Your oral or dental health is as critical as your overall health. For this reason, you should find a qualified family dentist to address your family's oral healthcare concerns. Family dentistry is a specialty of general dentistry that addresses oral health for both children and adults. These professionals are no different from general dentists, but their primary focus is on minors and teenagers. At South Coast Dentistry, we offer you and your children a wide range of family dentistry services in Aliso Viejo. Our services aim to prevent and treat oral conditions in a comfortable and warm environment.
Family Dentistry Definition
Family dentistry is a general dentistry branch offering comprehensive oral healthcare amenities to families. It primarily addresses oral cleanliness and the health of milk and second or permanent teeth. Therefore, to keep all family members in good dental health regarding health and age, you must seek family dentistry services from a reputable dentist.
Family dentists provide you and your family with all the oral solutions you require. These professionals have all the training and experience as general dentists, only that they offer dental services to persons of all ages. On the other hand, general dentists focus on their field of specialty. They can concentrate their dental services on children, adults, or older people.
Family Dentistry offers all dental services under one roof. Therefore, all the oral needs of the family members can be addressed under the same roof in a trusting and welcoming environment. The services save you the hassle of moving from one dental clinic to another and dropping off your children for dental appointments. With all the family's oral needs being addressed under one roof, it becomes easy to maintain regular appointments and work with a family dental expert who understands the family’s oral health history.
Family Dentist Qualifications
To become a qualified family dentist, one must study for a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program in a graduate school. Dental school applicants must possess high biology, biochemistry, physics, and chemistry scores. Also, an applicant must have performed well in the dental admission exam.
Those admitted to the program undergo training in anesthesiology, dental anatomy, microbiology, physiology, pharmacology, and radiology. These courses are crucial in honing the skills needed to provide family dentistry services. During training, family dentistry students also undergo training in various dental practice facets like orthodontics, oral surgery, periodontics, and endodontics. In the program, the students must finish a clinical clerkship and observe practicing family dentists treat patients. The training ends when the students learn to work on patients without supervision.
Once a dental student completes the training program, they must obtain the necessary accreditation from the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Besides, they must sit for and pass papers and clinical tests. The jotted examination comprises two sections of the National Board Dental Examination. Learners spend four years in dental school.
Dental Services Available in Family Dentistry
Family dentists provide various oral services based on the patient's needs. South Coast Dentistry has no specific dental specialty; we offer preventative, cosmetic, and restorative treatments. Additionally, we advise on achieving and maintaining good oral health. The essential family dentistry services you will find in our clinics are:
One of the primary family dentistry procedures in our clinic is oral checkups. Usually, you should see the dentist for a check-up at least once every six months to examine the condition of your mouth and teeth. When you have oral health issues, you will need more than one visit to the dentist every six months. Routine dental check-ups aim to prevent, diagnose, and treat oral illnesses on the teeth, gingiva, and overall mouth. A check-up also enables the dentist to identify signs of possible oral conditions you risk developing and provide solutions to prevent them.
Your children should start dental checkups when they are twelve months old or older. During this age, they are more susceptible to oral cavities. Therefore, they must visit our offices at least twice annually for a check-up and cleaning.
A check-up involves a dental examination, cleaning, polishing, and X-rays. The treatments are tailored to suit your oral needs.
Our oral examination services check for dental problems like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease and choose the best course of action. A dental exam thoroughly scrutinizes the teeth, tongue, and mouth. Our oral hygienists or dentists evaluate your oral well-being and hygiene during the examination. Also, the exam evaluates your mouth for indications of tooth decay, periodontitis, cavities, and bone disease. Besides, we inspect your bite to ensure you have no jaw problems. Part of our oral examination services involves discussing oral hygiene and diet.
Similarly, we will ask about your oral hygiene practices. When there is any medication you are on or an underlying health issue that could interfere with your dental health, like diabetes, we will discuss it to ensure that you can maintain good oral health and manage the disease.
