COVID-19 Safety Message: Visit our practice with confidence – your safety is our top concern.
We’ve reopened in accordance with CDC, O.S.H.A., and State Dental Board guidelines to responsibly resume seeing our patients for regular dental appointments and treatment. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern.
Whether you’re new to the area or have just been putting off a visit to the dentist, our team at Towncare Dental of Naples is ready to help you take charge of your dental health.
The condition of your teeth can affect every aspect of your life. It impacts your physical health, the way you eat, the way you socialize with other, even your self-confidence. But it’s never too late to get your dental health back on track.
We offer a comfortable, nonthreatening environment. If you have good dental health, we will help you to maintain it. If your dental health is poor, we can help you restore your teeth and gums so you can speak with confidence, eat with ease and laugh without feeling embarrassed about the condition of your teeth. Whether it’s been a few months or several years since you last saw a dentist, we can get your smile back on track.
During your first dental exam at Towncare Dental of Naples, your dentist will look for signs of:
- Tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal (gum) disease
Many of our patients have been coming to us for years because they trust us to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy. We look forward to building that same relationship based on trust with you.
Teeth Cleaning in Naples
Most people call our dental office to request an appointment for a professional teeth cleaning. No only do professional cleanings give you a refreshed feeling but they are an important part of your dental health.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that clings to your teeth every time you eat or drink. The bacteria in plaque converts sugars in food and beverages into acids that erode the tooth enamel. This causes tooth decay including cavities, which are literally holes in your teeth. In less than 24 hours, plaque hardens into a substance called calculus, also known as tartar. Calculus is even more difficult to remove from the surface of your teeth.
That’s why dentists stress the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal. Good at-home dental hygiene helps cut down on the formation of plaque and calculus. However, it can’t eliminate all of the plaque and calculus. Only a professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and calculus from the surfaces of the teeth and in hard-to-reach places between the teeth.
People who only need their teeth cleaned above the gum line to remove plaque, calculus and surface stains receive a prophylaxis teeth cleaning. This is also known as a “prophy” or a healthy-mouth cleaning. Dentists recommend a prophy twice a year. This type of teeth cleaning is often covered by dental insurance.
Cleaning Teeth Below the Gum Line
While prophylaxis teeth cleaning removes plaque on the teeth and at the gum line, it does not remove bacteria below the gum line. Just as the bacteria in plaque and calculus decays the surface of your teeth, it can also make its way below the gum line and attack portions of the tooth beneath as well as the gum itself.
This is called periodontal disease, or gum disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. If your gums are red, puffy or tend to bleed when you brush or floss, that’s a sign that you may have bacteria below the gum line that is causing an infection. If the infection is in the early stages, the hygienist can treat it during your hygiene visit by removing bacteria below the gum line.
People who are diagnosed with an active gum infection may require a treatment called scaling & root planning. SRP is a non-surgical treatment that removes bacteria and smooths out exposed root surfaces. The dentist also may apply an antibiotic to kill bacteria. SRP may take more than one office visit to complete. After the initial treatments, the dentist may prescribe a periodontal maintenance routine, including more frequent cleanings, to help manage the disease.
Periodontal disease is very common. Half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amount rises to 70 percent for people over the age of 65.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The same bacteria that attacks the teeth can also attack the ligaments, tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place under the gums. This causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth, creating “pockets” around the tooth where more bacteria can gather.
Often, periodontal disease has no symptoms. In other cases, you may notice blood when you brush or floss your teeth. As the infection becomes worse, you may notice bad breath, the gum line receding or the teeth shifting out of position.
While scaling & root planing and other forms of periodontal treatment remove bacteria, it can’t repair the damage. Periodontal disease is a chronic, systemic disease, similar to other chronic diseases like diabetes. It’s only reversible in the earliest stage. Once it progresses, it can be managed but not reversed.
If it’s more advanced, the dentist may recommend you see gum specialist called a periodontist for treatment.
Bad Breath Management
Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects 25 percent of the U.S. population.
While bad breath can be related to what you ate recently, more often it’s related to what’s happening with the germs in your mouth.
When bacteria causes dental decay, the damaged cells can release an odor. Fortunately, professional teeth cleanings and gum treatment will address these issues.
Following up with the proper at-home dental care, including brushing your teeth after meals, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash, also will help keep bad breath under control.
Oral Cancer Screening
As part of your first visit to our office, you will be offered an oral cancer screening. This is a fast, painless test that allows the dentist to detect signs of oral cancer that are not visible to the naked eye.
Oral cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages, so most people aren’t aware that they have it. By the time symptoms appear, the disease may have spread to another location. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of more commonly known cancers including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer.
We recommend everyone over the age of 18 gets screened. Early detection saves lives.
Teeth Grinding & Night Guards
If you frequently wake up with headaches and a sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep.Teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism, is a common condition that affects up to 40 million Americans. In severe cases, it can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
Teeth grinding is often caused by stress. However, it can also be the result of crooked teeth or a “bad bite.”
In addition to morning headaches and a sore jaw, signs of bruxism include chipped or cracked teeth and tooth sensitivity.
Our dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Call Today to Schedule a Dental Exam
Call our Towncare Dental of Naples at (239) 963-1743 to schedule a convenient day and time for you or a family member to come in for a comprehensive dental exam. We look forward to meeting you and helping you get your smile back on track.