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Preventative Dental Services

Dental Exam

The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once a year. Professional dental exams focus on prevention – monitoring existing conditions and ensuring proactive steps are taken to avoid problems in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!

There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Dr. Murphy will visually examine your teeth for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness and redness, which are signs of gum inflammation or disease. A full set of dental X-rays are taken during your dental exam, to enable Dr. Murphy to see below the surfaces of your teeth for signs of decay or bone loss. In addition, a full head and neck exam is performed in order to check for any jaw or soft tissue issues. At the end of the exam, Dr. Murphy will discuss any recommended treatment and next steps.

Oral Cancer Screening

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 54,000 new cases of oral cancer in the United States in 2022. Unfortunately, oral cancer has only a 68% five year relative survival rate. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and performed during regular dental cleanings and exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers and heavy drinkers.

Dental X-Ray

Dental X-rays have come a long way. Today's dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth, bone, and surrounding structures that can be viewed instantly by you and Dr. Murphy on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages.

Our office also has a Cone-Beam Computed Tomography system (CBCT) that allows Dr. Murphy to view your teeth, jaw, and skull in three dimensions. This information helps during exams to identify any abnormalities, such as tooth infections, suspicious lesions, restricted airways, and congested sinuses. In addition, Dr. Murphy uses your CBCT scan to precisely plan any desired implants to ensure the best position possible to optimize your bone anatomy and the esthetics of your future restoration.

Intraoral Camera

Intraoral photography is a supplement to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a small intraoral camera. The intraoral camera resembles an oversized pen and is outfitted with a disposable protective sheath for each new patient. The intraoral photos are viewed on a computer monitor so that we can easily show you what we see in your mouth, allowing for more effective discussion about your oral health and conditions. In the case of the intraoral camera, a picture may be worth more than a thousand words!

Teeth Cleaning

No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits, as well as stain, can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental instruments, advances in dental technology now give you a more efficient and comfortable method for teeth cleaning. Ultrasonic scaling uses high-frequency sound waves to remove deposits and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums. Many patients find ultrasonic teeth cleanings more comfortable than traditional teeth cleanings because they are quicker, quieter and pain-free.

Gum Disease Treatment

Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: periodontal (gum) disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, treatment typically involves regular thorough dental cleanings, accompanied by daily brushing and flossing.

More advanced stages of gum disease are characterized by gum inflammation, deep pockets, and bone loss around your teeth. Left untreated, this bone loss can lead to tooth mobility and eventually possible tooth loss. In addition, inflammatory factors from your gums can have negative impacts on other parts of your body. For example, gum disease leads to an increase in blood glucose levels which makes people more likely to develop diabetes and worsens diabetes complications. It is crucial to treat gum disease before it affects both your oral health and overall health.

Advanced stages of gum disease often require a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. This treatment is recommended when excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line, causing deep pockets and bone loss. A deep cleaning helps treat gum disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state. Deep cleanings involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothed. Following a deep cleaning, the priority is maintaining healthy bone and gum tissue through daily brushing and flossing and regular recall dental cleaning visits.

Pediatric Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is especially important for children. Instilling excellent oral hygiene practices and a good diet at an early age will better prepare your child for a lifetime of dental health.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.

Your child should visit the dentist every 6 months for regular dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and check-ups to ensure their teeth remain strong and healthy. Sealants are also recommended in erupting permanent teeth with deep grooves, such as molars, in order to "seal" the grooves and prevent decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will continue to be monitored for signs of wear at your regular check-ups.


Find yourself clenching or grinding at night? Want to protect your beautiful natural teeth from chipping and wear? Want to increase the longevity of your new crowns or veneers? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may want to consider investing in a nightguard. At our office we custom make nightguards to ensure the proper fit, alignment, and thickness allows you to sleep in peace. All that is required is a quick digital scan of your mouth and bite. No more goopy impressions! About two weeks later, we have your new strong, durable nightguard ready and are able to make any needed adjustments to ensure maximal comfort.