Oral Health

Comprehensive Exams

The mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first present themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral exam is recommended each time you visit a new practice to serve as a benchmark of your overall health. 

During an examination, your dentist will perform a visual examination as well as a more detailed dental examination using one or more X-rays to detect:

  • New cavities
  • Weaknesses in previously placed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
  • Gum or bone recession
  • Tooth wear due to abnormal bite, bruxism, or TMJ

Your dentist will also perform a visual and digital examination of lymph nodes throughout the face and neck, looking for any abnormalities, pain or flexibility within the nodes that could be markers for disease. Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue, and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted.   

The comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may otherwise be undetected.  Your dentist will be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:

  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Oral cancer
  • Immune abnormalities
  • Sinus problems

With a comprehensive exam every six months, we can manage small dental problems before they grow into larger, more complicated issues. Keep up to date with thorough dental checkups at Dental Care at Pleasant Hill. Call us at 803-490-7760 to schedule an appointment.

Gentle Professional Cleanings

Everyone over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. It's a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach during routine toothbrushing. Professional cleaning includes an examination of your teeth and gums, tooth scaling (removal of plaque) and tooth polishing. It involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. At Dental Care at Pleasant Hill, we provide comfortable, gentle hygiene cleanings. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.

Important Reasons to Get Professional Cleanings

  • To detect possible health risks, such as oral cancer and gum disease
  • To prevent tooth loss
  • To maintain good physical health
  • To eliminate bad breath
  • To have a brighter, whiter smile

The Teeth Cleaning Process

  • Physical exam, using a small mirror to check teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other concerns
  • Removal of plaque and tartar, using a scaler
  • Gritty toothpaste cleaning, using a high-powered electric brush
  • Expert flossing by the dental hygienist
  • Rinsing, to get rid of any debris
  • Applying fluoride treatment, to help fight against cavities for several months

Regular, professional teeth cleaning is vital to maintaining your oral health. Call Dental Care at Pleasant Hill at 803-490-7760 today.

Night Guards

If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let Dental Care at Pleasant Hill help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth.  Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.

Read more about Night Guards

Oral Cancer Screening

The dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage — when cancer or lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured. When found at the early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate. Early detection is imperative!

Read more about Oral Cancer Screening

Laser Gum Therapy

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the supporting tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. In laser gum therapy, your dentist uses a laser to access and remove the inflamed gum tissue from around the root of the tooth. This technology replaces cutting of the gum tissue with a scalpel and does not require stitches. When the infected tissue is removed and the root is exposed, the root scaling begins. This involves scraping off the tartar and plaque built up below the gumline and around the root. The dentist then smooths the root with instruments to remove any rough spots that might attract bacteria and cause future infections. The area between the gum and the root can then regenerate during the healing process.

Read more about Laser Gum Therapy