“Dentistry is not expensive, neglect is.”
What is preventative dentistry?
- Diagnostic x-rays
- Oral examinations
- Oral cancer screening
- Oral hygiene
- Night guard
One of the main tenets of Century Smile is prevention. Our goal is to inform patients about the oral systemic connection, discuss consequences of dental neglect and how it can affect the whole body. In our practice, preventive dentistry refers the services, education and tools we offer patients to improve and maintain their oral health. We believe in educating and assisting our patients on the importance of proper and consistent home-care, regular check-ups, and professional dental cleanings, and help keep dental problems to a minimum. The experienced and knowledgeable team at Century Smile gives each patient uniquely tailored guidance and support to help them get back on track and maintain ideal oral health.
Signs and symptoms of dental conditions:
Bad breath (halitosis), jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, bad taste, bleeding gums when brushing, tooth pain, sores or lesions on the mouth, loose or wiggly teeth, chip or breakage of teeth and dental work
Low-radiation digital x-rays
Most patients dislike taking x-rays for a variety of reasons. Costs, extra time in the chair, or exposure to radiation are just some of the common reason patients request not to have x-rays taken. In our practice, we utilize digital x-rays which are safer than standard film x-rays due to 70% less cranial exposure to radiation. They are also faster and more comfortable to take. Since the X-rays are digital, they can be displayed on a large screen which allows the dentist to see and diagnose dental conditions much better.
“Full Set” (FMX)
A full set of x-rays or FMX is a comprehensive series of x-rays that allows us to see all the teeth and surrounding bone. The FMX allows the dentist to see, cysts, tumors, abscesses, decay, bone loss and gum disease. A full set of x-rays is required for all new patients unless a recent set (no older than two years) is available and diagnostic.
Regardless, a limited set of x-rays should be taken once per year. Periaples or PA’s are single x-rays that show the entire length of the tooth and root. We take these to rule out or diagnose infection and or as a guide for accuracy in various treatments. Bitewing x-rays are single x-rays that show multiple teeth on the top and bottom arches. Cavities often form in between teeth, so detecting them early on can prevent more evasive treatment.
A limited set, or check up set, is done once per year, especially on patients with extensive dental work, root canals, and implants. Monitoring your dentistry crucial to making sure recurrent conditions are caught and dealt with in a timely manner.
Comprehensive New Patient Exam, emergency or limited exam, oral cancer screen, TMJ screen, periodic ‘check-up’ exam, periodontal exam, consultation
Comprehensive new patient exam
Each new patient at Century Smile undergoes a comprehensive new patient exam with the dentist and her team. Dr. Maryam Talaie reviews the dental x-rays and does a thorough visual exam of the mouth, which includes photos with our intra-oral digital camera. She notates all previous dentistry, oral pathology, areas of concern. It is at this time Dr. Talaie and patient review and discuss the recommended treatment options. The office manger will provide insurance details, out-of-pocket estimates as well as handle scheduling.
Periodic ‘check-up’ exam
As recurring patient, a check-up exam is done once per year with Dr. Talaie, usually during a routine dental cleaning visit with check-up x-rays. These visits are a great time to bring up any dental concerns going on since your last visit. Dr. Talaie will complete a visual exam, review any x-rays taken and check any teeth previously noted to monitor. If a patient is not due for an exam, but would like the doctor to look at something, please inform the hygienist and he will make sure the doctor comes in. If the doctor is not available, the front desk can set up a quick visit for the doctor to take a look at you.
If you are in need of seeing the dentist right away please call us 310-836-6161. If we are not available please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org subject line-urgent. We will respond to you faster if you e-mail outside of business hours.
Emergency exams are limited exams related to a specific dental issue. We will need to take an x-ray of the tooth or image of affected area. Depending on the schedule and diagnosis, the dentist may be able to treat you same day. If not, we will schedule accordingly and provide any recommended prescriptions.
Oral Cancer Screen
Oral cancer is a disease that affects more and more Americans every year. Age, tobacco use, alcohol/drug abuse, and other factors contribute to the risk of oral cancer. Dr. Talaie has extensive experience in this area, saving a few lives during her 20 year career in dentistry. Early detection is key to survival and or preventing major surgeries and death. Dr. Talaie routinely performs an oral cancer screen at every new patient appointment and once a year during the routine check-up exams.
If you notice any suspicious areas in your mouth or you feel you may be at risk for contracting oral cancer, don’t hesitate to come in for an evaluation.
A consultation is short ‘meet and great’ with the doctor to discuss any areas of concern you may have or if you’re a candidate for a specific service we offer. The fee is credited towards treatment.
