If you want to make sure your smile is whole and healthy for your entire lifetime, preventive dental care is key. In combination with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings are essential. At Smiles in Springfield, our dentist and team members are your partners in maintaining your healthiest smiles, and we welcome patients of all ages to visit our Springfield, VA dental office. Contact us to find out more or schedule an appointment with our team.
As part of your regular dental care to maintain smile health, our team recommends you bring the family to our office at least every six month. These twice a year dental checkups include a number of essential components that allow our team to work with you to keep your smile whole and healthy. We’ll begin by evaluating your smile, looking for warning signs of dental decay, gum disease, TMJ dysfunction, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), and oral cancer. A skilled hygienist will carefully clean your teeth, evaluate your current oral hygiene plan, and work with you to ensure you’re getting the most from your at-home hygiene. Before you leave, the dentist will review our findings with you, answer any questions you may have, and schedule appointments for additional treatments as necessary. Remember, we are your partners in ensuring the lifelong health of your smile, so never hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns during your visits.
We are happy to welcome patients of all ages to our Springfield, VA dentistry office. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for children, we would be honored to offer children’s dental care along with your own treatments in the same, convenient office. We may even be able to schedule a block of appointments to see your family on the same day for maximal convenience. Like any adult patient, we treat children on a case by case basis and create a personalized treatment plan to meet their unique oral health and behavioral needs, and we offer a variety of treatments that are typically geared towards younger patients including dental sealants and wisdom tooth extractions. However, the overarching goal of children’s dentistry is to create a positive relationship with dental care for your child. We want every young patient we see to grow up loving their smile and looking forward to visiting our team.
Dental sealants create a clear coat between tooth enamel and the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that may weaken the dental structures. This is an excellent preventive dentistry option for kids who are still learning to care for their oral health, adults who struggle with frequent tooth decay, or any patient who has deep pits and grooves in their teeth that make it possible for bacteria to accumulate. We can apply sealants as part of any dental checkup. We simply paint the liquid sealant on the surfaces of teeth and use a curing light to harden the sealant into position.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a common oral health condition that affects millions of US adults each year. In fact, studies indicate as much as 80% of adults over the age of 35 have some forms of periodontal disease, either the milder gingivitis or more advanced periodontitis. We screen for gum disease during every dental checkup, but if for any reason you do experience periodontal disease, we offer a variety of treatments to renew your oral health and prevent additional damage. We’ll begin by scheduling more frequent professional teeth cleanings to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. If your gum disease continues to advance, we may need to recommend scaling and root planing. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque and tartar, and root planing is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future plaque and tartar buildup. Following your scaling and root planing appointment, we will likely also encourage you to visit our office at least three times a year for professional deep cleanings.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the small connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone. When these joints are strained or used excessively, the result can be TMJ dysfunction or TMD. When this occurs, patients may experience a number of adverse oral health effects including:
If you notice any combination of these side effects, we encourage you to let us know right away. We’ll evaluate your jaw for signs of TMD during your dental checkups, but we may not notice your condition unless you let us know about any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. If we diagnose your condition as TMD, we can offer a variety of treatments to renew your oral health, relive pain, and renew full jaw motion. Treatment could include at-home stretching exercises, orthodontic interventions, or wearing nightguards to reposition the jaws into a more comfortable resting place during sleep.
If you grind or clench your teeth at night, please let us know right away. You may not know it, but nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, can cause significant dental wear or damage. That’s why we recommend patients who grind and clench their teeth wear a custom crafted oral appliance to place a barrier between teeth to protect them from damage or wear. Unlike store bought guards that are one size fits all, these custom oral appliances offer improved comfort and protection.
Oral cancer can affect any one, and the vast majority of patients who are diagnosed each year do not live more than five years beyond their original diagnosis. Earlier diagnosis may be the best way to decrease the number of annual oral cancer related deaths. That’s why we include a comprehensive oral cancer screening as part of every six month checkup in our office. We examine the oral and facial structures looking for lumps, discoloration, and other early warning signs of oral cancer.
Fluoride is an element necessary to the development of strong, healthy teeth. As teeth develop below the gums, ingested fluoride received through supplements or tap waters is necessary, but once teeth erupt from the gum line, topical fluoride is essential. In addition to daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, patients may also need professional grade topical fluoride treatments during their regular appointments in order to maintain the density of their tooth enamel.
For those patients who don’t achieve adequate strength and fortification from store bought fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses, we may recommend a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash. Our hygienists or Dr. Tran will be happy to talk to you about your at-home oral hygiene routine to help you maximize this daily care. If we find you’d benefit from a more advanced hygiene product, we’ll help you find the right option for your unique oral health situation.