Cleanings and Examinations
Even if you adhere to a strict at-home oral hygiene regimen, it is still necessary to undergo regular professional cleanings and examinations to maintain your oral health. The reason for this is that at-home brushing and flossing, though effective, is inadequate to thoroughly clean below the gum line, deep crevices and pockets, and between teeth. So that any potential complications can be addressed as early as possible, we recommend that you visit our Colorado Springs practice every six months for routine dental care. During these appointments, we will examine the gum tissue and teeth, take X-ray images, clean the teeth, and ensure that there are no unwanted developments in your oral health.
Periodontal Treatment and Charting
Periodontal treatment refers to treatment of gum tissue. If left untreated or unmaintained, gum tissue can become infected, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can result in bleeding of the gums, abscesses, mouth sores, tenderness, and eventually, tooth loss. The gums serve as the foundation for the teeth, and the health of the gum tissue has a direct impact on your overall oral health. It is important that you take steps to preserve and maintain the health of your gums through regular professional cleanings and examinations. In severe cases of gum disease, surgical treatments such as flap surgery (during which the gums are separated from the roots of the teeth so that bacteria can be removed) may be necessary to prevent tooth loss.
Root Canal Therapy
If the pulp tissue beneath the tooth becomes infected or inflamed, it can result in severe and constant pain, and if left untreated, tooth loss. As missing teeth can severely impact your overall oral health, due to increased risk of bacterial infection, malocclusion, and impaired function among other things, it is very important that all steps be taken to preserve your natural teeth and prevent tooth loss. Through root canal therapy, we can remove the diseased pulp tissue (tissue residing below the tooth that consists primarily of blood cells and nerve endings), seal the affected area to prevent bacterial encroachment, and help prevent tooth loss. This is accomplished by drilling a small access hole through the affected tooth, removing the pulp, and sealing the tooth with filling material (and a dental crown, if necessary).
You may wonder how soon is too soon to bring your child in for dental care. At our Colorado Springs dental practice, we believe that as soon as the teeth erupt, you should take action to ensure the teeth and gums are cleaned and cared for. As soon as your children are able, they should take it upon themselves to clean and maintain their teeth and gums. Sound oral hygiene habits begin at childhood, and the earlier these habits are practiced, the greater chance your son or daughter has of enjoying sound oral health for a lifetime. Your children can’t do it alone, however. To ensure that their teeth are properly maintained, developing naturally, and free of complications, we urge you to bring your children in for routine examinations and cleanings. We see children of all ages; if you have questions about when you should bring your son or daughter in, please feel free to contact our dental office.
Extractions and Wisdom Teeth Removal
If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged, it can result in severe and constant pain, impair function, and impact the health of surrounding tissue. In severe cases, it may be necessary to remove a tooth if it can’t be salvaged through other means, such as root canal treatment, the placement of a dental crown, or periodontal surgery. In such cases, Dr. Kilcoyne will employ sedation dentistry and localized anesthetic to make the procedure as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We understand the anxiety that our patients can experience undergoing such procedures, and you can rest assured that we will do everything that we can to make the process smooth and easy. Should your wisdom teeth erupt or impact your surrounding teeth, we can remove them on-site, allowing you to have your dental needs met without having to travel to Nashville.
Oral Cancer Screening
Early diagnosis is the single most effective way of treating and preventing cancer. During routine examinations and cleanings at Foothills Family Dentistry, we perform oral cancer screenings on our patients. If tissue appears abnormal or looks conspicuously different, it may be an indicator for the development of cancerous tissues. By detecting and diagnosing cancer early, we can treat it before it has an opportunity to spread throughout the mouth. Though a simple procedure, oral cancer screening has the potential to save your life, and we do not underestimate its importance.
Digital X-rays are superior to traditional X-ray images for a number of reasons: they can be processed faster, they allow for digital archiving and manipulation, and they result in up to 80% less radiation exposure, which is beneficial for the health of the patient. For these reasons and more, we utilize digital X-rays at Foothills Family Dentistry. Our team is committed to providing our patients in Colorado Springs with dental care of the highest caliber, and we accomplish this through expertise, experience, compassion, and state-of-the-art dental technology. The dental field, like the medical field, is constantly evolving, and if we fail to stay abreast of the latest developments within the industry, we are doing our patients a disservice.
Sealants are typically reserved for children and teenagers, who are at increased risk of infection as their teeth are developing. A sealant is a thin plastic shell that is applied to the chewing surface of molars. This shell helps to seal the tooth and prevent bacterial infection by acting as a barrier. The treatment process for sealants is quick and easy, and requires no drilling or surgery of any kind. A gel is applied directly to the teeth to be treated after they have been cleaned and dried; this gel is then hardened over the chewing surface with a specialized dental lamp. Though every case is different, the sealant procedure typically takes no more than an hour, yet the results will last for upwards of 10 years.
Teeth grinding can result in premature dental wear and contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. A night guard is a simple dental appliance that is worn while you sleep to align your jaw and prevent grinding. If you suffer from TMJ disorder or grind your teeth while you sleep, we can take an impression of your teeth, design a mouth guard based on your specific needs, and have it fabricated in our laboratory. Once complete, you will return to our office to have the mouth guard fitted (to ensure a proper fit) and given instructions on its use. Made from flexible plastic and designed to fit flawlessly over your teeth, your night guard will have little to no impact on your day-to-day routine, but will have an appreciable difference on your oral health.
An Etraoral camera with a specialized macro stabilized lenses provides us with a better look at the structure of your teeth and gums. The camera can take excellent pictures without having to be positioned uncomfortably in the mouth; the images it captures are then transmitted to a monitor that allow both Dr. Kilcoyne and yourself to see the teeth and gums with unparalleled clarity. In essence, the Etraoral camera is the magnifying glass of the 21st century. It provides our team with an up-close look of the teeth that allows for greater precision and superior results.
If your tooth has been knocked out, you have experienced a trauma to the mouth, or a dental prosthetic has come loose, please call our office immediately. We will get back to you as soon as possible. In the case of a missing or broken tooth, try to salvage the tooth material that has been knocked out. If you have the tooth or tooth pieces, wash them off and preserve them in water or milk. If your mouth is bleeding as a result of a tooth that has been knocked out, wash your mouth out with warm water and place gauze over the affected area to control bleeding.