Quality Dental Care for All Generations

Cleaning & Prevention

Regular Check-Ups

Get Your Confidence Boost!

You know that good oral health plays a major role in your physical, mental and social well-being.  That confidence boost you get from flashing a bright healthy smile is invaluable at work and at plan.  Make sure you never lose it!

A  healthy smile is a beautiful smile. To keep your teeth clean and healthy we recommend that you visit our office at least every six months for a regular check-up. During your cleaning appointment, one of our skilled hygienists will remove any stubborn, hardened plaque that has accumulated to help prevent gum disease. Only we can do that for you.  They will then polish your teeth to remove food, beverage or tobacco stains on the surface of your teeth that cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing.  At the completion of your appointment, our hygienist will advise you on proper brushing and flossing to prevent future plaque build-up.

If indicated, x-rays will be prescribed.  We offer state-of-the-art digital radiography, minimizing radiation to our patients.  Our goal is to provide our patients with top-notch care in a safe and comfortable way. 

Prevention

Did you know that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss

Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States, second only to the common cold?

Did you know a mother's decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted to her child?

Did you know that sealants can help prevent tooth decay in both primary and permanent teeth?

To minimize the risk of both gum disease and tooth decay, it is extremely important to visit your dentist regularly.  This way, even if there is a problem, it can be caught early and addressed.

In addition, effective prevention can help you avoid costly treatments in the future to remove decay, restore teeth and treat gum disease. Regular prevention is truly your best investment.

Seven interesting things you need to know:

1) You may transfer cavity- and gum-disease-causing bacteria through kissing, tasting, sharing or blowing on food, or by sharing eating utensils, toothbrushes, or water bottles.

2) You can brush and floss away plaque which is the soft invisible bacterial film that builds up on teeth.

3) Tartar or calculus, the hard yellowish deposit that forms when plaque is left to collect, can only be removed during a dental visit.

4) Plaque and tartar can cause decay and gum disease.

5) Gum disease may be linked to systemic and inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, cancers, lung diseases, and complications of pregnancy.

6) Some people can inherit a gene that makes them as much as six times more likely to get severe gum disease.

7) You can prevent gum disease by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping your regular dental appointments.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is sly--it can turn up without symptoms.  It's also responsible for more tooth loss than any other problem.  Gum disease is an infection caused by plaque--a film of harmful bacteria that forms on teeth and irritates the gum tissue.  Eventually, without treatment, the gum will pull away from the teeth, jawbone is destroyed, and the tooth is lost.

You could have gum disease if you experience:

If caught early enough, gum disease can be treated and sometimes reversed.  There's no way to determine its severity without a detailed examination at a dental practice.

Oral Cancer

Most people are surprised to learn that one American dies every hour from oral cancer; a death rate that has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall has decreased, the incidence of oral cancer has increased by 5.5% and the death rate has increased by 1.5%

Oral cancer is far too often discovered in late stage development, the primary reason for the consistently high death rate. Oral cancer treatment often results in disfiguring effects on patients, and can seriously compromise their quality of life. Early detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy; oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages. Unfortunately, 70% of oral cancers are diagnosed in the late stages, III and IV, leading to a five-year survival rate of 57%.

Oral Cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth.

Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.

We will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, Dr. Ring may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.

Dentists often will notice a spot or sore that looks harmless and does not have a clear cause. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, Dr. Ring may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. A brush test collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

 
 

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids - formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth - attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor's prescription.

A dentist in her office can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for 1 to 4 minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.

Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets and must be prescribed by your dentist, pediatrician or family doctor.

It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. These are the timeframes during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride too. New research indicates that topical fluoride - from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments - are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.

In addition, people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment. They include people with:

 

Ask your dentist if you could benefit from additional fluoride.

Sealants

A sealant is a plastic resin that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.

Sealants are easy for your dental professionals to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Finally a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.

As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, Dr. Ring will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.

The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.  If you're interested in sealing out decay, check with Dr. Ring to see if you're a candidate for cavity-preventing sealants.

Key ingredients in preventing tooth decay and maintaining a healthy mouth are twice-daily brushing with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste; cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners; eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks; and visiting your dentist regularly. Ask your dental team about whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.

Digital Radiography

Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients. 

How do digital x-rays work?

Similar to traditional x-rays, we place a sensor that is about the size and shape of a normal x-ray film inside your mouth. After a quick x-ray, a scanner sends signals to a computer that are translated into electronic pictures of your teeth, supporting bones, and gums.

Why do we use digital x-rays?

Helpful Hints to Minimize your Risk of Decay:

If you consume sugary foods and drinks, do so with meals.  Saliva increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.

Limit between meal snacks and sugary beverages.  If you crave a snack, choose nutritious foods.  If you chew gum, choose sugarless gum.  Sugarless gum increases saliva flow and helps wash out food and neutralize decay-producing acid.