General Dentistry in Bend

Keeping Your Smile and Your Body Going Strong for Life

Looking for a general family dentist in Bend? Whether you are:

  • A busy family searching for a smile home that lets everyone smile in the same spot without the runaround
  • A hustling entrepreneur who needs a healthy dose of convenience with their dentistry
  • An overworked professional who wishes dentistry could actually feel like a mini-vacation
  • Or a consummate shredder who wants to be sure your smile is as pure and white as your favorite slope

Ponderosa Dental Center has you covered!

We are absolutely crazy about helping our Bend neighbors keep their smiles in a naturally healthy state.

Of course, Dr. Benjamin De Graff has advanced training and experience in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. You know he enjoys helping people rediscover their smiles. And yes, he loves the challenge of complete smile makeovers. But what he really finds rewarding is the preventive excellence of general dentistry. It’s why our ultimate focus is on preserving your smile, protecting it from harm, and stopping minor issues in their tracks before they have any major impact.

And that’s not just important to your smile, it’s important to your overall health as well.

Smiling for Health… Smiling for Life

Your smile does so much for you. It connects you to others. Boosts your mood and your health. It keeps you looking young, vital, and confident. Doesn’t it deserve to be protected from harm? We think so. We also think your body deserves protection from poor oral health!

By now, you probably understand just how vital the mouth-body connection is. Infection or disease in your mouth, especially gum disease, can lead to a wide range of health issues including:

  • Systemic inflammation
  • Increased risk for heart attacks or strokes
  • Pregnancy complications,
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease from a buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lung disease

And much more.

That’s why general and preventive family dentistry from Ponderosa Dental Center is performed with such a comprehensive approach. Our health-centered general dentistry in Bend is focused on keeping your teeth in their most natural state, your gums infection-free, and your whole body going strong for life.

Comprehensive Exams

Your teeth and gums are constantly affected by every choice you make.

  • Plaque can build up, irritate, and cause infection in your gums before you have any symptoms like bleeding, redness, or swelling
  • Cavities can take hold without pain or noticeable discoloration
  • Tooth damage like cracks or wear can happen during nighttime clenching and you never realize it until an infection or imbalance begins
  • Oral cancer can develop with such subtle symptoms you never realize there’s an issue until it is too late

That’s why your general dentist in Bend is so emphatic about regular dental exams and screenings. These screenings protect both your health and your wallet by letting us discover issues while they are small, easier to treat, and have less impact on your overall health.

During your comprehensive exam your general dentist in Bend will:

  • Examine your gums for any sign of gum disease and measure your gum pockets
  • Scan your tongue, gums, and other tissues for the very first signs of oral cancer
  • Check your teeth for cavities, cracked or leaking fillings, or other damage
  • Look for signs of physical health issues
  • Take x-rays when necessary
  • Use an intraoral camera to take live video of your teeth

And we offer these exams to every member of your family. We want you to stay healthy for as long as possible–and ideally, for life!

Oral Cancer Screenings

When you think of all the possible cancers you could get, is oral cancer one of them? It should be–and you should take oral cancer screenings as seriously as you do all of your other screenings. Here’s why: close to 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year and the death rate is surprisingly high. That’s not because it is hard to diagnose. It’s because it is so seldom diagnosed until its late stages. Early-stage oral cancer often presents and thrives without producing pain or symptoms that are easily recognized unless discovered by a trained professional. Worse, it can spread to other parts of your body and become nearly impossible to treat. Here’s the good news. When oral cancer is discovered early by your Bend general dentist, it is very treatable and can be eradicated in up to 90% of cases. Your team at Ponderosa Dental Center performs an oral cancer screening for every new patient and at every hygiene visit. It’s also a good idea to be aware of your own oral health and scan yourself regularly for:

  • Tenderness or pain in your mouth or lips
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty or pain when moving your tongue or jaw or when opening your mouth
  • Unexplained oral numbness
  • Swelling
  • Spots, patches, or ulcers that remain for two weeks or more
  • Discolored areas of your mouth, especially those that are multicolored such as red and white
  • Excessive saliva production

If you notice any of these symptoms, especially in combination, please call us right away. It could save your life!


