The goal of general dental care is to keep the teeth healthy and free from pain and disease. General dentists’ primary concerns are maintenance, decay, injury, and other conditions that affect the teeth and their supporting structures. They also work to help patients maintain optimal oral health. A variety of treatments and services may be provided under general dentistry at our practice, depending on the individual’s oral health needs. Some of the most common types of general dentistry include preventative work, restorative care, and emergency dental care. If your family needs general dental care, we encourage you to call our Louisville, KY office and schedule an appointment today!
Cleanings & Exams
When you come in for your regular teeth cleaning and examination, our team will take care of everything for you. We’ll clean your teeth and examine them for any signs of decay or other problems. We’ll also check your gums for signs of gum disease. If we find any problems, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan to address them as quickly as possible.
Oral Cancer Screening
The best way to find oral cancer early is by looking for signs. One of the most common places to look for them is on the gums, tongue, lips, cheek lining, tonsils, and roof of the mouth.
When an abnormality is found in one of these areas during a screening, we will ask you to come back after a couple of weeks so that we can check it again. This is because some abnormalities may just be due to a sore, cold, or infection and will go away on their own.
Only a doctor can diagnose oral cancer, so if you notice any changes in your mouth or throat that don’t go away after a week or two, please contact our office to schedule an appointment for evaluation and a potential referral to a specialist.
Crowns & Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are two restorative options that are commonly utilized to amend a damaged smile.
- Dental crowns are designed to encompass a damaged tooth, offering it protection while restoring its function and appearance. Crowns are typically recommended if a tooth has been damaged by decay or compromised by fracture or a large filling; overall, it is best used if the resulting weakness in the tooth compromises its long-term health. A crown will remedy such problems by fully restoring the tooth’s shape and size as well as its strength.
- A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic solution. It’s custom-created to fit your mouth and teeth perfectly, then become cemented into position. A dental bridge can span the gap left behind by a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. The bridge is made up of two crowns, which are placed on the teeth on either side of the gap, and one or more pontics, which are the false teeth that will fill the space.
This restores the appearance of the smile and function lost by the missing tooth.
Dental fillings are applied to teeth to protect them and restore their strength after suffering minor cases of decay or fracturing. The material used for a filling will vary depending on the location in the mouth that requires treatment, but typically it is a composite resin, amalgam, gold, or silver.
Composite resin fillings are made of a plastic material that is bonded to the tooth. They are often used to fill small cavities and are considered the most aesthetically pleasing option.
Dentures are a life-changing, removable restoration appliance that can replace missing teeth and give patients their confidence back. Dentures are custom-made to fit each patient’s individual mouth and can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, acrylic, or metal.
There are two types of dentures we offer at River Hills Dentistry: complete and partial.
- Complete dentures are used to replace all of the teeth in one arch.
- Partial dentures cover or replace some of your remaining natural teeth and serve as a replacement for missing back teeth (molars).
Dentures can be made to look exactly like your natural teeth. The color, size, shape, and position of each tooth on the denture can be customized to match your mouth and facial features, making it unique and perfect just for you.
While our team remains dedicated to prioritizing saving a tooth, there are many circumstances that warrant extraction as the better option. Some of these situations include:
- Overcrowded teeth
- Traumatically injured teeth
- Severe decay
- Tooth impaction
Whatever the case may be, we will perform your extraction with the ultimate skill and precision necessary to keep the procedure gentle and free of any pain or discomfort.
Nightguards are designed to protect teeth from the subconscious clenching and grinding that often occurs during sleep. This can lead to excessive wear on the teeth and possible dental problems over time, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). While there are many potential causes of TMD, one of the most common is clenching and grinding your teeth. This can be caused by stress, anxiety, or a misaligned bite. When you clench your teeth, the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) become sore, which can contribute to a cycle of clenching, grinding, enamel erosion, and even tooth loss over time.
There are a few different types of nightguards, but all work by cushioning the teeth and preventing them from coming into contact with each other. This helps reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs and can help preserve the natural dental structure.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to clenching and grinding, or if you notice that your teeth are starting to show signs of wear, a nightguard may be a good solution for you.
Just as there are appliances made to protect teeth from grinding and clenching, there are also mouthguards built to withstand vigorous activities or sports-related accidents. A sports mouthguard is designed to absorb impact and reduce or eliminate damage caused to the teeth, jawbone, or facial tissues. They are made of a hard plastic material and fit tightly over the teeth. The mouthguard helps to spread an impact over a larger area, which reduces the risk of injury.
Pediatric dentists are experts in providing oral health care to children and can provide preventive services, diagnostic services, and treatment services. They can also provide anticipatory guidance to parents on how to care for their child’s teeth at home, including brushing, flossing, and diet advice. A pediatric dentist can also provide education to children on how they need to care for their teeth and the importance of avoiding sticky, sweet, or acidic foods from a young age. These dental professionals can also prepare children for orthodontic treatment and assess a child’s risk factors for developing oral cancer and diabetes. Additionally, these dentists keep up to date on the latest advances in pediatric dentistry and provide new treatments as they become available.
If your child needs specialized dental care, a pediatric dentist is the best person to see. They have the experience and expertise necessary to provide quality care for your child’s oral health.
Sleep Apnea Appliances
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, snoring, or gasping for air during sleep, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that most commonly occurs due to obstruction of the airway; as the soft tissues in the mouth and throat begin to relax, they are often able to block or significantly restrict airflow.
Our practice develops appliances to be worn during sleep, similar to mouthguards, that can resolve this problem by slightly repositioning the lower jaw forward. This opens up the airway and allows air to flow as these tissues relax.
If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it is important to act quickly and accordingly. Depending on the severity of the situation, there are different steps that you can take. Here are some helpful tips:
- If you have a severe toothache, try rinsing your mouth with warm water to help ease the pain. You can also take ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation.
- If you have an open wound in your mouth, rinse it with warm water.
- If you have a broken tooth, rinse your mouth with warm water and use a cold compress to reduce swelling on the outside of your face.
- If you have an abscess, apply a warm compress and rinse your mouth with warm water.
In each of these cases or emergencies, unlike those listed above, we encourage you to call our office for further instruction as well. Remember, if you are experiencing a dental emergency, it is important to act quickly and accordingly. We want you and your family to be safe and healthy during this time.
Your Ideal Dentist For General Care
When you choose River Hills Dentistry as your family’s dental care provider, you are choosing a dental team that puts you first. Each of our patients receives the utmost respect, care, and prioritized service when they schedule an appointment with us, and that care continues long after the appointment is over (or before it begins)! Any questions, concerns, or needs you have can always be met by a quick call to our office.
At River Hills Dentistry, we care about your smile because we care about you. Call today to schedule your appointment with us; we will be waiting!