Dr. Melissa Kenfield and her team of hygienists have the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a new dentist for your regular checkups and dental hygiene.
Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Kenfield has averaged 60+ continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout her career; the minimum requirements for the state of Indiana are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!
“Fantastic visit! Staff were both professional and friendly.”
Dr. Melissa Kenfield, with a high-tech office in Spencer, graduated with distinction from the IU School of Dentistry in 2006. She is always educated and informed on the latest and best dental technologies and trends.
Regular Dental Cleanings & Checkups
Maintaining oral hygiene goes beyond just brushing and flossing at home. To ensure optimal dental health and the longevity of any dental restoration work, it’s crucial to make regular appointments for professional dental cleanings.
The American Dental Association recommends that the average patient should have dental cleanings at least twice a year. However, this can vary depending on your specific oral health needs. Dr. Kenfield and her skilled team at Kenfield Dental Group might suggest more frequent cleanings – perhaps every 3 or 4 months – to thwart the onset of dental complications such as decay and periodontal disease.
What can I expect during my dental cleaning appointment?
During a dental cleaning appointment, a dental hygienist first examines your gums using a procedure known as periodontal probing depths. This assessment aids in determining whether you have gum disease or not. For patients without infection, the hygienist carries out a preventive cleaning, often called prophylaxis or “prophy”. This involves the use of ultrasonic instruments to eliminate plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth. After this, your teeth are polished with high-grade brushes to eradicate any residual staining. The session concludes with flossing and rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. Sometimes, the dentist might also apply fluoride to preempt potential decay.
For patients diagnosed with gum disease, the cleaning process is a bit more extensive. In such cases, a simple prophylactic cleaning will not suffice to treat the gums and remove tartar below the gumline. The dentist would then recommend further periodontal therapy, which might include scaling and root planing – often referred to as “deep cleaning.”
Video 01:00 | Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and eating balanced, healthy meals are important to maintaining a healthy smile. Regular dental visits are also extremely important to prevent and treat oral disease.
How frequently should you visit for dental cleanings?
Patients with healthy gums should visit the dental office for cleanings at least twice a year. However, those diagnosed with gum disease may be advised to schedule three to four cleanings per year. The exact number of required visits will depend on the severity of the disease and the patient’s adherence to their oral hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing.
If you’re looking for regular ‘Dental Checkups’ and ‘Cleaning’ in Spencer, Indiana, Kenfield Dental Group is here to provide top-quality dental hygiene services to keep your smile radiant and healthy.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis, commonly recognized as gum inflammation, signifies the initial stage of periodontal disease. If not addressed promptly, it can progress to severely damage the bone tissue that supports the teeth.
Any patient who experiences bleeding during brushing or flossing should immediately schedule an appointment for a gum check. At Kenfield Dental Group, Dr. Kenfield will assess your oral health and, if necessary, recommend a suitable treatment plan if signs of gingivitis are present. It’s critical to note that gingivitis, when detected early, is both treatable and reversible.
Gingivitis Treatment Strategies
Numerous factors can contribute to gingivitis, but it’s primarily instigated by dental plaque accumulating along the gum line, leading to gum inflammation and subsequent bleeding.
The first line of defense against this inflammation involves professional dental cleanings and regular at-home care, including proper brushing and flossing techniques.
However, in some cases, this might not be enough, necessitating additional measures like the use of a dental laser and antimicrobial rinses to effectively eliminate all bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Prompt treatment is crucial in the early stages of the disease. If left untreated, gingivitis is prone to escalate into periodontal disease, resulting in irreversible harm to the periodontal tissues.
Recognizing the Signs of Gingivitis
The most noticeable and frequent symptom of gingivitis is bleeding gums. This typically happens during brushing or flossing but can also occur spontaneously. Another telltale sign is the persistence of bad breath or halitosis, which doesn’t improve even after brushing.
If you observe any gum bleeding, recurrent bad breath, or notice swollen or tender gums, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment at Kenfield Dental Group. Dr. Kenfield will thoroughly assess your oral health and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.
Consequences of Ignoring Gingivitis
Addressing gingivitis early is key to reversing its effects. However, if overlooked, this condition can evolve into periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease transpires when bacteria causing gingivitis penetrate deeper to the tooth’s root, resulting in damage to the periodontal tissue and bone. This advanced stage of gum disease poses a greater challenge to treat and requires multiple visits for extensive cleaning sessions, often referred to as “deep cleanings”.
Patients with symptoms of this condition should seek dental attention immediately as untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. If you’re in Spencer, Indiana, or nearby communities and searching for ‘Gingivitis Treatment’, contact Kenfield Dental Group for expert care and treatment.
Periodontal Treatment: Dental Scaling and Root Planing
For patients diagnosed with periodontal disease, the preferred treatment is a deep cleaning procedure known as Scaling and Root Planing (SRP). This procedure thoroughly cleans and polishes the tooth roots, eradicating dental plaque and stubborn tartar deposits. Typically, SRP necessitates two or more appointments, with numbing often required to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure.
In certain cases, additional measures like the application of a dental laser, antibiotic therapy, or medicinal rinses may be employed to remove bacteria from the roots and adjacent gum tissue effectively.
Addressing Advanced Stages of Periodontal Disease
The later stages of periodontal disease present significant challenges in management. By this point, a substantial amount of bone tissue around the tooth root is lost. If the disease progresses unchecked, the remaining option often involves extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental bridge or implant.
Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. At Kenfield Dental Group, we recognize the gravity of gum disease, given that:
We urge our patients in Spencer, Indiana, and the neighboring communities to visit our dental office regularly and adopt a robust home care routine. These measures help manage the disease in its earlier stages, mitigating potential severe consequences.
Video 01:00 | Gums that are red, tender or swollen may indicate periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Because you can have periodontal disease without knowing it, it’s important to visit your dentist for periodontal screening.
Is it Possible to Cure Periodontal Disease?
Unfortunately, periodontal disease can only be managed, not cured. Once the disease affects the supporting bone around the teeth, reversal is near impossible, as the bone won’t regenerate.
However, Dr. Kenfield can help manage the progression of periodontal disease and minimize its effects. But successful treatment also demands active patient cooperation. It’s imperative for patients to adhere to a strict daily oral care regimen and schedule regular visits for professional cleanings. These periodontal maintenance cleanings help keep the roots clean and the surrounding tissue as healthy as possible. Periodontal maintenance cleanings will be required every three to four months to keep this chronic disease in check. If you’re searching for “Dental Scaling” or “Root Planing” in Spencer, Indiana, or nearby areas, reach out to Kenfield Dental Group for expert care and treatment.