$50.00 no x-rays or visual exam
$150.00 includes x-rays and visual exam
Most people who visit the dentist or seek to schedule with a new dentist, have one primary objective-a dental cleaning. Routine dental cleanings are by far the number one appointment request by new or prospective patients. Hygiene visits are more than just a ‘cleaning’ but a valuable preventative service to keep your oral health stable. These visits are also a chance for the dental hygienist and or Doctor, to catch developing conditions or for the patient to bring up any dental concerns themselves. At your hygiene visit the hygienist will review your medical history, perform a periodontal evaluation to evaluate your gums, and clean/scale your teeth. Either the hygienist or dental assistant will polish and floss. The hygienist will also review brushing and flossing techniques and offer any advice related to your oral care. He will then recommend three, four or six month return for the next hygiene visit.
Six month cleaning/prophy– Overall periodontal health is good, no loss of attachment and bone loss. The patient has low -moderate plaque, and tartar build-up. They maintain staying in this category by avoiding unhealthy habits, consistent flossing, and regular dental visits.
Four month cleaning/prophy – Overall periodontal health is good, mild loss of attachment and bone loss. The patient has moderate plaque, and tartar build-up but their age, diet, and habits, cause their periodontal health to degrade. More frequent dental cleanings are indicated to keep these patients on track. Sometimes, the third cleaning in a 12 month period is paid by a dental plan. However, it is always to find out what your plan does and does not cover before scheduling.
Three –four month Periodontal Maintenance– Patients who are considered periodontal maintenance build-up tarter and plaque more easily and have a history of periodontal gum treatments in the past. In most cases, osseous surgery (surgical gum procedure) or scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) were performed in the recent past by a Periodontist or dental hygienist. The need for more frequent and thorough dental cleanings and periodontal exams are indicated to maintain ideal oral health. Some of these patients will see a Periodontist exclusively for all their dental hygiene needs while others only see the general dentist/hygienist.
It is important to note that most patients who are in this category are naturally susceptible to periodontal disease due to genetics rather than lack of brushing and flossing. People with a genetic disposition to periodontal disease, need to stay committed to brushing and flossing consistently, along with three or more professional dental cleanings per year. This routine will keep their’ periodontal health stable. The hope is to keep invasive time consuming and costly periodontal treatments to a minimum.
Click here for more information related to periodontal health.
Preventative Resin Restorations / Sealants
Preventative Resin Restorations or Sealants are a resin coating placed on the biting surface of molar to protect the tooth from trapped food particles-which harbor bacteria that cause cavities. Food gets stuck in these deep crevices and grooves and bacteria feeding on the left over food particles, release acid-that cause holes or cavities. Filling in these areas with resin dental material (no drilling) protects the tooth. According to the American Dental Association, sealants can reduce the risk of cavities by up to 80%. Children or adults without any cavities on their molars are excellent candidates for sealants. It is a quick and painless process that can be done during any routine dental visit.
Here is a link for more information regarding sealants: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sealants
Problems in the mouth such as broken teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth, broken crowns or lost fillings, tooth pain, etc., can be attributed to Bruxism or clenching and grinding. A custom fabricated night guard, made by a professional dental lab, is one of the best, most important preventative dental tools to invest in. Every night, whether you think you do or not, Americans grind and clench their teeth. Some people do not realize this behavior or notice any symptoms or conditions (for now), while others experience major TMJ pain, headaches, or tooth aches. Every year we lose a little tooth structure due to grinding /clenching, and over the years, it adds up. Just like the tread on a tire wears over time, your tooth structure gets worn down and damaged. A night guard is the first step in relieving these problems but sometimes fixing a bad bite may also be an indicated long term treatment.
Drug store night guards or online night guards are a waste of money in our opinion. We feel this way because a dental professional is not taking the correct ideal impression of your mouth or an accurate bite registration. Your ‘bite’ is crucial to a night guard that will work for you. Homemade night guards can exacerbate TMJ pain… or create it.
Our professionally fabricated BPA-free and non-allergenic night guard, protects your teeth (and dental work) while you’re asleep. Just because you are sleeping doesn’t mean you are not wreaking havoc in your mouth. All of the stress from the day manifests in a variety of ways-like grinding and clenching. A varying degree of Bruxism happens every night, but after some nights, a patient will wake up in the morning very confused with TMJ or tooth pain. Many times patients will report tooth aches on perfectly healthy teeth, but as soon as they begin wearing a night guard, the symptoms are relieved.
Crack lines, fractures, chips and damaged dentistry in teeth, are common signs of heavy wear and tear. A small crack or fracture on a tooth causes weak tooth structure and breakage while eating. Emergency calls about a broken tooth or lost filling while eating soup or something soft, is actually common.
We all use mattress’s and buy special pillows for our neck or back, so think of a night guard as kind of a pillow for your mouth. Your facial muscles and teeth catch a break while using a night guard, which allows for a more comfortable nights rest. Quite a few patients report this positive side effect.
Night guards can be made soft or hard- or both. They can last up to 5+ years, and can come in any color you like. They can also be upgraded to be made stronger and with ‘no staining’ material. The price ranges from $350-$550 and dental insurance will cover about 50%. Some plans do offer night guard coverage, and a pre-authorization should be sent out.
For more information related to bruxism visit The American Academy of Oral Medicine.