Prevention is incorporated into all aspects of our practice as it is the biggest factor in conservative dentistry. Preventive care encompasses regular hygiene visits, periodic exams and oral cancer screening with the doctor, routine digital x-rays to catch decay or other problems early, and oral hygiene instruction. Caries (tooth decay) reduction is an ongoing issue with all patients. Topical fluoride is recommended for patients with an increased caries risk. Orthodontic issues are addressed in younger children to minimize future needs and jaw malposition. Good home care and clinical management are key to preventing costlier procedures that are associated with decay or periodontal disease.
In providing excellent patient care, we recommend optimal treatment based on individual needs and goals for their smile. Dental issues don’t just happen overnight and can’t expect to be fixed overnight, so treatment can be done in phases if need be. It is our job to educate you as to your dental health so you can make informed decisions about your treatment. It is your choice to accept all of the treatment, some of the treatment or none of the treatment recommended.
Our goal is to raise children with no or little decay problems and positive dental experiences. Early positive dental experiences are important to lessen the fear of the dentist; most adult’s dental anxiety is from a negative dental experience in childhood. We see children as early as age one if there are any concerns and at age three to start the preventive process early. The entire process is designed to give kids a pleasant experience and motivate them for good oral hygiene. We work closely with local children’s dental specialists and refer children who need special care or attention.
Care for apprehensive patients
In our practice we see many people who are apprehensive or who have low pain thresholds. Besides using the best and newest local anesthetics, taking plenty of time to get numb, and a caring team, we have other adjuncts available. The most common is Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Analgesia (Laughing Gas, Happy Air). Some patients may also need a mild sedative just prior to the appointment. Seldom is it necessary for expensive sedation but when it is we will recommend the appropriate specialists. Patients who are very sensitive to pain may also want to take some Advil one hour prior to the appointment.
Dental Care for Patients with Dry Mouth
It used to be that patients with dry mouth were mostly elderly patients, but that’s not the case anymore. We see many patients in our practice who experience dry mouth. Dry mouth is the most common side effects of medications like antidepressants, anxiety meds, decongestants, antihistamines, Parkinson’s medications, and many more. While it may not seem like a very big deal, dry mouth is a big contributing factor for decay and periodontal problems. The purpose of saliva is to wash away plaque and when that is lacking, the plaque sticks to the teeth and the bacteria in the plaque does damage to tooth structure and gum health. Prevention that includes good home care, more frequent hygiene visits, mouth rinses or special mouth lozenges, and fluoride varnish applications is money well spent in these situations. We work with the patients and their families to provide the best most practical care.