Visiting the dentist’s office should be a comfortable and helpful experience. With dentists who value their patients and seek to build trusting relationships, a dental experience can be a great one for the whole family. After all, dentists provide a valuable service in ensuring the health of our teeth and our mouths. With family dentistry, it is even more crucial to create a great relationship with patients. This way everyone in the family can enter the dentist’s office comfortable and exit happily. Visiting the dentist should not be a scary experience as many tend to believe it to be. If done right, you should feel happy to go in for your check-up. Family dentistry is meant to be preventative and provide treatments towards unwanted conditions or diseases that may occur. So, it is crucial to have a dentist who can do this and provide a comfortable experience at the same time.

At Washington Dental, we strive to provide the Los Angeles, Torrance, Carson, and Lomita areas with top-class dental work as well as a friendly and accepting atmosphere. We believe that when it comes to family dentistry, it is crucial to creating trusting and comfortable relationships with our clients to ensure better oral health and continued visits. Our team at Washington Dental are well-experienced in standard dental practices. We can provide top-notch service all the while ensuring that your whole family receives a warm welcome and excellent treatment. In the end, we want to make sure that everyone in your family is healthy and has a beautiful smile.

Dental Check-Ups

A dental check-up is the most basic procedure that usually occurs whenever you visit a dentist’s office. Usually, patients should receive a check-up at least twice a year to ensure the health of your mouth and teeth. For patients with certain issues, they may have to receive a check-up more than twice a year. In general, this routine check-up is meant to prevent, diagnose, or treat any conditions or diseases that can sometimes occur with your teeth, gums, or overall mouth area. It is also a check-up on your oral hygiene and the health of your teeth. Your dentist will be your first line of defense against any possible conditions, disorders, or diseases that could possibly occur.

For children, they should begin this routine when they are at least one year old to ensure healthy teeth. As children, they are more susceptible to getting cavities and other unwanted dental issues, so it is crucial that their teeth are cleaned and examined every six months.

When you do receive a check-up, there is often a routine you will go through. This will include dental examinations, dental cleanings, dental polishing, and dental x-rays if necessary. Sometimes, this routine may be personalized to you depending on your oral health and certain conditions. These procedures are meant to check on your oral hygiene as well as further prevent any possible conditions or diseases that may occur.

Dental Examinations

The dental examination is a crucial aspect of a routine check-up and as a part of preventive care. During the actual exam itself, the dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth and check for indications of gum disease or cavities. During this phase, the dentist or hygienist will thoroughly check your teeth and gums to ensure that they are healthy and functioning properly. They will also evaluate your overall oral health and hygiene in order to determine if you are at risk for any possible oral health diseases. They will also discuss with you about your oral hygiene routine and diet. As stated before, your dentist is the first line of defense against any conditions, diseases, or disorder—so this is a crucial part of a routine check-up.

This part of the routine check-up is made to ensure you are practicing good hygiene habits. Also, it is meant to check for any possible signs of disease and more. In this phase, checking for any problems early on will make them easier to treat and easier to reverse.

For children, the dental examination will provide the dentist to ensure that their teeth are developing correctly. Also, the dentist or hygienist will help your children with developing a good oral hygiene routine early on. With this, children may be able to ensure the health of their teeth and their mouths with the proper care.

Dental Cleanings

After checking your teeth and gums for any problems, your dentist or hygienist will proceed with a dental cleaning. This is another basic part of any dental check-up. When it comes to the actual process of cleaning itself, it is a deep cleaning—more than just brushing your teeth. Usually, a dental hygienist will begin by using a scaler to remove any plaque build-up and any tartar that may sit around your gums. Usually, this part of the process will involve scraping around your teeth. Plaque and tartar may be reduced with proper brushing and flossing. However, once they have hardened around your teeth, they may only be removed by a professional dentist or hygienist.

Next, the dental hygienist will usually proceed to polish your teeth. With a high-powered electric toothbrush and special toothpaste with a gritty texture, they will remove any leftover tartar and polish your teeth. This is a special type of brush that may only be used a few times a year since it is enough to wear your teeth’s enamel down. After this, the hygienist will proceed to floss your teeth. This will further remove any possible plaque or tartar that may be located between your teeth. Once all of this cleaning has been done, you may be asked to rinse with water or mouthwash to flush out any debris that may be floating around in your mouth.

With this deep cleaning, your mouth will be as good as new. Of course, more plaque and tartar will naturally build-up over time, and in six months, you should be ready for another routine cleaning.

