleeding during this step if you do not floss regularly. We recommend flossing at least once a day to reduce gum irritation and bleeding. Flossing before brushing removes bacterial buildup, contributing to gum irritation and inflammation. After we floss your teeth, we will rinse the mouth to remove any leftover debris.
Perform Fluoride Treatment
Our team typically performs a fluoride treatment after a dental cleaning to strengthen the tooth enamel. The enamel is the outer layer of the teeth. Protecting this outer layer helps prevent harmful bacteria from entering teeth. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps keep the teeth strong and rebuilds natural enamel after damage.
During fluoride treatment, we apply a varnish or gel over each tooth. We recommend waiting 30 minutes to eat or drink after this treatment to allow the fluoride to penetrate the enamel.
Visiting our office for regular dental cleanings and examinations helps you maintain your smile. Our team can remove bacterial buildup from your smile that you cannot remove with brushing and flossing alone. Without regular dental visits, you can develop dental problems like cavities and gum disease. These problems may start small but can create irreparable damage to your smile.
Schedule a Dental Consultation
Do you need to treat a dental infection or schedule a dental cleaning? Call Smile Land Family Dental for preventative, general dentistry treatment in San Antonio, TX at 210-939-9689. You can also request a dental appointment with us on our website. If you have further questions about routine dental care, please get in touch with us. Our dental office wants to help you.