Preventive Dentistry Services in Grandview
The passionate team at Watermark Dental in Powell and Grandview are dedicated to helping patients keep their smiles whole and healthy for a lifetime. That’s possible due to our emphasis on regular, preventive dental care. We encourage every patient to visit our office two times each year for a dental checkup and teeth cleaning, and we can offer a variety of general and preventive dentistry services at these appointments. Contact our friendly team to schedule an appointment today.
Checkups & Cleanings
The most essential treatment we offer patients are preventive dental checkups and professional cleanings every six months. These appointments give our team the opportunity to diagnose and treat oral health issues in their earliest stages. In some cases, we may be able to prevent common oral health conditions. Each visit to our office will start with a warm greeting. Then, we’ll gather diagnostic information. We start with digital x-rays, intraoral photos, and DIAGNOdent early cavity detection. These images give us a thorough understanding of the patients’ smiles and how they are functioning. Next one of the dentists will complete thorough visual examination and periodontal charting to measure the depths of pockets between teeth and gums. The goal of this thorough diagnostic examination is to screen for common concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and clenching), and oral cancer.
Following the examination and screening, one of our skilled hygienists will carefully remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth. The hygienist can also recommend and demonstrate the best at-home hygiene methods. They may also encourage you to switch your hygiene products, if there are more effective products available. We can also provide professional toothpastes and mouth rinses as needed to help protect and strengthen teeth. Finally, the dentist will sit down one-on-one with you to develop a plan for ongoing care that fits your needs, budget, and schedule. During the consultation, one of the dentists will answer any questions you have, show you images of your current oral health concerns on our chairside computer monitor, and walk you through your treatment options. We can also work with our knowledgeable team to provide estimated out of pocket costs for any procedures you may need to repair dental damage.
Patients suffering from periodontal (gum) disease are often unaware of any health concerns, until the disease is already progressed to its advanced stages. In the earliest stage, gingivitis, we can typically renew oral health with more frequent professional teeth cleanings and improved at-home care. If patients’ gum disease has progressed to the more advanced form, periodontitis, we may recommend a more comprehensive treatment plan. We typically begin by offering scaling and root planing through soft-tissue laser therapy. The laser is able to precisely target and remove plaque, tartar, and damaged tissues from the surfaces of teeth. Root planing smooths the root surfaces preventing future buildup. The laser simultaneously cauterizes the treatment area while removing damaged tissue, so there is typically no need for stitches, allowing patients to heal and recover more quickly and comfortably. In addition to laser assisted scaling and root planing, we may recommend antibiotic therapy to reduce the amount of plaque producing bacteria in the mouth. We use Arestin® topical antibiotic therapy.
Unlike traditional x-rays that were difficult to capture, time consuming to develop, and had to be viewed on a lighted board, digital x-rays provide higher definition images, expose patients to 40% less radiation, and are available for immediate review on our chairside computer monitors. These images can be adjusted, expanded, or enhanced to make it easier for our patients to understand areas for concern and potential treatment options. Digital x-rays also reduce treatment time because they are immediately available to dental labs, specialists, and insurance providers.
We use images of the smile to give patients a complete understanding of any oral health issues we discover during our evaluations. We truly feel that the use of these images has had the biggest impact on our ability to make patients feel like true partners in their oral health planning. We always did our best to provide complete explanations of oral health concerns and potential treatment options, but intraoral photography lets us show patients exactly what we’re talking about.
DIAGNOdent Laser-Assisted Cavity Detection
While digital x-rays allow us to diagnose tooth decay in earlier stages than traditional x-rays, the DIAGNOdent early cavity detection system allows us to pinpoint areas where cavities are likely to form and help patients prevent tooth decay from occurring. DIAGNOdent use lasers to measure the density of the tooth enamel. Patients are more likely to develop cavities in the areas that are weaker. We can use this information to direct patients’ at-home hygiene routine, and provide other preventive dentistry options like sealants and fluoride treatments to reduce risk for decay.
Sealants, as the name implies, are used to create a protective layer over teeth that seals out bacteria, plaque, and tartar that may cause tooth decay and other common dental health concerns. We typically recommend sealants as a preventive service for young patients who are still learning to care for their smiles. However, adults often benefit from dental sealants as well, especially if they frequently suffer from cavities. We can place the sealants quickly and painlessly during any six month checkup.
Young patients need to ingest fluoride from tap water and other sources to ensure their smiles develop with strong, healthy enamel. Once patients’ primary and adult teeth have erupted from the gum line, topical fluoride is required to keep the surface enamel strong and healthy, preventing tooth decay. Many patients receive the fluoride they need from daily brushing using fluoridated toothpastes. However, we can also provide professional doses of topical fluoride at six month dental checkups, for those patients in need of additional fluoride to strengthen their teeth.
Patients who grind and clench their teeth unconsciously, suffer from an oral health condition known as bruxism. In most cases, patients experience this unconscious condition during sleep, making it a difficult habit to break. Our team offers a comfortable, effective treatment solution – oral appliance therapy. These oral appliances are called occlusal guards or nightguards more informally. We custom craft them from high quality materials, and patients wear them each night placing a protective barrier between the rows of teeth.
TMJ dysfunction, sometimes referred to simply as TMD, occurs when the joints connecting the jaw to the skull bone are damaged. When this occurs, the result is difficulty opening and closing the mouth while chewing, speaking, yawning, or otherwise completing typical daily functions. We screen for TMD during every six month checkup, and we’re happy to provide treatment to help patients renew their full jaw function. In many cases, a simple occlusal splint worn during sleep can relieve pain, realign the jaw, and restore jaw function.
If you experience toothache, dental damage, or other oral health concerns that require urgent treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We do our utmost to provide same day appointments for patients experiencing dental emergencies. If we’re unable to see you the day you call, one of our knowledgeable team members will offer at-home care and pain management advice over the phone, and we’ll schedule an appointment for the first convenient date. Even if you’re not sure your situation is urgent, please contact our office. It’s best to address dental damage as soon as it occurs.