A Dental Health Baseline

When we say general dentistry, some people may think “basic.” In a way, they are right. Juneau general dentistry from Dr. Benjamin Pinney can help create a solid base of dental health that will carry you comfortably through life. But there is really nothing basic about how we approach general dentistry. Our general dentistry philosophy is built on the idea that your own teeth are the best and that ideal care does everything in its power to keep them. It’s all about long-term oral health. And there is nothing basic about that!

Juneau General Dentistry

Preventive Care for a Lifetime of Juneau Smiles

Why General Dentistry is so Vital

How important is keeping your smile healthy? It’s one of the most important things you can do for your smile and overall health. Here’s the scoop: Everything in your body is connected, and one system affects the other. This is especially true when it comes to oral health.

  • More and more studies have proven that when there is infection in your mouth, especially in your gum tissue, it can wreak havoc on your body. Periodontal infections have been directly linked to:
    • Systemic inflammation
    • Pregnancy complications
    • Difficulties in controlling diabetes
    • Sexual health issues
    • Cancer
    • Strokes and heart attacks
    • Respiratory disease
    • Obesity
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Kidney disease

And the list keeps growing.

  • Missing or imbalanced teeth can also affect your wellbeing leading to things like:
    • Painful TMJ disorder
    • Sleep apnea
    • Bone loss
    • Vitamin deficiencies (chewing and eating can be painful or difficult)
    • Facial collapse and loss of confidence

Plus, just as with gum disease, tooth loss has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and an increased risk for kidney disease.

Starting to understand why we take Juneau’s general, preventive dentistry so seriously?

General Dentistry

How We Approach Your
General Care

As a Kois-trained dentist, Dr. Pinney couldn’t be more serious about partnering with his patients for a better long-term dental outlook. He starts by making sure he understands your underlying issues as well as your smile goals. Then, our team works with you to create a plan for those goals. Our first order of business is working to eliminate your decay risks. We do this by offering some of the most comprehensive exams you have ever experienced and continue with regularly scheduled cleanings and exams. If we do ever find problems, we don’t just fix them and move on; instead, we treat the root cause. This means better long-term health as well as lots of savings in time and money invested in future restorative care.

We also take plenty of time to get to know you as a person. You are important to us, and getting to know you helps us customize your care to meet your unique, individual needs and concerns and keep each visit enjoyable and stress-free.

Many of our patients tell us that our office atmosphere is so relaxing, our staff so thoughtful and compassionate, and our care so customized that coming to the dentist feels more enjoyable than obligatory. We hope you’ll feel that way too!

We can’t say enough about what a benefit Dr. Pinney’s Kois training is to our patients. Kois trained dentists want to be more than good dentists – they want to be great dentists – and that means offering dentistry that goes above and beyond the norm. Many of our Juneau patients feel this most keenly during their first, comprehensive exam. An exam from Dr. Benjamin Pinney, DMD, is a true comprehensive exam. It starts with a conversation, if you want, during which Dr. Pinney listens to your concerns and uncovers all you want to share about your dental and medical history. Once the initial, get-to-know-you conversation is complete, Dr. Pinney and his team will:

  • Capture full-mouth digital x-rays or panoramic x-rays, as well as 3-D, cone beam imaging when necessary
  • Screen your soft tissue for signs of dry-mouth, oral cancer, infection, or other problems
  • Examine your teeth for cavities, signs of decay, wear, or damage
  • Assess your gum and bone risk levels
  • Execute a biomechanical jaw and bite assessment
  • Take into consideration your lifetime dental needs
  • And, when necessary, create a plan of action to get your smile to ideal health.

These in-depth exams provide the baseline for all your future exams and treatment plans, so we never rush you or hurry.

While we always perform an oral cancer screening during your comprehensive exam, we think it is important to emphasize their necessity, since signs and symptoms could occur between appointments. Symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Thickening or lumps on your lips or cheeks
  • Discolored patches or small sores
  • Chronic bad breath

Keeping an eye out for those symptoms at home is essential, but some symptoms are easily confused with other, less dangerous issues, so don’t neglect your regular screenings. We can’t be emphatic enough – oral cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in America, with close to 50,000 people diagnosed every year! Here’s the good news: when mouth or throat cancer is caught early, it is not difficult to treat and can be eliminated in up to 90% of cases. If you are concerned about an oral sore, discoloration, or swelling that won’t go away, please call our office immediately! We want our Juneau friends and neighbors to be safe and healthy for life.

While visual exams are important and help us keep an eye on your soft tissue and your teeth’ surface, x-rays are vital to keeping your teeth in top shape. Dental x-rays let us clearly see what is happening under the surface of your teeth and gums, all the way through your teeth and into your tooth roots. This allows us to discover the earliest signs of cavities, infection, or any other kind of abnormality or damage. And since we use digital x-rays here at Dr. Benjamin Pinney, DMD, we can immediately view the clearest, sharpest images possible.

This lets us make the best diagnosis and share that diagnosis with you and show you exactly what is happening in your mouth. We love finding new ways to help you feel informed and empowered to make decisions about treatment. What’s more, because our Juneau x-rays are digital, they can be stored directly to the computer and require no chemical developers or paper – and that’s a real benefit in precious environments like we have here in Alaska.

Our diagnostic and x-ray equipment includes:

  • Digital x-rays allow us to get the sharpest, clearest x-ray images for immediate viewing and storage. Plus, they significantly reduce our patient and staff exposure to radiation and are much better for the environment.
  • Panoramic x-rays let us look at your entire head, neck, and bone structure when planning for implants, scanning for TMJ problems, checking on wisdom teeth positioning, or evaluating bone density.
  • Cone beam technology allows us to get 3-dimensional images of your entire oral and maxillofacial structures – fast! CT imaging is ideal for use during all kinds of treatment planning, but especially when it comes to dental implant viability and placement.

