Did you know most dental diseases are preventable with regular dental visits?
When you come in for a check-up, we’re evaluating your entire mouth for the warning signs of problems on the horizon. When those signs appear, we’ll recommend the best plan of action to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Our most common preventative services include:
Routine Oral Exams
Everyone’s oral care needs are different. We recommend visiting our office every 6 months to catch problems early on. The earlier you detect a problem, the less treatment you may need in the future. But in some cases, more visits are required. All you need to worry about is making that first appointment and we’ll recommend the right preventative exam schedule for you. Most exams will include a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums and mouth tissue, a complete cleaning and polish, plus fluoride treatment and x-rays when needed.
Oral Cancer Screenings
According to the American Dental Academy (ADA), almost 41,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and throat cancers each year. Sadly, the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only about 65%, making your best defense early detection.
If you have any of the following symptoms outlined by the ADA, we recommend an oral cancer screening:
- a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
- red or white patches
- pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
You are more at risk if you are over 50 and you smoke or drink heavily, or have HPV (human papilloma virus). Worrying doesn’t accomplish anything, but a screening can possibly save your life. If you have any concerns regarding these symptoms, please call our office today.
When you have issues with inflammation of the gums or decay in the supporting structures of the teeth, you may need periodontal therapy. Treatments vary, ranging from cleaning the infected surfaces (called scaling and root planing), removing damaged tissue (called root surface debridement), and reversing lost bone and tissue. More severe cases may need surgery or dental implants. Regardless, we’ll recommend the treatment plan that best improves your oral health.
Are you a teeth grinder? Do you experience jaw soreness, headaches, loose or chipped teeth? You may need a simple bite guard, usually worn at night. Dr. Hollifield also fits children, teenagers and adults involved in athletics with custom mouth guards for a perfect, comfortable fit that protects the teeth and mouth from sports injuries. At the start of each football season, Dr. Hollifield meets with each quarterback of the Kings Mountain High School Football Team and donates a customized athletic bite guard for each.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes these teeth are fine left alone, but more often they become misaligned or impacted and require removal. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves, resulting in pain, infection, gum disease and more. If you still have your wisdom teeth, it’s very important to have them closely monitored by a dentist, as problems may develop later on.
Dr. Hollifield has had extensive training in wisdom teeth maintenance and removal, and due to his extensive experience, this is an area of dentistry that he thoroughly enjoys. You can be assured his approach will be customized, gentle and based on your long-term best interest. He also does a lot of oral surgeries that most general dentists would not do. If he feels your case is too involved for him to treat, he will refer you to an oral surgeon.