What Is Preventative Dentistry & Why Is It Important?

What Is Preventative Dentistry & Why Is It Important?

When it comes to your oral health, just like your overall health, preventative screenings and checkups are invaluable. If you haven’t always been disciplined about seeing the dentist regularly, it is never too late to start. Preventative dentistry is much more than just having regular dental cleanings. On the contrary, preventative dentistry provides myriad benefits from diagnostic opportunities to tooth preservation, to cancer screenings. Indeed, scheduling regular preventative dental appointments can help you maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy body for years to come.

What to Expect from Preventative Dentistry

The objectives of preventative dentistry are threefold. First, preventative dentistry is used to identify any existing problems with your mouth, jaw, head, or neck. This includes screening for any signs of oral cancers. Secondly, diagnostic imaging tests are used to see beneath the surface and identify bone defects, tumors, cysts, and decay. Finally, these biannual appointments are used to remove plaque and tartar to prevent infections and decay.

Oral Examination & Cancer Screening

During your appointment, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your entire mouth, including your teeth, throat, tongue, gums, and tissues lining your cheeks. They will be looking for any abnormalities, cavities, gum recession, signs of bone loss, or any changes in tissues, or lesions that need to be tested for cancerous cells.  

Diagnostic Imaging

Part of your preventative treatment will include painless digital X-rays. These x-rays emit far less radiation exposure than x-rays of years past. The high-quality images are immediately viewable by your dentist for rapid identification of any problems beneath the surface, so that treatment can be scheduled if necessary.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

All people get plaque. Plaque is a sticky, filmy bacteria that develops in response to eating certain foods. That’s why it is so important to brush your teeth twice each day. Most plaque can be removed with excellent oral hygiene habits. However, it is very hard to completely remove all of the plaque. Unfortunately, as plaque continues to build up, minerals from saliva mix with it, and harden into a substance called tartar. Regular dental cleanings help to remove this built-up plaque before the tartar has the opportunity to develop.  

Without regular cleanings from your dentist plaque can lead to cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and eventually tooth loss. 

Impact of Oral Health on Overall Health

Scientists, dentists, and doctors continue to learn more and more about the role that good oral health plays in overall health. Countless bodies of evidence link bad oral health with a variety of chronic diseases including:

  • Cardiovascular problems (stroke, heart attack, etc.)
  • Diabetes
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Oral cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Periodontitis
  • Pneumonia

That means that by maintaining excellent oral health, with regular brushing, flossing, and dental preventative dental appointments every six months, you can help reduce your risk of certain conditions. 

Schedule a Dental Cleaning and Exam in Silver Spring

Artistic Family Dentistry provides preventative dentistry to patients of all ages. Dr. E. Chantal Bikoi has practiced family dentistry for more than 20 years and embraces a holistic approach to caring for your overall health by providing premium oral health care. Contact us today at 240-641-5828 or request an appointment online.