Kansas City Preventative Dentistry
Family Dental Care
Oral health is important at any stage of life and preventative dental services can help at any age. At Adams Dental Group, we offer dental care for the whole family. Kids, teens, and adults can all benefit from the high-quality general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services our dentists offer during convenient appointment times to accommodate your family. You can always trust the team at Adams Dental Group to deliver the comfortable, customized care you and your family members need to maintain healthy, beautiful smiles for a lifetime.
Early Dental Diagnosis
To prevent means to avoid. Everybody knows that most health and dental problems are preventable. In recent years, the link between oral disease and other health problems has been proven. Your mouth is the gateway to your entire body and its health determines your overall health. We believe that brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are key to a beautiful smile and a happy, healthy you!
Your next step is to schedule a dental examination with radiographs (digital x-rays) and cleaning.
Dental Exams | Dental Evaluation
At the heart of any prevention program is a complete dental exam. This exam often includes radiographs (dental x-rays). We use this information to inform you about the overall condition of your mouth and any dental care that is needed. Afterward, we clean your teeth to remove stain, plaque, and tartar buildup.
A majority of people need a dental cleaning twice a year; others who build up heavy stain and tartar or are battling dreaded gum disease need to have a teeth cleaning more often.
Most of our patients love to have their teeth cleaned. It’s fun to let someone else do all the work for you while you lay back and relax… and when it’s all done, your teeth are sparkling clean and you feel like a million dollars!
If you need feedback on dental hygiene we will be glad to help.
Radiographs | Digital X-rays
One of the most powerful diagnostic tools we use is radiograph technology. Our state-of-the-art digital radiograph (dental x-ray) system quickly produces clear, sharp images which allow for the accurate detection of a wide range of dental concerns.
During dental cleanings at Adams Dental Group, plaque and tartar build-up will be removed from tooth surfaces, between teeth, and along the gum line. Preventative dental services and treatments, such as fluoride treatments and sealants, may be suggested during the cleaning to strengthen teeth and provide additional protection from decay.
Our customized dental cleanings go above and beyond the standard experience and offer more in-depth treatment than at-home brushing and flossing can provide. A professional dental cleaning by one of our Registered Dental Hygienists cleans your teeth and reaches areas that a conventional toothbrush can’t access. These procedures can remove bacteria and plaque buildup, reducing the potential for developing gum disease, cavities, and other serious problems. Plus, dental cleanings can give your teeth a refreshing polish and provide you with a brand new reason to smile!
If during your cleaning, the dentists notice an area of concern, a follow-up treatment may be recommended to address the issue. The dentists will develop a customized treatment plan that can offer you the best possible results.
Periodontal Disease | Gum Disease
One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal (gum) disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unhealthy gums are a red flag; they can be a warning sign of future tooth loss and the potential for stroke and heart disease. Patients can prevent gum disease by simply practicing good dental hygiene and attending routine checkups with the dentists and their expert team of caring professionals.
Without proper cleanings and regular flossing, plaque and tartar buildup can allow bacteria and disease to flourish in our mouths, especially within the gums. At Adams Dental Group, it is our goal to eliminate the potential for gingivitis and gum disease with customized oral hygiene treatment plans that include risk assessment, cleanings, gum pocket measurement, and thorough gum tissue examination. Untreated gum infections can lead to gum recession, bleeding gums, tooth movement, tooth loss, and even risks to your overall health. Routine checkups are vital to early detection, treatment, and control of these common dental health concerns.
Warning signs of Gum Disease:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
These things can increase your risk for Periodontal Disease:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Diseases, such as diabetes, that lowers your body’s resistance to infection
- Many medications, such as steroids and blood pressure drugs, can affect your gums
- Teens, pregnant women and those taking birth control pills and are experiencing changes in their hormone levels
- Genes may play a role, if you have a family history of gum disease, be extra alert for changes in your gums
If risks are detected, the dentists will recommend the appropriate treatment to get your periodontal health back on track. Periodontal care may include deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) and the application of antibiotics to eliminate disease.
Diabetes affects over 25 million Americans. It can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, and other parts of your body. Diabetes also can affect your teeth, gums and the rest of your mouth. The good news is if you control diabetes with a healthy diet and proper medicine and have regular dental and medical visits you are less likely to have these problems.
Young adults with diabetes are about twice as likely to get gum disease. In older adults with diabetes, gum disease is often more frequent and more severe, especially if they smoke.
Remember, diabetics with poor sugar control are more likely to lose teeth than diabetics who have good sugar control.
Getting regular dental exams, professional teeth cleanings, and gum disease screenings is important. They can help your dentist detect and treat dental problems early. Before dental treatment, make sure your blood sugar level is normal.
You also should let the dentists know:
- That you have been diagnosed with diabetes
- If the diabetes is under control
- If there have been any other changes in your medical history
- The names of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking
Oral Cancer Screening
Regular screenings for oral cancer are an important part of every routine dental exam. Diagnosing oral cancer in its very early stages is critical because each year 7,500 deaths are caused by this disease. There are no early symptoms that are obvious; therefore, having oral screenings during your routine dental checkups are the most effective way to recognize any irregularities as early as possible. During the oral cancer screening process, the dentists looks for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions present within the tissues of the mouth. If abnormalities are detected, the dentists will suggest further tests to achieve a specific diagnosis.
