Dr. Curtin and Dr. Janowski's emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients, which means getting to know each patient's oral health on an individual level and recommending treatments tailored to their specific needs. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups and continued home oral health routines. Preventive care is just what it sounds like: preventing problems early on to save our patients money and more extensive treatment down-the-road.
Routine Teeth Cleanings
At least twice a year, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque and caked-on tartar from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office. Our hygienists, Kim and Autumn, are meticulous yet gentle and you're certain to receive one of the most thorough dental cleanings you've ever experienced.
A nightguard is a hard plastic retainer placed over either the top or bottom row of your teeth. It is designed to help prevent or slow the damage done to teeth by grinding or clenching. Nighttime grinding and clenching can wear down the tooth enamel, eventually leading to major dental procedures, such as root canals, tooth extractions, crown placements and oral surgery. Nightguards can also help sufferers of disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). With a properly designed nightguard, the wear on this enamel is decreased, therefore slowing the damage to the teeth.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (in some cases, impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions shut, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.
We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography, also known as digital X-rays. A sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image immediately as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.
Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce a patient’s radiation exposure by 90 percent!
The standard X-ray is essential in determining any dental problems you may have, but unfortunately, it may not reveal everything happening inside your mouth. We are proud to use intraoral cameras in our office.
An intraoral camera can project an image of your tooth onto a monitor, so you can see the problem in a magnified version and how we can correct the issue. It can also identify problems that may not be detected by the general means of examination, including cracks in your fillings or fractured teeth. Similar to the size and design of a dental mirror, an intraoral camera allows you to make better decisions regarding your treatment as you can see the same things we see.
Oral Cancer Screenings
With proper screening and early diagnosis, the severity of oral cancer drops significantly. But as with most forms of cancer, being able to detect the cancer in an early stage is crucial. That’s why our office uses advanced oral cancer screening equipment, to be able to detect and screen for the lesions that indicate possible oral cancer easily and accurately. Using specialized lights and optics, your dentist is able to conduct an oral cancer screening that can detect lesions that are invisible to the unaided human eye. These screenings are fast and completely comfortable – and best of all, they are the best possible way to ensure that your mouth is healthy and cancer-free!
Treatment depends on the sort of periodontal disease present. As the pocket between your gums and tooth increases, it fills with bacteria, plaque, calculus, and when badly infected, pus. Periodontal disease worsens as all of these factors are ignored. Two special periodontal procedures are recommended for more severe stages of the disease: scaling and root planing. Your mouth will be numbed with anesthesia for these procedures. During the scaling, the hardened calculus, plaque and toxins are removed from your gumline, and rough spots on your tooth roots are smoothed out during the planing procedure. Both of these procedures are meant to clean out the deep pockets and help them contract back to a normal size. With regular maintenance, this procedure will prevent further bone loss around the teeth.
Our primary goal for your children’s dental development is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advancements in techniques, technologies and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams. We provide many preventative measures to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy, including sealants and fluoride treatments. We also educate parents in the early detection of some common problems children may face, including thumb sucking, bruxism and baby bottle tooth decay.
We are pleased to offer our patients custom-fabricated mouthguards for sports activities. Unlike stock mouthguards, which fit loosely because they are designed to accommodate many possible wearers, our sports mouthguards are tailored to fit your exact dental profile, providing the highest attainable level of comfort and security in a mouthguard. This style of mouthguard is ideal for any patient who plays contact sports, such as lacrosse, basketball, or hockey, and can prevent costly and painful damage to teeth from sports-related dental injuries.
Your initial exam appointment varies in time from 1-2 hours depending on your needs. Our dentists will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. X-rays may also be taken to assess the health of your teeth, gums, and the surrounding bone. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, your dentist will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth.