The first step in attaining a beautiful smile is establishing a healthy one. That’s why even at the cosmetic dentistry office of Dr. Scott Greenhalgh, our experienced team performs a variety of general dentistry services to give you the best results possible.
To learn more about achieving and maintaining optimal oral health with our general dentistry services, call 303-988-9060 today to schedule your appointment with our team of dental professionals. Scott Greenhalgh, DDS serves patients in Denver, Lakewood and nearby areas of Colorado.
- General Dentistry Services We Provide
- Dr. Greenhalgh’s Preventive Approach
- The Problem with Missing Teeth
- A Pain-Free Mouth Doesn’t Mean a Healthy Mouth
- How to Prevent Oral Problems
- Personalized Preventive Care
- Schedule Your 6-Month Dental Exam Today
General Dentistry Services We Provide
While establishing good dental hygiene habits is a great way to promote a healthy smile, there are some forms of care that only your general dentist can provide. That’s why the best way to obtain good oral health is to visit your general dentist regularly.
By scheduling regular check-ups, Dr. Greenhalgh can monitor the ongoing condition of your oral health and establish a relevant plan of action for preventing and treating any potential problems for which you might be at risk. This will ultimately save you time, money and lots of extra, unwanted dental problems.
General dentistry services we provide include:
- Dental exams: On your first visit, we will give your mouth the most thorough dental exam you’ve ever had, from your lips and cheeks to your teeth and gums. We cover every aspect of your oral health and check for signs of oral cancer and early gum disease.
- Teeth cleanings: While you might be a stickler for brushing and flossing, your mouth will thank you for the thorough cleaning you’ll get from our office, not to mention all of the professional advice you’ll get from Dr. Greenhalgh to help you keep your mouth cleaner and healthier between visits.
- Oral cancer screenings: Our Vizlite oral cancer screening technology detects precancerous tissue and oral abnormalities that go otherwise undetected during regular exams.
- Restorative tooth treatments: Whether you need a filling for a cavity, a tooth crown to repair extensive damage or you need to replace missing teeth, our dentist can help.
- Periodontal treatment: Dr. Greenhalgh’s laser dentistry technology can be used to remove inflamed tissue caused by gum disease while simultaneously disrupting the bacterial biofilm that harms your gums, thus making it easier for your immune system to fight back. This can also help with halitosis (bad breath).
- TMJ/TMD relief: If you’re experiencing headaches and jaw stiffness, you might be suffering from TMJ caused by severe misalignment. Dr. Greenhalgh can help treat your TMJ Disorder to alleviate your symptoms.
Dr. Greenhalgh’s Preventive Approach
Dr. Greenhalgh will review your medical history and any medications you are taking and discuss how both may affect the health of your mouth. You can talk about any discomfort you have when visiting a dentist and he will suggest ways to ease your dental anxiety. He will ask you how you like your smile, and how you might like it to be improved.
As part of his complete examination, Dr. Greenhalgh will:
- Do a thorough head, neck and oral cancer examination.
- Examine your jaw joints, jaw muscles and bite.
- Inspect all your teeth carefully to check for cavities.
- Take photos and X-rays of your teeth and show them to you to illustrate any particular problems that you have.
Dr. Greenhalgh will give you a summary of any problems he found and explain them in a way that makes sense to you. He will suggest options and discuss which would be best for your unique situation and why.
Before starting on any dental work, he will give you an estimate of the cost and offer you several different payment options. He will take the time to describe how he will fix your problems in a way that will keep you confident, pain-free and healthy.
Dr. Greenhalgh provides information and answers that most people have not heard before. Many of our patients say, "I wish somebody had told me this a long time ago!"
The Problem with Missing Teeth
If you ignore small dental problems by putting off treatment or by only doing what your insurance covers, a big problem will erupt and you will be at a crossroad. The easy route might then appear to be removing the tooth. But the better way is to properly restore it, even if it needs major rebuilding.
The same forces that worked on that problem tooth are also working on other teeth. With missing teeth, you have reduced chewing strength, more pressure on the remaining teeth, and unbalanced chewing. You should have a replacement made for the missing tooth, which could require dental implants, a dental bridge or a partial denture.
Great replacements for one tooth or a few teeth are straightforward and can look very natural. But when you are missing many teeth, treatment becomes more expensive and time-consuming. Don't let yourself get to this point!
In his decades of practice, Dr. Greenhalgh has found that only 10 percent of denture or partial denture patients are happy with their prosthetic teeth, meaning nothing hurts, and they can eat whatever they want. The other 90 percent can't chew well, their prosthetics can be loose, and they're embarrassed to eat in public. Their hated prosthetic teeth wind up in a drawer. Using prosthetics can change your personality, diet, and social life. People don't realize how awful this can be until it actually happens to them.
The same problems that cause you to lose one tooth cause you to lose others. If you start down this path, you will probably end up with partial dentures replacing multiple missing teeth or even full mouth reconstruction.
A Pain-Free Mouth Doesn’t Mean a Healthy Mouth
Many diseases and disorders affect the mouth such as:
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
- TMJ issues (jaw, bite, muscular and headache problems)
- Excessive tooth wear
Your genetics, personal oral hygiene habits, diet and physical health all affect whether or not you'll experience the problems caused by these disorders. It will help if you learn which problems you tend toward and how to stop small problems from becoming big. You should have gum measurements, an oral cancer exam, a TMJ screening, and a bite analysis. Some dental problems are caused by your physical health. For example, medication for high blood pressure can dry your mouth and make you prone to more cavities and thus worsen any gum disease.
How to Prevent Oral Problems
Once you know there's a problem, get it fixed as quickly as you can. If you wait too long, you may need additional procedures, which means more time and money. A cavity today can easily become a broken tooth needing a dental crown next year. Small problems can often be handled with just one appointment and without pain or complications.
Use these tips to maintain a healthy mouth:
- Six Month Cleanings No Matter What: If you've been diagnosed with gum disease or are prone to gum problems, you'll need a periodontal cleaning every three to four months. Decide to take care of your teeth with regular dental cleanings, even if you don't have dental insurance.
- Brush Your Teeth Correctly: Some people don't clean their teeth well enough. Data show that the average person brushes their teeth for 37 seconds. What can you possibly clean in 37 seconds? Dr. Greenhalgh uses and recommends the Sonicare™ electric toothbrush. One of the best features about the Sonicare™ is that it has a built-in timer that runs the brush for two minutes and then shuts it off. Using this feature, your teeth will be four times cleaner without your having to think about it. Dr. Greenhalgh advises brushing two, preferably three, times a day.
- Floss Daily (Or at least three times a week): One of the areas where cavities most often develop is the interfaces between back teeth. You can get two cavities wherever two teeth touch, and this is why you hear so much about flossing. Cavities between teeth are bothersome to fix, often requiring a porcelain restoration instead of a simple white composite filling. If you can’t commit to flossing every day, start with just three times a week.
- Don’t Neglect Your Molars: Almost all serious gum disease occurs between the last molars. Clean well here, and you'll avoid both cavities and gum problems. Diet can have a profound effect on your teeth. Sweets, soda or constant snacking can produce an acid rain assault on your teeth, producing damage that could require dental crowns to repair, instead of just fillings.
- Get Regular X-Rays: Regular X-rays identify small cavities before they progress to bigger problems. We have seen too many patients who want to put off their X-rays, only to find later that their cavities have spread extensively. At that point, treatment becomes significant and often expensive. Prevention saves discomfort and dollars.
- Stop Smoking: Smoking worsens gum disease and slows healing. If you have any type of gum problem, stop smoking. Smoking also seriously lowers the success rate of surgical treatments, including dental implants. Chewing tobacco, which contacts mouth tissues directly, is a major cause of oral cancer. If you're interested in quitting, we have many tools available to help you succeed.
Personalized Preventive Care
Your mouth is unique, which means your dental concerns are also distinctive. Dr. Greenhalgh will discuss your oral health issues, and may suggest one or more of these solutions:
- If you are prone to getting cavities, use prescription strength fluoride during your regular cleanings. We are now putting our cavity-prone patients on ACT, a liquid calcium paste that helps re-solidify teeth. Diet, medical conditions and current medications will also affect cavities.
- If you clench your teeth (many people don't know they do), you can have a small shock absorber made to offset the damage.
- If your teeth are sensitive, there are desensitizers that can be applied in the office or at home.
- If you are prone to a dry mouth, you can use mouth-wetting solutions to increase comfort and improve gum health.
Schedule Your 6-Month Dental Exam Today
If you’re due for a dental exam or are interested in learning more about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our dentist in Denver today at (303) 988-9060 to schedule your appointment. Scott Greenhalgh, DDS and our skilled staff of dental professionals serve clients in Denver, Lakewood, Golden and surrounding areas of Colorado.