General & Preventive Dentistry

General Dentistry In the Woodlands

Keeping Smiles Going for Life!

The Woodlands is such a great place to live – especially if you are focused on staying healthy and fit! Everywhere you look, you can see people out for a walk or a jog, heading to the gym, or going to get active with their families at the fabulous George Mitchell Nature Preserve. Woodlands families are also eating healthier, keeping up with their preventive medical exams and care, and really working on self-care techniques like minimizing stress and getting enough rest. But did you know that dentistry is just as important a part of your health and wellness as any of these other things Woodlands residents do to stay in top shape?

For years, insurance companies have acted as if your mouth is somehow separate from your body. But over the last decade, more and more studies have shown just how linked your mouth and body actually are. They are parts of the same system, after all! And if your mouth isn’t healthy, your body most likely won’t be either, and vice versa.

Healthy Smile – Healthy Body

Though any kind of infection and imbalance in your mouth can lead to issues in your body from TMJ-related headaches to nutritional deficiencies, one of the most insidious ways your mouth can affect your body is through gum disease. Periodontal infections are serious business, and not only because they can lead to tooth loss. You see, your gums are a mucous membrane that, when healthy, protect your body from infection. When these membranes themselves become infected, the infection enters your bloodstream and can lead to all kinds of health problems, some of which can even be life-threatening such as cardiovascular issues, strokes, worsening diabetes, respiratory disease, systemic inflammation, and even cancer.

That’s why we take preventive dentistry so seriously here at Alisa M. Reed DDS. We want all of our patients to stay healthy, happy and well for a lifetime of beautiful smiles!

Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive exams are one of our most important, foundational preventive methods – and our Woodlands patients appreciate them! The first comprehensive exam you receive at our office will probably be the most in-depth exam you have ever had. That’s important because it gives us the baseline we need for all future exams. But it isn’t only the first exam that is comprehensive. Every exam you receive here in our Woodlands dental office is time completely focused on you and your wellbeing.

Exams usually include:

  • Face, neck, and mouth check for abnormalities
  • Sleep apnea probability evaluation
  • Bite and jaw appraisal
  • Oral cancer screening and soft tissue inspection
  • Measurement of your gum pockets
  • Intraoral camera exam
  • Digital x-rays
  • Bruxism (clenching and grinding) diagnosis

We take plenty of time to listen, answer any questions you have, and explain what we have discovered, talk about whether anything has changed, and come up with a plan if you need any kind of repair or correction. This is also a perfect time to discuss any aesthetic changes you might want to have done!

Oral Cancer Screenings

You know how important it is to have all your yearly cancer screenings – but how often do you schedule a cancer screening with your dentist? While oral cancer may not be the most talked about cancer today, it is one of the fastest growing, with a surprisingly high death rate. Over 450,000 new cases of oral cancer are found worldwide each year. Unfortunately, oral cancer may be present and flourishing without pain or symptoms that are noticeable to patients. The signs can be so subtle that only a professional can detect them until the cancer had dangerously progressed.

Fortunately, when found early, oral cancer is very treatable. It’s why we combine a thorough oral cancer screening with every comprehensive oral exam and why we also scan for mouth cancer during your regular hygiene visits. We know your mouth better than anyone – even better than you do yourself – and know exactly which rough patches and irregularities, tiny bumps and discolorations, to look for. If it has been a while since your last check-up or you can’t remember when you had your last oral cancer screening, please give us a call today. It could save your life!

X-rays

We usually request that new x-rays be taken at your first visit with us unless suitable x-rays have been taken at another dental office within the last few months and that your x-rays be updated as needed relative to your oral condition.

Digital dental x-rays allow us to:

  • Check for cavities or signs of decay between teeth or beginning
  • under the surface
  • Reveal decay under old fillings
  • Identify bone loss
  • Diagnose abscess, cysts, tumors, or infections
  • expose problems with wisdom teeth

And because Dr. Reed believes in offering her patients the most accurate, convenient, and safe options possible – even when it comes to the x-rays we offer our Woodlands area patient – both our standard and our panoramic x-rays are digital. That means that:

  • They can be immediately viewed in crisp, full-color detail
  • Are stored directly to the computers in our exam rooms
  • Expose you and your family to far less radiation than traditional x-rays

We think you are worth it!

Hygiene

Hygiene. Such a clinical-sounding word for such a pleasant experience. At least, that’s what our patients tell us. They love the clean, fresh feeling that they get after their dental cleanings. Our office uses ultrasonic scalers to get teeth their absolutely cleanest, even under the gum line and between teeth, comfortably and efficiently. These ultrasonic devices use sound waves along with a soft jet of water for the gentlest experience you have ever had.

But that’s not all, patients love all the little extras we treat them to when they come in for their regular hygiene visits: come a little early and relax in our soothing waiting area with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the aromatherapy, then lean back on a scented neck pillow and pull up a cozy blanket for an extra-snuggly feeling. Some patients even take a little nap during their cleanings, the visit is just that agreeable. And of course, you get to leave with teeth that feel so smooth and shiny and look so bright, you can’t stop looking at them. But cleanings aren’t all for fun and relaxation – hygiene visits help prevent gum disease, and that’s important for your whole-body health!

