Preventive dentistry involves any dental procedure or protocol that attempts to preserve your teeth and your gums. Preventive dentistry is the key to your long-term oral health. The foundation of preventive dentistry is based on comprehensive clinical examination and diagnosis, which can help formulate a plan that works for you since every patient is different and has their own unique needs. Regular visits to the dentist, dental cleanings, modification of the diet and home care hygiene practices may be part of this long-term plan that will enhance not only your dental health, but your overall health and well-being as well.
Besides daily cleanings at home, it’s essential to have professional dental cleanings every 6 months or more frequently, depending on each patient’s needs. This procedure is done by one of our hygienists, who are certified professionals and whose main goal is to help you maintain optimal oral health. During this procedure, your dental hygienist will use special tools and instruments to remove the tartar and plaque from those areas that are hard to reach. He or she will also assist the dentist during an examination to evaluate your teeth, soft tissues and occlusion among other things, to determine if there are areas that need further attention.
A preventive dental treatment that consists of applying a thin layer of a plastic material on the chewing surfaces of posterior teeth in order to seal the pits and grooves commonly seen on molars and premolars. This mechanical barrier helps to protect the teeth from cavities by keeping germs and food particles out of the grooves. Sealants are a great preventive alternative, especially for children and teenagers.
Used as a topical agent, fluoride can be used to help prevent decay, re-mineralize the tooth surface and treat dentine hypersensitivity. Fluoride is present in toothpaste and mouth rinses and also comes in a Varnish presentation to be applied at the dentist’s office which, due to its adherent nature, stays in contact with the tooth for several hours.
Athletic guards are fabricated by your dentist, and they have the ability to provide better protection to the teeth and to more comfortably stay in place. Sports guards make it easier for athletes to breathe and perform during physical activity.
Inside, under the white part of the tooth that can be seen, and down towards the root, there is soft tissue, composed of nerves and blood vessels, that is called the pulp. Sometimes the pulp can become inflamed or infected by different factors, like trauma, tooth decay or faulty restorations, just to mention a few. All this can cause pain and lead to more complicated issues, like a dental abscess, if it is left untreated.
The goal of root canal treatment is to remove the affected tissue, to clean, disinfect and prepare the tooth to receive a thermoplastic material, called gutta-percha, that will fill the space that was occupied by the pulp. Root canals allow the tooth to stay in place and perform its normal function.