Cleaning & Prevention

The dentists and staff at High Mesa Dental Arts are proficient in the latest dental technology and procedures, with specialized expertise in family practice and geriatric care. Our staff is experienced at effectively using gentle dentistry, with special attention to dental phobias. High Mesa Dental Arts also recognizes that building patient relationships and focusing on how the entire team treats our patients is just as important as our high level of technical ability. The dentists and hygienists at High Mesa Dental Arts work together with each patient to establish a program of regular dental care for a healthy, confident, beautiful smile, to preserve the natural teeth and prevent the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental disease and conditions.

Please click on a link below for more information.

You will find, with regular annual or bi-annual visits to our office, that High Mesa Dental Arts employs a model of excellence in every area of the dental practices, incorporating the latest in dentistry technology and expertise, with a welcoming staff and practice environment. Our dentists and hygienists provide personal individualized preventative dentistry, which begins with your routine dental exam.

A comprehensive dental exam at regular dental check-ups will be performed by your dentist and hygienist, and will include the following:


Gum disease evaluation

  • The gum and bone around the teeth are checked for any signs of periodontal disease.


Diagnostic x-ray examination

  • Depending on the individual patient’s needs, x-rays may be recommended based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease. These help determine tooth and root positions, as well as being essential in detecting whether there are anomalies such as decay, abscesses, tumors, cysts, or bone loss.
  • Some people need x-rays every 6 months, and others my get x-rays only every 2 years, but the norm is once a year.


Oral cancer screening

  • This procedure checks the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.


Examination for tooth decay

  • All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.


Examination of existing fillings or other restorations

  • Current fillings, crowns, etc. are checked for stability.

Registered dental hygienists at High Mesa Dental Arts will perform a professional dental cleaning, including a dental exam and the following:


Scale removal

  • The purpose of scaling teeth during a cleaning is to assist your home care by leaving the teeth smooth and clean to minimize bacteria sticking to them. Scaling involves removing calculus or tartar, which is hardened plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) on the tooth above and below the gum line.
  • Your dental hygienist is experienced in removing this calculus with the latest tools and in a way that allows for the most comfort possible for the patient, and leaves your teeth clean and smooth.


Teeth polishing

  • Once the surfaces are smooth, your hygienist will use prophylaxis paste and a slow speed handpiece with a soft rubber cup that spins to make your teeth shiny smooth.


Application of sealants

  • The sealant is a thin plastic coating, which quickly bonds to the depressions and grooves of the teeth and can last up to 10 years with regular dental checkups to check and repair the sealants.
  • Ask about dental sealants if you are interested finding about this preventive dentistry option to prevent lactic acid from getting to the tooth enamel on the chewing surface of your or your child’s molars or premolars.

Our goal is to help you with a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Personal home care plays an important role, including eating habits and correct use of dental aids to control plaque, bacteria, and dental disease. Talk with your High Mesa Dental Arts dentist or hygienist to find the most appropriate brushes, rinses, and other tools that can play a role in good dental home care.


Brushing

  • Work with your dental assistant to get the right brushing technique for you.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before bed) with an ADA-approved soft bristle brush, or, preferably, use an electric toothbrush, which will more efficiently remove plaque.
  • Generally, brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums in a circular motion. Brush the outside, inside, and biting surfaces of each tooth. Then brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.


Flossing

  • Flossing not only helps clean between the teeth and under the gumline, but also disrupts plaque colonies from building up.
  • Using 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss, or a floss holder toothpick, curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline, cleaning each tooth with a gentle up and down motion.


Mouth Rinses

  • Simply rinsing your mouth with water (after brushing and between meals when you can’t brush) is a good practice.
  • If you use an over-the-counter product for rinsing, you might want to consult with your dentist or hygienist on its appropriateness for you.


Bad Breath

  • Though bad breath can be the result of conditions like acid reflux or dry mouth, or other underlying medical conditions, it is usually the result of smoking, poor diet, and/or oral hygiene, and may be a warning sign of tooth decay or gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth.
  • Your High Mesa Dental Arts hygienist or dentist can work with you to identify home care solutions, which will depend on what is causing the bad breath.


Dry Mouth

  • If you notice that you have dryness in your mouth or throat, bad breath, difficulty chewing or swallowing, more frequent tooth decay or disease, then you may have “dry mouth”, which has a variety of causes, from medications, health conditions and therapies, to use of mouthwashes that contain alcohol, caffeine intake, tobacco or methamphetamines.
  • Your High Mesa Dental Arts hygienist or dentist can work with you to identify home care solutions, which will depend on what is causing you to experience dry mouth.


Sensitive Teeth

  • Let your High Mesa Dental Arts hygienist know if you have teeth that are sensitive to cold air or foods or drinks that are hot, cold, sweet or sour. Receding gum tissue can expose the dentin, leading to mild to extreme discomfort.
  • Your hygienist can explore and identify possible causes, and work with you on a specialized program of home care.

Your dentist or hygienist can diagnose periodontal disease through your regular dental check-up, and guide you toward the most effective solution. A periodontal probe is used to determine pocket depths, which (along with amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, and other factors) will indicate whether periodontal disease exists and how much it has progressed.


Gingivitis

  • When you have irritation, redness and inflammation of your gums, it is usually due to gingivitis, a common and mild form of periodontal disease, the cause of which is usually poor oral hygiene. Gingivitis can easily lead to more advanced gum disease.
  • The best solution is to step up your regimen of brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular dental checkups.
  • Be sure to communicate with your hygienist, who can give you tips on how to prevent recurrence.


Periodontitis

  • Advanced gum disease can be caused by a serious gum infection, periodontitis, which damages soft tissue and destroys bone that supports your teeth.
  • With periodontitis, the pocket depths between the gum and teeth are deeper than 5mm, where, in a normal mouth, they are between 1mm and 3mm.
  • In the dental exam, High Mesa Dental Arts dentists can help you understand the causes, level of advancement of the disease, and whether less invasive procedures can be used to resolve the disease, such as scaling, root planing, and antibiotics.
  • If you have advanced periodontitis, your dental team here at High Mesa Dental Arts can work with you to successfully resolve the disease through dental surgery.

© 2018 Dentist in Los Alamos NM 87544 | High Mesa Dental Arts

Back to top