Diagnostic & Preventative Care
Exams by Dr. Yarbro should be conducted twice a year. This allows him to effectively evaluate your overall oral health and detect any potential problems at an early stage. Our exams include x-rays, a thorough oral cancer screening, gum evaluation, examination by the doctor and an annual review of your health history. It is very important to bring a list of all your current medications if you have trouble remembering what you take. Also, patients who know that they need to pre-medicate with antibiotics should let us know ahead of time so your appointment goes as smoothly as possible.
Dr. Yarbro's office uses all digital technology. Digital radiographs are the most advanced technique in x-ray technology. With digital radiographs film is replaced with a flat electronic pad called a sensor. Up to 60% less radiation is required with this new technology. The x-rays hit the sensor the same way they hit the film, but instead of developing the film in a dark room, the image is electronically sent to a computer where the image is displayed directly on the screen in only a fraction of the time. The images can then be stored on the computer for later use or printed out.
A professional dental cleaning will be performed by a Dental Hygienist. The hygienist will first clean the tartar from your teeth, which tends to collect at the gum line, using special tools to gently remove these deposits. Next the hygienist will polish your teeth with a soft rubber cup to buff away the plaque. Polishing your teeth removes stains and plaque leaving your teeth with that smooth feeling. Plaque is a sticky substance that turns hard with time and can cause gum disease and decay if not removed regularly. Dental cleanings are recommended a minimum of twice a year—a certain amount of plaque builds regardless of proper brushing and flossing.
We welcome children of all ages into our office and endeavor to make their visits as encouraging and educational as possible. We recommend that you have your child's teeth checked by age one or at the eruption of the first tooth and continue to schedule their appointments regularly for optimal oral health. Regular visits allow Dr. Yarbro to become thoroughly acquainted with your child’s oral needs and determine early on whether treatments such as orthodontics will be needed. Our office staff will help you and your little ones learn to brush, floss, and have fun while at the dentist. Our office strongly recommends fluoride to all children who live in the Spokane area. Spokane has one of the highest rates of tooth decay in the USA—a statistic we are working hard to change.
Dental restorations (fillings) are the #1 treatment for dental decay. Fillings may last for many years before they need to be replaced. However, constant abrasion from chewing, grinding and clenching may cause a filling to wear, chip, crack, or even fall out. It is important to have regular dental examinations to keep track of your oral health and prevent a minor restoration failure from damaging the surrounding tooth structure. During your annual checkup, Dr. Yarbro can determine whether existing restorations are in good repair, or are in need of replacement. Replacing worn fillings in time prevents decay from corroding the tooth beyond repair.
Crowns are placed when a tooth can no longer support a filling. In some cases, extensive tooth decay around an existing filling may leave insufficient tooth structure—once the decay is removed, your dentist may need to restore the tooth with a crown instead of a filling. Crowns can be made from several different materials depending on the situation: Porcelain/Ceramic (Bruxzir), Gold, and Porcelain Fused to Metal. Each of these materials are used in our practice.
For some teeth that have infections or severe decay, this procedure is necessary to cleanse the root of the tooth, removing the bacteria that cause inflammation and pain. For most people, the mention of a root canal can cause anxiety due to the misconception that root canal therapy is an unavoidably painful procedure. However, root canal therapy is more often long and boring for the patient than painful—many of our patients fall asleep! After a root canal, the tooth becomes brittle and more prone to fracture and requires a crown to protect it from the everyday forces that occur.
From wisdom teeth to teeth that are damaged beyond repair, sometimes the only option is extraction. In most instances we can perform tooth extractions in our office but for patients who require sedation or more complex tooth removal we will refer you to a friendly oral surgeon with whom we work frequently.
Following an extraction it is important to follow the after surgery instructions you are given. Smoking and physical activity are strongly discouraged for several days afterwards to prevent complications. If you feel that you are running a fever or have excessive swelling, please call our office ASAP, day or night.
One of the newest and best options for tooth replacement—when applicable — is an implant. Dental implants are little titanium posts or "roots" that are surgically inserted into the bone in place of the missing teeth and then allowed to heal.
After the implant has sufficiently healed, a custom porcelain crown is fabricated to fit over the post for a natural, healthy looking smile.
Dental implants are among the biggest break-throughs in modern dentistry. With implants, missing teeth can be replaced as "stand alone" crowns, eliminating the need for bridges and, in some cases, even eliminating the need for partial dentures! Used in tandem with complete dentures, implants provide a stabile, secure fit and natural look that ultimately creates a confident smile.
Periodontal Gum Therapy
Periodontal disease is a serious infection of the gums that needs to be addressed before developing into bone loss or other systemic effects such as heart disease. Signs of periodontal disease are: bleeding at the gum line, gum recession, bad breath, and the loosening of teeth. Our office provides a non-surgical approach to gum disease.
Deep Periodontal Cleanings (SCRPs)
In many cases of periodontal disease, the amount of inflammation is severe and the bone around the teeth begins to diminish. In these cases the patient may require a series of deep cleanings that extend under the gums to remove the debris and control the bacteria. This is done in 2-4 appointments with topical anesthesia, and is considered the optimal non-surgical treatment for severe periodontal disease. Following these deep cleanings, Dr. Yarbro will prescribe Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings every 3-4 months to maintain optimal gum health.
Routine Periomaintenance Cleanings
For our patients who have a history of Periodontal Disease, we recommend a Routine Periodontal Maintenance (PM) cleaning. These are optimally done every three to four months to minimize the bacteria that cause the periodontal disease - a chronic and non-curable disease.
Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your teeth bright, white and healthy. Still, if you feel like your teeth are lacking some sparkle or are more yellow than they used to be, you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients requested tooth whitening.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
For patients who are missing most or all of their teeth, complete or partial dentures can restore your ability to smile and eat normally. We recommend that patients who wear a lower denture consider having two to three implants placed to help retain the denture more securely and comfortably.
You’ll often hear people say that celebrities have veneers and this may seem like the best way to replicate picture-perfect teeth, but each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully discussed with Dr. Yarbro. Typically, porcelain veneers are made to fit over your anterior (front) teeth after a couple of weeks of whitening to optimize the effect of the finished procedure. These veneer restorations look and feel natural and can help to correct minor crowding, color and enamel irregularities.
For our patients with dental anxiety, we do our best to make your visit optimal. Our staff have specific training and experience on how to help our patients with anxiety to feel at ease. For those patients who need a little more, we have other options—nitrous oxide (N2O) and/or pharmaceutical management.
Nitrous oxide is simply a colorless, sweet-smelling, non-irritating gas which you can breathe during a stressful procedure. Nitrous oxide is a very safe and effective way to counter anxiety. After five minutes or so of breathing in the gas, you should feel calm and warm feelings spreading throughout your body leaving you relaxed. People often get "the giggles," hence the name "laughing gas." For those patients who have extreme anxiety, medications can be prescribed to take for the dental appointment.