When you think of the health care practitioner you visit the most, who comes to mind? Your primary care physician? Most people unless they are sick, only see their primary care doctor maybe twice a year. The same goes for the eye doctor, and when it comes to specialists such as the proctologist or cardiologist it’s even less frequent unless there is a suspected issue.

No, for most people the health care practitioner they visit the most often is their general dentist. The reason this is the case is pretty logical—general dentistry is specifically centered on the prevention of disease. In fact, a little more than half of all dental procedures are for prevention or to diagnose a potential oral disease.

With general dentistry placing so much importance and focus on dental health and hygiene dentists are able to help patients avoid more serious dental health problems and the progression of gingivitis. If these conditions are not caught ahead of time or are left to get worse, they can result in a lot of pain, missed time and income from work, and worst of all—grave diseases such as heart failure.

What To Expect From A Routine Dental Visit

Here at Vela Dental Center, Dr. Benjamin Vela treats patients of all ages with the gentle care and deep knowledge of his profession to achieve healthy, functional smiles for the entire family. That is why our dentists offer general and family dentistry in Corpus Christi. During a routine visit to Vela Dental Center, you will have a pretty standard visit regardless of what additional services you are seeking. 

Your visit will consist of a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and other areas of the mouth. This examination may even include imaging of your teeth to ensure there are no hidden issues. A professional cleaning gets your teeth free of tartar and plaque and leaves your mouth fresh and clean. The final part of the visit is a detailed discussion of Dr. Vela’s summary of your oral health and a discussion about any potential problem areas. 

If your exam sheds light on some tooth decay, he may discuss possible treatment options which may include a filling or if necessary, a full extraction and replacement. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many services Vela Dental Center provides.

Services Dr. Vela Provides

Of all the dentists practicing dentistry in the United States, it’s estimated that a little over 80% are general dentists. Where specialists mostly concentrate on a specialty field of dentistry such as dental implants, dentures, or full mouth reconstruction, general dentists focus more on preventative care, maintenance, and other routine treatments. 

General and family dentistry includes a number of services whose aim is to help you and your family achieve ideal oral health and then keep that health for a lifetime. Depending on your unique dental needs, Dr. Vela may suggest one or more of our general and family dental services:

Preventative Services

These help you maintain good oral health by correcting or proactively preventing disease before it can progress inside your mouth. Routine exams (including diagnostic imaging such as x-rays), as well as professional teeth cleaning, are the foundation of good preventative care. Dr. Vela may also give you detailed home oral hygiene tips and suggest other preventative treatments such as sealants or fluoride treatment.

Restorative Services

If we do find a problem, you can rest assured Dr. Vela will give you appropriate and timely treatment to correct the issue. Usually, the most common and effective restorative procedure involves mitigating loss from tooth decay. When you have tooth decay, you typically have the option of receiving a filling in the decayed tooth to stop its spread. However, that is not the only restorative procedure we provide. For example, when you have a missing tooth, a broken tooth, or teeth that are coming loose, Dr. Vela can diagnose the root cause of the situation and administer the proper treatment necessary to best solve the problem. He can also offer other treatments for missing teeth such as crowns, dentures or more advanced treatments such as dental implants, root canal therapy and more.

Cosmetic Procedures

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile and not so much the function, Dr. Vela can help with that as well. If you have stained teeth and are seeking that healthy bright white smile so many strive for, Dr. Vela can offer a range of solutions. Teeth whitening, cosmetic tooth bonding, and even porcelain veneers are an effective solution for stained teeth. If you have slightly misaligned teeth or crooked ones, we can offer treatments that are less invasive than braces such as Invisalign. Dr. Vela is very accomplished at performing miraculous smile makeovers and loves to see the smile on people’s faces when they love their new smile.

Overall Health Concerns

Your oral health is actually a very accurate indicator of your overall health in general. Some dental problems such as oral infections can be signs of more serious diseases in the body or can lead to something serious. For example, if an oral infection is left untreated it can lead to many different complications such as difficulty controlling diabetes, a higher chance of heart disease and even complicate a pregnancy. Dr. Vela is trained to identify these potential indicators as well as many other issues and prescribe treatment solutions or if necessary, refer you to a specialist.

One special concern that we treat here at Vela dental center is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is a potentially fatal condition that literally suffocates you in your sleep for brief moments throughout the night. It can lead to chronic high blood pressure, stroke, and many other serious health hazards. A common treatment for this condition is an oral medical device that keeps the tongue in an optimal position to foster an open airway when you sleep.

So, as you can see general dentistry covers a lot more than just teeth cleaning and routine exam. In fact, Dr. Vela regularly performs well over two dozen procedures that fall within the scope of general dentistry including: 

Aptly Skilled With A Legacy Of Excellence And Service

All dentists, after finishing their undergraduate education attend four years at an accredited dental school. Dr. Vela chose the widely respected St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and UT Health Science Center to earn his Doctor of Dental Surgery. (DDS)

And here’s something you may not know about dentists— you may notice that some dentists have “DMD” after their name instead of DDS like Dr. Vela—it simply stands for Doctor Of Dental Medicine. Neither is superior to the other as the training and certification curriculum is exactly the same—the only difference is the title on the degree. 

Dr. Vela is a native of Corpus Christi and before embarking on to dental school, graduated from King High School.

But those are just the surface level details about Dr. Vela. What really makes him the best general dentist in Corpus Christi is his approach to patient care.

Focused on providing the most advanced dental technologies in tandem with transparency in everything he does, Dr. Vela strives to provide a service that is both informative and personal. He takes the time to get to know each of his patients on a first-name basis.

When we say Dr. Vela is about family, we mean the Vela Dental family as well. Every employee is treated as a patient as well, the purpose behind that is to create an organic culture of empathy, honesty, and excellence in every service provided so that we can put ourselves in the patient’s shoes. 

How Often You Should See Dr. Vela

Even the best dentist in Corpus Christi can’t keep up with your oral health if you are visiting the dentist only a handful of times over a decade or worse—only as a child.  When you have long lapses between exams like that, it makes the job hard on even the most skilled dentist. Not only that, but you could have the early stages of a very minor dental problem developing and never get it looked at. Over time that small problem grows exponentially and suddenly, you have a very painful problem that can be potentially very serious and quite expensive to correct.

For preventative maintenance, you should be in our office every six months for most people. If you are diabetic or have some other condition that affects your body’s ability to fight infection or bacteria growth, then you should come in every three months for prudence. 

Now, if you have a clear symptom of something wrong like a toothache or bleeding gumline—that is something that needs immediate attention to diagnose the root cause of that issue so it doesn’t get worse.

Regardless of how often you see Dr. Vela, it is important that you maintain your scheduled appointments and try not to push them out further if possible. You want to keep the intervals between routine exams the same as it helps catch potential problems such as cavities, infection, and gingivitis before they become an even bigger problem.

Schedule Your Visit Today

Our number one goal is keeping your smile and overall health in check and giving you the resources to make educated about your dental care and that of your family.

We welcome you to contact Vela Dental Centers Southside today to learn more and to schedule your next appointment.