Our Services

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry Preventive Dentistry

Investing in Your Future Smile

Preventive dentistry is not just about maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Your oral health isn’t the only thing at stake when considering preventive care. In addition to causing pain and reducing your ability to eat, talk, and smile normally, problems such as tooth decay and gum disease can affect your overall health.

Gum disease has been linked to serious health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy complications such as premature delivery and preeclampsia. Tooth damage or decay can lead to widespread infection, and it can also prevent you from eating a proper, balanced diet, which will negatively affect your entire body. Likewise, untreated TMJ disorder and bruxism can lead to pain in your jaw, head, neck, and shoulders as well as damage to your teeth.

To protect your oral and general health, you must obtain proper preventive dental care so that all of these problems can be treated promptly if and when they develop. The best way to detect problems early enough that they can be treated in a conservative manner is to see Dr. James Hawk every six months for a checkup and dental cleaning.

How Preventive Dentistry Preserves Your Smile

Your six-month visit to Dr. Hawks will consist of a meticulous examination of your gums, teeth, and surrounding tissues. Dr. Hawks’s diligence and thoroughness will ensure that problems such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, or oral cancer, among other conditions, are detected in their earliest stages, which increases your chances of a successful treatment result. During your exam, he will also check your jaw joints, bite, and teeth for signs of TMJ disorder or bruxism so that necessary treatment can be administered before more damage occurs. Your appointment with Dr. Hawks will also entail scrupulous professional teeth cleaning by his hygienist to help increase your chances of maintaining optimal oral health.

Cleanings & Checkups

Keeping Your Teeth Clean, Healthy, and Beautiful

The American Dental Association recommends checkups on such a frequent basis so that your dentist can catch problems in the early stages of development, as well as help prevent oral health problems with professional cleanings. Dr. Hawks and his excellence staff, which includes two dental hygienists for efficient and thorough cleanings, will do everything in their power to help preserve the health and integrity of your teeth and life.

The Value of Early Detection

Many patients aren’t aware of everything that goes on during a dental checkup. WE may perform digital X-rays of your mouth if you haven’t had any performed recently. Dr. Hawks will also look at your teeth, probing them gently to check for weak spots. He will also probe the spaces where your gums attach to your teeth to determine if you have early signs of periodontal disease.

Another vitally important component of your dental checkup is an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer claims the lives of 8,000 people in the US every year. Dr. Hawks is passionate about the early detection of this deadly disease. Your West Des Moines dentist will meticulously screen your lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and throat for abnormalities that may indicate cancer of a precancerous condition. If abnormalities are found, he will refer to an appropriate specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Cleaning Your Teeth, the Professional Way

You're probably already familiar with the clean, fresh feeling a professional dental cleaning provides but did you know there are therapeutic benefits as well? Teeth that are rough due to accumulated plaque and tartar are more likely to attract the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. Polishing all tooth surfaces prevents bacteria from sticking to them, which helps your teeth and gums remain healthy. Our highly-skilled dental hygienists employ ultrasonic scaling tools, which remove hard calculus from the teeth with vibration.

If you already have gum disease, ultrasonic scaling can be used on the tooth surfaces below the gum line to ensure smooth tooth roots and clean periodontal pockets so that infected gum tissues can heal and reattach to the teeth. A professional cleaning every six months will give you a healthy foundation so that your at-home oral health care regimen is made much easier.