What Does “Comprehensive Dentistry” Mean?
We throw around the words “comprehensive dentistry” at Stanley Dentistry a lot but what does the term actually mean? And how should it impact your decision to come to our office?
Twenty-five years ago, I started my own dental practice with the intention of delivering top-quality dental care without all the hassle. I didn’t want my patients having to jump around to different offices to get the work they needed in order to be healthy and pain-free. In my experience, endless referrals encouraged miscommunication — and miscommunication meant lapses in proper patient care. With my practice, I wanted people to be able to get all of their dental work done in one place. That’s where the “comprehensive” part comes in. “Comprehensive dentistry” means our office can take care of almost everything dental-related, from regular cleanings to oral surgery. Why is this a good thing? It means me and my team get to know our patients both personally and medically. If something is wrong, we spot the abnormality quickly and take care of it just as fast.
Our patients know us and we know them. We’re a family owned-and-run business so we see those relationships as particularly important. When they’re in our office, we want all of our patients to feel like they’re part of the Stanley family.
Dr. Minka takes care of all of our younger patients, from a year old and up. Kids should come to the dentist when their first tooth emerges or when they turn a year old. During this first appointment, Dr. Minka will take a look at the child’s teeth, palate, gums, and tongue to make sure there are no abnormalities like a tongue or lip-tie. If everything looks healthy, she’ll clean the visible teeth and send you on your way!
We like to have kids come in early for two reasons: check for any problems and make them comfortable coming to the office. The number one reason people don’t get their teeth cleaned is because of dental anxiety. The best way to combat dental anxiety from an early age is by bringing babies, toddlers, and kids to the dentist every six months. Even if they don’t love their first appointment, they’ll eventually realize that the flavored fluoride and free goody-bag make going to the dentist a surprisingly fun trip.
Almost everyone will need to undergo some kind of oral surgery at least once during their lifetime. The word “surgery” scares a lot of patients but the truth is, the vast majority of oral surgeries are routine and minimally invasive. The mouth heals incredibly quickly which means patients can get back to their daily routines within a week or two (though, sometimes it’s even less!)
Some of our more common oral surgeries include:
A big part of our practice revolves around dental implants thanks to my husband, Dr. Robert Stanley. Before becoming a dentist, Dr. Rob got a Ph.D. in Engineering from NC State University. Although dentistry and engineering don’t seem very closely connected, they actually are, especially in the realm of oral surgery. For a dental implant to be successful, it has to be placed correctly. If the angle or depth of the implant is off, the implant and the jaw bone will not fuse and the implant will fall out.
Using his engineering background, Dr. Rob created a dental implant system called Omega Teeth. Since its start, Omega Teeth has seen unparalleled success thanks to its unique approach to dental implant surgery. Today, Dr. Rob travels the country on the weekends, teaching other doctors how to perform Omega Teeth surgeries in their offices. Learn more about how Stanley Dentistry does dental implants differently here.
Wisdom teeth extraction
After dental implants, our most routine surgery is wisdom teeth extraction. Most people don’t have enough room in their mouth for those pesky back molars, so we recommend that our patients get them removed in their teens. If wisdom teeth aren’t removed, they can become impacted and cause infection later in life.
A wisdom teeth extraction procedure is quick and painless thanks to IV sedation. Patients sleep right through the surgery and wake up with minimal pain. Within a week, patients are typically back to their normal schedules. Compared to other parts of the body, the mouth heals incredibly quickly so even invasive procedures have short recovery periods.
Frenectomies are easy, non-invasive surgeries that correct tongue-ties and lip-ties. You typically see tongue-ties and lip-ties in young children who are struggling to nurse or talk. These conditions come about when the frenulum linguae (the flap of tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) or the frenulum labii (the flaps of skin that connect the lips to the upper and lower gums) struggle to develop properly in the womb. In our office, we numb the area and use a small laser to quickly remove the frenulum. Patients leave the office with more control over their speech and, for the little ones, the ability to nurse for the first time.
If you need some kind of oral surgery, myself or one of the other doctors will let you know during your regular cleaning. We will explain exactly what you need done, why you need it, and how much it will cost. Because we can do the surgery in-office, we can typically get our patients scheduled for the surgery they need within a week or two.
A big part of dentistry is helping people find their confidence. I’ve had hundreds of patients who’ve hidden their smiles for as long as they can remember. When they come into our office, they finally realize that their crooked, stained, or cracked teeth aren’t permanent. Using advanced tech, there are very few things we can’t fix in our office when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. From whitening and bonding to veneers and crowns, there are tons of different options when it comes to getting the smile you deserve — and we do it all!
With cosmetic dentistry, we usually ask patients to come in for a free consultation first. From there, I’ll outline an easy-to-understand treatment plan, complete with a timeline and financing options.
Our most popular cosmetic service is also the easiest: whitening. We offer three different types of whitening: take-home, Zoom!, and Kor with take-home being the least effective and Kor being the most. They vary in price so almost anyone can afford one of the three options. Of course, which whitening you get really depends on the severity of the stains on your teeth. If you have deep staining, Kor, though the most expensive, is the only answer. Kor is unique in that it uses both at-home and in-office whitening treatments over the course of a few weeks. The at-home portion includes a whitening gel that you wear on your teeth at night. In-office, we use a similar but stronger gel that a dental assistant leaves on the teeth for twenty-minute intervals. Many of my patients leave the office with teeth sixteen shades whiter after a Kor treatment.
Decades ago, people who wanted veneers (thin sheets of porcelain that go over the teeth, creating a whiter, more symmetrical smile) had to get prepped veneers. “Prepping” in dentistry involves carefully removing a thin layer of the natural enamel to make room for the porcelain. When done correctly, prepping is barely discernible but it’s still a major decision. If you get prepped veneers, you’re making the choice to have veneers for the rest of your life. For some patients, that’s just too much pressure.
That’s why cosmetic dentists invented no-prep (or “prepless”) veneers. No-prep veneers are specially engineered to fit over the teeth without requiring a reduction of enamel. Not everyone is a candidate for prepless veneers (it depends on your unique mouth and lip shape) but if you are, it’s a great alternative to traditional veneers. They can give you the same amazing, Hollywood smile without forcing you to make a big commitment.
Most families have at least one or two members who need some form of orthodontics, whether it be braces, a retainer, or Invisalign. At a typical dentist’s office, families have to wait until the dentist refers them to an orthodontist. When they finally get a referral, the orthodontist isn’t familiar with their unique medical history. There’s a gap in communication that can mean longer appointments and a poor experience for the patient. At Stanley Dentistry, we can see alignment problems as the younger members of your family grow. If we notice that your child’s teeth are going to be problematic later, we can recommend HealthyStart which guides teeth into place as they come in instead of after. This can mean no braces later on (and a much happier teenager!)View All News