General Preventive Dentistry

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As they say, the best dentistry is the least dentistry. That’s why Dr. Bloss always starts with prevention in mind – to give you the info and support needed to keep problems from arising in the first place.

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.

Professional 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.

Decay Prevention

Dental caries – tooth decay – is one of the most preventable diseases there is, and prevention starts with diet.

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.

Good oral hygiene is just as essential as a healthy diet – yet most patients show that they don’t quite clean their teeth as effectively as they should. They miss a lot of spots, especially at the gum line, and on the tongue-side of the lower back teeth. Disclosing tablets – those pinkish tablets you chew to highlight biofilm (plaque) on their teeth – can be a big help here, showing what you missed so you can focus on cleaning better.

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!

Sealants

Sealants are a thin, flowable resin that’s bonded into the pits and grooves of your back teeth to keep harmful bacteria and other pathogens from sticking and starting the decay process. Quick and simple, sealants can stave off a world of hurt.
For best results, Dr. Bloss always scans the teeth with her Spectra unit first to identify any pits and grooves that might not be visible to the naked eye. Typically, these are spots in newly erupted molars that just didn’t close completely during tooth development. If such areas are found, Dr. Bloss does a preventive resin restoration – basically, a very small filling in the pit or groove – before sealing the rest of the tooth.

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

Teeth can get damaged by any number of things, from accidents to biting something extra hard to the habitual clenching or grinding known as bruxing. By addressing such issues early, we may be able to help you prevent bigger problems down the line.

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.

Bruxing can also cause abfractions, or “gum line ditches” where a small chunk of tooth is worn away, leaving the affected teeth sensitive and vulnerable to decay. They need to be kept clean, but toothbrushing also has the effect of wearing away even more tissue. Simple fillings can help prevent this, protecting the softer inner tissues of the tooth.

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)

A lot of people – including Dr. Bloss, before she became a dentist – tend to clench or grind their teeth without even realizing that they’re doing it. It’s a behavior known as bruxing, and it can be extraordinarily damaging to your teeth and gums, not to mention a trigger for TMJ problems and chronic headaches or other face, jaw, and neck pain.

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.”

But what if you clench or grind while you’re asleep? This is where a night guard can help. It’s a device that looks a bit like mouth guards that athletes wear to protect their teeth, and it does much the same thing but also helps relieve some of the pressure of bruxing. While over-the-counter options are now widely available, they seldom provide the results you can get from the custom guard we can provide – one that fits your mouth perfectly and provides the specific support you need for your particular grinding habit.

Sports Guards

Many sports – not just contact sports – pose a danger to teeth. You’re moving fast, and so are your teammates and competitors. There are balls or pucks or other objects flying through the air; swinging bats or sticks that sometimes make inadvertent contact.

So protecting your teeth with a sports guard just makes good sense.

As with night guards for sleep bruxing, inexpensive over-the-counter options are available. These “boil-and-bite” devices do an adequate job, but they tend to feel big and bulky. The custom guards we can provide, on the other hand, are streamlined and made of a high-tech, super-resilient plastic. They’re more comfortable to wear and protect the teeth better, as the material is far more shock-absorbing than anything you can currently buy over-the-counter.

Holistic and Biological Dentistry

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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.”

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

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.

Got any questions?

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Please feel free to call our office today at 970-249-2077.
One of our friendly staff will be happy to help you.