What Is Preventive Care in Dentistry & its Services?￼
Preventive dentistry is a familiar medical term that you might have heard from your dentist or have read on the internet. It refers to several essential things that you must follow on a regular basis to maintain good oral health – which in turn is crucial for general health. For a better understanding of what the term means to you and your loved ones, read on to get a complete insight into what preventive care services mean and what is covered under preventive care.
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is a dental field wherein professional care is provided to keep the mouth, gums, and teeth healthy as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of having periodontal disease, tooth decay, cavities, and other dental concerns. The aim is to identify and spot dental problems before they arise or progress and treat them with a minimally invasive approach. It is essential for one’s oral health starting from childhood to adulthood. Regular dental check-ups are also essential for senior citizens and immunocompromised patients to avoid health complications originating from poor oral health.
The Importance of Preventive Oral Health Care
You need to be proactive in preventive dental care for multiple reasons. First of all, preventive dental care can save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent dental visits and the need of undergoing extensive dental work. Preventive dental care services are much cheaper than restorative dentistry options like placing implants, crowns, or fillings. Moreover, many insurance companies cover all or most of the cost of preventive procedures carried out at the dentist’s office.
Secondly, going ahead with preventive care in dentistry means you would no longer neglect the health and hygiene of your pearly whites or skip dental visits over the years. This way you are less likely to suffer from serious dental concerns including tooth decay or gum disease that can lead to the loss of a natural tooth. Furthermore, most oral health concerns are painful due to exposed nerve endings inside the mouth. But if you follow preventive dental care you can avoid major dental problems and remain pain-free as well, thereby having improved quality of life.
Thirdly, many researchers have studied the link between oral health and overall well-being. So, with preventive dental care, you can ensure better general health and avoid health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
What is Involved in Preventive Care Services?
Preventive care in dentistry covers the following most-common dental services:
1. Comprehensive Oral Exams- With the help of various special dental tools, dentists closely examine the condition of the inside of your mouth. It is normally advised for everyone to schedule an appointment with a dentist twice a year to check their gums and teeth for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease, and to check the tongue and surrounding areas of the mouth for any problems or any other issues that need immediate treatment. It also includes oral cancer screening wherein the dentist looks for white/red patches inside the mouth or mouth sores and checks for any abnormalities by examining the mouth tissues with gloved hands.
2. Diagnostic Tests- Once the dentists find out about possible dental concerns, the next step would be Dental-X rays. These X-rays take clear detailed pictures of the inside of the mouth to spot any issue that goes undetected by simple oral examination and further understand the severity of the problem. X-ray reports are used to create the best treatment plan for you.
3. Professional Teeth Cleaning- After spotting the plaque or tartar/calculus build-up on the tooth surface or along the gum line, the dentist uses special dental tools to remove it. Once the cleaning is over, the teeth are also polished.
4. Educational Instruction by Dental Experts- Our dentists at First Point Dental, one of the best preventive dental clinics in Illinois, teach patients the proper technique for brushing teeth and flossing in order to prevent bacteria to reside inside the mouth and lead to tooth decay or cavities. Depending upon the patient’s current oral health status, other oral care practices may be taught by the dentists.
5. At-home Preventive Dental Care- Every individual must follow a proper dental care regimen involving twice-daily brushing and flossing once a day to ensure good oral hygiene as well as using special mouthwashes to avoid dry mouth and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, they must try avoiding the consumption of acidic or sugary foods or drinks and ensure that tooth enamel is getting enough fluoride. This way there will be fewer chances of having tooth decay or gum infection.
6. Fluoride Treatments- If tooth enamel is wearing down or becoming discolored, the patient is advised to get additional fluoride treatments wherein a high concentration of fluoride is applied to the teeth to improve their health, strengthen tooth enamel, and reduce the risk of developing cavities.