Prevention and Health
We are proud that dentistry as a health profession leads the way in not just repairing the damage from disease and injury, but also in preventing it. Perhaps our greatest satisfaction in dental practice lies in this area. We are passionate in teaming with people to keep their teeth and oral tissues healthy for the rest of their lives.
Cavity prevention therapy
Did you know that the kinds of cavities you get change with age? Childhood cavities are typically different in nature from the middle years, which are likewise different from those of the elderly.
We work to address these decay problems by employing vigilance and evidence-based prevention methods. Some of these are discussed in more depth below. We also have many specialized home care devices that we recommend and/or dispense to help you with particular problem areas. We also have at our disposal special filling materials that are especially resistant to re-decay for people with higher than normal decay rates. Any cavity prevented is a great benefit not just at the present time, but for the entire future of that tooth.
How often should you get your teeth cleaned? It depends! People who have effective home care routines and naturally low levels of susceptibility to periodontal disease may do just fine with cleanings every six months, or sometimes even less. People with tendencies toward periodontal disease often need more frequent and attentive therapy. We assess your risk levels at each cleaning appointment.
Low levels of saliva production can not only be uncomfortable, but can also lead to increased levels of tooth decay. Be sure to mention to us if you have noticed changes in how moist your mouth normally feels. We also evaluate your salivary production and discuss what changes might benefit your oral health if we detect dry mouth.
After decay and periodontal disease, clenching and grinding of the teeth is the most common cause of tooth loss. You may notice teeth that are painful to bite on. Other signs are headaches or sore jaws when waking in the morning. Teeth can be protected by bite protection appliances (referred to as bite guards, night guards or occlusal splints). Professionally fabricated bite guards are custom made to the patient’s teeth and are designed and adjusted to optimize fit, tooth protection, and jaw support.
Starting around ages 6 to 7 and extending into the middle teen years, the biting surfaces of the molars can develop decay at alarming rates. Dental sealants help protect against development of this kind of decay. Dental sealants are clear or white coatings that are applied into the deep grooves and crevices on the surface of a child’s molars. The process is quick and painless: the tooth is cleaned and the sealant is placed and immediately hardened to create a seal or barrier between the vulnerable areas of tooth and bacteria.
For more information about the hygiene services we offer, please call our Shoreline, WA dental office at 206.542.7600 and make your appointment today!