Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for one's teeth to keep them healthy. This helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and more.
There are many forms of preventive dentistry, such as daily brushing and annual dental cleanings. These practices are designed to ensure that teeth are clean, strong, and white. Children should be taught proper oral hygiene at an early age.
Annual dental cleanings and exams allow dentists to identify problems and take care of them right away.
People should see their dentists at least once a year for an exam to check for any problems in the teeth or gums.
Scaling and Polishing( teeth cleaning )
REASON FOR PROCEDURE
Everyone’s mouth contains a variety of bacteria, some of which react with
saliva and the food that is eaten to produce a sticky film, called plaque.
if the plaque is not removed, it gradually hardens by absorbing
minerals from the patient’s saliva and becomes calculus (tartar). Calculus
cannot be removed by toothbrushing alone, and the dentist or hygienist
will need to remove it by scaling the teeth.
If the calculus is left untouched, it gradually forms further and further
down the side of the tooth root as the gum tissue is destroyed, and
eventually the supporting structures of the tooth (the jaw bone and
periodontal ligaments) are also destroyed and the tooth becomes loose in
its socket. This is called periodontal disease, or periodontitis.
X-rays / exams
Radiographs or x-rays provide the dentist with a method of seeing within the dental
tissues themselves, without having to drill or cut into these tissues
They are an invaluable diagnostic technique for determining the presence
or absence of dental disease, as well as such widely varying features as
unerupted teeth, jaw or tooth fractures, extra teeth, foreign bodies and so
These procedure is required in more severe form of gum disease.
Topical Fluoride application
Some areas of the teeth which are very difficult to clean are the points at
which they contact with each other in the dental arch – the interproximal
There are certain oral health products available specifically for the
cleaning of these areas, such as dental floss, but they require a certain
amount of dexterity and determination by the patient to be used
All fluoridated toothpastes provide some protection of these areas from
caries, but some patients require additional fluoride protection by the
application of topical fluoride.
• Children with high caries rates
• Disabled patients who are unable to achieve a good level of oral
• Medically compromised patients in whom tooth extractions are too
dangerous to be carried out (haemophiliacs, those suffering from
some heart defects)
General oral hygiene advice
REASON FOR PROCEDURE
Oral hygiene instruction is given to patients to ensure that they are
maximising their efforts to remove plaque from their teeth in order to
minimise the damage caused by periodontal disease and caries.
Dietary advice is also given to help patients to avoid foods and drinks that
are particularly damaging to their teeth – those high in refined sugars and
those that are acidic.
When the advice is correctly followed on a regular basis, patients can
enjoy a well cared for and pain-free mouth, as well as avoiding the
expense of reparative dental treatment.
The procedures to be discussed are:
• Use of disclosing agents
• Interdental cleaning
With early and proper diagnosis prompt treatment line can be established
and severity of disease can be reduced or prevented.
Tooth sealants (Prevents dental caries)
Any surface area of a tooth that cannot be cleaned easily by the patient can
allow food debris and, ultimately, plaque to accumulate there, and can
allow caries to develop by acting as a stagnation area.
The usual sites are the occlusal pits and fissures of posterior teeth, and
especially the first permanent molars which erupt at around 6 years of age.
These teeth are particularly prone to caries because:
• They are the least accessible teeth for cleaning, being at the back of
a young patient’s mouth
• They erupt at an age when a good oral hygiene regime is unlikely to
have been developed, and so may be cleaned poorly
• Younger patients often have a diet containing more sugars than an
adult diet, as the concept of dietary control will not be appreciated.
Details of procedure
The occlusal pit or fissure needs to be eliminated to prevent it acting as a
stagnation area, and this is achieved by closing the inaccessible depths
with a sealant material.
The materials used are either composites or glass ionomer cements, or a
combination of the two (known as a compomer).
Mouth guards (Sports injury prevention appliance)
These are the appliances fabricated by the dentist in order to minimize the
impact of trauma during sports injuries.
Night guards (Mouth breathing prevention appliance)
Oral screens can be fabricated for some patients with mouth breathing habits which
helps preventing arch crowding.
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