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General Dentistry covers all the basic reasons for seeing the dentist or hygienist. This includes thoroughly and professionally cleaning the teeth, addressing any immediate issues that are threatening the tooth structure such as cavities or fractured teeth, and taking care of teeth with serious infections that are threatening your overall health.
Dr. Schau is a dentist in Saginaw, MI who strives to help her patients possess “healthy teeth for a lifetime”. She is committed in her effort to have every patient achieve superior oral health. When she does need to address an issue with a tooth that is in jeopardy, she does so in a manor that is as comfortable and pain free as possible. She truly is a dentist who cares.
Below you will find more details on some of our General Dentistry procedures and services.
In addition to your regular oral hygiene regimen of brushing and flossing at least 2 times per day, it is recommended that you have a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist and a checkup with Dr. Schau at least every 6 months. Regular professional cleanings help to remove hardened plaque deposits that you simply cannot remove by yourself with a toothbrush or floss. These routine cleanings also allow the hygienist and Dr. Schau to spot any other issues such as cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. The earlier any of these issues are addressed the better the outcome for your oral and overall health.
We should also note that during pregnancy it is vitally important to both the mother and baby that the mother has superior oral hygiene. Any infections or periodontitis need to be prevented or eliminated immediately. In fact, the recommendation is for expecting mothers to have a professional cleaning and checkup every 3 months during pregnancy and many dental insurance plans now cover the additional fee.
Cavities & Fillings
Dental caries, more commonly known as cavities, are one of the most common health disorders. The battle to ward off plaque formation on your teeth is neverending. If you eat food high in sugar or acid, like softdrinks or candy, you are giving the plaque the perfect environment to flourish. Without proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice per day, regular professional cleanings and limiting your intake of softdrinks and candy, the acid from the plaque formation with dissolve the enamel of the tooth and create cavities.
Once a cavity has formed, immediate action needs to be taken to restore and save the tooth from further decay. Before a cavity can be filled, however, Dr. Schau needs to make sure that all the decay is removed from tooth. Once 100% of the decay is removed, the cavity can finally be “filled”. In the past, the most common dental filling material was silver amalgam. Today, however, tooth colored dental composites are the preferred filling material. Composite fillings are much more visually appealing and they create a stronger tooth after completion compared to a silver amalgam filling.
Dental sealants are tooth-colored dental bonding resins used to help prevent cavities on permanent teeth that are at risk of decay due to small fissures or cracks in the tooth surface. Dental sealants are typically used on the chewing surface of the permanent molars and premolars. Patients who would benefit from sealants are typically 6 years of age and older. Sealants are proactive or precautionary measures that are a fraction of the cost of a typical filling.
Whether it is from a foul ball at the ballpark or a trouble spot in your mouth that has suddenly gone downhill fast, dental emergencies happen to almost everyone sometime during their life. We are here to help. If you have an infected, abscessed tooth, a fractured tooth, a loose crown, or any tooth pain at all, do not delay in calling us for an immediate appointment. Many dental emergencies can lead to serious overall health emergencies and the quicker we can correct them the better!
If you have had a tooth knocked out of your mouth, please save the tooth and IMMEDIATELY contact us or the Emergency Room at the local hospital. If immediate action and proper care of the tooth are taken, many times the tooth can successfully be reimplanted. Here are the guidelines to use when you have had a tooth knocked out:
Knocked Out Tooth Emergency Guidelines:
- DO immediately retrieve the tooth by the crown (top part of the tooth you usually see) and avoid the immediate reaction to clean the tooth.
- DO gently place the tooth back into the empty socket in the mouth.
- DO immediately place the tooth in a covered container with a small amount of whole white milk or saliva if you cannot reinsert it into the socket.
- DO contact us immediately. If we are unavailable, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
- DO Act FAST! The quicker you get to professional help the more likely the tooth will be successfully reimplanted.
A dental extraction, or exodontia, is the removal of a tooth. This is commonly known as having a tooth “pulled”. While extractions are avoided whenever possible, there are a few circumstances where having the tooth pulled is the best solution for the patient. One of these circumstances is when the tooth has too much structural damage or decay which prevents restoration. The other common reason is the removal of impacted or problematic third molars, or wisdom teeth.
Fluoride therapy comes in the form of varnishes, gels and foams. Fluoride treatments in combination with regular cleanings are routinely recommended for patients with forming or newly erupted teeth. They are also used for individuals who are at high risk for cavities (caries), orthodontic patients, patients undergoing head and neck radiation, patients with decreased salivary flow, children whose permanent molars should, but cannot, be sealed, and for individuals with tooth sensitivities.
“Totally professional, efficient and friendly office…I never mind going to the dentist!” – Heidi R., Saginaw, MI