Identifying signs of an oral problem early makes it easier to provide treatment and reverse it. For your children, our oral examination routine during a check-up enables us to monitor the growth of their teeth. Also, we train children on healthy oral hygiene habits to ensure proper care of their overall oral health. Teaching children good oral practices early makes it a routine that prevents dental issues and gives them healthy and beautiful smiles.
Medical Account Intake
After an oral examination in our offices, we will ask several questions about your health history and family. The questions aim to help you understand your dental health better and advise on the best course of action. We want to know your medication type, allergic reactions to particular medicines, and whether you take alcohol or smoke tobacco. We will want to see if you are being treated for medical illnesses like cancer.
Furthermore, our dentists will ask about oral surgeries or treatments you have undergone. If anesthesia were administered during the treatments, we would want to know your experience. Understanding your medical history will inform us of the steps to take for effective treatment.
Another critical family dentistry service at South Coast Dentistry is dental cleaning. Even when you and your family are not experiencing any health issues, it is essential to seek dental cleaning services. We recommend you visit us two to four times a year for cleaning. Regular brushing and flossing sometimes do not remove all the tartar and plaque buildup in the mouth. If the plaque accumulation continues, it allows bacteria to breed, resulting in gum disease. However, when you come for a dental cleaning, we can remove the plaque and tartar and prevent severe oral issues.
A typical dental cleaning procedure in our clinic involves several steps. First, we will conduct a physical examination to check for possible indications of gingivitis.
After the physical exam, your family dentist will remove the plaque and calculus from the gums with a scalar and a little mirror. Although this should not scare you, you should expect some scraping sounds during the procedure. The time it takes to remove the plaque depends on the amount accumulated.
Once we have removed the tartar, the next phase is to wash out the remaining plaque using a high-powered toothbrush and gritty toothpaste. Although you will experience some grinding noise, the process is safe when done by a professional family dentist.
Even if you floss your teeth at home, the experience and results are better when an expert performs the procedure. Our family dentists will go deeper between the gums and teeth to spot possible problems that are impossible to spot when flossing at home.
After flossing, your family dentist will rinse your mouth using liquid fluoride to remove any debris left in the mouth. The final step is applying fluoride treatment to protect the teeth from cavities before your next appointment. If you want a professional dental cleaning, visit us today to speak to our dental hygienists.
Once your family dentist has gathered all the relevant information about your medical history, they will thoroughly investigate your teeth, jawbone, and facial structure using X-rays. At South Coast Dentistry, we usually administer X-rays to our patients during check-ups once a year, although this could change depending on your unique circumstances.
X-rays are essential for dental check-ups because they enable family dentists to identify abnormalities that would have been difficult to detect with the naked eye. The radiographs or x-rays give us detailed images of your mouth and teeth, which we evaluate to notice oral abnormalities.
You will not need an x-ray every time you come for an examination or check-up. We understand that excessive radiation exposure can affect your oral and overall well-being. However, this should not make you worried about undergoing the treatment because we only expose you to low-level radiation to capture images that display oral issues like cavities and decay. If you are concerned about dental X-rays, please bring them up with your dentist.
Also, your children can benefit from the procedure, as X-ray images help the dentist establish whether the gums and teeth are developing the way they should. Routine dental examinations using X-rays on children help us identify issues like teeth shifting and take the necessary measures to correct the problem at an early stage. X-rays identify issues at early stages that a physical examination using the naked eye could not have detected. The family dentist can prevent dental problems before they cause serious oral health problems. The x-ray pictures help us determine if your child’s baby teeth need extraction.
Furthermore, x-rays help family dentists take dental impressions of your teeth during check-ups. Dental images are necessary when your dentist suspects you have an alignment or bite issue.
Finally, it would help if you had an x-ray once every one or two years. These procedures are critical as they give us detailed information about your overall oral hygiene and the condition of your teeth that could have been undetectable to the naked eye.
