Comprehensive dental exams from Meyer Family Dentistry set the stage for a lifetime of oral health. This is the way we establish a baseline, look for minor or hidden issues, and uncover any major problems you or your family members may be dealing with. Your first comprehensive exam with us is the most important, but we encourage our patients to keep up with a yearly exam during their cleanings to ensure that no trouble is brewing. It is always best to prevent problems before they start or find them while they are minor and easier to treat to save both your teeth and your budget! During our comprehensive exams, we not only examine your teeth, we also check the health of your oral tissue, checking for periodontal disease, oral cancer, or inflammation.
In addition, we can screen you for sleep apnea, and TMJ disorders. All of our records are kept electronically for easy access at your next visit. This also allows us to easily share our findings with you showing you your x-rays or intra-oral camera findings so we can clearly communicate to you what we believe is needed. It’s one of the most convenient ways to collaborate with our patients, clearly answer any questions you may have, and co-develop a treatment plan. It all adds up to a healthier mouth – and a healthier you – for the long term.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer may not be the cancer everyone is talking about. But while other cancers are getting all the attention, oral cancer is insidiously keeping pace with other types of cancer – and the numbers of oral cancer patients are growing, not diminishing.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over “49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year” and many more will go undiagnosed because early symptoms can be subtle enough to be easily ignored. Because of that, the death rate for oral cancer is significantly higher than other cancers, “ not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.” https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/
That’s why Meyer Family Dentistry is so serious about keeping up with your oral cancer screenings. We perform one at every cleaning scanning for white or red patches in your mouth, unexplained bleeding, mouth sores that won’t heal, pain or difficulty swallowing, loose teeth, lumps in your neck or in your mouth. Even a chronic earache could be a symptom of oral cancer! If it has been a while since your last dental check-up or exam, please give us a call today. It could save your life!
Another very important part of the Meyer Family Dental exam is examining the inside of your teeth, under the enamel, with digital and panoramic x-rays. Digital x-rays allow us to obtain a larger, crisper electronic image of your teeth, their roots, supporting bone, and gums for an improved picture of your oral health than we can achieve with standard x-rays. Since the images are electronic, they are shared and stored on the computers we have in each exam room, making it easier than ever to explain and show our finding to you, blown up on a computer screen, as well as saving them for future comparisons. Our advanced computer technology digitally compares images, then subtracts what is the same from one x-ray to the next to give us a clear image of even the tiniest changes. Miniscule changes that may not be seen by even the most discerning naked eye can be caught earlier and seen more clearly. What’s more, our digital x-rays expose you to significantly less radiation than conventional dental x-rays – up to 75% less.
If we need to take a look at your entire head, neck and bone structure in order to plan for implants, scan for orthodontic problems, check on wisdom teeth positioning, or evaluate bone density or sinus problems, we can use our panoramic x-ray technology.
Not much feels as great as your teeth do after a good professional cleaning. But it isn’t just a bright, smooth, clean feeling we are after with dental cleanings. And while dental cleanings help prevent cavities and decay, one of their most important functions is keeping your gums in tip-top shape, free of infection and disease. Why is this so crucial? Your gums do more than simply hold your teeth in place. Your gums are also mucous membranes, soft tissues that are permeable and allow substances, good or bad, to enter your bloodstream. When they are healthy, they are wellness defenders, but if gum disease creeps in, they can actually make your whole body sick.
We use the comfortable and highly effective ultrasonic scaler to gently remove bacterial buildup (plaque and tartar) both on your teeth and at the gumline. This allows your gums to stay tight against your teeth, doing their protective job, while also giving you the brighter, smoother, happier smile you love to show off.
Some people are more prone to gum infections or periodontal disease (gingivitis) than others and multiple factors contribute to this. Contributing factors include:
- Dry mouth from medications, illness, or age – anything that decreases the flow of saliva
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal changes
- Clenching and grinding of teeth
- Illness and disease that affects the body’s inflammatory system
- Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco
- Inadequate brushing and flossing
- Poor nutrition
If your gums are red, tender, puffy or swollen, bleed, or look as if they are receding, please give Meyer Family Dentistry a call. Gum disease can be a circular problem – not only can it be caused by health issues, the disease can also precipitate them. It is now common knowledge that periodontal infections contribute to inflammation in the body. This and other aspects of the infection can lead to an increased risk for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, worsening diabetes, and even pregnancy risks. We can help with ultra-deep scaling and root planing using our ultrasonic cleaner. This device provides a more effective yet comfortable periodontal therapy to get your smile – and your body – back to health.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring element that, when applied topically, helps remineralize and strengthen teeth against decay. Why is that so important? You see, every time you eat or drink – especially acidic or sugary foods, your enamel is under attack. Everything from soda and sports drinks to carb-heavy meals and sugary snacks, acid reflux, medications, dry mouth, cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, affect and erode enamel, leaving your teeth even more vulnerable to bacteria attacks. Even things you think are necessary to your health like inhalers, cough medicine and drops, or sugar-filled pediatric medications can contribute.
