At Lady Bird Dental, we provide a wide range of general dentistry services to secure the health of your smile. Whether you are due for a routine cleaning or are in need of a more complex procedure, our team of experienced dental professionals is here to help! We understand that many patients may feel anxious about visiting the dentist, which is why we work to make every appointment as comfortable and stress-free as possible. With state-of-the-art facilities and a commitment to excellence, Lady Bird Dental in Austin, TX is your trusted source for all of your general dental needs.
The Importance of Prevention
The services provided under the broad scope of general dentistry revolve primarily around prevention; preventing disease, decay, and other issues that might require the need for more invasive dental procedures. We realize that many patients may find general visits unnecessary, especially if they care well for their teeth at home, but there are many influential factors that come into play when it comes to oral health—many of which are out of our control. The food and drinks we consume, our personal hygiene habits, our genes, and even the medications we take can contribute to dental problems. This is why general dentistry is so important; by catching problems early on, we can save you time, money, and needless discomfort down the road.
Cleanings & Exams
One of the most basic, and important, services we offer at Lady Bird Dental is professional cleanings and exams.
- During a cleaning, one of our skilled hygienists will remove any plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, as well as polish away any surface stains. This process is important in preventing gum disease and tooth decay and keeping your smile bright. We recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year, or more if necessary.
- During your exam, our dentist will closely examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for any signs of trouble. We will also take x-rays as needed to get a clear picture of your oral health. If any problems are found, we will develop a personalized treatment plan to get your smile back on track.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious problem, but fortunately, it is also highly treatable when caught in its early stages. This is why we offer oral cancer screenings for all of our patients.
Using a combination of visual and physical examinations, we will look for any signs of cancerous or precancerous cells in your mouth. If any are found, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan. The oral cancer screening may involve an inspection of your lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, the roof of the mouth, and throat.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. The fluoride remineralizes teeth that have begun to weaken as a result of abrasive brushing, acidic foods, sugary drinks, and more.
Fluoride treatments are quick and easy and can be done during your regular cleaning appointment. We will simply apply a fluoride gel to your teeth and leave it for a few minutes to allow it to be absorbed. Once the treatment is complete, we will remove any excess and instruct you to wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking. Fluoride treatments are especially important for patients prone to cavities or suffering from tooth sensitivity.
Another way to protect your teeth from decay is with sealants. Sealants are thin, clear coats that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (the molars and premolars). These teeth tend to have deep grooves and pits that can trap food and bacteria, making them more susceptible to decay. The sealants fill in these grooves and pits, creating a smooth surface that is much easier to clean. Sealants are most often used on children, as they are more prone to cavities, but adults can also benefit from this preventive treatment.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to save a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected. The procedure involves removing the damaged or infected tissue from inside the tooth and then cleaning and sealing the remaining structure. Root canal therapy is often necessary when a tooth has been cracked or chipped, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and cause an infection. This treatment can usually be completed in a single appointment, but we may require a second appointment in the future to place a dental crown restoration over the tooth.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth, typically due to severe decay or critical injury. We will only recommend this treatment if it is absolutely necessary, and we will always try to save the tooth first with a conservative treatment like a filling or root canal therapy. If the tooth is too damaged to be saved, we will perform a quick and painless extraction. If necessary, we can also provide you with information about tooth replacement options, such as dental implants or bridges.
Mouthguards are important for patients who participate in contact sports or other activities that put them at risk for dental injuries. A mouthguard is a custom-fit appliance that is worn over the teeth to protect them from being knocked out or fractured; the appliance may also protect against cuts to the lips, gums, and cheeks. We can create a mouthguard for you that is comfortable to wear and will stay in place while you are active. While mouthguards may also be purchased in stores or online, these appliances are not as effective as a custom-made guard, and they may be uncomfortable to wear.
Nightguards are custom-fit appliances that are worn over the teeth to protect them from grinding or clenching during sleep. This habit, known as bruxism, can cause a number of problems—including headaches, jaw pain, and tooth wear. Left untreated, bruxism may even contribute to TMJ disorders or tooth loss. A nightguard creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing them from coming into contact with each other. This allows the muscles and joints to relax, alleviating pain and protecting the teeth from further damage.