548 Front Street, Suite C
(On 6th Street, between Main & Front Streets)
PO Box 967, Fairplay, CO 80440
(719) 836-0967




All services are done with warm water to ensure our customer's comfort.

Dental Hygiene Exams

Your first visit to High Mountain Hygiene establishes a vital foundation for our relationship with you. During the first visit, we make sure to obtain important background information, like your medical and dental histories, and give you time to get to know your hygienist. We identify your risks factors for oral cancers, dental caries and periodontal disease. Your initial oral examination includes a visual assessment, oral cancer screening, blood pressure reading, X-rays when indicated, a full-mouth periodontal probing, and the charting of existing restorations, gum recession and tooth mobility. Our dental hygiene diagnosis and treatment recommendations will be discussed with you prior to any treatment.

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Diagnostic Imaging (X-Rays)

For the purpose of assessing and diagnosing conditions for treatment planning for dental hygiene services and for the identification of dental abnormalities we recommend that diagnostic images (X-rays) be taken.  We will discuss our rationale for recommending either a Full Mouth Series (FMX), Bite-wing or Periapical images with you prior to your consent.  Our office does not take “routine” x-rays and we make our recommendations on a case by case basis.  With your permission, we will request copies from your dentist when indicated.

To maximize the information needed to provide our patients with optimal oral disease prevention, management and treatment planning our office offers digital X-ray technology.  We pride ourselves in our technical expertise and skills of taking the fewest number images to achieve good quality, diagnostic images that we and our collaborating dentists rely on.  

A thorough dental hygiene diagnosis relies on current, good quality images of the supportive structures of the teeth and bone.  What cannot be seen in a visual exam is often diagnosed by x-ray images only.  X-rays provide dental professionals with the information to be able to find problems before symptoms exist.  In addition to decay and other dental conditions, X-rays show bone loss and the bone changes with gum disease and dental infections.  

In conjunction with other detailed information gathered during the exam we can better provide you with the comprehensive care you are seeking.  With your permission, we gladly provide copies of our diagnostic images to your dentists when requested.  An immediate referral to a dentist will be recommended when dental abnormalities are identified from x-rays or from our visual exam. 

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Adult & Children’s Cleanings

Also called “Prophylaxis” or “Prophy”, this procedure in the removal of plaque, calculus (tartar) and stains from adult and children’s teeth. Using hand and ultrasonic instruments hard and soft deposits are removed above and slightly below the gumline. If your child has a “mixed dentition” (both primary and permanent teeth) they may fall into the adult cleaning category if the 12-year molars have completely erupted into the mouth.

Prophys are for those patients with healthy gums, minimal stain and tartar deposits, and little or no bleeding. Preventing the occurrence of periodontal disease is critical at this stage of your oral health which is why we will customize a cleaning interval appropriate for you and your child. If you are having orthodontic treatment, for example, we may recommend a more frequent interval because of the home care challenges you face.

A healthy mouth is relatively easy to maintain, however, a periodontally diseased mouth is not! At High Mountain Hygiene we are committed to providing you with the best personalized preventive care and will tailor our home care instructions and recommendations for your best smile. Once you have had a thorough dental hygiene diagnosis and periodontal evaluation, we will discuss our findings with you. Should we find periodontal issues we will discuss the areas of concern and your treatment options. An adult prophy is not appropriate treatment if therapeutic scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) below the gums is necessary to remove all the deposits and toxins from the root surfaces.

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Pediatric Oral Health Screenings

For children and youth, we offer thorough screenings of your child’s teeth and gums. We will assess your child for signs of gum infections, visible tooth decay and the general cleanliness of their mouth. If needed, we will make an immediate referral to a dentist. We will discuss and recommend sealants, fluoride treatments and x-rays when indicated.

We welcome young families to our practice and provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Our pediatric consultation room is the perfect place to address all of your questions and concerns while your child plays safely nearby. We have liberal office hours to accommodate working families. Regardless of the time of day, your child’s experience will be more positive if he/she is well rested and well fed!

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Sealants are liquid coatings that harden on the chewing surfaces of teeth and are proven effective in preventing cavities in both children and adults. They typically are clear or opaque, depending on the manufacturer of the product chosen by your dental hygienist. Sealants fill in the grooves on the chewing part of your teeth to protect and seal the tooth from food, plaque and acid erosion. Sealant materials are designed to prevent the intrusion of bacteria into the deep crevices on the tops of teeth. The application is easy to apply and typically lasts for several years. As a part of your regular exams, your hygienist will check the bonding of the sealants for wear and deterioration. There may be a need for re-application every 5-10 years or sooner if the seal has failed.

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Fluoride Treatments

Varnishes, foams, gels and rinses are topical, temporary applications of a tooth strengthening mineral - fluoride. Fluoride can be applied by dental professionals on enamel, dentin, and cementum surfaces to prevent decay, re-mineralize or treat hypersensitive teeth. Professional fluoride treatments are not permanent treatments and depending on risk factors, may be recommended up to four times a year. Studies confirm that children with frequent applications have fewer cavities.

