Preventative Dental Care

Preventative dental care is crucial to your overall good dental health. Our dentists and staff work with each individual patient to answer questions and address needs in order for you to maintain a bright, healthy smile. At TenderCare Dental, the care and comfort of each patient is our first priority.

Routine Dental Examination

At your first appointment, your TenderCare dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam that includes a visual examination, charting of your teeth, periodontal probing, and diagnosis and treatment recommendations to fit your personal needs.

In addition, your dentist will order and examine x-rays of your mouth. These digital images will help the staff at TenderCare Dental establish a baseline of your dental health, as well as identify potential problem areas not visible during a visual examination of your teeth. The digital x-rays include a panoramic view and bitewing x-rays that allow TenderCare dentists and staff to evaluate and diagnose your unique dental requirements.

Throughout this first and subsequent appointments, the TenderCare dentists and team members will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have to establish a long-term relationship for your good dental health.

Teeth Cleaning and Flossing

Along with a comprehensive examination, a qualified and compassionate team member will help ensure the health of your teeth with a thorough teeth cleaning and flossing to remove any build-up of plaque and tartar. Digital x-rays may also be taken during your appointment in order for your TenderCare dentist to see what potential problems may require treatment.

Frequent cleaning and examinations are necessary to prevent and to treat dental disorders. When not at the dentist, brushing and flossing regularly is advised and will make your visit with us go much smoother.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria, and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride will help re-mineralize teeth that have been affected by decay, stopping cavities from forming.

Tooth Sealants

Many of the cavities that occur during childhood start in the deep, tiny grooves of teeth, especially molars.  A tooth sealant – also known as a dental sealant – is a plastic resin placed in the grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth that are difficult to clean.

Plaque is formed by naturally-occurring bacteria in our mouths. This sticky, yellowish substance clings to the surfaces of our teeth and eventually results in tooth decay. Brushing and flossing regularly helps rid teeth of plaque. However, plaque that remains in between teeth or among grooves on the top surface of teeth can be difficult to impossible to eliminate when brushing or flossing.

This tooth sealant made of plastic resin creates a smooth surface that settles in between and along the grooves of teeth. This prevents plaque from settling into those crevices,  making it much easier to clean away plaque and bacteria.

With sealants, tooth brushing and flossing becomes more effective against tooth decay. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth as a preventative measure during the formative years, when tooth decay is most prevalent, but may be applied to adults’ teeth as well depending on each person’s level of need.

TMJ Treatments

TenderCare Dental provides high quality TMJ treatments to the Portland, OR area.  Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is pain in the jaw joint that can be caused by a variety of medical problems. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull in front of the ear. Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, facial pain, ear pain, headaches, a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems biting, and jaw clicking or popping sounds when you bite.

TMJ Syndrome Causes Include:

  • Trauma
  • Teeth grinding
  • Clenching your teeth
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

TMJ Symptoms and Signs Include:

  • Pain in the facial muscles and jaw joints
  • Ear pain, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss
  • Clicking or popping when moving your jaw
  • Your face and mouth may swell on the affected side
  • The jaw may lock wide open or may not open fully at all

If you suffer from TMJ, please notify your TenderCare dentist for more information and treatment recommendations.

Mouth Guards

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is directly related to stress and can cause a variety of dental problems. If you grind your teeth, you may have experienced symptoms like earaches, neckaches, headaches, sensitive teeth, or jaw soreness. If you find yourself grinding your teeth, it’s important to be aware of it and do what you can to stop. Continued teeth grinding can lead to broken, chipped or cracked teeth.

People grind their teeth most commonly at night, but it can also happen during the day. Teeth grinding is an unconscious habit, but there are many ways to correct or even prevent this condition. If you become aware that you’re grinding your teeth, your TenderCare dentist can help you find out if there’s another medical condition that may be contributing to this habit. He can also check that any dental work you have isn’t contributing to the problem.

If you find that you need a mouth guard, be aware that the process of finding the right one for you is largely trial and error. Begin with the most common and inexpensive mouth guard, like the ones used by athletes. If that doesn’t work, there are dental guards that you can buy over-the-counter in drug stores. Finally, if these don’t work, check with your TenderCare dentist about a professionally-made night guard that will work for you.