As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, it is always better to prevent any oral disease or infection rather than trying hard to get rid of it. This is where preventive dentistry comes into play. It is the collective term for all the dental procedures and practices that help to avoid an oral infection even before it occurs.
Preventive dental procedures
- Oral cleaning: Microbes tend to get accumulated on the teeth over time, which could be the resultant of improper brushing. When they reside on the teeth for a long time, they form a dark and sticky substance called plaque, which eventually turns into tartar. Tartar can be very difficult to get rid of, which requires oral cleaning. Oral cleaning can be of two types, namely, scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of the accumulated plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. Root planing is similar, but is performed on the roots of the teeth. A hand held ultrasonic scaling device is used for this purpose, and it is absolutely safe.
- Sealants:Occlusal grooves on the molars and premolars can house a lot of debris, which form the breeding grounds for microbes. This is the reasons people mostly have cavities in their molars and premolars. The best way to avoid this is by getting the grooves covered using dental sealants. Sealants can be made to closely match the color of the teeth, which makes them visually undetectable, along with serving their purpose of covering the grooves.
- Oral Cancer Screening:Oral cancer has claimed millions of lives, and the main cause behind it is the chewing of tobacco and smoking cigarettes. When oral cancer is identified at an early stage and treated, it significantly increases the chances of cure. The common symptoms are leukoplakia, sores, redness, lesions, release of pus and bleeding, which is why the dentist would check for such signs during the screening. If any these are noticed, further screening and treatment would be recommended.
- Fluoride treatment: Fluoride treatment is used to increase the content of fluoride in the teeth, which makes them strong and resistant to cavities. The body’s natural supply of fluoride comes from drinking water and the toothpaste one uses. But when it isn’t adequate, the teeth tend to become weak, which increases the chances of developing cavities. A fluoride treatment helps to prevent this.
- Oral X-rays:Oral x-rays are proving to be increasingly helpful in diagnosing the mouth and preventing cavities from become serious. They can be used to detect any underlying cavities, cracks, jawbone deterioration, etc.
- Salivary diagnosis:Several oral diseases and infections can be found out using salivary diagnosis, thereby preventing them from becoming serious. The dentist extracts saliva from the patient and analyzes it to determine any oral infection.
Preventive dentistry at home
Our dentists agree that preventive dentistry starts at home, with regular brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing get rid of most of the bacteria from the mouth, which considerably reduce the chances of developing plaque and tartar. They are known to be the main causes of cavities and can upset one’s oral health to a bad extent. Regular visits to the dentist, i.e. at least once in 6 months, should be practiced so that your routine screening can be done to check for any infections.
Visit our office or book an online appointment and our highly efficient dentists would be more than happy to help you overcome your dental issues.