General Dentistry
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General Dentistry

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Many patients will have no reason to see a dentist beyond general dentistry services, including preventive care and treatment for mild forms of oral diseases, such as restorations of small cavities. However, it is important for all patients to see a dentist at least twice each year for exams and cleanings. This gives your dentist an opportunity to monitor your smile for signs of issues like tooth decay and gum disease, which are much easier to treat when they are diagnosed in their earliest stages. Seeing your dental providers at regular intervals also gives you a chance to ask any questions that you may have about your home oral hygiene routine to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your smile in tip-top shape.

Exams And Cleanings

Semi-annual dental exams and cleanings are the foundations of a healthy smile. When your dentist closely inspects your teeth and gums every six months (and takes annual x-rays), it is much more likely that the dentist will be able to identify issues like cavities and gum disease before they have a chance to become major problems. Your dentist will also complete an oral cancer screening during these exams, which can actually save your life. The prognosis for oral cancer is much better when the disease is diagnosed before it spreads to surrounding tissues.

Your professional dental cleanings are just as important to your oral health as your exams are. You may be tremendously conscientious about your home oral hygiene regimen, but plaque and tartar can still accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth, especially along the gumline. It is easier for a dental hygienist to reach certain areas of your smile than it is for you to brush, so professional cleanings help to eliminate plaque and tartar accumulation in those areas. Additionally, the hygienist can instruct you on proper brushing and flossing techniques to make sure that you are getting the greatest benefit from your daily routine.

Dental Radiographs

Dental Radiographs or x-rays will be used by your dentist to evaluate your oral health. The dentist will use the x-rays taken of your mouth to determine the presence of any cavities, infections or periodontal disease.

During your initial exam, the dentist will require at least 4 bitewing x-rays and one panoramic x-ray be taken. If the dentist determines you are a high risk for cavities or suspects the presence of pathology or infection, the dentist may recommend more x-rays be taken.

Digital vs. Traditional X-Rays

dental-xrays-richardson-texasDigital Radiographs now used by most dental offices offer the advantages of less radiation, faster processing times, and higher quality images over traditional x-rays.

A Digital Sensor attached to a computer is used to capture high-quality images directly to a computer and display the images on the computer’s monitor instantaneously. The same sensor can be repositioned quickly and capture another image making the process of acquiring the images far more efficient and comfortable. Also gone are the days of waiting up to 30 minutes for traditional x-rays to be processed.

These digital images can then be enhanced by the computer to better diagnose your oral health. The x-rays can be enlarged to fit your monitor screen or contrast adjusted to sharpen the image. This enables the dentist to better diagnose and better educate you on your oral health.

These Digital Sensors enable The dentist to capture high-quality images using far less radiation time than traditional x-rays. Although the radiation dose measured from 4 traditional bitewing x-rays on traditional film was already a very small fraction (1%) of the average yearly radiation received from natural sources in the U.S.A., digital x-rays require only a quarter of the exposure time of traditional x-ray film. Digital radiographs decrease the radiation dose from 4 bitewing dental x-rays to 0.3% of the average yearly radiation from natural sources in the U.S.A.

Do You Need X-Rays?

Every patient will need x-rays during their initial exam to evaluate their oral condition. Many cavities can go undetected with a visual oral exam. Cavities which begin in between your teeth cannot be visualized without x-rays until it may be too late. Other cavities which may start below your gum line also may not be detected without radiographs.

X-rays also allow the dentist to determine the health of the bone supporting your teeth, know as your periodontium. X-rays are necessary to visualize the loss of bone supporting your teeth and help the dentist diagnose periodontal disease.

X-rays also allow the dentist to determine the presence of any pathologies associated with your teeth and jaws such as infections, cysts, and tumors.

How Often Should X-Rays Be Taken?

The dentist will determine how often you will need x-rays, but most people will need 4 bitewing x-rays once a year. A Panoramic x-ray or Full Mouth Series of X-rays may be taken every 3-5 years. The dentist will make his determination based on your medical history, cavity risk, presence of periodontal disease, and presence of any dental pathologies or dental infections.

American Dental Association’s Guide to Dental X-Rays

Other Preventive Care

In addition to routine exams and cleanings, some patients may benefit from other services, such as sealants and fluoride treatments. We encourage patients to take advantage of all of the possible treatments that can make their teeth as strong as possible. Sealants can help to protect teeth that are particularly cavity-prone, while fluoride treatments promote re-mineralization of the teeth. This process is important for both pediatric and adult patients.

Oral Disease Treatment And Management

Sometimes patients may develop oral diseases, despite their best efforts to avoid them. We can provide treatment for these diseases and restore your oral health. For example, small cavities can be addressed with dental fillings, which are provided in our office and take between 1-2 hours to complete. Larger cavities may require more extensive restorations. We are also able to address early-stage gum disease, such as gingivitis and mild periodontitis with either a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing, depending on the severity of the condition.

