San Antonio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, full of life, music, art, color, and culture. Whether you want to stroll by the Riverwalk, visit the Alamo, or enjoy the green and peaceful botanical garden after eating a massive meal at Tito’s, there’s something for everyone here. When looking for a dentist in the San Antonio area, you want someone local and experienced. Advanced Dental Associates has served the San Antonio community for over 35 years.
Patient Information in San Antonio, TX
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Patients are seen by appointment only. We make every effort to be on time for our patients and ask for the same courtesy from your family. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify us immediately, giving a minimum of 48 hours notice to avoid any missed fees. We realize that unexpected illnesses and emergencies may occur, but we ask for your assistance. Our office strives to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available.
Our dental receptionists and office manager will help you schedule appointments and complete the necessary paperwork. They will also answer any billing questions that you may have.
How often have you heard the recommendation to brush and floss your teeth every day? These habits are pretty important for maintaining a healthy mouth. Even if you follow the recommendations set forth by the ADA when it comes to home oral care, professional preventative maintenance is also still very important. Advanced Dental Associates can help you to maintain your oral health with professional cleanings.
Why Do I Need Cleanings?
Professional dental cleanings are highly recommended, no matter how well you brush and floss your teeth at home. This is because even if you brush twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day, there are some areas of your teeth that you might not be able to clean properly. This leads to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, which can then contribute to severe issues. Plaque can harden into calculus or tartar. The bacteria can erode your enamel, leading to cavities. You may develop gum disease. With cleanings, our expert dental hygienists can remove the buildup from every surface, which helps you prevent complications and maintain a healthy mouth.
How Often Should I Have My Teeth Cleaned?
To help you maintain optimal oral health, the ADA recommends having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. These recommendations are the same, regardless of how well you brush and floss at home. Your cleanings are meant to be an additional preventative measure against the development of oral health issues.
What Happens During a Professional Cleaning?
Your dental cleaning is a simple procedure. It is non-invasive and is meant to be pain-free. It begins with the use of a tool known as a scaler. This tool removes plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, including along the gum line and the areas between your teeth. In addition to plaque and tartar removal, we can also remove tartar or calculus expertly. This hardened plaque cannot be removed with regular brushing. Without removal, it can help to collect additional plaque and bacteria.
Following scaling, we polish your teeth. This is done with a dental polisher and a special polish. The polisher has a round rubber head that rotates rapidly to rub the polish on your teeth. The polish has abrasive ingredients that help scrub your teeth’ surfaces, leaving them smooth, bright, and clean.
We also have the option to use the ultrasonic scaler, which uses ultrasonic vibrations to help break down the plaque and calculus on the teeth that cause gingivitis.
The last thing we do for your cleaning is to floss your teeth. This helps to remove anything stuck between your teeth. It does not matter if you floss before your appointment. The extra flossing is not harmful. It can only serve to help you. Moreover, it can help remove any loose or lingering debris that may have been left behind during your cleaning.
Cleanings Do More Than Keep Your Mouth Healthy
The goal of professional cleanings is to help maintain your oral health. However, this isn’t all that they do. By removing bacteria and plaque, cleanings help to freshen your breath. Polishing your teeth helps to remove surface stains, leaving your smile brighter. By preventing oral health issues, cleanings help to prevent the need for potentially invasive and expensive dental work. This allows you to save money.
Even if you think your mouth is in good health, it is still recommended that you have routine dental exams every six months. However, if there’s nothing wrong, why is this necessary? Regular dental exams are essential to helping you maintain good oral health. At Advanced Dental Associates, we offer the routine dental cleanings you need to keep your mouth healthy.
What Happens During an Exam?
Routine dental exams are simple procedures. We start by updating your medical history. This is necessary because certain medical conditions can affect how we provide treatment and what treatments you may need. If you have undergone any treatments, have developed any medical conditions, or are taking any new medications, we must have this information.
After updating your records, your actual oral exam begins. We use a mirror to help look closer at your teeth and gums. We look over each tooth for signs of decay, cavities, damage, mobility, etc. Your gums are checked for any symptoms of gum disease, such as swelling. Adult patients also receive an oral cancer screening. This is a quick examination of the soft tissues in your mouth and a look at your face and neck for swelling to detect any early warning signs of oral cancer.
Do I Need Dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays may be taken during dental exams but are not always necessary. Typically, they are taken about once a year and are done to check for any issues between your teeth or below the gum line. They may also be recommended if you have symptoms that you want to address during your exam.
What if it Has Been A Long Time Since My Last Appointment?
You will have a comprehensive exam if it has been a long time since your last exam or if it is your first time in our office. During this exam, we review your medical history and lifestyle habits. Dental X-rays are taken. Moreover, we closely examine your mouth. This examination includes an inspection of your bite and tooth alignment, a look at any dental restorations you might have, and an overall dental health assessment.
What if I Notice Symptoms Between Regular Visits?
While the ADA recommends routine dental exams twice a year, you may still need additional exams between your regular ones. It’s important to schedule an appointment if you notice symptoms of an oral health issue, whether it’s a toothache, crack or chip, bleeding gums, or cavity.
During your appointment, we will review these symptoms and examine your mouth to determine their root cause. This is called a limited exam. Once we determine the cause of your symptoms, we can recommend treatment to stop the issue and restore your oral health.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer, or squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and pharynx, affects close to 50,000 Americans every single year. It also accounts for almost 10,000 deaths a year. Most of those diagnosed are not diagnosed until the later stages when symptoms begin to present themselves. Unfortunately, the later the diagnosis, the more difficult the condition is to treat. At Advanced Dental Associates, we can help to detect oral cancer in its earliest stages with regular oral cancer screenings.
Why Early Detection is So Important
One of the biggest issues regarding the successful treatment of oral cancer is that it often doesn’t get diagnosed until it is in the later stages. By then, it has had a chance to spread, making it more difficult to eradicate fully. The problem with early detection is that the symptoms are almost impossible to detect in the early stages of development.
By the time any symptoms are noticed, oral cancer has worsened. Oral cancer has up to a 90% survival rate when diagnosed and treated early. When not detected until later stages, the survival rate drops to as low as 20%.
Do Oral Cancer Screenings Hurt?
Oral cancer screenings are not at all painful. Your oral cancer screening involves a visual inspection of the soft tissues of your mouth and throat. We also look at your face and neck and feel the neck for any lumps. The whole process takes only just a few minutes to complete.
Further testing is required if we find an unusual growth or lump in your mouth. In addition to a closer examination, a soft tissue biopsy may also be recommended. This is a test that involves removing a small amount of the lesion so that it can be examined under a microscope.
Sometimes, what we find is benign or non-cancerous. However, if it is determined to be oral cancer, we can help you get the treatment you need. This might mean surgery to remove the lesion. In very early stages, this might be enough to remove cancer. A follow-up exam will help ensure it has been completely eradicated. If you need additional care, we can help you get the treatment you need for the best results.
How Often Do I Need Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings are typically performed annually, starting at 18. If you begin smoking before this age, screenings may be recommended earlier. The actual frequency of your screenings will also depend upon your risk factors. For instance, screenings may be done at every dental exam if you smoke, drink heavily, or have a family history.
Additionally, suppose you suspect something wrong between your regular appointments, such as an unusual growth or sore that hasn’t healed after 14 days. In that case, you can call the office, and we can perform a screening to ensure nothing is wrong.
Call Advanced Dental Associates at (210) 655-2753 for more information or schedule a dental appointment online.