Comprehensive exams are the best way for us to really get to know the state of your oral health when you first come to us, and one of the most effective and important methods we have of keeping up with any changes or problems that may develop while you are a patient at Mooring Dental. Your first comprehensive exam takes longer than you might expect – up to an hour and a half. This is important because your first visit is the baseline against what we compare all your future checkups to, as well as our first opportunity to make sure the foundation of your smile is healthy and sound.
Of course, we examine your teeth, but we also check the health of your oral tissue, looking for periodontal disease, oral cancer, or inflammation, as well as checking your head, neck, sinuses, and jaw. In addition, we can screen you for sleep apnea, and TMJ disorders. We take plenty of time to talk to you, review your medical history, and discuss any new medications or illness, as all of these things can impact your dental health. For your convenience, we keep all of our records electronically for easy access, to show you exactly what we have found during our exams, compare visit to visit, and clearly communicate with you what we feel is needed to get you your healthiest for the long term.
Oral Cancer Screenings
While oral cancer might not be the cancer with the most media coverage, it is one of the deadliest and fastest-growing cancers we have to contend with. In fact, over 49,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral oropharyngeal cancer this year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, and even more, will go undiagnosed.
Why? Early symptoms can be so minor-seeming and subtle, that people easily ignore or overlook them as nothing serious, leading to a death rate for oral cancer that is significantly higher than other cancers, “not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.” That’s why Mooring Dental performs a thorough check of all your soft tissue as well as a lymph check to look for unexplained bleeding, loose teeth, patches of discoloration, sores that won’t heal, pain or difficulty when swallowing, or lumps in your neck or in your mouth. If it has been a while since your last dental checkup, or you feel you may have minor oral symptoms you can’t explain, don’t risk it. Please give us a call to schedule an oral cancer screening today.
Dental x-rays used to be a difficult and bulky procedure – and those old-fashioned, film-based x-rays were, for decades, the only way dentists could see beyond the surface of your mouth. These days, modern dental offices, like Clayton’s own Mooring Dental, use much more advanced methods to detect everything from cavities to bone structure. We use digital and panoramic x-rays as well as the CariVu caries-detection device.
- Carivu uses patented transillumination technology to show even the tiniest caries lesions and cracks, even between teeth and at the gumline
- Digital x-rays allow us to get the sharpest, clearest x-ray images with immediate viewability and storability, while being much better for the environment and significantly reducing our patients’ exposure to radiation
- Panoramic x-rays let us look at your entire head, neck and bone structure when planning for implants, scanning for orthodontic problems, checking on wisdom teeth positioning, or evaluating bone density.
All of this advanced x-ray technology is just one more way we show our patients we care about their health!
You know how great your mouth feels after a good, professional dental cleaning. Your teeth feel sparkling clean, and your whole smile feels fresh and awake. But cleanings aren’t just there for the exhilaration factor. Professional cleanings are one of the most important aspects of your hygiene routine because they clear away all the built-up bacteria – plaque and tartar – that your home dental care just can’t remove. And that’s important for more than just the health of your teeth; it is important for the health of your whole body! A buildup of bacteria on your teeth and below the gum line is the primary cause of gum disease, and gum, or periodontal infections have been linked to everything from bad breath and loose teeth to cardiovascular issues, cancer, and systemic inflammation. That means those regular cleanings are part of a healthy lifestyle to decrease your risk for strokes and heart attacks! What’s more, because we check your oral health during every cleaning, we keep an eye open for signs and symptoms of medical conditions.
To make your professional hygiene visits as comfortable and effective as possible (we really don’t believe cleanings should hurt!), we use ultrasonic scalers to gently remove all tartar and plaque, even between your teeth and under the gumline with soundwaves instead of metal tools. You’ll be amazed at how easy a cleaning can be!
There are so many reasons gum disease can get started. You may have avoided the dentist a little too often because of bad experiences in the past. You may be taking medications or have a condition that causes dry mouth. Your teeth could be crowded causing difficulty in home hygiene. You may smoke or have been a smoker in the past. Or you may simply have a genetic predisposition to periodontal problems. Whatever the cause, periodontal infections put your teeth and your whole health at risk.
To clear away any infection, we use our ultrasonic scaler for deeper scaling and root planing to remove all bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from your teeth and oral tissues. We may also recommend a stepped-up cleaning schedule. If your gum disease is advanced and affecting your teeth and jawbone, we may refer you to a trusted periodontist for more intensive care and treatment.
Every minute of every day, your tooth enamel is under attack from within and without. For example:
- Acid reflux can bathe your teeth in stomach acid with regularity
- Clenching and grinding can wear away at teeth
- Acidic foods and drinks can erode your enamel
- A sugary treat even now and then feeds bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease
That’s why Mooring Dental encourages patients of all ages and stages to take advantage of professional fluoride treatments at every, single visit. Why should only kids have all the tooth protecting benefits that professional fluoride treatments offer? Adults deserve that protection too! Fluoride is an amazing tooth protectant, not only remineralizing teeth to make them stronger and more resistant to decay and damage, but also disrupting acid production. In fact, regular fluoride treatments have been shown to reverse very early decay and help decrease tooth sensitivity, especially at the gumline. It’s easy, fast, and can be done as an adjunct to your regular cleanings. If your insurance doesn’t cover adult-fluoride treatments, don’t worry. We offer cleanings at half price in those cases – that’s how important we think fluoride is to your oral health!
Every smile should be cherished and protected. It’s why Mooring Dental focuses on preventive dentistry including regular fluoride treatments. It’s also why we offer the most advanced wearable dental protection available.
