When I first opened Dental Horizons in 2008, I chose a lighthouse to be part of our logo because it was a symbol characterizing what I wanted my practice as a dentist in Longmont to represent. A beacon to help patients navigate the path to optimal oral health. It is our desire to guide you to a healthy smile at a pace that you feel comfortable with.
I often have patients present that are ashamed of the significant and extensive dental needs that occur after years of neglect. I reassure them they are in the right place. It doesn’t really matter where you are on the path if you are going in the right direction.
For some, it is an emotional journey as you give up old habits and commit to a new way of taking care of yourself. In a sense, this journey with your mouth is really no different than your journey in life. We recognize old habits that don’t serve us well and commit to new ones that result in a brighter way of life. Though the journey may not always be easy, no one needs a lighthouse when it is sunny outside.
Our Treatment Philosophy
“Guiding Generations to a Healthy Smile” – This journey is a life-long process, and one that our team is committed to walking with you. We find that breaking your treatment into phases can help reduce some of the confusion of complex care. Moving out of painful emergency treatment and addressing inflammation and infection are only a small part of what our team can do for you. Taking corrective and preventive measures in your mouth will reduce or even eliminate expensive, time consuming, and painful emergencies to keep you on a path of good overall health. Ultimately, as your dentist in Longmont, we would like to help you achieve “Complete Dental Health” which has a significant role in your overall health. Your mouth is a gateway to all other systems in your body and we can help you breathe better, sleep better, and feel better.
Phase I – Dental Emergencies
In the first phase of your journey, our priority is to address your immediate concerns, which like all of the dental services we provide as a dentist in Longmont, will vary based on your individual needs.
- Dental pain or trauma – whether your tooth hurts or your gums do, first, we’ll get you out of pain. After a thorough assessment, we’ll determine why you’re in pain, and then will outline your options to resolve your pain for good.
- Restorative emergencies – broken restorations, including cracked or broken teeth, damaged crowns, or broken dentures, even if they don’t cause pain, are a dental emergency that we will deal with before addressing other oral health needs.
- Esthetic emergencies – whether you’ve fractured your dentures or have broken a front tooth, we’ll get you back to smiling again as soon as possible. Help prevent these issues by wearing a mouthguard when you’re participating in contact sports.
Phase II – Addressing Inflammation & Infection
The second phase of your journey is getting you to optimal oral health, which means you have healthy teeth and gums, free from disease or infection.
- Oral disease – as experts of the entire oral cavity, we’ll assess your entire mouth, jaws, and related structures. This can include oral cancer screenings, jaw joint assessment, and more, depending on your unique needs.
- Dental diseases – these refer specifically to diseases of your teeth. We’ll check for tooth decay and erosion and teeth that may not be growing in properly. You’d be amazed by what we can learn just by looking at your tooth wear! In some cases, tooth wear can also signal other health concerns you may not yet be aware of.
- Periodontal diseases – the tissues around your teeth play a critical role in your oral health because they hold your teeth in place. Plus, poor gum health is connected to a host of systemic health issues, so we want to get you to optimal gum health as soon as possible.
Phase III – Corrective & Preventive Treatments
Once we have addressed your immediate oral health concerns, we can then address regaining the form and function of a healthy smile, building upon a solid foundation of oral health.
- Tooth replacement – missing teeth are much more than an esthetic concern. Your tooth roots continually stimulate your jawbone to keep it healthy and robust. Without teeth, your jawbone will recede over time, resulting in a sunken facial appearance. Plus, gaps in your smile cause your remaining teeth to drift, making them harder to clean and more susceptible to breaking because your bite may change.
- Esthetic corrections – this includes bonding to change the shape of your teeth and teeth whitening to change the appearance. We will always wait to perform these treatments until you have a healthy smile so we can minimize any discomfort and maximize the final look of your smile.
- Ongoing tooth and gum maintenance – regular dental hygiene care will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. And with the early detection of dental or oral disease, we can save you money on more expensive restorations down the road.
Phase IV – Complete Dental Health
By coordinating our efforts with a team of trusted specialists if necessary, as your dentist in Longmont we can now address any issues that could have long-term repercussions to your oral and overall health.
- Airway, breathing, and sleep – Snoring, teeth grinding, fractured teeth, and tongue-tie are only some of the signs that tell us you may be suffering from a constricted airway. We’ll assess the cause, and if necessary, will work as part of your health team to get you breathing – and sleeping – as needed to support your overall health and prevent damage to your teeth.
- TMJ (jaw joint) & muscles – if an assessment shows us there are issues with your jaw joint, we’ll need to address those now too. Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder causes significant strain on your jaw, neck, and even shoulder muscles, can cause migraine and headaches, and damage your teeth.
- Bite & occlusion – a poor bite can have serious ramifications to your oral health. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and a poor bite doesn’t spread the biting forces evenly when you bite and chew. This can result in broken or cracked teeth from uneven pressure, and tooth decay or gum disease from the inability to clean your teeth effectively.
I am grateful for all of you that allow us to be part of your journey. Wherever you are on your path to optimal oral health, we can help. Call today and one of our friendly team will help you take the first step to the level of oral health you need to stay healthy with a smile you can be proud of. We can’t wait to see you and join you on your path!
Yours in excellent dental health,
Dr. Andrew Kelson, your dentist in Longmont