Preventive Dentistry

 

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is critical to your overall health. By taking the proper steps to prevent dental issues from arising, you are saving yourself from problems and costly dental treatment in the future. Early detection is the key to our clinical philosophy. The earlier problems are caught, the more options you have for treating them and the greater the prognosis. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of preventing gum disease and cavities. 

Preventing Gum Disease

Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care and regular dental checkups will minimize the risk of gum disease. Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis) to moderate (periodintitis) to the severe (periodontitis). Treatments are available for every case of gum disease.

Common problems associated with gum disease:

  • “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
  • Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure
  • Gum depressions (holes in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
  • Infected gum line (discoloration or inflammation of the gum tissue)
  • Tooth loss or tooth movement

The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health. However, through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid problems associated with gum disease.

Routine Teeth Cleanings
Annually, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

If you are due for your annual dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

Fluoride
Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advance in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

It is important to note, however, that like any medical treatment, fluoride should be taken in moderation. Overexposure to fluoride can result in a cosmetic condition known as fluorosis: thin white lines, streaks or spots on the tooth enamel that start usually darken later. The risk of fluorosis is most pronounced in infants and children whose teeth have not yet fully developed and erupted from the gum line, which is why extra care must be taken to monitor how much fluoride a child ingests. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water, and a common cause of fluorosis in children is powdered formula prepared that is prepared with fluoridated water. There are also many kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes and even some flosses that contain fluoride.

Preventing Cavities  

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.

Sealants
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.

DIAGNOdent
Did you know that half of the cavities found in your teeth could go undetected by current diagnostic techniques? However, our office now offers a new diagnostic method that can more accurately define caries in teeth.

We offer a unique service that can detect caries at the earliest stage. The DIAGNOdent Laser Caries Detector is over 90 percent accurate in detecting even the smallest lesions that don’t even appear on X-rays! Early detection enables us to better preserve and protect your teeth.

The DIAGNOdent Laser Caries Detector boasts a high patient acceptance and satisfaction with its quick, simple and painless nature.

Preventing Tooth Wear

Nightguards
We are pleased to offer our patients custom-fabricated nightguards that prevent teeth grinding and wear. The first step in fabricating these nightgurards is to take an impression of your teeth. We then use that impression and fabricate the nightguards using special professional-grade materials. The perfect fit of these custom-fabricated nightguards ensures that not only will your nightguards fit comfortably, they will also offer the most protection and will interfere the least with speech or breathing.