Preventative dentistry involves the education and treatment of anything related to the prevention of dental disease. Preventive treatments include:
To ensure that you keep a high standard of oral hygiene, it is usually recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year, although some patients do require more regular visits. During these regular examinations, your dentist will assess your oral hygiene, tooth strength and structure, check for signs of decay and breaks, periodontal disease, check your tongue, throat, cheeks and lips for signs of oral cancer and evaluate your jaw joint.
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to see your dentist regularly. Your dentist can check for problems that you may not see or feel. Many dental problems do not become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Examples include cavities, gums and oral cancer.
Regular visits allow your dentist to find early signs of disease meaning that problems can be treated at a manageable stage.
Oral hygiene instructions
Here at United Smiles we believe that prevention is always better than cure. Good oral hygiene habits will help to prevent dental problems, saving you from toothaches and dental treatments. This can be achieved by dedicating only a few minutes every day to dental hygiene care.
Throughout your examination, your dentist will be explaining proper oral hygiene practices that you can do at home to improve the health of your mouth. This will include things such as correct brushing and flossing techniques, types of oral diseases and the way to prevent them and any treatments that you should be doing at home (if any).
Dental cleaning involves removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Tartar builds up in our mouths because our teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances. These substances help strengthen and protect our teeth.
While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on our teeth. These calcium deposits, also known as tartar, can only be removed by a dentist with special instruments. If the tartar is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums which can in turn lead to decay and also periodontal disease.
The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.
Dental fissure sealants are plastic coatings that are usually placed on the chewing (occlusal) surface of the permanent back teeth – the molars and premolars- to help protecting them from decay. The chewing surfaces of the molar and premolar teeth have grooves – “fissures” – that make them vulnerable to decay.
These fissures can be deep and difficult to clean which causes plaque to accumulate in these areas, and cavities can develop. The fissure seals sit over these grooves and stop the bacteria reaching the tooth. They are ideally placed on the molars as soon as they erupt into the mouth, however, they can be placed on adults teeth and still be effective. Fissure seals are easy to place and require no drilling or anaesthetic.
Topical fluoride treatments
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water and the Earth’s crust. When applied topically to your teeth it can help prevent decay by hardening the tooth’s enamel and giving it essential minerals, this is called remineralization.
Professional fluoride treatments are applied to the teeth as a gel. The gel is placed in a disposable mouth guard and left on the teeth for around 2 minutes. After the treatment it is advisable to not eat, drink or rinse for at least 30 minutes to let the fluoride be fully absorbed by the teeth.
X-rays and OPG’s
X-rays are usually taken every 2-3 years depending on your needs. X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abcesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.
At United Smiles we use the most modern x-ray machines that emit virtually no radiation-no more than you would receive from a day in the sun or a weekend watching TV. We may also recommend an OPG x-ray. This type of film provides a complete view of your upper and lower jaw in a single picture, and helps the dentist to understand your bite, where your nerves are placed and the relationship between the different teeth in your arch.
Dental mouthguards are made from a strong plastic material that easily molds to your teeth and gums. Mouthguards are an extremely effective way of protecting your teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue from blows and are essential when playing contact, and some non-contact, sport.
During your mouth guard appointment your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression will be used to make a mouth guard that molds perfectly to your teeth and gums. You will need to bring your mouth guard with you to your regular appointments to make sure that it has not worn down over time and that it still fit well.
No Gap Offer
- NO GAP on DENTAL CHECKUP and CLEAN for Medibank Private, HCF and CBHS