At Highland Dental Clinic, we believe that family dental care means regular checkups, oral cancer (mouth cancer) screenings, and superior dental hygiene. They are as important as school exams, healthy diets, and exercise as part of an overall healthy lifestyle for you and your children.
State-of-the-Art Dentistry You Can Trust
Our family dental care goes above and beyond X-rays and cleaning. Dr. Fernandez will apply fluoride treatments as needed for you and your family to help prevent tooth decay. She also provides periodontal treatment with the newest dental scalers for removing plaque and calculus (plaque that has hardened) without harsh scraping above and below the gum line.
Caring For Smiles of All Ages
Dr. Fernandez applies every gentle dentistry technique and the newest equipment available to make sure all of her patients are comfortable during their dental appointments. We use only digital imaging to get X-rays of your teeth and advanced CT scans of your entire mouth and jaw. We also use a hand-held intraoral camera to examine every tooth in detail. You and your child can watch on your chairside monitor! We treat children 7 and up. Dr. Fernandez is also a mother and understands a child’s questions and fears. She will explain every step of the visit to your child, and is exceptionally gentle and kind with everyone, but especially to our youngest patients.
Dr. Fernandez also is trained to fit her patients with therapeutic or sports mouthguards. Therapeutic mouthguards can help prevent teeth grinding at night (bruxism) or relieve the discomfort of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD).
“Comprehensive” takes on a whole new meaning at the dental office of Dr. Blanca Fernandez in Lakeland! Your first visit to our office includes a comprehensive dental exam that goes well beyond X-rays and cleaning.
We ask about your complete medical and dental history so we have a good picture of what your dental needs might be.We talk with you about your current home care and to review your oral hygiene techniques. We’ll chart your existing fillings or other restorations and take digital X-rays and intraoral pictures to help us diagnose and current or potential problems you might experience.
We’ll chart the condition of your gums with periodontal measurements that assess the health of your bones and gums.
Dr. Fernandez performs a screening for oral cancer, and looks for any signs of bruxism, which means teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
We’ll also do a tooth color shade assessment so if you need any dental restorations, we can make sure they match your natural tooth color. We’ll finish up with a thorough cleaning and a fluoride treatment if you need it.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. Smoking and alcohol can contribute to the risk of oral cancer. Another risk is from the sexually-transmitted HPV virus. Oral cancer has very few symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage, making treatment difficult and more aggressive.
An annual oral cancer screening is an integral part of our routine examinations. During exam visits, Dr. Fernandez evaluates the intra- and extraoral tissues. She evaluates your mouth and throat for red or white patches, swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities.
If she notes anything unusual, she may schedule a follow-up visit to check for any changes. She may also suggest more extensive testing, such as a biopsy.
Dental X-rays are an important tool in the diagnosis of dental problems. Dr. Fernandez uses a digital x-ray system to minimize the amount of radiation a patient receives. This is important for everyone, but especially where your children are concerned.
Digital X-rays use 80 percent less radiation than traditional X-rays. The digital images allow Dr. Fernandez to provide a thorough dental examination. The digital images will reveal any tooth decay, abscesses, cysts or tumors, impacted teeth, and the health of fillings, crowns, bridges and root canals.
Digital X-rays can also reveal bone loss from periodontal disease and detect tartar buildup. We also use panoramic X-ray technology to get a complete view of your teeth and gums and their relation to each other. This is an amazing tool to examine your teeth and much more accurate than looking at separate X-rays set lined up against the dental light!
If you are a new patient or are in need of a dental treatment, please expect a full set of X-rays to be captured during your dental examination.
We like to see our patients every six months for a professional cleaning to ensure that you maintain a healthy smile. Regular dental visits, along with good home care, help prevent oral health issues.
At your first visit, our hygienists will create a full-mouth periodontal chart that includes the depths of the pockets surrounding your teeth, noting any bleeding, charting the presence and location of plaque and calculus, charting gum recession.
We will also ask you about your medical and dental history. We’ll also ask about tobacco and alcohol use, and your dental hygiene routines. We can discuss any personal steps you can take to improve your dental health, if necessary.
We finish with a thorough cleaning that involves the removal of tartar and stains with hand instruments or a hand-held laser for stubborn stains and plaque, followed by polishing to eliminate remaining stains and plaque. The results are a squeaky-clean feeling and a beautiful luster.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease occur when bacteria from plaque grows on your gum tissue, either above or below the gum line. Accumulating bacteria can cause serious inflammation, which makes the pockets between your gums and teeth deeper and more inflamed as the amount of bacteria increases. This can lead to the gums and bone tissue deteriorating until you begin to lose teeth.
