Family dentistry is an area of dental care focusing on dental health for individuals of all ages. A family dentist can offer dental services for children, teenagers, adults, and older people. This will include services to prevent dental complications, treat dental issues, and restore your smile.
Finding the right family dentist is a great step in ensuring proper oral health care for your children and other family members. Each trip to the dental office with a competent dentist will be a pleasant and positive experience.
You will benefit from the top-notch family dental services we offer at Washington Dental if you seek a reliable family dentist in Carson, CA.
Preventive Dental Procedures
A significant part of family dentistry is the prevention of dental issues. Preventive dentistry involves dental practices and procedures to preserve the health and outlook of your teeth. This helps prevent dental complications like cavities, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. A dentist would recommend the following preventive dental procedures for you and your family:
Professional Teeth Cleaning
You can maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. However, some teeth stains cannot be removed through normal brushing. When food particles accumulate on the tooth enamel, they form tartar and plaque, which are difficult to remove. If tartar remains on your teeth, it will attract bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Professional dental cleaning involves the removal of plaque and tartar and takes the following steps:
- Oral examination. During an oral examination, your teeth and gums will be examined to determine the level of staining. Your family dentist will determine if you are suitable for a professional cleaning based on the health of your teeth and gums.
- Tartar and plaque removal. If you are a good candidate for professional cleaning, the hygienist will begin by removing the tartar stuck alongside your gum line and between the teeth. Professional cleaning is more thorough than the normal oral hygiene routine.
- Teeth polishing. The professional uses gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth and remove residual tartar or plaque.
- Professional flossing. Your dental hygienist will floss your teeth to remove the plaque that lurks between the teeth.
Your family dentist will monitor your oral hygiene and health through regular radiographs. These X-rays detect signs of bone loss, cavities, and other hidden dental structures. Your dental X-rays will be performed every six months or during your routine dental checkup. Radiograph examinations are a significant part of comprehensive oral examinations and can help detect conditions the dentist misses during a clinical evaluation.
Scaling and Root Planing
Gum disease is a serious dental complication caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on your gum line. Scaling, or root planning, is a form of deep cleaning used to treat gum diseases. This procedure is done in two phases. The first part of scaling and root planning involves the removal of tartar and plaque that have hardened below or above your gum line. The next step will include smoothing your tooth root to allow gum reattachment.
After this procedure, your dentist may recommend a rinse or pills to help prevent gum infections. You may need to attend a follow-up dental appointment to check on the healing progress of your gums.
Routine Dental Exams
Dentists recommend at least two dental checkups each year. Your family dentist will oversee the routine checks for you and your family. Regular checkups are a significant part of preventive dentistry. At your dental appointments, your dentist will check for signs of dental complications like gingivitis and tooth decay.
Any complications can be caught during these checkups and treated before they cause more serious dental issues.
Dental Education and Homecare
Since your family dentist is responsible for oral health care for your entire family, they can offer you some dental care tips to maintain good oral health and hygiene. The following homecare tips can help you avoid unnecessary dental complications like cavities and gum disease:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid injuring your gums when brushing.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Avoid using your teeth as tools.
- Use mouthwash to rinse off bacteria.
Dental emergencies occur at any time. These are complications that need to be handled immediately. It pays to have a family dentist for any dental emergencies. This is because you can call them and book an immediate appointment. Your dentist can help you manage the pain and prevent further complications. Common dental emergencies that your family dentist can handle include:
Broken or knocked-out teeth are common dental emergencies. Your tooth could break from biting on hard objects or through an accident. While saving the tooth from further complications is possible, you must act immediately. You should rinse your mouth and store the broken part in milk if you have a dislodged tooth. You should then go to your dentist immediately. After an assessment, the dentist will determine whether the tooth can be saved. Additionally, your dentist will offer some pain-relieving solutions.
Dislodged Crown or Filling
Crowns and dental fillings restore tooth function after decay or trauma. However, these restorations are not permanent and can be prone to damage. Your tooth's inner components are exposed when a filling or crown is dislodged. This could cause extreme pain and sensitivity. Additionally, bacteria could accumulate in the area and cause serious complications.
If you have a dislodged filling or crown, consult your family dentist immediately. Your dentist will work on a filling or crown restoration. In this case, the type of intervention you receive will depend on the extent of the tooth damage.
Severe Tooth Pain
You could experience a serious toothache for many reasons, including tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or physical trauma. Having a dentist who can help you deal with this pain and determine its root cause is critical.
Abscessed Teeth or Gums
Tooth or Gum abscesses result from bacteria invading the dental pulp. The pulp is the part of your tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. You could experience toothache, inflammation, and bad breath when the infection spreads to the tooth root. An abscess will need immediate treatment to prevent further complications and save your tooth.
