What preventative dental treatments are available for you?
1. Deep Dental cleaning
A routine dental cleaning is designed for prevention- meaning its purpose is keep gum disease and tooth decay from developing. It involves your hygienist cleaning your teeth above the gum line- removing plaque, calculus, and stains, as well as polishing them. This usually takes place every 6 months.
On the other hand, periodontal maintenance therapy is meant for treating patients who've already been diagnosed with gum disease to control it and prevent it from worsening. It involves your doctor or hygienist performing a deep cleaning of the teeth beneath the gumline and deep into the pockets, removing any harmful plaque and bacteria buildup that has occurred since the last visit. Any uneven surface areas of the teeth will be smoothed out to discourage additional bacteria from attaching. To keep up with the pace of bacterial growth, this usually takes place every 3 to 4 months.
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2. Fluoride treatment
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods, tap water, toothpastes, and mouthwashes, and is a key component in developing strong teeth and preventing tooth decay. Over time, the enamel layer of your teeth can begin to deteriorate due to bacteria producing acids, in a process called deminineralization. Fluoride helps remineralize, or add new minerals, to the teeth to maintain strong enamel and prevent decay. Your doctor can provide professional fluoride treatments to provide protection from tooth decay. These treatments contain a much stronger concentration than what is available in stores. The treatment typically involves your doctor placing a tray containing the fluoride solution in your mouth for a few minutes. Alternatively the solution can be applied with a brush, cotton swab, or as a rinse. The strength and type of fluoride treatment depends on the condition of your teeth and other factors. Your doctor will work with you to recommend a fluoride treatment that will best assist you in strengthening your teeth and preventing tooth decay.
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3. Dental sealants
Dental sealants are used to coat and seal the teeth, helping to prevent food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and cause decay. Sealants are typically used for the biting surface of molars and premolars and can eliminate the need for expensive and invasive treatments like dental fillings or crowns. Sealants are often applied to children and teens as their permanent teeth erupt, but adults who don’t have decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from a sealant application. Your dental professional will thoroughly evaluate your teeth to determine whether your pits and fissures are deep enough for sealant to help. Because sealant may not be required on all teeth, your dentist will recommend which teeth would benefit from the procedure. Applying sealant is very simple and usually only takes a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly, prepared with a special solution, and then dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to dry and harden, usually by shining a special light on it for a few seconds. To learn more about sealants watch this video: https://spearedu.co/4JJ3jZ8
For patients experiencing tooth wear due to nighttime grinding and jaw clenching, your doctor may recommend an occlusal appliance- commonly called a nightguard or bite splint- to help alleviate the complications associated with the condition. It is not uncommon for tooth wear to be associated with certain airway or breathing conditions, so your doctor may discuss this with you as well. An occlusal appliance is a device that is worn in the mouth overnight and creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, eliminating the damage they cause by rubbing against each other. It also promotes improved jaw and bite alignment which can help address uneven tooth wear. Research has shown that a well-designed hard appliance will help to relax the musculature- reducing wear even when it is not being worn. There are several designs and styles of appliances available to assist with treatment. Your doctor will expertly design your individualized appliance to ensure optimal bite alignment and maximum protection from additional tooth wear. Given the potential for costly dental treatments caused by untreated tooth wear, it is critical to work closely with your Doctor to proactively treat the issue before more damage is sustained.
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The bottom line
Regardless of the severity of any current dental health issue, there is never a bad time to undergo preventive care treatment.
Dr. Shirman at Dental Wellness of Charlotte can address any questions or concerns you have about preventive treatment. Contact your South Charlotte dentist today to get started.
Request an appointment here: https://www.flexbook.me/dwclt/1 or call Dental Wellness of Charlotte at (704) 317-7337 for an appointment. We are conveniently located in Rea Farms near the intersection of Ardrey Kell Road and Providence Road.