For patients who do not smoke or use tobacco, we suggest having an oral cancer screening once every year. We suggest at least two screenings each year for those patients who do smoke or use tobacco. Remember, the chance of surviving oral cancer greatly increases with early detection and treatment.
Fluoride Treatments & Sealants
For years, dentists have been preventing cavities by applying fluoride and sealants to teeth.
Fluoride hardens teeth making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth, helping to prevent tooth decay; early decay can also be reversed by remineralizing enamel. Fluoride is found in our drinking water and our toothpaste, but not in the same amounts as these treatments. The dentists can apply fluoride as a gel, varnish or foam to the teeth. Fluoride treatments work well on the walls of teeth by providing a rock hard shell of protection.
Dental sealants prevent cavities by acting like a barrier; thin resin coatings that are applied to the deep cracks and canyons (pits) that are common on the biting surfaces of back teeth. These pits cannot be thoroughly cleaned with tooth brushing because the toothbrush bristles cannot completely sweep these areas clean. Dental sealants protect the susceptible areas by “sealing out” food and plaque.
With fluoride protecting the walls and sealants coating the surfaces, we’ve got you covered.
After we meet you, talk with you, clean and examine your teeth; we start to get an idea of how you are doing in the dental health department. We see if you are doing great, ok, or just plain terrible.
This is where dental coaching comes in. We are great at it because we have seen it all! Some people do so well that a simple, “Great job! See you in 6 months” is just the trick. Others need instructions on how to do a better job, such as, how to brush your teeth; how long to brush your teeth; or how to floss your teeth. Maybe it’s a particular area that is just hard to reach and is being missed, or an out of position tooth that is tricky to get clean. Some just need to be advised on which toothpastes and toothbrushes, manual or electric, would be a better choice for them. We even have a few tricks up our sleeves for special circumstances.
Good coaches don’t lecture and scold you, but rather they take the time to learn about your personal needs. It is our calling to coach you, cheer you on, and encourage you to take great care of your pearly whites. Mostly, it’s that we care and want you to succeed. Your teeth are worth a fortune and we want them to last a lifetime.
We love being able to help our patients in this upbeat and encouraging way and hope you will let us be your dental coach!
Mouth Guards | Bite Guards | Night Guards
Only proper tooth shape and positioning can prevent occlusal trauma during everyday activity (eating, grinding, clenching, etc.). Preventative dental services and products such as mouth guards, also referred to as bite guards, are an important tool for preventing these problems when they are the most damaging, while you are sleeping.
For patients experiencing these symptoms, the dentists can create a custom night guard that stabilizes the bite and prevents clenching and grinding from occurring; this is typically the first and least invasive step in treating TMJ disorders and headaches that come from jaw stresses. Night guards are designed to be comfortable to wear, and patients typically notice a reduction in pain and a sounder night’s sleep soon after starting to wear the device. Many patients who finally get a custom mouth guard will tell us they don’t know how they ever lived without it.
Bruxism | Teeth Grinding
About 15% of people have a habit of grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws, a condition called bruxism. Most people do it in their sleep, so it often goes unnoticed until a family member hears the grinding sound or a dentist notices symptoms. If diagnosed early enough, bruxism can be treated before it causes damage to the teeth.
In some cases, grinding occurs because the top and bottom teeth are not aligned properly. It may be a response to pain, such as an earache, or the result of a sleep disorder. Most often, bruxism is related to stress. Alcohol and caffeine intake can aggravate the condition, causing more severe grinding or clenching.
A mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. Studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer injury to the teeth if they’re not wearing a sports mouth guard.
If you’re playing any kind of sports, you need to protect your teeth. An accidental punch, tackle, or kick in the mouth can damage your teeth. Broken teeth and injuries to your lips, face, jaw or tongue can be minimized, because protective sports mouth guards help cushion a blow to the face since they are typically covering the upper teeth.
The best type of mouth guard is one that has been custom-made and fitted for your mouth by the dentists and their expert team at Adams Dental Group. Basketball and football are top offenders. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, the dentists may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well. If you have a removable appliance or retainer, do not wear it during contact sports.
Do your child and yourself a big favor and insist they wear a protective sports mouth guard. They can be made in a variety of thicknesses and team colors to make any athlete happy.
Once your teeth have been put into the proper alignment, it is important to retain them in position for life. It is common for teeth to shift back to their previous positions once braces are removed, but retainers can help hold teeth in the proper position, preventing relapse. Retainers may be prescribed to be worn at night and/or at times during the day depending upon the degree of reinforcement needed to preserve the smile. As time goes on, you may become less dependent upon the retainers, but it may be advisable to continue them for occasional nighttime use.
Halitosis | Bad Breath
Everyone experiences bad breath occasionally, whether from eating a strong smelling food, having morning breath, or taking certain medications. But if you’re dealing with persistent bad breath every day, there may be an underlying hygiene issue or health concern that we can help you address with our preventative dental services.