Hygienic / Preventative

We’re proud to offer advanced dental hygienic and preventative services such as oral appliances, oral cancer screenings, hygiene therapy (dental cleaning), periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing), and more.

Oral Appliances

Have you ever been told before that you might have TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder? The temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull, can be affected by many of the conditions that affect other joints in the body – including trauma, dislocations, ankylosis, arthritis, developmental problems, and tumor formation. Some of the symptoms associated with TMD can include:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Inability to close the mouth toward the end of the day
  • Hearing loss
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Biting or chewing difficulty often resulting in fatigue
  • Difficulties opening or closing jaw

Many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for TMD.
During all of our initial comprehensive exams, we complete a thorough examination of the TMJ and muscles associated with jaw movements. If a particular symptom is discovered during the examination, we’ll then try to determine what the source is and make a plan for treatment from there.

Oral Cancer Screenings

All the patients at Pleasant Street Dental Associates receive annual oral cancer screenings.
We’ve all heard about people contracting oral cancers due to tobacco use, and it’s true – tobacco in any form can lead to potential forms of oral cancer. However, it’s not the only cause. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer in women, has been linked to oral cancers. What might surprise you about HPV-associated oral cancers is that all ages are at risk of contracting them. That’s why periodic checks will always be routine at Pleasant Street Dental Associates. Risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Tabacco use
  • Biting of cheeks and lips

When you come in for your checkups, our hygienists and doctors will examine cancer vulnerable areas such as the lateral borders of the tongue, insides of the cheeks, and floor of the mouth. Please call our office right away if you discover:

  • A small, eroded area or crust in your mouth
  • An unexplained feeling in the bone of your jaw
  • A sore in your mouth that does not heal properly
  • A growth or thickening of tissue in the mouth or any unusual lump or bump
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth

Hygiene Therapy
(Dental Cleaning)

During your hygiene therapy or dental cleaning the hygienist will remove plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria) and calculus (mineral) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. If the calculus is allowed to accumulate on the teeth, it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of hygiene therapy is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them, allowing you a better chance of keeping your teeth clean during regular home care.

At Pleasant Street Dental the hygienist uses specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. The instruments may include ultrasonic and/or fine hand instruments. Ultrasonic instruments use tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of calculus loose or may be used to flush and irrigate the gums. Fine hand instruments are used to remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. These tools are shaped to match the curves of the teeth.

Once all the surfaces are smooth, your teeth will be gently polished. Polishing is completed with a soft rubber cup and prophylaxis paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material to make them shiny smooth.

Your hygienist may also apply topical fluoride varnish. This is the final part of the dental cleaning. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.

Periodontal Therapy
(Scaling and Root Planing)

Periodontal Therapy, or scaling and root planing, is a procedure done when you have active infection around your gums and teeth called periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases will gradually destroy the bone support around your natural teeth. With periodontal therapy, our goal is to achieve tissue health by stopping the progression of the disease. At Pleasant Street Dental, the hygienists will first provide local anesthesia if desired by the patient for improved comfort. Our hygienist’s goal during periodontal therapy is to remove calculus deposits and bacteria along the surface of the roots typically greater than 4 millimeters below the gum line. Ultrasonic and hand instruments will be used for this procedure.  Upon completion of the therapy, chlorhexidine (prescription mouthwash) is used to irrigate the newly “clean” surfaces along the roots, further reduce bacteria within the pockets creating an ideal environment for tissue to reattach itself to the root of the tooth, therefore reducing the pocket depth.

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE TREATED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

PLEASE CALL US AT 207-725-2062.