The foundation of every beautiful smile is good oral health. While cosmetic dentistry is certainly glamorous, and restorative dentistry has the potential to restore a person’s quality of life, general dentistry is the unsung hero of the human mouth. The general dentistry procedures available at our Poway, CA dental practice range from those designed to prevent the teeth and gums from becoming damaged to those designed to preserve healthy tissues and protect them from further damage.
Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Kim take a conservative approach to dental care. They believe in the power of patient education and preventive dentistry, which is why they provide patients with the information they need to be active participants in maintaining their oral health between their twice-a-year visits to our practice for oral exams and thorough cleanings. They use only the most advanced diagnostic tools so that potential problems can be identified in their earliest stages, when they are most easily treated and conservative procedures are most likely to be viable.
In order to prevent dental problems and diagnose those that do occur in their earliest stages, you must first establish a regular cadence of general dentistry appointments. We invite you to schedule your first general dentistry appointment at Poway Center for Advanced Dentistry today.
One of the greatest advantages of visiting our practice at least twice a year as advised by the American Dental Association is that it will allow you to stay one step ahead of gum disease. Gum disease is actually the most common disease among American adults, affecting roughly 75 percent of the population to varying degrees. Unfortunately, because gum disease often does not produce clear symptoms in its early form, gingivitis, many people are unaware that their gums are unhealthy. By the time they do seek treatment in response to symptoms such as bleeding, pain, and swelling, the disease has usually progressed to its more severe form, periodontitis, and serious damage has already taken place.
Thankfully, gum disease can be treated at any stage. One particularly effective technique is deep cleaning, in which two procedures – scaling and root planing – are combined. Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the gum line and from the inside of gum pockets that have formed below the gum line. The roots of the teeth are then made smooth with a precision instrument to create a less hospitable environment for bacteria to find refuge. The gum tissues are better able to conform to the newly smoothened tooth roots, resulting in vastly improved oral health.
Truly, the line that once separated general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry has become blurred. Whereas dental fillings often used to be made of a conspicuous silver amalgam that was solely meant to be functional, modern tooth-colored fillings blend seamlessly in with the natural structure of the tooth. The composite resin material used in tooth-colored fillings is every bit as strong and resilient as silver amalgam, but contains no mercury. Tooth-colored fillings are safe, durable, and natural looking – they offer all of the benefits of metal fillings with very few of the drawbacks.
Tooth-colored fillings are best suited to cases involving relatively small chips or areas of decay. To treat more extensive damage, our dentists may suggest an inlay or an onlay, ceramic restorations that can be crafted while you wait with our in-office CEREC® milling machine. Inlays are designed to fit within the protruding cusps of a tooth, while onlays are designed to extend to at least one of the cusps.
Each of your teeth contains between one and four structures called root canals. Within each root canal is dental pulp, a nutrient-rich substance that is vital to the health of the tooth. As long as the root canal is sealed off from external elements, the dental pulp will remain pure and uncontaminated. However, if the root canal is breached, the dental pulp will inevitably become infected and inflamed, causing discomfort, if not tremendous pain.
The only way to salvage a tooth with a root canal infection is to perform root canal therapy. This is a surgical procedure in which the infected dental pulp is removed via an opening created in the top of the tooth. Once the pulp has been completely removed, the root canal is disinfected and filled with a sterile substance. The root canal is then sealed off, and the tooth is covered with a dental crown.
Although root canal therapy has gotten something of a bad reputation over the years, it is actually a relatively painless procedure. Indeed, the procedure is essential to halting the tooth pain caused by root canal infections and salvaging as much of the natural structure of a tooth as possible. Without root canal therapy, the tooth will not heal on its own. Left untreated, a root canal infection will eventually cause the tooth to be lost.
To ensure the comfort and satisfaction of our valued patients, we work with a highly trained endodontist, a dental professional who specializes in root canal therapy. This experienced specialist uses a powerful microscope to perform root canal surgery, which helps to ensure the best and most precise results possible.
If you would like to schedule your initial general dentistry appointment at Poway Center for Advanced Dentistry, please contact our dental office today. Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Kim are proud to work with patients from communities throughout San Diego County at any of their locations in Poway, La Jolla and Del Mar.