Common Treatments Offered by Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry aims to keep the mouth healthy by preventing problems rather than waiting to fill a cavity when the patient feels pain or only addressing enamel erosion after teeth become sensitive. These services may include a deep cleaning of the teeth and other treatments that can only be performed by a licensed dentist.
3 common preventive dentistry treatments
Many patients may not understand the importance of general dental visits when it comes to oral health. Preventive dentistry involves any service that aids the patient in avoiding cavities, disease, or other oral health issues.
While every patient is unique and may need different treatments from time to time, there are several services that all patients need on a regular basis in addition to personal oral care routines at home. Consider the three following common dentistry treatments as components of a strong preventive care plan.
1. Oral exams
Perhaps most importantly, visiting a general dentist at least twice a year is of paramount importance to maintaining good dental health. The dentist examines the patient's teeth and gums, notes any problem spots, and takes X-rays to determine if there are cavities, signs of oral cancer, or other issues lurking beneath the gumline. It is a good idea to establish a baseline when the patient is not struggling with oral health problems.
2. Fluoride treatments
The American Dental Association recommends that patients at high risk for cavities take advantage of a safe and effective treatment commonly offered in dental practices: topical fluoride. Fluoride treatments are easily affordable and can strengthen the enamel in addition to reducing the risk of decay.
3. Teeth cleaning appointments
Patients in good health should schedule preventive dentistry cleaning appointments at least twice a year, and patients who are prone to gum and tooth problems may need to visit more often. Along with the oral exam and fluoride treatment, the cleaning gives the dentist the opportunity to inspect the patient's mouth and make additional preventive recommendations for care at home. Cleaning the teeth eliminates large amounts of cavity-causing plaque before it turns into tartar, removes bacteria that can cause gum disease, and boosts the patient's systemic health.
What is the patient's part in preventive care?
There are many steps a patient can take every day at home to preserve oral health and care for teeth, gums, and other soft tissues of the mouth. In between dental appointments, a patient trying to boost dental health could brush twice a day and floss at least once a day, avoid sugary foods, and use a mouthwash after cleaning the teeth.
Preventive dentistry treatments involve taking a proactive approach to managing oral health. These services, such as oral cancer screenings, routine exams and X-rays, regular cleanings of the teeth, and fluoride treatments go a long way to ensuring the long-term dental and systemic health of the patient. Patients who want to protect teeth should address these concerns with a licensed dentist who can help develop a sustainable preventive care plan for oral health.
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