Finding the right dental office for you can be a difficult task. You need a dentist who can help with all your dental needs, from regular cleanings to restorations to cosmetic dentistry. If you have children, you may also want your kids to be able to visit the same dentist as you. At the same time, it’s crucial that you find a dentist who listens and addresses your concerns.
At Great Care Family Dentistry, we work hard to make our office welcoming to everyone, and to provide high-quality dental care for the whole family. Here are some of the ways we can help you:
Preventive Care from a Dentist in Lawrenceville
Getting your teeth cleaned may not be at the top of your list of priorities. We understand – most people have busy lives, and if your teeth aren’t hurting, you may not feel an urgent need to make an appointment. But putting off preventive care like teeth cleaning and exams increases the chances that you’ll need more extensive dental work later on, so we encourage you to schedule your next cleaning soon.
How Do Regular Cleanings Help Prevent Tooth Decay?
There are two major ways that cleanings help to head off decay and other difficulties. First, regular cleanings interrupt the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria that attaches to teeth. It isn’t usually visible, but you can often feel it as a film or coating if it’s been a while since you last brushed your teeth. These bacteria produce acids that wear on the tooth enamel and may eventually lead to cavities. Brushing helps to remove plaque, but sometimes it may continue to build in areas that are hard to reach, or it might collect faster than you can brush it off. Sometimes plaque hardens into tartar, a yellowish film that’s even more difficult to remove.
That’s where regular cleanings come in. We recommend having your teeth cleaned every six months, and most dental insurance policies will cover two cleanings a year. When you get your teeth cleaned, our hygienist carefully scrapes the plaque and tartar off each tooth, then polishes them. This helps to interfere with the process of bacteria wearing down the enamel and causing cavities.
The other way that cleanings help you is the exam that we do when you come in for a cleaning. We will take X-rays once a year and examine your teeth twice a year to look for any small cavities or worn areas of the enamel. When identified early, cavities are very simple and inexpensive to treat. However, if they go untreated, they may eventually cause an abscessed or infected tooth, at which point you will most likely need a root canal. By then, you will probably be in a lot of pain. As a result, getting regular cleanings can help you prevent little problems from turning into big problems. We also screen for oral cancer, which is easier to treat when caught early.
Finding a Dentist Office in Lawrenceville for Restorative Work
We hope to prevent as many dental difficulties as possible, but when you do have a problem, you need a dentist you can trust to treat a wide variety of issues. At Great Care Family Dentistry, we can assist you with everything from small fillings to root canals, extractions, and dental implants.
A filling is the simplest type of restorative work. Unless they are very large, most cavities aren’t painful (although the tooth may become sensitive to sweet foods). When we find a cavity, we’ll numb the area with a local anesthetic, then drill away the decayed area. Once the damaged enamel is gone, we replace it with a filling, which protects the inside of the tooth from bacteria and decay. Most fillings are made of composite resin and are selected in a shade that matches your teeth, but metal amalgam fillings are also available.
Fillings aren’t ideal for every kind of tooth damage. If your tooth is significantly chipped or cracked, or simply worn down from use, it may have sustained more damage than a filling can reasonably fix. Additionally, if you’ve had multiple fillings in one tooth, sometimes it may not be practical to add more. In these situations, a crown may be the best option to protect the tooth while simultaneously improving its appearance.
The crown process starts similarly to the filling process. We’ll drill through any decayed areas, then file down the tooth to allow room for the crown. Next, we’ll make a mold of your teeth and give it to the dental lab that will build the crown. You’ll go home with a temporary crown, and in a few weeks, we’ll replace it with a permanent crown, which can be adjusted if the fit isn’t ideal.
Brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings all greatly reduce the risk of decay reaching the inner core of a tooth and causing infection and inflammation. However, in some cases, this can still happen. Either a cavity forms and the decay quickly eats through the outer layers of enamel, or bacteria may leach in through a chip or crack in the tooth that you may not even have noticed. Sometimes an injury to the tooth or mouth can also cause inflammation inside the tooth.
Often this results in irreversible pulpitis, where the pulp inside the tooth is inflamed, and the nerve begins to die. This process is usually very painful, and the only way to save the tooth is to perform a root canal. In this procedure, we clean out all the infected pulp and reshape the root canal, then we put in a temporary filling and proceed with the steps to build a crown. The crown is necessary because, after a root canal, the tooth becomes brittle and is vulnerable to damage.
Extractions and Dental Implants
Keeping your natural teeth is usually the goal with restorative work, as it prevents problems with chewing, your bite, and sometimes even speech. But in some situations, it just isn’t an option. If the tooth is too diseased or damaged to be treated with a root canal, or damaged in a way that a crown can’t help with (such as damage below the gum line), extraction may be the only option left.
No one likes the idea of having a tooth removed, but we make the process as painless as possible. We’ll thoroughly numb the area, and we also offer several types of sedation if you feel this would be helpful. After removing the tooth from the socket, we’ll pack it up with gauze and give you instructions on aftercare. Most people recover within a few days, but you should at least take the day of the appointment off so you can go home and rest afterward.
Following an extraction, you may wonder what to do about the gap or hole in the gums left behind. We can assist you with multiple cosmetic improvements, including removable or permanent bridges and dental implants. Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implantation, so we will review your medical history and the time commitment to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Sometimes the reason for restoration is that you simply don’t like how some aspect of your mouth looks. You may even cut down on smiling because of it. At Great Care Family Dentistry, we want you to be proud of your smile, and we’ll work to help you get there. Cosmetic services include tooth whitening, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns, gum contouring, and tooth contouring.
Dentistry for Kids
Children need regular cleanings and exams every bit as much as adults do. Your child should have their first dental exam around the age of 12 months. Starting visits at this age helps your child to see that dental care isn’t scary and that the dentist’s office can even be a fun place to visit. Our staff takes extra time to make children comfortable, and if your child needs restorative work, we offer sedation for kids as well.
Meet Your New Family Dentist in Lawrenceville
If you’re ready to get started with regular preventive care for yourself or your family, please contact Great Care Family Dentistry to set up an appointment today. Our administrative staff is ready to assist you with insurance questions or to schedule your first appointment.