San Jose, CA
Our staff at Nancy Shiba, DDS, values the benefits of preventive care.
Just as we take preventive measures in our daily life through steps such as wearing a seatbelt or wearing sunblock, we can take measures to protect our teeth.
Having your teeth checked at least once a year through a dental exam and cleaning are preventive tools that can reduce the likelihood of developing oral disease.
We want the best for your teeth, which is why we strive so hard to make sure your smile lasts you a long time!
Part of our practice is providing oral health education and teaching the importance of preventive dentistry during these annual visits.
When we can work together with you to fight decay-causing bacteria, your teeth end up lasting you a lifetime.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Your oral hygiene includes some daily steps such as brushing and flossing, along with regular cleanings from a professional hygienist.
We want you to be seen at least once a year, or six months if needed, for a professional dental cleaning.
We have the training and special tools to remove hardened tartar and have the ability to reach areas in your mouth that you can't.
Your cleaning appointment generally includes:
Tracking and Measuring your Gum Pockets
A common dental disease is gum disease.
We want to check your gum tissue for infected areas and measure the depth of your gum pockets to see if separation due to gum disease has occurred.
We record this data to see if indications of gum disease have progressed. Measurements greater than 3mm is an indication of potential trouble.
Remove Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is a gummy white substance you may see along your gum ridge.
It is a blend of saliva and debris in your mouth, and it is often full of living decay causing bacteria.
We want to remove it to prevent decay and gum disease.
Tartar is plaque that has dried and hardened because it was not removed through regular brushing and flossing.
Tartar that remains on teeth will cause disease.
We remove plaque and tartar using a brush and scraping tool, for some patients we may use an ultrasonic scaler that power washes the teeth with a directed stream of oxygenated bubbles.
Polish your Teeth
Once the teeth are clean, we then remove extrinsic surface stains by polishing the teeth with a special paste and rotary brush.
By removing stains we are also smoothing the surface of your teeth.
Having a smooth surface makes it harder for harmful bacteria to settle on your teeth.
The result will be brighter and fresher looking teeth.
Professional Dental Examination
An important step in your preventive care is having your teeth examined by Nancy Shiba, DDS.
Examinations are completed to look for problems and potential problems in an effort to provide any necessary treatment that would reduce pain, expense and time in the dental chair.
We look for areas of trouble, provide education, answer questions and discuss various treatment options.
During your dental exam, we generally look for:
||Signs of Cavities or Decay: Tooth decay causing cavities is the most common dental disorder. We want to stop and reverse damage before the problem becomes worse.
||Cysts, Tumors, Lumps and Bumps: Cysts and growths can be a symptom of a larger problem, or an indication that infection is present. We want to look at and review any unusual growths, texture changes, or discoloration that may be present.
||Structural Damage: Teeth can chip or fracture, we want to review and consider any damage we may see. Some enamel damage can leave you vulnerable to infection.
||Oral Cancer Screening: Part of every dental examination is a quick oral cancer screening. The process is simple and painless, we just visually inspect the oral tissue and relating structure for any signs indicating a potential problem. Oral cancer is caught by a dentist more often than any other medical professional. If we find an area of interest, we may ask to send a small sample of tissue to a lab for further investigation.
||Evidence of Teeth Grinding or Gnashing: Bruxism is an often temporary disorder that arises during times of stress. It can display through subconscious teeth grinding and clenching. We want to catch these symptoms because they can be highly damaging to your teeth causing significant cost and pain.
The goal of dental examinations is to have them frequently enough that oral health issues can be caught in the preliminary stages, while they are still treatable, even preventable.
If we can see that the enamel of your teeth is wearing thin in a certain spot, we can bring your attention to that spot, and there is a good chance that you can prevent a cavity from ever forming.
Why Do We Take Digital X-rays?
We use digital x-rays to see between and within your teeth.
This helps us see hidden problems and issues before they arise.
We have moved away from traditional x-rays machines and now offer only digital x-ray machines, which are a huge technological advancement over the traditional film x-ray images of the past.
With digital x-ray images, we can show you large, high resolution images at one-fifth the amount of radiation that a traditional x-ray exposed you to.
Digital x-rays don't require the lengthy development times that traditional x-rays require.
Instead, they are available right away, in high definition, on a computer monitor that we can share with you.
Additionally, these images are saved in a computer file that can be shared with the click of a button to another dental professional when requested.
We invite you to learn more about these preventive steps and more, including dental sealants, fluoride and more.
We are always accepting new patients here at Nancy Shiba, DDS. If you would like to make an appointment, please give us a call today at (669) 306-7669.