Preventive dentistry can help you maintain a healthy mouth and hence you need to have less dental treatment and keep your teeth for longer. The two main causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
Preventive dentistry can help to prevent the need for treatment and avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions. We may recommend a course of treatment to get your mouth in a good condition, and then work out a maintenance plan to help you keep it that way.
Before deciding on any methods of treatment, each patient's risk factors will need to be identified. These include: exposure to water fluoride levels, medical history, diet history, current oral health status, tooth morphology, age, oral hygiene practices etc. From these initial assessments we can then establish whether the patients are at a high risk of developing dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease, then tailor a treatment plan for the patients.
What treatment is involved?
- We will first check your teeth and gums, and talk to you about any treatment you may need. The main aim is to help you get your mouth healthy so that tooth decay or gum disease will not develop.
- We will thoroughly 'scale and clean' your teeth. We may recommend which oral care products are the most appropriate ones for you to use.
- Diet modification and advice to maintain good dietary habits and to advise against frequent fermentable carbohydrate intake. When you consume sugary foods, the bacteria in the plaque turn the sugar into acid which can cause tooth decay. Plaque can also cause gum inflammation (swelling and soreness) if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed.
- We will make sure that all your fillings or restorations are in good condition and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.
- Fluoride treatment to incorporate fluoride into the tooth surface to make teeth more resistant to tooth decay.
- Fissure sealants for grooves and fissures of the back teeth to minimise tooth decay.
- X-ray assessments are essential for accurate diagnosis of dental decay, bone loss around gum diseased teeth, oral pathology, assessing the development of teeth in children, and anatomical assessments for procedural treatments such as wisdom teeth extractions.
- If necessary an orthodontic assessment to correct any dental irregularities, occlusal and jaw relationship abnormalities.