Preventive Dentistry in West Seneca
Helping our patients keep their smiles healthy is always our top priority. General and preventive dentistry services mean we save our patients some of the time, money, and discomfort that comes along with more advanced cosmetic and restorative treatments. By visiting our team twice a year for preventive checkups, we’re able to help patients prevent the majority of oral health concerns, screen for and diagnose issues in their earliest stages, and assist patients in keeping their smiles whole and healthy for life. If your family lives in West Seneca or other nearby communities, contact Applegate Dental to start building the foundation for your lifetime of healthy smiles.
Checkups & Cleanings
Twice a year preventive checkups and professional teeth cleanings are an essential part of any oral health routine. Our team loves having the opportunity to work with patients twice a year, but it’s important to remember that the other 363 days of the year, successful oral health and hygiene is up to you! That’s why we work to make patients feel like partners in their own dental care, demonstrate proper at-home hygiene, make product recommendations, and otherwise support patients in achieving and maintaining the healthiest possible smile. During every dental checkup, we gather diagnostic information using digital x-rays and images, examine smiles, thoroughly clean teeth, and then, we sit down for a one on one consultation. During the consultation, we review all the information we collected and help patients develop a plan for ongoing care.
Applying dental sealants is one of the fastest and easiest ways patients of all ages can protect their teeth for up to ten years with one simple treatment. During any regular dental checkup, we simply apply the liquid sealant directly to teeth. Then, we harden the sealant in place using a curing light. Once in place, sealants effectively repel bacteria, plaque, and tartar protecting teeth. The entire process typically takes between ten minutes and half an hour depending on the number of teeth being treated.
Oral Cancer Screenings
At Applegate Dental, we include oral cancer screenings as part of every six month checkup. While many patients believe they don’t need to be screened for oral cancer unless they use tobacco, about 30% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer each year don’t use tobacco. According to in-depth research conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to reduce the number of oral cancer related annual deaths (about 1 an hour) is to diagnose and treat the disease in its earliest stages. Regular screenings as part of your dental checkups give us the opportunity to diagnose oral cancer before it potentially damages your oral and overall health.
Similar to dental sealants, fluoride treatments are a fast, effective way to strengthen teeth. While teeth are developing below the gum line, people need to consume fluoride in water, foods, and fluoride supplements to help them build strong, healthy teeth. Once teeth erupt from the gums, ingested fluoride is no longer enough to strengthen teeth. That’s where topical fluoride treatments come in. Fluoride treatments can be administered as part of any regular dental checkup. The fluoride attracts fortifying minerals to teeth keeping the enamel strong and protecting smiles from potential decay.
In the past, our team depended on traditional dental x-rays to view the supportive structures below patients’ smiles. While these images offer predictable results dentists and medical professionals have relied on for years, there are a number of disadvantages to using traditional x-rays compared with digital x-rays. Possibly most significantly, digital x-rays offer higher definition images which means we’re able to diagnose and treat concerns in earlier stages. Additionally, patients and employees alike are much safer using digital x-rays. Traditional x-rays expose patients to about 40% more radiation, and our employees have to handle a number of toxic chemicals during the development process. Digital x-rays offer reduced radiation and completely eliminate the need for developing images. Instead, scans are available for review immediately on a chairside monitor. We can compare the images to past years and quickly transfer x-rays to the patients, specialists, or insurance providers. Saved on our computers, digital x-rays also require significantly less space for storage.
Biolase Soft Tissue Laser
Biolase offers a line of products that significantly improve a number of common dentistry practices including soft tissue laser dentistry. Working with patients’ teeth may require a number of metal scalers, drills, and other tough tools, but when it comes to work with gums, cheeks, lips, and other soft tissue, many of the same tools are used. It’s no surprise that gums are easily irritated as part of many dental procedures or that treatment for periodontal disease can be more painful than the disease itself. That’s why our team uses a Biolase soft tissue laser making these treatments much less invasive. Unlike traditional scalpel and suture procedures for soft tissue, laser dentistry allows us to remove damaged tissue while simultaneously cauterizing and promoting healing. Laser dentistry dramatically reduces discomfort during treatment and healing time for many patients.