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General Dentistry

Regular Dental Exams

Because we are committed to your oral dental care, we recommend a thorough evaluation and cleaning at least every six months.  It is also at this time we will review your oral health goals to make sure that you are meeting them.  Whether you are here for a new smile or here for your regular check up, the team at Iliff Family Dental will help you achieve your oral health goals. 

Most dental problems start small, but rapidly grow. Regular dental exams are the best way to eliminate the growth phase of dental problems and minimize the time and money you spend in the dental chair.

Also, we recognize and follow the guidelines placed by the ADA and the use of fluoride during our dental exams. Topical fluoride has many benefits from strengthening your teeth, helping with sensitivity, and most importantly, it’s a safe and effective way of preventing tooth decay. Because of these benefits for our patients, we advise and recommend fluoride treatment at every dental check-up.

During your regular detnal exams, we will be complete the following:

  • A thorough visual and digital oral cancer screening
  • A series of digital dental x-rays that provide information regarding cavities, condition of existing fillings and condition of bone around the teeth and jaws
  • A periodontal dental exam, which helps the evaluation of your gums,
  • A TMJ and bite evaluation to check for bite problems, work teeth or jaw joint-related issues.
  • A thorough assessment of individual teeth to look for cavities, broken resotrations and cracked teeth.

Teeth Cleaning / Deep Cleanings

During your cleaning, a dental hygienist will carefully examine your teeth, mouth and gums and pre-screen for any signs of decay, periodontal disease or other problems. Our dental hygienists are highly trained and licensed oral-health professionals. They are qualified to provide you with valuable educational, clinical and therapeutic services to enhance your oral and overall health. 

Gum disease, believe it or not, is more common than many people think. The good news is that once treated, gum disease can be prevented by dental cleanings. There are two forms of gum disease:

Gingivitis

The most common between the two gum diseases is called gingivitis. One of the most prominent signs and symptoms of gingivitis is red and inflamed gums with bleeding when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis occurs when there is build-up of plaque on your teeth that you haven’t cleaned in a while.  The great news about gingivitis is that it can be prevented and even reversed by regular dental cleanings. 

When you are seen by our hygienist, they will not only clean the part of the teeth that can be seen, but they will also clean down below the gums to remove any irritants that can cause gingivitis to form. 

Periodontitis

Just like gingivitis, periodontitis has similar signs and symptoms but there is one key difference. Periodontitis is different because where the build-up on your teeth and under the gums, there is also bone loss associated with it. Because of the bone loss and increased build-up under your gums, our hygienist will have to complete a deep cleaning. 

With a deep cleaning, we will use numbing medication to make you as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Once everything has been removed, we would like to see you again in 4-6 weeks to see how your gums are healing.  After the deep cleaning and follow up, it is important to continue to follow up every 3-4 months to get regular dental cleanings and to prevent further bone loss. 

Tooth Fillings

Dental fillings are used in the dental world to prevent the progression of dental decay (cavities). Once the damaged tooth structure is removed, the tooth is cleaned and a white filling is bonded to the tooth. These white fillings are shaped and contoured to mimic how the tooth once was and helps not only with function but also with aesthetics.

Dental fillings are completed to help avoid the need of further treatment on your tooth such as – root canal therapy, dental crown, or even dental extraction. 

Tooth colored filling material is commonly used in Cosmetic Dentistry because they are:

  • Natural looking
  • Mercury-free
  • Strong
  • Biocompatible
  • Provide a better seal

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint (or TMJ), and surrounding facial muscles. TMD can also develop from grinding and clenching teeth. The symptom most people notice is pain in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.

In many cases, it’s impossible to determine exactly what caused the problem to develop.  Some who suffer from it report that they clench their jaw or grind their teeth. However, many people who clench their jaws or grind their teeth never develop any signs of TMD.

For most suffers, the pain is mild or only occurs periodically. If you are experiencing minor, occasional jaw pain, mention it during your appointment with Iliff Family Dental. 

There are many different therapies to treat TMD. Dr. Henes and his staff will show you simple steps to take at home, such as eating soft foods and avoiding extreme jaw movements.

If those home care techniques don’t work, she can treat TMD with occlusal guards, or horseshoe shaped acrylic appliances that are worn over the teeth to protect against damage caused by clenching or grinding. There’s no reason for you to suffer from TMD pain.

Tooth Extractions

As much as we love saving teeth, there comes a time when some teeth can not be saved with treatments. Dr. Henes and his staff are highly experienced and trained in oral surgery procedures that can be completed in-office. 

Teeth might have to be removed for the following reasons:

  • Fractured tooth
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Baby tooth that won't come out
  • Diseased tooth

Rest assured that during the procedure, we will make you as comfortable as possible. When a tooth is extracted, the area around and including the tooth will be given local medication to help numb it.  Once numbed, you shouldn’t feel anything that is sharp throughout the procedure, just a lot of pressure. Once the tooth is removed, the area will be cleaned and irrigated.
Rest assured that during the procedure, we will make you as comfortable as possible. When a tooth is extracted, the area around and including the tooth will be given local medication to help numb it.  Once numbed, you shouldn’t feel anything that is sharp throughout the procedure, just a lot of pressure. Once the tooth is removed, the area will be cleaned and irrigated.

Pediatric Dentistry

Did you know that the American Dental Association recommends children to be seen by a dentist at the age of 1? I know a lot of us think infancy might be too soon, but this visit will help ensure the oral health of your child is off to the right start. At Illiff Family Dental, we love our tiniest patients and go to great lengths to establish trust and security from our very first meeting.

Similar to the American Dental Association, we recommend that the first introductory visit occur at age one. At that time, a complete assessment of your child’s oral health is provided, including evaluation for decay, nutritional dietary concerns related to sugar consumption, and oral home care needs.

We believe these first few appointments are critical to encouraging a positive lifelong attitude toward proper oral health.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatment is a procedure that is designed to treat the nerve of the tooth. These procedures are necessary when the nerve of the tooth becomes inflamed or an infection is present. The tooth’s nerve can become damaged due to deep decay/cavity that can destroy the blood vessels . The pulpal tissue that is removed is a combination of nerve issues and blood vessels. 

To begin the process, the cavity is removed, making sure the tooth can still be saved. Once the poor tooth structure is removed, the soft tissue inside the root is removed. The canals are then disinfected, cleaned, and shaped. After the entire root system is cleaned, the roots are filled and a filling is placed on the tooth. To help ensure the tooth doesn’t fracture or the root canal therapy doesn’t fail, it is recommended to place a crown on the tooth, as well.

Please feel free to ask Dr. Henes or his staff about root canals.

Emergency Dental Care

When you have a dental emergency — whether it’s caused by a sudden accident or chronic disease — your teeth and/or the tissues of the mouth that surround them need to receive proper care right away.  Dr. Henes and his staff have been trained to help you with any dental emergency you might encounter. 

Some Common Dental Emergencies

  • Dental Trauma
  • Tooth Pain
  • Gum Pain

Rest assured whatever your dental emergency is, Iliff Family Dental is waiting to take care of your dental needs.