Procedures

Family Dentistry

Reliable Family Dentistry in St. Louis

multigeneration family having fun at the park

Everyone in your family, regardless of age, will benefit from regular dental care. Having a family dentist who can provide care for your entire family, from youngest to oldest, can be very beneficial.

John G’Sell, DDS, MAGD and his team provide attentive, personalized dental care for families across St. Louis and the surrounding communities. You can expect us to deliver thorough, reliable, and age-appropriate family dental care. Visit us today to experience how exceptional dentistry can make a difference for you and your family!

CALL US: (314) 849-8888 REQUEST APPOINTMENT


What is Family Dentistry?

The practice of family dentistry is very similar to general dentistry, but with a few key differences. Both types of dentistry focus on oral hygiene and keeping your teeth and smile healthy. However, not all general dentists treat patients under the age of 16, while a family dentist will treat patients of all ages, including young children and the elderly.

mother and daughter hugging at home

A family dentist is a general dentist who offers services to all ages, including:

These services are provided in a caring and patient manner to develop positive experiences for young dental patients, which helps to avoid the fear of going to the dentist. This gentle approach allows children to form good feelings about the dentist. It also builds a foundation for good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.


Benefits of Visiting a Family Dentist

Today’s families have a lot going on. Between parents working and children participating in school, sports, and other activities, finding time to fit in going to the dentist can become a chore. You’d often have to seek care from multiple dentists because some general dentists only treat adults, while others, like pediatric dentists, may only treat children. Having to schedule appointments with different dentists can make it difficult for families to get the essential dental care they need.

How Dental Needs Change with Age

grandparents giving granddaughter a piggyback ride

Just as your health needs will change throughout your life, your family’s dental needs will also change at every life stage. A family dentist educates patients on proper oral health care that takes their specific age and circumstances into account.

Dr. G’Sell can provide oral care and advice for everything from teaching a toddler how to properly brush to teaching an elderly parent how to care for their dentures.


Your Child’s First Dental Visit: What to Expect

Your child’s first dental visit is an important step for their lifetime of good oral health. Their first visit will revolve around meeting the dentist in a friendly, non-threatening way. This visit is often a short one and usually involves very little treatment.

little boy learning how to brush teeth at dental office

This exam will typically include:

  • Checking your child’s teeth for signs of decay
  • Examining your child’s bite
  • Looking for potential issues with your child’s gums, jaw, and oral tissues
  • Assessing the need for fluoride

We recommend that children visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in or by their first birthday. An early start with dental care can help detect oral issues so that the dentist and parents can do what is needed to ensure future healthy smiles.


Why Straight Teeth Matter

Having straight teeth is not just a matter of aesthetics, but it certainly helps with ensuring a healthy smile. There are important oral health benefits to having straight teeth. Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss to prevent tooth decay. They also help prevent problems with chewing and biting that could otherwise lead to future dental problems.

Does My Child Need Braces?

Some orthodontic issues are genetic, while others can result from habits like thumb sucking or early or late loss of baby teeth. Catching orthodontic problems early on can help prevent more costly dental problems in the future. The American Dental Association recommends that children have an initial orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Most orthodontic treatment will usually begin between the ages of 8 and 14.

Regular care by a family dentist can alert you to signs that your child may need braces.

two boys smiling. one wearing braces

Common indicators that your child may need braces include:

  • Misaligned teeth like crossbites, overbites, or underbites
  • Crowding, uneven, or unusual spacing
  • Speech problems
  • Issues with chewing or biting
  • Teeth clenching or grinding

Invisalign® for Teens and Adults

woman holding invisalign clear braces

Our practice offers Invisalign, the clear alternative for straightening your teeth. They can provide you with an aesthetically pleasing smile comfortably and discreetly. These clear removable aligners are suitable for both teens and adults.

Invisalign uses a series of custom aligners that will gently move your teeth week by week until the goal of straight teeth has been met. Each aligner is slightly adjusted to move the teeth closer to the desired placement. Aligners are typically changed every two weeks, and the entire process takes about a year for most patients. This method is effective for most mild-to-moderate cases of misalignment.

