Door Creek Dental – Preventative Dentistry
Preventative dentistry encompasses anything that you do to prevent problems with your teeth and gums. In its simplest sense, brushing and flossing regularly are forms of preventative dentistry, although the term is usually used to apply to actions performed by a dentist such as professional cleanings.
At Door Creek Dental, we focus on and promote preventative dentistry to avoid as many dental issues as possible for our patients. We believe that with good preventative care, fewer patients will need painful or expensive interventions to solve advanced oral health issues.
What Is Included in Preventative Dentistry?
There are several types of procedures that are grouped under the heading of preventative dentistry.
- Professional cleaning. Good oral health habits begin with a professional cleaning twice a year or as often as recommended by a dentist. Professional cleanings on a regular basis avoid the buildup of plaque and tartar, the hard deposits that often lead to cavities and gum disease. During your visit, the staff will scale your teeth free of plaque and tartar and polish your teeth using a special brush and concentrated tooth polishing paste. You will leave each cleaning with a fresh, healthy mouth and teeth that are strengthened in their ability to stand against common causes of tooth decay.
- Digital X-rays. There is no better way to spot a cavity than to x-ray the entire mouth. These x-rays allow the dentist to see what is going on beneath the surface and to spot problems before they spread. While these x-rays do use a small amount of radiation, they are not considered harmful to patients. Please tell us if you are or could be pregnant or if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
- Gum treatments. Sometimes a professional cleaning is not enough to remove plaque and tartar that have worked their way beneath the surface of the gum to attack the root of the tooth. In that case, you may need a more invasive type of gum treatment in which the dentist uses special tools to clean beneath the surface of the gum. This is often done with the assistance of a local anesthetic.
- Fillings are another way to prevent the spread of tooth decay. A filling is an amalgam of material that fills a hole or cavity in your tooth to prevent bacteria from spreading into the gum or other teeth. Fillings can be tooth-colored to match your teeth or made of silver. Your dentist will drill a small hole to clean out the cavity then insert the filling material. After it hardens, your tooth will be protected from further decay.
- There are times when the best preventative measure is to extract a tooth to prevent danger to the rest of the teeth, the gum or the jawbone. Extractions are usually performed under local anesthetics, although general anesthesia may be given if there is a chance that the extraction will take a long time or if more than one tooth is to be extracted.
Why Do I Need Preventative Care?
The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more apt than when applied to taking care of your teeth and gums. Anyone who has had to endure hours in a chair to undergo serious dental procedures knows that preventing the problem is much easier.
At Door Creek Dental, we believe in preventative care. Call us today for an appointment to learn how we can help you take care of your teeth and gums and avoid costly procedures.