Dr. Guillot and his experienced hygienists at Pine Belt Dental will determine the appropriate interval for your routine dental examination and cleaning though most healthy adults should visit the dentist every 6 months. During a routine examination and cleaning visit, Dr. Guillot will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. His dental hygienists will remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and, if appropriate, apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.
Fluoride is an important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure and helps prevent future decay.
In addition, digital radiographs (X-rays) will be obtained yearly to determine if any changes have occurred to your oral status.
If your tooth structure is damaged due to decay or fracture, a filling may be the right choice for you. A filling involves replacing and restoring your tooth's integrity with a long-lasting dental material. Many options are available, including amalgam (silver metal) fillings, composite (tooth-colored) fillings or ceramic inlays, onlays, or crowns. Dr. Guillot will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options in order to help you determine which restoration is right for you.
Unfortunately, most large fillings of any type will fail as a result of breakage or decay penetrating around the edges. As a result, that tooth may need to be restored with a different procedure. Durable and esthetic ceramic crowns are becoming the restoration of choice when large fillings are too unstable to be viable. Dr. Guillot performs cosmetic fillings when possible but uses his own CAD CAM technology to make beautiful, natural-looking ceramic crowns in his office.
The grooves and depressions that form the back teeth's chewing surfaces are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing there. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars, premolars, and cavity-prone areas. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Q: How often should I see a dentist?A: The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year. This helps insure the proper monitoring of any placed or advised restorative treatments. Some oral conditions require us to recommend visiting our office more frequently than twice per year. We will determine the proper frequency for you on an individualized basis.
Q: What should I expect during my appointment?
A: Your first visit will involve meeting with Dr. Guillot for a complete examination of your mouth. This examination includes a thorough inspection of all hard and soft tissues of your mouth, including your teeth, bone, gums, throat, cheeks and tongue, and an oral cancer screening. Any other necessary diagnostic records such as x-rays or study models may be taken at this time.
This comprehensive examination is performed because we believe that in order to prevent dental disease any active disease must be evaluated and eliminated. We use the information gathered to develop an individualized treatment plan. We generally begin your treatment with a cleaning, however in some cases we will need to further review the information we gather and determine the appropriate course of action.
Q: What types of payment options are available for my dental treatment?
A: We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and CareCredit. We also provide financing options through Harrison Finance. We also offer interest-free financing on Orthodontic treatments. Our Financial and Treatment Plan Coordinator will be happy to discuss any of these options, as well as assist you in efficient use of your insurance benefits.
Q: Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
A: Yes! We offer ZOOM!® Whitening products. Our in-office whitening sessions take about an hour, resulting in the fastest and most dramatic whitening changes. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouthguard that fits your bite. Each day you fill the mouthguard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day. Our office also offers Sheer White® professional whitening strips.
Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.
Q: What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth, or teeth that don't respond to normal bleaching methods?
A: We offer many different procedures that can help these problems.
Dr. Guillot offers several options to correct these oral situations. Many cosmetic dental procedures are available for enhancing your smile. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Veneers can be positioned to close gaps. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Crowns can also be made to adjust the size and position of your teeth. Porcelain veneers, composite bonding, and crowns are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.
Orthodontic treatment, either with brackets and wires, or with a removable clear tray system, can also be used, alone or in conjunction with other cosmetic options, to close gaps between the teeth, and address many other problems related to tooth position.
Q: Why is a crown, rather than a large filling, sometimes the best option for my tooth restoration?
A: Sometimes a large filling can be placed, but this option may be dependent upon the amount of remaining tooth structure. Therefore, this option will only prolong the inevitable, more stable, and permanent crown restoration. These options should be discussed with Dr. Guillot to determine the best individual long-term option for you.