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Preventive Services

Prevention is the best medicine! Our primary preventive treatments are cleanings, fluoride, and sealants.

Prophylaxis Photo

Teeth cleanings (or dental prophylaxis) is highly recommended on a regular basis -- for the routine cases, every six months. The cleanings involve the removal of buildups of plaque, tartar (calculus), stain, and other debris. If left in place, these irritants can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, an unsightly smile, bad breath, and other problems. Scaling involves the removal of the tartar with sharp instruments or ultrasonic scaling devices placed on the teeth and slightly under the gums. Then using a rubber cup on a dental handpiece, a sand-like abrasive polishing paste removes stain and plaque. The hygenist will throughly floss all the teeth. Sometimes, a medicated rinse is used to further eliminate bacteria in the mouth or desensitize teeth. Regular visits with the hygienist combined with recommended homecare of brushing and flossing will leave you with a healthy mouth, fresh breath, and dazzling smile.

Scaler Photo

Fluoride is naturally occurring element. It is found in rock, soil, air and all vegetation because fluoride is a naturally abundant substance in the earth's crust. Fluoride is nature's answer to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities when fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay. Fluoride will combine into the tooth structure to make enamel more resistant to acid attack. Fluoride is toxic to bacteria by stopping the bacteria from producing the acids that cause tooth decay Fluoride use can also encourage remineralization or replace minerals in the tooth surfaces that have been demineralized or broken down by bacterially produced acids which can help in repairing early decay or damage before it causes a cavity. Fluoride reduces enamel solubility. This process of incorporating minerals such as fluoride and calcium into the teeth can also help decrease tooth sensitivity.

A fluoride gel or foam will be applied to your teeth. The fluoride treatment will take about 1 to 4 minutes. The dental hygienist will probably tell you not to eat or drink anything (including water) for 30 minutes after the fluoride treatment.

A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.

Sealants Photo

Thorough brushing and flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.

Sealants are easy for your dental team to apply, and it takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. The teeth that will be sealed are cleaned. Then the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant is then 'painted' onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. A special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.