If you need a general dentist who will promote the beauty and strength of your smile, while emphasizing preventive dentistry and its proven effects on overall health, look no further than Dr. James K. Martin. We know that patients need thorough preventive care if they want to maintain their gorgeous smiles for life. Once we assess your current situation, Dr. Martin will recommend a treatment course to maximize the health, beauty, and function of your smile.
We believe in the concept of co-diagnosis, educating patients about existing problems and potential solutions. This allows patients to make better choices and is the key to long-term health and function. Our hygienists feel that allowing patients to become co-diagnosticians is as important as providing thorough but gentle cleanings.
Preventive dentistry is now recognized as a long overlooked foundation for maintenance of healthy teeth and an attractive smile, as well as a key factor in deterring many chronic diseases: diabetes, heart disease, strokes, even autoimmune disorders are now known to be associated with gum disease. Each visit has always included a thorough oral cancer screening. Saliva tests are available and are under development for a whole range of both medical and dental diseases, including many types of cancer.
Call our North Dallas office to schedule your next checkup. We treat patients from across the Metroplex, including Addison, Richardson, Carrollton, and Plano residents.
The foundation for a lifetime of outstanding oral care begins with regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings. The American Dental Association sets the standard for care at two checkups and cleanings each year, and our team recommends patients maintain these six month checkups in order to prevent most major oral health issues and treat others in their earliest stages. Checkups at our office begin by collecting diagnostic information. We use digital x-rays to capture the highest quality images of underlying dental structures, as well as intraoral photography for the visible parts of patients’ smiles. Following the collection of diagnostic information, we carefully examine patients’ smile for signs of oral health concerns screening for a variety of common conditions including tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Next, our skilled hygienist carefully removes plaque and tartar from even those parts of the smile that are most difficult to access. Finally, the dentist sits down one on one with patients to design an ongoing care plan that meets their needs, budget, and lifestyle.
Tooth decay, cavities, caries, each of these words describe the same oral health issue. Bacteria in the mouth absorb nutrients from the foods and drinks we consume and excrete a sticky, acidic biofilm known as plaque. In most cases, saliva neutralizes the plaque or daily brushing and flossing removes it. However, when left on the surfaces of teeth, plaque weakens the enamel eventually leading to decay. Dental sealants are preventive services that help protect teeth from decay. We apply a thin layer of clear plastic coating to teeth, harden it in place, and with proper care, these dental sealants keep plaque and tartar away from teeth for years. Sealants are most often recommended for younger patients who are developing their oral hygiene routines, but they may be beneficial for adults who experience frequent decay.
Gum disease is one of the most common oral and overall health issues in the US. The majority of adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of periodontal disease, but with proper at-home hygiene and regular dental checkups, this disease should be completely preventable. Diagnosed in the early stage, gingivitis, gum disease is typically treatable with more frequent professional teeth cleanings. However, when diagnosed in the severe form, periodontitis, more advanced treatments are necessary. Typically, we begin with scaling (removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged gum tissue) and root planing (smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future plaque and tartar buildup). If this therapy coupled with more frequent cleanings proves inadequate, we may recommend topical antibiotics or more advanced surgical procedures.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction occurs due to overuse, strain, or facial trauma that limits or impedes the movement of the jaw. The TMJ are tiny joints connecting the jaw and skull, and they are essential to allowing patients to perform common tasks like speaking, smiling, chewing, and yawning. When the TMJ are damaged, even these simple tasks suddenly become painful or impossible. In some cases, TMJ dysfunction occurs due to unconscious nighttime teeth grinding and clenching known as bruxism. This unconscious movement can cause significant damage to the TMJ and teeth. We recommend patients with TMJ dysfunction or who suffer from bruxism wear a custom crafted nightguard. These comfortable oral appliances position the jaw in its most comfortable location reducing the amount of unconscious jaw movement, preventing additional TMJ damage, and reducing pain from TMJ dysfunction. These nightguards place a physical barrier between the teeth preventing dental wear and damage.
Sports related injuries are the leading cause of tooth loss for patients under the age of 25, and more than 50% of athletic injuries include facial trauma of some sort. With statistics like these, it doesn’t make sense that many athletes still aren’t consistently using mouthguards. Sportsguards are recommended for athletes participating in any activity where their teeth may come in contact with other players, hard surfaces, or sports equipment. Store bought mouthguard varieties offer adequate protection, but they are often uncomfortable leading to inconsistent use. We offer custom fitted sportsguards that provide improved protection from damage and dramatically increase comfort.
Oral cancer claims one life every hour on average in the US alone, and according to research conducted by the Oral Cancer Foundation, the best way to reduce this number is to diagnose and treat this disease in earlier stages. This determination is based in part on evidence that indicates more than 50% of patients diagnosed live less than 5 years following their diagnosis. When identified in the early stages, oral cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, so it falls to dentists and physicians to spot this disease in its treatable early stages. As dentists, our priority is to ensure all of our patients maintain their optimal oral health, and that includes screening for common diseases such as oral cancer. We visually screen for signs of oral cancer during each appointment, and recommend adults receive more thorough examination with VizLite at least once every year.
We pride ourselves on offering state-of-the-art cosmetic and restorative care, but we first create a solid foundation in preventive maintenance for patients of any age or stage of dental development. Dr. Martin and the Dentistry by Design team have years of experience working with young patients, and we are happy to offer a number of treatments specifically geared toward developing smiles including dental sealants, sportsguards, and tooth-colored fillings. We approach caring for kids with the same customized treatment planning we offer our adult patients. Every smile is different and so is every child, and they deserve dental care that meets their unique set of behavioral and oral health needs. For anxious kids who have trouble adjusting to the dental office or relaxing during care, we offer dental sedation to allow them to safely and comfortably receive even the most complex treatment.