Preventive dentistry describes all the procedures used to arrest tooth decay and other diseases in the earliest stages. The goal is to keep you as healthy as possible and maintain your natural teeth for life.
Preventive Dentistry Procedures
Preventive dentistry procedures range from the most basic services that have been used successfully for decades, to recent technological innovations. These procedures include:
Cleanings. This is where dental health starts. There's just no substitute for physically removing disease-causing dental plaque and calculus (tartar) from your teeth — especially in hard-to-reach areas near the gum line. That's why regular professional cleanings are so important to your health.
Dental Sealants. These invisible plastic coatings fill the tiny grooves in back teeth so they do not become havens for bacteria. They prevent cavities from forming and the need for fillings later on.
Fluoride. This mineral is readily incorporated into the teeth's mineral structure, thereby making them stronger and more resistant to decay. Fluoride can even reverse tiny cavities that are starting to form in the enamel (the outside layer of the tooth). If you are not getting enough from your toothpaste and drinking water, it can be applied directly to your teeth at the dental office.
CariVu Transillumination Technology. Non-ionizing radiation used to detect early tooth decay quickly and easily, right in the dental office — before full-blown cavities form.
Oral Cancer Screenings. Your best chance of surviving oral cancer — a disease that affects not only lifelong smokers but also young non-smokers — is early detection and treatment. Oral cancer screenings are a routine part of every regular dental exam.
Digital X-Rays. For around a century, dentists have been using x-rays to reveal signs of disease not visible to the naked eye. Modern day radiographs emit less radiation because the technology allows for less exposure and all radiation beams are collimated. In fact the use of dental lead aprons is no longer recommended for healthy adults.
CAMBRA (Caries Management by Risk Assessment): Every individual’s oral environment is different, so it doesn’t make sense to treat every patient the same. In our office each patient’s risk level for disease is assessed, and an individualized preventive treatment plan is created to address and combat their risk factors.
Your Role in Preventing Dental Disease
There's one more extremely important component of preventive dentistry: you. Daily effective brushing and flossing will go a long way toward removing the dental plaque responsible for dental disease, tooth loss, and the need for more complex dental treatment. We are here to help you understand the diseases of the oral cavity and together, as a team we can help you maintain a healthy mouth.