General & Preventive Dentistry

Emerald Coast Smile Care That’s More Than Routine

Everyone needs a routine.

It’s true. Routines help us stay organized, feel secure, and add structure to our lives. Regular exercise, eating right at every meal, getting your yearly physical, and spending time with your family all add quality to your health and your life. Adding general dental care from Panhandle Dental Care can be an important part of that.

But we also want you to know that every visit with us – even the regularly scheduled ones like checkups and cleanings – are never hum-drum. Every visit with us is special and important.

Why? Because you and your smile are special and important. So even if you think you are just coming in for a boring cleaning, we make sure to add an extra, relaxing touch like the warming massage chair you will be relaxing in, or the pillow we tuck behind your neck to reduce any strain or discomfort.

Why Regular Dental Visits Are so Important

Part of keeping every single visit pleasant and enjoyable is the understanding that when you are happy with your dentist, you’ll keep up with your dental care. And that’s really important since the health of your mouth is directly connected to the health of your body.

When you invest in your oral health, you are also making a commitment to your total wellbeing. For example, more and more studies are showing direct links between gum disease and illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Plus, gum disease has been shown to lower your immune system and cause inflammation. In addition, untreated cavities can lead to abscess or tooth loss, broken teeth can cause misalignment which can lead to myofascial pain and other symptoms of imbalanced bite.

In short, keeping up with your regular dentistry is just as important as any other part of your health routine.

Why risk your health? Make pleasant, comfortable, gentle dentistry from Panhandle Dental Care part of your vital routine.

Our General & Preventive Services Include:

Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive exams are a very important part of keeping your mouth and your body healthy for life. Your first exam is the most comprehensive, giving us a big-picture baseline to work from. While that exam may be the ultimate, in-depth exam, every exam you receive from us is comprehensive.

We always:

  • check your soft tissue for any sign of inflammation
  • measure your gum pockets and examine for the tiniest signs of periodontal disease
  • examine your teeth for even the earliest cavity with our CariVu infrared intraoral camera
  • look for any signs of wear or breakage
  • examine and evaluate your head, neck , and jaw structure
  • and, if necessary, take digital x-rays

Oral Cancer Screenings

There are other cancers that get a lot more attention, but oral cancer is nothing to ignore. In fact, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 49,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. And according to the American Cancer Society, it is one of the cancers for which the death rate has actually increased. Part of the problem is that, in its earliest stages, oral cancer has very few noticeable symptoms. Even if patients do notice a small sore or lesion, they may dismiss it as a common and minor mouth injury.

That’s why regularly scheduled oral cancer screenings from Panhandle Dental Care are so crucial. We use a variety of diagnostic tools and technology to improve our detection, including the innovative VELscope, the world’s most widely used malignancy detecting device. This award-winning device is so effective, it has been recognized by the World Health Organization! And that’s good news: the earlier oral cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and the better the prognosis. Don’t risk it! Schedule your oral cancer screening today!

X-Rays

X-rays are one of our most valuable tools for examining and diagnosing dental health issues. X-rays allow us to see clearly what is going on beneath the protective enamel surface of your teeth and discover things like cavities or abscesses long before you even notice them.

We offer digital x-rays for:

  • lowered radiation exposure for your family – up to 75% less
  • improved clarity for diagnosing and patient discussion
  • the ability to immediately store and review them on our in-room computers

Digital x-rays are also better for the environment since they don’t require any film or processing chemicals.

We also offer panoramic x-rays to get a full picture of your head, neck, jaw, and sinuses.

Dental Cleanings

Ahhh! That fresh feeling of a newly cleaned smile. Isn’t it the best? But clean teeth don’t just look and feel great, they also help protect your overall health from the inflammatory effects of gum disease and tooth decay. You see, every day, with every bite of carb-laden food we eat and every sip of sugary beverages we take, bacteria-filled plaque builds up on our teeth, and no matter how diligent you might be with your home brushing and flossing, some of that biofilm remains and can lead to all kinds of problems.

Our professional dental hygiene cleanings are incredibly thorough while remaining undeniably comfortable. How? We use the Cavitron tool to gently and effectively remove tartar and plaque above and below the gumline with the power of oscillating sound waves. And while our hygienists are cleaning your teeth, they are also doing an exam, measuring your gum pockets, and making notes – all without stopping to type anything in the computer. That’s right! Our voice-activated charting lets your hygienist make the most accurate notes without disrupting your treatment.

Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease can really creep up on you without any real symptoms. Some people discover that they have been harboring this bacterial infection without even noticing any bleeding! But if you do notice even the slightest bit of bleeding when you brush or floss, swelling or redness of your gums, or tenderness, please call us right away. Gum disease can cause all kinds of health problems for you and is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births or low-birth-weight babies. It is very important that we detect and begin treatment of periodontal disease as early as possible, before it begins to affect your overall wellbeing.

Fluoride Treatments

Life isn’t really easy on our teeth. Even though they are protected by a hard layer of beautiful enamel, that enamel is under attack every day by acidic foods, sugars, and bacteria. That’s why we recommend fluoride treatments for children at every visit and for adults as needed. When fluoride is applied to the surface of a tooth, it helps remineralize and strengthen that important protective enamel. In fact, fluoride has even been shown to inhibit bacterial growth and reverse early decay.

Panhandle Dental Care now also offers Silver Diamine Fluoride to control active dental decay and stop progression of the disease. This method is especially helpful for very young children who are not able to tolerate more invasive treatments. It can also be useful for hard-to-treat root caries. Silver Diamine antibiotic fluoride treatment has been used in countries such as Japan for over 80 years, is approved by the FDA, and might be just the solution for hard-to-treat dental decay you have been looking for.

Mouthguards

While all of the general and preventive services from Panhandle Dental Care are designed to protect your teeth and stop problems from developing, the most obvious way to prevent tooth damage is with a professionally-designed and created mouthguard. We offer two types of mouthguards – sports guards and bruxism guards.

Our sports mouthguards are the ideal way to protect your children from injury during any type of physical activity, from football to skateboarding. Unlike over-the-counter, boil-and-bite guards, our mouthguards are extra comfortable so kids will want to wear them and provide increased protection against oral damage and even concussions.

Bruxism guards are generally worn at night to protect your teeth from the damage and discomfort caused by clenching or grinding.

Both types of guards are made from molds of your teeth and are custom made by us in-house – allowing for a faster turn around time and a better fit. Why risk damage with inferior mouthguards? Talk to us about what mouthguards from Panhandle Dental can do for your family’s smiles.

Anesthesia

Some people have trouble getting comfortable even in our amazing heated massage chairs. They have a hard time sitting still, they can’t hold their mouths open for very long, they can’t seem to get numb, their gag reflex is extra strong, or they are simply nervous or anxious about seeing the dentist. This is why we offer the safety and comfort of nitrous oxide anesthesia along with our compassionate approach and gentle touch. Nitrous oxide is safe for everyone, even children, and provides a mild, relaxing, and euphoric sensation. This gentle sedation is easily reversed after treatment through the administration of pure oxygen. You can even drive yourself home with no fear of grogginess.

Emergency Care

When the unexpected happens, isn’t it nice to know that you can turn to the safe, skilled dental team you know and trust? If you experience dental pain; a tooth has cracked, been broken, or been knocked out; or you have lost a restoration, please call us right away. When our patients of record have a dental emergency, we get them in to see us immediately – you can even call us in the middle of the night. Someone is always on call for you.

Even new patients can count on us to take their problems seriously and work hard to get issues resolved as quickly and comfortably as possible. In fact, many patients who come to us for emergencies in the first place are so impressed with our care that they end up staying with us for all of their future dentistry. If you experience a major trauma such as jaw dislocation or a major laceration, please go directly to the emergency room and call us from there.

Technology

Technology makes life easier and more convenient in all areas of our lives – even dentistry! Panhandle Dental Care has invested in our Panama City patients’ health and comfort by investing in – and constantly updating – our advanced dental technology.

This technology includes:

  • CariVu infrared intraoral camera to help us find decay and damage, even between teeth, earlier than ever before
  • Intra-oral cameras for a close-up, magnified view of all interior mouth surfaces
  • VELscope oral cancer detection devices to detect the earliest signs of cancer
  • Computers in all treatments rooms and voice activated dental charting to ensure accuracy and ease of access
  • Lasers for pain-free treatments and ultra-fast healing
  • Digital standard and panographic x-rays for lower radiation exposure and more accurate images

It all adds up to better care, better health, and a better smile – for life!