We strongly believe that the key to a healthy, happy smile is regular preventive maintenance. By making a regular investment in your dental health, more costly treatment can often be avoided later. Follow each link to read official ADA information about the service in which you’re interested.
Not only does an examination with Dr. Price include checking each of your teeth for potential problems, but it also includes oral cancer screening, head and neck evaluation, periodontal examination (to check for gum disease and bone loss around the teeth), and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) evaluation. We feel it is important to offer our patients all available options, and only recommend treatments we’d use for ourselves or our family members. We believe that the most appropriate treatment isn’t always the most expensive one, and we always want our patients to feel comfortable asking questions and participating actively in their own dental healthcare.
Oral cancer is, unfortunately, on the rise in our country. While some patients have additional risk factors, including use of tobacco or alcohol, others do not. Current research is helping us to understand the correlations between several strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) and oral cancers. Early detection is essential to successful treatment outcomes. Dr. Price and our team of professional dental hygienists perform oral cancer screenings at each dental checkup appointment, carefully checking for an abnormalities and tracking changes in the head and neck. We also offer Velscope oral cancer screening as an added screening device.
We utilize digital radiography, which reduces radiation exposure to our patients by about 90% vs the amount found in conventional film systems. Digital films also require no developing, reducing the amount of time our patients spend waiting. We follow American Dental Association recommendations for frequency of radiographs, typically recommending updated radiographs be taken yearly in order to detect any changes.
Regular cleanings with our registered dental hygienist (RDH) are essential to keeping your smile healthy and reducing risks of periodontal disease. While daily brushing and flossing are essential, professional cleaning can help to remove the plaque and tartar that may have been missed. Professional cleaning is typically recommended every six months, though for some patients, more frequent cleanings may be beneficial.
In accordance with American Dental Association guidelines, we believe that fluoride can make a dramatic impact in preventing tooth decay (cavities). Fluoride has also been shown to help re-mineralize (reverse) some small carious lesions (cavities). We recommend fluoride supplements for many of our pediatric patients and prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste for many of our teenage and adult patients, and we offer fluoride rinses and varnishes in the office.
One of the most common places for cavities to begin is in the deep pits and fissures in the biting surfaces of posterior teeth. Often, your toothbrush and floss are unable to effectively remove plaque and bacteria that accumulates in these areas. Sealants are resin coatings that are placed inside these pits and fissures in order to prevent future cavities. Sealants are inexpensive, applied quickly and easily, and require no anesthesia.
We believe in educating our patients, so they can make well-informed dental healthcare decisions. In addition to chairside instruction, we utilize DexCam intraoral photography. These high-resolution photos allow us not only to show you what we see, but also to track changes over time as needed.
Teeth grinding and/or clenching, also known as bruxism, can be painful and destructive to teeth. Often, patients are not aware this is happening, but symptoms may include jaw soreness, waking up with dull headaches, facial pain, or sleeplessness. Patients also may suffer from cracked, chipped, or broken teeth because of bruxism. Night guards work by putting a barrier between the teeth. When you clench or grind, the night guard helps to lessen tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This cushioning not only helps to prevent face and jaw pain, but also shields your tooth structure, and can help with better sleep. Several options are available, but all are custom fit and offer valuable protection!
Athletes of every age should wear a mouthguard to protect their long-term oral health. Dental trauma suffered during a sporting event can seriously impact the long-term health of a smile if a tooth becomes cracked, broken, chipped, or even knocked out. By wearing a custom-made mouthguard, athletes can help to protect their smile and reduce their risk of suffering permanent damage due to trauma. Unlike over-the-counter boil and bite mouthguards, our custom-made guards offer superior protection, an improved fit, and better comfort. Studies have also found that athletes who wear a mouthguard can help to reduce the force that occurs to the neck and head during contact, thereby lowering the risk of concussion.
Joyce has been with Bigfork Dental Center since 1984! She is a wealth of knowledge, and is well versed in topics from insurance to treatment options, and everything in between! Joyce has called Montana home for more than 40 years, but her roots are in Ohio (Go Buckeyes!). When she isn’t in the office, she is helping her husband run their bed and breakfast in Troy or spending time with her children or grandchildren. Count on Joyce to help with any questions you may have!