There is very little that is “general” about general or preventative dentistry. We think of it as the first line of defense and the treatments that prevent more severe issues from occurring. At Rivercrest Family Dental in New Braunfels, TX we gladly provide patients with preventative and general dentistry options like:
A key component of dental health is a regular dental exam. This involves some time spent examining your teeth and gums, and even ordering some x-rays if there are signs of decay. Our general dentist and team of hygienists can ensure your dental exams uncover any signs of tooth decay or gum disease, and provide you with the highest level of preventative care. We look for any oral health issues and ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best condition possible, but we also suggest you book dental exams every six months.
During an exam, we may show you any problems we find with your brushing and flossing techniques too, and recommend any treatments that can boost your overall oral health and hygiene. Our advanced technologies allow us to provide oral cancer screenings during your exam too.
Many dental patients recall the days of uncomfortable bite wings inserted at odd angles into their mouths. These had to be, somehow, bitten and held in place while a technician made an x-ray of the mouth. All the while, the patient would also be wearing a lead vest to reduce exposure!
Today, dental x-rays are much less uncomfortable, and technology has even made them an easy task with better outcomes. We use digital x-rays that use an innovative technology capable of remarkably precise imagery. A tiny sensor is at the end of a small device placed in the mouth and adjusted according to the area being examined. The x-ray is taken and pops up on the screen…that’s it! Our dentist can then do any general or preventative dentistry based on the accurate and immediate images!
We also have intraoral cameras that help detect the tiniest amounts of decay and use video technologies that are as immediate as our dental x-rays.
Regular brushing and flossing are an essential part of your daily routine, but even the most dedicated patients cannot always eliminate the materials that might build up on their teeth and gums; leading to decay or disease. This is why twice-annual dental cleanings are essential to your oral health.
Performed in our office by our skilled hygienists and dentists, they will include a dental exam and then the removal of any plaque and tartar. We will polish your teeth and discuss any staining to determine if you need additional treatment. Patients may opt for fluoride applications (and sealants for our youngest patients). We look at the condition of the gums, and if you wear partials or full dentures, we can clean and adjust them too.
If our team sees any issues with your approach to brushing or flossing, we may instruct you in different methods or provide you with suggestions for a different sort of brush, an oral rinse and more.
We strongly suggest that all our patients come in twice each year for a dental cleaning and exam. This is a sure way of catching the earliest signs of tooth decay and gum disease, and ensures that your dental hygiene routine is the best it can be. Our team includes dental hygienists who will provide you with an attentive assessment designed to ensure your optimal oral health.
For example, your dental exam may include an oral cancer screening in addition to a preliminary, visual inspection of the teeth and gums. A dental hygiene professional will also remove tartar and plaque and discuss your brushing and flossing regimen to determine if you should make changes. They might also take digital x-rays or clean and polish your teeth before our dentist looks at the conditions in your mouth.
Dental hygiene is a guaranteed step in avoiding major dental problems and catching issues before they become costly, painful or even a far more severe concern.
The term periodontics is not always familiar to our patients, and even when we explain that it is an area of dentistry that looks specifically at the structures supporting or surrounding the teeth, it doesn’t make it clearer.
Essentially, our dental team offers periodontics when a patient has developed gum disease, oral inflammation unrelated to any of the actual teeth, or even when considering dental implants.
The most common reason you will see our periodontics experts will be if you have started to develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Our dentist will then begin treating you with beneficial remedies such as scaling and root planing to remove infected material. They might do some root surface treatments to eliminate damaged tissue. They can also offer surgical procedures if necessary.
An exam is simple and involves the dentist checking the gums, the tooth alignment and bite, and ensuring no teeth are loose. They also check periodontal pockets to assess overall health and offer knowledgeable advice about the next steps.
Millions of people have outdated metal fillings, also known as amalgam fillings. While the idea of metal fillings seems to make sense, since metal is so strong and likely to support the tooth, the reality is just the opposite. These older materials can be compressed, expand and even fail over time. They demand too much of the tooth be removed, weakening the structure and making it likely to break.
This is why composite fillings are such a superior option. Created of a remarkably strong, tooth-colored material, they are bonded to the tooth, supporting it while also bringing decay and pain to an end.
Of course, the benefits of composite fillings don’t end there. Though they offer a full restoration to a decayed tooth, and perform much better than amalgam fillings, they can also be a form of cosmetic dentistry too. Stained, damaged or teeth with outdated metal fillings can be greatly improved using composite fillings.
Oral Cancer Screenings (VELscope)
Most know that cancer caught in its earliest stages is the easiest to combat and overcome. However, it can be very difficult to detect it early on, and it is a reason that anyone at risk for oral cancer will want to have a screening with each dental exam and cleaning. We suggest twice-annual visits and oral cancer screenings.
However, we also use a remarkable technology that will catch the earliest signs of oral cancer far better than even the most well-trained eye. It is the VELscope and it is an enhanced oral assessment system that uses a wireless device to capture natural tissue fluorescence in order to assess any abnormalities in your mouth.
When our patients have dental exams, they will also be able to have oral cancer screenings. These include head and neck exams and also a look inside of the mouth with the VELscope. In less than four minutes, our dentists and technicians can screen the interior of your mouth for any signs, even the earliest, of changes in the soft tissue of the mouth, catching cancer early.
Most dental patients are not thrilled to discover they require a root canal. Sadly, this remarkably beneficial treatment has earned a very undeserved reputation over the decades. Yet, it allows our team to help you retain an adult tooth, bring pain and discomfort to an end, and to return to your normal pattern of biting, speaking and chewing.
A root canal done with the amazing array of technologies in our office is virtually pain-free. It is no more challenging than a standard dental filling, and ensures that the tooth remains in place and healthy for years, even decades to come.
A root canal is as it sounds, something done to treat infection in the root of a tooth. When decay makes its way through the enamel and into the pulp, it can also travel into one or more of the roots of the tooth. This can lead to infection and even an abscess in the gum tissue. Our dental team will help by ensuring you experience no pain as the infected material is removed, treated and the tooth topped with a new dental crown or strong composite filling.
Don’t dread root canals as they are wonderful opportunities for restoring oral health, function of the tooth and bringing pain to a quick end.
Book Your Appointment Today
Whether it is a cleaning or filling, such treatments stop decay or disease and protect your teeth and gums over the long term. If you wish to visit our general dentist, simply get in touch with us today by calling 830-625-7611 or by visiting our Contact page.