Rather than adding to dental treatment, preventative dentistry is about reducing treatment. By caring for your oral health in the right way, cavities, gum disease and tooth loss, or wear can be avoided.
Your overall wellbeing benefits, in terms of appearance, confidence and avoiding wider health issues. Research links poor oral health to heart disease, diabetes, dementia and problems during pregnancy.
Caring for your teeth and gums is as important as weight management, diet, exercise, or cholesterol reduction. Personal oral hygiene is a notable factor, along with long term support from a good dental practice.
A Preventative Approach
Understanding and shared knowledge matter. Our dentist will take time to discuss your oral history, the best way forward and if there are any changes you can make to personal care which will help.
For new patients, or those we haven’t seen for a few years, an in depth physical examination is normal. This includes your glands, bone structure, gums, along with each tooth on an individual basis.
Technology such as intra-oral cameras may play a useful part, although your input and your dentist’s experience are the key. Helping to create an oral health plan for this year and the years to come.
A visit to our dental hygienists and therapists may be suggested, to completely remove plaque, or tartar from your teeth. Discussion on self cleaning methods, or which products are best for you may be worthwhile.
A review of lifestyle, or diet can help. We all know the damage sugar can do but other factors count, your teeth need essential minerals, or vitamins, to prevent decay and erosion, to remain strong.
Although prevention is logically about less treatment, there will be times when direct treatment makes sense. Perhaps to strengthen a tooth which could break, or to stop a range of minor issues becoming serious.
A crown can protect a cracked tooth, specialist periodontal care prevent tooth loss, a single implant help to save other teeth. The quality, care and timing of fillings makes a long term difference to outcome.
As with all preventative treatment, this needs to be individually tailored care, part of planning for the future of your health.
Around a third of UK adults have dental decay, or pain which would warrant treatment, yet most is avoidable. Dedicated care from dentists and hygienists is critical, although other points can contribute.
Sugary drinks aren’t good but if you can’t give them up, drinking through a straw makes a difference. The amount of flouride in your toothpaste, or the mouthwash you choose should depend on your individual needs.
Fissure sealants can be valuable for young patients, orthodontics help with health as much as creating a fine smile. Ensuring children are used to visiting a dentist is a building block for their future.
Older patients benefit more than most from professional cleaning, or minimal, early intervention. A few changes to diet, or other habits can see all of us maintain a healthy smile for far longer.
Dental decay, erosion, even mouth cancer can have genetic elements but in the main, they are down to our choices and the level of support we receive.
A 2019 study found a 47% difference between required dental treatment, where patients had a dental practice focused on prevention, rather than one who thinks oral health is the responsibility of the patient.
We see similar evidence in long term patients and enjoy what is a partnership approach. Your dentist should take every aspect of your oral health as seriously as you do, to avoid unwanted treatment and give you a great smile.