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General Dentistry

Dental Exam

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Dental ExamThe secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing 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. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.

Digital Dental X-Rays

Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays 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 that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays  provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. In addition to x-rays, we are also able to utilize intraoral photography. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth can be captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a digital camera.

Teeth Cleaning

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Teeth CleaningNo matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits 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.

A deep cleaning may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothened. A deep cleaning helps prevent periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. 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 is a included here as a part of your regular dental exam. 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.

Porcelain Dental Crowns

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Porcelain Dental Crowns

Dental Bridges

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Dental BridgesDental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape in tact.

There are three types of dental bridges: 1) traditional dental bridges, 2) cantilever dental bridges, and 3) Maryland bridges. Traditional bridges have either dental crowns or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth, plus a replacement tooth, which is held in place by a post-like structure called a dental abutment. Cantilever dental bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth. Maryland bridges are made of a specialized resin that is cemented to a metal framework and cemented to the enamel of surrounding teeth.

Dental bridges typically take 2-3 weeks to complete and are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.

Dentures

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | DenturesUsing dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health; it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.

In most cases, if dentures are the recommended option for you, we refer to and work with a local denturist located very close to our office.

Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist or denturist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix.

Gum Disease Treatment

Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line.

 

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Gum Disease Treatment

Endodontics

Root Canal Therapy is the cleaning, shaping, and filling of the innermost portion of the tooth, the canals, and "pulp chamber" underneath the enamel and dentin.  It is usually the result of bacterial infection of the tissue from decay or fracture.  Teeth can be causing a great deal of pain from the infection, or no pain at all.  Occasionally a root canal is done purely for mechanical reasons to aid in the restoration of tooth structure by placement of a post within the roots.  After the root canal is completed, a crown is often placed to protect the tooth and prevent fracture.

Dr. Trent Veltkamp is very experienced with root canal therapy.  Filling over 1000 canals in the last four years alone, he uses a state of the art surgical microscope, rotary instrumentation, and a warm compaction technique which helps fill all portions of the canal system.  Even so, there are some cases which Dr. Veltkamp refers to an endodontic specialist.  Doctors who have undergone several years of specialized training, and do nothing but root canals all the time, are sometimes better equipped to handle especially difficult or surgical cases.

Tooth Extractions

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Tooth ExtractionsOral surgery is an umbrella term for surgical treatments such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extractions and bone grafting. Dental implants, an excellent solution for missing teeth, are surgically placed tooth roots that hold dental crowns in place. A wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended if there isn't enough room in your mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth and they become impacted, partially erupted or infected. Bone grafting transfers bone from one part of the jaw to another, usually to accommodate a dental implant. While a general dentist can perform some oral surgery procedures, an oral surgeon is required for others.  We refer to and work with several fine oral surgeons in Whatcom County.

Pediatric Dentistry

Veltkamp Family Dentistry | Lynden, WA Dentists | Children's DentistryWe welcome kids to our practice!  We love treating the whole family and see infants through adults.  However, when special needs require it, we refer to and work with several fine pediatric offices in our area.