Welcome, family, to our fair city. If you’re new here, you’ve no doubt set about locating all the stores, facilities, and providers you’ll need in Orlando. Dentist, doctor, dry cleaner, tinker, tailor – well, maybe not those last two. But wait! Dentists come in several flavors. Pediatric dentist for the kids, general dentist for the grownups. Orlando has many of each. But this is a big town. Nobody, wants to drive to different dental offices all over town. An Orlando family dentistry center is a solution to that logistical problem. One-stop shopping.
WHAT IS FAMILY DENTISTRY?
First, let’s note what family dentistry is not. The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes ten dental specialities. For each of these ten specialties, the ADA defines education and training requirements beyond graduation from dental school. Dental school graduates who complete specialty training can then be certified by the ADA. Family dentistry is not an ADA-recognized dental speciality.
Family dentistry, rather, is a concept, an approach and a template for organizing a dental practice. An Orlando family dentistry center cares for patients at all stages of life, infancy through old age. This capability does, of course, require specialists on the team. Pediatric dentists and orthodontists, for example.
Each stage of life is different from the standpoint of dental care. The family dentistry approach is to provide as much of a patient’s dental care as possible under one roof. With one set of records, and an integrated view of the patient’s history.
Let’s have a look at the kinds of care the Serene Dental family dental center offers.
Dental health is health, and dental care is health care. Health care begins when life does. A newborn baby needs attention to oral health just as a toddler, teen, or adult does. Newborns, after all, do have teeth. We’re born with teeth. They’re tucked away inside the gums.
Pediatric Dentistry is the ADA specialty focusing on the care of infants, children, and teens. Certified pediatric dentists have undergone two years of residency training after graduating from dental school. They’ve also passed intensive written and practical examinations. In the family dentistry framework, a pediatric dentist becomes involved with an infant’s oral health early on.
Dental home care should begin even before a baby’s first tooth begins to erupt. Parents should learn to keep Baby’s gums healthy. By wiping them clean after feedings, among other steps. This is the beginning of parent-patient education in home care that’s a lifelong hallmark of family dentistry. As a child’s baby teeth erupt, parents and children learn the key habits of brushing, flossing, and regular checkups. Habits that serve a person well for life.
As a toddler grows and begins to shed baby teeth, a new phase of life begins. At this stage, the dentist monitors the alignment of emerging permanent teeth.
Like pediatric dentists, orthodontists continue training after finishing dental school. The consensus is that children should have an orthdontic checkup no later than age 7. Some kids, though, show signs of orthodontic issues earlier than that. In such cases, the pediatric dentist will spot them and get an orthodontist involved.
Misalignment or crowding of a child’s erupting teeth can have serious effects on jaw growth, speech, and more. Early identification is highly advantageous for better outcomes. The pediatric-orthodontic team under one roof gives a leg up in treating a child’s orthodontic issues timely and effectively.
Then, of course, come those pre-teen and teenage years. This “prime time” for orthodontic treatment. These years are in any case stressful for many families. The child’s transformation to a young adult begins.Crises galore for all concerned! A kid’s crooked teeth can compound his or her awkwardness. Unhappily, so can the “cure”! Nobody likes being called “metalmouth”.
Orthodontics in the family dentistry setting is a low-drama path through these tough years. Ongoing education supports kids and parents alike. There are also near-invisible alternatives to metal braces, such as Invisalign. The pediatric-orthdontic team is ideal for indentifying those kids best suited to these options.
Orthdontic treatment with removable, nearly-invisible aligner trays is also attractive to adults. Grown-ups are increasingly electing to fix the problems they’d let slide growing up. Adults are perhaps even more concerned than teens about the way they look with metal braces. Invisible aligner trays are not right for all adult alignment issues, though. Where they’re not, however, there are other alternatives to metal braces that may be suitable.
The goal of general dentistry is promoting oral health over a patient’s entire lifetime. Education in self-care continues. So do regular checkups and cleanings. As adults, though, genes and lifestyle increasingly shape dental health status. Few adults enjoy perfect teeth all their lives. Most of us, from time to time, will need treatment for one common condition or another.
Along with the years come wear and tear. Staining, chipping, and breaking of teeth are facts of adult life. Moreover, American adults tend to lose their teeth. In the 35-44 age group, fully 69% of us have lost at least one tooth.
American adults are concerned by the look of their “gnarly” or missing teeth. Studies show that loss of self-confidence is a common result. A loss that’s seen in the data to affect career progress as well as social life. It’s no laughing matter. Enter cosmetic dentistry.
Dental implants are a 98% succesful treatment option for damaged or missing teeth. Setting aside the cost factor, implants are, in fact, the ideal approach. They’re stable, good-looking, and don’t decay. They are, however, costly relative to other choices such as bridges.
It’s important for adults to accept that missing teeth are not just a cosmetic issue. Teeth hold other teeth in their proper positions. When one goes missing, things start moving around. Neighboring teeth begin to shift. And then, their neighbors do. Soon, upper and lower teeth no longer mesh when chewing. Its’a snowballing effect we want to nip in the bud.
For discolored or damaged teeth, cosmetic dentistry offers solutions such as crowns, veneers, and in-office whitening. If a tooth is basically healthy, dentists and patients can discuss treatments less aggressive than implants.
ORLANDO FAMILY DENTISTRY CENTER ON CALL
Finally, there are those surprises life throws at us. Your Orlando family dentistry center stands ready and able to help when a dental emergency invades your life. Teeth get knocked out. Decay and infection announce themselves with severe pain. Gums start bleeding. We educate our patients to recognize dental emergencies and encourage them to contact us immediately. Life happens. We’re here.