Teeth cleaning (also known as prophylaxis, literally a preventative treatment of a disease) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine toothbrushing.
It is often done by a dental hygienist. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.
Digital x-rays are a fast and comfortable tool we use to assess your dental needs. They’re safe enough to be used during pregnancy, and some studies have found that they emit up to 90% less radiation than conventional x-rays. With no chemical processing needed, digital x-rays are a good choice for you and the environment.
X-rays are commonly used in dental exams of patients of all ages, because many problems with the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen by the naked eye. An x-ray is needed to reveal:
* Decay between teeth or below existing restorations
* Deep cavities
* Infections in the jaw bones
* Deep gum disease
* Abscesses or cysts
* Developmental abnormalities
* Some types of tumors
Like digital x-rays, digital photographs with our intraoral camera are a useful diagnostic and patient education tool. This camera shows you what we see during your exam and helps us guide you through your diagnosis and treatment options.
It also allows us to visualize more and diagnose issues we might not have been able to see without the up-close view that it gives us.
Dental sealants are the most effective way to prevent tooth decay; the next most effective treatment is fluoride. Children and young adults are more prone to tooth decay for several reasons:
• Their food choices — which are not always healthy
• The presence of taste enhancers in the food that they eat
• Brushing & flossing daily are often not among their good habits
Dr. Murphy recommends dental sealants since they are superior in protecting teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. The procedure is simple and pain-free.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay.
Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.
If your jaw aches when you open wide or chew something tough, you could be suffering from TMJ Disorder, or TMD. TMD is a jaw disorder that causes frequent pain in the teeth, jaw, and neck. Other symptoms include chronic headaches, earaches, tooth sensitivity, and persistent jaw clicking or locking.
Dr. Murphy can determine the cause of your TMJ pain by taking x-rays and performing a thorough examination of your bite, jaw joint, and facial muscles. Depending on the cause, she’ll then help you find the treatment plan that’s right for you.
Oral cancer is highly curable when it is caught early enough, so we screen for the warning signs during every routine dental checkup. Digital panoramic x-rays are a very useful screening tool because they allow Dr. Murphy to see possible tumors and bone irregularities that can go unnoticed during a visual exam.
Routine Dental Cleanings & Individual Exams
Digital X-rays & Digital Panoramic X-rays
Dental Sealants & Fluoride Treatments
Custom Nightguards & Athletic Mouthguards
Oral Cancer Screenings