Depending on the type of application, food and drink restrictions will vary. Fluoride varnish is the preferred fluoride application for young children who are more likely to swallow fluoride in rinses, gels or foam applications. Our “Cavity Free at Three” program is designed specifically for 1-3 year olds and includes an application of fluoride varnish!

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Personalized Preventive Care

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations (fillings, crowns, implants) survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions are tailored to your specific needs, abilities, budget and commitment. Techniques, adaptations and new technology are reviewed at your subsequent visits. Feel welcome to call or stop by with any concerns or difficulties you may have with our recommendations. The following are general oral hygiene recommendations:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum line
  • (Sonic toothbrushes are superior to manual brushes in bio-film removal, when used properly)
  • Floss daily in short up-and-down motions while keeping the floss in a slight C-shape and against the tooth surface
  • (Air Flossers are as effective in many instances and much easier to master than string flossing, ask us if this would be appropriate for you)
  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed
  • Avoid smoking, nail biting, clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Avoid sugary foods, carbonated beverages, in-between-meal snacking, foods with “hidden” sugars
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Have sealants place on permanent teeth

Brushing is the most effective method for removing harmful plaque from your teeth and gums. Getting the debris and biofilm off your teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents sugars in the food you eat from turning into harmful, cavity causing acids. We are all familiar with the newly used term “acid erosion” which is caused by mechanical forces, not microorganisms.

Most dental hygienists agree that brushing twice a day is the minimum. If you use toothpaste in the morning and before bed at night, you can get away without using toothpaste during the middle of the day. A simple brushing with plain water or rinsing your mouth with water for 30 seconds after lunch will generally do the job. At High Mountain Hygiene, we prefer you use therapeutic mouthwashes (versus cosmetic rinses) and can provide you with information regarding the kind that will be best suited for you.

Flossing is a method for removing bacteria and other debris that cannot be reached by a toothbrush. Air Flossers and String floss are both effective and proven methods of cleaning between your teeth. Most hygienists believe that flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque. In any event, daily flossing is an excellent and proven method for complementing your brushing routine and helping to prevent cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental problems later in life. It also increases blood circulation in your gums. Flossing removes plaque and debris that stick to your teeth and gums and should be done at least once every day.

Air Flossing requires the purchase of a rechargeable, hand held unit and utilizes a moist puff of air that is aimed between the teeth being cleaned. Depending on the number of teeth, it takes less than 30 seconds and is simple to master. Like brushing, string flossing should take about three minutes and can easily be done while doing another activity, such as watching television. Do not attempt to floss your teeth while operating a motor vehicle or other machinery.

Smiles vary. Mouths vary. Size of openings vary. Gag reflexes vary. Teeth vary; crooked, straight, missing, extra, tight, rough, sensitive, small and large. Values vary. Budgets vary. Manual dexterities vary. Compliance varies. Pain thresholds vary. Dental IQ varies. These are some of the challenges we face as we tailor your oral hygiene instructions for your best smile!

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Cavity Free at Three

Our goal is eliminate early childhood cavities in Colorado’s children. This is a program we offer in our office to help assist your child to be Cavity Free at Three! The program is an oral health assessment for infants and toddlers. One of the goals of the program is to make dental hygiene visits a routine and expected part of prenatal care. We believe it is important to have your child’s first screening 6 months after they get their first “baby” tooth or no later than 12 months of age.

Based on caregiver/parent interviews we will determine the caries (cavity) risk indicators for your children. These screenings will include family history of decay, dietary habits, baby bottle and nursing habits and medical risks. We will also examine your child for acid erosion (demineralization), obvious tooth decay and the general cleanliness of the teeth. Based on the information gathered, we can assess whether your child is at low, high or extreme risk for cavities.

With your permission, we will apply fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth and discuss goals for preventing future decay. We also have recommendations for parents and caregivers that will help lower the spread of the bacteria that cause cavities. If you do not have a dental home we will make necessary referrals and establish an optimal interval for your child to be seen in our office. We will tailor our recommendations for additional fluoride treatments, education and follow-up visits based on your child’s risk factors. We have a dedicated treatment room in our office which is designed to be fun and playful for the kids - comfortable and private for the adults.

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Periodontal Exams

Periodontal exams are vital in the maintenance of your oral health as they are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help your dental hygienist diagnose gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, loss of bone around your teeth, loose teeth, unusual wear and other problems, making periodontal exams vital to maintaining proper oral health. Regular dental hygiene exams are important as they can reveal evidence of gum disease in its early stages.

