General Dentistry and Oral Hygiene

Maintaining Healthy, Happy Smiles At Summit Dental Care, we can provide you with the care you need to maintain a healthy mouth and smile. We provide comprehensive services for patients both young and old, ensuring nothing but the best possible care. Dental Exams During your regular check-up, we’ll complete a comprehensive exam of your teeth and gums. Exams allow us to look for any signs of decay, cavities, chips, cracks, and other damage to your teeth. We’ll also look at your gums to spot redness, swelling, recession, and periodontal pockets. In addition to looking over your teeth and gums, we’ll also examine other soft tissues of your mouth. This includes any sort of abnormalities, such as unusual patches of tissue and lumps. By spotting issues early, we can take immediate action to stop their progression and protect your mouth from more serious consequences. Dental Cleanings We’ll give you a professional cleaning to remove plaque and bacteria, whiten your teeth, and improve the quality of your smile during your dental check-up. One of our dental hygienists will begin by scraping the crowns of your teeth and along your gum line. This process, called scaling, is done to eliminate plaque, bacteria, tartar, and other debris such as food particles. While brushing and flossing are also meant to remove plaque and bacteria, you might miss harder to reach areas. After scaling, your teeth are then polished, which gives them a smooth, shiny, clean look and feel. Finally, your teeth are thoroughly flossed. Oral Cancer Screenings Our oral screenings detect the early warning signs of oral cancer, enabling you to get the treatment you need right away. Oral cancer screenings are an important part of your bi-annual dental exams. During a screening, we’ll examine the face, neck, lips, oral cavity, and inside of the nose. Some of the things we look for are: Swellings Patches of colors Bumps Abnormalities Ulcerations Asymmetries Visit Summit Dental Care Today To learn more about our general services, give us a call at (208) 733-9999 and schedule your appointment now! Frequently Asked Questions Are dental cleanings painful? In most cases, dental cleanings are not painful. All you should feel is the pressure from the scaling. However, if you have sensitive teeth or irritated gum tissue, you may feel some discomfort. If you’re worried about pain during your dental cleaning, please don’t hesitate to let us know. How can you protect my oral health? One of the biggest benefits of regular cleanings is that they help to protect your oral health. Cleaning buildup from the surfaces of your teeth protects your teeth from decay and cavities. It also removes buildup from along your gum line, which prevents the irritation and inflammation that can otherwise lead to gingivitis and gum disease. By preventing these issues from developing, you avoid experiencing more the more significant complications that they can cause. You may also save money by reducing the chance you will need treatment for these issues. Do I really need regular dental visits? Even if your mouth feels perfectly fine and you don’t think that there is anything wrong, it’s still important to have regular dental visits. This is because most issues do not exhibit symptoms in the earliest stages. If symptoms are present, they are often barely noticeable, and therefore they go overlooked. Without an exam, you might never know if anything is wrong. By the time symptoms begin to appear, the issue has progressed into something more significant. What could have been an easy and inexpensive fix suddenly requires more invasive and expensive care. Do I need X-rays? X-rays are an integral part of helping us to spot issues. They allow us to see parts of your mouth that are otherwise impossible to see. X-rays are generally recommended annually. If you have certain risk factors, however, or you are exhibiting symptoms of certain oral health issues, we may recommend them more frequently. How do I know if I’m at risk for oral cancer? There are certain factors that can put you at a greater risk of developing oral cancer. One of the biggest factors is smoking and using other tobacco products. Those who drink heavily are also at an increased risk. Other risk factors include family history, gender, and your age. Just because you do not have any significant risk factors; however, that does not mean you cannot develop oral cancer. The disease can impact anyone, so regular screenings are incredibly important. Is an oral cancer screening painful? Your oral cancer screening is not painful at all. You might never even notice that the screening is being done. We look over the soft tissues in your mouth, checking for unusual coloration, growths, and anything else that looks suspicious. We look at your lips, cheeks, tongue, and palate. You may feel us move your tongue so we can check underneath it. We also feel your neck and throat for swelling and growths. What happens if signs of oral cancer are detected? If we do find signs of oral cancer, it is important not to panic. A more thorough examination will be needed. While what we find could be oral cancer, it is also possible that is another issue entirely, or it is nothing at all. One of the most common ways to diagnose oral cancer is with what is called a soft tissue biopsy. This is a process in which we remove a small amount of tissue from the abnormality so that we can examine it under a microscope. This will allow us to determine the presence of cancerous cells. Should you be diagnosed with oral cancer, we can then help you to get the treatment you need right away. Treatments may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

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