NOTICE REGARDING COVID-19To do our part in supporting community health and in compliance with the Governor of Washington State's Proclamation, our office is suspending all non-essential dental care through May 18, 2020.
We are still available for emergency services Monday through Thursday. We are contacting each patient scheduled over the coming weeks to discuss their appointment and reschedule you to a future date.
Thank you for your understanding, and we wish everyone health during this stressful time.
If you have questions or are experiencing a dental emergency please call us at 509-525-9474 and we will respond in a timely manner.
We look forward to seeing all of our lovely patients in person again soon!
Sincerely, Dr. Patrick Sharkey, Dr. Patty Martin, and Dr. Kimberly Murdoch
Preventative dental services are essential to your oral health. The goal of preventative dental care is to care for your teeth and gums to keep them healthy and prevent serious oral problems. While preventative dental care starts at home, with regular brushing and flossing, home care is not enough to keep your mouth in top condition. For the best preventative dental care, you should be visiting the dentist at least twice a year. At Alder Family Dental, we offer preventative dental services to help you keep your whole mouth clean and healthy, so that your beautiful smile can shine your whole life.
Cleanings and Exams
Our preventative dental services start with cleanings and exams. Even if you are a thorough brusher, and floss every day, you can still experience tooth decay and gum disease. This is because it is very difficult to get every single crevice clean. We use the latest tools and equipment, which are not available to the general public, to remove plaque (a sticky film that coats your teeth and collects harmful bacteria) and tartar (hardened tartar that cannot be removed with normal brushing) buildup. We complete your cleaning with polishing, which helps to remove stubborn surface stains, leaving you with a brilliant, clean smile.
During your regular appointment, we also perform a complete oral exam. This exam aims to detect problems early, so that they do not turn into serious issues later. During this exam, we check your mouth for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, which can be difficult to detect in the early stages. We measure gum pockets and perform an oral cancer screening. We also use X-rays, which help us to not only detect issues, but monitor progress or degeneration, as well as choose an appropriate treatment plan as necessary.
Sealants and Fluoride Varnish
Sealants are a common application for the molars of children, but can be used for adults as well. Your molars often have deep crevices on their chewing surfaces, and the bristles of your toothbrush cannot easily reach these spaces. As a result, bacteria and food particles can linger, creating the perfect environment for bacterial growth and decay. Sealants are placed over these crevices, after the spaces are cleaned, to keep out bacteria and make cleaning your teeth easier. While durable, they do not last forever, but they are easily replaced and a very cost-effective method of preventing serious dental problems.
Fluoride use is also common on the teeth of children. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to keep your enamel strong, and prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria. It is placed on milk teeth to help keep them strong, as well as prevent decay, and helps to ensure that permanent teeth grow in strong and bacteria resistant. The treatment is quick and pain-free, much like the application of sealants. After the teeth are cleaned and dried, fluoride varnish is applied to absorb into the enamel, and won’t wash off with saliva. Fluoride is often used from around the age of one to the time your child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt.
Gum Disease Prevention
Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can eventually lead to tooth loss if not properly addressed. However, the early stages, known as gingivitis, are difficult to detect. If you miss the signs, and gum disease progresses, bacteria travels below your inflamed gum tissue and begins to attack your teeth and jawbone, leading to gum recession, infections and loose teeth. The consequences of the more severe stages (periodontitis) are not reversible, and require professional, and often costly, treatment. For these reasons, we check your mouth for signs and symptoms to help you reverse gum disease and give you back your healthy mouth.
For an optimally healthy mouth, you need preventative dental services. Contact us at (509)-525-9474 to schedule your appointment today!