|Preventive Dental Care in Oregon City
| Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:
• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:
• Gum disease evaluation
• Oral cancer screening
• Tooth decay evaluation
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in
Digital X-ray Advantages
Digital X-rays are used at Dr. Guthrie's office and have several advantages over traditional film based X-rays. They emit up to 90% less radiation and are ready for examination nearly instantly. Because digital x-rays require no chemical processing, they have a lower impact on the environment. Digital x-rays can be viewed on a computer screen, be enlarged, and refined during your appointment, helping Dr. Guthrie identify dental issues.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form plaque on the tooth surface, especially below the gum line. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3ml may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.
There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.
Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last many years of normal wear before needing replacement.
Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
The American Dental Association estimates that over 200,000 sports related oral injuries are prevented each year by the use of mouth guards. Oral trauma can occur at any age during any sport but it can be avoided. A sports guard protects your smile quickly and inexpensively. Sports guards protect not only your teeth and lips but also reduce the forces that cause concussions, jaw fractures and neck injuries. Costs related to replacing teeth lost due to trauma can run into the thousands and cause a lifetime of dental problems.
The guards we construct are custom fitted to allow the best fit, retention and comfort. A variety of colors are available to choose from as well.
"Dr. Guthrie spent time with me to explain my dental health. I trust him in making decisions that are in my best interest."