The Trusted Winston-Salem General Dentist
Twice a year general and preventive dentistry checkups are the foundation for optimal oral health for every patient. Despite the improvements in preventive dentistry services in our office and better at-home care practices, many patients still think that tooth loss is unavoidable. With proper preventive care in our offices and at-home, Dr. Barclay Setzer and Dr. Michael Boyles strive to help patients keep their smiles whole and healthy for life. Contact our dedicated teams to find out more or schedule an appointment today.
Checkups & Cleanings
The backbone of any preventive dentistry plan is regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings. In most cases, we recommend patients visit two times each year, but we may increase that recommendation to three or more visits a year for patients at higher risk for decay or for those who suffer from periodontal disease. Every six month dental checkup includes four main components:
- Diagnostics – we use digital x-rays and intraoral photography to capture accurate representations of patients’ smiles and their underlying structures giving a clear understanding of the current state of oral health.
- Evaluation & screening – we carefully examine every surface of patients’ teeth screening for signs of common oral health concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, TMJ disorder, bruxism, and oral cancer.
- Professional teeth cleaning – even the most careful daily brushing and flossing can have gaps. Professional teeth cleanings remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from those dental surfaces unreachable during daily at-home hygiene.
- Face-to-face consultation – the most important part of any dental checkup is the consultation with our knowledgeable dentists. During a consultation, we review areas for concern, answer questions, explore treatment options, and develop an oral health care plan that meets each patient’s unique needs, budget, and lifestyle.
Traditionally recommended for younger patients, topical fluoride treatments are a fast, effective way to fortify tooth enamel protecting and improving oral health. While primary and adult teeth develop, the fluoride we ingest in water and food creates strong teeth. Once teeth erupt, topical fluoride is the best way to improve the strength of tooth enamel. Topical fluoride application can be quickly and easily completed as part of any dental checkup. We simply apply the fluoride and allow it to work for several minutes. Unlike many offices, this is not something we do automatically. Its use is case specific and we only apply fluoride in cases where we feel it is justified.
Since 1999, Dr. Setzer and Dr. Boyles have offered Winston-Salem families comprehensive dental care. Dr. Boyles is happy to see kids as young as 12, and may offer treatment for younger children upon request. Dr. Setzer and his dedicated team have years of training and experience working with the unique oral health and behavioral needs of kids. We’re happy to treat patients of all ages, but we may recommend very young children who show signs of serious developmental concerns visit a pediatric dentistry specialist.
TMJ & Bruxism Therapy
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) occurs when the joints connecting the jaw to the skull are strained or damaged leading to pain or limited jawbone mobility. Bruxism is the unconscious grinding and clenching of teeth during sleep. While these two oral health concerns often have unrelated causes, they may both be treated using occlusal splints. These custom crafted oral appliances fit comfortably within the smile allowing the jaw to rest in its ideal position during sleep preventing unconscious teeth grinding and clenching and strain of the jaw joints.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer claims one life every hour on average in the US, and of those diagnosed this year, less than 50% will live an additional five years beyond diagnosis. While smoking increases the risk for this disease significantly, 20% or more of these patients have engaged in none of the high risk behaviors. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to decrease the number of annual deaths attributed to oral cancer is to diagnose and treat these cancers in early stages. That's why Dr. Setzer and Dr. Boyles use VELscope to investigate any areas of concern and screen for oral cancer. The VELscope system uses a specially crafted light to reveal abnormal cells that might go undetected to the naked eye. The screening process is quick and painless. If we do find signs of oral cancer, we’re happy to work alongside physicians to ensure patients maintain optimal oral health throughout care.
Emergency Dental Care
Both Drs. Setzer and Dr. Boyles are happy to treat patients of record who experience an emergency outside of regular office hours. Simply contact our office number, and follow the after hours contact instructions. Some of the most common dental emergencies we treat include:
- Avulsed (knocked out), chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Avulsed, chipped, cracked, or broken temporary or permanent restorations
- Severe toothache especially when coupled with sensitivity to changes in temperature that can be indicative of root canal infection
- Abscessed teeth which typically represent as sores or inflammation in the gums surrounding an individual tooth, fever, and other signs of infection
If you or a loved one experiences severe facial trauma, soft tissue laceration that bleeds heavily for one or more hours, or a potentially broken jaw, we recommend proceeding directly to your local emergency room. Our team is happy to partner with the medical team to repair damaged dental structures.
Both Dr. Boyles and Dr. Setzer make screening for periodontal disease an important part of every dental checkup. We chart and monitor the depths of the pockets between the teeth and gums in order to diagnose and treat gum disease in the earliest possible stages. When caught early, Dr. Boyles is happy to offer more frequent teeth cleanings, scaling and root planing, and other conservative treatments. Dr. Setzer is happy to offer periodontal therapy using advanced soft tissue laser dentistry. We comfortably perform therapeutic scaling and root planing procedures using the soft tissue laser. Scaling is the systematic removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged tissue below the gum line. In most cases, scaling is completed in conjunction with root planing, the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future buildup. When completed using lasers, these procedures cause significantly less bleeding and discomfort, rarely require stitches, and heal more quickly. For those in need of more advanced periodontal therapies, we may partner with a trusted periodontal specialist to offer patients the most effective care.