A dentist performs different procedures in the dental office. When a patient comes into the office, he/she listens to the chief complaint of the patient, carries out necessary tests to assess the condition of the teeth and then provides an appropriate solution.
In the general sense, most patients will feel compelled to see their dentist when there is a problem. When any disease symptom is troubling a patient, they will want to seek a professional to resolve the condition. However, there will be times when the patient will come for nothing but a routine check-up and these visits tend to be the most important.
The following are the most important preventive treatment procedures performed in the dental office:
Most commonly known as dental cleaning, oral prophylaxis is the scaling of the supragingival and subgingival surfaces of the teeth. It is usually performed with a ultrasonic scaler, with a tip that vibrates at a speed that effectively scales and adherent plaque and calcular deposits that have settled on the teeth and in between the sulcus. It also helps to remove stains from food, drinks, cigarettes and so forth.
Patients are encouraged to receive regular dental cleaning and scaling every six months. By being responsible enough to schedule that bi-annual appointment with the dentist, problems will be detected earlier on and proper preventive treatments can be provided.
Topical Fluoride Application
Although fluoride can be obtained through other means, like in water fluoridation and from your choice of toothpaste and mouthwash, the most effects means of applying fluoride on the teeth is best done in the dental clinic.
Topical Fluoride Application (TFA) use fluoride in the gel or varnish form and they are indicated especially for children with developing teeth, as well as for patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment, those with obviously demineralised teeth (white spots), those found to have low salivary production and flow and many other. Gel type fluoride is administered through a foam or plastic tray and the varnish type fluoride is applied onto the patients’ teeth using a small applicator brush.
The natural anatomy of the posterior teeth include some deep grooves and fissures on the occlusal or biting surfaces, which often trap food particles and attract bacteria to set in. Some patients unfortunately have teeth with deeper grooves and fissures compared to others, making them more susceptible to decay.
To protect the teeth and to cover these grooves, the dentist applies dental sealants on the teeth.
Dental sealants function like a raincoat. The layer of resin is placed on top of the grooves and fissures and it covers the teeth up to such time that it wears away or gets chipped off. Ideally, properly applied dental sealants can survive in the mouth for as much as 4-5 years, so a reapplication may be necessary after then, if the tooth is still sound and healthy.
Importance of Preventive Dental Measures
While all the other treatment procedures are important because they solve problems, correct defects and restore health, preventive procedures are equally as important because they can help patients avoid disease. These procedures partnered with the religious and diligent observance of proper home care measures should help a person maintain health to the optimum level.