This bacteria and infection can also get into your bloodstream. Gum disease is linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and premature births. If you have diabetes, you risk a vicious cycle of inflammation and elevated blood sugars. Gum disease makes it harder to control your blood sugars, and high blood sugar levels can lead to inflammation and bacteria in your gums.
Dr. Fernandez uses various tools and technology to treat periodontal disease. Tooth scaling and root planing are traditional methods for removing plaque and calculus. Dr. Fernandez also uses Arestin, a topical antibiotic, to help treat periodontal disease.
It’s so common we don’t even think about it, but the benefit of fluoride is one of the most important medical discoveries ever made. Just think of life without it, and the problems that come from decayed teeth!
Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body, but it’s not impervious to damage from food, drinks, genetics, or poor general health.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and strengthening weak spots on teeth and exposed roots. Many public water systems now add fluoride to your drinking water. But if you don’t have public water, or if your teeth are resistant to fluoride, Dr. Fernandez or your hygienist can apply a fluoride treatment for you or your children as needed.
Good dental hygiene at home will help as well. If you’re prone to cavities, regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste plus flossing consistently will help keep your mouth cavity-free. And reduce any trips to the dentist! We love to see you, but we know cavities are a pain!
If you are prone to grinding your teeth (bruxism) or clenching your jaw in your sleep and you wake up with sore jaw muscles, chronic headaches, earaches, and jaw pain, a night guard could help minimize your symptoms and prevent you from grinding your teeth while sleeping. A night guard is a comfortable, removable appliance that acts as a splint to protect the jaw joint.
Prolonged bruxism can result in erosion of your tooth enamel, creating problems with your bite, and pain and tension in your jaw.
A night guard can also be comfortable if you have symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). TMD can create a range of symptoms such as pain, clicking noises in your jaw, locking of your jaw joint when eating or yawning, and headaches. There are several other treatments for TMD that Dr. Fernandez can suggest. A mouthguard is a good place to start since it’s a simple device that you can use at home while sleeping.
Protecting your smile during physical activity is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries occurring in athletes, and you see professional athletes in many sports using them now. We’ll fit mouthguards for your children as well to protect their teeth and avoid restorations or tooth replacements.
We want you to make dental care a regular part of your healthcare. There’s no need to fear the dentist or worry about pain. Everything we do, from cleaning to full-mouth restoration, is done with your comfort in mind. We use up-to-date technology and the newest techniques to help you be comfortable and relaxed while you’re here.
We use local anesthesia to help prevent pain in the area where we’re performing any work. This blocks the nerves in the area and you’ll feel numbness during treatment, and possibly afterwards.
We can also use topical anesthetics if you have mouth sores that are painful.
Dr. Fernandez is qualified to prescribe oral sedation for you if you’re especially nervous or having an involved procedure. You take a small pill before your appointment and will be relaxed and calm when you get here (you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment). You won’t be unconscious, just pleasantly free from anxiety.
We’re proud to offer our dental services to adults and children in Highland City, Lake Wales, and other communities near Lakeland.
Dr. Fernandez treats children aged 7 years and older. We will give them comprehensive exams and teach them proper dental hygiene. We’ll also apply fluoride treatments if necessary and fit them with mouthguards for athletic activities.
If we need to perform any therapeutic treatments, we’ll do this with the utmost care and consideration for their fears and questions. We’ll proceed slowly and gently. Dr. Blanca is a mother herself, and certainly understands how important it is to treat our young patients with the care and kindness they deserve.
We’ll explain everything we do, and answer any of their questions. We’re committed to making dental visits for your children as simple and matter-of-fact as possible to set them up for a lifetime of good dental health.
Please call us if you have any questions about dental care for any member of your family or talk to Dr. Fernandez during your next appointment if your child is ready for visits to the dentist.
Accidents can happen to anyone. Or a toothache can attack at any time and you know it needs immediate attention. If you or anyone in your family needs emergency dental care, please call our office as soon as possible. We will see you that day in the office, or help you find emergency care if we can’t.
What types of things are considered emergencies? Often, a toothache is a result of a cracked tooth which can only be detected by X-rays. An accident or injury could possibly cause you to lose or damage a tooth, resulting in incredible pain and a dental emergency.
If your tooth has been knocked out it is important to see a dentist within 30 minutes. This can mean the difference between saving and losing your tooth! When handling your tooth, pick it up by the crown (never the root) and gently rinse it with milk. Store the tooth in a container of milk or in your cheek until you arrive at the dentist office.