Preventative and Family Dentistry contains services which include cleanings, periodontal (gum) disease treatment, headache and tooth grinding prevention, and sports mouthguards. Preventative recommendations for Comp Exams are 2x per year.
Comprehensive and Periodic Dental Exams
Just as with any other area of your body, preventing a disease is much better than having to treat one when it comes to the health of your mouth. A huge portion of our practice is dedicated to preventing gum disease, gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay, etc. Especially when it comes to the teeth, which you need on a daily basis and which have to be cleaned and protected every single day, it is much better to prevent ever having an issue with them than to have to have one repaired.
This is why we recommend that all of our patients visit the dentist every six months. A professional cleaning and a checkup with Dr. Dancu can ensure that you have as few issues with your teeth as possible and that any small issues are caught and dealt with before they are allowed to become large, serious problems.
Dr. Dancu, your local Southampton, PA General Dentist performs comprehensive dental exams for new patients and periodic exams at the regular intervals for established patients to ensure your teeth clean and healthy.
A comprehensive dental exam is performed when a new patient is welcomed into the practice. This includes a review of your medical history including medications and allergies, and a complete head and neck exam including the teeth, soft tissues, jaw, cancer screening, and neck anatomy. Dr. Dancu performs this extensive exam not only to become acquainted with the mouth, but also to become familiarized with your overall health, and how that may affect the oral environment.
A periodic exam is performed at each cleaning appointment to ensure the oral cavity is healthy, and there are no changes in your medical history. Any changes in your medical history including medications should be passed on to Dr. Dancu no matter how small they may be.
Learn more about Family Dentistry here.
The Health of Your Mouth
Why should you worry about the health of your mouth? The health of your mouth affects the health of your entire body. If you have trouble with your teeth, you can start to experience a wide variety of different problems, ranging from heart conditions to digestive issues—and that is not even to mention the self-esteem problems that might come along with tooth yellow, chipping, and decay.
Preventative dentistry is not just important for young children who are just starting to get their adult teeth. It is just as important for teens and adults who already have all of their teeth. Your adult teeth are your last set of teeth, so you want them to last you as long as they possibly can. This is exactly what our preventative dentistry treatments are designed to do.
While there are a wide variety of things that you can do at home that are a part of preventative dentistry (like brushing your teeth and flossing your teeth on a daily basis), making sure that you stay on top of your dentist appointments is one of the very best ways to make sure that you never run into serious issues. The dentist will be able to tell you what you might be neglecting, what you are doing well, and what steps you might take to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Periodontal disease affects the supporting structures of the teeth, the gum tissue (gingiva) and bone. It is a painless disease caused by bacteria that may ultimately result in tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is a painless condition, caused by bacteria that is present in everyone's mouth. Although there is no cure for the disease, its onset can be prevented with good homecare and regular visits, and its progression may be stopped through various procedures dependent upon the severity. Using pocket depth measurements, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, and x-rays, the dentist or hygienist will make a diagnosis that will fall into one of the categories below:
This first stage of periodontal disease is characterized by tender and inflamed gum tissue which likely has associated bleeding. Plaque, comprised of bacteria, and its toxic by-products irritate the tissue causing the localized tissue reaction described.
Treatment: Improved homecare techniques and regular dental cleanings every 6 months.
If the plaque is not removed properly, it hardens into tartar (calculus). As the plaque and tartar increase, the pocket depth increases allowing further accumulation of bacteria and often pus. The increase in toxic by-products causes the gums to become very irritated, bleed more easily, and the start of bone destruction resulting in slight to moderate bone loss.
Treatment: A special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing or root debridements (deep cleaning) will be recommended. The area to be treated is numbed for the patient's comfort. Then, special instruments are used to reach deep in the pocket enabling the removal of the bacteria and tartar which allows for reattachment of the tissue to the tooth thereby reducing the pocket depth. Special rinses or localized placement of antibiotics may also be used in conjunction to aid in the healing. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the periodontal pockets by removing the accumulation of bacteria and tartar, essentially creating a more healthy environment which is easier to clean and maintain.
