General Dentistry

Preventative Care

Broadway Dental Care encourages preventive dental care throughout your life, no matter how old you are. Good oral hygiene practiced at home, combined with regular checkups at our office will keep your smile bright and your teeth healthy.

Following these simple tips will help to prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from teeth. Don’t forget to brush the top of your tongue to remove any extra plaque-causing food particles. This also helps to maintain fresh breath.
  • Floss at least once a day. Mouthwash is also a good way to kill bacteria and to freshen your breath. Floss and mouthwash will help remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line where the toothbrush cannot reach.
    1. Brushing Instructions
    2. Flossing Instructions
    3. Printable instructions >
  • A balanced diet with few sugary treats is beneficial to oral hygiene. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese or fruit can keep your smile healthy.
  • Regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings at our office should be scheduled every six months.
  • Dental sealants can be applied to the top surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  • If you play sports, be sure to ask your dentist about special mouthguards designed to protect your teeth.

If it’s been six months since your last dental checkup, then it’s time to contact Broadway Dental Care to schedule your next appointment.


Common Procedures

Bonding

Bonding is a quick method used to repair slightly chipped, discolored or crooked teeth. It is used to improve the appearance of a tooth by placing a white filling on your tooth. The color of the filling is matched to the color of your teeth, allowing for a more natural look to your smile.

Tooth bonding has become more popular than traditional silver amalgam for tooth fillings because silver is more noticeable in a person’s mouth. Bonding can be used on both front and back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.

It is a less expensive option for cosmetic treatments and usually takes only one visit to complete. However, bonding can stain and is more fragile than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, you should call our office to schedule an appointment. The bonding is typically easily patched or repaired in one visit.

Bridges

Bridges are used to replace missing teeth with artificial teeth made of gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials. Bridges are used to help maintain the shape of your face and to alleviate stress on your bite. They literally bridge the gap that may exist between teeth that are missing.

The success of a bridge is dependent on the health of the teeth, gums and bone that surrounds the bridge. Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an effective alternative to traditional braces. These are clear, removable trays that are customized to fit over your teeth. They employ gradual force that helps to control tooth movement without the need for metal or wire brackets to do so. In order for this treatment to be effective clear aligners must be worn at least 20 hours a day. Progress is gradual and treatment may last anywhere from six months to two years.

There are several advantages to using clear aligners. They are removable and easy to keep clean. They are comfortable and less likely to irritate gums and cheeks than braces. They also prevent wear on teeth that occurs when you grind them.

Clear aligners are not for everyone. Make an appointment with one of our dentists to find out more.

Cosmetic Dentistry

An amazing smile can help you feel confident and poised.The cosmetic dentists at Broadway Dental Care want to give you a beautiful and healthy smile so that you can feel confident. Some common cosmetic procedures include dental implants, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, clear aligners and teeth whitening.

Crowns

Crowns are used to improve the look and strength of teeth which are broken, worn or partially destroyed as a result of tooth decay. A crown is a “cap” that covers the part of your tooth that is above the gum line and becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. They are often used when tooth decay has destroyed so much of the surface area of a tooth, leaving no room to do a filling.

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when the original tooth lacks strength to hold a filling. A crown is formed in a lab using your tooth’s unique impression. A dental laboratory technician will then inspect all aspects of your bite and jaw movements in order to build a crown that allows your bite and jaw movements to function normally.

Crowns can be made out of porcelain, metal or a combination of the two. At Broadway Dental Care we prefer porcelain crowns because they share the same translucency of natural teeth and are very durable.

Dentures

Dentures are the removable replacement used when all or a section of teeth are missing. There are two types of dentures, full and partial. Full dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when only a portion of the teeth are missing. Partial dentures are a removable alternative to bridges.

Most patients find that dentures are comfortable and look very natural. However, they may not be a good fit for everyone.

