Dr. Elizabeth Duling is a dentist in Owens Cross Roads, AL. She is passionate about providing the best dental care to her patients. Whether her patients need routine dental cleanings, emergency care, or treatment for the whole family, she is here to help.
Dr. Duling specializes in providing dental services that immediately address current concerns to help prevent future dental complications. Taking care of your oral health can protect you from more dental health concerns like periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
The Importance of Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dental care provides the foundation of your smile. General dentistry is all about maintaining your oral health and preventing more severe dental issues from occurring. Preventative care doesn’t just happen at home or in the dentist office — it has to be kept up in both places.
To start, schedule biannual visits to the dentist office. We provide a thorough dental cleaning at these appointments, using specialized dental tools to reach the hard-to-access areas. Only a dental professional can access some parts of your smile with these tools. Even if you’re brushing and flossing well at home, you’re still susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease because these areas aren’t cleaned properly.
We also perform an exam when you’re in our office. Certain oral health problems don’t have very visible symptoms in the early stages. You may not realize you have signs of oral cancer or gum disease until the condition is more developed. We’re trained to notice the early warning signs and have diagnostic tools to catch these conditions in the early stages. This leads to treatment options that are more conservative and less expensive compared to when the disease is more advanced.
Regular dental visits allow us to monitor the growth and change in your smile, particularly for younger patients. We can inform you about the best oral care products and diets. Some patients may need products targeted for gum health or a whiter smile. It’s also important to practice a balanced, varied diet. Too much sugar or acid damages your smile. Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables increase saliva production, important for clearing bacteria and debris from your smile.
You have to keep up with oral healthcare at home, too. Brush and floss at least twice a day, after every meal preferably. Regular brushing and flossing prevent plaque and tartar from building up on your teeth. If you rely only on dental visits to clean your teeth, it gives bacteria too much time to multiply and plaque and tartar to build up. You have to be dedicated to your oral health, no matter where you are.
General Dentistry Services
We also offer the convenience of family scheduling: our office can provide routine dental care for parents or caregivers and children simultaneously, making it easy to keep everyone’s smile healthy.
Dr. Duling provides root canal treatment for both children and adults. If an infection occurs in a tooth’s inner chamber, you will need a root canal. Although some patients may think root canals are painful procedures, we provide oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide for our patient’s comfort.
Dr. Duling removes the infected pulp during root canal treatment, cleans the inner tooth chamber, and seals the tooth. She may provide patients a dental crown to protect the tooth and prevent re-infecting.
General Dental Care
General dentistry can include routine dental treatments to care for dental trauma or solutions for dental fear or anxiety:
Contact our office if you have a dental emergency. We work to schedule dental appointments for all of our emergency patients as soon as possible. Some of the most common dental emergencies we treat include toothaches, knocked-out teeth, and broken dental restorations. We treat dental trauma with cosmetic care, restorations, extractions, repairs, or infection removal.
We offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. These dental sedation methods help keep patients relaxed and comfortable during their procedures. We will administer nitrous oxide through a mask to make patients feel drowsy and peaceful. You can take oral conscious sedation before treatment to help reduce anxiety.
Patients with dental fear or anxiety benefit from dental sedation because they do not have to feel pain or be conscious during treatment.
Patients with severely decayed or damaged teeth often require a tooth extraction. We will need to remove impacted wisdom teeth. Also known as the “third molars”, your dentist will need to remove wisdom teeth if they are causing pain or causing overcrowding teeth. If we have to remove your teeth due to damage or infection, you can replace them with dental implants or implant restorations. It is important to replace these teeth to prevent the remaining natural teeth from shifting.
Sports mouthguards must be worn during contact sports to protect teeth from injury, prevent tooth loss, and protect dental work from damage. Store-bought mouthguards may fall out because they do not conform to teeth. We use dental impressions to create a custom fit for our patients. With our sports mouthguards, patients don’t need to clench their teeth to keep their mouthguards from falling out during their game.
Dr. Duling is a family dentist that accepts patients of all ages to her Owens Cross Roads office. Along with her dental team, Dr. Duling can help you care for your child’s primary or baby teeth. She will help recommend the right care for your child in their stage of life. Keeping up with scheduling regular dental visits ensures a lifetime of healthy smiles for you and your child.
General Dentistry FAQs
General dentistry is necessary to maintain your oral health. Learn more by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.
My teeth feel fine. Do I have to visit the dentist still?
The purpose of general dentistry is to prevent dental problems from developing. It also provides quick and effective solutions if your dentist discovers a problem. Even if your teeth and gums feel okay, it is important to go to the dentist so they can look for problems that may not have obvious symptoms. Additionally, we will clean your teeth to remove decay-causing plaque and tartar. If we discover a problem, we recommend immediate treatment when it is most conservative.
What will happen if I skip my dentist appointments?
You risk developing tooth decay and gum disease if you skip your regular dentist appointments. The cause of these two common dental problems is a lack of proper dental care. Even if you brush daily, food particles, including the gum line, hide in many places.
If left behind, it can cause teeth cavities or even infections in the gums. And these problems will not simply disappear without treatment. Additionally, they can progress into even larger problems. If you let it get to this point, treatment can be intense, painful, and expensive.
How do I take care of my teeth between dental appointments?
At-home oral hygiene is very important. You must remove food particles and plaque from your teeth often. To do this, we suggest brushing your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing once a day will remove food that is in between your teeth. Sugar is the number one cause of dental cavities. You should limit it or cut it out of your diet altogether. We also suggest brushing your tongue to remove plaque-causing bacteria.
Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?
Both of them are effective if you’re using them properly. Only get toothbrushes with soft bristles, as harder bristles are too hard on your gums and dental restorations. Electric toothbrushes are ideal for patients with movement disorders or children not as adept at brushing their teeth. The movement of the electric toothbrush can make up for dexterity.
Why do I need to floss?
Brushing can’t clean every area of your smile effectively. The bristles can’t really get in between the teeth. That’s what dental floss is for. It gets down between your teeth, dislodging food particles that get stuck there. If those particles stay between your teeth, they attract bacteria and contribute to tooth decay, that’s hard to notice.
How can I get rid of bad breath?
Most bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene. Ensure you’re brushing at least twice daily, and always be sure to brush your tongue, as bacteria can build up there. Schedule an appointment if you’re doing all these steps and still have issues. Gum disease and other serious oral health conditions can cause severe bad breath that’s hard to get rid of.
Request a Dental Appointment
Do you need a sports mouthguard? Maybe you want some tips on how to care for your child’s teeth. Contact Dr. Duling’s state-of-the-art dental office for dental treatment at 256.202.4186. You can also schedule a consultation online. Keeping the health of the teeth and gums in check is key to enjoying a more comfortable and beautiful smile.