Your smile is your Calling Card. It’s one of the primary ways your personality comes through, so you want to take the very best care of it. The very foundation of a more attractive smile is oral health. If your teeth and gums are healthy, you are less likely to experience uncomfortable problems like cavities and gum disease. Your dentist can also help you maintain your appearance by routinely cleaning and polishing your teeth to remove plaque buildup that dulls your smile.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
At Broadway Family Dentistry, our goal for our patients is total body health. Our role as dental providers in total body health starts from your first visit.
- At your first visit, our comprehensive exam includes five screenings and any necessary radiographs.
- In addition to dental screenings such assessing for gum disease and checking for cavities, our office also provides complimentary oral cancer screenings and sleep apnea screenings at each visit.
We strive to help you prevent unwanted dental health problems by using early intervention strategies to reverse problem areas before they cause you pain. Please ask about how early intervention can help you keep your teeth healthy.
Who is a Candidate for Preventative Dentistry?
Everyone is a candidate for preventative dentistry services. In this area of practice, we focus on the health and integrity of the teeth and gums. We suspect that you would like to keep your natural teeth for your entire lifetime if possible, so we encourage you to schedule dental care as needed to prevent the problems that can lead to tooth damage and loss. Even if you do not have all of your natural teeth, or have none, your dentist provides care that fosters optimal gum health. Taking care of your teeth and gums with excellent home care and periodic preventative dental treatments means loving your smile and also supporting your overall health and wellness.
What Does a Preventative Dentistry Appointment Look Like?
Preventative dentistry appointments include various diagnostic and clinical processes. Depending on your circumstances and how long it has been since your last visit, our staff may begin your check-up with a set of x-rays. This enables your dentist to have a view of your teeth, roots, and jawbone at the start of your dental exam. When you meet with Dr. Hirst or Dr. Jensen, they will ask you about your recent oral health and if you have any concerns like tooth pain, bleeding gums, or other conditions. Your input can guide the examination to areas that may need closer observation. Your dental exam takes just a few minutes and includes a thorough look at every tooth, back to front and side to side. The dentist may palpate parts of your jaw and neck to check for signs of oral cancer. They also look at your tongue, lips, the sides of your mouth, and your tonsils as they examine your entire oral cavity. To evaluate your gum health, your dentist may use a small instrument that acts as a measuring stick. This instrument is placed against teeth to measure the amount of space between each and the surrounding gum tissue. When there is too much space, they may recommend some form of periodontal treatment, such as scaling and root planing, to prevent invasive infection.
After your examination is complete, one of our experienced hygienists may wrap up your visit with a thorough dental cleaning. This may involve the use of special instruments to remove noticeable plaque and tartar as needed. Your teeth are cleaned, polished, and flossed before you’re sent on your way with a fresher, more radiant smile!
"Preventative dentistry at Broadway Family Dentistry has made a huge difference for our family. Dr. Jensen is a parent herself and it shows in her interactions with children. She takes everything at their pace, reassuring and describing things as she goes along. My daughter had been terrified of the dentist when she was a toddler but visit by visit, she opened up and now looks forward to going to see Dr. Jensen. Dr. Jensen used a treatment (silver diamine fluoride or SDF) to slow the cavity formation on my kids’ primary teeth, delaying and even preventing in some instances, the need for further intervention."
How to Prepare for My Preventative Dentistry Appointment?
If you are a new patient, make sure that you bring the necessary paperwork and insurance information to your appointment. Also, jot down questions you have. This can help ensure that you maximize your time with your dentist. Although you may have your teeth cleaned in the office, it can be helpful for you to brush and floss before coming to the office. This can help your dentist get the most accurate depiction of your general oral health. Finally, we suggest that you do not consume coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages before your appointment. Doing so may make you more anxious or jittery.
How Often Should I Undergo a Preventative Dentistry Appointment?
It is advisable to see your dentist every six months. These appointments are fundamental to maintaining a healthy smile because they remove the plaque that can cause decay and gingivitis, they can spot problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye just yet, and detect problems in their early stages. By seeing your Minot, ND dentist twice a year, you’re giving yourself the gift of long-term oral health!
What Happens if I Do Not Undergo Preventative Dentistry Treatments?
As the name suggests, preventative dentistry focuses on helping you avoid stressful and uncomfortable dental problems. As much as you may take care of your teeth and gums at home, there are still factors that can increase your risk of infection and oral cancer. If you do not see your dentist as recommended, you may develop an invisible layer of plaque around some teeth and your gums. This plaque can harden to tartar, calculus that sticks to your teeth and does not come loose when you brush and floss. Plaque and tartar harbor a multitude of unhealthy bacteria that weaken your enamel and gum tissue. Bacteria associated with dental problems is also linked to numerous conditions that can degrade general health.