Ever heard the phrase, an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure? That saying holds true in dentistry. The best form of prevention starts with good dental hygiene at home. However, preventative dentistry is more than just good brushing habits. It can include a wide range of dental care that you and your dentist design meet to your specific needs. Different preventative treatments are based off your diagnosis from your comprehensive exam. Treatment for gum disease can include multiple treatments depending on the diagnosis. Care guidelines to help you fight the condition must be followed.
Primary Preventative treatments
- Adult Prophylaxis (D1110) – A typical dental cleaning. Even if you practice healthy teeth cleaning habits at home, regular dental cleanings are important. Trained hygienists clean your teeth with special instruments that remove built-up plaque and tartar (calculus) and then polish your teeth for that fresh from the dentist feel.
- Child Prophylaxis (D1120) – Toddlers, children, (aka “little ones with teeth”) should be sure to have routine cleanings. Teaching and monitoring your child’s oral hygiene is critical. We’re here to help keep them on the up-and-up.
- Full Mouth Debridement (D4355) – Haven’t had a professional dental cleaning in a while? This may be required if you have so much tartar build up that Dr. Drew cannot adequately complete the dental exam.
- Scaling in the Presence of Generalized Moderate or Severe Gingivitis (D4346) – this is also for patients that haven’t had a professional cleaning in a while that present with puffy gums causing deep pockets around the teeth with moderate to severe bleeding.
Adjunctive Preventative Treatments
The following adjunctive dental treatments can aid in the prevention of caries (decay) when added to proper diet, adequate at home oral hygiene (twice daily brushing and flossing), as well as regular dental exams and cleanings.
- Fluoride Varnish (D1206) – Fluoride varnishes can strengthen your teeth and help protect your teeth from decay.¹ When applied twice yearly by your dentist, varnishes decrease decayed, missing and filled surfaces by 46% in children and adolescents over a one year period, and when children are high risk benefits are even greater.² As with any treatment, your dentist will provide an expert opinion using up-to-date evidence based research specific to your presentation and diagnosis.
- Sealants (D1351) – Individual teeth form from lobes, and these lobes form into cusps. Pits and fissures (grooves) develop where the cusps join after the tooth has completely taken shape. These pits and fissures are so tight not even a single toothbrush bristle can fit inside of them to clean. However, they can be penetrated by decay causing bacteria. Placing sealants over pits and fissures can block infiltration by decay causing microbes. A systematic review suggested a 76% reduction in new decay was noted in children and adolescents that had sealants (compared to those that did not) applied to healthy teeth, after a two-year follow-up.³ The same review found that after 7 years, the incidence of decay was less than half in the children and adolescents with sealants than compared to those without.³
- Night Guards (D9944) – Signs and symptoms of bruxism or teeth grinding include cracks, attrition, failing restorations, abfraction lesions, muscle pain and TMD. To prevent further deterioration and pain a custom night guard can be fabricated. These not only protect your teeth when you sleep but also curb this parafunctional habit while you sleep.
- Sports Guards (D9945) – Dr. Drew can fabricate a custom sports guard to protect your teeth if you play contact sports or clench during a strenuous activity.
- American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. Professionally applied topical fluoride: evidence-based clinical recommendations. JADA. 2006; 137: 1151–1159
- Tellez M, Wolff M, S: The Public Health Reach of High Fluoride Vehicles: Examples of Innovative Approaches. Caries Res 2016;50(suppl 1):61-67. doi: 10.1159/000443186
- Ahovuo-Saloranta A, Forss H, Walsh T, Hiiri A, Nordblad A, Mäkelä M, Worthington HV. Sealants for preventing dental decay in the permanent teeth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013; Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001830. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001830.pub4.
At St. Johns Smile Care, we provide our patients with high-quality care in a friendly, supportive environment. Our services range from preventative screening and exams to restorative and surgical care. We offer the best care for your oral health and we want you satisfied!