General and Family Dentistry for
Your Healthiest Smile in Wasilla, AK
Experience Your Best Smile with General Dentistry
Have you been hiding your smile? Has constant tooth pain been keeping you from your usual, active lifestyle?
Whether you are experiencing an oral health issue or simply want to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for life, routine general dentistry can help you meet your needs. Through routine exams and cleanings, general dentistry aims to help you prevent or minimize common oral health issues, like tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, tooth fractures, and bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching during sleep). Our dentists also offer personalized patient education and treatment recommendations to help you create a smile you love at every age.
General and Family Dentistry in Wasilla, AK
Every day, you make decisions to maintain a healthy body. We’re here to help you make healthy choices for your smile too. At Valley Dental Clinic, we offer treatments to keep your smile healthy, eliminate pain, and help you feel confident enough to share your smile as you live your life fully.
- Tooth Extractions. If you have a severely decayed or damaged tooth, a tooth extraction can help relieve tooth pain or discomfort and move you toward a healthy smile again. Using gentle and modern techniques, your entire dental team will help you feel comfortable and at ease during your visit and will provide you with aftercare instructions for smooth healing and long-term oral health maintenance.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings. Repairing cavities is one of the best steps you can take to maintain your smile’s health and beauty. Tooth-colored fillings allow you to repair cavities while keeping your smile completely natural-looking.
- Night Guards. Your teeth are incredibly strong, though they can become painfully and permanently damaged if you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. If you’re suffering from unexplained tooth damage, headaches, or face pain, our dentists will craft a custom night guard that provides the highest level of comfort and protection.
- Preventive Hygiene Visits. During your twice-annual preventive hygiene visits, your dental team will thoroughly clean and polish your teeth. Next, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly will carefully perform an oral health exam and oral cancer screening to catch potential issues in their earliest stages and offer personalized recommendations for at-home care or professional treatment.
General dentistry aims to help you keep your natural teeth throughout your entire lifetime, though there are some instances when a tooth extraction is the best option for you and your smile’s needs.
Many patients are unaware that a tooth issue is the actual source of face pain or headaches, or that a tooth extraction is an option to relieve the symptoms of an uncomfortable toothache. If your oral or overall health would benefit from a tooth extraction, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly may recommend it to restore your oral health and bring you long-lasting relief.
Tooth Extraction Types
Depending on your oral health needs, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly will recommend either a simple tooth extraction or a surgical tooth extraction. If you’re currently experiencing tooth pain or other dental issues, we are often able to offer same-day or next-day appointments so you can get the relief you need and begin the healing process right away.
Before both procedures, the Valley Dental Clinic team will provide you with detailed instructions to support your best experience and let you know exactly what to expect before and after your tooth extraction procedure.
Simple Tooth Extraction
A simple tooth extraction is used to remove a tooth that is visible, unbroken, and easy to reach. At the start of your procedure, our dental team will make sure you’re comfortable by providing a local anesthesia and, if needed, oral sedation.
Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly will carefully loosen and remove the affected tooth. If needed, you’ll receive dissolvable stitches before the area is gently packed with gauze. Most patients recover from a simple extraction within a few days with simple self-care steps.
Surgical (Complex) Tooth Extraction
A surgical extraction is used to remove a tooth that’s damaged, broken, difficult to reach, or fully or partially stuck (impacted) beneath your gums. A surgical extraction is typically used to remove wisdom teeth, often before these third molars start causing pain or issues with overcrowding.
To ensure your highest level of comfort and ease, you’ll receive both a local anesthetic and oral sedation at the start of your surgical tooth extraction. Once you’re comfortable and relaxed, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly will make a small, precise incision into your gums above the targeted tooth. If needed to assist removal, the tooth will first be divided into smaller pieces or a small amount of bone tissue will be removed. Once the tooth has been removed, the incision will be carefully closed with dissolvable stitches and packed with gauze. With simple at-home self-care, most patients feel ready to resume normal daily activities within a few days.
Because they seamlessly blend in with the shade and sheen of natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings have grown in popularity over metal fillings (known as amalgam), which have been used for decades.
Though amalgam fillings are undeniably effective at treating cavities, their obvious silver color can take away from your smile’s natural appearance. Additionally, because amalgam doesn’t bond directly with your teeth, more of your healthy tooth structure has to be removed to make room for a filling. If and when the cavity fails due to wear and tear over time, food particles and bacteria can get stuck underneath the filling, increasing your risk of deeper cavities.
Tooth-colored fillings are made with composite resin, a durable compound made of microscopic plastic, glass, and ceramic particles. Along with exactly matching the shade of your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings also bond directly to your tooth structure. This means less of your natural tooth structure needs to be removed to treat a cavity and a seal is formed between your filling and your tooth. This decreases the likelihood of filling failure and lowers your risk of deeper tooth decay and damage.
Tooth-Colored Filling Procedure
The procedure for getting a tooth-colored filling is just like getting an amalgam filling. Your dental team will first provide a dose of local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly will carefully remove tooth decay from the affected tooth. Once the decay has been cleared, your dentist will precisely match the shade of composite resin to your natural teeth and sculpt your filling into place. Once your treatment is complete, you’ll have a fully functional smile and a long-lasting cavity treatment that restores your smile’s health and beauty.
Your best physical and mental well-being depend on good oral health and a good night’s sleep. If you grind or clench your teeth at night (known as sleep bruxism), the health of your smile and the quality of your sleep are likely not the best they could be. Unless sleep bruxism is treated, your symptoms are likely to worsen over time, detracting from your overall health and quality of life.
Potential Symptoms of Sleep Bruxism
The cause of sleep bruxism isn’t always known, but it is often attributed to stress, anxiety, bite abnormalities, or untreated sleep apnea. Sleep bruxism affects patients at every age, though it is especially prevalent in children, adolescents, and young adults. You or your child may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you grind or clench your teeth:
- Interrupted sleep (for you or your bedmate)
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Sore or tired muscles in the jaw, neck, or face
- Pain when chewing or yawning
- Clicking or popping in your jaw joints
- Twitching or spasming in your jaw muscles
- Tooth pain or sensitivity
- Eroded tooth enamel
- Cracked, broken, chipped, or flattened teeth
- Damaged dental restorations
Night Guards for Sleep Bruxism Relief in Wasilla, AK
A night guard is a custom-crafted dental appliance that is designed to comfortably fit inside of your mouth and protect your teeth while you sleep. Also known as a dental guard or bite splint, a night guard acts as a cushion between your upper and lower arches of teeth and absorbs the force created from grinding and clenching. When you wear your night guard regularly, you can minimize your risk of avoidable dental damage, reduce facial pain and headaches, manage stress and tension, get a better night’s sleep, and generally support your best oral health and total well-being.
Getting a custom night guard is a simple process that begins with an evaluation from Dr. Robinson or Dr. Lyerly. Next, your dental team will take accurate impressions of your upper and lower arches of teeth, which will be sent to a specialized dental laboratory. Once you’ve received your night guard, all you have to do is wear and clean your appliance daily to get long-lasting protection and symptom relief.