A general dentist performs a wide variety of procedures to manage the health of your teeth and gums. You can count on your general dentist to identify potential oral health threats and provide the solutions that help keep your smile strong and healthy.
At Yuma Smiles, we believe that a general dentist should also be your trusted friend. We want you to feel comfortable sharing any dental concerns you may have. Above all, our goal is to educate you about your treatment options and guide you in making informed decisions that benefit your long-term dental health.
There really is no set list of specific services offered by a general dentist. Quality dental care combines different areas of dentistry that work together to complement each other and provide the comprehensive care you need.
Here are just a few of the services offered at our Yuma dental office:
Yuma dentist Dr. Sam Carroll, DMD offers a wide range of services to meet all of your dental needs, but one of the most important services we offer is teeth and gum cleanings. Why? Because regular check-ups and cleanings are the most effective way of stopping dental problems before they start!
You should have a professional cleaning at least once every six months, and most insurance companies cover two cleanings per year. In some cases, we will recommend even more frequent cleanings, such as if you have excessive tartar build-up or have medical conditions such as diabetes that make you more susceptible to infection.
Your children should start having regular cleanings and examinations by the age of two. It’s important to keep even baby teeth healthy, as they serve many functions that are vital to good lifelong oral health. Keeping your child’s teeth free of cavities and tartar will keep their gums healthy and help minimize alignment problems when they get their permanent teeth.
Even the most diligent brushing and flossing will inevitably miss spots. Areas such as the back of the mouth around the molars, along the gumline, and between the teeth are difficult to reach with a toothbrush, no matter how well you brush. Regular professional cleanings allow us to keep the areas you can’t reach clean and free of decay.
Regular examinations and cleanings also allow us to catch developing problems early, meaning less invasive, less painful, and less expensive treatment. We can also screen for other issues such as oral cancer and gum disease.
Tartar, the yellowish build-up some people get on their teeth, cannot be removed through brushing. Some people are more susceptible to tartar than others. A professional cleaning with our dental hygienist can remove that tartar build-up before it causes other problems. If it has been a while since your last cleaning, we may have to schedule a deeper cleaning, including scaling and planing.
If bacteria or tartar are allowed to build up along the line of your gums, it can lead to gum disease. During the earliest stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, your gums may feel sore and inflamed and bleed easily. If the developing gum disease is left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease. In periodontitis, the gums actually pull away from the tooth, leaving pockets that are susceptible to infection.
Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Treatment may require surgery to repair the damage to your gums. Root scaling and planing is a deep cleaning method that can be used as a preventative measure to stop the process of gum disease before it can do serious damage.
During scaling and planing, your teeth are cleaned down to the root, below the gumline. This allows us to remove any tartar and bacteria build-up beneath the gums. If your gums have started to pull away from your teeth and develop pockets, we may use antibiotics in the pockets to fight off any potential infection.
If you are due for a teeth and gum cleaning, contact our Yuma dental office today to schedule an appointment.
Getting a tooth pulled is never a fun thought. We all want to keep our teeth healthy, beautiful, and in our mouth. Sometimes, though, a tooth requires extraction. Damage from trauma to the mouth, untreated decay or gum disease, and teeth that don’t quite fit your jaw (including wisdom teeth) may all lead to a necessary tooth extraction.
Most of us will need wisdom tooth extractions at some point. Wisdom teeth frequently become impacted, meaning they never completely break through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful. Wisdom teeth also have a tendency to grow in at odd angles or only partially erupt, leaving you with swollen and sore gums at the site of the partially erupted tooth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to serious health problems such as damage to other teeth or your jawbone, cysts, and infection if they are not extracted. Even if the teeth are not impacted, we frequently recommend wisdom tooth extraction for patients in their late teens and early twenties because the roots have not yet fully developed and the extraction is usually simpler and heals quickly. Removing the wisdom teeth now can prevent future problems and pain.
