As its name suggests, preventive dentistry is intended to prevent dental problems and related health conditions before they start. The health of your mouth is vital to the health of your entire body. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, low birth weight and other health problems. Healthy teeth are less likely to need extensive and pricey dental procedures. You can keep your teeth and yourself healthy by brushing and flossing every day as well as getting regular dental exams.
Conventional oral cancer screenings are a part of every exam, but now with the use of VELscope, we can see beneath the surface and detect dangerous growths not visible to the human eye. The procedure is pain free and helps detect not just oral cancer but human papilloma virus (HPV) as well. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and woman and has been proved to cause oral cancer. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women. According to both the FDA and CDC, at least 50% of people who have had sex will have HPV at some time during their life. Most people with HPV don’t develop symptoms or health problems, which is why it is so important to be tested regularly, not only for cervical cancer but oral cancer as well. All patients over the age of 18 should be screened annually for oral cancer.
The iCAT® GXCB500 is latest in cone beam 3D imaging. It is not only a CT scan but allows in addition to take a traditional panorex as well. This state of the art machine allows our doctors to accurately diagnose pathology, TMJ, and provide our patients with clear and decisive full mouth restorative treatment options. The ease of having the scan done within the confines of our office save our patients the inconvenience of having to go elsewhere to get this procedure done. We now are able to take and interpret the scan in moments and develop the proper treatment plan for you. Much of the time we can start and possibly even complete your treatment the same day.
Dental prophylaxis, or routine cleaning, is essential in maintaining healthy teeth for people of all ages. These cleanings help protect you from periodontal disease, tooth decay and other unpleasant tooth conditions. A dental prophylaxis appointment includes an evaluation or personal oral hygiene, plaque and tartar removal and polishing the teeth. For children, these appointments help establish healthy oral hygiene habits and include fluoride treatments as well.
PERIODONTAL CHARTING, SCALING AND ROOT PLANNING
Periodontal charting allows your doctor to track the progress of your dental health through a graphic depiction of the mouth. Each tooth is identified and any changes to it are noted after each appointment. As periodontal charting helps track any dental changes, scaling and root planning can help prevent future damage and periodontal disease by deep cleaning the teeth to remove all traces of plaque and tartar.
Dental Xrays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, tumors, cysts and extra teeth, as well as track the progress of previous procedures. Although generally considered safe, traditional Xrays briefly expose patients to radiation. New technologies now allow for digital Xrays, which reduce radiation exposure by up to 80 percent, and produce instant, high-quality images.
The KaVo DIAGNOdent is an invaluable tool in the detection of cavities (caries) when the tooth looks whole and healthy on the surface, or when only a small portion of the cavity is visible. The DIAGNOdent’s sensitive laser probe locates even the smallest and newly developed hidden caries in the teeth with high accuracy and no scraping, no tissue damage and no radiation. It works by measuring differences in fluorescence between healthy and diseased tissue. Its laser light can penetrate into tiny fissures to allow dentists to see further inside the tooth with more detail than has ever been possible with traditional dental instruments, including Xrays. Based on the DIAGNOdent’s findings, your dentist will recommend the best course of treatment, from simple preventive measures to minimally invasive restoration to more extensive dental work.
While brushing your teeth everyday is important, brushing alone cannot remove all the plaque that builds up in the teeth. Flossing is effective in reaching areas that a toothbrush cannot reach, such as in between teeth, and can also help polish tooth surfaces and control bad breath.
Flossing is an essential practice for avoiding gum disease and preventing tooth decay.
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents cavities and other dental conditions. Although it is found in water and many different types of food, some people do not consume enough to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride treatments are available for these people in the form of toothpastes, mouth rinses, gels or foams, and are also given regularly to children, who need sufficient amounts of fluoride in order to develop healthy permanent teeth.
Good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing daily, and a healthy diet are the best ways to prevent plaque buildup in the mouth. But even the most thorough brushing does not always reach the deepest indentations in the back teeth (molars). Dental sealants fill in these depressions, preventing bacterial formation that causes tooth decay and other damage. In a procedure that takes only a few minutes per tooth, the dentist cleans the tooth, applies an acid solution to roughen the surface, and bonds a plastic sealant to the tooth. A special light may be used to speed the hardening process. Sealants can help both adults and children, and may be reapplied every few years.