You’ve probably heard the saying, “The best defense is a good offense.” When it comes to your oral health, this means keeping your smile whole and healthy is much easier than repairing teeth after they’re damaged. Partnering with patients to maintain their optimal oral health is always our goal at Integrity Dental. Contact our office to find out more about how preventive dentistry can keep your smile whole and healthy for life. We welcome patients from Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield, Kirtland, Shiprock, Durango, Flora Vista, and other Four Corner locations.
The best way to keep patient’s smiles whole and healthy is to combine daily tooth brushing and flossing with regular preventive checkups at Integrity Dental. In the past, patients only sought dental treatment to repair damage or relieve toothache pain. By visiting our office regularly, our team is able to diagnose and treat oral health issues in the earliest stages allowing us to offer the most conservative care. Our goal is to help patients avoid losing time and money on complex restorative care down the road by keeping their smiles whole. Each preventive appointment at our Farmington, NM practice includes digital, diagnostic x-rays, careful visual examination and screening, and a thorough professional teeth cleaning. At the end of each visit, patients sit down with Dr. James Cole to discuss any issues we found, and begin developing a plan for ongoing oral health treatment. At this time, the doctor will be happy to answer questions, and make recommendations for improving your oral health that in turn can affect your overall health.
The most common oral health issues, tooth decay and gum disease, are both caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the surfaces of teeth. Dental sealants are a clear protective covering that seals out plaque and tartar from the surfaces of teeth making it easier for patients to remove plaque each day preventing tooth decay and soft tissue irritation and sores that lead to gum disease. These sealants can be placed quickly and painlessly during any six month dental checkup.
Patients suffering from TMJ dysfunction or bruxism, teeth grinding and clenching, may receive the pain relief and preventive care they need with comfortable, custom-made nightguards. The TMJ are small connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone. When these joints are strained, the result is pain and impeded mobility. Nightguards are crafted to allow the jaw to rest in its ideal position during sleep. This relieves strain on the TMJ reducing pain during the day and restoring comfortable jaw motion. The nightguards also place a physical barrier between teeth to prevent unconscious wear or damage.
We may recommend a number of different treatments for patients suffering from gum disease. In the early stages, more frequent professional cleanings may be adequate to restore oral health, but if the disease is not treated, we are likely to recommend more advanced treatments. Dr. Cole will usually begin by recommending our hygienists performing two deep cleaning services (half the mouth at a time for your comfort): scaling, the removal of plaque and tartar, and root planing, the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup.
Sports related injuries are the leading cause of tooth loss for patients under the age of 25, but we offer a simple preventive solution to protect smiles of any age from the potential damage of athletic injury – mouthguards. These custom crafted guards are much more comfortable and effective than store bought varieties, and athletes are much more likely to wear these sportsguards consistently since they fit better and are less likely to gag the wearer, block airways, or create other issues.
If you play sports, it is important to wear an athletic mouthguard. Even individual sports can pose an injury threat. Studies have shown that sports injuries most often involve the face, and this means your teeth are at risk as well. Athletic mouthguards not only protect your teeth, they can help protect your head as they can cut the rate of concussion significantly. Dr. Cole offers custom athletic mouthguards that will fit like a glove for better protection.
Oral cancer screenings are one of the preventive services we offer. If Dr. Cole finds an area of concern, we can provide a biopsy to determine malignancy. If the findings are positive, Dr. Cole can refer you to a trusted colleague for treatment. It is important to screen for oral cancer and evaluate problems as soon as possible as the early stage disease is very treatable.
If you or a loved one experiences a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact the Integrity Dental team. Whenever possible, we offer patients same day emergency appointments, and if we’re unable to provide dental care immediately, one of our knowledgeable team members will answer questions, walk patients through first aid and pain management, and make sure they are safe until we’re able to treat them in our office. Some of the most common dental emergencies we treat include:
For more advanced concerns that may be life threatening, including severe facial trauma and potentially broken jaw, we encourage patients to proceed to their nearest emergency room. We’ll be happy to help patients in partnership with the emergency medical facility.
One advancement in dentistry that allows us to take general family dentistry to the next level is oral DNA testing. A simple test that requires a swab of saliva can reveal a number of things about your oral health. Oral DNA testing detects the presence of certain bacteria and viruses that are clinically linked to gum disease and oral cancer, and genetic predispositions to periodontal disease. This helps us to better serve you, keeping a close watch at your general family dentistry visits.
Contact our office for your general family dentistry appointment. We’re glad to see your whole family and make sure each smile is healthy and bright. If you are in the nearby communities of Kirtland, Bloomfield, Aztec, and Shiprock, schedule your general family dentistry visit today. We will be happy to try to accommodate your travel needs by reducing the number of appointments or scheduling the whole family on one day, if you live quite a ways out as we have done for many of our patients.