Though we provide the most advanced restorative treatments at Oro Valley Smiles, Dr. Len Gerken prioritizes education and provides patients with the tools they need to achieve and maintain a healthy smile. At our Oro Valley, AZ, practice, we perform dental checkups and professional cleanings, periodontal therapy, oral cancer screening, fluoride treatments, and other preventive dentistry services using the most advanced tools and techniques. We also adhere to a methodology known as caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA). This approach enables us to prevent or treat dental caries by assessing a patient's risk of tooth decay and recommending appropriate treatment early on. Together, these procedures protect the longevity of your smile, as well as help you avoid costly and extensive restorative treatments in the future.
When you come to our office for an initial consultation, we will begin by performing a comprehensive oral examination to assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Dr. Gerken incorporates advanced diagnostic tools including digital x-rays and intraoral cameras to capture sharp, precise images of your smile. He can then use these scans to create a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
Professional teeth cleaning at your dentist's office can remove any plaque buildup gently and effectively, lowering your risk of dental decay and gum disease.
During each exam, Dr. Gerken also screens for signs of oral cancer. This involves conducting a visual and physical check for abnormalities, including red or white spots, lesions, or sores in the mouth, on the gums, inner cheeks, gums, or tongue. Your dentist is the first line of defense against oral cancer. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment and could ultimately save your life.
Despite brushing and flossing your teeth diligently, bacteria can still thrive, hardening into plaque that can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. During treatment, one of our friendly hygienists can gently clean your teeth and gums using a scaler, then polish the teeth. Depending on your needs, we may also recommend an in-office fluoride application or varnish to keep your teeth healthy. For our younger patients, we can apply dental sealants to protect against cavities on the chewing surface of molars.
Preventive dentistry treatments extend beyond the teeth to the gums. Gum disease is considered the main cause of adult tooth loss in the United States, and we focus on educating patients about the different stages of this progressive condition to prevent its spread.
Dr. Gerken uses advanced dental lasers to effectively address gum disease, as well as traditional techniques such as scaling and root planing. These treatments can treat the early stages of gum disease, also called gingivitis, which cause symptoms such as swollen or red gums, or bleeding during brushing and flossing.
If the bacterial infection is left unchecked, the disease can advance to periodontitis, which causes gum recession and bone loss, damaging the structures that hold teeth in place and eventually resulting in tooth loss. Periodontitis generally requires surgical intervention, and Dr. Gerken can refer you to a trusted Periodontist/Gum Specialist to perform flap surgery or tissue grafting.
Apart from in-office treatments, we can also offer instructions for optimal at-home care. Please call us at (520) 498-0500 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you and your family achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.
The best dental office. Extremely professional and yet very personal, targeted care. They always make me feel so welcome and stress my dental health is of the utmost importance. Dr. Gerken may be the best dentist in southern Arizona. I recommend him to anyone who has fears or qualms about seeing the dentist. You will be absolutely amazed.