Preventive Care

Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, no matter your age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist, you can help keep your smile bright and healthy for many years to come.

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Prophylaxis – Routine Cleanings

dental prophylaxis

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and improve gum inflammation.  As such, prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for halting the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Periodontal disease and gingivitis occur when bacteria from plaque colonize on the gingival (gum) tissue – either above or below the gum line. These bacteria colonies can cause inflammation and irritation in your gums which lead to gingivitis or even worse periodontitis. Continued bacterial presence begins to systematically destroy gum and bone tissue.

This overtime has a “domino effect” causing gum recession, bone loss around teeth, and can even cause tooth mobility. If left untreated this bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause complications with cardiac, respiratory, and endocrine systems.

Prophylaxis

Why Routine Cleanings Are Important

Prophylaxis is an excellent procedure to help keep the oral cavity in good health and also halt the progression of gum disease.

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A few simple ways that you can prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. Also, be sure to brush the top surface of your tongue; this will remove any extra plaque-causing food particles, and help keep your breath fresh!.
  • Clean between your teeth by flossing at least once a day. You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet, and try to avoid extra-sugary treats. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your smile healthy.
  • Remember to schedule regular checkups with your dentist every six months for professional teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coatings that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your smile.

Brushing Instructions

tooth brushing
Brushing: Step 1

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.

tooth brushing
Brushing: Step 2

Brush gently in a circular motion.

tooth brushing
Brushing: Step 3

Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.

tooth brushing
Brushing: Step 4

Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

Flossing Instructions

Flossing
Flossing: Step 1

Wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers as shown. Most of it should be wrapped around one finger, and the other finger takes it up as the floss is used.

Flossing
Flossing: Step 2

Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide about one inch of floss between your teeth.

flossing
Flossing: Step 3

Holding the floss tightly, gently saw it between your teeth.Then curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and gently slide it beneath your gums.

flossing
Flossing: Step 4

Slide the floss up and down, repeating for each tooth.

Digital X Rays

Dental Xray

Using the most advanced dental technology possible is just as important as staying up-to-date on the latest treatment techniques. Because our practice is dedicated to providing you with the safest and most convenient treatment options available, we utilize advanced digital X-ray technology in our office.

Digital X-rays provide several advanced imaging options designed to save time, provide clearer dental photos, and expose patients to less radiation than traditional X-ray technology.

Our practice is focused on making your dental experience as comfortable as possible. At your next appointment, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Oral Cancer Screening

Dental check up

Our office is not only dedicated to your smile, we’re also dedicated to your overall wellness. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.

We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity.
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
  • A lump, thickening, or rough spot.
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.

Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities.

If we find an area of concern, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back as atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy.

Digital Xrays
prevent oral cancer

Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
  • During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.
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Snoring Prevention

Snoring

While snoring is a common problem for many people, it can also be a sign of other major health complications. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in North America snore while sleeping, which not only affects the quality of sleep of the person snoring, but also the quality of sleep of their loved ones and other family members. Luckily, there is a way to treat chronic snoring.

Effects of Snoring

What causes snoring?

Snoring can be the result of several factors. Typically, snoring is caused by the relaxing of the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth, making the air passage smaller. The decrease in space through the airway makes it harder for each breath to get through, and when it does get through, it moves over the soft tissues in the mouth and throat and causes a vibration that results in the snoring sound. Other causes of snoring may include:

  • Excess body weight.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Certain sleep aides or sedatives.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Mandibular Advancement Device

What is a Mandibular Advancement Device?

If you snore at night, then a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may represent a solution and a better night’s sleep! The MAD is a specially designed dental device that gently helps keep the lower jaw, or mandible, in a forward position, increasing the space between the airway passage and helping you breathe better so you can get a full, quiet night’s sleep.

Some devices also stop the tongue from falling back over your windpipe. Your dentist will fit these special appliances to meet your individual condition.

Mandibular Advancement Device

Is a MAD comfortable?

The answer is simple — YES! A mandibular advancement device is made to be comfortable so that you can sleep without even noticing you’re wearing it. It does not prevent you from breathing with your mouth open and will even eliminate snoring for patients with sinus congestion or allergies. You may experience some slight stiffness of the jaw for the first few mornings after wearing the device, but this feeling is only temporary and will go away after you wake up and remove the device.

To learn more about a mandibular advancement device, contact our practice and schedule an appointment and consultation.

