Keeping your smile whole and healthy for a lifetime is the top priority at the Annapolis dental office of Dr. Barry Grosshandler. Many patients still think they only need to visit a dentist when there’s something wrong with their smiles, but research indicates that preventive care is the best way to keep smiles whole and healthy for a lifetime. If you’re new to Annapolis or looking for a new dental practice, contact our dedicated dentistry team to schedule an appointment.
Dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings are an essential aspect of every preventive dentistry routine. During a checkup, patients receive diagnostic x-rays. These x-ray and digital images are used to help patients understand areas for concern and treatment options and allow our team to diagnose oral health issues in the earliest stages. Additionally, a thorough, tooth-by-tooth evaluation is completed to screen for tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), and oral cancer. A skilled dental hygienist will carefully remove plaque and tartar buildup from even those parts of the tooth that cannot be accessed during regular at-home teeth cleanings. The most important aspect of any dental checkup is the face-to-face dental consultation with your trusted dentist. During this consultation, we’ll review any areas for concern and treatment options. Any questions you have will be answered, and the dentist will take the time to get to know you and all of your oral health and hygiene needs.
Young patients who are still developing their oral hygiene skills, adults who are prone to tooth decay, and those who have deep pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth, may all benefit from dental sealants. This preventive service uses a clear sealant material to create a protective coating over the surfaces of teeth. Dental sealants can be placed as part of any checkup appointment. We simply paint the liquid sealant over teeth and use a curing light to harden it into place. One application will remain in position for years.
If you suffer from chronic nighttime teeth grinding or clenching, you may be suffering from an oral health condition known as bruxism. Most patients with bruxism only grind and clench their teeth while sleeping, but some people actually experience these symptoms while they’re awake. Bruxism has a number of causes, and in some cases, the disorder will clear up on its own over time. For instance, many patients suffer from bruxism caused by stress. For these patients, reducing or eliminating stressors will improve oral health and relieve teeth grinding and clenching. When bruxism is chronic, a simple treatment option may be able to completely relieve the warning signs and effects of this oral health issue. Nightguards are custom crafted oral appliances that place a physical barrier between the rows of teeth preventing wear or damage. Unlike store bought appliances, custom nightguards are much more comfortable and effective, making patients more likely to consistently wear their nightguards.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) attach the jaw to the skull bone by tiny connective tissues that allow the mouth to open and close without pain or impediment. When these small joints are damaged, the result is TMJ dysfunction which causes pain or impeded jaw movement. In order to repair this issue, we may offer a variety of treatments to realign the jaw, preventing unnecessary strain on the TMJ. One of the often used treatments for patients with TMJ dysfunction is an occlusal splint. These oral appliances force the jaw into its ideal alignment during sleep, relieving undo strain and allowing the jaw to rest and realign.
If you or a family member participate in any sports where the smile may come in contact with other players, sports equipment, or hard surfaces, wearing a custom athletic mouthguard to protect teeth from traumatic injury is essential. Custom sportsguard from our skilled dentist offer much more comfortable, effective protection compared with one-size-fits-all options available in local sporting goods stores. The customized sportsguards increase compliance since they are much less likely to trigger gag reflex or block the airway.
Oral cancer claims one life an hour, and 50% of those diagnosed with oral cancer this year will not survive more than five years beyond diagnosis. Early diagnosis is one of the best ways to ensure patients receive the care they need. That’s why our team includes screening for oral cancer as part of every dental checkup.
Young patients, those who experience chronic dental sensitivity, and patients who are prone to tooth decay may all want to consider professional fluoride treatment. We can quickly apply topical fluoride to the surfaces of teeth. Fluoride and the nutrients it attracts to the surfaces of teeth help to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay or dental sensitivity. Many patients receive adequate fluoride from daily tooth brushing, but for those patients who need a little extra help strengthening their smiles, professional fluoride therapy is a great option.
Dental emergencies happen, and sometimes in the most inconvenient of times. If you or a loved one experience a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Grosshandler and his Annapolis dental team. We’re happy to provide same-day appointments for many patients who are in need of urgent dental care. The sooner we know about the problem, the sooner we can take care of it. Don’t put a dental emergency on the back-burner. Call us today!
Gum disease affects as much as 80% of US adults over the age of 35, and when we catch this oral health condition in the earliest stages, we’re often able to renew dental health with just a few more frequent professional teeth cleanings. In cases of advanced periodontal disease, we also offer a variety of therapies to fully repair the damage.