Preventive dentistry combines healthy at-home practices with routine dental exams, digital x-rays, professional cleanings, and services to prevent gum inflammation, tooth decay, and tooth wear in order to maintain a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Cleanings, Screenings and Technology
Cleanings – Calculus and certain stains cannot be removed with traditional tooth brushing – even with the most high tech toothbrush. During routine cleanings, the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove all traces of plaque, calculus and stains.
Checkups – Following your cleaning, a routine checkup is performed Dr Ray. She provides a thorough exam of the hard and soft oral tissues, as well as an oral cancer screening.
Technology – Using state-of-the-art digital X-ray and intraoral camera technology, the patient is able to view images of their oral condition along with the doctor.
Digital X-ray imaging is a diagnostic tool that aids in detecting dental disease not visible during a regular dental exam. The digital X-ray image is immediately displayed on the monitor for both the patient and doctor to review.
Intraoral cameras are approximately the size of a dental mirror, and project their images on a monitor for the patient to instantly view. A picture is worth a thousand words when helping the patient visualize a cavity, fractured tooth or area of inflammation. Dr. Ray’s highly trained assistants also use the intra-oral camera to document treatment before, during and at completion of dental procedures.
The American Dental Association recommends patients have a minimum of two dental visits each year for a professional cleaning, dental checkup and management of any developing conditions. Certain patients are at higher risk for developing problems and may require more frequent checkups.
At risk patients include:
Patients with Diabetes
Patients suffering from immune disorders
Patients who have periodontal disease
Preventive Treatments for Adults
Adults – Fluoride, when applied topically to the teeth, strengthens the enamel preventing decay, and may even reverse early decay. Adults who are at high risk for developing cavities are candidates for in-office fluoride varnish treatments and or prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste. The placement of fluoride is now in the form of a clear, pleasant tasting varnish, eliminating the need for the “foam” in trays that we all remember from childhood dental visits. The varnish wears off within a day, but has lasting effects for months.
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, causes abnormal tooth wear, fractures and tooth loss. Bruxism contributes to periodontal inflammation, gum recession and abfraction more commonly known as ‘ditching’ of tooth structure at the base of the tooth. Abnormal tooth wear from bruxism can cause strain of facial muscles and the temporomandibular joints. Complications stemming from these problems can lead to pain, but more often leads to aesthetic changes in facial structure. In Dr. Ray’s office, the therapeutic night guard is strongly advised for the maintenance of healthy smiles for a lifetime.
We are pleased to offer CloSYS oral hygiene products, please click their logo below to learn more.
To learn more about all oral health topics, please visit the MouthHealthy website from the American Dental Association.