Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Moorhead, MN
Office Hours
Mon - Wed: 8am — 5pm, Thur: 7am — 3pm, Fri - Sun: CLOSED

Dental Checkups

We believe in proactive dental care, which is why Dr. Skatvold and Dr. Johnson encourage all patients to schedule six-month checkups and cleanings. These preventive visits allow our team to find and treat small oral health problems before they grow.

What to Expect at Your Dental Checkup

At your checkup, we will take digital X-rays for your file. Digital radiography emits about 80% less radiation than the traditional method and immediately provides detailed images that are viewable on a computer screen. In addition, we capture digital photos with our intraoral camera. This camera allows us to zoom in on the photos to assess fine details of your teeth and gums for accurate diagnosis. Oral cancer claims over 7,500 American lives annually, so Dr. Skatvold and Dr. Johnson looks for suspicious lesions. Early treatment of oral cancer literally saves lives.

An inspection of your gum tissue will tell us if you’re one of the 80% of people who suffer from gum disease. This condition often goes unnoticed, but it can increase a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes complications, and low-weight births. If you have gingivitis or a more advanced stage of gum disease, our hygienist will recommend prompt and effective treatment.

In addition to inspecting your teeth and gums, we will assess your bite (how your upper and lower teeth fit together). Proper alignment makes oral function more comfortable. Many people suffer from teeth grinding and headaches that relate to misalignment of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Our dentist can prescribe an oral appliance to restore proper jaw function and eliminate grinding. A nightguard or TMJ appliance may also relieve headaches, earaches, and facial pain.

Depending on what we discover during your dental checkup, some of the following may be recommended:

Most people develop tooth decay or experience structural tooth damage at some point in life. Dentists used to restore decayed teeth with amalgam fillings, which are dark and can look unattractive on front teeth. Our dentists place amalgams upon request, but they typically recommend tooth-colored composite resin fillings.

Composite fillings contain no metal or mercury, and they are custom-tinted to match a tooth’s coloring. Once placed, a composite filling virtually disappears, blending with the restored tooth. Fillings require only one visit for placement, so you’ll be in and out of our office quickly. However, if left untreated, a small cavity can grow and cause significant damage, which may necessitate a crown or root canal to repair. Following through with treatment now can save you from pain and expense in the future.

If dark amalgam fillings detract from your beautiful smile, ask one of our dentists about replacing the amalgams with composites. Over time, fillings wear out and leak, so you may need new fillings anyway. Tooth-colored composite resin fillings will give you an all-white, natural-looking smile you’ll love to show off to the world.

A deep cavity, old filling, or broken tooth may require more than a filling. In some cases, a dental crown is required to restore strength, shape, and appearance to a damaged tooth. Dr. Skatvold and Dr. Johnson prefer to place all-ceramic crowns on teeth that show in a smile. Front teeth don’t crush food, so metal isn’t necessary for durability. Back teeth, however, incur significant pressure, so our dentists recommend porcelain-fused-to-metal or all-metal crowns for molars.

A crown usually requires two visits – one for preparation and impressions, and another to secure the permanent crown. After your initial clinical visit, we submit your impressions to our reputable dental lab. A ceramist will fabricate your crown using your dental impression and your dentist’s instructions as a guide. Once the permanent crown is finished, you’ll return for a second office visit so your dentist can secure your final restoration.

While your crown is being created, you’ll wear a temporary. In most cases, our patients have no issues with temporary crowns. However, should yours break or fall out, give us a call. We’ll see you promptly and reaffix the temporary restoration.

When a cavity or tooth fracture is very deep, it can compromise the pulp within the tooth. In this situation, Dr. Skatvold and Dr. Johnson often recommend root canal therapy instead of extraction. Modern root canals normally take one visit and are completely comfortable. We can administer nitrous oxide if you’re concerned about comfort during any procedure. After removing the infection from your tooth’s canal, your dentist will secure a permanent crown. Root canal therapy is a conservative procedure that can save you from having to replace an extracted tooth.

Crowns are also used in full-mouth reconstruction cases. If you have significant oral damage and need complex reconstruction, Dr. Skatvold and Dr. Johnson will develop a custom treatment plan to restore total health and comfort to your mouth.

Request An Appointment