Our super-comfortable night guards help keep your teeth safe from the damaging effects of clenching and grinding by keeping your teeth from wearing down against each other. The protective guard can also help with the side effects of bruxism such as headaches or jaw pain by keeping your jaw in a more relaxed position at night.
For your child’s protection, we also offer the precision-fitted sportsguards recommended by the American Academy of General Dentistry. Unlike over-the-counter, boil-and-bite guards, our dentist-designed guards are specially made for each child. This means they are not only more comfortable, an important factor that encourages wear, they are also much more protective, even against concussions. In fact, according to Dr. Jackson Winters, a pediatric dentist and 28-year veteran of football coaching and officiating, properly made sports mouthguards are just as important as a helmet: “Consumers may believe that today’s advanced helmet design provides sufficient protection, but our research indicates that, when compared to over-the-counter versions, a custom-made, properly fitted mouthguard also is essential to player safety.”
Don’t risk those precious teeth! Ask us about nightguards and sportsguards today!
We understand that, for lots of people, going to the dentist can be challenging. Some people have a hard time holding their mouths open. Others have a strong gag reflex that makes dentistry a misery. Still others have a hard time getting numb. And more people than you might imagine suffer from dental anxiety so severe, it keeps them from getting the dental care they need and deserve. Mooring Dental is here to help with soothing and pain-relieving dental anesthesia options. In addition to our gentle touch, technology that makes every procedure more comfortable, and effective Novocain administration, we offer Nitrous Oxide and oral sedation options to help you relax, rest, and even snooze through any procedure.
- Nitrous Oxide (also referred to as laughing gas for its euphoric effects) has been safely used on both children and adults for decades. It is easily reversible so you can return to work or school after your dentistry.
- Oral sedation is acheived by using a therapeutic dose of an anti-anxiety medication. Patients find it to be super-effective at helping them relax, which also increases the efficacy of Novocaine.
There’s no need to miss out on the smile you should have – ask us about which anesthetic would work best for you.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Do you snore? Do you also wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed? Do you struggle with frequent daytime sleepiness or headaches? It might not be snoring that is disrupting your nights, it could be something much more serious – sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a very common disorder, the most common of which is obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder caused by the tissues in your mouth and throat blocking your airway enough to cause breathing to be labored and often even stop – up to hundreds of times a night. When your breathing stops, your body startles awake, even if you don’t realize it. In addition, the lack of air from breathing difficulty and cessation can lead to oxygen deprivation. This combination of sleep and oxygen loss can lead to very serious dangers and health issues, including:
- Car accidents (driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving while drunk)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Acid reflux
- Erectile dysfunction
and much more.
We can help patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or those who have a difficulty wearing their prescribed CPAP machine with SomnoDent Continuous Open Airway Therapy, by SomnoMed “the world’s leading oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment.” We even offer a take-home sleep study to check the efficacy of your treatment!
Accidents and emergencies can be upsetting. We understand: We see people who are experiencing a dental emergency all the time. Whether you are a current patient or not, if you have a dental emergency, please give us a call. We leave time slots in our schedule everyday for emergencies because we don’t want any of our Clayton friends and neighbors to suffer needlessly or wait any longer than necessary to find relief. If your accident happens after hours or on a weekend or holiday, call our office right away and we will direct you to the best way to get in touch with one of our dentists.
In the meantime, stay calm and assess the situation.
- If you have an emergency that involves trauma to the face or jaw, give us a call, but head straight for the emergency room.
- If a tooth has been knocked out, carefully hold the tooth by the crown and rinse debris off with warm water. Do not touch the root. If it is possible, put the tooth back in its socket, if it is not possible, you can store it in a cup of milk, a container of saliva, or inside your mouth. If the tooth is handled properly and you can be seen in a timely manner, we may be able to replace your tooth.
- If your tooth cracks or fractures, it is important to see us as soon as possible. If the fracture extends into the roots, pain can be severe. Cover the broken area with over-the-counter tooth cement, take a pain reliever, and ice the area.
- If you lose a filling or a crown, do NOT try to glue it back in place. Instead, try to affix it or temporarily seal the area with over-the-counter dental cement, apply some clove oil to ease the pain, and call us right away.
Whatever your emergency, major or minor, we want you to contact us as soon as possible so we can direct you on what to do and the best measures to take to save your tooth or teeth.
Did we mention how much we love technology? Well, it’s worth repeating. Mooring Dental is dedicated to keeping up with the latest dental technology because we are dedicated to the health and comfort of our patients. From cleanings to exams, from pediatric care to advanced restorative dentistry, dental technology increases effectiveness and efficiency while reducing procedure time and pain.
Our technology for prevention and general dentistry includes:
- Intraoral Cameras for use during exams and hygiene. Intraoral cameras are small, pen-shaped devices that allow us to get a highly-magnified view of the surfaces of your teeth and oral tissue. The images are transmitted in full color directly to the computers located in every operatory so you can see exactly what is happening in your mouth up close and personal. Kids and adults alike love this educational tool, and our doctors love it because it lets them see even the farthest reaches of your mouth as clearly as they see the smile on your face.
- Soft Tissue Lasers are an incredible breakthrough for dentistry, allowing us to perform all kinds of procedures so painlessly, we often don’t need to use Novocaine. We use these dental lasers for everything from cold sore or lesion treatment to frenectomies and gum contouring. And because lasers heal as they work, there is no bleeding or need for stitches.
Want to know more about our technology? Give us a call. We love tech talk!