Preventive Dentistry

PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY

This is the aspect of dentistry concerned with maintenance of optimal oral health and providing education on oral hygiene practices that can help to avoid occurrence of cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more.

The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds true when applied to preventative dental care. It is vitally important to your general health and wellbeing that you take necessary steps to prevent the occurrence of major dental problems.

GINGIVITIS

Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the gums, which causes the gums to bleed and to become red,
inflamed and swollen. The reason behind this condition is poor daily brushing of teeth and ‘gums’. When you reach adulthood,
the hormonal changes observed increase the gingival sensitivity. Growing older, habits such as smoking, bad diet,
health problems, bad habits, stress and aging increase the risks of gingivitis.

HALITOSIS

Halitosis, a.k.a. chronic bad breath, is a condition in which a person emanates an unattractive odour from their mouth. Unlike “morning breath” or a strong smell that lingers after a tuna sandwich, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of something more serious.

Halitosis has a number of possible causes, 80% of which are oral: cavities, gum disease, cracked fillings, less-than-clean dentures and certain diets are all likely suspects.

It can also be caused by systemic diseases such as lung disease, diabetes, tonsil infection etc.

 

With a proper cleaning and examination, our resident dentist can help rule out any oral health problems and advise you on next steps, including what types of dental products to use, treatment plans to take care of cavities or gum disease or refer you to a medical provider to follow up.

SCALING AND POLISHING

This involves removal of plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time.

Plaque and calculus accumulate on the teeth. The infection creates a pocket between the teeth and the gums which is filled with plaque and calculus. The soft tissues swell and entrap the calculus in the pocket. The ongoing infection eventually causes destruction of the tissues and of the bone surrounding the tooth. As the calculus contains bacteria, the area will get contaminated and will most probably develop an abscess increasing the degree of destruction of the bone and tissue.

Indication

Build- up of calcium on the surface of the teeth can result in formation of a limescale-like deposit called calculus which varies in colour from creamy-white to brown to black.

If calculus is allowed to accumulate, it creates the right conditions for bacteria to thrive which will eventually result in tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis etc.

The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.

Description

A scale and polish is recommended to be done at your biannual visit to the dentist.

The ultrasonic instrument uses tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a proper temperature. The device emits a humming or high pitched whistling sound.

Polishing is done after scaling and all surfaces are smooth using a slow speed hand piece with a brush that spins on the end. Prophylaxis paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material – is scooped with the polishing brush and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.

Benefits:

Healthy and bright smile

Tooth surface remains smooth and less adhesive to bacteria

Prevention of serious dental problems e.g. gingivitis, halitosis, bleeding gums etc.

Early detection of dental problem with swift therapeutic intervention.