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Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is the modern way of helping you keep a healthy mouth. It helps you to keep your teeth, and means you need to have less dental treatment. The two main causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.

When we and patient work together, this can help to prevent the need for treatment and avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions. Our dental team may recommend a course of treatment to get your mouth into good condition, and then work out a ‘maintenance plan' to help you keep it that way.

Can everybody benefit from preventive dentistry?

Yes. Preventive dentistry will benefit anyone with some of their own teeth. People who don't have any teeth can also benefit, because conditions such as mouth cancer and denture stomatitis can be spotted during regular visits to the dentist and then treated. It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late to start.

What is involved?

We will first check your teeth and gums, and talk to you about any treatment you need. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem. We will thoroughly ‘scale and polish' your teeth.

  • We will show you the best ways to brush and clean in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss to remove the ‘bacterial plaque' which forms constantly on your teeth.
  • You will be told which oral care products are the best ones for you to use.
  • We will probably talk to you about your diet, and any habits such as smoking and drinking.
  • We will also make sure that all your fillings are in good shape and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.
  • When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria in the plaque turn the sugar into acid, which may cause tooth decay. Plaque can also cause gum inflammation (swelling and soreness) if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The hard tartar (or ‘calculus') which builds up on the teeth also starts off as plaque.

Will you recommend any treatment?

We will often recommend treatment to strengthen a tooth to make sure it does not break. For example, if we see that a tooth is cracked or is weak and in danger of breaking, we may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown or ‘onlay' to protect it. This is always better than waiting until the tooth breaks, and then dealing with it as an emergency.