Preventative Dental Services
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on our digital sensor, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that we use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
According with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the use of fluorides for the prevention and control of dental decay is documented to be both safe and highly effective. One of the main ways that fluoride helps minimize decay is through enamel remineralization. Daily fluoride exposure through water supplies and use of fluoride toothpaste are very important too.
For those patients with moderate to high caries risk, professionally applied topical fluoride treatments are very helpful in reducing the risk of dental decay, especially in children. In our office, we offer different methods of high strength fluoride materials.
Prescription-strength toothpaste/gel: Most over-the-counter (OTC) toothpastes have a standard amount of fluoride included, which is usually around 1,100ppm (parts per million) of fluoride ions. Sometimes this is not enough for certain patients, whether it is due to higher caries risk or sensitivity. In certain situations, we may recommend a prescription toothpaste or gel that has a higher concentration of fluoride and other minerals to help strengthen weak spots or sensitive areas.
Fluoride Varnish: Our in-office professional fluoride treatment of choice is the fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnishes contain 5% sodium fluoride as their active ingredient, which translates to about 22,500ppm of fluoride ions. Please allow the fluoride varnish to stay in the mouth without any drinking or eating for at least 30 minutes, but longer is preferable.
Fluoride Trays: For patients who are at high risk to get more cavities in the future, we may recommend prescription strength fluoride treatments for at home use. This daily treatment uses a clear soft tray that is custom-made for your teeth and covers all of your teeth with fluoride during the treatment time. This is one of the best ways to get high concentration fluoride every day at home. Please follow your specific instructions carefully to get the maximum benefit of your fluoride trays.
This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the patient does not brush, but because they are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you should avoid that. So the dentist will clean out those grooves and brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.