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Preventive Dental Care

Did you know that one out of every four children aged 2-5 in the US children have cavities, and about 25% of the US elders aged 65 or above have lost all their teeth.  This could be prevented easily with regular preventive dental care, which involves professional dental procedures that are aimed at keeping your teeth and gums healthy.  Preventive care reduces the likelihood of dental infection through early detection and timely treatment. 


Who Can Benefit from Preventive Dentistry?


It is commonly thought that preventive dentistry is only for young people or those who retain their natural teeth, which is not true. In fact, even those people who have lost all their teeth can also benefit from preventive dentistry, as oral cancer and denture stomatitis, thrush (fungal infection)  are some examples of conditions observed in the older individuals.  These conditions can be prevented with regular preventive dental care.


What is involved in preventive Dentistry?

  • The main goal behind preventive dentistry is prevention rather than cure. The following treatments are provided in preventive dentistry:

  • Dental Examination – this involves a thorough and detailed dental examination, so that any developing dental problems can be diagnosed and treated before they cause permanent damage or require extensive dental treatment.

  • Dental X-rays – Dental x-rays provide very high quality radiographic images on teeth, supporting bone and jaw structures to help in diagnosis of developing dental conditions. Most  cavity, infection, gum disease and other abnormality can be diagnosed by dental x-ray.  Modern digital x-ray has significantly reduced radiation compared to traditional dental X-rays system. 

  • Prophylaxis – this involves thorough cleaning of the teeth to prevent the developement of gum diseases. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in order to effectively counter the periodontal infections. (antibiotics are in addition to appropriate periodontal prophylaxis help prevent further bone loss...but it doesn't help cure periodontal disease or reverse it)

  • Scaling and Root Planing (deep cleaning) – Patients who have developed significant buildup of plaque (soft film) and/ or tartar (hard rough buildup), will benefit from  a more through cleaning process to remove the buildup.  These plaque and tartar lead to cavities, gingivitis (bleeding gum) and periodontal disease (loss of bone that support teeth).  Scaling and root planing involves uses of ultrasonic/sonic scalers and hand instrumentation.  Antibiotic sometimes can be used as an adjuntive treatment to periodontal disease.  Scaling and root planing will not regenerate the supporting bone that is already lost, but will help to prevent further bone loss.

  • Fluoride Treatment – fluoride treatment has been shown to be highly effective in strenthening teeth, by making them resistant against the development of teeth cavities and reduce sensitvities to hot and cold exposure. Fluoride can administered various form, such as supplement in food or water, or it can be directly applied to the teeth in the form of mouth washe, toothpastes, varnishes and gels.

  • Oral Cancer Screening – According to the oral cancer foundation, over 56,000 US citizens will be suffering from oral cancer this year that will take life of 1 oral cancer patient in every 24 hours. One of the main objectives is to perform a thorough oral screening upon each visit to the dentist, and if there is any suspicion of any cancerous activity, it is promptly investigated and appropriately treated. 

  • Oral Hygiene Instructions – proper dental hygiene at home is the key to maintaining of dental health. Dental providers can design patient's individualized home regimen that best suit their life style and dental conditions. 

The centuries old saying that “prevention is better than cure” also holds true in the case of dental care.

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