Comprehensive Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry
620 Delp Road, Lancaster, PA 17601
Daily brushing and flossing will help keep calculus (tartar) formation to a minimum, but it won’t prevent it completely. Professional oral exams, dental prophylaxes (“cleanings”) at least twice a year are necessary to remove calculus from your teeth. Bitewing x-rays tell us where the cavities may be forming in between your teeth, and are usually taken once a year. We strongly recommend a fluoride application at this visit to protect the surface of the teeth from decay. The hygienist will recommend the best products for you to use at home to ensure optimal oral health, and teach you the best brushing and flossing technique for your own need.
During a hygiene visit, the patient’s teeth are thoroughly examined and cleaned by an experienced hygienist. Necessary x-rays are taken to ensure there are no cavities or other issues affecting the patient’s overall oral health. Fluoride and/or sealants may be applied to the teeth to protect the surface of the teeth from decay. Finally, the hygienist is able to recommend at home care products and processes to ensure continued oral health. The dental visit gives the patient the instant gratification of doing something advantageous for his or her overall health with the added benefit of having teeth that look and feel sparkling clean.
Not all dental visits are equal. The dentistry practiced by Dentistry for Life is personalized, taking individual needs and goals into consideration. It is preemptive, addressing problems thoroughly at the very beginning of treatment. And it is comprehensive, considering oral health and life-enhancing issues such as a patient’s bite, facial structure, and more. Prior to your first hygiene visit with us, you’ll receive an extensive evaluation with either Dr. Patterson or Dr. Votilla. This includes a review of your medical history, an oral cancer screening, an evaluation of the teeth and gums, and a complete assessment of the comfort and function of the jaws and facial muscles. Necessary radiographs are taken, as well as intraoral photos. These photos allow patients to see exactly what is going on with their teeth. Having all of this information is helpful in making a plan for the future.
To ensure your comfort during treatment, we have flat screen monitors in all rooms, which allow our patients to watch treatment if they prefer, or they can view dental information or television entertainment. Blankets and head phones are readily available to make time pass more comfortably and quickly. To make numbing as easy as possible for our patients, we use the On Pharma pH balanced anesthetic system.
For those who suffer from dental anxiety, nitrous oxide gas is available to you in our office, as are anti-anxiety medications.
Dentistry for Life’s cutting-edge technology improves the effectiveness of the hygiene visit. Low radiation, high definition X-ray sensors emit 70% less radiation than most common systems, and they lead to more precise diagnosis. In addition, pen-sized intra-oral cameras allow doctors to detect decay in hard to reach areas of the mouth. Highly detailed images taken by these intra-oral cameras are magnified and shown on monitors right in the treatment room, allowing our patients to better understand the condition of their mouths.
Detecting Oral Cancer
Tobacco, excessive alcohol use and certain strains of HPV are the leading causes of oral cancer, but approximately 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors. Nearly 36,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year.
A thorough oral cancer screening takes about five minutes and is a crucial part of the hygiene visit. There are several ways to look for oral cancer. One is a visual exam. Our hygienists can see the upper throat, lips, inside the mouth. They perform bi-manual palpation, feeling the lips, the cheeks, the floor of the mouth and the tongue for lumps or bumps that don´t belong.
Additionally, Dr. Patterson and Dr. Votilla use VELscope (an instrument that uses a specific light wavelength) to detect abnormal, potentially cancerous tissue in the mouth.
We cannot think of a more valuable service that we can provide our patients.