Maintain Your Smile.
healthy smiles start here

Harding Dental Group offers a full-spectrum of dental care. 

Regular dental visits help us maintain the health of your teeth, gums and mouth and mitigate problems such as decay or gum disease early. In line with the American Dental Association, we recommend that each member of your family schedule twice-yearly dental appointments for cleanings and exams. We will update X-Rays on at least an annual basis so that we can monitor changes in your teeth and mouth and suggest other preventative procedures as needed. 

Ongoing dental care also helps us identify oral cancers, the need for orthodontics, and other health issues such as sleep apnea and headaches which might be addressed through dental care.

A clean bill of oral health will give you plenty to smile about.



Cleaning.
Taking Preventative Care.

Twice a year dental cleanings are an important part of oral health. Professional cleanings assist our patients in removing decay-causing plaque and tartar on and between the teeth and gums. 

We use the same techniques you use at home – brushing and flossing – but the latest materials and technology, and the skill of a highly trained hygienist to thoroughly clean each surface in the mouth. For example:

  • Sonic Scalers help us remove hard calcium deposits and stains using a gentle tip that vibrates at sonic speeds. 
  • The Polisher uses a mixture of baking soda and water. Since it is a spray, the polisher can reach many tooth surfaces that other polishing methods cannot, such as the pits and fissures on chewing surfaces and the in-between surfaces where the teeth touch each other.

Our dental hygienists are as knowledgeable as they are gentle. As they clean your teeth, they will also help educate you about brushing and flossing techniques that can enhance your daily at-home maintenance.

Dental Sealants

Through regular oral hygiene, good nutrition and contemporary dentistry, it is possible for today’s children to grow up free from cavities and gum disease. In fact, when we can help our patients avoid decay throughout their young adulthood, they are less likely to develop the chronic dental issues that most adults face. 

dental sealants

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Since most tooth decay occurs on these surfaces, sealants work by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.

We recommend applying dental sealants soon after the permanent molars have erupted – at about 6 and 12 years of age. The process is quick and the tooth remains whole. After the tooth in cleaned, a gel is applied. The tooth is cleaned and dried again and the sealant is painted onto the tooth. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.

Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted and can only be seen up close. They last as long as 5 to 10 years.

at-home care

The effectiveness of dental sealants is greatly enhanced through an at-home regimen that includes fluoride, twice-daily brushing, wise food choices, and regular dental care.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothbrush and replace your brush every three to four months.
  • For children over 6 years, fluoride mouth rinses help reduce and prevent tooth decay.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay–causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. 
  • Eat nutritionally-rich meals and avoid snacks and drinks that are high in sugars.

Exams.
healthy mouths. happy smiles.

Regular dental exams are important to maintaining the health of your teeth, gums and mouth, as well as identifying possible risks for serious medical conditions. A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases such as leukemia and diabetes, microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries and some cancers.

Ideally, each family member should have two dental exams each year. At your appointment, we will:

  • Review existing dental work;
  • Look for signs of tooth decay;
  • Screen for oral cancers;
  • Determine the health of gum tissue
  • Keep dental x-rays current.

We will also carefully explain any issues of concern so that we can help you develop a short or long-term treatment plan that makes sense.

Tooth Colored Metal-Free Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are a much healthier alternative to the metal amalgam fillings that are made up of 50% mercury or more by weight.  At Harding Dental Group we offer both a plastic filling and a ceramic one, known as an inlay or onlay to repair your cavities.

We can also remove your existing metal fillings before you get a cavity to give you piece of mind and a nicer cosmetic look.

Gum Care
Periodontal Disease

forward thinking care

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums.

You can help prevent and reverse early stages of gum disease by taking good care of your teeth and coming in for regular dental checkups. This is when we can screen for bleeding, redness and other symptoms. Here’s what you can do at home to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth well twice a day. Brushing removes the film of bacteria from the teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride.
     
  • Clean between your teeth every day. Cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from the places between the teeth where a toothbrush can't reach.
     
  • Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods including grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish and dairy. Limit processed foods, foods high in sugar and snacks between meals.

Digital Dental X-rays
less radiation.  greater comfort.

Digital Dental X-rays (digital x-ray) provide an important perspective to both preventative and restorative care and are a necessary diagnostic tool for assessing decay, gum disease and oral cancers.  Harding Dental Group utilizes digital x-ray technology which means less radiation and greater comfort. 

Dr. Harding and the dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan.  Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.  Treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort.

The Latest Technology

Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays.  This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer.

Digital X-Rays Reduce Radiation 80 -90%

Digital x-rays reduce radiation 90-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

See for yourself

In our office, digital x-ray technology allows us to display images instantly on the computer screen where we can review potential problems with you by magnifying and labeling areas of concern and discussing treatment options.  All findings can be easily viewed with a clarity that is only possible with digital x-rays.

Digital Dental X-rays may reveal:

•  Abscesses or cysts.

•  Bone loss.

•  Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.

•  Decay between the teeth.

•  Developmental abnormalities.

•  Poor tooth and root positions.

•  Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Are Dental X-rays Safe for you and the environment?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment.  Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays.  Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office.  Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to do develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment..

Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, Dr. Harding and his team will still take necessary precautions to limit the patient's exposure to radiation.  These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient's individual dental health needs.  Dr. Harding will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental health symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

New Patient Visit/Full Mouth Series:  A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients.  A full mouth series is usually good for three to five years.  

Check-up/recall Visit Bite-Wing X-rays:  Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of tope and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Electonic medical records

Digital x-rays also enable us to create electronic dental records that can be easily shared with consulting specialists and insurance companies.

Laser Hygiene Therapy For Gum Disease
(Periodontal Treatment)

Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, is a chronic infection of the soft tissue around your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.  Research now shows that gum disease and its effects on your health go far beyond the mouth. Bacteria from the mouth spread through the body and can be linked to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, pregnancy complications and scientists also suspect there may be a link to cancer and other serious health problems.

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that seem to get longer
     

Gum Disease is treatable and preventable

For minor gum disease infections, treatment might be as simple as a change in your oral hygiene allowing your body to heal itself.  We might also prescribe antibiotics to help your body combat the infection.

For more serious infections, we use laser therapy gum treatment. Using our advanced laser, we clean out the pockets where bacteria have been growing. The laser kills bacteria and helps your tissue heal. Laser therapy is relatively painless and very effective, though multiple treatment sessions might be necessary to get the optimal effect. Healing time is relatively quick and painless.

If you are looking for gum disease treatment please call to schedule an appointment at either our South Fork or Alamosa office.

 

 

 

Night Guards

Night guards, as the name implies, are designed to wear while you sleep to guard against grinding your teeth. The guard is custom designed and fitted just for you so they are comfortable to wear while protecting you from the ill effects of teeth grinding.