General Dentistry: All-Inclusive Dental Care for All Your Smile Needs
Our general dentistry includes an extensive variety of services that focus on detecting, diagnosing, and treating many conditions that can impact your smile at any age.
Our modern office is equipped with the latest in advanced diagnostic tools and treatment technologies. They allow us to spot potential oral health issues before they develop into serious concerns, display our findings, and outline effective treatment plans with a proactive approach.
When visiting Smile Solutions for general dental care, your treatment can include the following:
- Oral Health Examinations & Professional Dental Cleanings
- Digital X-Rays & Oral Cancer Screenings
- Patient Education & Communication
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease Maintenance
- Sealants & Medications
- Tooth Extractions
General dental care often involves restorative and cosmetic procedures as well. With the help of your on-site lab, you can rest assured knowing every dental prosthetic we offer is crafted uniquely to you, addressing your needs effectively as well as enhancing your natural beauty.
Whether your dental needs involve a routine cleaning and examination, dental rehabilitation, or anything in between, we can provide the comprehensive and personalized services your smile needs to remain healthy and beautiful.
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The Significance of General Prevention
Good oral health begins during childhood by establishing healthy hygiene practices and habits. Just because baby teeth aren’t permanent doesn’t mean they’re any less important for a future adult smile.
For our team to better ensure your child has all they need to experience a healthy and functional smile well into adulthood, we perform first visits tailored to children. We strongly recommend parents or guardians to bring children in for their initial appointment as soon as their first tooth erupts, no later than their first birthday.
Children as young as six months can benefit from a trip to our office to have their smile gently examined by our compassionate professionals. We also provide sealants and medicaments tailored to child smiles for effective cavity control.
As you age, you’ll face unique concerns which will need professional attention to make sure your teeth, gums, and other soft tissues remain functional and healthy. Luckily, our team at Smile Solutions is skilled and highly-trained to address every one of them.
What Happens During A General Dentistry Visit?
During your visit, Dr. Clark and his team conduct a thorough evaluation of your current oral health as well as your medical history. This can often involve questions about family health history, lifestyle habits, and previous dental work you’ve had done.
We also understand that taking the time to get to know you and your smile personally is just as important as the treatment we provide. During these appointments, we like to encourage you to voice your future smile goals as well as your current concerns, taking note of any dental issues that may need immediate attention.
As part of your comprehensive visit, we also perform a detailed examination. We view this assessment as a perfect opportunity to help educate you about our findings using innovative tools like intraoral cameras that show you firsthand what’s going on inside your smile.
During your visit, our team:
- Takes digital x-rays of your smile, jawbone, neck, and other structures
- Examines teeth for damage, decay, and other issues
- Checks to see if your gums, soft tissues, and tongue are healthy
- Looks for any warnings signs of developing periodontal (gum) disease
- Checks your head, temples, and neck for common issues, like TMJ or grinding (bruxism)
- Performs oral cancer screenings
Patients experiencing fear or anxiety about their care are given the opportunity for maximized comfort and relaxation as we also provide nitrous oxide, oral conscious, and IV sedation options when needed.
How Often Are Cleanings and Exams Needed?
Our team recommends you visit our Puyallup dental office for routine cleanings and exams every six months. For those with advanced gum disease or other chronic oral health issues, we may recommend you schedule your cleanings as often as every three months.
Why Cleanings and Preventive Treatments are Necessary
Regardless of whether it’s your first time visiting us, or you’ve been a patient for years, regular dental cleanings and oral health examinations are essential for maintaining a healthy, lasting smile.
Routine exams allow us to monitor how your dental care is developing while watching out for any issues of note in the process. The sooner we can detect oral health concerns in their early stages, the easier they can be treated. Professional cleanings are also important for protecting your teeth and gums by removing plaque and hardened tartar that regular brushing and flossing can’t.
Patients of every age can benefit from preventive treatment with professional cleanings and examinations.
