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PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY

LSJPrevent

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More often than not, patients schedule visits with their dentists to address various dental problems: pain, inflammation, soreness, etc. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms such as these occur, the issue causing discomfort has typically escalated to the point of serious care.

In most cases, standard dental issues can be prevented if monitored on a regular basis. Dentists urge patients to take advantage of preventive dentistry services to reduce the chances of significant future dental concerns, to decrease problematic visits and increase positive oral health.

WHAT IS PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY?

Any procedure completed with the goal of preventing tooth decay, disease, or subsequent damage to the oral cavity is inclusive in preventative dentistry. While most preventative treatments are better completed by a professional, there are additional steps you can take at home to decrease the onset of harmful dental problems.

Regardless of where the treatment is taking place, the most crucial step in preventative dentistry is consistency. Ensuring you are scheduling regular visits with your dentist and addressing your oral hygiene every day is a key factor in extending the longevity of your natural teeth.

ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL CLEANING

Annual dental cleanings are possibly the best method for closely monitoring your oral health. For patients without prominent dental issues, dentist typically recommend scheduling a general cleaning twice annually, which most dental insurances will cover. Preventative measures addressed during a professional cleaning include:

STAINS

Discoloration of the teeth can be caused by a number factors such as diet and oral hygiene habits. Removing some surface stains is possible with a toothbrush at home, but more discoloration can be removed with a polishing tool at your dentist.

PLAQUE

This film described at sticky or fuzzy, forms throughout the day on the surface of your teeth. Plaque is made up of bacteria that grows among built up food and saliva in your mouth. If allowed to grow, the bacteria in plaque can enact the production of toxins, causing inflammation to the surrounding gums. Plaque inflammation is one of the leading causes of gum disease.

TARTER (CALCULUS)

Tarter is hardened plaque on the surface of the teeth and gum line. Removing tarter is particularly tricky with a toothbrush at home and must be professionally scraped with dental instruments to prevent decay or damage to the teeth.

ORAL EXAMS

Aside from cleaning your teeth, your dentist will make a point of performing a comprehensive oral exam of the entire oral cavity, throat, and neck as a screening process for abnormalities leading to signs of more severe diagnosis. Screening areas of focus during the exam will include:

ORAL CANCER

During the oral exam, your dentist will feel for lumps in the neck, throat, and jaw, as well as examine the inside of your cheek, gums, lips, tongue, and throat for oral cancer symptoms.

GUM DISEASE

To rule out gum disease, your dentist will evaluate the gums around your teeth and bone for any signs of disease or receding areas.

X-RAY EVALUATION

If your dentist performed x-rays during the visit, this will be the time to review the result with you regarding findings and diagnostics.

RESTORATION EXAMINATION

If you have received any restorative treatment, such as crowns, veneers, or fillings, your dentist will examine these to ensure they are holding up as expected.

TOOTH DECAY

Your dentist will explore further than the cleaning process in checking for signs of tooth decay and damage. This examine will include using instruments to test the structure of the teeth on the surface and between teeth.

X-RAY DIAGNOSTICS

There are many benefits of receiving x-rays in preventative dentistry and several scans that can be performed to obtain results. During the appointment, your dentist will determine the best scan to take based on your treatment plan and dental necessity. X-ray scans can target specific areas of the mouth or include a panoramic image for a comprehensive look at your entire mouth.

WHEN EXAMINING X-RAYS, DENTISTS LOOK FOR SIGNS OF:

  • Abnormalities preventing growth
  • Decay in between teeth
  • Loss of bone
  • Harmful cysts or abscesses
  • Tumors indicating oral cancer or benign growths
  • Tooth positioning
  • Tooth issues underneath the gums

Left undetected most of these issues could cause significant problems including loss of bone and the onset of more severe oral disease. X-rays are vital to creating an effective treatment plan for your overall oral health in ensuring no issues go untreated.

Dentists Winston-Salem, NC

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Drs. Leal, Spangler, and Johnson in Winston-Salem, NC provide the highest quality dental care with a personal touch, thoughtfully considering each patient and their needs.  We offer comprehensive family and esthetic dentistry and love helping people achieve a healthy smile.

We are accepting new patients.

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PERSONAL ORAL HYGIENE

The dentist office is not the only time you should be focused on promoting good oral hygiene practices. In fact, the majority of your oral health is reliant on the lifestyle choices and personal hygiene routine taking place in your home. There are several ways in which you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease at home, such as:

DAILY BRUSHING

Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Electric toothbrushes are highly recommended to achieve an optimal clean, but using ADA approved toothbrushes with soft bristles are also useful in removing build up. By brushing daily, you reduce the number of bacteria and harmful plaque that can turn into tarter causing decay on the teeth and inflammation in your gums.

MOUTH RINSE

Brushing is effective, but does not always remove 100% of the bacteria from the mouth. Using a mouth rinse for removing further bacteria from the tiny crevices between the teeth can help improve your chances of fighting cavities and bad breath.

FLOSSING

Flossing is recommended to remove harmful bacteria located below the gum line and between the teeth. By interrupting the growth of plaque in these areas, you can prevent tartar buildup causing decay and gum disease.

If you are concerned about your dental health, ask your dentist about additional tools, such as a Waterpik® and tongue cleaners, to enhance your daily oral hygiene routine.

PRACTICE REVIEWS

I have been a patient of this practice for several years and cannot say enough great things! Though I typically see Dr. Spangler, all three doctors are extremely knowledgable, thorough and attentive to detail. The staff as a whole combines professionalism with genuine concern for the patient to provide individualized care. Scheduling or being seen in a timely manner has never been an issue as the administrative staff members are kind, caring and extremely helpful! I recommend this office to all of my friends-- my family members are already patients 🙂

Brianna Robinson

My daughters and I went for a new client appointment today and were thrilled with their staff and level of service provided. Would highly recommend their office to anyone looking for top quality dental service.

Angie Mauldin

Absolutely fantastic dental practice - I have been a patient of Dr. Leal's for years and have received top notch dental care. The business side of the practice is great too. I could not be more pleased with my total care - dentists, hygienists and office staff. They genuinely care about me, are very respectful and have always run on time for my appointments.

Will Miller

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