For patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they…
5 Preventive Dental Procedures from a General Dentist
Curious about preventive dental treatments? Read on to learn more about preventive dental procedures from a general dentist. For healthy teeth and a beautiful smile, preventative maintenance is essential. The services are meant to prevent cavities, enamel deterioration, and gum disease.
5 Preventive dental procedures as explained by a general dentist
The following are some of the services available from the general dentist to prevent oral issues:
1. Comprehensive oral examination
When patients visit the dental office, the general dentist will do a thorough oral examination, which often includes:
- Oral cancer screening: The dentist will check for signs of oral cancer around the neck, lips, tongue, face, throat, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth
- X-rays for diagnostic purposes: X-rays are sometimes required to identify cancers, cysts, decay, and bone loss
- Gum disease exam: The dentist may examine the gums and bones around the teeth for signs of periodontal disease
- Evaluation of existing restorations: If the patient has fillings, crowns, or implants, the dentist will examine them for any potential damage or wear-and-tear
2. Dental cleaning and oral hygiene
Dental cleaning is generally included in preventative dental care and typically includes the removal of plaque. Plaque is a slimy, pale coating that forms when bacteria, food particles, and saliva come together. The germs in it are harmful and, if not eliminated, can lead to cavities and gum irritation.
Tartar, which is calcified plaque, is also removed during the cleaning. Tartar accumulates on the tooth's surface. It generally develops below or above the gum line and only removable with special dental instruments.
Finally, the dental professional ends the cleaning by polishing the teeth. Polishing removes stains and plaque from the teeth, giving them a cleaner look.
3. Dental sealant application
A dental sealant is a thin film of plastic applied to the grooves of teeth, generally the rear teeth because they are designed for chewing. The sealant protects teeth from food particles and bacteria that cause cavities. Dental sealants, when used correctly, can reduce cavity occurrence on the teeth.
Dental sealant application takes about 30 minutes to an hour. To eliminate stains, the dentist will clean the teeth properly with air abrasion. They will then rub the surface of the teeth to ensure that the sealant adheres effectively. The sealant will be placed on the grooves once the tooth surface has dried. The dentist will then solidify the sealant with a laser or ultraviolet light, bonding it securely to the teeth for optimum protection.
4. Education on home oral care
Home oral care is necessary for preventing oral health problems. Oral health is crucial to one's overall well-being. During a dental visit, the dentist will explain what home care measures are required to maintain good dental hygiene.
5. Fluoride treatment
Fluoride strengthens teeth by fusing minerals to deteriorated regions of tooth enamel, a process known as remineralization. It also prevents tooth decay by interrupting bacteria's synthesis of acids. Fluoride is a cost-effective approach to keep the teeth healthy.
The bottom line
Preventive dental care from a general dentist can help prevent issues that may require more invasive treatments in the future. If you have any further questions or if you wish to set up an appointment, contact our dental office today.
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