Thomas & Associates : Preventative Dental Cleaning
While good daily hygiene habits play a big part in healthy teeth, your regular check-ups and dental cleanings are vital. Regular cleaning by a hygienist keeps your gums healthy by removing plaque and tartar. Regular check-ups and x-rays allow your dentist to educate you on the condition of your teeth and gums and catch potential problems early, when a solution is more likely to be simple and effective.
At Thomas & Associates, your check-up will include an oral cancer screening as well as an opportunity to discuss any other concerns you may have. Dr. Thomas takes the time to get to know you so he can help you with solutions to frustrating problems, such as night tooth grinding and smoking cessation.
Your overall health is our priority. Call Thomas & Associates today to schedule your appointment.
Cleaning and Ultrasonic Cleaning
At Thomas & Associates, we encourage you to schedule a cleaning with one of our professional hygienists every 6 months to maintain maximum oral health. Your comfort is always our priority and you can expect gentle, thorough cleaning of your teeth both above and below the gum line. Our hygienists also polish your teeth to remove those stubborn stains that mar your smile.
Have you found that your regular dental cleaning is a bit more involved? Some of our patients have a significant build-up of tartar, which over time forms deposits of calculus. This is a tougher cleaning job that no amount of brushing will help.
If you have not seen a dentist in a while, your cleaning may also take some extra time. For these tough cases Dr. Thomas may recommend an ultrasonic cleaning.
What is an ultrasonic dental cleaning?
Dr. Thomas uses an ultrasonic scaler to distribute vibrations that blast tartar and calculus from your teeth. Sound waves break up the calculus deposits while water sprays from the tip, washing away bits of calculus and tartar, and keeping everything cool. The process is quick, painless and dramatically reduces the plaque bacteria that can get trapped in your gums and cause disease.
You will notice your teeth feel cleaner after an ultrasonic cleaning. Most important, at Thomas & Associates we believe it is effective in slowing the progression of gum disease.
Ask Dr. Thomas if an ultrasonic cleaning may be helpful to you.
Deep Scaling / Root Planing
The objective of scaling and root planing, also called periodontal therapy, is to remove the hardened plaque and calculus that cause inflammation in your gums. By eliminating these agents, we can eliminate the bacteria that ultimately causes gum disease and leads to tooth loss.
Scaling and root planing provide a deeper cleaning than your standard hygienic cleaning. Deep scaling removes plaque and calculus from the crown, gum line and below the gum line, and root planning targets specifically the hardened materials on the root dentin. Both procedures are performed using periodontal scalers, curettes and through ultrasonic cleaning at Thomas & Associates.
Dr. Thomas’ state-of-the-art ultrasonic scaler effectively removes these hardened deposits from below the gum line quickly and without anesthesia. Sound vibrations break up plaque and calculus and water washes the debris away. Most patients find the procedure painless, or experience only mild sensitivity, for which Dr. Thomas has a variety of solutions. The procedure also reduces the appearance of stains on your teeth.
If you are already experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, scaling and root planing is strongly suggested to slow its progression. Because plaque below the gum line will form deposits of calculus if not removed, scaling, often through an ultrasonic cleaning, is usually the first step in treatment.
Contact Thomas & Associates if you have questions about scaling or root planing, or for the most advanced teeth cleaning in the North Canton or surrounding Ohio areas.
What does an orthodontist do?
Orthodontists treat a dental problem known as malocclusion or, in simple English, “bad bite.”
There are several types of of malocclusions, most of which are inherited. Some others are simply acquired as we grow up.
Typical malocclusions include extra or crowded teeth, missing teeth, or a misaligned jaw.
Some problems can start pretty early from early or late loss of baby teeth and thumb-sucking.
Accidents can be another cause.
Although we love children and we specialize in pediatric dentistry, children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from an Orthodontist.
Adult teeth straightening can correct many problems, while improving both appearance and confidence.
Children should receive an Orthodontist evaluation by age seven.
Adults, because their facial bones have stopped growing, may not benefit solely from braces.
How long do you have to have braces for?
Although it varies based on each individual, typically, braces are in place for 24 months. Adult treatment may take a bit longer.
