We provide dental preventative care for our patients in Tuscaloosa. The initial visit includes a comprehensive dental exam and regular checkup visits with the dentist and hygienist that will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The exam includes diagnostic x-rays, oral cancer screenings, checking for tooth decay, an evaluation to look for signs of gum disease, and an examination of any restorations you may have.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Our Registered Dental Hygienists provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line to prevent inflammation, which can lead to periodontal disease. In addition, the teeth are polished to remove plaque and stains that regular brushing leaves behind. You should schedule a professional dental cleaning every six months. Sealants can be used to provide a protective coating to avoid tooth decay.
The Importance of Proper Home Care
Proper home care is essential for a healthy smile. This includes brushing, flossing, and the use of rinses and dental appliances, as recommended by your dentist.
Tooth Brushing – The teeth should be brushed at least twice each day using a soft bristle brush held at a 45 degree angle. Use small circular motion and be sure to brush the biting surfaces, outside and inside of the teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria.
Flossing – Floss the teeth every day to clean under the gum line and between the teeth to prevent damage. Use at least 12 inches of floss wrapped around the middle finger and gently guide the floss between the teeth. Use a circular motion to get around every tooth to the gum line and clean the sides of the teeth. Floss holders can also be used.
Dental Aids – Electric tooth brushes are recommended. In addition, devices, such as interdental brushes, tongue cleaners, fluoride, irrigation devices, and medicated rinses may be beneficial. Ask your dentist about dental aids.
Diet – The foods you eat are important for preventing tooth decay. Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, plain yogurt, and avoid sugar filled treats to prevent decay.
Was your last checkup 6+ months ago?
Dental fillings are available in traditional gold, porcelain and composite, as well as newer materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds that provide the color of natural teeth. The composite resins are used on the front of the teeth to provide a natural appearance, but can be used on the back teeth. Factors, such as the amount of natural tooth structure, chewing load, location of the filling, and number of visits required can impact the choice of filling materials. Your dentist can help you determine the best material for you.
Dental crowns are restorations used to improve the shape and strengthen the structure of the tooth. Crowns are used for teeth that are broken or destroyed by decay. The dental crowns are cemented onto the tooth to cover the part of the tooth above the gum line. Crowns are porcelain, metal or both, but porcelain crowns are best for mimicking the natural teeth. Dental crowns are used when the tooth structure is not sufficient for holding a filling. The crown is created in a lab from an impression of the tooth and customized for you to provide normal function.
Missing teeth need to be replaced to make eating easier, prevent discomfort, and maintain the shape of your face. Dental implants provide a replacement that looks like your natural tooth. The dental implant consists of two parts, the titanium implant body replaces the missing root and the tooth colored crown is attached to the implant. A dental implant can be used to replace one missing tooth or to stabilize dentures or dental bridges to make talking and chewing easier and more comfortable and create a natural looking smile.
Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth and help to maintain the shape of the face and prevent movement of the surrounding teeth. The bridge is made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of materials and bonded to the surrounding teeth. It is essential to keep your remaining teeth and jaw healthy to ensure success.
Veneers are used to correct imperfections, such as gaps, stains, chips, and misshapen teeth. Veneers create a natural appearance and enable the dentist to make adjustments to the teeth. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain and used to cover the front of the teeth. The dentist will create a model of your teeth and send this to a dental technician to make custom veneers for you. The dentist will need to prepare the teeth and then place the veneers.
Endodontics or Root Canal
A root canal can prevent you from losing a tooth with an infected nerve. A root canal is a simple procedure that can be completed in one and three visits, depending on the severity of the problem. The nerve of the tooth is not essential to the health and function of the tooth. Bacteria can enter a cracked tooth and cause infection, which must be treated to prevent an abscess. Although not all teeth needing root canals are painful, it is common to have a toothache, pain during chewing, and sensitivity to temperature. In addition, the tooth may be discolored, or the gums can be swollen or tender.
A root canal involves removing the affected tissue and cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth. The tooth is then filled with a dental composite filling. If the decay was extensive, a crown may be needed to prevent breakage. The restoration can last a lifetime with regular dental care and good home care.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dentures are removable appliances that are used to replace missing teeth. Dentures are available as full dentures & partial dentures. If some teeth remain, partial dentures are used and full dentures are used when all teeth are missing. The partial denture fills the space where teeth are missing and prevents movement of the surrounding teeth. Complete dentures can be immediate or conventional, which involves removing the teeth and letting the gums heal. In the meantime, the patient has no teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and adjusted after the mouth heals and the tissue shrinks. Dentures can last for years.
The process takes several appointments, so accurate impressions and measurements can be taken and used to create custom dentures. Try in appointments enable the dentist to ensure the correct fit and adjust the dentures for a comfortable fit. Some of our patients in Tuscaloosa experience difficulty speaking, chewing, and may have some soreness until they get used to the dentures.