Protecting Your Oral Health for a Lifetime
Our general dentists and team are dedicated to helping patients keep their smiles whole and healthy, from the eruption of the very first tooth to the last. We achieve this goal by partnering with patients to prevent dental decay and damage with regular dental office visits and thorough at-home care. We use high quality diagnostic tools to find and treat oral health concerns in the early stages. Contact Allison Fowler, DDS and our team to find out more or schedule an appointment for preventive dentistry in Park Cities, Dallas, TX with our dental team.
Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings
After daily at-home hygiene, twice a year preventive dental checkups are the most important part of every oral health plan. Our Dallas team takes time with every patient, no matter what their age and stage of dental development, to carefully review their current oral health and create an ongoing treatment plan that meets their needs, schedule, and budget. Every checkup with our team includes five basic components:
- Diagnosis – we use state-of-the-art digital x-rays and intraoral photography to create a complete picture of the internal and external structures of patients’ smiles. Digital x-rays and images can be easily stored, transferred, and reviewed from year to year making them an integral part of the treatment planning process.
- Examination – our team visually examines the patient’s smile, screening for the early warning signs of common oral health concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD), bruxism (unconscious nighttime teeth grinding and clenching), and oral cancer. We also carefully evaluate existing restorations for any signs of damage or wear that may need repair or replacement.
- Cleaning – our skilled hygienists carefully remove plaque and tartar from even the most difficult to access areas of patients’ smiles. While thorough at-home hygiene is essential, these professional cleanings ensure patients’ smiles are completely clean and healthy. Our hygienists are also happy to help patients by answering questions, demonstrating proper at-home care techniques, and recommending professional-grade home hygiene products like Sonicare electric toothbrushes and Antioxidant Oral Gel from Periosciences.
- Consultation – patients sit down, face-to-face with Dr. Fowler to review the results of their diagnostics and examination. The dentist is happy to answer questions, provide treatment options, and help patients feel completely confident in their ongoing care.
- Treatment planning – finally, we create a specific treatment plan for patients. This can be as simple as scheduling the next six-month checkup, applying topical fluoride treatments or dental sealants, or beginning a more complex restorative or cosmetic plan.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is one of the most common oral health concerns in the US. In the earliest stages, gingivitis can easily be treated with more frequent professional cleanings, but left untreated, gum disease progresses into periodontitis, which may lead to severe oral health issues and tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of US adults over the age of 30 suffer from periodontitis. We offer a variety of treatments including scaling and root planing to renew oral health following gum disease.
Digital X-Rays & iTero Digital Impressions
Digital x-rays have completely transformed the way we care for patients’ smiles. Traditional x-rays expose patients to large amounts of radiation, and they require hazardous chemicals during the development process. Physical copies of these x-rays are not always completely clear, and they are difficult to transfer to specialists. Digital x-rays offer much higher definition images that are immediately accessible on our chairside computer monitors where we can zoom in, color code, and otherwise enhance the images to give patients a clear image of the underlying dental structures. Digital x-rays expose patients to less radiation, are immediately transferrable between computers, and can be easily stored and reviewed from year to year. These x-rays also make it possible for our dentists to diagnose oral health issues in earlier stages.
Digital Impressions using the iTero system are another technological innovation that has significantly improved treatment planning precision and reduced time to completion. Traditional bite impressions require patients to bite down on putty that captures the pits and grooves in the biting surfaces of teeth as well as the overall shape of patients’ bites. These impressions are essential to dental labs where restorations and cosmetic solutions are crafted. Digital impressions offer labs a more precise image of patients’ bites, and these digital impressions are immediately available. Patients enjoy the iTero impression system because they don’t have to bite down on the poor-tasting impression putty and the fit of the restorations, like crowns, is much more precise.
Sealants, as the name suggests, coat teeth to seal out bacteria, plaque, and tartar to prevent decay. This effective preventive dentistry service can be completed during any six-month checkup, and, with proper care, sealants remain intact protecting smiles for years. The process is simple. After patients’ professional teeth cleanings, we apply a thin coat of liquid sealant and harden it into position over teeth with a curing light. Once the sealant is in place, it is invisible to the naked eye.
Bruxism Nightguards & Occlusal Splints
Occlusal splints are effective in treating a number of common oral health concerns including temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) and bruxism, or unconscious teeth grinding and clenching. Most patients experience bruxism while they’re sleeping, but our occlusal splints protect patients’ teeth from the potential damage and wear of unconscious teeth grinding and clenching. Over years of untreated grinding and clenching, patients may also experience TMD, which is strain or damage to the joints connecting the jaw and skull. TMD may be treated with a special type of nightguard that repositions the jaw so teeth rest together comfortably, reducing strain on the TMJ and relieving the associated jaw pain and discomfort.
Sleep Apnea Therapy
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the periodic cessation of breathing during sleep, visiting the dentist may not be your first thought, but in many cases, a compact, comfortable oral appliance is the best option to keep your airway clear and allow you to sleep soundly through the night. Our oral appliance shifts the jaw forward, keeping the airway open. When worn every night, patients may begin to see a dramatic improvement in the quality of their sleep almost immediately. Many patients prefer wearing our oral appliance instead of a CPAP machine. We partner with a pulmonologist who is board-certified in sleep medicine to diagnose and treat sleep apnea. You can even do an at-home sleep study in the comfort of your own bed!
If you experience severe dental anxiety, are unable to get numb with local anesthesia alone, or want to complete multiple procedures in a single visit, we offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide provides immediate relaxation and pain relief that wears away quickly, allowing patients to drive themselves to and from their appointment and resume regular daily activities almost immediately. Oral conscious sedation offers an even deeper relaxation, making it an ideal option for our extremely anxious patients. A trusted friend or family member should drive these patients to and from our dental office.