All of this advanced x-ray technology is just one more way Dr. Pinney and our team show Juneau patients we care about their health!

Taking care of your teeth at home is vital. We recommend brushing and flossing after every meal, when possible. And of course, the morning and bedtime routine should be habitual for every member of your household. We love to hear our Juneau patients reporting in on ways they help making brushing fun for their kids! But dental hygiene does not end at home. For your mouth to stay truly healthy, it needs some professional help regularly. That’s true even if you have an ultrasonic toothbrush and an oral irrigator.

Bacteria from plaque and tartar build-up no matter how careful you are. And that buildup of bacteria on your teeth and below the gum line is the primary cause of gum disease. That’s a big deal because gum or periodontal infections have been linked to everything from loose teeth and bad breath to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular issues, and cancer. We use the most advanced technology, including Piezo ultrasonic scalers and intra-oral cameras, to make your experience as comfortable and efficient as possible. Why not make regular cleanings from your Juneau dentist, Dr. Benjamin Pinney, part of a healthy lifestyle starting today?

If your gums do become infected, Dr. Pinney’s Juneau periodontal therapy can come to the rescue. Periodontal therapy is a superhero when it comes to the health of your gums and teeth and can:

  • Clear up inflammation and infection
  • Protect your systemic health from the hazards of periodontal disease such as heart attacks and strokes
  • Stop your chronic bad breath in its tracks
  • Stop periodontal-related tooth loss

If you do find yourself struggling with periodontal disease, don’t kick yourself too hard: A recent CDC report shows that 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and up are dealing with some form of gum infection. Factors that contribute to gum disease include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Certain medical conditions and medications
  • Dental crowding
  • Tooth loss
  • Smoking or other tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • and more.

If you have bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss; red, sore, or swollen gum tissue; or any other changes in the feeling or appearance of your gums, please call us right away. Our periodontal therapy can get you, your smile, and your health back on track comfortably and conveniently.

Why do we recommend Juneau fluoride treatments for both children and adults? All-day, every day, your teeth are at risk:

  • Foods and drinks, especially sugary or acidic ones, feed bacteria and erode your enamel
  • Clenching and grinding from stress, anxiety, or other medical conditions wear away at your dentin
  • Acid reflux can expose your teeth to stomach acid

That’s why Dr. Benjamin Pinney, DMD encourages all of his patients to take advantage of professional fluoride treatments. We want kids to have them at every visit and recommend them to adults depending on your risk levels. Fluoride is a powerful tooth protectant that:

  • Remineralizes teeth to make them stronger and more resistant to decay and damage
  • Disrupts acid production
  • Help reverse very early decay
  • Decrease tooth sensitivity, especially at the gumline

It’s easy, fast, and can be after your regular cleanings.

Your teeth work hard. They help you eat with pleasure, speak clearly, smile with all your heart, and they even protect your bones and keep them vital. Life just isn’t the same without them! That’s why Dr. Pinney offers both sports guards and night guards to our Juneau patient family. They are not only good for your teeth but also your wallet, protecting your smile from extensive and expensive dental work.

Sports Guards – The American Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist-designed and fabricated sports guards for their superior protection and comfort. Unlike over-the-counter, boil-and-bite guards, Dr. Pinney’s sports guards are specially made for you or your child, offering a higher level of protection against:

  • Oral trauma
  • Tooth damage
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Concussions

If you or your children are involved in sports or other physical activities that may put your smile at risk, talk to us about how sports guards can safeguard your health.

Night Guards – Night-time clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, is more common than you may think. In fact, most people who clench and grind during their sleep never realize they are doing it – until it starts to show up on their teeth. And it will. During nighttime bruxism, you could be applying up to 250 lbs of force on your teeth, leaving you and your smile vulnerable to:

  • Cracks and lines in the enamel
  • Uneven wearing, weakness, and erosion
  • Sensitivity
  • Loose and broken teeth
  • Damaged restorations
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Disrupted sleep

Our comfortable night guards can help protect you against the ill-effects of bruxism and even help balance your jaw. What’s not to love?

We hate it when our patients (or visitors to Juneau) have dental emergencies. But we love that we can almost always get you back to feeling great again. Just give us a call! Depending on your situation, we will get you in as soon as possible. We pride ourselves on always running on time and never keeping our patients waiting, so we block out a few emergency spots every day.

If you do experience a dental emergency or are in pain, here are a few tips to get you through until we see you:

  • If a tooth is knocked out, save it and call us right away. Do not scrub or disturb the tooth any more than necessary. The best way to keep it safe is back in its socket, under your tongue, or in a glass of milk.
  • If you have a toothache, take a couple of Tylenol and dab your tooth and gums with some clove oil. It’s an old-fashioned remedy, but it works to numb down the pain.
  • For a cracked tooth, rinse your mouth with clean water and use a cold compress on your face to keep swelling down.
  • If there is trauma to your face or head as well as your mouth, or you have excessive bleeding, head to your nearest emergency room and call us on the way.

No matter what kind of pain, swelling, or trauma to your teeth or mouth you are experiencing, please call us right away. We can help you figure out your next steps, reassure you, and get you back to smiling in no time.

How We Approach Your General Care

Don’t neglect your smile – keep it strong
for life with Juneau general dentistry
from Dr. Benjamin Pinney, DMD.

Call today to learn more about how to keep your family healthy!