General Dentistry & Preventative Dental Care

Preventative Dental Care

Dental Exams and Cleaning

Many people postpone dental cleanings and checkups, often waiting until serious complications or conditions arise. Those who have chosen to have their dental care performed by Dr. Huxford and/or the hygienists at Boulder Dental Group quickly learn that visiting the dentist is easy and we daresay, even enjoyable. Between the excellent care we provide to our patients and the always helpful and considerate staff, dental checkups and cleanings can be worry free.

A teeth cleaning performed by a gentle specialist at the Boulder Dental Group will return brightness to a smile in a setting that you'll find relaxing and welcome from the moment you first step in. Our friendly dental hygienists will indulge you with the care you deserve and have come to expect, and you'll find any treatment we provide is always performed with the utmost in consideration for your comfort.

We know that even with regular routine brushing and flossing, dental plaque can form and that bacteria can still find places to hide and thrive. Having your teeth cleaned by a professional at our dental clinic is a way to make sure your teeth are as bright and clean as they can be, and you can feel the difference a professional dental cleaning makes as soon as you run your tongue over their smooth, even surface.

Porcelain/Composite Fillings

When any dentist repairs a cavity, something needs to be used to fill the newly cleaned hole. It used to be that metals such as gold, or alloys consisting of many metals were all that was available, but if the cavity is in the smile area that gets exposed all the time, a porcelain filling is much less noticeable and a better option. In addition, metal and metal alloy fillings may also present some health concerns for some individuals who are allergic or susceptible to the metals used. Mercury is frequently present in some alloys, and this is a particular concern for children, pregnant women, or women who may become pregnant. A porcelain filling, however, poses no health risks, and is suitable for all patients.

At Boulder Dental Group, we are experienced with filling a cavity with porcelain fillings. These modern fillings are nearly as strong as normal tooth enamel, stand up well to years of use, and are virtually invisible. Since they are indistinguishable from the rest of the enamel on the tooth's surface, you can smile without hesitation.

Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening

The dentist is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The dental visit is more that cleanings and fixing teeth. Having your dentist visually scan for oral cancer can save your life.

The most common place to get oral cancer is the side of the tongue or floor of the mouth. So if you have any suspicious lesions or bumps in your mouth please have Dr. Huxford check it out.

If Dr. Huxford suspects possible cancer he will send you to a specialist to have it biopsied which is the only way to determine if it cancerous. Smoking and alcohol drastically increase your risk of oral cancer.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease in an infectious and inflammatory disease which destroys the gums and bone that surround teeth. Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 adults. The greatest cause of adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease.

In the early stages of periodontal disease there is little, if any pain. The gums become puffy and slightly red with occasional bleeding. Without removal or plaque and tartar which is the cause of the disease the process will continue. This disease if left untreated may result in extensive bone and tooth loss.

Evidence now links gum disease to a variety of health concerns including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. If detected and treated periodontal disease can be cured. However once bone loss has occurred it cannot come back.

Consult Dr. Huxford regarding your periodontal status. Boulder Dental Group has excellent hygienists who will clean your teeth and teach you new ways to avoid periodontal disease.

Sealants

For more than 30 years now, the application of sealants has been one of the methods available to the protect teeth and prevent tooth decay.

By way of the process, we will first clean your teeth, dry them and then apply a slightly acidic solution that is designed to help the sealant bond to the tooth surface. Then, each tooth is "painted" with a very thin layer of the sealant coating. Since the coating is clear or white, it blends easily with the natural tooth color. Lastly, we will use a high-intensity curing light to harden the sealant after it has been painted on your teeth.

Sealants can last for many years, but they should be checked regularly and assessed for possible re-application. It is important to note that sealants do not replace fluoride. Rather, they add to the benefits of fluoride, and may preserve teeth so that they do not decay or require more extensive dental procedures later on.

TMJ Splints

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause headaches, ear aches, soreness when opening and closing the mouth, clicking or popping of the jaw, pain in the jaw muscles and soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face.

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.