Dental Examinations & Consultations In Kentwood
We at Kentwood Family Dental Care believe every new patient relationship should begin with an in-depth examination and consultation. Dr. Michelle recognizes we are all unique and will take the time to fully examine your personal dental needs and listen to your insight into your own dental desires. Dr. Michelle also understands maintaining a beautiful smile with optimal oral health requires a team approach involving himself, the Kentwood Family Dental Care Smile Team, and you, the patient. That is why Dr. Michelle devotes ample time during this exam to involve you with visuals and explanations of your current dental health so you better understand your specific dental situation and how you can help to obtain and maintain a beautiful, healthy, well functioning smile.
After your examination, Dr. Michelle will review these findings and create a customized plan for your smile integrating the importance of function, esthetics, and oral health. Dr. Michelle and our Patient Coordinator will present a plan and answer any questions you have with regard to insurance benefits, scheduling, the financial aspects of your plan and any other questions relating to your treatment recommendations. We often review your proposed dental plan the same day as your examination, however, in more complex situations, Dr. Michelle may need to devote more time examining your dental status involving mounted study models and will ask you to return for a short consultation to review the proposed plan at a future date.
Cleanings & Checkups
The best way to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile is to have excellent at home oral hygiene accompanied with routine professional cleanings and dental check- ups. Although Kentwood Family Dental Care offers numerous services to restore health to your mouth with relative comfort, it is always preferable to preserve and protect your natural teeth. Routine check-ups allow Dr. Michelle the opportunity to find dental problems at initial stages when they typically can be reversed with simple habit modifications and oral hygiene instructions.
Cavities form when teeth spend too much time in an acidic environment, often from being exposed to sugary or acidic foods and drinks too often.
The cavity process starts when acid softens the outer enamel. At this initial stage, you can often reverse the process simply by changing some habits, improving your oral hygiene, and using a prescription strength toothpaste like Clinpro.
As a cavity worsens, the tooth weakens and a hole forms. The process cannot simply be reversed now and the cavity must be removed. With smaller cavities, Dr. Michelle can simply remove the cavity and restore the tooth back to its naturally appearance and function with a simple tooth colored filling.
Sometimes a cavity destroys enough tooth that replacing the decayed part of the tooth with a filling is not enough to repair it. In these cases, a porcelain restoration like a crown or onlay is needed to restore the tooth back to its natural appearance and function.
Root Canals allow Dr. Michelle to get you out of pain while saving your natural tooth. Root canals become necessary when the tooth nerve becomes damaged. Dr. Michelle is fully committed to ensuring your root canal goes smoothly and painlessly with strong anesthetics and advanced techniques.
Gum disease is one of the most common diseases. It occurs when bacteria and their toxic byproducts remain in your mouth breaking down your gums and their supporting bones. Recent studies have also shown that these bacteria and their harmful byproducts are strong contributors to heart disease, stroke, and preterm childbirth. However, this disease can be avoided with good home care, regular check-ups, and professional cleanings. If periodontal disease has begun, it can often be controlled with deep cleaning procedures in which your teeth are numbed and then thoroughly cleaned below the gum line.
Dental implants are a wonderful advancement that allows Dr. Michelle the ability to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth with a strong, natural looking, and sturdy replacement. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is permanently placed in your bone. An artificial tooth or bridge can be attached restoring your missing tooth or teeth back to their natural appearance and function. Dental implants are the ideal treatment to replace a missing tooth because of their ability to protect against the bone loss that typically occurs when a tooth is lost. Dental implants can also be used to anchor dentures and partials allowing them to function like natural teeth. Long time denture wearers or patients who have difficulty wearing conventional dentures can often gain incredible support from implants.
Bite Guard Therapy
Bite Guard Therapy allows Dr. Michelle to evaluate and protect teeth and biting muscles in scenarios where an unstable bite is causing incoordination in biting muscles that may be leading to worn, fractured or mobile teeth, sore or sensitive teeth, limited jaw opening, muscle tenderness, and/or headaches. Dr. Michelle fabricates a hard splint to cover all the top or bottom teeth and adjusts the splint so the opposing teeth close into an ideal bite and move smoothly in all directions.
Bite stabilization is done to treat an instable bite that is causing incoordination of biting muscles leading to harmful forces on teeth, muscles and the TMJ (jaw joint). Bite stabilization is an adjustment of your teeth so they all hit properly when your TMJ is in the optimal position and allows your jaw to move smoothly from side to side and front to back along your front teeth. Teeth that do not come to an ideal bite are slightly reshaped, by removing a minimal amount of tooth structure involving only the enamel (outermost coating) of the tooth or building up tooth surfaces with restorations to allow all the teeth to meet evenly in the best position for your jaw and biting muscles.
Dentures & Partials
Dr. Michelle realizes well fitting and functioning dentures and partials require multiple appointments and patient feedback throughout various stages. Dr. Michelle will take that time to create beautiful, well-fitting dentures and partials to replace lost teeth bringing function and beauty back to your smile.However, some long term denture and partial wearers or those people who have extreme difficulty wearing dentures or partials cannot feel comfortable in a conventional denture. Dental implants have allowed Dr. Michelle the ability to create implant-supported dentures that have great support and comfort while being held in place by the underlying implant support.