Cleanings, exams, xrays
Regular dental preventive care, which includes a cleaning and exam every 6 months (as well as daily brushing and flossing), helps ensure that potential problems are caught early. During your cleaning with our hygienists, disease-causing bacteria (in the form of plaque and tartar) is removed from your teeth. Our compassionate and experienced hygienists will assess the health of your gums and will make sure your family has the information and tools to keep your teeth clean between visits. Digital radiographs (or xrays) help us diagnose cavities, gum disease, and other problems while exposing you to up to 80% less radiation than traditional xrays. A thorough exam and oral cancer screening are completed to ensure that you have a healthy mouth and smile. If you suffer from sensitivity or are at a high risk for decay, a fluoride treatment may be recommended to help strengthen enamel.
Although many people can visit us every 6 months for their cleanings to maintain a healthy mouth, some people may require more frequent cleanings. If you have a history of periodontal disease or build plaque and tartar at a higher rate than normal, it is beneficial to have more frequent cleanings (such as every 3 to 4 months) to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a chronic infection of the hard and soft tissues that support your teeth and is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontal disease.
There are two main types of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis affects the gums and can result in red, swollen and even bleeding gums. This type of periodontal disease can be treated and reversed with intervention from your dental professional as well as improved oral hygiene. However if gingivitis is allowed to progress and worsen, a diagnosis of periodontitis may arise. Periodontitis affects not only the gums, but the attachments and bone that anchor a tooth. When these tissues become affected, the support of the teeth is compromised and can result in tooth loss. Although inflammation from plaque is at the root of all forms of periodontal disease, a variety of risk factors, such as genetic susceptibility, smoking, diabetes, age, and medications, can influence the severity. Research shows that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Periodontal disease treatments depend on the severity of disease. Scaling and root planing, sometimes called a deep cleaning, is the process in which bacteria, tartar, and diseased tissues are removed to help resolve inflammation. Antibiotics (LAD- localized antibiotic delivery) are then placed around the affected teeth. Because periodontal disease is chronic in nature, increased maintenance appointments are necessary to stay ahead of the disease.
Cottrell and McCullough Dental has been a family dental practice since it’s beginning in 1999 and we welcome kids of all ages. Children can explore the kids corner of our waiting room equipped with books and toys. We strive to make going to the dentist a fun and interactive experience, whether for cleanings or restorative work. If your child does need a filling, we only use white filling material that is BPA-free. We believe early education and a positive experience can have the most significant impact on children not having a future fear of the dentist.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of permanent back teeth to help protect them from decay. Back teeth (molars and premolars) have grooves, pits and fissures that make them vulnerable to cavities. These grooves can be deep, difficult to clean (narrower than even a single toothbrush bristle!), and may trap food debris and plaque. Dental sealants fill in any grooves, pits, and fissures creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean and less likely to decay. Permanent first molars erupt around 6 years of age so it is important to have them sealed soon thereafter.
Enamel, or the outer layer of the crown of a tooth, is made of closely packed mineral crystals. Demineralization, or the loss of minerals from the tooth, begins with the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. They feed on sugars and other carbohydrates in your mouth and produce acid which dissolves the crystal structure of tooth enamel. Tooth decay occurs when minerals are lost at a higher rate than they are replenished from the saliva. Fluoride can help! When fluoride is ingested by children either from foods or drinks, it becomes part of their developing permanent teeth and the enamel becomes less susceptible to acid attacks from plaque. Topically applied fluorides such as toothpastes, mouth rinses, and professionally applied fluoride treatments are incorporated into saliva and help strengthen teeth from the outside.
Fluoride is not just for children. Adults with sensitivity or a high risk of cavities can also benefit from professional fluoride treatments and prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.
Protect your teeth and jaw during sports. The office offers an assortment of colors and designs for all your sports teams.
The practice is skilled in assessing and treating TMJD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) symptoms. We commonly prescribe bite splints that are designed to alleviate the pain and damage caused by bruxism and clenching of the teeth.
Sleep apnea device
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. Once diagnosed by your physician a TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) sleep apnea device can be fabricated to treat this condition. The TAP holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and cause the airway to collapse. The TAP maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.
Oral cancer screening
Your dentist is the most logical place to be screened for oral cancer. The goal is early detection and diagnosis when treatment can be most effective. We perform an oral cancer exam on every patient during your routine examination, checking the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, and your digital x-rays for any signs of disease. It may just save your life!