Preventive Dental Services
Restorative dental procedures are available for patients who have sustained damage to their teeth from decay or trauma. However, restorative services can often be avoided if proper preventive care is received.
Here are a few preventive dental services that help you maintain the health of your teeth.
Routine dental scalings, which are performed during regular dental checkups, remove tartar from the teeth. The tartar, which is dental plaque that has calcified, is firmly attached to the surfaces of the teeth. Additionally, the tartar is so hard that it cannot be brushed from the enamel. Thus, it must be scraped away using a dental tool called a scaler.
The tartar-removal process is painless and relatively quick. However, it can effectively preserve the health of the teeth and gums as oral bacteria that is contained in the tartar is removed.
Oral bacteria mixes with particles of food to form plaque. Also, as the undisturbed plaque hardens, the porous tartar becomes a breeding ground for additional bacteria.
The acid released by oral microbes as they digest simple carbohydrates demineralize the teeth, causing decay. Therefore, by removing the tartar, you can avoid decay.
Fluoride can be applied to the teeth to remineralize the tooth material. The dentist applies fluoride to the enamel and allows it to rest in place for the prescribed time before rinsing it from the oral cavity.
As the fluoride coats the tooth enamel, it attracts dissolved minerals back to the tooth's surface. The fluoride compound then combines with the minerals, creating additional tooth enamel that resists decay better than the original enamel.
Dental sealants protect the teeth from developing cavities. The sealants are made of plastic. Once they are in place, the sealants act as a barrier between bacterial acids and the tooth material.
Sealants are typically applied to the grooved, grinding surfaces of the back teeth, where plaque can settle to cause decay. The sealants remain in place for years, protecting the teeth.
If a sealant does become damaged, the dental professional can reapply it. The application is simple. The dentist applies the sealant in liquid form and exposes it to a bright light to harden it in position.
Since preventive services are often performed when you visit your dentist every six months for routine examinations, it is important to schedule and attend your regular checkups each year. To schedule a routine dental appointment, contact a dental professional like David W Hyten DMD.