General Dentistry in San Antonio, TX
Introducing Culebra North Dental Care
Dr. Jonathan E. Quillian is a leading dentist in the fields of restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry and has devoted over 30 years to providing care to clients in San Antonio, Leon Valley, Castroville, Helotes, Bandera, and the surrounding areas. Both he and his associate Dr. Shelly Sproull regularly keep up to date on the latest techniques in dentistry to ensure that each patient receives premium care. Their practice, Culebra North Dental Care, offers a large array of services, including teeth straightening, teeth whitening, implants, sealants, fillings, and root canals.
The General Dentistry Services Offered at Culebra North Dental Care
General dentistry services offered at Culebra North Dental Care can prevent the future need for more extensive dental care:
The Teeth Cleaning Process
Culebra North Dental Care recommends that its patients receive checkups every six months along with a routine cleaning. Professional dental cleanings take, on average, from 30 to 60 minutes and are performed by a hygienist. During the cleaning, the hygienist will remove deposits between the teeth and on the tooth surfaces with an ultrasonic scaler. A thin stream of water rinses away any plaque or tartar residues. Metal tools are also used to get rid of any remaining deposits and clean the teeth thoroughly. After the process, the hygienist will polish the teeth and apply a fluoride gel.
Schedule X-rays Annually
The dentist then checks the teeth and gums. Tooth-colored sealants, which are used to fill the crevices of healthy teeth, are often advised as a preventative measure against decay. Dental exams also involve obtaining yearly X-rays. X-rays assist the dentist in evaluating a patient’s overall oral health. While cavities can be spotted upon visual examination by a dentist, they are not always so easily recognized, especially if they have formed in between the teeth. To ensure proper dental care then, dental X-rays should be taken annually.
Early cavity detection can prevent the future need for crowns and root canals. Plus, filling a cavity is typically less time-consuming and is a much easier process than either of the two aforementioned treatments. When a cavity is filled, the area is numbed and drilled or is prepped using a laser beam. Several types of fillings are available in the following materials:
- Amalgam (which is made up of an alloy of silver mixed with mercury and zinc, tin, and copper)
- A tooth-colored composite resin
The amount of decay, where the filling will be placed, and the total cost all will contribute to what you’ll eventually choose in a filling material.
Gold fillings are durable sealants that are well-suited for the teeth that are used for chewing. However, the fillings can cost ten times the amount of an amalgam filling and often require two appointments for the filling to be placed. What’s more, if a gold filling is located next to an amalgam filling, galvanic shock can result. Although rare, the interaction of the metals can result in a sharp, shooting pain occurring every now and then.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are, again, far less expensive than gold fillings and last about the same length of time (or about a decade to 15 years). However, the fillings can cause allergic reactions in a small percentage of the population due to the mercury that is used the material. In addition, amalgam fillings have a tendency to fracture more often due to expansion and contraction caused by hot and cold liquids and beverages. More of the tooth must be removed, as well, to create a space big enough to hold the amalgam in place.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resins or tooth-colored fillings are aesthetically more pleasing than the other two types of fillings and are therefore well-suited for placement in visible areas of the mouth. They also bond well to the tooth and thus support its structure well. Plus, less of the tooth needs to be removed when using this type of filling. Tooth-colored fillings generally cost twice as much as fillings made of an amalgam material.
Other Filling Materials that are Used to Fill Cavities
Other filling materials that are used to fill cavities include porcelain, which resists stains better than composite resins, and glass ionomer cement (GIC), which is made of a combination of glass and acrylic. A glass ionomer restorative is often used for filling the teeth of young children, since it usually doesn’t last any longer than five years. In addition, the fillings release fluoride in the mouth, which can safeguard the teeth from future decay.
Preventative Care at Home
The general dentistry services that are offered at Culebra North Dental Care also include preventative care. Between cleaning visits and checkups, dentists suggest that patients follow in-home care that includes:
- Brushing the teeth twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Using a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles designed to reach all of the teeth in the mouth
- Using a dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste
- Brushing the surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue
- Using circular movements when brushing
- Placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the teeth and gums
Set Up an Appointment for a Cleaning and Checkup
Ensure good dental health for yourself and your family by setting up and appointment for a checkup and cleaning at Culebra North Dental Care. Call them today at 210-265-6255. Spots fill quickly, so call or schedule an appointment by filling out Culebra’s convenient online form. Culebra North Dental Care is the first choice in dental care for residents living in San Antonio, Leon Valley, Castroville, Helotes, Bandera, and the surrounding area.