When was the last time you had a dental cleaning? If you think it doesn’t matter, you need to read on to learn about the importance of dental prophylaxis. This simple procedure is a major part of an oral health care regimen needed to prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth loss brought on by dental disease. Prophylaxis can prevent the need for a costly dental treatment, such as a tooth filling or gum disease treatment. And you only need to do it twice a year.
The medical term for a professional dental cleaning, prophylaxis is purely a preventive measure. Part of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other irritants from the oral cavity.
As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems. Unfortunately, some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Prophylaxis is one way to ensure a clean bill of oral health — at least for the next six months!
The physical process for digital radiography is actually similar to traditional dental X-rays that use film: With digital radiography, your dentist inserts a sensor into your mouth to capture images of your teeth — but that’s where the similarities between conventional and digital dental X-rays end. Although it resembles the film used for bitewings and other X-rays, the digital sensor is electronic and connected to a computer. Once the X-ray is taken, the image is projected on a screen for your dentist to view.
Less Radiation — The equipment used in digital radiography exposes dental patients to much less radiation. In fact, digital X-rays use up to 90 percent less radiation than film X-rays. While conventional dental X-rays are relatively safe, digital radiography is an excellent option for those who take X-rays on a regular basis or for those who are concerned about radiation.
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
Though dental sealants are not a cure-all in preventing tooth decay, they are cost-effective and helpful to patients – particularly children – in controlling decay in certain areas of the mouth.
A dental sealant is an acrylic-like material that helps shield out decay-causing bacteria from the chewing surfaces of back teeth. We base our diagnosis and recommendation for dental sealants on the patient’s susceptibility to tooth decay and how the teeth were shaped when they originally formed below the gum. Though there is no specific age at which sealants are indicated, often we will recommend that the best time to apply them is when the six-year molars appear.
If you, or a family member, are at a moderate-to-high risk of developing cavities, a professional fluoride treatment can help. The fluoride preparation used in the dental office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouthrinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy.
Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.
After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.
Laboratory-made PlaySafe® sports mouthguards are prescribed for both professional and amateur athletes because they offer the highest level of protection during sports activity. When worn properly, they can prevent dental trauma, such as fractured teeth or concussions. They are also indicated for patients with an orthodontic situation, such as braces, who must wear a mouthguard for preventive measures.
PlaySafe sports mouthguards provide superior fit and retention compared to boil-and-bite mouthguards. Available in six levels of protection, the mouthguards range from one to three layers of laminated ethyl vinyl acetate material with a final occlusal thickness between 3 mm and 5 mm. PlaySafe mouthguards can be customized with stickers and team logos and are available in a variety of colors to fit the personality of every star athlete in your practice!