Preventive Dentistry Keeps Newton Centre Smiles Whole & Healthy
At Newton Smile Centre, our dentist and team partner with patients to help them get their healthiest smiles and keep them for a lifetime. We encourage patients to visit us every six months for a general and preventive dental checkup. During these appointments, we’re able to prevent many major oral health issues, and we diagnose and treat those we’re unable to prevent in the earliest possible stages. Contact our Newton, MA team to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Brookline and all of the Greater Boston area.
Dental checkups and teeth cleanings are the fundamental component of a preventive dentistry plan. This is the bare minimum necessary to keep patients’ smiles healthy. The American Dental Association recommends patients visit their dentist at least twice a year in order to prevent severe concerns, preserving oral health. During these six month dental checkups, we take the time to carefully examine the interior and exterior structures of patients’ smiles. We look for signs of developing oral health concerns and check existing restorations for damage or wear. This includes visual examination as well as diagnostic x-rays. We screen for signs of common oral health concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), and oral cancer. Following the examination, one of our skilled hygienists will carefully remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth. Finally, Dr. Walid Ben Aissa sits down with patients to discuss any oral health concerns and their treatment options.
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the small connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull and allow for easy, comfortable movements while speaking, chewing, and talking. When the TMJ are strained or damaged, the result can be pain or reduced range of motion. In severe cases, patients are unable to move their jaw at all. TMJ dysfunction (TMD) can occur for a number of reasons, but many patients experience TMD due to damage caused by unconscious teeth grinding and clenching at night, known as bruxism. While teeth grinding may seem like an innocuous habit, it may cause dental damage and wear. The side effects of TMD and bruxism can often be relieved using comfortable, custom crafted oral appliances. These nightguards allow the jaw to rest together in the ideal position, and they place a physical barrier between teeth preventing damage caused by bruxism.
It’s just as important to have a complete understanding of any oral health issues that affect the underlying dental structures as it is to diagnose those concerns that are visible on the surfaces of teeth. That’s when we rely on radiographs, commonly referred to as x-rays. Traditional x-rays exposed patients to large amounts of radiation, took time to capture and develop, and offered images that were not clear enough to diagnose oral health issues in the earliest stages. Digital x-rays are not only faster and more comfortable to capture, they also offer higher definition images that are immediately viewable on chairside computer monitors while exposing patients to significantly less radiation compared with traditional x-rays. Digital x-rays can be rotated, enlarged, or otherwise enhanced, making them a useful tool to help patients understand oral health concerns and their potential treatments.
As primary and adult teeth develop below the gum line, fluoride ingested in tap water, supplements, and other foods and beverages, create strong, durable enamel. Fluoride is a hard working mineral that fortifies teeth while simultaneously attracting other nutrients that improve dental strength. Once teeth erupt from the gums, topical fluoride is needed to keep enamel strong. Most patients achieve necessary dental strength through regular brushing with fluoridated toothpastes, but for younger patients who are developing their oral hygiene routines and adults who are prone to tooth decay, we are happy to provide professional doses of fluoride. These fluoride treatments can be quickly and painlessly administered as part of any dental checkup.
Oral cancer claims one life each hour on average in the US, and contrary to popular belief, this disease does not just effect those who use tobacco products. While tobacco use increases risk for oral cancer, it is only one of many high risk behaviors that may contribute to increased risk for oral cancer. Additionally, more than 25% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer do not engage in any high risk behaviors. That’s why oral cancer screenings are so important. We screen for the warning signs of oral cancer as part of every six month checkup, in order to diagnose the disease in its earliest and most treatable stages.
We welcome young patients at our Newton, MA dental office. We offer a variety of treatment options specifically geared toward helping children develop healthy primary and adult teeth, including fluoride treatments. Our dentist and team have years of experience working with young patients and their unique oral health and behavioral needs. We’ll work with your children to learn to care for their smiles at home, and help them keep smiles healthy for a lifetime. Most importantly, our gentle, compassionate care builds positive associations with the dentist for kids.
Soft tissue lasers have transformed the way we care for our patients’ smiles at every level. We can use lasers to provide thorough cleanings, especially for those patients with periodontal (gum) disease, without irritating tissue or leading to excessive discomfort. Most patients are completely comfortable, and their soft tissue returns to its regular color and texture within 24 hours of treatment. Laser dentistry has improved the comfort and effectiveness of a variety of treatments including periodontal therapies and cosmetic gum recontouring.