During your periodontal examination, your dental hygiene evaluation will include a check:

  • For any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth
  • Whether any of your teeth are missing or loose
  • The color, texture, size and shape of your gums
  • The areas of inflammation and/or bleeding
  • The level of bone loss around the roots of your teeth
  • The width of the gum attachment to your upper and lower jaw bones
  • Whether you have fillings, crowns, bridges, dentures or implants
  • How much plaque and calculus is on your teeth
  • The depth of the gum space around each tooth
  • The areas of gum recession
  • For areas of abnormal wear and abrasion
  • For any harmful habits that may be contributing to periodontal disease
  • For risk factors associated with development and/or progression of periodontal disease

Periodontal exams are vital to preventing the advancement of gum diseases. At the completion of your periodontal exam your hygienist will use the information to make appropriate recommendations for treatments and frequency of future visits.

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Deep Cleaning (Scaling & Root Planing)

Technically called “Scaling and Root Planing”, this is a method of scaling the diseased roots of the teeth when the actively infected pockets are more than 5 mm deep. This is a non-surgical approach to treating periodontal disease. Treatment may include local anesthesia to reduce discomfort. A limited number of sites or full-mouth scaling may be needed. It is a procedure that is designed to carefully smooth the roots and remove biofilm, calculus, microorganisms and toxins from the full depth of each deep pocket. Without active therapy when it is indicated, there is the risk that the disease will continue to progress. When it does, more of the tooth socket is eaten away, the gums can continue to recede, there is the chance for increased sensitivity and the possibility for acute gum infections that may be more painful. Periodontal disease is, on average, painless. Many people are not aware they have the condition until the advances stages. At High Mountain Hygiene, we are committed to looking for, educating you about, treating and controlling periodontal disease. When we are unable to, or suspect that we will not achieve the results we expect, we will gladly refer you to a gum specialist. Our goal is to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

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Topical & Local Anesthesia

It is our goal to provide our services with compassionate, gentle and painless techniques. To minimize discomfort we can offer you topical gels and sprays when the tissues are the only part of your mouth needing to be numb. Some patients will have topical anesthetic for routine cleanings and others only need it for the deep cleaning procedures. All people have different levels of pain tolerance, so it is important to communicate with us throughout your visit if a topical application of anesthetic is preferred.

When scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is performed, we will apply a small amount of topical anesthetic to the site where the injection will take place. Local anesthetics are chosen based in part on your medical history, past experiences of pain control, weight, anxiety level, blood pressure, and drug allergies or reactions. We collaborate with a supervising dentist to comply with Colorado laws regarding administering local anesthesia to our patients. Ms. Butler-Bearzi had extensive training in anesthesia techniques, has 38 years of experience and continues to be schooled in advanced techniques for painless injections.

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Supportive Periodontal Therapy

Following periodontal surgery or non-surgical therapy (scaling and root planing), this is the type of dental cleaning that is performed to control the advancement of periodontal disease. Meticulous attention is given to the problem areas using ultrasonic and specially designed hand instruments. Site specific scaling and root planing is performed where indicated. Periodontal pockets are evaluated for healing, bleeding, pocket depth reduction and of course, deposits.

Supportive Periodontal Therapy involves constant re-evaluation and monitoring of diseased sites. Additional diagnostic and treatment procedures may be indicated if new or recurring periodontal disease appears. We will inform you of the areas of concern at each visit. Supportive Periodontal Therapy is done at more frequent and varying intervals to minimize destruction of the supporting bone and tissues.

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Antimicrobial Therapy

Used in conjunction with scaling and root planing antimicrobial medications are inserted into the deeper periodontal pockets to create a hostile environment for the bacteria that are trying colonize. These applications slowly release FDA approved pharmacological agents that remain at the intended site in a therapeutic concentration for a sufficient length of time. As with all treatments, we will discuss the treatments, costs, advantages, disadvantages and consequences of having no treatments with you before you decide on your path of action.

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Desensitizing Treatments

Do you experience sudden, painful reactions in your teeth when you expose them to cold foods, air or water? How about sweet or sour foods and drinks? Does the thought of having metal dental instruments next to your teeth send shivers down your spine?

Many people experience hyper-sensitivity of the roots of the teeth. There are many causes, and sometimes treating one cause does not eliminate sensitivity. Some causes can be diet, inadequate home care techniques, improper oral hygiene products or combinations of all the above. If you are experiencing root sensitivity, we have desensitizing applications that can provide sensitivity relief. Especially designed to be used for the management of sensitive teeth during and after scaling and root planing therapy, it also has proven to be effective for those of you with receding gums.

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Teeth Whitening

Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth. The dentin, which is the darker layer beneath the enamel, becomes denser with age. It also can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging, recession or acid erosion. Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth’s enamel by certain proteins. Coffee, dark teas, berries, red wines, medications, soy sauce and tobacco are some of the products that are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances. Stains caused by external factors, such as foods, can be more easily attacked by good oral hygiene habits.

Stains caused by traumatic injuries, medications and fluorosis actually begin inside the tooth; brushing and flossing don’t help. More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.

Some commercially available “whitening toothpastes” and “whitening kits” can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely. Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method. Done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years.

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