Preventive dentistry is the modern way of helping you keep your mouth healthy.
When a patient and dentist work together towards the common goal of maintaining a healthy mouth, a future with the traditional cycle of fillings, broken and/or loosening teeth, followed by extractions, may be avoided. Preventive dentistry can increase your chances of keeping your teeth for life and of needing less dental treatment.
Initially, a course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition to establish your healthy mouth baseline. An active maintenance program can then follow, specific to your needs, to support you in keeping your mouth healthy. Educating you about prevention is an essential component of effective preventive care.
Early Diagnosis, Hygiene and Remineralisation
Identifying patients who have a high decay risk is critical to changing the status quo, to prevent ongoing issues. Detecting tooth surface weakness at its earliest point provides an opportunity for further tooth breakdown to be prevented. At our practice, we use the latest diagnostic techniques to identify issues promptly. Remineralisation therapies and BPA-free sealants can be recommended to prevent early changes in tooth enamel from progressing to tooth decay.
Early Treatment is Preventive Care
If restorations are required, we aim to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible with minimally invasive restorative techniques, to keep your teeth as strong as possible and prevent repeated fillings. If gum problems are identified early, chronic inflammation can be treated so more of your tooth attachment is preserved, to reduce the likelihood of tooth loss in later life and assure better overall health.
Levels of Preventive Dentistry
Orthodontics may be advised to improve tooth alignment, to make teeth both easier to clean, and to protect them from uneven and destructive wear, into the future. If you are participating in sports activities where speed, with the chance of collisions to the head or face are a risk, a custom fitted mouthguard can be recommended to help minimize the extent of oral injuries and the need for life long reparative treatments. Assessing people for oral cancer before they have any symptoms can identify early changes in the mouth and reduce the likelihood of any issues advancing.
Preventive Dental Care even when Teeth are Missing?
If you are missing all of your teeth, there are still oral health issues associated with other tissues and structures in your mouth. Your jaws, TMJs, salivary glands, tongue and mouth tissues, should be monitored for functional problems, hygiene issues, the effects of lifestyle habits, infections, side effects of medications, autoimmune changes, ulcers, lumps, bumps or oral cancer. Managing dentures and oral appliances for clenching or grinding, or sleep apnea and snoring issues is still important.
The Power of Habit
Over time the habits, routines or patterns of how we live our lives each day and what we do, day in, day out will have the biggest influence on our lives over time. This effect is often referred to as the power of habit. With respect to your oral health, the power of daily habits such as brushing and flossing your teeth, your daily food and beverages choices, behaviours and activities and whether you choose to attend the dentist on a regular basis or not, will have an enormous influence on your oral health and the state of your teeth in later life. We can show you how the power of habit can be a vehicle for channelling the benefits of preventive dental care throughout your life.
Timing Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry can begin from any point in time, regardless of how many teeth you have, even if you are missing all of your teeth. But for optimal results, starting early, as soon as you can, is best. The aim is to arrest diseases in their earliest stages. A woman, beginning preventive dental care for her child while planning her pregnancy, is the ultimate start to prevention.
Benefits of Prevention
Apart from reducing your risk of dental pain, oral diseases or tooth loss, and enjoying the benefits of a healthy mouth - eating comfortably, speaking confidently and smiling unreservedly, preventing oral health problems may help you to prevent general health problems as well. By keeping your mouth healthy, you will support the overall health of your body and minimize the likelihood of other medical problems, or improve the stability of existing medical conditions.
Additionally, preventive dentistry will also help minimise the financial costs associated with maintaining your oral health. Extensive and complex treatments may not be required when your mouth is consistently healthy, enabling you to avoid high treatment costs. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.