Hygiene & Cleanings
Your oral and periodontal health are important to all of us here at Deerfield Family Dentistry. Dr. Pike and her staff are committed to offering the best personal service and the highest quality dental care. The most important way to ensure excellent oral health is with a personal dental hygiene routine which includes regular (twice a year) in office cleanings. At Deerfield Family Dentistry we can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and your smile sparkling.
Your pearly whites should certainly sparkle, but they aren’t the only important part of your mouth, don’t forget about… your gums! Your gums are essential to oral hygiene as well. If your gums are sub-par we provide periodontal (official word for gums) cleanings and treatment.
Each regular checkup at Deerfield Family Dentistry will include an oral cancer screening. The inside of the mouth (tongue, gums, cheeks) will be checked for any unusual bumps, lesions, or swelling. If Dr. Pike detects any abnormalities you will be referred to a specialist. It’s important to identify any possible problem areas before they develop into more serious health issues. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, you are at greater risk, so it’s very important to have regular screenings when you visit us at Deerfield Family Dentistry.
A common request we receive is how to make a smile whiter and brighter. This is a relatively simple and quick treatment option that can be performed periodically. Certain foods and beverages, such as wine and coffee, stain the teeth and contribute to discoloration. The teeth whitening process provides a solution that lightens the shade of the teeth. Additionally, the process actually rids the teeth of plaque and tartar that tend to lead to dental problems.
Composite fillings act as a dentistry solution for problems such as tooth decay or cracks. A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. This procedure is also utilized for cosmetic improvements of the smile by fixing any discoloration or reshaping any disfigured teeth.
“Oh no! Not a root canal!” should be an exclamation of the past. Any fear or negativity associated with the dreaded ‘root canal’ should be ignored. With many advances in the dental field of endodontics (dealing with nerves of the teeth) root canal procedures are efficient and relatively pain free. A root canal is necessary when an infection needs to be removed from a tooth. Removing the infected nerves will keep the infection from becoming a more serious issue.
When a root canal is necessary, your comfort is the priority of the Deerfield Family Dentistry staff. Dr. Pike will walk you through the entire process, monitoring and ensuring your comfort level throughout. First, the area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic. Then an opening will be drilled into the tooth so the infection can be removed and the canal can be cleansed. The newly cleaned tooth will be filled. It’s recommended that a crown be fitted over the filling, to improve the appearance and strength of the tooth. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but over the counter painkillers are usually effective in relieving any pain. The root canal procedure will also immediately relieve any pain caused by the infection and you’ll be back to enjoying all the foods you love in no time– without any pain from heat, cold or pressure! Please don’t hesitate to call us if you are experiencing tooth pain–Deerfield Family Dentistry is here to help!
While the thought of having a tooth or teeth extracted can be scary, they are a common and efficient procedure. When everything has been done to save an existing permanent tooth, sometimes it may need to be extracted. A tooth extraction removes the tooth fully from its socket in the bone. This sometimes necessary in circumstances of decay, or a loose or a broken tooth that cannot be repaired. At Deerfield Family Dentistry we are experts at tooth extractions without pain. After your procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity, but nothing that won’t subside in a few days.
More advanced extractions are wisdom tooth extractions. Most people have four wisdom teeth that begin to grow through the gums in the late teen years. Some people’s wisdom teeth don’t emerge at all. Wisdom teeth can cause problems as they begin to emerge through the gums. An impacted wisdom tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gums The impacted tooth can cause pain, as the tooth may come in unevenly, or only partially emerge. X-rays and an oral exam will reveal impacted wisdom teeth.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin can form over the tooth, making the tooth difficult to clean and this increases the risk of infection. An infection in this area can cause painful swelling. Eliminating the risk of these infections is the main reason dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed.
One, two, three or all four wisdom teeth may be removed. Dr. Pike will discuss the best course of treatment with patients who require wisdom tooth extraction(s). Your comfort during the procedure is extremely important to Dr. Pike. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the areas of extraction.
The actual procedure consists of making an incision in the gum around the wisdom tooth. Once the tooth is revealed it is gripped tightly and loosened until it can be lifted out. If the tooth is impacted and cannot be lifted straight out, the tooth will be broken into smaller pieces and then removed. After the tooth is removed, the gums may need to be stitched closed.
After surgery the most important thing to do is rest! Have a friend or family member take you home after surgery (because of the anesthesia). The gums at the extraction site will bleed and it’s necessary to change the gauze if blood soaks through. It’s important to rest with the head propped up, to slow any bleeding. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call the office. If you are in pain, take the prescribed pain medication as directed. You can also use an ice pack on the face to reduce swelling. After surgery you are limited to soft foods, like thin soup, pudding, mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream and any food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your stitches and impair the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly don’t hesitate to call Dr. Pike for a follow up.