What should you expect for your Orthodontics treatment plan?
First, a pretreatment record is made as a diagnostic tool. This includes a medical and dental history, clinical exam and creating plaster study models of the patient’s teeth. Photos are also taken of the patient’s face and teeth along with X-rays of both the mouth and head. All this information is used in determining the best course of action.
Since everybody is unique, a custom orthodontics treatment plan is developed. There are a variety of different orthodontic appliances available. Based on the treatment plan that the Orthodontist recommends for you, the best appliance is selected and constructed.
After the appliance is in place, treatment moves to the “active” phase. During this time, the appliance is periodically adjusted so the teeth are moved correctly. It’s very important that the patient works their part of the treatment plan by wearing rubber bands and making their recall appointments.
After the active phase, treatment moves into the “retention” phase. This is simply a matter of wearing a retainer to insure the teeth stay in their new locations.
Clear and tooth colored braces
People are often concerned about “brace-face.” Rest assured, today’s braces are much less noticeable than those of days gone by. Brackets, that part of the brace that hold the wire, are bonded to the teeth. They can be metal, but there are also clear and tooth-colored options. Today’s wires are less noticeable, too. New materials allow for a steady, gentle pressure on the teeth. This results in a faster process and more comfort for the patient.
Although orthodontic treatment requires time, most people feel the benefits far outweigh the time invested in the overall treatment.
Below are before and after examples of the orthodontic procedure:
If you are looking for an Orthodontist in the North Canton or surrounding areas, contact Dr. Thomas & Associates.
Over years of studies and a better understanding of tooth decay prevention, dentists learned that while fluoride treatments were significant in defending against decay, sealants could take protection even further. Thomas & Associates are specialists in the application of sealants for children and adults to prevent tooth decay.
Why apply tooth sealants?
The chewing surfaces of your teeth have many bumps, grooves and fissures, making them susceptible to cavities due to trapped food. Children’s teeth are especially vulnerable, with deeper grooves and pits on those new, barely worn teeth, especially molars. Children and adults alike can find it difficult to reach molars with their toothbrushes, and even careful brushing can miss bits of food deep in these grooves, allowing the growth of bacteria and leading to decay.
The application of tooth sealants on the appropriate teeth can help prevent tooth decay at any age, but is especially beneficial for toddlers and children ages 4 to 17.
How are tooth sealants applied?
Your dentist will first clean and dry the tooth to be treated. Then a thin layer of liquid plastic material is painted over the pits and fissures of the tooth. Your dentist will use a blue spectrum natural light for a few seconds to cure the plastic on the tooth. There also are brands of sealants that self-cure.
The cured plastic coating becomes a hard, thin layer covering and protecting the treated portions of the tooth. It usually will last five years or more without any special care or treatment.
Sealants are a great choice for young children as they learn appropriate care of their teeth. However, for adults who find they are vulnerable to decay for various reasons, Dr. Thomas strongly recommends sealants to provide added protection.
If you have questions for yourself or your children regarding application of tooth sealants in Canton, North Canton or Massillon, Ohio, contact Thomas & Associates today.
Oral Cancer Screening
Regular screening for cancer during your dental check-up is the most important step you can take when it comes to treatment and prevention of cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will occur in the United States each year, and more than 9,000 will die.
That’s why Dr. Thomas looks for indications of oral cancer before you experience symptoms. Screening during your annual check-up assures an opportunity to catch oral cancer early, when treatment is easy and your prognosis is strong.
What to expect
Your oral cancer screening takes only a few minutes and is performed during your dental cleaning and exam. Most oral cancers occur on the tongue and floor of the mouth so your dentist will examine these areas carefully.
Your dentist will look for lesions, areas of Leukoplakia (an abnormal white patch of cells) and areas of Erythroplakia (an abnormal red patch of cells). Such lesions may be precancerous or cancerous.
Your dentist will also palpate the jaw and neck areas for signs of asymmetry, swelling or temporal wasting. If any areas of suspicion are found, your dentist can recommend the next step to identify any abnormal tissue that might be precancerous or cancerous.
To schedule an oral cancer screening in the North Canton, Canton, or surrounding Ohio areas, contact Thomas & Associates.