What to Expect From a Tooth Extraction
If you are having a tooth extracted, we will first numb the area so you will feel no pain during the procedure. Yuma dentist Dr. Carroll will make an incision in the gums if the tooth is impacted to gain access to the tooth. If there is any bone material over the tooth, this is also removed. The tooth is then loosened to make extraction easier.
Once the tooth has been removed, you may require stitches. Our staff will instruct you in how to care for the stitches and whether you will need to return to have them removed. Some stitches are made of a special material that will dissolve on its own over time.
For the first few hours after an extraction, you will need to keep gauze on the area, changing it as needed. Once the extraction site stops bleeding, the gauze is no longer necessary. If your extraction site is still bleeding after more than 24 hours, call our Yuma dental office for a follow-up appointment.
You will most likely be given a prescription for pain medication. We recommend you begin taking this medication before the anesthetic wears off as it is easier to prevent pain than to treat it. Periodic ice pack treatments on the day of the extraction will also help reduce discomfort and minimize swelling.
After the first day, you should (gently!) rinse your mouth several times a day with a warm saltwater rinse. This is helpful both in minimizing discomfort and keeping the extraction site disinfected. Do not smoke or use a straw for a few days after your extraction. Avoid anything that creates suction in your mouth as this can dislodge the blood clot and lead to dry socket, which is extremely painful. Plan to eat soft foods for the first few days.
And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us!
If you are in need of a tooth extraction, including wisdom tooth extractions, please call our office and schedule an appointment today.
Most people dread hearing “you need a root canal.” They have a reputation for being painful, lengthy, and unpleasant. But that’s no longer the case!
Advances in dental technology and a skilled dentist make root canal therapy a much more comfortable process. Yuma, AZ dentist Dr. Sam Carroll DMD has the tools, training, and skill to quickly cure the pain of an abscessed tooth with a root canal.
Bacteria can infect a tooth, eating away the enamel and causing decay. When this happens, it’s called a cavity or dental caries. Most cavities can be treated with a filling. However, if the decay goes untreated or you have a health condition that weakens the structure of your tooth, the bacteria can make their way deeper into the tooth, all the way to the soft pulp that surrounds the nerves. Once the pulp becomes infected, the tooth usually abscesses.
Abscessed teeth can be very painful, and the only options for treating an abscess are extraction of the infected tooth or root canal therapy. We’d rather keep your teeth in your mouth whenever we can, so root canal therapy is the preferred treatment method for most abscesses.
During root canal therapy, Dr. Carroll will remove the decayed part of your tooth and open up a path to the pulp. The infected pulp must be removed with a series of small files. These files will get all of the infected tissue out and scrub the sides of the root canals clean to prevent a recurrence of infection.
Once the dying nerves and surrounding pulp are removed, the area will be disinfected and then filled with a compound called gutta percha. This rubbery substance seals off the now-clean root canals to keep further bacteria out. Most root canals also require a crown restoration, due to extensive loss of your natural tooth material to decay and the procedure.
If you need a crown, we will take an impression of your mouth and cover the new root canal with a temporary crown while the permanent crown is crafted. A post and buildup may also be necessary to properly support your crown. This will usually be done during the same visit, before we place the temporary crown.
There is usually very little pain after root canal therapy. The intense pain of the abscess is relieved by removing the infected nerve, after all! The area may be tender for a few days, but most people find this is easily treated with over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. If you experience extreme pain or swelling or the pain does not subside after two to three days, call our office for a follow-up visit.
Having a root canal shouldn’t affect your ability to chew much, once the tooth is restored. The nerves of your tooth aren’t really necessary once the tooth is finished growing, and you should experience no change in sensation or function once the area is healed, except possible reduced sensitivity to heat and cold.
If you are suffering from a toothache and have been avoiding the doctor for fear of a root canal, there’s no reason to delay any longer. Call today to schedule your appointment at 928-344-1060 or Schedule an Appointment
If you and your family are in need of quality dental care with a personal touch, call our office to schedule an appointment and find out why our patients say Dr. Carroll is the best dentist in Yuma! We have appointments available to fit every schedule.928-344-1060 Schedule an Appointment