Preventive dental care is extremely important in maintaining a healthy mouth and beautiful teeth. Having regular preventive care is the best way to make sure your teeth last your enitre lifetime. Preventive dental saves money by helping you avoid having to undergo major dental procedures because problems will be caught early. Preventative actions keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthier. On your own you can regularly brush and floss your teeth as well as clean your tongue to keep your smile bright and healthy between visits to the dentist.
Scheduling regular dental check ups with Maple Brook Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Milford is vital so that anything problema can be found early and any tooth decay can be prevented if possible. Parents should teach their children at an early age how to take care of their teeth and get them used to visiting the dentist on a regular basis. This will allow Maple Brook Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to find any potential problems and take care of them early so that children and teens can develop a beautiful smile and have healthy teeth and gums as they grow into adulthood.
Prophylaxis consists of a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. This is a preventive measure to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. The procedure also involves a thorough teeth cleaning removing tartar build up in hard to reach areas of your mouth. The latest equipment is used to provide scaling, polishing and debridement when needed. Our Milford dentist recommends very strongly that patients have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
A dental sealant is a very thin invisible plastic coating applied on the grooves on the surface of the back teeth where chewing occurs. This sealant protects them from decay. Some teeth have very deep crevices and grooves, which tend to collect germs and food particles unless they’ve been covered with a sealant. Most kids and teenagers who get cavities at an early age get them because of these food particles sticking to the surface in areas that are hard to clean.
When our dentist in Milford applies the dental sealant it takes very little time, is easy and pain free. First the tooth is thoroughly cleaned then a gel is applied on the chewing surface of the tooth for just a few seconds. The tooth is washed and dried before the sealant is simply painted on the surface of the tooth. To help the sealant to harden a light is shined on it. The result is a shield on the tooth that protects it.
Fluoride is a natural mineral existing in food and water. Fluoride treatments help in the prevention of tooth decay as well as protecting the surface enamel of the teeth. Maple Brook Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers fluoride treatments as part of providing excellent dental care for our patients. The fluoride treatments carried out in our dental office in Milford contain a high concentration of fluoride to make it more effective in fighting decay and in strengthening the enamel.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy or endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits. Maple Brook Family and Cosmetic Dentistry examines and x-rays the tooth then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth gets numb a protective sheet is put over the area to isolate saliva from the tooth during the procedure.
Then an opening in the crown is made to clean up the pulp, from the pulp chamber and root canals, and to shape the space for filling it.
After the space is cleaned the root canals are filled with biocompatible material. A gutta percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canal. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening.
The patient will eventually have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function. If the tooth lacks sufficient structure a post may be put inside for restoration.
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which is the jaw joint. It is located just anterior to the ear and connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. Problems with the joint, referred to as TMD or temporomandibular disorder, affect many people in the United States. TMD affects more women than men.
Signs and Symptoms
Sore or tight muscles of mastication (muscles used to chew)
Jaw locking open or closed
Clicking or popping of joint when opening or closing mouth
Limited opening of mouth
Pain when chewing
Palpate muscles of mastication (chewing muscles)
Palpate joint (check for clicking, popping, grating)
Joint Loading test
A TMJ screening is done routinely with check-up exam. We perform the complete TMJ exam on patients who suffer from TMD symptoms.
Treatment is decided upon on a case by case basis but may include one or more of the following:
Occlusal equilibration (adjusting bite) after a thorough occlusal evaluation
Oral Cancer Screening
Early detection is the best way to combat any form of cancer and oral cancer is no different. Diagnosing oral cancer through regular screenings is key to preventing and effectively treating the condition. Our goal is to find oral, neck and head cancers as soon as possible when patients come in with symptoms of bleeding, pain, dysphagia or otalgia. Our dentist can carefully examine the mouth and neck, which usually only takes a few minutes. This short exam is critical to the prevention, treatment and cure of early stage oral cancer.
About 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Only 57% of those will be alive in 5 years. The reason that oral cancer has such a low survival rate is due to it being diagnosed in late stages. It is usually found after it has metastasized. This is not because it is difficult to find but because people are not being checked for it.
You are the most important factor in early detection of oral cancer. Although we screen for cancer when you have your teeth cleaned or when you come in for a complete exam, sometimes you will notice changes in between visits which should be evaluated.
Signs and Symptoms
Things to look for at home
Sore that doesn't heal in 2-3 weeks
Red, white or blue patch
Lump or thickening in cheek
Numbness in mouth that didn't used to be there
Swelling that causes dentures to fit poorly (not to be confused with a denture sore)
These symptoms could be caused by problems which are less serious but should be checked to rule out oral cancer.
Alcohol and tobacco use
Human Papilloma Virus
Unknown (5%) -- Genetics suspected
Historically, nearly 75 percent of oral cancer was related to alcohol and tobacco use and was found in the 50+ age group. Recently, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has started to change the trend. Younger, non-smokers are the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients. This means that people ages 20 and up are at risk even if they don't smoke.
Oral Cancer Screening
Check face for assymetry, swelling, discoloration, ulceration
Palpate lymphatic chains
Evaluate lips (inside and out)
Evaluate cheeks (inside and out)
Evaluate tongue (both sides, and underneath)
Evaluate floor of mouth
Evaluate soft palate
In need of immediate care?
We provide emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call us at our office 603-673-0710
Maple Brook Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
36 Savage Road
Milford, NH 03055