At Lompoc Family Dental, family dental care means regular checkups, oral cancer (mouth cancer) screenings, digital X-rays, fluoride, and expert cleaning. Dental care is a crucial part of an overall healthy lifestyle for you and your children.
Dr. Dudley combines gentle dentistry with the newest technology to make sure all of his patients are comfortable during their dental appointments. We have several options to help you if you’re an anxious patient; just let us know your concerns and we’ll do everything we can to address them.
Dental Technology with Comfort in Mind
Our technology and techniques are always the most up-to-date. We even have iPads in each office so you can see what we see. It’s a great way to get your kids feeling comfortable at the dentist!
We use several different scalers that use sonic and ultrasonic waves to whisk tartar off your teeth. If we find any signs of gum, or periodontal, disease, we have a number of treatments including topical antibiotics to treat it.
Dr. Dudley also is trained to fit his patients with therapeutic or sports mouthguards. Therapeutic mouthguards can help prevent teeth grinding at night (bruxism). Dr. Dudley also can also fit you with an appliance to help you if you have sleep apnea.
Emergencies happen! Call us right away if you have an accident or are experiencing severe pain. We will fit you in and treat you the same day. Don’t ignore pain or try to treat an injury yourself. Try to save your tooth or crown, and call us!
“Comprehensive” takes on a whole new meaning at the dental office of Dr. Dane Dudley in Lompoc! Your first visit to our office includes a comprehensive dental visit that goes well beyond X-rays and cleaning.
We get some information from you about your medical and dental history and talk with you about your dental care routines at home. We’ll chart your existing fillings or other restorations and take digital X-rays and intraoral pictures to help us diagnose any current or potential problems you might experience.
We’ll also create a chart of the gum tissue around each tooth to check for any signs of gum disease, also called periodontal disease. We’ll keep this chart as a benchmark when you come in for checkups.
We’ll finish up with a thorough cleaning and a fluoride treatment if you need it.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. It’s especially dangerous because there are rarely symptoms in the early stages. When oral cancer, which includes cancers of the throat, mouth, and tongue, has advanced to later stages in the disease, it can be very hard to treat and the mortality is much higher. As with any cancer, early detection is key to successful treatment. Smoking and alcohol are major contributors to the risk of oral cancer. Another risk is from the sexually-transmitted HPV virus.
An annual oral cancer screening is a regular part of our comprehensive and routine examinations. During exam visits, Dr. Dudley evaluates your mouth and throat for red or white patches, swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities.
Be sure to let us know if you’ve noticed lumps, swelling, sores, or anything else unusual in your mouth and throat, or around your tongue.
X-rays are an important tool to evaluate the health of our teeth and gums and spot anything unusual. Dr. Dudley uses a digital imaging system to minimize the amount of radiation a patient receives. This is important for everyone, but especially when it comes to your children. There are many occasions when we have to be exposed to radiation, but it’s good to know the dentist doesn’t have to be one of them.
Digital X-rays can reveal bone loss from periodontal disease and detect tartar buildup. We also use 3D technology to get a complete view of your teeth and gums and their relation to each other. You can see them too on a chairside iPad.
If you are a new patient or are in need of a dental treatment, please expect a full set of X-rays to be captured during your dental examination.
We like to see our patients every six months for a professional cleaning to ensure that you maintain a healthy smile. Regular dental visits, along with good home care, help prevent problems in the future with your teeth and gums.
Professional cleanings remove tartar and stains. We use hand instruments or sonic and ultrasonic cleaners for stubborn stains and plaque. Then we’ll polish your teeth to eliminate remaining stains and plaque. The results are squeaky-clean teeth and a healthy feeling all over!
Take this time to ask us questions about home dental care, or any problems you might be experiencing. If it’s your first time here, feel free to ask us about the services we provide or talk about the dental needs of the rest of your family. We care for school-age children and up. You can schedule all your appointments together if you want!
Gingivitis and periodontal disease occur when bacteria from plaque grows on your gum tissue, either above or below the gum line. Accumulating bacteria can cause serious inflammation, which makes the pockets between your gums and teeth deeper and more inflamed as the amount of bacteria increases. This can lead to the gums and bone tissue deteriorating until you begin to lose teeth.
Dr. Dudley uses Arestin, a topical antibiotic, to help treat periodontal disease. He also uses PerioProtect, a system of cleaning and topical medication. He can also offer you CariFree, another system that includes a gel and rinses that helps reduce gum disease.
Fluoride is considered one of the most important medical discoveries ever made. It’s so prevalent in our water systems that we don’t think about it.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and strengthening weak spots on your teeth. Many public water systems now add fluoride to your drinking water. If you don’t have public water, or if your teeth are resistant to fluoride, Dr. Dudley or your hygienist can apply a fluoride treatment for you or your children as needed. In fact, Dr. Dudley applies fluoride to children at every visit, because early prevention of tooth decay will result in a lifetime of fewer dental problems. Of course, you can help by brushing regularly with a fluoridated toothpaste.
If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw in your sleep, you may wake up with sore jaw muscles, chronic headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. This is also called bruxism. A night guard could help minimize your symptoms and prevent teeth grinding while sleeping. A night guard is a comfortable, removable appliance that can be fit for you by Dr. Dudley. You may not even realize the added stress that comes from clenching your jaw at night. If you think you might be a teeth grinder, talk to us about possible treatments.
Protecting your smile if you play sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth are some of the most common injuries occurring in athletes. Certainly, you want mouthguards for your kids who play sports. If you participate in sports regularly, be sure to talk with Dr. Dudley to find out if a mouthguard is something you should consider.
We want you to make dental care a regular part of your healthcare. There’s no need to be apprehensive about pain or discomfort. Everything we do, from cleaning to full-mouth restoration, is done with your comfort in mind. We use up-to-date technology and the newest techniques to keep you comfortable and relaxed while you’re here.
If there’s some part of going to the dentist that you’re especially anxious about, you can talk to us. We take great care to ensure your comfort while you are here. We use sonic and ultrasonic technology to clean off tartar and plaque.
Dr. Dudley is licensed to prescribe anti-anxiety medication for you if you’re especially nervous or having an involved procedure. You may not need it when you learn more about our approach to anxiety.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a serious condition where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you’re asleep. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. Your throat relaxes and can temporarily shut. People with sleep apnea wake up momentarily and resume breathing. This can happen many times an hour and can lead to serious, even fatal, problems. See your doctor right away if you suspect you have sleep apnea.
If you think you have signs of sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Dudley about setting up an unobtrusive, at-home sleep study.
If untreated, Sleep Apnea can contribute to:
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
- gastro-esophageal reflux
If you have any signs or symptoms of Sleep Apnea, please schedule a free consultation with Dr. Dudley. It is possible that a dental appliance, an alternative to a CPAP machine, can change your life.
At Lompoc Family Dental, we use advanced technology wherever we have the opportunity. We use digital imaging instead of traditional X-rays to avoid using radiation. We also use intraoral cameras, small devices no bigger than a pen, that let us see every tooth in photographic detail. We have chairside iPads so you can see what we see!
Dr. Dudley uses a high-tech laser that can be used on soft tissues for gum treatment, frenectomy (removal of the connecting tissue between the tongue and gums on the bottom, and between the lip and gums on the top of your mouth), or for treating mouth ulcers.
In addition, 3D scanning can track recession, wear, and shifting of teeth. This allows for early detection, which results in conservative treatment. We want small solutions to small problems, and this technology allows us to catch problems before they result in pain and extensive treatment.