General Dentistry

Periodontal Disease | What is Neuromuscular Dentistry? | Vizilite

Periodontal Disease

A bright, white, clean and healthy smile exudes confidence, sex appeal and a youthful appearance. Knowing that your smile is fresh is a great feeling, however, there's more to a great smile than whitening your teeth or carving that perfect smile. The mouth is a mirror of your general health and well-being. During regular oral examinations our staff at Scottsdale Dental - Smile by Designs screens for serious systemic illnesses. The signs and symptoms of these diseases can appear in the mouth long before they show up in other parts of the body.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone that results in bone loss. 75 to 80% of adults suffer from periodontal disease, a condition that is usually painless and silent until it has reached advanced stages.

Disease-causing bacteria that live in the mouth spread toxins through the circulatory system and other parts of the body. Periodontal disease has been identified as a risk factor for serious conditions like heart disease, respiratory ailments, and diabetes, and is the number one cause of tooth loss! It also contributes to the delivery of pre-term, low birth weight babies.

We see patients who tell us "my gums have always bled". I have often wondered how fast people would run to the ER if they were bleeding from their eye or from their ear. Bleeding gums are not normal and are a sign of infection in gum tissue, which will eventually lead to bone loss. At Scottsdale Dental Smile Designs we use laser technology in conjunction with conventional periodontal treatment. The benefit to our patients is that periodontal laser treatment offers more comfort, less trauma and faster healing time for comprehensive non-surgical periodontal treatments.

Periodontal disease also plays a major role in a condition called halitosis. Each year people spend billions of dollars to mask bad breath with sugary mints and mouthwashes that contain alcohol. But not only are these remedies temporary and ineffective, they can even make the problem worse..

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What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

To understand Neuromuscular Dentistry, it helps to first know a few things about your occlusion or "bite". Your occlusion is the way that your upper and lower teeth fit together. The muscles of your head and neck posture your jaw and hold the lower teeth close to the upper ones. You don't consciously hold your jaw in this position-it is "programmed" in your brain. Even though the present position "programmed" by your brain seems like it would be the optimal position, it is not always the best one for you.

Neuromuscular Dentistry places the occlusion where the muscles that control jaw position are at their best for optimal function and comfort. Many individuals do not realize that muscles play an important role in dentistry. The science of Neuromuscular Dentistry evaluates and treats your overall oral health by considering how your muscles, teeth and joints all work together.

Your jaw posturing muscles may be overworked in attempting to maintain your present "programmed" position, even when you think they are relaxed. This condition can lead to a variety of problems including a less than ideal bite, muscle pain or dysfunction, chronic headaches, or jaw joint problems. The Neuromuscular Dentist determines the jaw position that is associated with relaxed posturing muscles and adjusts or alters your occlusion (bite) to that position.

There are always options to consider when you are choosing dental treatment. After initially evaluating your individual situation, Dr. Croft will discuss those options with you. Neuromuscular Dentistry becomes one of your options when/if you are contemplating aesthetic or cosmetic, reconstructive, or orthodontic dental procedures.

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Posted on November 13, 2006

ViziLite PlusMost people are surprised to learn that an estimated 28,900 Americans will be diagnosed yearly with oral cancer, and about 7,500 will die from the disease. However, oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it is caught early. When found at the earliest stage, treatment is quicker, simpler, less invasive and more than 90% successful. Unfortunately, at this time the majority of cases are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate.

The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal. Other signs and symptoms include:

.. a lump or thickening in the cheek or neck
.. a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
.. a sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
.. hoarseness that lasts for a long period
.. difficulties in chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
.. a change in voice

Patient undergoing the Vizilite procedure.Those at highest risk are tobacco users, including "smokeless" tobacco, and those 40 plus years of age. Oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women because men are more likely to use tobacco and alcohol over long periods of time.

At Scottsdale Dental - Smile Designs, Dr. Croft has implemented an annual Vizilite examination in combination with a conventional visual exam to provide a comprehensive oral screening. Vizilite is a technology used by healthcare professionals to assist in the early detection of oral abnormalities. The abnormal areas that might not be seen in the conventional exam, are more clearly identified with Vizilite. The Vizilite exam improves the ability to identify, evaluate and monitor these abnormal areas. Ask us about the quick and painless examination that could help save your life.

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Our practice is state-of-the-art, innovative and personal. We focus on practicing comprehensive dentistry - which means you will not have to go to three or four doctors for your dentistry.

Our dental team of talented, skilled people are dedicated to meeting the needs of our patients in a gentle and caring way.

"This has been the single most rewarding effort I have ever offered myself and I feel I have received enormous value for what I have spent..."

"We Pamper Every Patient"

"My family and I have been Dr. Croft's patients for over 12 years and would not think of going to anyone else..." -- Elaine from Phoenix, Arizona

"Thank you again for everything. You do great work and I am living proof!"-- Mary from Phoenix, Arizona now living in Pinetop AZ

"Experience, quality, and understanding of what I do for a living, together with costs, were my priorities. Dr. Croft and his team took the time to talk to me on the phone, and seemed sincerely interested in my needs."-- Patricio & Bernessa from San Antonio, TX

Scottsdale Dental - Smile Designs

Richard J. Croft, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.
7170 E. McDonald Drive, Ste. 1
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253

(480) 946-3333
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