ORAL HEALTH

Oral Health

Enjoy the Beauty
of a New Smile
Your oral health is important to us! Dr. Diane Haberl and Shawn Buffington, DDS and the whole team want to see you smiling brightly for years to come. Learn more about what lifestyle aspects affect your oral health and how to maintain the healthiest mouth there is.

General Dentistry

General dentistry means that our practice is a primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth, gums and maxillofacial (jaw and face) parts of the body. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients visit their general dentist at least once every six months to ensure proper oral health and functionality. Regular oral health check-ups and maintenance help to prevent the development of serious dental problems that may require more extensive and costly treatments. 

General dentistry services include:
  • Crowns and Bridges
  • Dentures
  • Gum Disease (Periodontal) Treatment
  • Orthodontics
  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Teeth Cleanings
  • Bonding
  • Dental Fillings

Fluoride

For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, which thereby helps to prevent decay of tooth structures.

While fluoride is important for strong and healthy teeth, too much can also lead to problems. There is likely fluoride in your water and in your toothpaste – usually that’s just the right amount. Talk to our staff if you have concerns about your fluoride intake.

The Preventative Program

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit, oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. 

The following are helpful recommendations:     
  • Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum.
  • Floss every night in an up-and-down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid sticky sugary foods.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed.
  • Have sealants placed on young permanent teeth.

Fillings

Alternatives to amalgam fillings, such as cast gold restorations, porcelain, and composite resins are more expensive, but safer and more commonly used. Gold and porcelain restorations take longer to make and can require two appointments. Composite resins, or white fillings, are esthetically appealing, but require a longer time to place.

Sealants are used with children to prevent cavities. They are most effective when applied as soon as the tooth has fully come in. 

Infection Control

Our office takes infection control very seriously. Gloves, gowns and masks are required. After each patient visit, disposable PPE-such as gloves, drapes, needles, and scalpel blades-are thrown away, hands are washed, and a new pair of gloves used for the next patient.

All hand instruments used on patients are washed, disinfected and/or sterilized with chemicals or steam after each use. Hands are constantly washed, so as to provide our patients with a completely sterile environment.

Medication & Heart Disease

Certain kinds of medications can have an adverse effect on your teeth. The best precaution is to ask your family physician if any medications he or she has prescribed can have a detrimental effect on your teeth or other oral structures.

Medical research has uncovered a definitive link between heart disease and certain kinds of oral infections, such as periodontal disease. Some have even suggested that gum disease may be as dangerous as or more dangerous than other factors such as tobacco use. Chronic periodontitis, or persistent gum disease, has been linked to cardiovascular problems by medical researchers.

Patients with heart conditions (including weakened heart valves) are strongly advised to inform our office before undergoing any dental procedure. The proper antibiotic will prevent any unnecessary complications.

Latex Allergy

If you are vulnerable to latex or have allergies related to it, please notify our office. We’ll take the necessary precautions to ensure you don’t have any contact with it. People with high-risk factors for latex allergy include those who have undergone multiple surgical operations, have spina bifida, or are persistently exposed to latex products.

Age & Oral Health

According to a survey commissioned by the Academy of General Dentistry, 63% of baby boomers (ages 45-64) with an oral symptom considered to be a key indicator of a more serious health condition, were unaware of the symptom`s link to the condition. Boomers’ failure to recognize that oral health holds valuable clues could negatively impact their overall health.

Tobacco

The American Dental Association has long been a leader in the battle against tobacco-related disease, working to educate the public about the dangers inherent in tobacco use and encouraging dentists to help their patients break the cycle of addiction. The Association has continually strengthened and updated its tobacco policies as new scientific information has become available.

Recent studies have shown that there is a direct link between oral tissue and bones loss and smoking. In addition, people who smoke are more likely to develop severe periodontal disease.
 
Many studies have shown that smoking can lead to higher rates of dental implant failure. In general, smoking cessation usually leads to improved periodontal health and a patient’s chance for successful implant acceptance.

Oral Piercings

Oral piercings (usually in the tongue or around the lips) have quickly become a popular trend in today’s society. With this popular trend, it is important to realize that sometimes even precautions taken during the installation of the piercing jewelry are not enough to stave off harmful, long-term consequences such as cracked or chipped teeth, swelling, problems with swallowing and taste, and scars. 

One of the most serious long-term health problems that may occur from oral piercings come in the form of damage to the soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums and palate, as well as opportunistic infections. 
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