Dentures

In certain cases, most or all teeth are lost due to gum disease, cavities, disease or a genetic disorder. In these cases, full or partial dentures offer an economical option for restoring a beautiful smile.

Full dentures help to replace teeth when all teeth must be removed. Partial dentures may be used to help replace as few as one tooth or to replace many teeth in an arch. Dentures will not only help provide a more youthful appearance, but they will also aid in chewing and speech.

How are Dentures made?

A denture is fabricated after teeth are lost. Once the hopeless teeth are removed, the gums and bone are allowed to heal and remodel. Most remodeling occurs within the first six weeks and once the gums and bone have stabilized, the denture fabrication process can begin. The process begins with impressions of your mouth. Once models of your mouth have been made, measurements are taken. Denture teeth made from plastic are tried in for proper shape and color. Once the shape and color have been approved the denture is made. The denture is delivered with the chosen teeth.

Types of Denture

dentures-richardson-texasFull Denture: A traditional denture which replaces all teeth within an arch. It is usually made from acrylic and plastic teeth.

Immediate Dentures: In certain cases, an immediate denture may be indicated. An immediate denture is delivered “immediately” after the hopeless teeth are removed. These dentures are only indicated in a limited number of cases.

Cast Partial Denture: A cast partial denture only replaces a few missing teeth within an arch and is supported by a metal framework. This type of denture may have metal clasps to attach and hold to your natural teeth or it may have a “cosmetic” clasp made from a more natural colored acrylic.

Flexite Partial Denture: A Flexite partial denture only replaces a few missing teeth within an arch and is made from a more flexible acrylic. There is no metal framework or clasps to support it giving it a more natural appearance. However, the lack of a metal framework makes this partial denture less rigid and limits the cases for which it is indicated.

Schedule a consultation today to see which option is right for you.

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Common General Dentistry Questions
How often do you really need to go to the dentist?

Patients should see their dentists at least every six months in order to maintain their oral health. Patients receive dental exams and professional cleanings at these routine checkups, and both of these services are essential not only to your oral health, but also to your overall wellbeing. We understand that it can be difficult to fit these appointments into a busy schedule, but we offer early evening hours and see patients on Saturdays, as well. We want to make getting dental care as convenient for you as possible.

Are dental cleanings necessary?

Patients may think that if they are diligent about brushing and flossing, dental cleanings are unnecessary. However, that is not correct. You still need to have professional cleanings periodically in order to remove plaque and tartar buildup from areas of your smile where it’s more challenging to reach. Additionally, tartar, which forms when plaque combines with the minerals in your saliva to form calcified deposits on your teeth, cannot be removed by brushing alone. Only a hygienist using specialized tools can remove tartar from your teeth.

How often should I brush and floss?

You should be brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing daily. Keep in mind that technique is important in making sure that you are getting the greatest benefit from these oral hygiene habits. You should be brushing for two minutes at a time. Less than that is not sufficient to clean your teeth, and more time can cause you to overdo it. You should also make sure that you are using proper tools. For example, a brush that is excessively worn won’t be effective at cleaning your teeth and brushes with bristles that are too hard may actually cause wear and tear on your enamel.

What if I have a dental emergency?

We are able to accommodate dental emergencies within our schedule, so if you experience a dental emergency, call our office as soon as possible. We will either arrange for you to be seen in our office or refer you to another provider, such as your local emergency room, if the case is more urgent. We can also offer guidance on how you can manage the situation on your own until we are able to see you in our office.

We provide exceptional, comfortable dental care with compassion.

Richardson Family Dentistry eagerly accommodates your busy schedule, budget concerns, and comfort.
Dr. Nish Kapadia | Richardson Family Dentistry | Richardson TX
Dr. Nish Kapadia

Dr. Nish Kapadia knows that many people may feel apprehensive about going to the dentist due to innate fear or past traumatic dental experiences, and this is very common! Our goal is to provide gentle, comfortable care with compassion, understanding, and respect for your feelings. We offer dental sedation options as well as relaxing patient amenities to help you feel at home in our Richardson dental office and at ease in our care. The Richardson Family Dentistry team would like to invite you to experience the difference at our practice while restoring yourself to optimal dental health!

Dr. Kapadia is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association and Dallas County Dental Society. When he is not practicing dentistry or attending dental continuing education courses, he enjoys running, biking and cooking. Dr. Kapadia is an avid Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers and Texas Longhorns fan.

Dr. Kapadia takes pride in helping others. He is excited about giving back to Richardson, TX, the community in which he was raised. Dr. Kapadia is truly your Richardson Dentist!