The keys to prevention of decay and gum disease are found in the balance of effective dental hygiene measures to remove bacterial plaque in it's early stages coincidental to maintaining a diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, coupled with your immune system response or genetic predisposition to being more or less prone to gum disease or cavities. Since you can't go back and choose your parents and grandparents, the things you actually have control over are your hygiene and diet while maintaining an awareness of your genetic predispositions (just not in control of them!)
Continuing Care Visits
Often referred to as a check up or "cleaning" appointment, your Continuing Care visit is scheduled as a mutually agreed upon interval between Preventive (Prophylaxis) services. Our patients present for their Prophys exhibiting the results of responsible dental hygiene measures in the interim. This looks like very little bacterial plaque build up with little or no inflammatory response (bleeding)
The new patient exam
Pit & Fissure Sealants
It is important to consider the preventive benefits of pit and fissure sealants on back teeth (molars and premolars). Sealants help to minimize the risk of decay in the cavity-prone nook and crannies (pits and fissures) covering the chewing surfaces of these teeth. Ideally, sealants are placed within the first six months following full eruption of the teeth. This includes a range of about 6 years to 13 years of age. In this way, the barrier can be set and sustained through the cavity prone formative years of our children's growth and development.
Sealants will often last several years. It is especially valuable to maintain sealants through the teens. If, for any reason, sealants that we have placed do not last 1 year, we take full accountability and will replace them at no charge. Parents are reminded that sticky foods and poor hygiene can contribute to a less than an ideal life span for sealants.
Sealants are often placed in an all-at-once appointment. It is easy for the patient to tolerate a "paint job for their teeth" during an "open wide and stay cool for a minute" and "Voila! We're finished!" visit.
Many of our adult patients request the use of sealants to maintain the ultimate barrier of prevention against decay on non-restored tooth surfaces.
Where necessary, Air Abrasion technology will be used to assure a decay free surface prior to sealant placement. The Diagnodent Laser Caries Detection Instrument provides a confident alert to the earliest signs of decay. All of these teeth will be analyzed with the Diagnodent prior to treatment to help guide the course of treatment.
For over 50 years the use of Fluoride has contributed to a decrease in the amount of tooth decay to levels far below the catastrophic incidence of this disease prior to 1950. Much is written and available regarding Fluoride products and their safety and efficacy.(ADA link) Suffice it to say, there are specific indications and uses of the many and varied fluoride products and delivery modalities available today. We maintain a current knowledge base of Fluoride treatments and stand ready to advise you regarding a Fluoride protocol best suited to your individual dental wellness. Whether it is Pediatric fluoride supplements, fluoride in toothpastes, desensitizing fluoride products, at-home over the counter rinses or in-office fluoride varnishes, we will support you when making the choice for any fluoride supplements to compliment your best dental wellness.