Preventive dental procedures are provided by Drs. Horsley and Walker to keep your mouth healthy and to prevent the need for extensive restorative work. You can feel truly cared for and comfortable when receiving preventive dentistry in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas.

The following dental procedures are considered preventive and for more information, you may click on one of the links below or call us.

Digital X-Rays

What are the benefits of using digital imaging?

We only use digital X-ray imaging in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas. Digital X-ray imaging produces a clearer “picture” of your teeth while using 50-90% less radiation than conventional film-based X-rays. Digital images appear instantaneously on the computer monitor, which allows us to review them and discuss the findings with you immediately. Drs. Horsley and Walker provide three different types of digital imaging:

  • Intraoral: We take two types of intraoral images. They are called bite wings and periapicals. Both of these types of images are used in the detection of decay and other infections.
  • Panoramic: The panoramic image gives a broad overview of the entire mouth. This image supplies information about the teeth, upper and lower jawbone, sinuses, and other hard and soft tissues of the head and neck.
  • 3D Scan: This 3-D image is extremely helpful in determining what position a dental implant can be safely placed. It is also useful in oral surgery for extractions and in orthodontics, to see how roots are positioned in the bone. So, we can use this technology in aiding the placement of dental implants and some extractions.

Dental Exams and Cleanings

Biannual dental examinations are a very important part of preventive healthcare. During your dental exam, the dentist will look inside your mouth as well as evaluate your head and neck for any abnormalities such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral cancer, sores or lesions, TMJ disorders, tooth decay, and other conditions. The dentist will evaluate and assess your digital images. These images are paramount in properly diagnosing decay and other conditions of the mouth and head. During your dental exam, the dentist may discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits. If needed, the dentist might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Routine dental cleanings (prophylaxis cleaning) are an important part of maintaining your dental and overall health. Research has proven that good oral hygiene is important not only for your appearance, but also for your general health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, stroke, and more. Routine dental cleanings can help prevent these problems as well as provide you with a chance to talk with your dentist or hygienist about how to maintain your oral health. One of the biggest goals of routine cleanings is to help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease. Please call to schedule your dental exam and cleaning in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas.

Root Scaling and Planing

Root planing and scaling in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, is one of the most effective ways to treat some stages of periodontal disease.

  • Periodontal Disease is an infection of the gum tissue and the bone surrounding your teeth. As periodontal disease progresses from early to more advanced stages, the bone surrounding your teeth will gradually recede.  This causes your teeth to become mobile and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.  Periodontal disease is why many adults need a denture or partial.

Why Is It Done?

Root planing and scaling is a procedure done by your hygienist or by Drs. Horsley and Walker to remove the infection in your gums and on your teeth.  The goal of this procedure is to stop the progression of gum and bone loss so that you do not lose your teeth.

How is Root Planing and Scaling Done?

Some hygienists and dentists will use an ultrasonic tool for root planing and scaling.  This tool may be more comfortable than standard hand instruments.  In some cases, an ultrasonic tool may not be effective, so traditional hand instruments will be necessary.  If needed, the hygienist or dentist may numb your gums and teeth to make you more comfortable.  After the procedure is finished, the dentist may apply antibiotics around your teeth and in your gums to aid in healing and to prevent infection.

Oral Cancer Screening

At Harvest Dental, your health is our top priority. During your oral cancer screening in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, we will look for signs of abnormal tissue (sores) in your mouth. We cannot determine whether these findings are cancerous during the oral exam, but if we see something suspicious Drs. Horsley and Walker may send you to an oral surgeon for additional tests. Fortunately, the great majority of these sores are not cancerous, but the only way to be certain is to have an oral surgeon perform a biopsy. A biopsy is when an oral surgeon removes some of the abnormal tissue and has it tested for cancer. Statistically, the earlier oral cancer is detected, the greater the chance of survival. Call our office to ensure that you are as healthy as you can be.

Dental Sealants

Teeth naturally have deep grooves on some of their surfaces, so bacteria can collect in these grooves and create decay. Decay can be prevented by filling in these grooves with a dental sealant provided by Drs. Horsley and Walker. Dental sealants in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, block out the bacteria and make the surfaces of your teeth smoother. This prevents plaque from easily clinging to the grooves in your teeth and actually makes cleaning your teeth easier. We invite you to call our office if you would like to learn more about this service. You will also be instructed on the after-care for sealants before leaving Harvest Dental.

Occlusal Night Guards

Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or a sore jaw?  Are your teeth sensitive to cold?  If so, you may be suffering from bruxism, also known as grinding or clenching.  Bruxism can happen at any time of the day or night.  It’s usually a subconscious behavior that can be induced by stress and anxiety.  Most people unknowingly grind or clench their teeth and produce a bite force that can range from 100 to 600 pounds per square inch!  This incredible force can cause various dental problems.

Some symptoms or problems caused by bruxism:

  • Premature wearing or breaking of your teeth: Constant grinding and clenching will eventually wear down your teeth, making them short and flat. The extreme pressure of clenching may create fractures or cracks in your teeth or fillings, which will eventually cause them to break or chip.
  • Extremely sensitive teeth: Over time bruxism can wear away the enamel (the harder outer layer) of your teeth, which exposes the dentin (the softer inner layer). This makes your teeth very sensitive to cold or pressure. The back and forth motion of grinding can also cause your teeth to fracture at the gum line, leaving an extremely sensitive notch.  As these notches get larger your gum tissue recedes, making your teeth even more sensitive. Also, food gets caught in the notches, causing decay.
  • Sore muscles, headaches, earaches, and TMJ problems: Grinding and clenching occurs when the muscles in your cheek and temple are constantly contracting. This action brings your teeth together at extreme pressures.  When these muscles get overused, you may feel pain in your cheeks when you wake up in the morning.  You may also experience headaches or earaches because the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint), which connects your skull to your lower jaw, is getting compressed by these muscles.  This causes reduced blood circulation and soreness, which you may notice when talking or chewing your food.