Preventive dentistry deals with caring for and maintaining your oral health in an optimal state to avoid dental issues like decay, cavities, enamel erosion, and gum diseases. To help preserve optimal oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises you to visit your dentist in periodic intervals. Preventive dentistry practices are meant to ensure that teeth are healthy, clean, plaque-free, durable, and lustrous.
What are the procedures offered under preventive dentistry?
Professional Dental Cleaning
A good oral care regimen followed at home helps in keeping your teeth healthy and bright. However, a professional dental cleaning is recommended twice a year. During a professional dental cleaning, plaque and tartar deposits are cleaned using a scaling instrument. The scaling device scrapes away plaque from both above and below the gumline. Timely professional dental cleanings prevent the onset of periodontal diseases.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is performed to identify unusual growths like lesions and tumors in the oral cavity and the surrounding regions. The goal is to identify and eliminate signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in their early stages when they can be treated and cured easily.
Your dentist, along with a hygienist, will demonstrate the right way to brush and floss. Nutritional counseling is provided, and a proper diet chart is provided to include healthy foods that help maintain good oral and overall health. Tobacco-cessation counseling is also provided to limit or eliminate the consumption of tobacco-based products. Not only does tobacco consumption discolor teeth, but it also leads to gum diseases. Finally, depending on your oral health status, you will be asked to return for a follow-up appointment.
The chewing surfaces of teeth have fissures and grooves that are hard to reach with a toothbrush, especially for children. These vulnerable areas accumulate plaque and trapped food particles that lead to tooth decay and cavities. As a preventive measure, a thin coating of a dental sealant is laminated over the chewing surfaces of teeth to close the fissures and grooves. Dental sealants quickly bond with the tooth surface and form a protective shield over the tooth enamel of back teeth and protect them from decay.
Your mouth contains acid, releasing bacteria and sugars from different foods. These together contribute to the demineralization of the enamel and make it susceptible to caries and cavities. Fluoride, on the other hand, promotes mineralization of the enamel and strengthens it to protect it from decay. The fluoride treatment involves laminating the topical surface of teeth with a fluoride gel using a cotton swab or brush. The gel is held in the mouth for several minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride.
Radiograph examination is used to identify dental problems that are not easily identified with naked eyes during a regular oral exam. It helps in determining the following issues:
- Abscess pockets present near the tooth roots.
- Tumors and abnormal growths in the mouth, neck or head that may indicate the presence of oral cancer
- Tooth decay present in interdental regions.
- Infection present in the pulp chamber, which causes severe gum diseases.
- Malocclusion or misalignment of the bite.
- Impacted teeth can be identified.
- Evaluate the state of developing teeth.
Children sometimes lose baby teeth prematurely due to trauma or tooth decay. In such scenarios, the adjacent teeth start shifting into the gap left by missing teeth and block the permanent teeth from coming in. Space maintainers are used for keeping the space open for the permanent teeth to erupt and come into place.
Historic Hyde Park Dentistry has been transforming smiles for Decades. Dr. Lori, along with her team, uses state-of-the-art technology to dental problems and reconstruct malaligned teeth to provide aesthetic and healthy smiles. For inquiries & appointments, please reach out to us at 813-253-3041. You can also visit our office at 612 West De Leon Street, in Tampa, FL 33606.