What We Do For Our Patients: The Most Common Dental Health Problems & How We Treat Them

If you’re like most people, you might be surprised to learn how much your dentist can do for you! In today’s post, we’ll review the most common dental health issues we can help with as well as the treatments we offer at Ericson Dental.

Let’s get started!

Everyday health

At Ericson Dental, our top priority is helping you maintain outstanding dental health and whole-body wellness. While we offer a variety of restorative treatment options, we believe that it’s our duty to help you prevent dental health problems from starting. We do this by recommending twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams, as well as regular x-rays. We help you understand your risk of decay and disease and offer tips on brushing/flossing, dietary changes, and other steps you can take to stay healthy and happy!

Tooth decay

Did you know that nearly 90% of people will get a cavity during their lives? Even with proper brushing/flossing technique and regular dental checkups, some people will just have a very hard time avoiding cavities. This might be due to their diet or even to the type of bacteria found in their mouth.

Whatever the cause, tooth decay can be managed, especially when it’s caught early. At your regular exams, your dentist will examine your teeth and use high-tech digital x-rays to check for the early warning signs of decay. Often, we can spot cavities before you notice any symptoms!

When we catch cavities early, we can use very small tooth-colored composite fillings that not only fix cavities but are very aesthetically appealing, too. They look just like your natural teeth! Even better, they actually strengthen your teeth and help prevent future chips, cracks, and fractures.

Unfortunately, in some cases when decay isn’t caught early, it can reach the tooth’s inner layers, leading to painful toothaches and potentially dangerous infections. When this happens, our dentists can relieve pain and eliminate infection by performing a root canal.

Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures around and are actually very simple. After removing the damaged tooth structure, our dentists will work to create a custom crown to restore the shape, function, and appearance of your tooth.

Gum disease & gum recession

Do you suffer from gums that bleed after brushing, are extra sensitive, or that look red and swollen? You’re not alone. You might be one of the millions of people who suffer from some form of gum disease.

Caused by bacteria — the same bacteria that cause cavities — gum disease is an infection of the gums. Initially, the symptoms may be mild, some tenderness and pain. But left untreated, gum disease and gum recession can lead to tooth loss.

Be on the lookout for symptoms of gum disease like:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Teeth that look “longer” than normal
  • Teeth that feel loose
  • Gums that are red and inflamed
  • Sudden sensitivity to hot and cold foods/drinks

For years, the only way to treat gum disease was with painful surgery that took a long time to recover from and often took multiple treatments. But at Ericson Dental, we offer high-tech Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, a process that treats gum recession and gum disease without surgery in just a single treatment. It really is incredible!

Aesthetic issues

How we look affects how we feel. People who smile more are proven to be happier, more confident, and healthier. But if your teeth are discolored, chipped, cracked, stained, or crooked, it’s very easy to feel self-conscious and embarrassed about your smile

You may have heard of cosmetic dentistry. But at Ericson Dental, we do things a little differently. We practice what we like to call aesthetic dentistry. We focus on not only creating a natural and beautiful-looking smile, but one that is durable, functional, and healthy, too. We work closely with you to create the smile you’ve always dreamed about.

Our aesthetic dentistry services include:

  • Veneers – A miracle makeover for your teeth. Our dentists create custom-made thin porcelain shells to cover your teeth, hiding the appearance of stains, chips, cracks, and even small gaps.
  • Bonding – A composite resin (like porcelain) is applied directly to your teeth. Our dentists use cosmetic bonding to smooth rough edges on your teeth, fill in chips and crack, and eliminate stains. It even makes your teeth stronger, too!
  • Teeth whitening treatments – In just 20 minutes we can take you up several shades of whiteness without any tooth sensitivity!
  • Invisalign – If you want to straighten crooked teeth without the hassle of metal braces, consider Invisalign. A series of virtually invisible aligners gently reposition your teeth. Easy to clean and maintain, too!

Replacing lost teeth

Tooth loss is surprisingly common. Whether the result of an athletic injury, illness, gum disease, or tooth decay, a lost tooth is a serious problem that can lead to:

  • Misalignment in the remaining, neighboring teeth
  • Irreversible bone loss in the jaw, a process known as resorption
  • Tooth decay and gum disease in nearby teeth

Our dentists take tooth loss very seriously.

We can help you restore the function, appearance, and the health of your teeth with high-tech dental implants. Implants are placed securely in your jaw and act just like the root of a natural tooth. They strengthen the jaw and actually encourage the growth of healthy bone! With proper care, your implant can last a lifetime.

The implant forms a rock solid foundation for a restoration like a custom-made crowns, bridge, or implant-supported denture. They’re easy to care for and look great, too!

Don’t live with a missing tooth. Ask your dentist about dental implants. You’ll be glad you did.

Oral surgery

Your comfort comes first at Ericson Dental. We’re one of the only local dental practices licensed to offer our patients IV sedation. Also known as twilight sedation, IV sedation eliminates stress and anxiety, helps you feel better after oral surgery, and leaves you with no memory of your procedure.

We can help extract wisdom teeth, or other adult teeth that are damaged or causing overcrowding in the mouth.

We also use advanced technologies not found at many other Santa Barbara and Lompoc dentists:

  • Gum grafting – With a gum graft, our surgeons are able to reverse gum recession in a single treatment session. No need for additional surgeries.
  • 3D CT scans – Our oral surgeons create 3D high-definition digital images of your mouth. We can plan surgeries with more precision than ever before.

Schedule your appointment today

Want to learn more about a treatment we talked about today? Looking to take control of your dental health? Schedule your first appointment at Ericson Dental today. We have conveniently located offices in Santa Barbara and Lompoc to serve you.

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