Modern dentistry not only offers treatment but preventive advice as well.
Todays dental knowledge makes it possible to prevent or considerably reduce
dental disease. This requires a joint effort between the patient and the dentist.
Effective prevention cannot be done without the full co-operation of the patient.
What does preventive dentistry really do?
It helps you to keep your teeth! The two major causes of tooth loss are decay
and gum disease. Of course the maximum benefit can be obtained by young people where generally less damage has already occurred. However it is never too late to start. Visiting a dental practice regularly for check-ups is the basis of successful preventive dental care. You should get to know the dental team and, more importantly, they will get to know you. By seeing you regularly and carefully checking your teeth and gums for signs of problems, the team will be able to plan dental care and give advice tailored to your individual needs. Problems can be spotted early when damage is minimal and therefore treatment is easier.
The dentist and the hygienist are trained to carry out preventive treatment and repair work. Scaling and polishing may be necessary to remove calculus (hardened deposits of plaque). Fluoride tablets, gels and mouthwashes may be recommended for home use or may be applied directly to teeth during your visit.
The biting surfaces of back teeth in children can be vulnerable to decay and they can be protected by fissure sealants, which are hard tooth coloured resin coatings.
Obviously if your teeth have become broken down by decay or accidental damage, repair can be carried out to restore their appearance and function, which in turn makes them easier to maintain.
You are the main person in preventive dental care. It is the daily maintenance of your dentition that is the most important aspect. The dental team is there to point you in the right direction and give expert assistance when necessary. By visiting the dentist regularly and following home care advice you can have the biggest influence on your dental health.