How can we help you?
At our Acadiana dental office, we believe strongly in educating and empowering our patients to take charge of their own dental care. We encourage and welcome all your questions about our practice, dental procedures, and your treatment.
Please take a moment to browse through this selection of questions we are often asked. If your question isn’t answered here or if you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online!
Preventive Dental Care
Letting us know you experience sensitivity is important, that way we can take extra care on areas that bother you. We want to encourage our patients to communicate with us about how they feel during their dental appointments so that when we reach a particularly sensitive area, we can take extra caution with air and cold water. Sometimes these measures alone can make all the difference.
Gum Recession and Sensitivity
For areas of recession, we can discuss some options for you to make those parts of your teeth less sensitive. From special products such as pastes and fluoride treatments designed to reduce sensitivity to more permanent options like gingival grafting, fillings, or veneers, we can address your specific concerns once we see you for an exam.
Extreme Gum Sensitivity
In some extreme cases, when patients really experience a lot of gum sensitivity, we can use numbing agents or sedation to help manage pain so that you can have the professional cleaning you need. Putting of your dental cleaning due to sensitivity will only worsen your condition and create other health issues for you.
Finding out the cause of your sensitivity will allow us to help you solve the problem once and for all. Whether it is because of clenching and grinding or for some other reason, addressing the problem allows you to feel more comfortable, have professional dental cleanings, and enjoy the beverages you love.
When you come in for a professional dental cleaning with our highly skilled hygienist, you get more than just a polish. Our dental hygienist is often the first set of eyes to notice anything different about your dental health or your health overall.
If you suddenly have a dramatic change in the health of your gums, it can indicate a more serious illness or condition. Therefore, our hygienist often asks a number of questions before getting started so that she can update your medical history and make sure all is well.
Dental Cleaning in Lafayette
Once our hygienist gets down to the business of cleaning your teeth, They may use a small measuring device to determine the health of your gums. Your gums are supposed to fit tightly against your teeth; otherwise, food and bacteria can get caught in those pockets.
If we notice any areas that require you attention, we will let you know, so you can pay extra attention to them when you brush and floss.
Then our hygienist will gently and thoroughly remove any calculus (hardened residue) from your teeth. Once this residue hardens, you cannot remove it on your own.
Our final step includes polishing your teeth to remove any remaining particles or surface stains so that your smile looks shiny and feels smooth.
It is important for you to understand that for most adults, every six months is the very minimum frequency required to maintain your oral health. Because plaque hardens into calculus in about twenty-four hours, some people require more frequent dental cleanings.
Age and Oral Health
As we age, our body chemistry changes and what may have worked to keep us healthy in our twenties no longer works in our fifties and sixties. Various factors play into the necessity for more frequent dental cleanings. Factors such as saliva production, medications, home care habits, and diet all play a role.
As people age, saliva production can reduce, increasing the likelihood of periodontal (gum) disease. Certain medications can also cause dry mouth symptoms or make it harder to keep your teeth clean.
As people age and develop arthritis and lose dexterity, home care becomes a challenge. One way to counteract the loss of dexterity is to schedule more frequent hygiene appointments. We may also help with tools and products to make home care easier for our patients.
Diet and Dental Health in Lafayette
Your diet plays an important role in dental health. Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables supports your overall health as well as your oral health.
If you have questions about coming in for more frequent dental cleanings, let us know.
Each patient is different and has different needs when it comes to their dentistry. Drs. Smith and Domingue custom tailor treatment for our patients based on their specific needs. That includes the frequency of their exams and dental cleanings.
Regular Dental Cleanings
For many of our patients, we recommend examinations every six months. If you do not have a lot of dentistry or if you are generally healthy, every six months is about right. Every six months is also the recommendation we make for children.
In some cases, it might be appropriate to see you more often, and if this is the case we will discuss this with you. For example, if you struggle with gum disease or excessive dental decay, we may recommend that you come to our office every three or four months to keep your infection under control or for additional treatments such as deep cleanings or fluoride to help your teeth and gums to stay healthy.
Most of our patients appreciate our focus on prevention and see the value in more frequent visits when they experience dental problems.
Contact Our Lafayette Dental Practice
If you feel like you need more frequent dental visits, contact us and we can help to accommodate you so that we can best support your dental health and wellbeing.
Yes. Regular professional cleanings are essential to excellent dental health. Unfortunately, they can be the first thing to get put off when your schedule is extremely busy or when money gets tight. But putting off your regular cleaning appointments can cost you dearly in the long run.
It's nearly impossible to remove every last trace of plaque, even with excellent brushing and flossing habits. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed with a toothbrush or dental floss. Hygienists use specialized tools to remove this tartar accumulation. Regular removal is important to prevent tartar and bacteria from causing cavities or gum disease, which will develop if tartar is allowed to remain below the gum line.
Periodontal Treatment in Lafayette
Once periodontal (gum) disease starts, it can be a difficult and expensive task to keep it under control. You may require a more expensive and extensive deep cleaning called root planing and scaling.
Root planing and scaling involves the removal of tartar and infection below your gum line. Often, additional medication is placed beneath your gums to assist in healing. Once you have had this extensive cleaning procedure, it is incredibly important to remain diligent in your oral hygiene because you may be more susceptible in getting recurrant periodontal disease.