Dental Exam & Digital X-Rays
Next to brushing and flossing daily, scheduling regular dental exams and x-rays ranks as a vitally important part of maintaining your oral health. During each exam, Sonora, California Dentist Dr. Berger, and his staff examine the health of your teeth and gums in order to spot any early signs of gum disease or decay. Each exam also includes an oral cancer screening, which can greatly reduce your risk for the disease. When caught early, Dr. Berger can easily reverse the effects of oral disease before any long-term damage can occur.
While you can remove most of the dental plaque and lingering food particles that remain in the mouth after eating by brushing and flossing, certain areas of your mouth cannot be reached with floss or a toothbrush alone. Undergoing a professional cleaning from our staff of registered and highly experienced dental hygienists can help ensure the removal of built-up plaque and calculus deposits from hard-to-reach places in your mouth, so you can enjoy the best oral health and freshest breath possible.
Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to the acids produced by plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride can also reverse the early effects of decay when properly applied through the process of remineralization, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.
A clear, liquid-plastic material, dental sealants are placed on the chewing surface of the back molars. Sealants bond into the grooves and depressions of teeth to protect them from the effects of decay and development of cavities. While young children and teens usually receive dental sealants, adults can use them as well.
Sonora Dentist can apply dental sealants to a patient’s teeth in just one treatment session. In most instances, sealants only take a few minutes to apply, and will generally last for several years before a reapplication is needed.
Using mouthguards while playing sports or participating in athletic activities can help prevent dental damage. Because accidents happen without warning during any physical activity, the use of mouthguards during sports helps to reduce the risk of suffering a mouth-related injury to your tongue, lips, and soft tissues of the mouth. Mouthguards also help you avoid broken or chipped teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, and even tooth loss.
Patients who suffer from grinding their teeth at night can also benefit from wearing a mouthguard while they sleep. When left untreated, tooth grinding – a condition referred to as bruxism – can cause a variety of oral health problems, including jaw pain, chipped or cracked teeth, headaches, and ear and neck aches. If you suspect that you suffer from tooth grinding, This premier Sonora dentist can diagnosis whether your condition is related to another medical issue and which course of treatment is right for you.
An advanced form of gum disease, the periodontal disease attacks the underlying tissue and bone structure that holds your teeth into position. If left untreated, periodontal disease can erode away the foundation of your teeth, by destroying the delicate roots at the center of a tooth and surrounding bone. In advanced cases of periodontal disease, Dr. Berger may not be able to save the tooth and need to pull it in order to prevent further damage from occurring. Due to the severe long-term effects, periodontal disease ranks as the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.
Periodontal disease and tooth decay are both caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky combination of bacteria and lingering food particles that appears as a yellowish film on your teeth. The bacteria found in plaque irritates delicate gum tissue, causing swelling, redness, and bleeding after brushing or flossing. Prolonged irritation causes gum tissue to move away from the base of your teeth, creating small pockets where bacteria can begin to pool. Once located below the gum line, periodontal disease progresses until the bone and tissue that hold your teeth into place begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to tooth loss.
Scaling and root planing are commonly used to treat periodontal disease. A deep-cleaning, non-surgical procedure, scaling allows Dr. Berger to remove plaque and tartar that has built up below the gum line, while planing removes rough spots on a tooth’s roots. Smoothing out rough spots helps to remove plaque and bacteria to provide a clean surface of gums to reattach to the base of a tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal is a treatment method used to save and repair a tooth that has become infected or badly decayed. During the procedure, Dr. Berger removes the pulp and nerve from the center of a tooth, which is then cleaned and sealed. Without a root canal, the tissue that surrounds the tooth will become infected and may lead to the formation of an abscess.
While useful, the nerve of a tooth is not critically important to the health and function of a tooth once it has emerged through the gum line. The only function a nerve serves after a tooth has fully formed is to provide the sensation of hot and cold when eating and drinking. Having the nerve removed from a tooth will not negatively impact its daily function.