General Dentistry Services in Tigard Oregon
Most of the conditions that negatively affect your smile can be avoided with regular care. Your general dentistry team at Dental Professionals located in Tigard Oregon is committed to answering your questions about proper oral hygiene and providing you with the most advanced preventive dentistry.
The first step to oral health is the one you take at home. To best prevent tooth decay and gum disease, be sure to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss once daily, practice good nutrition, and maintain regular dental checkups.
A few seconds just won’t do! Always brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice per day using an ADA-approved, soft-bristled tooth brush. Electric tooth brushes such as those made by Sonicare or Braun are also effective. Be sure to brush gently with circular motions, and don’t forget your back molars, gums, or tongue—they all need brushing, too.
Brushing can’t always reach the plaque along your gum lines and between teeth, which is why flossing is so important. To get started, unwind about 12 inches of floss and wrap the ends around your index fingers. Pull the floss into a ‘C’ shape around each tooth, sliding it down between the gums as far as is comfortable. Repeat for each tooth, using a clean portion of floss each time. That’s it! In only a minute or two each day, you can eliminate harmful, tooth decay-causing bacteria and drastically increase your oral health.
We all know the importance of brushing and flossing, but even the best at-home care leaves behind plaque and tarter buildup. For a truly healthy smile, a professional dental cleaning and exam every six months is essential. During your routine cleaning, Dr. Houlihan’s team of certified dental hygienists use specialized tools to gently remove buildup that brushing and flossing can’t reach, polish teeth and remove surface stains. He next conducts a thorough exam to evaluate existing dental work such as fillings or crowns to ensure their proper functioning. Finally, Dr. Houlihan assesses your teeth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer and other conditions that may not be felt or noticeable. Provide your teeth the health they deserve with a regular cleaning and exam from Dr. Houlihan.
PERIODONTAL SUPPORTIVE THERAPY
Most Americans experience some form of periodontal disease, often without realizing it. Periodontal disease is chiefly responsible for adult tooth loss, bleeding gums, bad breath and receding gums. In recent years periodontal disease has been contributed to cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections and diabetes. The truth is, periodontal disease is easily prevented with proper hygiene, home care and professional treatment. If you have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal (gum) disease, regularly scheduled supportive therapy is vitally important to your success in management of the disease progression. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Following a course of active periodontal treatment and periodic ongoing care at regularly prescribed intervals is essential. Because periodontal disease or infection can recur, continuous maintenance is absolutely necessary to prevent this periodontal infection from becoming active once again and destroying what healing has occurred.“
The following treatment is included in your periodontal maintenance appointment:
- Evaluation of oral health to detect subtle signs of disease recurrence
- Debridement of teeth and gums (professional cleaning and polishing) as appropriate.
- Antimicrobial therapy to destroy difficult to reach bacteria as deemed necessary by the doctor
- Evaluation of homecare regimes and aids
- Oral health evaluation including oral cancer screening, necessary dental films, and decay
- Treatment recommendations based on individual needs as a result of reviewing your medical and dental histories.
Scientific studies support the belief of experts that the most important aspect of periodontal treatment is the long term maintenance therapy. Individuals vary in their response to periodontal disease and resistance to the disease varies at different times of life. When periodontal disease recurs following treatment, it may do so without signs or symptoms to the patient. Dr. Houlihan and his team of periodontal therapist are well trained in recognizing the very subtle signs that may signal detrimental changes. Ask Dr. Houlihan and your hygienist what interval of care would be in your best interest for lifelong oral health.
WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Have you been putting off their removal? Dr. Houlihan can help. At some point in life, most everyone requires that their wisdom teeth be extracted as a measure of preventative dentistry. A number of painful and lasting problems can occur due to the arrival of wisdom teeth, but with today’s dental technology, this procedure has been improved to maximize your comfort to speed along your recovery time.
In most cases, your recovery from wisdom tooth extraction will only last a few days. Your dental team will provide with you with detailed information on the do’s and don’ts of recovery, and Information on pain management. Finally, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re no longer at risk for the many problems wisdom teeth can present!
Damage to the nerve tissue inside of a tooth sometimes requires a root canal procedure. Despite the tales you may have heard regarding the procedure, most root canals are minimally uncomfortable, especially compared to the pain and discomfort you may be feeling before the procedure. Dr. Houlihan takes advantage of advances in technology and in dental techniques that make root canal procedures more effective while also taking less time.
A root canal involves removing the soft tissue within the tooth – the pulp – when it has become infected and inflamed. Your dentist gently files the infected tissue out of the root canals of the tooth (this is where the procedure gets its name) and fills the void with an inert material. The procedure is completed with the placement of a filling or in most cases, a crown.
TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS
When the decay has been removed from the tooth, it is replaced with “filling” material. In the past, amalgam (silver) fillings were placed into the cleaned out portion of the tooth. However, with advancements in dentistry, you can now have tooth-colored fillings instead of silver fillings resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.
In some cases, injury or decay damages a tooth extensively and an extraction is the proper treatment option to start you on the path toward complete dental health. We can remove your troublesome tooth and give you the treatment options for replacing that tooth and completing your beautiful smile again.
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
Oral cancer affects tens of thousands of Americans every year, and one case out of four is fatal. As with most cancers, the key to beating the disease is catching it before it progresses to a later stage. With early detection from a routine oral cancer screening using Identafi® advanced detection technology, there is a 90% success rate after diagnosis. A trusted dentist like Dr. Houlihan is truly your only line of defense against oral cancer. He and his team of dental professionals are the only ones to regularly evaluate your oral health and to notice any potential abnormalities. Gain the peace of mind that comes with a regular oral cancer screening from Dr. Houlihan. With the help of the latest dental technology, Identafi®, even a diagnosis of oral cancer can be successfully treated through early detection.
Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth, but who don’t remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a night-guard, which protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. Our team takes great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint. Do you suffer from headaches? If so, you may also find that a side benefit of your night-guard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask our team about having a night-guard custom created for you.