General Preventive Dentistry
Here, you can explore some of the key general and preventive services we offer at our holistic practice in Montrose…
A comprehensive exam involves much more than just looking for cavities or gum disease. It’s an extensive evaluation of everything happening in and around your mouth. It’s the starting point for all new patients and recommended every 3 to 5 years after, or if there’s ever a dramatic change in a person’s health, oral or systemic.
- A review and discussion of your medical and dental history, and their relevance to your current oral health.
- A review of any medications (pharmaceutical, homeopathic, and botanical) and supplements you’re taking.
- All necessary x-rays, to assess jawbone health and see conditions within your teeth and gums.
- Head, neck, and oral cancer screening.
- TMJ screening.
- Evaluation of how your teeth come together (your “bite,” or occlusion).
- Visual and digital examination of the lips, the tissues lining the mouth, cheeks, ridges, mouth floor, throat, gum tissue, and tongue.
- A tooth-by-tooth check for decay, spectra scanning of indicated teeth and charting of all existing dental work.
- Intraoral video recording of tooth conditions, which lets us inspect your teeth with magnification that can help us spot early decay, defects in tooth structure, micro-cracks, and faulty fillings and crowns. (It also gives you a way to see what we see when we look in your mouth!)
- Periodontal screening, including pocket measurements and tooth mobility assessment.
- A blood pressure check
- An evaluation and discussion of possible cosmetic enhancements for your smile.
- Development of your custom treatment plan, prioritized to meet your immediate, intermediate, and long-term needs and goals.
- Referral to specialists for treatment as needed.
Periodic Oral Exam
This exam is done every 6 or 12 months for our established patients, depending on the state of their oral health. We do this to determine any changes since your last exam, and it can be done at the same time you come in for your regular cleanings.
If your oral health is good, professional cleanings are generally recommended twice a year – to help keep those conditions good. If you have gum disease or are prone to developing decay, more frequent cleanings may be recommended.
It’s not just about limiting sugar, though that’s essential. Sugars – which include foods made with refined white flour, which your body digests as sugar – are the favorite food of the microbes that cause tooth decay. Their metabolic waste is acid, which destroys tooth enamel, leaving the teeth vulnerable to further infection. (The double-whammy of sugar and acids is why you should also limit soft drinks and fruit juices, as well!)
The other half of the equation is eating more of the good stuff: nutrient-dense whole or minimally processed foods, including lots of fresh produce, as well as quality proteins and healthy fats. The vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals such foods deliver are crucial for maintaining healthy gums and supporting your teeth’s natural ability to remineralize and stay strong.
Along with twice-a-day brushing (2 minutes each time), cleaning between your teeth is also critical. Whether you use floss or interdental brushes or an oral irrigator like Waterpik – or all of the above! – clean between your teeth at least once a day to keep harmful bacteria in check.
One especially good addition to your home care routine is oral probiotics. These supplements provide helpful bacteria to colonize the mouth, making it less hospitable to the oral pathogens that cause decay. The oral probiotic we supply at our office are lozenges you can just suck on like a mint. Ask us about them at your next visit!
Icon Interceptive Dental Caries Treatment
The first step toward cavities is demineralization of the teeth – a loss of minerals that makes your teeth more vulnerable to full-blown decay. If we see that happening, we can use a product called Icon, which is more aggressive than simple remineralization but more conservative than placing a filling. It stops dental caries (decay) quickly and painlessly.
Fixing Damaged Teeth
Cracked teeth, for instance, can sometimes be repaired with a crown on onlay that provides a nice, safe cocoon to keep them from breaking. A broken tooth requires far more invasive treatment and can even cause the tooth to die.
Bruxing is one of the major causes of worn teeth. A misaligned bite is another. Once the enamel is worn down and the dentin below is exposed, the teeth become sensitive and more vulnerable to decay. But often, those exposed areas of dentin can be stabilized by reinforcing them with composite.
But teeth also become worn as we age, simply from years of chewing (and the foods we choose to chew!). We often see what Dr. Bloss informally calls “potholes” in the back teeth: sunken areas, where enamel has worn off the cusps and the dentin has been worn down into a little depression about the size of a berry seed. These, too can be filled with composite to reduce sensitivity and decay risk, as well as preventing even deeper wear.
Solutions for Bruxing (Clenching & Grinding)
During waking hours, you can train yourself to keep from bruxing. Start by just paying attention to what your teeth are doing at random moments – driving your car, watching TV, lifting something heavy, shopping, working, and so on. If you catch them tight together, just open your jaw a bit to take the pressure off. Eventually, “teeth apart” can become just as much a habit as “teeth clenched.”
So protecting your teeth with a sports guard just makes good sense.
Holistic and Biological Dentistry
When it comes to your dental care, you’re more than just a mouth, disconnected from body, mind, and spirit.
Holistic, biological dentistry respects the health of the mouth in its relationship to the whole person. We understand that the mouth – and whatever is done there – has wide-ranging implications. It’s connected to your body, after all, both physically and energetically via the meridian system.
So first and foremost, Dr. Bloss focuses on using only the most biocompatible and least toxic materials available. Among other things, that means no fluoride and no mercury amalgam. When teeth need to be restored, we favor BPA-free composite and ceramic materials instead.
For those with multiple chemical sensitivities – or those who simply want assurance that we use the most compatible materials for their unique biochemistry – the Clifford test is available. This blood test is the gold standard for discovering which specific dental products you may be sensitive to. It reports on more than 17,000 branded products that may be used in the course of providing dental care.
We also seek to identify any dental burdens that may be impacting overall health – not just mercury amalgam, but problems such as infected root canal teeth and jawbone cavitations (hidden infections that destroy the tissues that support your teeth).
“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
What does “Holistic Dentistry” mean?
As a holistic dentist, Dr. Bloss takes a conservative approach, favoring prevention over treatment. When problems arise, she looks to the least invasive options for restoring dental health in a way that supports whole body health.
Member of the IOAMT
Consequently, Dr. Bloss is a perpetual student, investing a tremendous amount of time to keep up with the latest advances in both modern clinical dentistry and traditional and natural healing methods. She is SMART-certified in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings and an accredited member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
If you have questions about holistic and biological dentistry, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to speak with you.