Dental X-Rays

When you go in for your routine check-up at the dentist’s office, you may be asked to have some x-rays done. Usually, you will only need an x-ray done once a year; however, everyone’s case is different and this may vary depending on your dentist’s recommendations. Dental x-rays, or radiographs, provide images of your teeth that your dentist may use in order to evaluate the status of your oral health. X-rays are nothing to be scared about. They use low-levels of radiation to capture images of the interior aspects of your teeth and gums; thus, providing more insight into your oral health. They can provide information that may not visible just by looking at your teeth during a physical examination. An x-ray can display problems like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.

Also, children may receive more dental x-rays in order to determine if their teeth and gums are developing properly. Since a child’s teeth may greatly shift and move while growing up, it is important that the dentist looks at the information provided by an x-ray to ensure they stay in good health. Sometimes, problems detected from an x-ray can help to prevent issues that may become major issues in the future. A dentist will use the x-ray to determine if baby teeth need to be extracted should they provide issues.

Even though x-rays may only once every one or two years, they are still important. They can provide insightful information about your oral hygiene and your teeth’s health that can be detected by a visible glance. Usually, x-rays are done quickly and they are painless.

More Dental Procedures

When you do visit your dentist and receive your regular check-up, it is possible that they may find some issues. Of course, it is their duty to identify any issues relating to oral health. Your dentist’s duty is to provide services that are meant to prevent any issues from becoming serious problems. This is why the routine check-up is so important to attend. It is where your dentist can make sure that you are properly maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine. From the check-up, they will always check for any issues like cavities, tooth decay, and more as they can lead to further problems. It is not unusual for a dentist to find these issues. In fact, they are quite common—especially for children—and it is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, visiting your dentist can be seen as an act of fighting against any oral health problems.

If your dentist or hygienist identifies any issues from the dental examination or from the dental x-rays, you may be asked to come back or receive special treatments to remedy the issues. Your dentist will only provide extra treatment for what is necessary to maintain your oral health. When it comes to these special treatments, common types of procedures may include root canals, inlays/onlays, dental fillings and more.

Dental Fillings

If during your check-up, your dentist identifies an issue such as tooth decay, a tooth fracture, or a cavity, they may want to do a dental filling to fix the issue. Dental fillings are a common procedure performed by dentists everywhere. Simply, this procedure involves filling in the damaged area of a tooth with specific materials such as composite, porcelain, or silver amalgam.

Dental fillings are most often used for cavities—areas of decay often caused by bacteria. Without proper care and attention, a cavity may lead to further infection within a tooth which may lead to having to fully extract the whole tooth. However, if the cavity is caught early, your dentist may stop or prevent any further infection with a dental filling. Once your dentist identifies an issue like this, they may suggest doing a filling. The details may vary depending on the specifics of the issue and on the patient’s own personal medical history, and your dentist will discuss your options. Since this is a common and simple procedure, it may be done immediately and it does not take too long to complete.

The dental filling procedure itself is quite simple. First, your dentist will remove the decayed or damaged areas of your tooth with either a laser or a special tool. Once the infected area has been removed, the rest of the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned. Next, the infected tooth will be isolated to prevent interference with the bonding process. This is the actual ‘filling’ aspect of the procedure. Certain materials may be used to fill in the tooth. Once shaped correctly and molded, the bond will be hardened with a special light. After its done, the tooth will appear natural and there will be no more cavity or tooth decay.

Once the procedure is done, it may be a day or two before your mouth will feel normal again. Also, your dentist may remind you to brush and floss properly in order to prevent any future decay or cavity from occurring.

Root Canal

In more severe cases, your dentist may suggest having a root canal procedure. Similar to a dental filling, your dentist may identify some tooth decay or a tooth fracture. Usually, in this case, the damage or decay may be so severe that it reached the tooth’s pulp tissue—an interior part of the tooth that contains nerves, blood, and lymph tissue. Due to this, you may experience severe pain from the infected areas. There are a couple of signs that will indicate that you need a root canal. First of all, you may experience pain from the infected tooth. Also, your dentist may notice some discoloration on the infected tooth as well as swelling and redness in the gum around the tooth. Lastly, your dentist may see that you need a root canal from an x-ray of the infected area.

