Preventive dentistry is an investment in your oral health, helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. The main aims of preventive dentistry are to:
- identify small, easily treatable dental caries or other issues with regular exams and x-rays
- prevent gum disease with hygiene care (‘cleans’), and caries using fluoride. Oral health and dietary education are also important aspects of prevention.
Fissure sealants are a preventive treatment option. They are useful for people with deep crevices likely to trap bacteria in their molars, or those who struggle to brush properly (mostly children).
The sealant essentially fills the crevices to create a smoother surface with reduced risk of bacteria and development of caries.
What does your routine visit to us involve?
A dental exam and clean includes:
- A discussion regarding any concerns you have regarding your dental health
- A thorough dental exam (with x-rays if required) and intra-oral pictures
- Meticulous removal of calculus above and below the gum line with polishing of teeth
- Application of preventive and therapeutic agents e.g. fluoride, sensitivity varnish
- Tailored education on oral health and diet
- A treatment plan if any other treatment is required
Preventive dentistry is often not well understood in the community. A common misconception is that a lack of pain means there are no dental issues.
Gum Disease ( Periodontitis)
Gum disease is a silent disease
- Calculus harbors bacteria which irritates and inflames the gums
- Gums receding may be cause from inflammation with subsequent loss of bone and potential loss of teeth.
- Calculus also attracts more plaque, with further implications for oral and broader health.
- People with diabetes, heart disease or who are pregnant should be particularly careful with their gum health.
Tooth Decay (Caries)
Caries are also often asymptomatic when small. So the benefit to you of early detection includes smaller and less costly treatment instead of major (possibly painful) problems with more expensive treatments.
How is tooth decay treated?
- Fillings are used to repair broken or decayed teeth. Most fillings are done with a strong, tooth-coloured composite resin.
- If decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be performed before a filling.
- Composite resin fillings may also be chosen as a replacement for ugly or failing amalgam fillings for an improved aesthetic result.
- When a tooth is very fragile, a porcelain restoration is the preferred treatment option.
Remember: Tooth decay can occur in your teeth without you having any symptoms!