Preventive dental treatments are designed to help patients maintain healthy teeth and gums to avoid the complications that often occur when plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up on teeth over time. This includes professional cleanings and exams, as well as daily brushing and flossing at home.
Dentists recommend that patients attend annual cleanings and checkups to prevent serious dental health issues like gum disease and tooth decay. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar from teeth and polish them entirely. Brushing alone can only clean the surface of teeth, leaving bacteria and decay behind.
Preventive Care Treatments
There are many things that a dentist can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities. During routine checkups, your dentist will examine your teeth for signs of decay and damage. Regular cleanings and fluoride applications are also great ways to protect your teeth from harm.
A professional cleaning is a professional tooth cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 30 and 60 minutes. They are performed to prevent cavities and gingivitis. During a professional cleaning, the plaque and tartar that builds up at the gum line are removed through scaling. The teeth are then polished to make it more difficult for plaque to accumulate.
Scaling is when the dentist uses special instruments or an ultrasonic cleaner to remove dental plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This buildup can cause gum disease if it isn't removed. Polishing is a procedure used to give your teeth a cleaner, smoother surface.
Typically, twice-yearly cleanings are recommended for most patients. However, patients with periodontal disease may be required to have more frequent cleanings. Talk to your dentist about the schedule that's best for you.
No one wants to think of losing their teeth – after all, they're necessary to eat and speak! However, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Many patients don't even realize they have the disease until it's too late; fortunately, regular cleanings and periodontal therapy can help stop periodontal disease in its tracks. Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums that starts out as gingivitis and can progress to periodontitis if not properly treated.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, call us right away to make an appointment with your dentist and consider booking a deep cleaning to restore your oral health!
Our dentists may recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. This process takes only a few minutes and can be done at the end of the regular cleaning appointment or during a separate visit. A topical fluoride gel is applied to the teeth, and a foam barrier is placed over your gums to protect them from the fluoride. The dentist will then apply a concentrated fluoride to the teeth and allow them to sit for one minute while the teeth absorb the fluoride into the enamel. Lastly, the dentist will rinse the teeth with water to remove any excess fluoride before polishing them. This can be done up to two times per year for a patient with a high risk of cavities.
A sealant is a clear or tooth-colored material that is applied to the back teeth as a protective covering to prevent tooth decay. The back teeth are the most susceptible to cavities because food particles are more likely to get stuck there. When sealants are applied, they create a smooth surface that is difficult for bacteria to stick to. That way, plaque, and tartar are not allowed to accumulate on your teeth.
Oral Cancer Screening
Preventative dentistry services can help catch oral cancer early. Early detection is key to the effective treatment of this disease. An oral cancer screening can be performed during your routine exam and only takes a few minutes to complete. The screening involves looking for any suspicious areas of leukoplakia in your mouth, which could be caused by HPV or other types of cancer. This helps to catch oral cancer early before symptoms develop.
Call Dr. Kevin D. Fong, DDS at phone number (510) 783-1572 or schedule an online appointment. Email us at: k[email protected] to know more about preventative dentistry.