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Whether you are seeking a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning or need more extensive dental services to restore your smile and improve your dental health, our team at Dental Associates of Hollywood can help.
There’s no need to be embarrassed if it’s been years since your last dental visit. Our foremost goal is to help you resolve any problems you might be having with your teeth and allow you to eat, speak and smile with confidence.
During your initial visit to Dental Associates of Hollywood, we will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
We understand that no one enjoys visiting the dentist so we take pains to ensure you are comfortable and feel free to ask questions. Many patients have been coming to us for years because they know they can trust us to offer the latest treatments and care to maintain their dental health. We are anxious to develop the same trusting relationship with you.
Teeth Cleaning in Hollywood
Most of the calls we receive at Dental Associates of Hollywood are from people wishing to have their teeth cleaned. Professional teeth cleanings go beyond vanity. Their purpose is to remove plaque and calculus from the surface of your teeth that can cause cavities.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that is left on your teeth after every meal. This bacteria converts the sugars in food and drinks into acids that erode the protective enamel of your teeth. This erosion process can cause cavities, which are literally holes in your teeth.
Your mother was right to encourage you to stay away from candy and sugar-filled soft drinks and to brush and floss after every meal. Regular oral hygiene helps to prevent plaque buildup. However, even the most diligent home regimen can’t eliminate all of the plaque on your teeth. In less than 24 hours, plaque residue that remains after brushing can harden into calculus, also known as tartar. Professional cleanings remove the plaque and tartar on the surface of teeth and those elusive places in between your teeth.
While routine professional cleanings can remove plaque and calculus from the surface of your teeth, harmful bacteria also can make its way to those hidden places beneath the gum line, causing periodontal, or gum, disease.
Gingivitis is the first stage and only reversible stage of gum disease. It often has no symptoms. The first sign that you may have gingivitis is red and swollen gums or gums that bleed after brushing and flossing.
Our hygienist is able to treat this early stage of gum disease. However, if the disease is more advanced, the dentist may recommend a visit to a gum specialist called a periodontist.
Our office offers various types of professional teeth cleanings based on an assessment of the patient’s teeth and gums:
- Prophylaxis: Also called a “prophy,” a prophylaxis cleaning is for patients who only need plaque, calculus and surface stains removed from the visible surfaces of their teeth. This is the type of cleaning most often covered by dental insurance.
- Gingivitis Therapy: At the first sign of gingivitis, our hygienist or dentist will offer treatments to remove the bacteria-causing plaque that has collected below the gum line.
- Scaling & Root Planing: For more advanced cases of gum disease, our dentist may recommend a non-surgical treatment called scaling & root planing. SRP removes bacteria beneath the gums and smooths out the surfaces of the roots that become pitted when bacteria attacks them. This procedure may take more than one visit to the dental office and may include the application of antibiotics to kill the offending bacteria. Our dentist also may recommend more frequent cleanings to manage the gum disease.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
If you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you’re in good company. Half of all Americans over the age of 30 have some form of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This figures jumps to 70 percent for Americans over the age of 65.
The disease can ultimately result in the loss of multiple or all of your teeth because the same bacteria that breaks down sugar to create acids that attach the enamel can also attack the tissue and bone beneath the gums. As a result, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and allow the formation of pockets of bacteria around the base of the teeth and the roots.
In addition to swollen and bleeding gums after brushing and flossing, other common indications of gum disease are bad breath, receding gum lines and shifting teeth.
While scaling & root planing and other periodontal treatments can remove the bacteria and halt the progress of the disease, these treatments cannot repair the damage that has already occurred. Periodontal disease is a chronic, systemic disease that causes irreversible damage. However, our dentist and hygienist at Dental Associates of Hollywood can help you manage your periodontal disease.
Bad Breath Management
It may not be that garlic pasta you ate for lunch that is causing your bad breath. Bad breath is more commonly caused by the same bacteria in your mouth that is decaying your teeth. The cells damaged by tooth decay release an odor known as halitosis. Halitosis affects 25 percent of Americans.
Professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment along with regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouth wash can help manage your bad breath.
Oral Cancer Screening
It may not get the publicity that other types of cancers receive, but oral cancer is just as deadly as many other forms of cancer. And it rarely exhibits any symptoms until it’s too late.
As part of your first visit to our office, you will be offered an oral cancer screening, an easy, painless test used to detect signs of oral cancer that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
By the time oral cancer symptoms, such as a lump, are visible, the cancer may have advanced to later stages and spread to other locations. The death rate for oral cancer is actually higher than more familiar cancers such as cervical cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer. Early detection is key. Our professionals recommend that everyone over the age of 18 get screened.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
If you wake up with headaches and a sore jaw or notice a chipped or cracked tooth, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep.
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, affects up to 40 million Americans. It’s often caused by stress but can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.”
During your visit to our Dental Associates of Hollywood, our dentist will look for symptoms of bruxism that can wear down the enamel of your teeth and leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria. If it’s determined that you grind your teeth, you may be fitted with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
We look forward to helping you get your dental health back on track. Call Dental Associates of Hollywood and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive exam. We offer convenient days and times for your exam.