At your first appointment, you’ll receive a comprehensive exam, which will include any necessary x-rays, a variety of screenings including one for oral cancer, and an inspection of your existing restorations (if any), followed by a regular hygiene visit. You’ll meet with the hygienist first, then Dr. Antalis will meet with you to go over everything, answer any questions, and talk with you about a plan for maintaining your optimal oral health.
Oral Cancer Screening
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I have a super healthy lifestyle, I’ve never smoked, and I rarely drink! I’m not at risk for oral cancer!” The truth is nearly every adult has some risk for it. Of course, the risk increases with behaviors like smoking and drinking, but all adults should be screened. Dr. Antalis uses a visual and manual screening protocol as well as Vizlite, which allows her to shine a special light into your mouth in order to identify any abnormal cancerous or precancerous cells.
We use digital x-rays because they significantly reduce our patients’ exposure to radiation. We also use a panoramic x-ray when warranted – to assess TMJ / TMD and bite issues – and a cephalometric x-ray for our orthodontic patients.
During hygiene visits, we employ an ultrasonic scaler because it uses sound waves to disrupt plaque, tartar, and bacteria. This technology provides for a deeper clean and a healthier mouth.
Hygiene visits are an essential part of maintaining oral health. Please visit us once every six months.
Gum Disease Diagnosis & Treatment
Eighty percent of adults suffer from gum disease, or periodontitis, and many of them don’t even know it. Gum disease has been linked to all kinds of other health problems including heart disease, so Dr. Antalis uses OralDNA screenings to diagnose gum disease, and may then prescribe an antibacterial treatment. She offers either Perio Protect or Arestin. Not all cases need antibacterial treatment, but no matter what, the team at OHIOSmiles will help you develop habits that lead to a healthy mouth and gums for many years to come.
Fluoride is a mineral that can help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Most municipal water supplies contain fluoride, and that’s good. But the fluoride you get from what you eat and drink is not enough to maintain your tooth enamel for life. That’s why Dr. Antalis recommends fluoride treatments for both adults and children at every visit.
Do you have a little athlete living at home? Or even a big one? Mouthguards that are fitted by dentists are much more effective in almost every way than the boil-and-bite variety available at sporting goods stores. And if you think you’re just protecting your family’s teeth with a mouthguard, think again. Mouthguards have been shown to lessen the chance of concussions, too!
Maybe you (or someone in your family) grind your teeth? This is a habit we in dentistry call bruxism, and it can cause a lot of problems! If you wake up with a sore jaw or a headache, it may be because you’re clenching or grinding your teeth at night. A custom-fitted bite guard can go a long way toward helping you get the rest you need and saving your teeth from wear.
Maybe you’ve seen a billboard, magazine ad, or TV commercial talking about sedation dentistry. That’s the practice of providing anesthesia for people who may be afraid of the dentist or have a lot of work that needs doing. Dr. Antalis prefers to take a conservative approach with anesthesia, but when sedation is necessary, she works with our in-house Dental Anesthesiologist.
For Dr. Antalis, sleep apnea is a personal issue. Her husband uses a specially-designed sleep appliance every night. It helps both of them to rest better, and that’s one of the reasons she offers sleep apnea diagnosis and treatments here at OHIOSmiles. Read more on our Sleep Apnea page.
Because it is the future, Dr. Antalis has invested in technology for everything from how she talks with her patients – in computerized treatment rooms using intraoral cameras – to how she treats them – CEREC one-visit crowns and a soft-tissue laser. All of this is part of providing the best available treatment for our wonderful patients. Intraoral cameras allow a dentist to project still, high-resolution, digital images of the inside of your mouth onto an in-room screen. This tool works for both diagnosis and collaboration with other doctors, and to communicate better with you, the patient. Ask us about comfortable soft-tissue laser treatments for cold sores or to close a small gap between the two front teeth.
Every day we set aside a certain amount of time for emergencies, so if you have a dental emergency, call us straight away. If you can’t reach us, visit your nearest emergency room. Here are some tips for what to do (and not do) if you or someone in your care loses an adult tooth:
- Don’t touch the root! Only handle the tooth by the crown.
- Don’t use peroxide or alcohol to clean it! Use water!
- If possible, put the tooth back into its socket, and hold it in place with gentle bite pressure over clean gauze.
- If the tooth is dirty or can’t be replaced, put it in a clean container and cover it with saliva or whole milk.