The purpose of the highly-recommended bi-annual visits to the dentist is to prevent problems. The importance of regular dental cleanings (prophy / scaling and root planing) and sealants all work together to prevent cavities and gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. A routine dental exam and x-rays will allow the dentist to spot issues before you notice them yourself. Dental caries and periodontal disease are the main causes of tooth loss; however, you can keep your teeth for life if you develop a good home care regimen and come in regularly for your preventative care. Good oral hygiene improves your overall health!
Dental problems only get worse with time. Preventive dentistry will allow you to avoid more costly procedures later and keep your beautiful smile. If your oral health is anything less than near perfect we will recommend home oral hygiene routines, including the times and ways to brush and floss. Let’s work together with an emphasis on prevention and not disease treatment.
Our Preventive Dental Services
With each scheduled visit we will conduct a thorough clinical examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth. The examination will include oral cancer screening, checking your bite, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. We will also check your existing restorations to make sure that there is no decay present around the edges of your fillings and or crowns. Additionally, we will check any dentures and partials that you may have to ensure that they are functional and not ill-fitting.
Dental x-rays are one of the most important aspects of your regular dental treatment. Our office uses the state of the art digital x-rays that saves time without the use of chemicals for processing, significantly reduce radiation exposure, and allow us to detect any issues not visible to the eye. Digital x-rays let us view the inside of your teeth, gums, and jaw as well those tight spaces between teeth. With these images we can diagnose cavities, developmental abnormalities, and even hidden infections before they become symptomatic. Digital x-rays tremendously increase the dentist’s diagnostic capability because of the ability to magnify, decrease or increase contrast, and adjust colorization. The bottom line is that it is better for you and for our environment.
Teeth cleaning removes dental plaque which harbors and breeds bacteria that leads to gum inflammation. The bacteria biofilm if left untreated in turn can lead to cavities and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Professional cleaning and scaling also removes tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up even with good brushing and flossing habits. We will also follow through with polishing and flossing of your teeth, as well as cleaning and adjusting any partials and dentures. One of the most important aspects of the dental cleaning is to evaluate how you are doing with your home care. We will identify areas that you may be missing or can improve upon and show you how to manage difficult areas.
Scaling and Root Planing
Some patients need a cleaning that goes a bit further, especially patients that have not had regular dental cleanings. Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning that involves removing tartar from the root surface of teeth, where they have accumulated over time. For your comfort we offer Oraqix, a topical gel that is placed around the gum tissues for numbing eliminating the use of a needle. Scaling and root planing are done in quadrants and are usually done over multiple appointments.
The majority of decay on back teeth starts in the grooves, pits, and fissures of the chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption into the mouth. Sealants are applied as a thin coating of resin on molars and premolars to prevent decay on these pits and grooves that cannot be effectively cleaned by the toothbrush. The chewing surfaces of the teeth that are sealed are smoother and much easier to keep clean. Sealants are one of the most effective methods for decay prevention on the surfaces that they are placed, and especially recommended for children. Keep in mind that decay can still develop in between teeth, where it is not possible to place the sealants. A daily flossing regimen will decrease the chance of decay starting on the surface in between the teeth.