Dental x-rays may seem like a hum-drum and boring routine you have to tend to once in a while. Not here! Your general dentist in Bend, Dr. Benjamin De Graff, has invested in some of the most high-tech x-ray tools available. That means that your diagnostics are not only more accurate, they are also more comfortable, convenient, and educational for you too! We use:

  • Digital X-Rays – Remember how painful it was to bite down on x-ray films? Remember how long it took for those films to develop? Not anymore! Modern digital x-rays from your Bend general dentist are much faster and more comfortable. What’s more, they significantly reduce the amount of radiation you are exposed to (up to 75% less) and can be saved as digital files directly to our computers. Plus, they are easier to see so you can understand what is happening in your mouth right along with Dr. Prentice.
  • Panoramic X-Rays – These x-rays are great for getting an overall view of your entire mouth. Unlike digital bite-wing or other x-rays, the panoramic x-ray machine stays outside of your mouth and moves around your head, taking an image of your entire oral cavity. This is especially helpful when evaluating for dental restorations, checking the position of your wisdom teeth, and looking for other problems such as abscesses, signs of sinus problems, and receding bone levels caused by periodontal disease.
  • 3-D Cone Beam Imaging – computed tomography (CT) scanning gives us detailed, 3-D images of bone, dental structures, nerves, and soft tissue for ultra-precise treatment planning. Dr. Prentice uses this especially often when planning implant placement because it allows us to assess your anatomy, evaluate your bone density, and determine where to place your implants for ideal integration – all in 3D!

Think you’re pretty active? Feel busy all the time? Maybe even too busy to stay regular with your oral hygiene? Well, your mouth is busy too – even when you are asleep! Every time you:

  • Eat or drink
  • Eat something sugary or acidic
  • Smoke a cigarette
  • Skip flossing or feel too tired to brush before bed
  • Snore

things are happening in your mouth! Plaque builds up, turns into tartar, aggravates an infection, and wreaks havoc on both your smile and your health. Stop all that in its tracks and protect your smile from daily wear and tear with regular professional hygiene visits with your general dentist in Bend. We use ultrasonic scalers to make your cleaning super gentle and super effective. Our ultrasonic scalers use high-frequency sonic waves and water to gently clean away any bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup on the teeth, as well as above and below the gum line. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and bright, knowing you’ve spent your time wisely so your smile can keep shining for a lifetime!

Periodontal Therapy

Even if you brush and floss with regularity. Even if you avoid sugary snacks. And even if you see your dentist for regular cleanings, once in a while gum disease can take hold. There are many reasons why people are susceptible to periodontal disease, including:

  • Avoiding the dentist because of dental phobia, anxiety, or pain
  • Certain medications
  • Hormonal changes such as pregnancy
  • Dry mouth
  • Crowded, crooked, or missing teeth
  • Smoking
  • Genetic predisposition to periodontal problems

And much more!

Whatever the cause, periodontal infections put your teeth and your whole health at risk. That’s why, if we discover any signs of periodontal disease, we will immediately start you on a periodontal therapy protocol. We usually step up your regular cleanings and treat your infection with Arrestin. Arrestin is an incredible topical antibiotic that kills bacteria under the gum line with microspheres that stay under the gums for up to 21 days! If you experience any of the following, please call us right away. We’ll nip that gum infection in the bud!

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Puffiness or tenderness of the gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Loose-feeling teeth
Fluoride Treatments

Who needs Fluoride treatments? You do! Why? According to the American Dental Association, “When you eat things like candy, crackers, or noodles, cavity-causing bacteria start feasting on the carbohydrates in these foods. This produces acids that attack your enamel. It causes calcium and phosphate to be stripped from the tooth enamel, leaving you more vulnerable to decay and cavities. However, saliva disrupts the attack as it coats your teeth and adds back calcium and phosphate to replace what had been stripped away. Once in your enamel, fluoride teams up with calcium and phosphate there to create the most powerful defense system your teeth can have to prevent cavities from forming: fluorapatite.”

We offer Fluoride treatments to all of our patients, young and old, as needed. Our treatments include:

  • Fluoride varnish – This mess-free way to remineralize your teeth is so easy and convenient, we offer it after cleanings and check-ups. Don’t worry, it tastes great! We simply brush it on, and you’re ready to go. Just wait about an hour before you eat for best results. We also use Fluoride varnish to help desensitize teeth. It really helps!
  • Prevident® – We also like to send our patients home with Prevident oral care products and can prescribe a variety of Fluoride-rich toothpaste and rinses.

Fluoride, cleanings, and regular exams aren’t the only way we help protect your teeth and help them last a lifetime. We also have some very in-your-face tools to keep your smile safe–literally! Mouthguards made by your general dentist in Bend are significantly superior to over-the-counter mouthguards. How? Dentist-designed and created mouthguards:

  • Are custom made just for you
  • Fit more comfortably
  • Can be worn longer
  • Offer superior protection to teeth and jaw

We offer two kinds of mouthguards to our Bend neighbors… sportsguards and nightguards.

  • Sports Mouthguards – these guards can be used for school sports or worn during any activity, like snowboarding or riding the trails on your bike, to protect teeth from injury. But that’s not all. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, custom-made sports mouthguards can reduce concussions by close to half!
  • Nightguards – are your teeth’s best friend if you clench or grind or have a mouthful of costly restorations. Our specially designed nightguards are small and comfortable and can be worn day or night to protect your smile from the damage of bruxism.
Emergency Care

Emergencies happen, unfortunately. And when they do, your general dentist in Bend and his team of compassionate professionals are here to guide, comfort, and get you back to health as fast as possible. Just give us a call, and we will try to get you in as quickly as possible–usually the very day you call. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury to the head or there is bleeding, go straight to the emergency room. Call us on the way if there is dental trauma, and we will advise you on what steps to take. If a tooth has been knocked out, handle it as little as possible. put it in a cup of milk, and come straight to us. Here are a few examples of dental emergencies that require an immediate visit to your Bend dental office:

  • Jaw injury
  • Oral swelling accompanied by pain
  • A toothache or other oral pain that will not subside
  • A loose or knocked-out tooth
  • Swelling in your face, especially when accompanied by a toothache
  • Unbearable tooth sensitivity

If you aren’t sure whether you are having a true dental emergency or not, please do not hesitate to call. We are always here for you – and your smile!


Here at Ponderosa Dental Center, we really get excited over the latest and greatest dental technology. It certainly makes us more accurate and effective. It also offers next-level comfort and convenience to your patients. Well that’s a combination to celebrate! Some of the imaging technology that best compliments our Bend general dentistry are our:

  • Intraoral Camera – we use these small, pen-shaped devices during all exams because they allow us to get a highly-magnified view of the surfaces of your teeth and oral tissue. This is especially useful because the images are transmitted, in full color, directly to the computers located in every operatory for evaluation, education, and storage. That means you can see exactly what is happening in your mouth, and it lets us work together to create the best treatment plan you could ever hope for.
  • Primescan – our digital impression system from Primescan is comfortable and oh-so-accurate. It not only eliminates the need for ooey-gooey bite impressions, but it also ensures there are no errors so we can create the absolutely most comfortable mouthguards, nightguards, and restorations. We’re pretty proud of this technology and are one of the first and only dentists to have it in central Oregon.

Soft Tissue Laser

Our soft tissue laser not only helps us perform painless general dentistry procedures, like frenectomies, here in Bend, it also allows us to easily and gently clear away infected gum tissue, sculpt overgrown gums, and perform any other necessary soft-tissue surgery you need without using a scalpel or sutures. And because the laser heals as it performs its job, your smile will look and feel amazing right away!