Regular Dental Exams
Our patients know that with regular visits to Portland Family Dentistry save them unnecessary discomfort, expense, and time. Taking care of problems when they are first detectable, small, and relatively simple is the best way to preserve teeth and prevent more extensive and expensive treatment. Filling a small cavity is a quick and easy process when compared to the complex procedures required to restore deep cavities and tooth neglect, which can develop into tooth aches, infection, or tooth loss. Just because nothing hurts doesn’t mean that everything is okay with your teeth. Only regular exams with Dr. Travis Agee can detect problems when they’re still minor, or prevent them from occurring at all.
Most dental problems don’t have symptoms until they advance to a stage that requires a big commitment of time and money to repair. A great example is tooth decay, which doesn’t cause pain until it has encroached into the nerve. At that point, a root canal and crown are usually necessary, instead of a small filling. However, with routine care and examinations, Dr. Agee has the experience to detect a cavity long before it develops symptoms.
At Portland Family Dentistry, we believe it is much easier to prevent decay than it is to treat it. For that reason we are advocates for fluoride treatment for our patients that could benefit from its use. As your choice the best dentist NE Portland has to offer, we know that many scientific studies have shown the benefits of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize teeth, stop cavities from developing, and make your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth.
Often the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of back teeth, particularly molars, are very prone to decay. As part of prevention, we will often recommend sealants, or a protective coating in those grooves to prevent food debris from sticking in them and causing cavities. Sealants are essentially painted onto the teeth with no need for an injection or drilling, which means it’s quick, easy, and painless for kids and adults.
Periodontal, or gum disease progressively destroys the gums and jaw bone, which support your natural teeth. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque, the yellowish film that sticks to your teeth along your gum line.
Bacteria found in plaque irritate your gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. Prolonged irritation can cause inflammation and infection that the body tries to fight off. The bacterial infection, along with the body’s defense against that infection, can cause deterioration of the bone and soft tissue that hold teeth in place. If this process goes untreated, it can lead to loosening of teeth and eventual tooth loss.
Plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar) if not consistently removed each day. Periodontal disease is best prevented by thorough daily brushing and flossing of your teeth, along with regular routine visits to see the hygienist.
Scaling and root planing, sometimes called a deep cleaning, is a common treatment for periodontal disease. This method allows Dr. Agee and a registered dental hygienist to provide a thorough cleaning of the teeth and root surfaces, preventing progression of the disease.