Family dentists offer a wide range of services. Therefore, you can receive immediate attention to the abscessed tooth and follow-up treatments to ensure you do not lose your teeth.
Restorative dentistry mainly aims to repair damaged teeth and treat other dental complications. Your family dentist will guide you on preventing dental issues. Common types of restorative dental procedures that your dentist will handle include:
Your dentist could recommend a filling if you have a dental cavity that is not too severe to warrant dental implants or a crown. After assessing your cavity, the dentist will determine your suitability for a dental filling procedure.
Deciding on the right material for your dental fillings is one of the most significant decisions you can make during this process. Commonly available dental filling materials include:
- Amalgam. Dental amalgam is popular for patients who want to fill the back teeth. While amalgam is strong and long-lasting, its silver color is not aesthetically pleasing.
- Composite. Most people prefer composite fillings since they are available in different colors that can mimic the natural look of their teeth for aesthetically pleasing results.
Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When your wisdom teeth cannot fit on your jaw properly, your family dentist could recommend that you have them removed. Partial eruption of the wisdom teeth can cause severe pain and complications with other teeth.
The removal of wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure. Therefore, you must have a professional family dentist to ensure fewer complications after the procedure.
Your dentist may recommend a root canal when the tooth's nerve is inflamed. Some of the most common causes of nerve infections include:
- Deep cavities.
- Repeat dental procedures.
- Tooth injury.
- Broken or cracked tooth.
The infection could spread to other parts of the tooth if left untreated. This could cause serious complications and a need for extraction. The dentist removes the infected tooth's nerve during a root canal procedure. When the nerve is removed, tooth decay and infection will be discontinued, and your tooth will remain intact.
A dental implant is a piece of metal screwed into your jawbone to replace the root of a missing tooth. The dentist will then attach an artificial tooth to the implant. Dental implants are a popular tooth restoration procedure since they look and feel like natural teeth. Unlike other dental restorations, implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
The placement of dental implants is an invasive procedure that will require anesthesia. However, it can be a great way to avoid bone loss and restore the function of missing teeth. You must have a strong jawline for attachment to the dental implant. Therefore, your family dentist will assess your condition before recommending this treatment.
A denture is a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Dentures could be complete or incomplete, depending on the missing teeth you seek to replace. You may be a good candidate for dentures if you have lost one or more teeth in an accident or through dental disease.
The process of fitting dentures involves several steps. Your dentist will assess your oral health and surrounding teeth to determine your eligibility for this type of treatment. The dentist will then take impressions of your jaw to ensure that your dentures fit and look like natural teeth.
With the different denture materials available, you can choose a material that suits your aesthetic appearance and budget.
Your dentist can recommend tooth extraction if you have an infection or tooth decay. You may also need a tooth extraction for reasons like teeth overcrowding. Before a tooth extraction, your family dentist may perform an X-ray to determine the condition of your tooth root and gums.
Although tooth extraction is not painful due to anesthesia, you may experience some discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. Your dentist will offer aftercare instructions to avoid infections or other dental complications arising after the extraction.
Pediatric Dental Procedures
A family dentist deals with dental care for individuals of all ages. Proper dental care from an early age helps protect your child from dental complications that could arise in the teenage years or adulthood. Dental appointments may be more frequent since your child’s teeth are still developing.
- First-time dental visits. Dentists recommend that you take your child for their first dental appointment at six months or when their first tooth erupts. The first visit to the dentist should be pleasant. Having a family dentist makes you more comfortable when taking your child for their first visit. During this visit, your dentist will assess the condition of your child’s oral features.
- Space maintainers. If your child loses a tooth early or has their baby teeth extracted due to decay, they may need space maintainers. A space maintainer is a custom-made appliance cemented to the child’s mouth. This helps prevent the movement of remaining teeth and retains space for the eruption of permanent teeth.
- Dental sealants. A dental sealant is a protective layer that blocks bacteria and plaque from collecting on the surface of your teeth. Sealants are placed on the surfaces of the molars and premolars. This is because the back teeth are harder to reach and more difficult to clean. Children as young as six years old can receive dental sealants to help avoid the accumulation of bacteria and tooth decay.
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving your smile. You can seek cosmetic dental services if you are not pleased with your discolored, crooked, or misaligned teeth. A family dentist will treat your dental complications and help you maintain and restore a beautiful smile. Common cosmetic dental procedures include:
- Veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin shells made of ceramic that cover the form of your teeth. Veneers help conceal dental issues, including discoloration, cracks, and chips. With proper care, veneers can offer excellent service for up to ten years.