When it comes to properly caring for dentures, it is just as important to brush and floss them as regularly as you would your  natural teeth. You should also keep gums and tongue clean. Here are a couple of rules to live by:

Use a gentle cleanser to brush your dentures.
Keep dentures moist when not in use

Digital X-Rays

There are many advanced dental technologies available today. At Broadway Dental Care we utilize safe, convenient digital X-Rays, which save our patients time and expose them to less radiation than traditional X-Ray technology.

Extractions

There are situations in which a tooth may need to be removed. For instance, a baby tooth may be contorted or have long roots preventing it from falling out as it should. This hinders the permanent tooth from growing in. It might also be necessary when a tooth decays to the extent of putting other teeth at risk of decay. Other instances when tooth extraction may be necessary include Infection, orthodontic correction or problems with a wisdom tooth.

Problem teeth can often be removed relatively quickly during a regular visit. However, in some instances, a separate appointment may be required. Due to the fact that the removal of a tooth may cause neighboring teeth to shift, which could cause problems with chewing or functioning of your jaw, we might recommend a tooth replacement procedure in order to prevent these complications. Be sure to share any sedation concerns or preferences that you may have with your dentist.

Fillings

The materials we use for fillings today have come a long way since the days of gold, porcelain or composite fillings that we used to use. Today, we prefer ceramic and plastic compounds because they look more natural.

There are two options for fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings can be done in one visit. Indirect fillings are more complex and therefore typically require two or more visits. These fillings may include inlays and veneers made of ceramics or composites.

Fluoride

Fluoride is proven to prevent cavities and tooth decay. It is also known to prevent plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. Broadway Dental Care provides a fluoride treatment that takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes, in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. In some instances, a dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment every three, six or 12 months.

Implant Restoration

Disease and injury are the most common causes of tooth loss. If you are missing teeth, it can negatively impact your confidence level, as well as cause physical discomfort. Simple acts, such as chewing, can dislocate your bite and become very painful.

Implants are a viable option to replace missing teeth. An implant is a synthetic tooth made of metal and porcelain. They provide a natural looking solution that is rarely noticeable. They require daily brushing and flossing and do not compromise the health of normal teeth. If properly cared for, they will last a lifetime.

The best candidates for implant restoration are non-smokers who have good oral health, which includes healthy gums and a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw.

Mouthguards

Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury while playing sports. The American Dental Association recommends that you wear a mouthguard when playing any kind of full-contact sport.

Wearing the appropriate mouthguard plays a big role in protecting your teeth from injury. There are three basic types of mouthguards that we recommend: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard and a custom-made mouthguard that you can obtain from your dentist.

Make sure that your mouthguard meets the following criteria:

Tear-resistant, comfortable and fits well in your mouth
Easy to clean
Does not inhibit proper breathing

The dentists at Broadway Dental Care can teach you how to choose the right mouthguard to prevent injury and how to wear a mouthguard properly.

Nightguards

Nightguards are a simple, non-invasive treatment for a common condition called bruxism. Bruxism occurs when you clench or grind your teeth excessively. It can cause you to wake up with jaw pain, earaches or headaches. It can also lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth or even tooth loss.

Nightguards prevent the wear and damage that teeth grinding may cause over time. They can be custom-made by your dentist using soft material to fit your teeth. A nightguard is inserted over the top or bottom set of teeth and prevents contact with the opposing set.

Nightguards, in addition to regular brushing and flossing,  are a preventive tool that promotes strong teeth and good oral health.

Oral Cancer Screening

Like many types of cancer, oral cancer is best treated when detected early. As a part of the regular exam, the dentists at Broadway Dental Care administer an oral cancer screening. This includes a thorough examination of your oral cavity, the tissues in your mouth and your teeth. The screening helps us detect signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth.

