Dental Checkups & Cleanings
In keeping with our airway focused dentistry approach, our dental checkups begin with a complete diagnostic picture of the inner and outer workings of patients’ smiles, including the airway. We capture high-definition digital x-rays and extensive bite analysis using the T-Scan system to ensure your bite is properly aligned. A misaligned bite can lead to tooth pain, jaw joint tenderness and pain, and chronic headaches. Next, Dr. Douglas Campbell or Dr. David Schmidt carefully examine patients’ smile looking for signs of the most common oral health concerns, including:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and clenching)
- Airway obstruction
- Oral cancer
Next, our skilled dental hygienist carefully removes plaque and tartar buildup from even the most difficult to access parts of patients’ teeth, leaving patients with perfectly clean smiles. Finally, Dr. Campbell or Dr. Schmidt sit down with patients to discuss findings and partner with them to create an ongoing care plan that meets their needs and helps them achieve and maintain the optimal level of oral health for a lifetime. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone go to the dentist once every six months for a checkup and cleaning. These dental visits are essential to maintaining optimal oral health and preventing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular dental visits also pose an opportunity for Drs. Campbell and Schmidt to identify problems such as airway disorders or orofacial myofunctional disorders that easily could be managed if caught early in life. It is for this reason that dental visits should start by the time a child reaches his or her first birthday, and continue throughout life.
As a family dental practice, we welcome patients of all ages. That includes patients as early as one year of age. Our unique, airway focused approach to dentistry is important for our younger patients. Research shows that early diagnosis and intervention to correct airway obstruction and bite alignment can help young patients lead healthier, longer lives. In many cases, we can stop common concerns such as TMJ dysfunction and sleep apnea before they ever begin. In addition to our unique treatment philosophy, our dentists have years of experience working with young patients, and we offer a number of services specifically geared toward younger patients, including fluoride treatments and sports guards for young athletes.
Nightguards for Bruxism
Unconscious teeth grinding and clenching, bruxism, most often occurs while patients are sleeping, making this habit tough to break. Often times, patients are unaware that they have bruxism but present with symptoms such as sensitive teeth, sore jaw joints, and chronic headaches. Our neuromuscular dentists in Lake Forest offer a simple, comfortable solution – nightguards. Custom-made nightguards provide superior protection and performance, compared to the common “boil and bite” guards you can purchase in stores. Custom nightguards allow the bite to rest in its ideal position for maximum comfort and less teeth grinding. Additionally, the nightguard places a physical barrier between the teeth preventing potential wear and damage that may occur due to grinding and clenching. Best of all, these appliances are completely comfortable, allowing patients to speak and breathe without obstruction throughout the night.
Mouthguards & Sportsguards
Patients who take part in any sport where their smiles may come in contact with other players, hard surfaces, or sports equipment, should always wear an athletic mouthguard. Sometimes referred to as a sportsguard, these customized athletic guards protect patients’ teeth from being damaged during a traumatic impact. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of tooth loss for patients under the age of 25, and it’s our goal to help prevent these lost teeth whenever possible. From mountain biking, and gymnastics, to baseball, and basketball, protect your teeth any time that you engage in sports. Lake Forest Smiles offers sportsguards for adults and school-aged children. You can expect superior quality when choosing a professionally made sportsguard at Lake Forest Smiles.
Oral Cancer Screenings
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to reduce the number of oral cancer-related deaths (about 1 every hour in the US alone). That’s why screening for oral cancer is an essential part of every six-month checkup at Lake Forest Smiles. Oral cancer screenings are simple and painless. Whether patients engage in high-risk behaviors such as tobacco use, we complete an oral cancer screening with the Velscope system during every checkup. This technology provides a better look at abnormalities that may be present in your mouth. If abnormalities are found, the dentist will recommend a biopsy for further testing.
Developing dental structures need ingested fluoride in order to form strong, durable teeth, but once a tooth erupts from the gum line, topical fluoride is necessary to improve the strength of enamel. For most patients, fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash used daily is adequate. However, for younger patients still developing their oral hygiene skills and adults who are prone to tooth decay, professional fluoride treatments may be necessary. We can apply this professional-grade fluoride treatment as part of any dental checkup and teeth cleaning. These fluoride applications are safe and effective at protecting your child’s teeth against the devastating effects of tooth decay. However, fluoride is not a replacement for practicing good oral hygiene.
Toothpastes and Mouthwashes
Another way our dedicated team is able to assist patients in keeping their smiles whole and healthy for life is by offering product recommendations. We recommend a number of different oral hygiene products based on patient needs. We frequently recommend Pronamel products as a great starting point to protect teeth and strengthen tooth enamel. Patients with sensitive teeth may benefit from using Sensodyne. For those patients who experience frequent decay, weak spots in their teeth, or who are at high risk for gum disease, we may recommend more advanced products from the Enamelon and CloSYS lines. If you would like to know which oral hygiene products are best for you, please call to ask or speak to us during your next appointment.
Why Is Preventive Care Important?
As a wise man once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This credo implies that it is far cheaper and easier to prevent something from occurring rather than spending significantly more time and money to cure it. This line of thought could be applied to your oral health. Many comorbidities, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and certain cancers have been linked to poor oral health. While a healthy lifestyle also is necessary to protect your overall health, so is taking good care of your teeth and gums (an afterthought for many). A simple two-minute routine day and night, combined with six-month cleanings and checkups, could lower your risk of certain diseases.
What Is Good Oral Hygiene?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing daily. Flossing is equivalent to brushing between your teeth, which accounts for about 30% of your tooth surfaces. Brushing alone, without ever flossing, means that you skip cleaning one-third of your mouth!
Everyone should practice good oral hygiene, and it starts young. Infants should have their gums wiped clean twice a day using a soft, moist cloth. Children should begin learning how to brush their teeth as soon as their first tooth erupts. And, encourage your child to start flossing once two or more teeth begin touching. These good oral hygiene habits should continue throughout life. Your efforts, combined with the help of Drs. Campbell and Schmidt, you will have A Reason to Smile with Unparalleled Results – our motto at Lake Forest Smiles.
Is Preventive Care Expensive?
At-home oral hygiene is fairly inexpensive. It just takes a good toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. It does not require a fancy, expensive electric toothbrush, or a costly water flosser. Dental checkups and cleanings usually are covered by dental insurance, although these visits are well worth the cost even if you have to pay for them out of pocket. Lake Forest Smiles offers payment plans, including special financing.
General Dentist Office in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Lincolnshire
At Lake Forest Smile, we are committed to helping our patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. To learn more about our preventive dental care options, please call our office at (847) 234-4800. Our practice is conveniently located at 825 S. Waukegan Road in Lake Forest. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have been providing elite dental care to the communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.