General dentistry represents the cornerstone of dental care. At our practice, general dentistry includes preventive services that Dr. Spencer offers to keep your mouth healthy, as well as common, routine therapies to help you and your loved ones overcome obstacles with your oral health. You’ll find that we always deliver our treatments with the utmost care and gentleness. You will also discover that every member of our team is dedicated to your family’s health and comfort.
Following is some basic information on our specific general dentistry treatments. For answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.
Routine Preventive Hygiene Appointments
Regular dental visits are all too easy to neglect, but these appointments are truly the basis for a healthy mouth, as well as a significant contributor to your overall health. Most patients will need a professional hygiene appointment at least once every six months, but this frequency may need to increase based on the condition of your mouth. At your regular appointment, you can expect a thorough cleaning, evaluation, and an opportunity to ask questions and communicate your dental goals.
Professional cleanings take care of the plaque and tartar you may have missed with even the most diligent brushing and flossing. Additionally, your preventive hygiene appointments provide Dr. Spencer with the chance to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your entire mouth. This evaluation may include X-rays and other diagnostics, but a visual check is often the most important component. Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms, the experienced eye of a dentist can catch developing problems or identify troublesome areas that may require future treatment.
Your dental visits are also convenient times to let our team know about any of your questions, concerns, or goals. You may want advice on oral care or have an interest in a cosmetic procedure. You are also welcome to discuss long-term plans with us, such as smile makeovers or the possibility of receiving dental implants. Of course, you’re always welcome to call us, but an office visit presents an opportunity for face-to-face conversation.
Cavities, also called caries, are extremely common. In fact, over three-quarters of all patients will develop at least one cavity by the time they reach adulthood. A cavity is a localized area of decay in a tooth. Cavities need treatment, as they will not go away on their own. If left untreated, cavities can enlarge, becoming painful and threatening your entire tooth. This is where fillings come in.
During a filling, Dr. Spencer and his team clean out the decayed area and add special material to “plug” the hole left by the cavity. Often, this material is a silver-colored metal amalgam. However, if your cavity is in a conspicuous area, you might choose a tooth-colored composite filling instead. In either case, the filling will provide a degree of protection against decay and sensitivity.
While fillings are necessary to address cavities, a filling will never be as strong as the original tooth material. A filling is a weak spot in a tooth. Teeth with fillings need to be monitored because, over time, fillings can break down and need replacement. Our team will pay particular attention to filled cavities, evaluating your teeth for weak fillings and possible cracks. We will work to make sure your teeth stay in the best condition possible.
You may already know that tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body. However, each tooth has only a relatively thin layer of enamel, and that enamel is irreplaceable. Dietary habits and imperfect oral hygiene habits can lead to a breakdown of your enamel over the years. Fortunately, Dr. Spencer and his team have a simple but effective way to protect your teeth: dental sealants.
Your molars, the teeth in the very back of your mouth, are particularly susceptible to decay. Not only are your molars situated in areas that are very difficult to access with dental floss and a toothbrush, but the surface of your molars also contain pits and grooves. This topography is ideal for trapping food particles and the bacteria that feed on them. As a result, it is all too easy to develop cavities in your molars.
Sealants are a preventive solution to this problem. They are polymer coatings applied to the chewing surface of your molars during a non-invasive procedure. Receiving sealants is quick, straightforward, and pain-free. These coatings can protect your molars for years, reducing the need for uncomfortable and costly cavities.
Dentists often recommend that children receive their first sealants at around the age of six. However, sealants can also be useful for adults, particularly if you’re having trouble with decay in your molars. Contact our team, and we’ll be happy to let you know if sealants could be helpful for you.
When caring for your teeth at home, it can be tempting to neglect your gums. However, your gums are just as vital as your teeth—not only to your oral health but also to your general health. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is widespread in the United States, and gum disease can directly lead to tooth loss. Furthermore, researchers have discovered possible connections between gum problems and a variety of systemic health conditions, like heart disease, pregnancy complications, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum disease can easily manifest without careful hygiene. You may not even notice the initial stages of gum disease because the symptoms are often mild. However, we are always on the lookout for signs of gum disease at your routine preventive hygiene appointments. If we do discover periodontal disease, we have treatments available to help.
Some of those treatments involve cleaning under your gums and along the roots of your teeth to flush out harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation. We will always make sure you’re comfortable during these treatments, and we’ll monitor your progress to ensure that any gum infections are under control.
Don’t delay if you notice any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding, sore gums, foul breath, oral sores, or receding gums. Let us know right away, so we can begin treatments to prevent tooth loss and safeguard your health.
Whether you’ve lost a single tooth to decay or trauma or you need an entire set of replacement teeth, Dr. Spencer and his team have you covered with restorative dentistry designed around your individual needs.