Your dentist must thoroughly evaluate the results of X-rays and other investigations done during an oral examination. The radiography and x-ray images inform us of your dental problem and advise us on the best and most effective treatment. If the condition is severe and your family dentist cannot perform it, they will recommend a specialist.
Dental Cancer Screening or Evaluation
The increase in oral cancer cases has pushed us to introduce cancer screening services in our family dentistry. Oral cancer has many causes, and if not detected on time, it can spread to other body parts, causing severe health issues or death. Therefore, to keep your entire family healthy, we conduct oral cancer screening because when the condition is identified early, it can be treated before it spreads. Our dentists have the training to identify the initial signs of cancer and recommend the appropriate treatment.
After thoroughly evaluating your mouth, we will explain your oral conditions. We will administer treatment and advise you on how to prevent the recurrence of the problem in the future. We will refer you to a specialist for specialized care when you have severe dental illnesses.
Another component of our family dentistry services is nutritional counseling. Even though most emphasis is put on healthy oral hygiene to prevent dental issues, nutrition plays a critical role in your family's oral health. Therefore, our family dentist will provide nutrition counseling to the family to ensure that you stick to diets that promote good oral health.
Our nutritional counseling services start with thoroughly evaluating your oral health history and the dental diseases you are at risk of developing. Besides, we will review your diet preferences to identify strategies that can help promote good oral health.
Our family dentists recognize that your diet is critical to the oral diseases you develop. Therefore, we prevent these oral conditions by taking you through nutritional counseling. We will educate you on how your dietary habits contribute to dental issues and how to change them for healthy teeth.
Tooth Removal or Extraction
Sometimes, we could be forced to recommend an extraction during routine check-ups. The extraction could be due to overcrowded teeth, an irreversible infection through the root canal, or when your immune system is compromised, and you are at an elevated risk of developing an oral bacterial infection. If the tooth that requires extraction is visible through the mouth, we will conduct a simple extraction. Nevertheless, you must undergo a complicated surgical extraction when the tooth is fractured below the gingiva line.
At South Coast Dentistry, we understand that emergencies in dentistry can happen to you or a family member. Therefore, we provide emergency dentistry services depending on your oral issues. Some of the emergency dentistry services we provide are:
- Toothaches treatment.
- Cleaning and rinsing cracked teeth.
- Prevention of unexplained constant bleeding in the mouth or gums.
Also, when you have injured your gums, lips, or mouth, we invite you to visit us for our emergency dentistry services for prompt handling of the problem.
Advantages of Partnering with Family Dentists for Your Family’s Oral Health Needs
Partnering with a family dental expert offers several advantages over other dental experts. It is vital to understand these benefits if you plan on hiring a dentist to address your family's dental needs.
The first advantage of working with a family dentistry service is that they offer convenience. Family dentists provide dental services to people of all ages with different oral issues. You do not need to visit multiple clinics for your family’s dental checkups. You can receive the services under one roof.
Similarly, these professionals understand your family’s oral health history. Every visit, these professionals document oral health, unique needs, and allergies. This helps the dentist know your last oral examination and the last treatment you had and monitor your general oral health. That way, the professionals can develop a tailored treatment that meets your family’s dental health needs.
A strong relationship and trust are crucial in dental treatment. Children want to feel safe and comfortable during appointments. Also, they find it easy to open up if they trust the dentist. Family dentists create a strong bond with your family that streamlines treatment.
Another benefit of working with these dental experts is their flexible schedule. They can adjust appointments based on your availability. When you are occupied during the day or do not want the children to skip school, the dentist can squeeze you in for a late appointment.
Find an Experienced Family Dentistry Service Near Me
When searching for a dental expert who can handle your dental health needs and those of your family, you should find a family dentist. These professionals offer several family dentistry services, including dental examination, x-rays, cleaning, tooth extraction, and emergency services. Nevertheless, not all family dentists are the same. You must find the right one for your loved ones. At South Coast Dentistry, we provide the best family dentistry services in Aliso Viejo. Call us today at 949-274-9086 to arrange an appointment.