500 E 8th St. Okmulgee, OK 74447 • 918-756-9595

Preventive Dentistry at Okmulgee Family Dentist


Healthy Smiles with Okmulgee Family Dentist Healthy smiles for healthy families start with professional family dentistry. At Okmulgee Family Dentist, your bright, healthy smile is our top priority. Of course, you'll only smile if you're as happy with our service as you are with our dental treatment. That's why we take the time to listen to your needs and concerns. Not only do we listen to your concerns, but we use gentle, efficient cleaning techniques. We also hire caring, highly trained professionals. Our experienced team of specialists is invested in meeting all of your dental needs; from calming anxieties to teaching good habits, from regular check-ups to sophisticated dental surgery.

At Okmulgee Family Dentist, we take exceptional care of your oral health. Below are some of the preventive dental services that our practice provides.

Cleanings, Exams and X-rays


Cleanings


Professional cleanings performed by a hygienist or dental assistant are as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Twice yearly dental check-ups and cleanings help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair.

Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist at Okmulgee Family Dentist will remove:
•  Plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease and gingivitis
•  Tartar from teeth surfaces. Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become hardened on the teeth; its removal requires scaling
•  Surface stains from teeth through polishing

Some patients will require a deep cleaning due to gum disease and past periodontal treatments. Dr. Miranda Ruleford will review your past dental history and identify any issues you may need treatment for.

Examinations


Regular examinations, by Dr. Miranda Ruleford help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:
•  Gum disease screening
•  Oral cancer screening
•  Visual tooth decay evaluation
•  Gum pocket measurement and tracking
•  X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations by Dr. Miranda Ruleford are very important for your health.

Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)


Dental x-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Your Okmulgee dentist can detect issues with x-rays before they become problems, saving you money in the long run by preventing the need for more expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect internal tooth decay, cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth), tumors, impacted teeth, and teeth that are still erupting.


Oral Cancer Screening


Your mouth is part of the oral cavity, which also includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth and the hard palate (roof of your mouth). The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.

During your dental visit, Dr. Miranda Ruleford can talk to you about your health history and examine you for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to Okmulgee Family Dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

Symptoms of Mouth or Throat Cancer


•  Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
•  Thick or hard spot or lump
•  Roughened or crusted area
•  Numbness, pain or tenderness
•  A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down

Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.

Periodontal Health


One of the best ways to keep your gums from bleeding when you come in for a cleaning is to floss regularly. Brushing your teeth before or after flossing is less important than whether you floss or not.

Regular Periodontal Checkups Save Lives


Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease? In addition to your regular dental checkups, it is a good idea for you to also have a yearly periodontal check-up. Once periodontal disease has progressed, it is often a matter of regular maintenance visits to help keep the disease in check.

Annual exams should include periodontal charting and comprehensive x-rays to monitor any bone loss that might have occurred. If you aren't sure whether you have gum disease, schedule your check-up today and let us evaluate your gum and bone health.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a condition that affects how you breathe when sleeping. During sleep, normal breathing can be interrupted for ten seconds or more, possibly hundreds of times during a single night. Untreated sleep apnea prevents you from getting enough deep, restorative sleep. Without enough deep sleep you may be sleepy, lack mental sharpness and be less productive. Long term health effects can be serious, including weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Signs of Sleep Apnea


•  Loud, chronic snoring
•  Insomnia
•  Breathing pauses for long periods
•  Waking up often at night
•  Forgetfulness, irritability, depression

Home Treatments for Light Sleep Apnea


•  Avoid sleeping on your back, because your tongue is more likely to block your airway
•  Elevate your head using extra pillows or a body wedge
•  Open your nasal passage via breathing strips, saline nasal flush, or a nasal dilator
•  Lose weight
•  Exercise

Treatments for Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea


•  Talk to a doctor trained in sleep apnea
•  Use supplemental oxygen while sleeping
•  Use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) machine
•  Oral appliances made by Okmulgee Family Dentist to help keep your airway open
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