Preventive Dental Care
Through routine cleanings, early detection of cavities, and other preventative procedures, we are able to help you keep your smile in the best possible condition in an economical way.
Even when you brush and floss faithfully after every meal, tartar and plaque can build up on your teeth, particularly along gums, between teeth, and in other hard-to-reach places. This is why it is so important to schedule regular dental visits. During your appointment, our dental hygienist will carefully clean and polish your teeth, which will eliminate harmful bacteria that will cause periodontal disease. We will then examine every tooth, look for cavities, weak spots, and failing previous restorations, that require care. If we can catch these problem spots early, we can provide minor, instead of complex, restorations which will help prevent further damage.
As part of your essential examinations your dentist will also provide an oral cancer screening. This evaluation is repeated at each hygiene interval. We hope to supplement your yearly medical examination by taking a careful look at the soft tissue both inside and outside your mouth to ensure there are no “silent” problems of which you may be unaware. So many oral cancers, if detected early, can be treated successfully.
Preventing and diagnosing diseases of the gum and bone are also extremely important. Limiting damage and correcting problems can help you avoid tooth loss and replacement. To decrease your risk for dental disease, we strongly encourage our patients to schedule routine dental exams and cleanings at least once every six months. Of course each individual patient’s interval is always based on their need established by diagnosis of their periodontal and restorative status.
Sometimes problem areas form in places we can’t easily see, such as between teeth or beneath gums. We use x-rays to identify these hidden concerns. By enabling us to inspect every inch of every tooth, x-rays help us catch and immediately address problems that we might not have seen with the naked eye. Our practice has a digital x-ray system which has several benefits for our patients. The radiation exposure is a fraction of what it was with traditional dental x-rays, we see the image on our computer screens within seconds, we can magnify and change the image for more clarity, and we can even email the images to specialists to coordinate treatment. We recommend having x-rays taken at least once in 18 months. However, it may be necessary to change x-ray intervals based on specific patient needs.
Also, if you find it difficult to have x-rays taken because you have a “gag” reflex, we have a special x-ray technique that takes extra-oral (outside the mouth) x-rays. So no more anxiety about this important part of dental care! Just let us know about this reflex issue and we will take great care of you.
Important as regular visits with your dental hygienist are, they are no replacement for the daily maintenance needed by your smile. To help prevent plaque from building up, you should brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. Preventing plaque in turn prevents cavities and gum disease.
We know you want to keep your smile looking its best even between visits. We provide all our patients with the most up to date oral devices and techniques so they can do just that. Talk with a member of our staff to learn the best strategies you can use at home to maintain healthy teeth and gums.