Adult Preventative Dental Care
Brookline Adult Preventative Dental Care
Working with Your Dentist and Your Dental Hygienist
By committing to regularly scheduled preventative dental care and a good home care routine you will ensure that your teeth are clean, strong, and white. Working with your dentist and your dental hygienist you can significantly improve your ability to avoid common dental conditions like cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and tooth loss. Most of our patients are scheduled every six months for a check-up and a cleaning. Some patients with periodontal issues or other more serious conditions may be need to be seen more frequently to manage their conditions.
Hygiene Maintenance Exams
Our hygienists provide a personalized, caring and gentle experience for patients of every age in our practice. Consistent high-quality preventative care is the key to healthy teeth and gums. We recommend a regularly scheduled hygiene exams that include a comprehensive review of your oral and general health, a thorough cleaning, a periodontal examination and instruction and advice for good home care plan. By committing to an excellent proactive/preventative hygiene maintenance exam plan you can avoid more serious and costly dental health issues in the long run.
Digital radiography or digital x-rays use a small sensor inserted into your mouth to capture images of the teeth. The sensor sends information visual information directly to the computer and the images can be viewed instantly on the screen. There are many other benefits to digital radiography including significantly less radiation exposure for our patients. Digital x-rays use up to 90% less radiation than film x-rays. The images are of digital x-ray are instantaneous and of higher quality than traditional film x-rays. The images can also be enlarged and magnified on the screen and the brightness, contrast and color can also be adjusted to optimize to allow the dentist to see more detail and make a more accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. Digital x-rays are also much more environmentally friendly; no film, no chemicals and no waste.
A digital panoramic x-ray is an important diagnostic tool in our practice. It covers a wider area than a conventional x-ray and, as a result, provides valuable information about the tooth positioning and any bone abnormalities. A pan x-ray can be used to plan treatment for full and partial dentures, braces, extractions and implants.
A panoramic x-ray can also reveal dental and medical problems including, impacted teeth and wisdom teeth, periodontal disease, jaw tumors and oral cancer, and jaw disorders such as TMD/TMJ.
Oral Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society recommends a comprehensive oral evaluation and soft tissue exam annually. Our doctors perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth including the associated structures in the head and neck area. Your initial evaluation will include a detailed medical history followed by the physical examination of your head, neck, and oral cavity including tongue, lips and cheeks.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) teeth grinding, which is also known as bruxism, can be the result of stress, anxiety and even sleep disorders. It can also a significant side effect of most anti-depressant medications and can be the result of an abnormal bite or secondary due to teeth that are missing or crooked.
- dull headaches
- jaw and facial muscle soreness
- teeth that are painful or loose
- fractured teeth
When our patients exhibit signs and symptoms of bruxism, or teeth grinding, we will recommend a custom night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep. This is a comfortable and effective way to alleviate symptoms and minimize damage to your teeth and jaw.
We recommend the application of fluoride at regular hygiene maintenance appointments for both children and adults to help prevent tooth decay. Patients with a high rate of tooth decay or those at risk for developing decay due to chronic dry mouth or post-radiation treatment can also benefit from using topical fluoride rinse on a regular basis. Patients with exposed root surfaces may benefit from the use of topical fluoride reduce sensitivity in those areas. the associated.
Sealants are recommended for children to help protect permanent posterior teeth from decay. We also recommend sealants for adult patients who experience sensitivity associated with exposed root surfaces or cervical erosion. Sealants form a buffer to help reduce the risk of decay for both children and adults.
Healthy gums are an important aspect of overall oral health. Our hygienists are trained to evaluate your gums for recession and gingivitis, or periodontal disease. We include an annual perio probe in one of your hygiene maintenance exams each year to carefully monitor condition of your gum health. If any periodontal issues are diagnosed our periodontist can customize a treatment plan for you right here in our office.
Adult Preventative FAQ:
Why digital x-rays?
Digital x-rays expose patients and our staff to 70%-90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. They can be viewed by you and the doctor within in seconds and can be enhanced and enlarged for optimal diagnostics. Digital x-rays can be sent instantly to other providers via email and can be placed in your digital patient file where they are always available for immediate retrieval. They are also much better for the environment because they do not require the chemicals, film and paper required for traditional x-rays.
Why would adults need fluoride treatment for their teeth?
Adult patients who have a moderate to high risk for dental caries can benefit from the application of fluoride treatments at the time of their hygiene maintenance visits. Ask your hygienist to discuss the preventative benefits of fluoride treatment for adults with you at your next appointment.
What is the purpose of a nightguard?
A night guard, also called a dental mouth guard, or a bite guard, is an appliance prescribed by your dental care provider to treat teeth grinding, or bruxism. It is designed to protect the teeth and other vital structures in your mouth by creating a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth. A prescription night guard is customized by your dentist to fit your unique need and can be designed and made of a variety of materials to optimize it’s functionality, fit and comfort level. Over the counter night guards are one size fits all and therefore are not as effective as a professionally created night guard made for you in our own lab.
What causes teeth grinding or bruxism and what can I do about it?
There are many theories about what causes people to grind their teeth at night while they sleep. One of the most common causes is stress. Other theories include physical issues such as pressure in the inner ear at night. Connections can also be made between grinding the alignment of the teeth, sleep apnea, and TMD/TMJ. The first indication that you, your partner, or child might be experiencing bruxism is the noise created by the grinding of one’s teeth during sleep. You may also be noticing wear and tear to your dentition and, or your teeth getting shorter. The majority of cases of bruxism do not require treatment. If you are experiencing excessive wear of the teeth, sleep issues, headaches, or other symptoms then a night guard may be recommended by your dentist. If you have symptoms, or think you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your hygienist and dentist about it next time you are here.
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