Dr. Erika Graham provides general dentistry in Durham, NC that is dedicated to the comfort and care of her patients. She treats patients of all ages at Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. As a dental service, general dentistry can be used to prevent further dental problems. General dentistry procedures can also make it easier to treat present dental problems.
For example, sports mouthguards prevent tooth damage or loss, while tooth extractions prevent impacted or infected teeth from affecting the rest of the smile. Our family dentistry services ensure that we are prepared to handle your smile at any stage of development. Emergency dentistry provides prompt care for immediate concerns.
General Dentistry in Durham, NC
General dental care preserves the smile’s look, feel, and function. Patients who require preventative dental care or immediate treatment for their concerns benefit from our general services:
Custom Sports Mouthguard
If you or your child play contact sports, you must wear a sports mouthguard to protect your teeth, gums, and jaw from injury. Because our sports mouthguards offer a custom fit, patients do not need to clench their jaws to keep their mouthguards in place.
Comparatively, over-the-counter mouthguards do not conform to the teeth and can fall out easily. To learn more about how a custom mouthguard can better protect your smile, see Custom Mouthguard.
Dental trauma, broken dental restorations, and lost teeth are dental emergencies that can be treated in our Durham dental office. If you have just lost a tooth or broken a dental restoration, contact our office so we can schedule an appointment for you. Emergency dental care helps prevent further oral health complications. To learn more about what to do in a dental emergency and how we can help, see Emergency Dentistry.
Are you looking for a dentist who can treat every family member under one roof? Dr. Graham is a family dentist who works with patients as individuals to find the best treatments for their dental needs. She helps teach parents and children the best treatment methods for teeth and gums. She also makes scheduling appointments easy by allowing you to schedule your family’s appointments simultaneously or back to back. To learn more about our family dentistry services, see Family Dentistry.
If you have an infected or impacted tooth, it may need to be removed for the health of the remaining teeth and gums. We make sure that tooth extraction treatments are comfortable for our patients. In patients’ late teenage years, we extract wisdom teeth before they come in or if they are impacted. To learn more about the tooth extraction process, see Tooth Extraction.
The Importance of Preventative Care
Preventative care is the foundation of your oral health. It focuses on maintaining your oral health to prevent severe dental problems from developing. Preventative care takes place both at home and in our dental office. Plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth causes most oral health problems. Bacteria and food debris build up on the teeth, causing the sticky film of plaque. If you continue to avoid things like brushing your teeth, it hardens into tartar, making it harder to remove.
Brushing and flossing at home help keep plaque from building up on the teeth. It removes the bacteria and food particles that occur after eating. You should brush and floss at least twice daily but should do so after every meal if possible. We can also help recommend products and dietary advice to keep your teeth healthy. Fibrous fruits and vegetables help increase saliva production and wash away bacteria.
But you can’t just participate in the home form of oral healthcare. It’s essential to come to the dentist office regularly as well. Especially if your teeth are crooked or cramped, there are certain areas that you won’t be able to clean with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste. Our specialized dental tools can get into these harder-to-reach areas. We can also provide fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help protect younger children’s teeth, as they’re more prone to cavities.
We also perform a thorough exam when you’re here. Serious oral health problems like gum disease and oral cancer have early warning signs that aren’t that noticeable. Since they aren’t painful, many people brush them aside. However, we have training and diagnostic tools to catch oral health problems in their earliest stages. This helps you avoid more intensive procedures and the price tag that comes with them.
Diet and Oral Health
Diet and oral health are completely connected. What we consume directly impacts our teeth. The biggest enemies are acids and sugars. Acid wears away the protective enamel layer on the outside of the tooth, making it easier for bacteria to get into the deeper layers. Sugar attracts bacteria, who feed on it and then release an acidic byproduct that also eats away at the enamel. Even foods like starches and complex carbs break down into sugars, so salty snacks like those should be limited, too.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables are some of the best things you can eat for your teeth. They require a lot of chewing to break down, increasing saliva production. Saliva is important to wash away bacteria and food debris from your teeth. It also helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth. These foods also contain various vitamins and minerals essential for your teeth’s health and surrounding structures.
Calcium and phosphorus are two important things for your oral health. Both are essential for maintaining strong teeth and bones. These minerals also help neutralize acids in your mouth and remineralize your tooth enamel. Cheese, in particular, increases the pH in your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. Milk and yogurt are other good providers of these nutrients.
It’s important not only what we eat but also when we eat. Frequent snacking and eating throughout the day puts you at a higher risk for tooth decay. You’re constantly introducing more acids or sugars, with no breaks in between for saliva to help clean the mouth and neutralize acids. Limit snacking between meals and stick to healthier snacks when you do.
General Dental FAQs
Do you have further questions about our general dentistry services? Continue reading to learn more about general dental treatments and find answers to commonly asked questions in our office.
When should I replace my sports mouthguard?
If you notice a change in the fit of your mouthguard, or if your child is losing their baby teeth, you may need a new mouthguard for you or your child. We often recommend that patients replace their sports mouthguards every season or whenever there is a change in the bite.
Do I need to have my dentist extract my wisdom teeth?
Not every patient needs extraction treatment for their wisdom teeth. Our team will use x-rays to keep track of your wisdom teeth. If it seems like your wisdom teeth will damage your molars, we will schedule an extraction. Wisdom teeth can become impacted and cause tooth pain and sensitivity.
Can a general dentist do pediatric dentistry?
A general dentist can do pediatric dentistry but may not have as much experience or training as a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist has specialized training in caring for the teeth of infants, children, and adolescents.
What does general dentistry include?
General dentistry is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases and conditions. It includes a variety of procedures, such as teeth cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridges, and more.
Can a general dentist do a root canal?
Yes, a general dentist is capable of treating a root canal. However, if your dentist feels that the root canal is too complex, they may refer you to an endodontist.
How painful is a tooth extraction?
Tooth extractions are typically not painful. However, the pain of a tooth extraction depends on the individual. Some patients report only minor discomfort, while others experience more significant discomfort. The level of pain also depends on the location of the tooth. Generally, teeth in the back of the mouth are more difficult to remove and can cause more pain than those in the front.
Contact Our Dental Office
Receive general dental care in our Durham, North Carolina dental office. Schedule a dental consultation with our team online. You can also call Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at 919-899-4467. Let our dental team know if you have any remaining questions or concerns; they will be happy to help you.