Unlike your medical doctor, whom you tend to visit mostly if you’re sick or injured, your dentist is all about prevention. This is because we understand that with an excellent home care routine and consistent preventive visits to your dentist every six months, we are able to detect many dental concerns early on and help you avoid the need for more complex treatment procedures.
There are a few important things that take place during your checkup and cleaning appointments. One of our gentle hygienists will take the time to remove the excess bacteria and plaque buildup from your teeth that contributes to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Your hygienist is also a great resource if you have any questions about proper brushing and flossing techniques, or the dental products that are right for your needs.
Next, you’ll see either Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel for a thorough examination during which they will screen for issues like oral cancer, periodontal (gum) disease, and tooth decay. When detected early on, these concerns can be treated with much less complex treatment procedures.
Dental sealants are an excellent treatment for preventing tooth decay and cavities. Typically recommended for children, sealants are a non-invasive way to keep the acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay away from the vulnerable chewing surfaces of your teeth. Sealants are also a great option for adults who tend to be cavity prone.
A thin coating of plastic is placed over the surfaces of molars and back teeth, which fill in any pits or grooves that bacteria can become stuck in. Sealants can typically be completed during one short visit and they often don’t even require the use of dental anesthetic.
If your teeth have suffered from excessive or premature wear, you may be experiencing the effects of clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism). This typically happens at night while you sleep, and you may not even be aware that you’re doing it. However, bruxism can cause a host of problems for your teeth and jaw joint.
If we notice signs of bruxism during your routine examination with Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel, they may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from the damage it can cause. Night guards fit over your teeth much like a retainer and are comfortable to wear while you sleep.
Oral cancer may be one form of cancer that we don’t typically hear too much about; however, did you know that it’s responsible for one death every hour in America? Worse yet, these numbers haven’t improved much over the years, mainly because oral cancer often remains undetected until its advanced stages when the prognosis is not good.
Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel provide an oral cancer screening during every routine examination. Oral cancer diagnosed early on has a much better chance of being treated successfully, so this screening is a very important component of your six-month exam.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to rebuild teeth that have been affected by decay. It also helps to strengthen children’s developing teeth, which is why it is typically recommended to coincide with your child’s cleaning visit.
Your child may receive fluoride naturally through drinking water and eating certain vegetables; however, it may not be enough, which is why Dr. Sigurdson or Dr. Patel may recommend it for your son or daughter.
Fluoride treatment is a quick and non-invasive procedure that can be completed during your child’s routine six-month visit, making it convenient for your schedule.
Consistent preventive visits every six months are the best way we can help you achieve and maintain optimum oral health. These appointments are typically covered with most dental insurance plans so there is very little or no out-of-pocket cost to you for cleanings and checkups. If you don’t have dental insurance, Lakewood Dental Group offers a dental membership plan that also covers preventive care for one low yearly fee.
Contact our office today at (214) 827-1885 to schedule your next appointment!