- Braces. Dental braces are devices used to straighten or align the position of your teeth. Dentists recommend braces for adults and children, depending on the underlying tooth alignment problems. The process of fitting braces can be complicated. Therefore, having a family dentist handle the situation could create ease and confidence in the outcome.
- Teeth Whitening. Your teeth could be discolored due to overconsumption of dark-colored foods, alcohol, or smoking. Tooth discoloration can distort your smile. Teeth whitening involves using different chemicals to change the shade of your tooth enamel.
- Bonding. Dental bonding involves the application of tooth-colored resin to conceal cracks, craze lines, and discoloration on the tooth surface. Your dentist may also recommend bonding if you want to change your teeth' shape, size, or length. Most people prefer dental bonding because it does not require the removal of their enamel.
Benefits of Having a Family Dentist
Family dentists are practitioners trained to offer dental care services for patients of all ages. Some of the benefits of having a family dentist include:
Eliminate Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety or phobia is a real issue for adults and children. This could result in avoiding or delaying dental checkups and treatment. If one of your family members suffers from dental anxiety, you can go for a checkup as a family. This allows you to give them the support necessary for their dental procedures.
Since most children develop dental anxiety at a young age, having one dentist care for all their dental needs could help them overcome the anxiety. Starting dental visits early enough allows your children to trust the family dentist and feel comfortable about dental appointments.
Family Dentists Offer Convenience
The convenience of having a family dentist is that you can book appointments for several family members simultaneously. This saves you from making several trips to the dentist for different issues. When you have a trustworthy and professional family dentist, all your dental needs will be resolved under one roof.
Your Family Dentist Knows Your Dental History
You must provide a dental health history when you visit a dentist with dental complications. This will help the dentist determine the root cause of your issues and recommend the right treatment procedures. A family dentist will have records of your dental history and all your underlying complications.
Therefore, you will only need to repeat your history for some procedures. If you have allergies or sensitivities, the family dentist will consider these factors when determining the most suitable treatment for your issues. During your routine dental visits, the dentist will record the condition of your teeth and notice if they change over time.
Regular and Consistent Services
You must visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain good oral health. During these appointments, your dentist will educate you on proper oral health practices and detect complications. A family dentist will make you comfortable and confident enough to attend these appointments.
You can be sure of consistent treatment when you have a single dentist to attend to all your needs. In this case, you do not have to worry about the quality of the services you will receive.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Family Dentist
A family dentist will provide dental care for all your family members. Therefore, it is common to feel nervous when looking for a new dentist. Finding the right dentist ensures oral health for you and your loved ones. The following are tips that could help you find the right family dentist:
- Location. An important factor you must consider when hiring a family dentist is their proximity to your home or workplace. This helps reduce the hassle of taking your entire family for routine checkups. Additionally, finding a family dentist close to your home helps ensure that you can receive immediate care for emergency dental issues.
- Experience and qualifications. You will entrust your entire family's oral health and well-being to your family dentist. Therefore, you must receive professional services for all your dental needs. You can check a dentist's professionalism and qualifications through their websites.
- Procedures offered. Although dentists have different areas of specialization, your family dentist should be able to handle basic dental situations. The more specialization the dentist has, the better it will be for you and your family.
- Your budget. You must ensure that you can afford the services of a dentist before settling for them as your family dentist. If you operate on insurance, you can inquire whether the dentist accepts insurance payments.
- Reputation. A dentist’s reputation could say a lot about the quality of their service. Most people who give reviews about a particular dentist will have had a personal experience with their services. A dentist with a good reputation is more likely to provide efficient and professional services.
- Temperament and behavior. Your family dentist will handle dental care for all your family members. Therefore, you must ensure the dentist can handle people of all ages. Your children should feel comfortable visiting the dentist. You can tell a dentist’s behavior and temperament during your first interaction.
Find a Family Dentist Near Me
The health of your family is always a priority. Your oral health is a significant part of your overall health. Therefore, when you care for your teeth and receive the right treatment for your dental issues, you can live a happy and healthy life. Family dentistry ensures that each patient receives good-quality dental care for their specific needs. This ranges from preventive measures to treatment and restoration.
When you receive all your dental care under one roof, you will be assured of advanced dental care and comfort for every family member. Family dentists can perform procedures like tooth extraction, root canals, dental implants, and braces. For your children, the dentist will see them for their first visit and provide appropriate education on good oral health care and hygiene.
Your oral health is critical to your well-being; you will not entrust it to any professional. At Washington Dental, we offer expert family dentistry services to all our clients in Carson, CA. Call us today at 310-217-1507 to discuss the dental needs of your family.