Preventive Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry in Westwood

Preventive dentistry is perhaps the most important field performed here at Starry Dental, PC. Numerous people avoid visiting a dentist unless they are in pain, which can result in the development of severe and sometimes untreatable problems. Instead of avoiding the dentist’s office, the American Dental Association recommends that individuals visit a dentist at least twice a year for regular exams and cleanings. These exams qualify as preventive dentistry, which is meant to stop problems from developing through careful screening and care.

What to Expect

A preventive appointment will involve, at a minimum, a visual and tactile exam of the gums and teeth. The dentist and hygienist will search for potential problems like the early stages of periodontal (gum) disease, cavities, and oral sores. The teeth and gums will also be brushed, flossed, and scraped to remove plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to the teeth and eats through the tough enamel that protects the soft pulp inside.

Cleaning is a significant part of preventive care. Most people do not brush and floss their teeth properly, which allows plaque to build up over time. When plaque is not removed, it eats away at the teeth and gums. This causes swelling, enamel loss, and eventually, the weakening of the gums. People can then lose their teeth to decay and disease.

Other elements of preventive dentistry include x-rays of the jaws and oral cancer screenings. The x-rays show the dentist and other staff how a patient’s jaws are aligned and whether there are underlying issues such as compacted teeth or erupting wisdom teeth. Oral cancer screenings are important because cancer is easier to treat when it is caught early.

Who Should Have Preventive Care

As soon as babies develop their first tooth, the American Dental Association recommends that they see a pediatric dentist for preventive care. All humans should see a professional regularly, no matter how many teeth they have or the current state of their oral health. Even if someone does not have insurance, most preventive care is affordable, and payment plans are available for cleanings and screenings.

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