Preventive Dentist in Kansas City
Wow! Life is busy! There are the demands of work, the kids’ after school activities, help with homework, laundry, grocery shopping—oh yeah, what’s for dinner tonight?—and the list goes on and on. Finding the time to brush and floss your teeth twice each day can be challenging, never mind squeezing in dental checkups. However, these checkups are an important component of the preventive dentistry that Dr. Byars and his team adhere to in Kansas City, MO. We want to partner with you in helping your family enjoy the benefits of a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles. In other words, we can make life a little easier.
Preventive Dental Care Options
Oral Hygiene Visits
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone schedule a dental cleaning and exam twice each year, and we agree. In addition to your regular oral hygiene routine at home, these visits are important, so we can monitor your oral health. We keep especially close watch for the early signs of tooth decay and periodontal disease, and of course, we professionally clean your teeth in order to remove any built up tartar, which can be a precursor to gum disease. Our team uses the latest in dental technology in order to get the most comprehensive picture of your dental health. With intraoral cameras and digital x-rays, we receive the clearest images of your teeth and gums, and we can share our findings with you on the computer screen next to the exam chair.
During your dental exam, one of our hygienists will look for signs of periodontal disease, which include gums that are red and swollen or that bleed too easily. You may also be aware of chronic bad breath, another symptom. Gum disease is an infection and like any other, needs immediate treatment to arrest its advance. With root scaling and planing, we clear away plaque and tartar, smooth root surfaces so plaque is less likely to stick and if necessary, apply topical antibiotics to your infected gums. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call or e-mail us today to learn more about periodontal disease.
The youngest members of your family need regular preventive dentistry just like you do. The difference is that we reserve our silliest antics for them, so they always have happy memories of seeing the dentist. In addition to cleaning their teeth and checking for decay and gum disease, we may also recommend fluoride treatments and dental sealants for your children. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, the first line of defense against cavities. Likewise, dental sealants provide a thin but solid layer of protection against decay-causing bacteria.
No matter what the ages of the sports enthusiasts in your family, a sportsguard—also called a mouthguard—is essential to protect their teeth, lips, gums, and tongue during play and practice. Dr. Byars can fabricate a custom-fitted sportsguard that fits comfortably, so you won’t be distracted when the competition heats up. Call or e-mail to schedule an appointment for a custom mouthguard today.
Nightguards for Bruxism
Patients who experience unconscious nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, bruxism, may think there’s no way to stop this problem that typically occurs as they sleep. However, we offer a comfortable, effective solution – oral appliance therapy. These custom oral appliances are called nightguards, and they create a barrier between teeth that prevents potential wear, chips, and cracks from excessive grinding. While wearing their nightguards, patients can speak, drink, breathe, and swallow without any impediment, making this solution very comfortable.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) occurs when the joints connecting the jaw to the skull are damaged or strained. This causes jaw, head, and neck pain, limited or no jaw mobility, discomfort when chewing or speaking, clicking and grinding sound during jaw movement, and ringing in ears. We offer a variety of treatment options for patients suffering from TMD including oral appliances worn during sleep. These mouthguards adjust the bite to rest in its most comfortable position during sleep, relieving strain and reducing unnecessary movements. Most patients experience pain relief after just a few weeks with their oral appliance.
Oral Cancer Screening
Screening for oral cancer occurs as part of every six month checkup at Byars Dental. Many people make the mistaken assumption that only those who use tobacco are at risk for oral cancer. However, there are a number of other high risk behaviors associated with this disease, and many patients who are diagnosed take part in none of these activities. The majority of patients diagnosed each year do not live five years beyond diagnosis, and the Oral Cancer Foundation recommends early diagnosis as the best way to reduce the mortality rate. That’s why regular screenings at our practice are so essential.
Keep your teeth strong and free from decay with topical fluoride treatments at our Kansas City, MO dental practice. For children and adults who suffer from frequent decay, regular application of topical fluoride can significantly reduce their risk for cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride attracts nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel, fortifying teeth. If we determine you could benefit from fluoride therapy, we apply a coat of fluoride to the surfaces of teeth during six month checkups. The fluoride continues to work between visits, keeping your smile whole and healthy.