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Here are some of the benefits of prophylaxis:

Tartar removal
Tartar removal

Tartar (calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can cause serious periodontal problems if left untreated.  Even using the best brushing and flossing homecare techniques, it can be impossible to remove debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets.  Our experienced hygienists use special dental equipment and instruments to treat problems such as tartar and plaque buildup.

White teeth
Aesthetics

If you are a tea, coffee, or wine lover most likely your smile contains stains that are discolored or make you feel less confident about your smile. Prophylaxis can rid the teeth of those unsightly stains and return your smile to its former glory.

Fresher breath
Fresher breath

Periodontal disease is often signified by persistent bad breath (halitosis).  Bad breath is generally caused by a combination of chronic bacteria deposits below the gum line, unremoved food debris on the tongue, or periodontal disease.  The removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria noticeably improves breath and alleviates irritation.

Identification of health issues
Identification of health issues

Many health problems first present themselves to the dentist. Since prophylaxis involves a thorough examination of the entire oral cavity, the dentist is able to screen for oral cancer, evaluate the risk of periodontitis, and often spot signs of medical problems like diabetes and kidney problems. Recommendations can also be provided for altering the home care regimen.

What does prophylaxis treatment involve?

Prophylaxis is usually performed in the course of a regular dental visit.
Prophylaxis is generally performed in several stages.

Supragingival cleaning

The hygienist will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and calculus.

Subgingival cleaning

This is the most important step for patients with periodontal disease because the hygienist is able to remove calculus from the gum pockets and beneath the gum line.

Root planing – This is the smoothing of the tooth root by the hygienist to eliminate any remaining bacteria. These bacteria are extremely dangerous to periodontitis sufferers, so eliminating them is one of the top priorities of the dentist.

Prophylaxis is recommended twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be performed every 3-4 months on periodontitis sufferers. Though gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the tools the dentist can use to effectively halt its destructive progress.

Periodontal Maintenance

Dental Consultation

Treatment Options

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options depending on the details of your situation and the severity of the problem. We always start with the least invasive options, which are non-surgical. However, in more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.

Non-Surgical Dentistry Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatment

The first line of defense against gum disease is a unique type of cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” In this procedure, an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can’t reach: under the gum line, on the tooth, and around the root.

Then, the rough surface of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed). This provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.

If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planning may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital.

In order to keep your teeth in good shape and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and have regular dental checkups. Even after a successful scaling and root planning, if you don’t attend to your teeth properly, it’s quite likely that you’ll develop gum disease again.

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Surgical Treatment Options

If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to prevent severe damage and restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery:

Pocket Depth Reduction
Pocket Depth Reduction

In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually, the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed. During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then sew the healthy tissue back into place. Now that the tooth and root are free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and the pockets have been reduced, the gums can reattach to the teeth.

Regeneration
Regeneration

When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, we begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may apply a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease

Soft-Tissue Graft
Soft-Tissue Graft

A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. This can make teeth appear longer and can also create sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or food. It also exposes the tooth to increased damage from gum disease, as bacteria, plaque, and tartar attack the surface of the tooth and the root.
During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sewed to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.

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I’ve been going here for over 10 years, very professional and respectful staff. Dr.Ness is a fantastic dentist, the hygienists are great, and the office staff is very kind

Taylor Beeson

Dr. Ness has been my dentist for the last 5 years and the best I’ve had. Great staff all around, very friendly and helpful. Highly recommend Dr. Ness!

Matt Rogers

I’ve been a patient for more than 20 years, since Shane’s dad ran the practice. Shane and his staff have continued the tradition of personable and professional care. They make my visits carefree and enjoyable. I can’t imagine going to another dentist.

Steve Berry

I had an amazing first visit to this office. Everyone from the front office to the back were incredibly welcoming, kind, and professional. Dr. Ness was very personable, caring and an overall great dentist. So happy I chose Village Dentistry as my new dental office!

Roxy M.

Social distancing and sanitization procedures are implemented and observed by this lovely practice. Dr. Shane Ness is a family friend and a wonderful dentist. I have always enjoyed going to Ness Family Dentistry these past few years, but I am particularly appreciative of his wonderful assistants, admins and hygienists. They truly are the backbone of his practice and Dr. Ness as their leader is as affable and funny as ever.

Janet Ha

I was very happy with my experience at Ness Family Dentistry. The office staff was friendly, my dental hygienist gave me a 5 star cleaning and Dr Ness was very nice and caring about my teeth. I felt very safe having my teeth cleaned during this time with the Coronavirus.

Pam Dunn