The Uptown Experience
Your smile is your signature. It tells the world who you are. Dr. Velasco is nationally recognized by his peers as a leader in creating beautiful smiles and was recently named a top dentist by Houstonian Magazine. We pride ourselves on our ties to the community and our passion to provide the best elective treatment for your smile. At Uptown, we are focused on the needs of each patient. We customize a treatment plan specifically for you. We provide you the finest dental treatment with the most personalized and compassionate care. Every detail of your appointment is carefully planned and orchestrated so that you experience a calm, non-threatening environment. Your visit includes a meeting with a financial counselor who will go over our doctor’s treatment plan and help make that smile you’ve always wanted affordable for you. It’s a Unique Experience. The Uptown Experience.
How Often Should I Visit The Dentist?
People can be lackadaisical about their twice-yearly exams and professional cleanings with Dr. Velasco and our team at Uptown. The American Dental Association says only about half of all adults see the dentist every six months, and about one-fifth of people hadn’t seen their dentist in five years!
The six-month timeframe for regular exams and cleanings set by the ADA isn’t an arbitrary number. Six months is the time it takes tartar to start building on the teeth. It is unavoidable, no matter how diligent your home care. As tartar builds, it starts to push under the gumline; that’s the beginning of gum disease. You know where that’s headed: pain, horrible breath, and eventual tooth loss. Plus, if you come in every six months, Dr. Velasco can catch problems such as gingivitis (gum irritation before gum disease) when they are just getting a foothold and are still easy to treat.
What Should I Expect During My Initial Consultation At Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry?
The first time we see you as a potential new patient, the goal is to have a two-way dialog between Dr. Velasco and you. You’ll start by discussing your teeth, your oral health history, and your home hygiene regimen. We want to know any issues you are having with your teeth and gums. Are any teeth overly sensitive? Are you having any pain when chewing? Do you ever feel you’re grinding your teeth at night?
Then Dr. Velasco will examine your teeth, gums, tongue, and surrounding tissues. He wants to create a starting point in our care for your oral health. He’ll look at the condition of your teeth and gums. He’ll measure your gum height to check for signs of gum recession. He’ll look for any signs of oral cancer. He’ll check any existing fillings or other prostheses to evaluate their condition.
Then he’ll discuss your dental health with you, going over how he sees the current condition of your mouth. If necessary, he may then suggest some things you may need to have done or may want to have done. He’ll end your consultation with our approach to patient care at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry.
What Does A Dental Cleaning Involve?
There are two parts to these appointments. First is your professional cleaning with our registered dental hygienist Migné Reece. The goal is to completely clean your teeth, take x-rays, look for decay, and monitor a couple items such as your gums. In these cleanings, she will break loose tartar that has formed in the typical spots such as the inside of your lower incisors.
This is what Migné Reece will do during your professional cleaning:
- Remove the plaque from your teeth.
- Use a dental pick and to remove any built-up tartar.
- Polish your teeth with a special abrasive paste to remove stains.
- Look at the height of your gums to check for gum recession.
- Take x-rays, if you are due.
The second part of your appointment is the dental exam with Dr. Velasco. The purpose of these exams is to diagnose and head off problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, before they really take hold. For instance, catching tooth decay when it first invades the enamel of your tooth is dramatically different from finding it once it has entered the interior, the dentin, of the tooth. That’s the difference between only having to place a small filling or the tooth needing to have a root canal to save it from extraction. Dr. Velasco will follow these steps:
- Visual examination for tooth decay
- Gum disease evaluation
- Evaluation of the health of existing restorations: fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.
- Oral cancer screening
- Examination of x-rays to look for problems — such as hidden decay, cysts, tumors, descending wisdom teeth, and the like — that cannot be seen with the naked eye
If decay or gum disease is spotted, those issues may then be addressed immediately, or you may return to have a filling placed or for procedures such as gum scaling and root planing.
What Are The Benefits Of Restorative Dentistry?
It’s easy to confuse restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, but the difference involves the basic health of the teeth. Restorative dentistry addresses teeth that have problems with their basic health. Cosmetic dentistry only deals with the aesthetics of the smile, and it addresses teeth that are generally healthy. There is some overlap, such as the possible use of crowns or composite fillings, but that is the difference between cosmetic and restorative dentistry.
What is the value of a healthy smile achieved through restorative dentistry? When your teeth are damaged, they are likely causing some degree of pain. Gaps between teeth probably make you avoid smiling. Decayed or damaged teeth may make you avoid certain foods, such as nuts or hot drinks, to avoid possible pain when chewing or drinking. Replacing a missing tooth helps keep your other surrounding teeth in alignment. Saving a tooth from extraction pays dividends over the long haul.
3D CAT Scans
No one would consider getting knee or hip replacement surgery without an MRI or a CT scan. Similarly, we use 3D digital CT Scan technology to treat every dental implant case. This technology is normally found in hospitals but very rarely in a dental office. The 3D CT Scan process allows our doctors to better examine bone density and determine the correct treatment approach for each patient. The scan provides a detailed 3D image of the mouth and jaw that is much more detailed than traditional dental x-rays, and provides much better information for a higher standard of care.
Advantages of 3D CAT Scans:
- Locate the precise placement and depth of implants
- Determine the proper type and size of the implants
- Less radiation compared to a medical CT Scan
- Determine all possible treatment approaches with risk factors for each individual patient
- Examine cross-sections of a patient’s bone structure to analyze the quality, volume, and density of the bone that will anchor the dental implant