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Keep Your Smile Healthy with Preventive Dentistry in Tyler

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true in dentistry. Prevention is critical to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Unfortunately, a lot of people avoid the dentist due to anxiety or because appointments feel like one more commitment on a long to-do list. This can lead to the need for extensive, complicated dental work down the road.

The most important part of every oral hygiene appointment at Franklin Dental Center is keeping patients’ smiles whole and healthy. That’s why we make preventive dentistry appointments every six months an essential part of every oral health care plan. If you have waited six months or six years between dental visits, now is the time to call our Tyler, TX dental office to schedule a preventive checkup. Let’s start down the road to a lifetime of outstanding oral health together.

We truly believe that when you actually like going to the dentist, taking the steps necessary to maintain your oral health won’t feel overwhelming. That’s why we make visits as convenient, painless, and relaxing as possible for children and adults. 

Our array of preventive services can help you ward off restorative procedures altogether or, at the very least, allow us to catch problems early for a quicker, less invasive fix. The Franklin Dental Center team will listen to your needs and concerns and formulate a customized plan to ensure you’re getting the best care for that one-of-a-kind smile.

What Is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry involves establishing habits that will keep your teeth healthy help you avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more. During your regular visit at Franklin Dental Center, your dental hygienist will point out any issues that you may be having with your oral hygiene. Your hygienist will perform a cleaning, dental exam, an oral cancer exam, and take any necessary X-rays. 

We will also evaluate the appearance of your teeth and recommend any aesthetic procedures that will enhance your smile, such as cosmetic or orthodontic procedures. Since we began serving patients in Tyler and the surrounding areas, our goal has been a whole body health approach.


Checkups & Cleanings

Dental checkup and cleaning patient at Tyler dentistThe most important aspect of dental hygiene is done at home each day with regular brushing and flossing. The next most important elements of care are twice a year checkups and cleanings in our Tyler, TX dental practice. During every dental checkup, we thoroughly screen for common oral health concerns including:

  • Tooth decay and dental wear
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Teeth grinding and clenching called bruxism
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
  • Oral cancer

One of our skilled hygienists will also clean even the hardest to access areas of your smile. Before you leave, Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts will sit down with you to discuss any concerns we may have discovered and explain all of your options for ongoing care. Dr. Franklin-Pitts will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about your care. We’ll establish a personalized treatment plan that will meet all of your needs and keep your smile healthy.

Digital X-Rays

Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts pointing to x-rayDigital x-ray technology is one of the many tools we use during dental checkups to ensure we have a complete understanding of each patient’s oral health. These x-ray images give us a clear picture of the internal structures of teeth and their roots. Digital x-rays are higher definition than their film versions, and higher quality images allow us to make more accurate diagnoses of oral health concerns in earlier stages.

Nightguards for Bruxism

Tyler dental patient getting fitted for bruxism nightguardIf you experience nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, or bruxism, it may seem like an impossible stop on your own. We can protect your teeth from the wear and tear caused by nighttime teeth grinding and clenching with custom crafted nightguards. These oral appliances are comfortable, so you will still be able to speak and breathe deeply during use. With daily wear, patients typically have fewer cavities and begin to notice they no longer have frequent headaches or dental sensitivity that they may not realized were a result of nighttime teeth grinding.

TMJ Therapy

Patient with TMJ pain visiting Dr. Franklin-PittsTemporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the small connective tissues below the ear that attach the jaw to the skull. These joints allow the mouth to open and close while you talk, eat, or yawn. When the TMJ is damaged, the result can be pain or inability to open and close the mouth. This oral health concern is frequently referred to as TMJ dysfunction, or simply TMD. We offer a variety of treatments to relieve the jaw pain and chronic headaches that result from TMD, restoring full, unimpaired jaw movement.

Oral Cancer Screening

Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts examining patient for oral cancerOral cancer claims one life every hour on average. While you may believe that only patients who smoke or use tobacco suffer from the disease, research shows that more than 25% of patients diagnosed do not engage in any of the high risk behaviors associated with oral cancer. That’s why it’s so important for every patient to receive regular screenings. Dr. Franklin-Pitts will screen for oral cancer as part of every regular six month checkup. If suspicious areas are detected, we’ll talk you through your next steps to help you get the care you need ASAP.

Fluoride Treatment

Child receiving fluoride treatment at Tyler dental officeFluoride is a mineral found in tap water and certain foods that aids in the development of strong, healthy teeth and bones. Once teeth have erupted from the gums, ingested fluoride is only minimally effective in keeping tooth enamel strong and free from decay. Instead, you’ll need to rely on sources of topical fluoride to fortify your smile. Most patients receive adequate levels of fluoride from brushing with fluoridated toothpastes. However, people with weaker tooth enamel or who are prone to decay can benefit from professional, topical fluoride treatments at the end of their six month checkups and cleanings.

Sleep Apnea Therapies

Man with sleep apnea sleeping soundlySleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. Over time, each small wake-up call adds up to a lot of lost sleep for patients — and sleep apnea has numerous adverse health effects, including daytime exhaustion, an inability to concentrate, memory loss, elevated blood pressure, and more. Traditional treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, commonly referred to as CPAP therapy. Dr. Franklin-Pitts is able to provide an alternative therapy for some patients. Oral appliances are crafted to shift the jaw forward, placing pressure on the throat muscles to keep the airway clear and allow patients to breathe deeply throughout the night.