5 Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign aligners are comfortable to wear, and because they are removable, you can brush, floss, eat, and drink regularly. Here are a few benefits of choosing Invisalign to straighten your teeth:

  1. You get straighter teeth, often faster and with minimal discomfort
  2. Your treatment requires occasional visits to monitor results and collect additional aligners
  3. Removable aligners make brushing and flossing easier
  4. No metal or wires to scratch or irritate your cheeks or lips
  5. You can still eat the foods you enjoy 

Protecting Adult Smiles in St. Louis

Healthy smiles are not just a concern for young people. While adults have a lesser risk of developing cavities than children do, they still require regular preventive care to maintain good oral health and prevent tooth loss. Dr. G’Sell provides preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry tailored to your adult needs.

Preventive dentistry is a proactive approach to care for your teeth and overall oral health. This includes regular dental care and good oral health habits, including brushing and flossing. The goal is to find dental issues and gum disease early before they increase in severity. Preventive care includes:

Dental exams & cleanings - We recommend that adults have a regular dental exam and professional cleaning every six months. This gives Dr. G’Sell and his team the ability to check for decay, periodontal disease, or other problems that threaten your oral health.


Oral cancer screenings - Oral cancer is a highly dangerous disease, and unfortunately, it strikes thousands of adults every year. When discovered early, there is a higher chance of successful treatment. This makes a regular oral cancer screening an essential part of a preventive exam, especially if you are a smoker or at a higher risk for cancer.

Restorations

When dental damage or decay is found, Dr. G’Sell will discuss your options for restorations. The goal of restorative dentistry is to stop further damage that can lead to tooth loss or gum disease. Fillings are the most common restoration, but in some cases, more intensive treatment may be necessary.

Crowns & Bridges - Crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to restore a tooth that is broken or worn. They can protect a weak or cracked tooth or strengthen one with a large filling. A bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth, closing the gap by anchoring a prosthetic tooth between two existing teeth or anchored to dental implants.


Replacing Old or Damaged Crowns & Fillings - Crowns and fillings have a limited lifespan. When damaged, they will need to be removed and replaced. It is now possible to replace old fillings with tooth-colored fillings that also reduce the amount of prep work required. Porcelain crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of teeth previously covered with metal crowns.

Cosmetic Dental Options for Adults

Cosmetic dentistry can enhance the appeal of your smile while promoting good oral health at the same time. This area of dentistry includes teeth whitening and other procedures to improve the appearance of your teeth and gums. The most common cosmetic restorations include:

  • Veneers – Thin, custom porcelain shells affixed to your teeth to enhance appearance
  • Crowns – Tooth-colored porcelain caps that cover teeth that are damaged or have large fillings
  • Fillings – Tooth-colored fillings that can be used to discreetly repair teeth
  • Bridges – Dental prosthetics used to fill gaps left by missing teeth

Why Get Teeth Whitening Before Restorations?

Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures. While the process will whiten natural teeth, it will not whiten any existing restoration work. Therefore, if you plan to have restorative dental work done or are replacing existing fillings or crowns, you will want to have your teeth whitened prior to that work so that your entire smile will look its best.


Comprehensive Dental Care for Seniors

Regardless of how many teeth a senior has left, they still require comprehensive dental care. This dental care includes screenings for periodontal disease that can affect their oral and overall health, and for oral cancers.

senior man looking at dental x-ray

Senior dental care covers screenings and treatments for common oral health issues that affect older adults, including:

  • Root decay
  • Darkened teeth
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease
  • Uneven jawbone
  • Thrush

Regular professional cleanings and restorative treatments can help seniors maintain their oral health and improve the ability to chew and speak. With attentive and consistent care, seniors of all ages can continue to smile and enjoy life.


What if Dental Visits Make Me Nervous?

little boy getting sedation before dental procedure

It is common for patients to have a little anxiety over dental visits, especially when they have not been in a long time or worry about pain or discomfort. It is our goal to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible. If dental work makes you nervous, we can help make your treatment a calm and relaxing experience with sedation dentistry.

With sedation dentistry, you remain awake and alert during treatment, but no longer have feelings of anxiety. Our practice uses nitrous oxide to help adults, seniors, and even older children receive the care they need in a relaxed state. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is a form of inhaled sedation that is administered along with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose.


Helping Your St. Louis Family Smile

At the dental office of John C G'Sell D.D.S., M.A.G.D., you’ll always know that your family will receive the personalized care they need. We’re passionate about helping patients of all ages, and we’re continually looking for new and better ways to help you feel good about your smile. Get the care you and your loved ones deserve in one trusted office! Call today to schedule your visit.

CALL US: (314) 849-8888 REQUEST APPOINTMENT


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