Preventive Dentistry Starts at Home
Much of preventive dentistry begins by controlling the plaque that constantly accumulates on your teeth. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth twice every day, controlling plaque and its calcified form, tartar, require routine checkups and cleanings at least once every six months. These visits also allow us to ensure that your bite continues to function properly by checking for alignment issues and signs of TMJ disorder and bruxism.
Why Preventive Dentistry is Important
Rather than waiting for a tooth to hurt, or to become infected, preventive dentistry allows us to prevent dental issues from forming in the first place. For the most part, this means consistent dental checkups and cleanings. Usually, this also includes advanced diagnostics to make sure your teeth and jaw are aligned, you do not consistently grind your teeth, or that you seek treatment early if an issue develops. To help keep your family’s smiles healthy and beautiful, we offer several preventive dental services.
Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Regular dental checkups and cleanings help maintain oral health and hygiene while identifying any concerns that may need treatment. Early treatment is key to avoiding more extensive and expensive dental treatments in the future.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth roots after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
Many sports require athletes to use a mouth guard to protect their teeth while practicing and playing. Frequently used in contact sports, the mouth guard covers the gums and teeth to protect lips, gums, teeth, and arches. A properly fitted mouth guard can reduce the severity of dental injuries.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. When root canal therapy is performed, infected, or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth chamber. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed to limit the possibility of future infection. Soon after the root canal is performed, the tooth is restored with a dental crown or filling to protect the tooth and restore normal tooth function.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative procedures may need to be removed. Before removal of the tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is loosened from the jawbone and surrounding ligaments and tissues with a gentle rocking motion. Once it is loose, it is gently removed. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
From Prevention to Early Detection
For patients who develop issues between their dental checkup appointments, or who have long-standing dental issues that require more attention, we can recommend an appropriate treatment plan during your checkup. By attending regular visits, you have a higher chance of preserving your smile through prevention and early intervention.
You may already know that brushing and flossing every day is the most important thing you can do for your teeth. However, by itself, a routine is not enough to keep your smile consistently healthy. Dr. Keelan’s trained eye and your hygienist’s professional hygiene instruments are as vital as your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. During your checkups and cleanings, we can make sure that the effort you put into your daily hygiene pays off by checking for signs of trouble and professionally cleaning and polishing your teeth.