The best way to protect your beautiful smile is by preventing problems before they start. Most of the conditions that negatively affect your smile can be avoided with regular care. Dr. Suzuki and his team are committed to answering your questions about proper hygiene and to providing you with the most advanced preventive dentistry available.
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease or gingivitis) refers to the infection of the supportive tissues of the mouth due to toxic bacteria found in plaque. Many individuals suffer from some degree of gum disease, and if left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, breakdown of the soft tissue in the mouth and jaw, and other significant health problems. We focus on preventive dentistry and assess your periodontal health. If needed, Dr. Suzuki will conduct the appropriate therapy to restore your oral health.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
• Bleeding gums
• Bad breath
• Receding gums
• Loose teeth
• Pus around teeth
• No pain (until it is too late)
Do you know when your child’s dental care should begin? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the appearance of the first baby tooth is a good sign. For most babies, this occurs when they are between six months and one year of age. A simpler way to remember for your child is ― first dental visit by first birthday. It’s important to remember that baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth. If baby teeth are damaged, permanent teeth can grow in out of position, resulting in crowding and/or crookedness.
Damage to the nerve tissue inside of a tooth sometimes requires a root canal procedure. Despite the tales you may have heard regarding the procedure, most root canals are minimally uncomfortable ― especially compared to the pain and discomfort you may be feeling before the procedure. Dr. Suzuki takes advantage of advances in technology and in dental techniques that make root canal procedures more effective, while also taking less time.
A root canal involves removing the soft tissue within the tooth (the pulp) when it has become infected and inflamed. Your dentist gently files the infected tissue out of the root canals of the tooth (this is where the procedure gets its name) and fills the void with an inert material. The procedure is completed with the placement of a filling or, in some cases, a crown.
Are you embarrassed about your smile because of decayed, disfigured, or discolored teeth? If so, you may be a good candidate for composite resins. Composite resins, also known as tooth-colored fillings, offer a non-invasive way to improve your smile. A composite resin is a mixture of microscopic ceramic and glass particles dispersed in a plastic resin that can be bonded to teeth. The material comes in a wide range of shades and can be molded and sculpted to create almost any shape or contour. The fact that the resin is bonded means that a seal is formed to reduce the chance of leakage, which is common with silver fillings. For years, silver-mercury was the primary material used by dentists to fill cavities. Today, tooth-colored restorations are superior, both in appearance and in durability.
Every effort is made to keep all your teeth, as it is always the best and preferred solution. However, in the instance where a tooth cannot be saved, it may be recommended to extract the tooth. This extraction can be done here in our office instead of your being referred to a specialist in the area.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Have you been putting off their removal? If so, Dr. Suzuki can help. At some point in life, many people require the extraction of their wisdom teeth as a measure of preventive dentistry. A number of painful and lasting problems can occur due to the arrival of wisdom teeth, but with today’s dental technology, this procedure has been improved to maximize your comfort and to speed along your recovery time.
Before extracting your wisdom teeth, your dentist will administer an intravenous or local anesthetic based on your own needs and on your patient history. Your dental team will explain the procedure prior to your treatment and will answer any questions you may have. In some cases, the tooth may be impacted which would require your dentist to make an incision to remove the tooth. If this is the case, you will be stitched-up prior to leaving the office.
In most cases, your recovery from wisdom tooth extraction will only last a few days. Your dental team will provide you with detailed information on the do’s and don’ts of recovery, and you will be prescribed medication to manage any pain. Finally, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’re no longer at risk for the many problems wisdom teeth can present.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Dr. Suzuki offers each of his patients routine oral cancer screenings. As your dentist, Dr. Suzuki is the only medical professional in a position to routinely evaluate and detect abnormalities. Early detection is important. There will be 41,000 Americans diagnosed with oral cancer this year, resulting in 12,500 deaths. The death rate from oral cancer is especially high due to late discovery of the disease, and the prognosis is more positive with early detection. A patient who does not seek regular, continuous care from a dental professional is putting their health at risk by delaying a diagnosis in the early stage of oral cancer. Dr. Suzuki and his team are dedicated to providing this potentially life-saving procedure for you.
Oral cancer statistics:
• Deaths due to oral cancer equal one person per hour, 24 hours per day
• Death rate is high due to late diagnoses (not due to difficulty in diagnosing)
• 90% success/cure rate if detected early
• Three times more common than cervical cancer
Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth, but who don’t remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack, and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard, which protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. Dr. Suzuki takes great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint. Do you also suffer from headaches? If you do, you may find that a side benefit of your nightguard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask your dentist about having a nightguard custom created especially for you.
Dental injuries are possible in many sports…even low contact sports. The teeth, jaw, and other oral structures can be injured through accidental collision with either the ball or with another player; or, your child may clench, chip, or crack their teeth on their own during play. A mouthguard prevents such injury. Mouthguards are not just for children with braces or other orthodontics. Dr. Suzuki can customize a mouthguard for you or your child. These are more protective than a generic “boil and bite” mouthguard and will ensure a proper fit.
You don’t have to live with chronic head and neck pain. An NTI is a specialized tension suppression system that involves the creation of a customized mouthpiece worn at night. The mouthpiece prevents jaw clenching and grinding associated with overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve, causing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD), chronic tension headaches, and migraines.