There are a number of preventative measures that you can take against oral cancer. These include:

Drinking alcohol in moderation
Avoiding all tobacco products
Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet
Limit your sun exposure with UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin and lips

Root Canals

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. A root canal is a treatment option used to save a tooth in this condition. If left untreated, an abscess may form. When the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can injure your jawbones and be detrimental to your overall health and wellness.

Root canal treatment may be performed anywhere from one to three visits. We start by removing the infected tissue. Then we clean and seal the interior of the tooth. Finally, we fill the tooth with a dental composite.

Your dentist may recommend a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breaking in the future. With proper brushing, flossing and regular check ups, the tooth may be protected for a lifetime.

Sealants

Extra protection against decay and cavities can be obtained with sealants. Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to allow plaque to build up.

Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact. So if your sealants come off, let your dentist know and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.

Veneers

Like bonding, veneers offer a way to easily correct gaps, chips, stains or misshapen teeth. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) and help to create a beautiful, natural smile. They are a perfect option for patients wanting to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of their smile.

When veneers are recommended, your dentist will create a unique model of your teeth and send that to a dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your dentist may need to make minor adjustments to ensure that your tooth looks natural.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth that may become impacted, meaning they fail to erupt, due to a lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. Removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure. Wisdom teeth that are impacted can cause gum tenderness, swelling or severe pain. They can also be hard to clean, making them susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections and gum disease.

Wisdom teeth are usually extracted in the late teens to early twenties as there is a greater chance that the tooth’s roots have not fully developed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. This aids in speeding up the removal and recovery process.

Teeth Whitening

There are a lot of options available for teeth whitening. However, the method we prefer at Broadway Dental Care is not only comfortable, but also more effective at whitening all of your natural teeth than those kits that are sold at the drugstore.

We use a method called tray whitening. It’s a type of professional whitening that uses customized trays to whiten your teeth. While the products are only available through a dentist’s office, the process is easy to do from home.

Whitening gel is inserted into a tray that fits perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, the hydroxyradiacals begin to whiten stained teeth. The process can take 10 to 14 days, but some see results in as few as three to five days. As your dentist for details.


Common Conditions

Cavities

When decay sets in a small hole forms inside the tooth. This hole is called a cavity. Plaque builds up on the outside of your teeth as a result of mixing together with sugars and starches from the food you eat. That combination produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your teeth.

Cavities left untreated may lead to more serious oral health problems. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing between teeth at least once a day will help prevent cavities from forming.

Gum Disease

Gum Disease

An infection of the gums around your teeth is called gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease ranks as one of the top causes of tooth loss in adults. Because it is mostly pain-free, many patients do not know that they have the disease. During each regular visit to our office, your dentist will check the space between your teeth and gums in order to exam it for signs of periodontal disease.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease,or periodontal disease, is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque must be removed by flossing, brushing and regular dental checkups. If it is not removed, it will continue to build, which may cause damage to the gums.

Gum disease forms right below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis — The early stage of gum disease when the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be healed by daily brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis — If untreated, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. Severe damage can occur to the gums and bone that support the teeth. Infected gums can cause teeth to become loose, fall out or may need to be removed by a dentist.

Things That May Lead to Periodontal Disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Old fillings
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms Include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Treating Gum Disease

Severe cases of gum disease require more intense treatments depending on each individual case. Typical treatments include:

  • Non-surgical treatments such as at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
  • Periodontal surgery and laser gum surgery
  • Dental implants
TMJ-TMD

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

Do you have chronic facial and neck pain in addition to frequent headaches? You may have Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD. Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

If you experience these symptoms, you should make an appointment to have a dentist at Broadway Dental Care check for TMD.

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

Use these tips at home and work to help prevent TMD or keep it from worsening.

  • Relax your face — remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight and shoulders squared
Kathy R. Slaughter DMD
Kinney E. Slaughter DMD
James K. Hunt DMD

Broadway Dental Care
2018 Broadway St
Paducah, KY 42001
Phone: (270) 443-9099

OFFICE HOURS
Mon: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wed: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thur: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.