Exam and Cleaning

Routine cleanings help rid the mouth of harmful bacteria. Checkups and preventive care can help catch and manage problems before they worsen, as our overall health is influenced by the health of our mouth. During your preventive care visits, Dr. Mooney and Dr. Shaeffer always perform an oral cancer exam and a thorough assessment of your gums and teeth. They will discuss with you their recommendations to keep your oral hygiene in its best state.

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Digital X-rays and intraoral cameras

X-rays are used to examine the inside of your teeth and what is under the gums. X-rays are necessary for a thorough exam and diagnosis. It is like looking at an iceberg – we only see the top part above the water, but the majority of its size is under the water! We use the X-rays to see everything that lies under your gums and in the jaw bone. Digital X-rays can now reduce the amount of radiation exposure up to 80% compared to traditional film X-rays. A series of digital bitewing X-rays (what we use to detect cavities between your teeth and evaluate the health of the bone) is approximately 0.005mSv of radiation, which is only about 0.08 percent of the effective annual radiation dose the average American receives from natural sources (e.g., soil, radon) and man-made sources (e.g., medical radiographs, CT scanning). Source: American Dental Association

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Intraoral cameras are a helpful way to show you what is happening in your mouth. We are also able to track the progress of teeth to determine if our treatment is working. During treatments, the photos can help you see what we are working on when you couldn’t see otherwise.

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Dental sealants are a coating placed over the deep pits and fissures of the back teeth to form a physical barrier on the tooth surface. They are a very effective part of a comprehensive approach to managing the development of decay (cavities). Even if your child brushes and flosses properly, some areas may be missed and sealants are a great way to prevent decay from developing.

Sports guards: Athletic mouth guards will not only protect your mouth and teeth, but they will also decrease the impact if you are hit in the jaw. We recommend kids and adults of all ages wear a custom sports guard with any high-impact sports! We can make a custom guard simply by taking a 2 minutes impression of your upper teeth, we even can have them made in your team color!

Nightguards: Nightguards can be used to protect your teeth if we see signs of grinding or clenching. They are a covering that you wear while sleeping. We can make a custom night guard by taking a simple, 2-minute impression. If you have soreness in the joints or muscles of your jaw, it is important to have Dr. Mooney and Dr. Shaeffer assess your condition to determine if a nightguard is the right treatment option for you. Some conditions that cause grinding might need other treatment.

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Sleep apnea devices

Dr. Mooney and Dr. Shaeffer provide sleep apnea treatments to help our patients sleep and breathe better for better overall health. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by obstructions in the airway during sleep, such as collapsing airway tissues. It is a condition that may contribute to several serious health problems. Some common signs and symptoms include: excessive sleepiness during the day, gasping or choking sounds during sleep, frequent morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, and even grinding while sleeping. Dr. Mooney and Dr. Shaeffer can discuss what they find in their exam and give their recommendation for treatment. Often this will include a sleep study with a sleep physician. Depending on your diagnosis, we can make you a custom-fit appliance that fits over your teeth. By holding the lower jaw in a slightly forward position, the appliance prevents the airway tissues from collapsing while you sleep. These appliances are comfortable and very easy to use.

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