Preventive Dentistry

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Many people are familiar with visiting the dentist. It starts when you’re young. You open wide, and the dentist checks your mouth. Then, he’s scraping away plaque, you’re rinsing, and spitting.

The process is routine for many, but some aren’t as lucky. Some dental patients fear the dentist for various reasons, so they don’t get preventative dentistry. This could have helped them avoid severe pain and complications. Most people don’t realize that it costs more to fix problems than it does to prevent them.

Preventative dentistry features regular check-ups, learning how to brush and floss, receiving X-rays, and having professional cleanings. In a sense, it also focuses on what you can do out of the chair to protect your teeth until the next visit.

Here at Ivory Dental in Albuquerque, we are here to protect your teeth and offer comprehensive preventative dentistry needs.

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry uses dental examinations and routine cleanings to protect your teeth. Usually, we recommend that you receive these things twice a year, but you might need more frequent visits.

Typically, it also extends to preventative periodontal (gum) therapy to maintain and protect your gums. X-rays are often used to find any issues below the gum’s surface. That way, we can catch those problems sooner and treat them when they’re minor instead of once they get worse.

Brushing and flossing are a huge part of preventative dentistry, and you can do that for yourself at home. However, it’s more than that, too. You require the right hygiene instructions from the dentist to tell you how often to brush/floss, when to do it, what toothbrush you require, and the best toothpaste for your needs.

That way, you can prevent many dental problems and have a healthy smile.

Why Is Preventive Oral Health Care Important?

Preventative oral health is essential because it reduces the risk of having significant oral health issues later. In a sense, you are treating them today while they’re still small in size.

Flossing and brushing your teeth can indeed reduce your chances of having something pop up during a routine dental exam.

When you come to our office for routine check-ups, we can search for anything unfavorable. If it does show up during the exam, we isolate that problem. From there, we can suggest different methods of fixing it, such as treating a cavity with a filling so that it doesn’t infect the pulp inside.

As an example, if you waited until the pulp was infected, you require root canal therapy instead of a filling. You’re in significant pain, and the price you pay for root canals is much higher than for a filling.

Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

There are so many benefits of seeking preventative dentistry treatment. For one, it can help you prevent significant problems. Those small issues, such as a cavity, can quickly become larger problems. We discussed that a bit earlier, but that’s not the only advantage of preventative dentistry. Here are a few other reasons to consider it:

The first is the cost of treatment. Even if you have dental insurance, it often covers preventative care completely and doesn’t cover bigger treatments. There’s always a risk that your dentist might find an issue when he checks your teeth.

For example, if you have a cavity, a tooth-colored filling is much cheaper than a root canal. Plus, the process is simpler to perform, which means you’re in and out of the dental chair sooner.

Another benefit of preventative dentistry is the peace of mind you get. You know that you’ve been for your regular check-up, so nothing was wrong then. Plus, you’re taking care of your teeth between visits to give you a little sigh of relief.

Now, if something happens later, it’s not out of control before your next dental visit.

Will Insurance Cover Early Prevention Treatments?

Preventative dentistry is often less expensive than other treatments. Many times, insurance policies cover part of preventative dental care, but many of them now pay for all of it.

These companies want you to seek preventative dental treatment because it’s cheaper than restorative options. Preventative treatments can also include tooth extractions and fillings. Therefore, you should ask your insurance provider what is covered and what isn’t.

That way, you have an idea of what you might pay when you arrive at the office. Any amount you must pay out of pocket is an investment for your oral health. Still, we require your co-payment at the time of service, so start saving now.

Why Preventive Dentistry Is Important to Kids

Preventative dentistry is essential for everyone, but especially for kids. Typically, children require preventative dentistry when their first tooth comes in. However, preventative dentistry can also help you spot problems early in your child’s life. With that, they need it to learn that dentists aren’t scary.

Usually, dentists talk to them in a friendly tone and help them learn how to brush and floss correctly. Kids need these things early in life, and they continue to move with them into their adult years.

It is crucial for kids to be exposed to dental treatments early on so that they don’t fear these professionals or think that they only cause pain.

You may find that preventative dentistry ensures that they have appropriate hygiene habits, too. These carry over into adulthood, so you can protect your child’s teeth, even when they’re out of the house.

Usually, preventative dental care for kids includes discouraging thumb sucking, brushing and flossing, developing appropriate eating habits, and cleaning their teeth. Check-ups and X-rays are also essential here. That way, you can find out if you need to see an orthodontist or if there are developmental issues.

What Preventive Dental Services Do We Offer?