Understanding Gum Disease and The Impact It Can Have on Your Health
Both helpful and harmful bacteria live in the smile. The useful bacteria work to stimulate your saliva glands, which helps strengthen and remineralize teeth while reducing bad breath and the acids left over from food particles. Without proper oral hygiene, harmful bacteria accumulate, forming an off-white, sticky substance known as plaque.
Plaque that isn’t cleaned hardens into tartar that cannot be removed by at-home cleaning. Tartar continues to grow, forming along and beneath the gum line, irritating the gums. Gums begin to inflame, become red and swollen, and often bleed during routine brushing and flossing. At this point, periodontal (gum) disease is at its earliest and most easily treated stage, gingivitis.
Gum disease is an oral infection which attacks the gums, tooth roots, and any other structures responsible for holding your teeth in proper place. If the condition develops further, it progresses into periodontitis, the harmful, more advanced stage which causes gum tissue to pull away from teeth, creating pockets for more infection and bacteria to grow. This can eventually lead to tooth loss and severe damage to the jawbone.
Gum infection can access the bloodstream, reaching other areas of the body and causing serious complications with diabetes, heart disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and even pregnancy.
How Can Periodontal Disease Be Treated?
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease, we’re here to help get your oral health back on track!
At Smile Solutions, we provide a variety of non-surgical and surgical procedures for treating gum disease and helping to maintain your oral health after.
Our non-surgical treatments include:
Dental Scaling removes access tartar buildup and bacteria from your teeth, gum line, and underneath the gums with specialized tools. Then, root planing smooths the root surfaces, making it difficult for future bacteria and plaque to build up in your smile. This periodontal deep cleaning also removes the toxins that contribute to inflammation which keeps gums from healing correctly.
Antibiotics help control infection with oral or topical options. Topical antibiotics involve rinses or gels applied to the spaces between teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleanings. Oral antibiotics may also be needed in combination with maintenance to help eliminate bacteria.
Continued Maintenance is often necessary after gum disease treatment, especially if your gum infection was more severe. Maintenance involves our team performing thorough cleanings and examinations about every three months to ensure your smile remains free of periodontal issues.
Our surgical solutions include:
Gum-Tissue Grafts involve taking healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and applying it to areas of gums tissue that have receded due to periodontal disease.
Sinus Lifts or sinus augmentations restore bone to the upper jaw in the molar areas. The new bone is added between the sinuses and jaw, which are empty pockets on either side of your nose.
Ridge Modifications help restore strength to the upper and lower jaws when prolonged tooth loss or advanced gum disease has weakened the ridge. This procedure helps renew the volume needed to hold dental implants properly after placement.
Bone Grafts can be ideal to build bone back in jaws that have weakened due to prolonged tooth loss. Our experts either take existing bone material from another area of your body or use a special grafting material that builds new bone. Bone grafting may also be necessary to ensure successful treatment with dental implant placement.
Pocket Reduction Surgery is recommended when you have periodontal pockets that are too deep to disinfect with routine and professional cleaning alone. Gum tissue is manipulated to expose the disease-causing bacteria for our team to remove it properly. In doing so, gum tissue healing is encouraged.
While it is always an important goal to try and save your natural teeth whenever possible, with certain oral health complications, tooth extractions may be the best solution.
Helping you achieve your best dental health is our priority. When extractions are necessary, we take the time to determine the best approach to maximize your comfort, alleviate anxiety, and reduce healing time.
Why Would I Need Tooth Extraction?
The two main factors that determine necessary extraction are the state of the tooth and its impact on your oral health.
The following are seven common reasons that warrant extraction:
- Severe or Deep Tooth Decay
- Teeth Erupting Impacted
- Tightly Crowded Teeth
- Wisdom Teeth
- Preparation for Orthodontics
- Retained Baby Teeth
- Badly Fractured or Broken Teeth
Extraction is also necessary for teeth unable to be saved after severe injury, decay, or periodontal disease. In this case, extraction is often performed at our office in preparation for dental implant placement and immediate dentures treatment using the All-On-4® method.
CALL US: (253) 848-5033 REQUEST APPOINTMENT