East Longmeadow, MA Preventive Dental Care
At Scannell & Hollinger, the heart of every treatment plan is preventive care. The American Dental Association recommends patients visit our office twice a year in order to maintain the optimal level of oral health. Regular preventive checkups and professional cleanings allow our team to diagnose and treat oral health issues in the earliest possible stages. We welcome patients from Agawam and surrounding areas to trust our East Longmeadow, MA dentists and team with their family’s smiles. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.
Checkups & Cleanings
Every six month preventive dental checkup at Scannell & Hollinger includes four main parts:
- Diagnostics – at least once each year, we collect digital x-rays in order to develop a thorough understanding of the underlying dental structures in order to provide the most effective, personalized treatment options
- Examinations – thorough tooth by tooth examinations allows us to screen for common oral health concerns including tooth decay, gum disease, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and clenching), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and oral cancer.
- Cleanings – our hygienists carefully remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from every surface of patients’ teeth, and they offer education and demonstration of best practices in at-home hygiene
- Consultations – possibly the most important part of every dental checkup is the face to face consultation where Dr. Stephen Scannell or Dr. Keith Hollinger review the information we discovered during the checkup, answer patient questions, and make recommendations for ongoing care
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer claims one life every hour and slightly more than 50% of patients diagnosed live five years beyond their diagnosis. Many of our patients think they need to use tobacco products regularly to be at risk for oral cancer, but as much as 30% of those who are diagnosed with oral cancer do not engage in any of the high risk behaviors. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, early diagnosis is the best way to reduce the number of annual deaths caused by oral cancer. At Scannell & Hollinger, we’re dedicated to decreasing the number of oral cancer related deaths by screening for signs of oral cancer as part of every six month checkup. Some of the most common signs of oral cancer include:
- Irregularly colored spots on the cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, or other area of the mouth
- Painful sores, neck pain, sore throat
- A sore that does not heal within a few weeks
- Swelling, irritation, or inflammation
Periodontal disease is one of the most common oral and overall health concerns in the US. In fact, as much as 80% of US adults over 35 have some form of gum disease. Our team is happy to offer a variety of treatment options for all levels of periodontal disease. In the earliest stages of gum disease, gingivitis, more frequent professional teeth cleanings may be adequate to renew oral health. In the more advanced stages, periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing or topical antibiotic therapy.
Nightguards for TMJ/Bruxism Therapy
Patients who suffer from bruxism, the unconscious grinding and clenching of teeth, experience a number of adverse oral health effects including dental wear, chips, cracks, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Nightguards create a barrier between teeth protecting them from the unconscious grinding and clenching and allowing the bite to rest gently together during sleep preventing strained TMJ. The custom crafted appliances available from our East Longmeadow, MA dental practice are comfortably fitted to each smile allowing patients speak and drink unimpeded.
A dental sealant is one of the best ways to protect teeth from decay-causing bacteria. Sealants can be applied as part of any regular six month dental checkup. The application process is quick and painless. Drs. Scannell and Hollinger paint a thin layer of sealant on teeth and it is hardened into place. With proper care, dental sealants last up to ten years. Sealants are most often recommended for children, but adult patients who experience frequent tooth decay may also benefit from dental sealants.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for at least ten seconds at a time throughout the night. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) systems are a trusted treatment option for sleep apnea sufferers, but many patients experience intolerance to their CPAP systems. Our team offers a more comfortable solution, oral appliance therapy. Our custom crafted oral appliances comfortably shift patients’ jaws forward keeping the airway open and allowing patients to sleep soundly through the night.
Patients who participate in any athletic competition where their smiles may come in contact with other players, hard surfaces, or athletic equipment should wear a custom crafted mouthguard to protect their teeth. There are a number of sportsguards available in most sporting goods stores, but our custom made appliances offer superior comfort.