General & Preventive Dental Care in Carlsbad, CA
At Polished General Dentistry, we are passionate about helping patients keep their healthy, beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Dr. Megan Shelton and the rest of our dedicated team create personalized treatment plans for each patient they see, and we always do so with a focus on prevention. Preventive dentistry starts with dental checkups every six months, and also includes any number of other general dentistry treatments with a focus on keeping smiles whole. Contact us to schedule your checkup or find out more about preventive dental care. We welcome patients from Carlsbad, Vista, and other nearby communities.
Checkups & Cleanings
Twice a year dental checkups and teeth cleanings are the backbone of every oral health care plan at Polished General Dentistry. As recommended by the American Dental Association, maintaining six month checkups gives our team the opportunity to help patients prevent common oral health issues and diagnose and treat other concerns in their earliest possible stages. This ensures optimal comfort and more conservative treatment.
Each checkup at our Carlsbad dentistry practice includes thorough diagnostic X-rays and images, as well as a visual examination. Next, one of our skilled hygienists carefully removes stuck on plaque and tartar, answers any questions you may have about your hygiene routine, and makes recommendations to help you improve your at-home care. Finally, you’ll sit down with Dr. Shelton to discuss the findings of your examination and plan for any necessary treatments. We are also happy to answer your questions, and we take the time to ensure you achieve and maintain your optimal oral health.
Sealants are one of the easiest and most effective methods we offer to prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues. As the name suggests, dental sealants provide a clear coat of plastic material that seals out bacteria, plaque, and tartar. The sealant process is quick and easy. During any dental checkup, we can apply the sealant in liquid form to the surfaces of teeth, where it fills in the crevices and grooves of teeth. Once it’s hardened in place, the dental sealants are completely clear, and with proper care, they can protect teeth from decay or damage for years. We typically recommend sealants for younger patients who are still developing their oral hygiene skills, but they may also be beneficial for adults who are more prone to decay.
While temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction and bruxism may have different causes and side effects, they can both benefit from the same therapy – nighttime mouthguards. These guards are created to provide two main benefits. First, they position the jaw into its ideal resting location. This relieves unnecessary pressure on the TMJ, reducing pain and discomfort and limiting unconscious jaw movements. Over the course of several days or weeks of nightly wear, patients experiencing TMJ dysfunction report significant reduction in discomfort and improvement in jaw movement. In addition to reducing the amount of unconscious teeth grinding and clenching by positioning the jaw in a more comfortable resting place, these nightguards also place a physical barrier between teeth, preventing the potential wear or damage that may be caused by bruxism.
Patients of any age who engage in sports where their mouth may come in contact with hard objects or surfaces should always wear a protective mouthguard. Sometimes referred to as sportsguards, these personal protective devices are available in a variety of styles and materials. We recommend that patients consider a custom crafted sportsguard from our office. These guards offer superior comfort and protection when compared with the store bought varieties that may be uncomfortable and cause gagging over time, which reduces the chances for patient compliance. Our guards are made to fit comfortably into patients’ mouths from a comfortable, non-bulky material that offers superior protection and durability.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, claiming one life every hour on average in the US alone. The Oral Cancer Foundation recommends early diagnosis and treatment as the best way to reduce the number of annual oral cancer-related deaths. That’s why our team has incorporated screenings for oral cancer as a regular part of every six month checkup at our office.
We recommend patients contact us immediately if they experience any of the common warning signs of oral cancer, including sores in the mouth, lumps or bumps on the face, throat, check, or other oral or facial structure, and an excessively sore throat.
We welcome patients of all ages at Polished General Dentistry, and we love to treat whole families in our Carlsbad, CA office. From the eruption of your child’s very first tooth, we offer gentle checkups and child-focused care that keeps your little one feeling safe and comfortable.
We have two main priorities when it comes to treating children. First, we want to establish positive associations with the dentist and oral health care for your child. We ask that parents help us with this goal by establishing a feeling of positivity and excitement leading up to the visit. Start a countdown to the dentist, or create a brushing and flossing chart your child can show us. Once they arrive at our office, our team will make sure they feel comfortable and safe throughout treatment. Our second priority is to help your little one achieve and maintain their healthiest smile, keeping it for a lifetime.
Dental emergencies can be unpredictable and unavoidable, but they don’t have to be stressful or unnecessarily painful. Having a plan of action in case of dental emergencies is a great way to keep calm and get the care you need to put a smile back on your face. Our team is happy to take your word for it if you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency, but if you’re not sure your situation is urgent, review the following situations we see most frequently:
- Lost, broken, or chipped teeth or dental restorations (such as crowns, bridges, or veneers)
- Damaged or broken partial or full dentures
- Severe toothaches or severely increased sensitivity to changes in temperature that may indicate root canal infection
- Sores, infection, or soft tissue lacerations
If you experience these or any other concerns, contact our Carlsbad, CA practice right away. If you’re concerned that your situation may be life threatening, proceed to your local emergency room. We’ll be happy to help you once your overall wellbeing is no longer in danger.