When the disease has progressed to the stage where the root debridements (non-surgical) have not responded favorably, a more aggressive treatment is required. A dental specialist, a Periodontist, may perform a surgical procedure to physically reduce the pockets and reshape the bone to create the healthy environment for the teeth. Dr. Dancu refers his patients to the finest specialists to perform these types of procedures.
Headache Prevention/Tooth Clenching and Grinding
Now there is a way to protect your teeth from clenching/grinding and prevent jaw and headache pain before it starts that requires no pills, no shots, no surgery, and no side effects!
When you wake up, do you feel any of the following:
- painful, aching jaw
- sore, sensitive teeth
- stiff neck
- tension headaches (migraines)
- morning headaches
Or, do you have worn, chipped, or cracked teeth?
These problems can be treated and prevented because they are most likely caused by clenching or grinding your teeth during the night and even during the day. When you clench your teeth, your muscles can create a great deal of stress and tension to your neck muscles, jaw joints, and teeth.
Many times, Dr. Dancu can fabricate a custom-made NTI-tss device in one visit. The NTI-tss (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition tension suppression system) is a small clear plastic device that fits over your top or bottom teeth making it nearly impossible to clench. The device will minimize clenching intensity, and in time, minimize intense clenching as the source of pain and destruction of your teeth.
Many migraine sufferers can benefit from the NTI as well. The FDA has approved the device as a treatment for migraines. The contracting muscles involved in clenching/grinding have been shown to cause blood vessel constriction and nerve stimulation which can trigger migraines. Since the NTI decreases these muscle contractions, migraine headaches can be treated non-surgically, without medications, while you sleep!
Quite often, Dr. Dancu treats dental emergencies caused by sports-related injuries. These injuries range from a small chip, a large fractured piece of tooth, or complete loss or avulsion of the tooth. The athlete can even suffer a concussion if there is a severe blow to the jaw. Dr. Dancu can make a custom fitted Pro-form mouthguard to protect your teeth from that stray elbow or ball.
Pro-form mouthguards custom-fitted by Dr. Dancu conform to your unique dental structure. Custom-fitted mouthguards offer several advantages over those bought at the sporting goods store.
PROTECTION - The double lamination and custom fit allow for superior strength and greater shock dispersion which dissipates forces that can cause damage.
SPEECH - A guard that stays in place allows for clearer speech thus improving communication between players.
COMFORT - If the guard is not comfortable, the athlete will not wear it. A comfortable and secure fit ensure the guard will be worn.
OXYGEN - An ill-fitting guard can restrict your breathing. This reduces oxygen intake which reduces performance.
Dr. Dancu makes the mouthguards in his office. At the first visit, an impression or mold is taken of your teeth. At the second visit, the guard is tried in to ensure a proper fit.
In many contact sports, a mouthguard is required in order to participate. But, the risk of dental injury is present in any sport where physical contact may occur. A custom fitted sports mouthguard made by Dr. Dancu can not only protect your teeth, but can also improve performance.
Get to see your teeth up close and personal!
Using an intraoral camera, Dr. Dancu can show you up close pictures of your teeth. This greatly enhances Dr. Dancu's ability to diagnose conditions of the teeth, and communicate those conditions with the patient. A picture is worth a thousand words!
Although there is never a good time for a dental emergency, Dr. Dancu makes every effort to treat your emergency as soon as possible.
Dental emergencies always occur at the worst time. Let's face it, tooth pain never occurs at a good time. Dr. Dancu makes every effort to treat your emergency as soon as possible. If your emergency should occur after office hours, Dr. Dancu provides an emergency number to call so you can speak directly to him.
Learn more about Family Dentistry here.
A dentist appointment at our Southampton, PA dentist office is also a good way to learn as much as you can about the right way to clean your teeth. If you are like most people, you might never have been taught how to brush or floss your teeth properly. Our dentist or hygienist will be able to show you the right way to wield the brush or the floss to make sure that every surface of your teeth is getting clean.
Preventative dentistry does not have to be difficult. We can help you make it a part of your everyday routine. If you already brush and floss your teeth, you are already more than halfway there. An appointment with your dentist every six months will not only allow us to make sure that your teeth are getting the attention that they need, but also ensure that any small issues that might have occurred despite your best efforts are quickly taken care of.
Call our office today to schedule your appointment!