Compared to the dental filling procedure, a root canal is more complex and may take longer to perform. Usually, the infected area is anesthetized to prevent possible pain. The root canal procedure will remove and disinfect the diseased areas of the tooth, and this will include all infected nerve tissue, blood tissue, and lymph tissue. This will all be removed from the coronal pulp chamber and the related canals. After this, the tooth canals will be cleaned, shaped, and filled so as to prevent further infection and any further pain. In some cases, the filling will be temporary so as to allow for the tooth to heal. Once the tooth has healed a sufficient amount, you may have to return to the dentist so he or she may put in the permanent filling.

Root canal procedures are essential. Even though they are complex and long, in some cases, they are meant to preserve the health of your teeth. Remember, dentistry is meant to be preventative against any conditions, diseases, or disorders. So, if your dentist feels you need a root canal, you should take his or her advice. In cases where a root canal is not received in the proper amount of time, the infected tooth may have to be fully extracted.

Inlays and Onlays

Depending on your situation, another option you may have if you have tooth decay or damage is receiving inlays and onlays. This may be an alternative option to receiving a standard dental filling or, even, a dental crown. These may be sometimes referred to as indirect fillings. While a standard dental filling requires a procedure in which the dentist fills the tooth with a composite material, an indirect filling is created in a dental lab before actually being fitted and onto your tooth by your dentist.

The difference between an inlay and an onlay filling is implied by their names. With an inlay, the fabricated material is bonded within the center of the infected tooth. On the other hand, an onlay is bonded to an area that includes one of the cusps of the top of the tooth, and it can even cover the entirety of the tooth’s top.

Unlike a standard dental filling procedure, an inlay or onlay procedure may require at least two different visits to your dentist. During the initial visit for the procedure, your dentist will prepare the damaged tooth. Usually, this means they will create a molded impression of the damaged tooth. This will then be taken to a dental laboratory where the restorative inlay or onlay is created. Usually, these will be created from either gold, porcelain, or resin materials. Also, during this first visit, your dentist may fit a temporary restoration on your tooth in the shape of the final restoration in order to protect the tooth while the final one is created.

During the next visit, your temporary restorative will be removed and your more permanent inlay or onlay will be fitted and placed upon the damaged tooth. Once the inlay or onlay has been fitted, your dentist will make sure that it fits smoothly. Also, they will make sure that the inlay or onlay will not cause any problems within your mouth. Finally, the bond will be polished to ensure a great look and comfort.

Family Dentistry is Preventive Dentistry

In general, dental care can be understood as preventative dentistry. This simply means the practice of taking care of your teeth, preventing cavities, enamel wear, gum diseases, and more. When you visit your dentist for a check-up, they may provide the proper information regarding oral health and hygiene. By making your routine visit to your doctor, you are making a step towards ensuring that your teeth are healthy, strong, and beautiful. For children, this will help to ensure that they develop proper oral hygiene routine at a young age so as to prevent future problems and diseases. Also, this can be done to allow their teeth to develop properly and remain strong.

Along with making your routine dental check-up, there are other measures and practices you can make that fall under preventative dentistry. These measures can be done at home and can be incorporated into your daily routine.

Simply, this includes brushing your teeth every day, flossing your teeth every day, and eating a balanced diet. These are basic dental practices that can help to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, and that future diseases can be prevented. This can reduce the possibility of getting cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and enamel loss. Good oral health can be beneficial not only to your teeth and gums but also to your entire body. So, matter what age you are or who you are, maintaining good oral health is vital. Not only can it prevent any unfortunate diseases or problems in the future, but it can also prevent any future costly treatments that may be needed.

Finding a Family Dentist Near Me

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is an important habit. It is necessary in order to prevent any unfortunate diseases that may develop in your teeth or gums. One of the best things you can do to ensure the health of your teeth is making a routine visit to your dentist. It is unfortunate that dental offices receive a bad reputation. Dentists provide an invaluable service by being a line of defense against any issues. Besides this, it is just as important to feel comfortable and welcomed when you visit your dentist. Not only will you feel good about visiting, but it can further ensure the health of your teeth.

At Washington Dental, we aim to provide excellent service to our patients as well as making sure they are happy with their experience. Our staff is highly experienced in using the latest technological advances in dental care. Our dentists can also expertly any procedures that may be necessary to treat any issues. Not only can we help to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong, but we can also help you develop good oral routines. As a family dentistry, we can take care of the whole family and make sure everyone has a great experience. Contact our offices today. We have locations in Los Angeles, Carson, Torrance, and Lomita. We want to make sure your smile is healthy, strong, and beautiful.