An English Jurist, cleric and legal advisor to the monarchy in 13th century England, Henry de Bracton once said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ We are confident that almost every patient in this world has heard some form of this phrase, spoken to them by their doctors. It is certainly the very basis of a branch of modern day medicine known as Preventative Medicine, or in our case, Preventative Dentistry.
The question is, what exactly is preventative dentistry, who is it for and what does it entail? Here we have the answers to all these questions and more.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative dentistry refers to certain practices within the spectrum of dental medicine and surgery which seek to reduce, minimize, or entirely eliminate the need for invasive dental treatment and therapy. It is essentially the way of helping one keep a healthy mouth and oral environment. Preventative dentistry is the ongoing care provided by the dentist, hygienist and the patient in tandem, which is intended to prevent the occurrence of tooth decay and the onset of other dental diseases.
Who Is Preventative Dentistry For?
Preventative dental measures are for every single individual; child and adult. Preventative care is provided in three basic levels – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Primary care is intended for healthy individuals in order to avoid the development of the disease entirely if possible. Secondary care on the other hand, focuses on early detection of the disease and prevention of further progression of it. Tertiary preventative care revolves around the efforts made to reduce the harmful impact of an already established condition in order to restore proper functionality of one’s dentition. The aim of preventative dental care provided by the professionals at White Lily Dental is to protect those unaffected by dental diseases as well as improve the quality of life for those patients who are already suffering from disease-related complications and consequences.
What Does Preventative Dentistry Entail?
There are many forms of preventative dental care. There are dental practices employed by the dentist, hygienist at the dental clinic as well as the patient when at home. While the preventative dental measures used in clinic may vary depending on the level of care necessitated for any particular individual, there is set standard of preventative measures for all patients to use at home.
Here is an overview of the various preventative dental measures employed by patients and the dentists.
- Preventative Dental Measures At Home:
- Daily preventative care for oral hygiene maintenance which includes proper brushing as well as flossing, twice every day.
- Regular use of fluoridated toothpaste, as recommended by the American Dental Association.
- Quarterly replacement of toothbrush to avoid damage to the oral mucosa with the use of frayed bristles
- Regulations of healthy dietary habits as sugar, carbohydrate-loaded foods have a tendency to feed the bacteria which produces dental plaque and ultimately leads to tooth decay.
- Abstinence from dentally detrimental habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco and consuming alcohol as these practices not only decrease the overall health of your teeth, they also cause tooth loss, gum disease, tooth discoloration and decay, and oral cancer.
- Regular visits and dental cleanings from the dentist.
Preventative Dental Measures at the White Lily Dental:
The very first preventative dental measure is a thorough dental examination, assessment and evaluation of a patient’s oral cavity which include taking digital dental X-rays. If a patient requires primary dental care, then:
The dentist will thoroughly clean, scale and polish the patient’s teeth to remove any traces of plaque, calculus or dental stains.
Educate the patient on the proper brushing and flossing techniques as well as inform them about the use of the best oral care products. The patients will also be informed about the outcome of poor oral hygiene habits and their consequences.
Assess the need for, and then apply fissure sealants to prevent the development of dental caries.
Provide a custom-made mouth guard to patients who are athletically active or show a tendency to grind/clench their teeth.
If patients require secondary preventive care, they may be recommended detailed screening or diagnostic tests for early detection of the disease, along with the use of restorative, periodontal, endodontic or exodontic therapies to prevent further progression of the disease. Tertiary preventative care usually involves the use of amalgam or composite fillings, or the use of dentures, bridges or implants to restore full functionality of the patient’s teeth.
The dental team at White Lily Dental is dedicated in providing the highest level of dental care to our patients. Only after a thorough evaluation will a dentist at White Lily Dental devise a dental treatment plan which will help ensure that the patient’s mouth is in a good, healthy condition.