Preventive Dental Care for State College Patients
At the dental office of Kevin P. Labosky, DMD, our top priority is to help our State College, PA patients keep their smiles healthy. We achieve this goal by partnering with patients during six month dental checkups and teeth cleanings, providing patient education in at-home hygiene, and offering a wide array of preventive services to protect your smile. If it’s been six months or six years since your last dental office, contact us to schedule a dental checkup today and start down the road to a lifetime of outstanding oral health.
Checkups and Cleanings
Six month dental checkups and teeth cleanings are the foundation of every dental care plan at Kevin P. Labosky, DMD’s dental office. These regular appointments allow our team to help patients prevent many common oral health issues from ever occurring. For those health conditions we cannot prevent in partnership with our patients, six month checkups make it possible for us to diagnose and treat these concerns in their earliest stages. This means we’re able to preserve the maximum amount of natural dental structure, and provide conservative, minimally invasive treatments to restore damaged smiles. Each dental checkup begins with a careful diagnostic screening for the most common oral health issues including tooth decay, gum disease, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, teeth grinding or clenching known as bruxism, and oral cancer. Next, our skilled hygienist carefully cleans plaque and tartar buildup from teeth. Then, we sit down one on one with patients to review our findings, discuss areas for concern, and develop a plan to achieve and maintain the optimal level of oral health for our patients.
Plaque and tartar buildup on the surfaces of teeth weaken the enamel and lead to decay over time, but dental sealants coat the surfaces of teeth protecting them from decay-causing plaque and tartar. This treatment can be applied to teeth during any dental checkup, and the process is fast and completely painless. We simply paint the liquid sealant material onto the surfaces of teeth. Then, we use a curing light to harden the sealant into position. With proper care, sealants remain in place for years.
Nightguards for Bruxism
The unconscious nighttime grinding and clenching of teeth is referred to as bruxism, and this oral health condition can lead to a variety of issues like excessive dental wear, jaw joint strain, and chronic headaches. To prevent potential dental damage and other concerns associated with bruxism, our team can custom craft nightguards that place a physical barrier between teeth preventing wear. These nightguards are comfortable, and they allow patients to breath unimpeded, speak, and even drink water while wearing their guard.
Mouthguards / Sportsguards
Protecting smiles is essential for our patients at all times, but it’s especially important when teeth are at greater risk. Participating in sporting events is one of the highest risk activities, and athletic injuries are the leading cause of tooth loss in patients under 25. That’s why our team encourages patients to protect their smile while practicing or playing any sport where their smile can come into contact with other players, hard surfaces, or sports equipment. Our custom mouthguards provide superior comfort and protection compared with those guards available from local sporting goods stores.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer claims one life every hour in the US, and according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to reduce this number is to intervene at earlier stages. That’s why we complete oral cancer screenings as part of every six month dental checkup at our State College, PA dentistry practice. Quick and painless, these examinations help us diagnose oral cancers in their earliest stages. We encourage patients to let us know right away, if they experience common warning signs including throat pain or hoarse voice, lumps or bumps in soft tissue, and sores that won’t heal.
Fluoride is a nutrient essential in developing and maintaining strong, healthy bones. As teeth are formed, fluoride needs to be ingested to assist in the development. However, once teeth have erupted from the gum line, fluoride needs to be applied topically in order to maintain the density of tooth enamel. Many of our patients receive adequate levels of fluoride from the daily use of fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes. For those patients who are more prone to tooth decay, professional-grade fluoride treatments may need to be applied to protect teeth.
Sleep Apnea Therapy
Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. When patients are diagnosed with this common sleep disorder, they are often unaware that the dentist may be able to offer them a comfortable solution that allows them to sleep peacefully through the night. Traditionally, sleep apnea has been treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) systems. These systems use air to keep the throat open during sleep preventing apnea incidents. Unfortunately, many patients find themselves CPAP intolerant. That means they are unable to adjust to the sounds or sensations associated with using their CPAP machine, and their sleep remains interrupted. For some of these patients, oral appliance therapy may offer an alternative. Rather than using air to keep the throat clear, oral appliances shift the jaw forward which causes the throat muscles to tense keeping the airway open during sleep. Custom oral appliances from a dental office offer a comfortable, portable sleep apnea solution.