General Dentistry in Somersworth
Godfrey Dentistry provides general dentistry in Somersworth, NH. Call 603-692-2045 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
Our general dentistry services include the preventive care that helps keep your teeth and gums healthy, as well as procedures that improve your oral health. It’s important to take a proactive approach to your dental care for a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.
Comprehensive Evaluation/Oral Examination
The American Dental Association recommends a comprehensive evaluation every six months. During this appointment, we conduct a visual examination of your head, mouth, and neck in order to detect any abnormalities or areas of concern. If needed, we will take digital radiographs to identify cavities, issues with your restorations, gum and bone recession, or other conditions that cannot be seen during a visual inspection.
Dental Cleaning vs. Scaling and Root Planing
A comprehensive evaluation usually goes hand-in-hand with a dental cleaning, as both are recommended twice a year. Also known as an oral prophylaxis, a dental cleaning removes dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from your teeth. First, an ultrasonic device loosens large pieces of tartar, then a hand tool removes smaller deposits. Your teeth are polished to create a smooth surface that makes it harder for new plaque deposits to collect, then flossed.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the first line of treatment for patients with gum disease. Also known as deep cleaning, this procedure involves removing plaque and calculus from below the gum line, then smoothing the surface of the roots to encourage gums to reattach, eliminating the periodontal pockets where plaque and bacteria collect.
Custom Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are an often-overlooked component of preventive dental care. Both adults and children should wear mouth guards while practicing and playing sports to protect the lips, gums, teeth, and arches. Custom-made mouth guards offer superior protection to the types of mouth guards that can be bought in stores, greatly reducing the severity of dental and facial injuries.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is needed when the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected or irritated. Your tooth is opened, then the pulp is removed and the chamber is cleaned and disinfected. The root canals are shaped, then a filling is placed inside the tooth to seal it and reduce the chances of future infection. Once the root canal treatment is complete, you will need a dental filling or crown to restore the tooth.
There are times when a tooth cannot be saved with a root canal or other restorative treatments. In these cases, it may need to be extracted. Your tooth and the tissue surrounding it are numbed with local anesthesia, then a tool called an elevator is used to gently loosen your tooth before it is removed with forceps.
Frequently Asked Questions About General Dentistry
What is included in a dental cleaning?
A dental cleaning includes removing plaque and tartar deposits, polishing the teeth to remove stains and create a smooth surface, and flossing. A fluoride treatment may also be included, depending on your needs.
Is dental cleaning painful?
If you floss regularly and brush well at home, your dental cleaning shouldn’t be painful because you won’t have as much tartar to scrape off. That said, even if you do have a lot of tartar deposits, our hygienists use a gentle touch to ensure your comfort!
Can gum disease be cured?
Scaling and root planing can cure early-stage gum disease before any permanent damage has occurred. In more severe cases of gum disease, scaling and root planing can cure the active infection, but you will likely have damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone that will need to be addressed by additional procedures.
Which is better, an extraction or a root canal?
If both of these procedures are an option for you, we recommend getting a root canal because it will allow you to preserve your natural tooth. This is always the best outcome for your oral health.
Is a root canal painful?
Root canals have a reputation for being painful, but modern techniques and local anesthetic mean that they are no more painful than any other restorative dental procedure.
Call 603-692-2045 to schedule an appointment.