Of course, Meyer Family Dental recommends that everyone, young and old, limit sugary and acidic foods, and stop tobacco use and that children never be allowed to carry a bottle or sippy cup with anything but water between meals, but our fluoride treatments also offer a great way to protect your teeth. Fluoride treatments at every visit builds enamel, reduces sensitivity, and have even been shown to reverse early tooth decay!
Whether you have invested a lot in restoring your teeth or you want to prevent the need for restoration, mouthguards are a great choice to protect your smile and keep it looking and functioning the way it should. Meyer Family Dentistry offers sports mouthguards for active kids as well as night guards to protect against nighttime teeth clenching and grinding.
Our sports mouthguards offer your children’s’ precious smile significantly greater protection than boil-and-bite guards you get in the sporting goods stores. How? Every single mouthguard we prescribe is custom made specifically for your child. We take molds of your child’s teeth and send these molds to our world-class lab where they will produce a mouthguard that fits so comfortably your child may forget it is even there. That’s important because the more comfortable the guard, the more likely it is that your child will actually use it. In addition, studies show that dentist-made mouthguards not only offer superior protection of teeth (over boil-and-bite guards which provide only slightly more protection that no mouthguard at all), they also better protect soft tissues of the mouth from laceration and bruising. Even more importantly, a study in the General Dentistry Journal indicates that a properly-made mouthguard significantly reduces your child’s risk for traumatic brain injury, more commonly referred to as a concussion.
Meyer Family Dentistry also provides night guards to protect teeth from the clenching and grinding that can damage enamel, contribute to gum problems, and lead to TMJ disorder symptoms including migraines. These nifty little mouthguards can actually be worn any time you find yourself clenching such as while driving in morning traffic.
Why put your family’s teeth at risk? Talk to us about custom mouthguards for sports and bruxism protection.
Anyone can feel nervous about dentistry. We understand! You might have had a bad experience in childhood, or just have a hard time sitting still with your mouth open for dental procedures. No matter what, Nitrous Oxide relaxation from Meyer Family Dentistry can soothe away your jitters, help you relax, and get your smile feeling and looking better than ever. Nitrous Oxide, also known as Laughing Gas, is best known for the calm and slightly euphoric feeling it produces. It is one of dentistry’s most effective sedation options, and yet it is so safe and gentle, it can be administered to children of almost any age. What’s more, it doesn’t require any injection or prescription medications – just breathe and relax! It can also be reversed immediately with the administration of pure oxygen so you can drive and function with complete clarity. No need to miss any work or school!
TMJ disorder is a problem for lots of people and they may never realize it. The problem can be caused by stress, poorly balanced dental restorations, medications, mood, or other factors and lead to all kinds of symptoms such as:
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Jaw and neck pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Popping and cracking jaw sounds
- Jaw locking open or closed
If your TMJ disorder is caused by night time stress and clenching and grinding, we can help with a custom-made mouthguard. Our TMJ mouthguards are designed to hold your jaw and teeth in a more comfortable, balanced position while also protecting your enamel from the force applied by clenching and grinding.
If you have discovered tiny cracks in your teeth, if your teeth look shorter than they used to, if your jaw makes sounds and pops when you chew or yawn, or if you are suffering from chronic headaches, please give Meyer Family Dentistry a call. We are here to help our patients feel great again!
No matter how careful you are, no matter how dedicatedly you guard against accidents and surprises, they happen, both to adults and to kids.
You might be enjoying your weekend bucket of popcorn with a movie when – crack! There goes your crown.
You could be cheering at the local football game when – Bam! Your kid’s mouth meets a helmet.
Your spouse might even wake up one morning with a toothache so bad you know he won’t be able to function at work.
What can you do? Turn to Meyer Family Dentistry! We are here to comfort and guide you through any dental emergency. Just call us: during office hours we will get you in as soon as possible depending on your need. After hours, our answering service will provide you with a number to reach us. We are always available to our patients, day or night, to help you get the emergency dental care you need.