Don’t wait for an emergency before you visit the dentist in Aurora, IL 60506. Preventing tooth decay starts with regular dental checkups that include teeth cleanings, exams and preventative treatments. Lincolnway Dental Center (dentist in Aurora, IL 60506) also offers root canal therapy and tooth extractions.
Dental Exams – Aurora, IL 60506
Regular checkups are one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth in tip-top shape. Most people should visit the dentist once or twice a year, or every six months. Dr. Kim will tell you whether more visits are necessary for your treatment plan.
Your visit will begin with one of our friendly hygienists cleaning your teeth by scraping tartar from each tooth with a small metal tool. Next, the hygienist will polish your teeth using a powered rotating tool and then apply fluoride. Some exams include flossing.
Next, Dr. Kim will evaluate the health of each tooth. If needed, she will apply sealants. You can also expect a conversation about your home dental care routine as well as whether you’ve experienced any pain or discomfort.
Dental Cleanings – Aurora, IL 60506
No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, only a dental hygienist or dentist can remove tartar and plaque that your toothbrush, mouthwash and floss can’t get to. Dental cleanings are the best way to prevent the sticky films that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Your regular exam typically begins with a dental cleaning. First, your dentist or dental hygienist will use a metal tool to scrape each tooth. This removes tartar buildup. Next, your teeth will be polished with a small, rotating tool. Fluoride is sometimes applied, and some cleanings end with flossing.
Your dentist in Aurora, IL 60506 will usually ask you about your home oral care routine. She’ll recommend that you do the following every day:
- Brush your teeth using a soft-bristled brush. Make sure that the toothbrush head can fit easily inside your mouth and reach the teeth in the back.
- Floss whenever you brush. The best way to floss is by wrapping one to two inches around the index fingers and using the middle fingers to maneuver the floss. Remember to slide, not snap, the floss between your teeth.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
Preventative Treatments – Aurora, IL 60506
Lincolnway Dental Center offers a variety of methods for stopping dental problems before they even happen. Sealants, fluoride treatments and X-rays are three strategies for stopping tooth decay and other issues dead in their tracks.
Besides brushing, flossing and regular checkups, three weapons to fight tooth decay and detect other problems are sealants, fluoride treatments and X-rays.
- Sealants: Dental sealants are a plastic material that acts as a shield against food particles and plaque. Your dentist paints on the liquid sealant onto the back molars where toothbrushes have a hard time reaching. The liquid bonds to the tooth enamel as it dries.
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride is a mineral found in many foods and water, and it makes teeth more resistant to the acids in plaque bacteria and sugar. Dr. Kim can apply fluoride via gels or varnishes that are either painted onto the teeth or poured into a mouth guard, which is worn for one to four minutes.
- X-rays: Dental X-rays help Dr. Kim get an overall picture of the health of your teeth, jaw and mouth by allowing her to see factors that are otherwise invisible. X-rays are typically recommended for new patients or for current patients to help evaluate dental changes over time. During an X-ray, you’ll be asked to bite down on a piece of plastic that will help align your teeth.
Ask Dr. Kim for a full listing of preventative treatments that are available and which ones are right for you.
Root Canal Therapy – Aurora, IL 60506
A root canal is the removal of the soft tissue deep within the tooth. Root canals are typically needed when the tissue becomes inflamed or infected because of a deep cavity, repeated dental procedures, a cracked tooth or another injury.
Root canal therapy can restore a damaged or infected tooth, saving it from extraction. Plus, the procedure requires only one to three office visits, according to the American Dental Association.
First, Dr. Kim will take an X-ray of the tooth to see the structure of the pulp, which is the nerve and soft tissues that are deep inside the tooth. Next, Dr. Kim will drill a hole into the top of the tooth to scoop out the pulp; water will also be used to flush out extra material. If the tooth is infected, a medication will be put inside before sealing it. A temporary filling will be used to cover the hole made in the top of the tooth until the next appointment.
During the second appointment, Dr. Kim will use permanent filler for the root canal, the interior that was just cleared of pulp, and the access hole on top of the tooth. She will also restore the rest of the tooth as needed, such as placing a crown over damaged areas.
The details for your root canal might vary, and your dentist in Aurora, IL 60506 is happy to explain the procedure in full.
Extractions – Aurora, IL 60506
Extractions are done to remove badly damaged or decayed teeth, or when several teeth are crowded into one area of the mouth.
Before the extraction, Dr. Kim will first administer an anesthetic in the area where the tooth will be pulled. A stronger anesthetic will be injected if more than one tooth needs to be removed. You won’t feel any pain, but you might feel the pressure of the tooth being extracted. Dr. Kim will insert into the empty socket a small square of gauze for you to bite down upon; this will reduce bleeding. Sometimes, stitches will be needed to close the extraction area.
Afterward, Dr. Kim will give you a treatment plan to care for the extraction area. Remember that a minimal amount of bleeding is normal. Your regimen will vary, but the following tips will help ease your recovery:
- Take painkillers as your dentist recommends.
- Don’t smoke.
- Keep gauze pads on the affected areas, and change them regularly to keep up with bleeding.
- Follow the diet Dr. Kim recommends, which typically includes soft foods and no straws.
- Avoid vigorous physical activity and lying flat; both cause increased bleeding.
Pediatrics – Aurora, IL 60506
The American Dental Association recommends that parents take their children for their first dental visit before the child’s first birthday. The Lincolnway Dental Center team sees children of all ages. Pediatric dental services include: cavity fillings, emergency care, preventive services, and dental hygiene education. Taking your child to the dentist early on helps him or her get acclimated to visiting the dentist and practicing good oral hygiene habits.
Periodontal Maintenance – Aurora, IL 60506
For those who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, treatment involves a deep dental cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” Scaling removes deposits above and below the gumline, and root planning smoothes rough root surfaces. The purpose of scaling and planning is to clean and disinfect the tooth roots to treat the infection. Signs of periodontal disease include: bad breath, red or bleeding gums, loose teeth, and gum pockets.
Athletic Mouth Guard – Aurora, IL 60506
Dr. Kim provides custom-made mouth guards for patients who play sports. According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, of the 15 million children who participate in organized sports every year, there is a 10% chance each season that they will suffer from an orofacial injury, and athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer damage to the mouth when not wearing a protective mouth guard. It is important to keep your mouth protected if you engage in athletic activities. ADA Council on Scientific Affairs promotes the importance of safety in maintaining oral health and the use of a properly fitted mouth guard as the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries. Dr. Kim provides comfortable, custom-fit athletic mouth guards at Lincolnway Dental Center.
Oral Surgery – Aurora, IL 60506
Oral surgery involves the diagnosis and treatment of medical complications of the teeth, mouth, head, gums, jaw, and neck. Oral surgical procedures include: facial trauma treatment, dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgery, oral pathology, and bone grafts. If you are experiencing any dental-related pain, Dr. Kim will evaluate you to determine whether you may need oral surgery.
Oral Cancer Screening – Aurora, IL 60506
We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy.