Why is Preventive Dentistry So Important?
Preventive dentistry is the field of dentistry that focuses on the prevention of serious oral health issues, including: tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Preventive dentistry relies on methods of early detection and preventative treatments. We’ll take a closer look at these methods and how we aim to educate and inform our patients about our preventive dentistry treatment options, procedures, tools, equipment & technology.
What falls under the umbrella of preventive dentistry? Learn more below!
It’s imperative to us that our patients understand why a certain treatment option is being proposed. To help promote patient education, we use a variety of tools to demonstrate what we’re explaining, including: brief & easy to understand computer videos, pictures, drawings, plaster and plastic models, and digital photographs. We believe that when you learn about your treatment options, you gain the confidence to make an informed decision about which option is most appropriate for you.
Dental problems arise when plaque and calculus (also called tartar) collect and remain on your teeth for extended periods of time. The primary purpose of a dental cleaning is to remove these substances from the surfaces of your teeth that are above and just slightly below the gum line. This is accomplished by using a tool called a scaler. We also polish your teeth to remove stains and make them smooth, so that plaque and tartar have a more difficult time adhering to the surfaces of your teeth.
Periodic Oral Exam
A periodic oral evaluation is performed each time you visit the dentist to evaluate your overall health, and to identify if any changes have occurred with your oral health since your last regular visit.
Oral Cancer Screening
When the dentist performs an oral exam, an oral cancer screening is a routine part of it. The goal is to be able to identify signs of oral cancer early so that there is a higher chance of a cure.
We use two types of digital cameras: intra-oral and extra-oral. What’s the difference? An intra-oral camera is shaped like a wand and can be placed into your mouth to take pictures of a certain tooth or section of a tooth. The image will immediately appear on the computer screen so both dentist and patient can view it together. An extraoral camera is used when we need to more closely look at a patient’s smile or facial form. It’s useful in terms of helping a dentist to record the color or shade of a tooth/teeth, so that we are able to match the color during a tooth-colored restoration.
Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel and fights the bacteria that harm teeth and gums. There are two methods of delivery of the fluoride: pill form and topical. The pill form is given to children whose teeth are still developing. The topical fluoride gel or varnish is given to children (and some adults) once their teeth have erupted and once they understand that it should not be swallowed.
Sealants, snoring appliances and night guards are also categorized under preventive dentistry. Have questions about anything mentioned in this post? Contact us! We’re here and happy to help any and all of your preventive dentistry needs!