PREVENTATIVE

Preventative Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is the way of reducing the amount of dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth. The purpose of Preventive Dentistry is to help keep our teeth and gums healthy. There have been great strides in preventing the incidence of dental disease.

Fluoride Treatment

One of the most successful efforts is the fluoridation. Fluoride helps teeth resist decay. If your dentist thinks added fluoride would be useful, they may recommend applying a fluoride gel. They may also suggest the use of fluoride rinses, tablets or drops as an extra help against decay for use at home.

TOOTH DECAY

Tooth Decay

The two primary causes of tooth loss, decay and gum disease, are generally caused by bacteria in the mouth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.

The biting surfaces of teeth can be protected by the application of ‘sealants’. These make the tooth surface smoother and easier to clean, and stop decay starting in the difficult to clean areas. Often this is a useful treatment for children.

Food and drinks containing sugar cause decay. If you cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks this will help considerably. Foods such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables make good substitutes. Remember that some alcoholic drinks contain high levels of sugar. Using sugar-free-gum is a good idea, as it will stimulate salvia and stop your mouth from drying out.

The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient, can help to prevent the need for treatment. A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan (home care with brushing, flossing and mouthwashes) will be planned to help you keep it that way. It is usually recommended that adults use a toothbrush with small to medium sized head and soft to medium bristles. Dr. Sievers feels that electric toothbrushes are the best, since they have been shown to be better at removing plaque.

CLEANING

Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease (gum disease). It is recommended that most patients have x-ray images of their molar teeth once a year, since this is a common place for decay between the teeth.

Benefits Include:

1 - Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.

2 - A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.

3 - Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.

Usually, prophylaxis be performed every 6 months as a preventative measure, but a frequency of every 3-4 months for periodontitis conditions. Gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis can be used to effectively halt its progression.

CANCER SCREENING

Cancer Screening

Dr. Sievers is concerned about your total oral health, which includes oral cancer screening. The professional staff will visually examine your oral cavity and will use the best technology available. He is currently (since 2015) using Identafi as the screening tool. More people are being diagnosed with oral cancer than ever before. But research shows this increase is not due to the traditional risk factors of drinking, smoking and chewing tobacco. Oral cancer is now being found in a younger population due to exposure to the HPV (Human Papillomavirus). That is why the Centers for Disease Control recommends that all patients over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer.

SEALANTS

Dental Sealants

Sealants are very effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth. Placing dental sealants is a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic "coating" is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively "seals" the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can't reach.

Sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed. They are usually only used on the molar teeth (the teeth most at risk of decay are the six-year and twelve-year molars). Many times the permanent premolars and primary molars will also benefit from sealants. Any tooth with grooves or pits may benefit from the protection of dental sealants. Most often, sealants are used to maintain good dental health in children.

PERIODONTAL MAINTENANCE

Preventative Dentistry

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroys the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque (bacterial bio film) is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove it and help prevent periodontal disease. If not removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors, even though it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Stress
• Clenching and grinding teeth
• Medication
• Poor nutrition
• Genetics
• Pregnancy

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

TYPES OF GUM DISEASE

Gingivitis

The earliest and mildest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling of the gums. Often, the gums will bleed during normal brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is reversible with professional periodontal treatment and consistent oral care at home.

Periodontitis

The earliest and mildest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by swelling of the gums. Often, the gums will bleed during normal brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is reversible with professional periodontal treatment and consistent oral care at home.

* Mouth pain
• Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
• Increased space between the teeth
• Gums that feel swollen or tender
• Gums that appear to be receding, making your teeth appear longer
• Persistent bad breath
• The formation of pus between your teeth
• Changes in your bite and the way your teeth fit together
• Sores in your mouth

In the event you are diagnosed with gum disease, your periodontist may recommend non-surgical periodontal treatment. For advanced cases, gum surgery may be required. The biggest factor in the treatment options available to you will be how quickly your gum disease is detected and how rapidly it advances.

Advanced Stage Periodontitis Treatment

Advanced gum disease often requires periodontal (gum) surgery. Gum surgery becomes the only periodontal treatment once the tissue around your teeth becomes too unhealthy to be repaired with non-surgical treatment. The four types of gum surgery most often recommended are:

• Pocket reduction procedures
• Regenerative procedures
• Crown lengthening
• Soft tissue grafts
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