We offer many preventative dental services at Ivory Dental in Albuquerque. Our team is fully dedicated to treating you and care about each tooth in your mouth.

Whether you’ve got a cracked tooth, cavity, or have a toothache, we can assist. However, we welcome those with a vested interest in their oral health and can also offer cleanings, X-rays, and check-ups. Here is a closer look at the preventative dental services we provide:

• Dental Cleanings – We can scrape away the plaque and tartar from your teeth and polish them so that they’re smooth and beautiful again!
• Fluoride Treatments – Fluoride is a mineral and can help prevent cavities to build stronger teeth.
• Night Guards – If you frequently clench your teeth or grind them, this wears them down too soon. Night guards can protect your teeth and reduce the pain in your jaw.
• Oral Cancer Screening – During the check-up, we search for oral cancer, which can ensure that you get treatment quickly before it gets worse.
• Oral Hygiene – We can help you choose the right regimen for brushing and flossing to make your visits easier every six months.
• Pediatric Care – Many dental practices can’t help children, but Ivory Dental can. Bring the entire family along!

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s normal for you to have questions when focused on preventative dentistry. There are different processes, procedures, and options available. At Ivory Dental in Albuquerque, we are available to answer your questions so that you’re confident about your choices.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Feel free to call if we don’t address your concerns here.

Why Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

There are various reasons for sensitive teeth. For instance, you might have a cavity, there could be a crack or chipped tooth, you may have gum disease, or there could be a worn or broken filling.

Sometimes, sensitivity is caused by worn tooth enamel or exposed roots. Those who drink soda a lot, have acid reflux, or eat sugary treats may be at a higher risk for worn tooth enamel.

With that, people who brush too hard or grind their teeth may also have tooth sensitivity. Luckily, we can help you find the cause and prevent it from happening.

What Can I Do to Prevent My Teeth from Getting Worn Down?

There are many ways to protect the teeth from wearing down too much, and preventative dentistry is crucial for this.

For one, fluoride can be your best friend. It’s found in various products, such as mouthwash and toothpaste. However, some water bottle brands add it to the mix, too. If you brush your teeth often, you’re likely already getting fluoride. Just make sure that you’re not brushing hard or too long.

Try a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush gently for about two minutes.

You can also reduce your dependence on alcoholic drinks, sodas, and sugary treats. These can cause more acid buildup in the mouth, which erodes the teeth.

What Does the Dentist Check for During the Exam?

During your exam, we look at different things. When your teeth are cleaned, the hygienist checks for gum disease or cavities, but they also pay attention to acid erosion, wear, and joint problems, among others. In a sense, we’re looking for anything that might be a sign that you’ve got a problem now or that one might happen later.

For example, many diseases have symptoms or signs that start off in the mouth. They might look like strep throat or a sore. Things like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and lupus often have these concerns.

We also check your mouth for signs of good hygiene and oral health habits. If we notice something that can be corrected, we can demonstrate what to do, such as through appropriate flossing and brushing techniques.

Essentially, throughout the exam, we check for anything that might require treatment or could be a problem for you now or later.

How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist for a Check-up?

We recommend that people seek out preventative dentistry for their overall well-being and oral health twice a year, which equals out to about once every six months. Your dentist can check for different things.

Seeing a dentist regularly ensures that you can monitor your health to make sure that there are no developing problems. If something does arise, regular visits are crucial to ensure that they don’t get any worse. With that, routine dental check-ups can stop cavities and fix them quickly.

If you’re experiencing severe problems, you might have to see a dentist more frequently. However, that’s something you and your dentist discuss during the consultation.

Are X-rays Safe?

Yes, it is completely safe to have X-rays taken of your mouth. There is some radiation, but the exposure levels are very low and are safe for adults and kids. With that, we use digital X-rays, which are even safer because there’s an even lower risk for radiation exposure.

We always put a lead covering over your body when taking X-rays to decrease your chances of being exposed to radiation. Ultimately, we take every precaution possible so that you are safe and secure when receiving your X-rays in our office.

Why Choose Ivory Dental for Your Preventive Dentistry Treatments

Though preventative dentistry starts at home, you can’t do it alone. You need the right dentist to offer appropriate treatments, such as professional cleanings and X-rays. That way, you’re on top of things, and you know what’s happening inside your mouth.

We are located conveniently in Albuquerque to help you get the care you need without having to travel long distances. Therefore, you can make an appointment when it’s convenient for you.

With that, we always discuss your options and provide you with every treatment available. From there, we can narrow it down to something that fits in your budget.

You are our top priority, and we make it a point to care about your oral health as much as you. Please call to make your appointment with Ivory Dental today!

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