Periodontal Therapy

When we talk about how severely oral health can affect your whole-body health, we are usually talking about gum, or periodontal, disease and the manifold effects it can have on your body. And while there are other oral-systemic issues we address here at Alisa M. Reed DDS, none cover so many systems or wreak such havoc on your health. Issues caused by periodontal disease include:

  • Immune system issues
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Difficult to control diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Low birthweight babies or early labor
  • Increased risk for dementia
  • Increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular issues
  • Difficulty in joint replacements
  • Osteoporosis

If we do discover the first signs of gum infection during a cleaning or oral exam, we can make quick work of eliminating the infection and getting you back on the road to health. We use a variety of advanced methods to decontaminate, remove infected tissue, and heal including:

  • Deep cleaning with lasers and ultrasonic scalers
  • ARESTIN in-pocket antibiotic to reduce and heal gum pockets
  • Laser gum clearing, decontamination, regeneration, and sealing

If it has been some time since your last cleaning, if your gums are puffy or bleed when you brush, or you are dealing with chronic halitosis, don’t risk periodontal disease. Ask us about how our periodontal therapy can help

Fluoride Treatments

Your teeth are precious – and life can be hard on them. Even things as simple and essential as eating and drinking can have a negative effect on your pearly whites! That morning smoothie, the sports drink you gulp after your workout, the granola bar you munch on your drive home from work – they can all feed acid-producing bacteria and disrupt your enamel. And if you clench your teeth when you are stressed, use your teeth as a tool, chew ice, or munch popcorn with frequency, your enamel is in jeopardy all the time!

We recommend that you try to stick to less acidic beverages as much as possible, ( like water! Water is great for your teeth and your body!), avoid testing your teeth on hard stuff, and ask for regular fluoride treatments. That’s right! Fluoride treatments are a great tooth-protector for teeth of all ages. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps remineralize your tooth enamel, strengthening it against daily acid attacks and wear. When used regularly, fluoride can even stop and reverse the formation of early cavities! Why should that be just for kids?

Mouthguards

You protect your teeth with regular cleanings and checkups; avoiding acidic, sticky, and sugary foods; and using fluoride to remineralize. Good for you! Here are a couple of other outstanding ways you can protect your teeth – with custom-made mouthguards from Alisa M. Reed. We offer both sports guards and bruxism guards for children and adults to keep teeth safe day and night no matter how active you are or how much you clench and grind at night.

Sports mouthguards are not all the same. The boil-and-bite guards you can get at the sporting-goods store simply won’t protect your teeth the way dentist-made guards do – and they certainly won’t help prevent concussions and other damage as effectively. In fact, over-the-counter mouthguards can be dangerous! According to a recent study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry. “High school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards.”

Bruxism guards are another important tooth-protector people may not ever consider – especially because most people don’t realize that they clench and grind their teeth! We know how to recognize the signs and symptoms, so if we notice cracks and crazing in your enamel, unusual wearing down of teeth, pain in your jaw muscles, cracking in your jaw, or other symptoms, we will recommend a custom-made guard to help protect your teeth and stop the wear and damage bruxism causes. Interestingly, bruxism guards have found new therapeutic uses helping with TMJ pain and even Tourette’s syndrome!

TMJ Treatment

Does your jaw hurt? Have you been waking up with headaches more often than not? Has anyone remarked on the loud popping noises you make when you yawn or open your mouth to bite into a sandwich? You could be dealing with temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly referred to as TMJ syndrome or disorder. TMJ disorder happens for all kinds of reasons. Some people suffer from TMD because of:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Poorly balanced restorations ( you know how your dentist always asks you to bite down on paper after a crown or a large filling is placed? They’re checking your bite – if it’s off, it can cause all kinds of trouble.)
  • Clenching and grinding (bruxism) from tension, medications, or medical conditions
  • Trauma to the face, head, neck
  • Arthritis
  • Injury to the joint
  • Tooth injury
  • Poor posture
  • Stress

Whatever the cause, we have a simple and easy-to-use solution – our TMJ-relief nightguards help hold your jaw in a comfortable, stress-free position while also protecting your teeth from the damaging effects of clenching and grinding. Stop suffering and start relaxing! Talk to us about how we can help you find relief today.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Snoring might not just be a nightly nuisance, keeping partners from sharing a bed and disturbing everyone’s sleep. But it can also be an indicator of a serious problem – sleep apnea! For more information, please read our Sleep Apnea page.

Emergency Care

No one likes any kind of emergency. Your daughter’s school calls and you get the jitters. The car won’t start, and your heart starts pounding. Your husband’s flight is cancelled and taking a deep breath just doesn’t cut it. But when it comes to a dental emergency, things can get really harrowing, especially if a tooth is knocked out or you have severe pain. Let’s try that deep breath one more time – Dr. Alisa Reed, Dr. Michelle Boecker, and their compassionate team are here to help with any kind of emergency, day or night.

If you have an emergency during office hours, please call us right away. We might direct you to the emergency room if you have experienced trauma, but we want to hear from you, so we know what to expect and how to schedule you in. If the emergency is something we can take care of here in our office, we will fit you in the day you call. If your emergency occurs after hours, we have a message on our answering system that will direct you on what to do next. So, while we can’t help your daughter with her lost homework or speed up a delayed flight, we can keep you smiling through any situation. Just call us!

Level 1 Conscious Sedation

We understand that many people suffer from dental phobia and therefore avoid getting the proper dental care they deserve. Don’t like dental anxiety hold you back, call us today and ask us about our Sedation Dentistry. For more information, please visit our Level 1 Conscious Sedation page.