Dental Cavities Prevention
Most dental cavities can be prevented with a combination of good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. The following are the main ways we provide you with protection against dental cavities:
Fluoride is an important, naturally-occurring chemical needed to remineralize enamel that has become soft from acids being released by bacteria or from consumption of acidic foods. It is found in most mainstream toothpastes and in some brands of mouth wash (make sure to check the label on the back). There are people who are worried that fluoride is harmful to the body. However, unless the fluoride is swallowed in large amounts, studies show that fluoride is very safe and should not be cause for concern. Make sure to incorporate fluoride in your everyday oral hygiene routine and also get your professional fluoride treatment from us every 6 months during your cleaning appointment.
Sealants are placed in the cracks and crevices of your molars and premolars. The sealant is initially in a fluid state and once it's placed into the grooves of your teeth, we shine a bright light that hardens it and sticks to the tooth surface. By placing the sealant, you are blocking bacteria from settling into those hard-to-clean grooves, effectively preventing a cavity from starting from there. Sealants are very quick and easy to place and does not require any anesthetic. We recommend replacing sealants regularly to avoid leaking that can occur over time.
Preventive Resin Restorations (PRR)
PRRs are basically a very shallow tooth-colored filling. You can think of them as somewhere in between a sealant and a dental filling. When bacteria start to form a cavity on the chewing surface of the tooth, it softens the enamel and starts to gradually penetrate the layer. PRRs are performed when the dental cavity has not reached the inner dentin layer yet, but has started to breach the outer enamel layer. The affected enamel layer is removed with a dental handpiece like in a regular filling but is kept very shallow (known as a fissurotomy procedure). The tooth is then sealed with tooth-colored material. No anesthesia is needed since we only removed a very tiny part of your enamel layer which has no sensation.
Oral Hygiene Instruction
As dental professionals, we are here to help you with anything and everything dental-related! And we love to pass on some sound dental advice along the way. For new patients, we will always provide you with the proper knowledge and technique to combat dental cavities. We will discuss with you your current oral hygiene habits, what we can do to help you prevent future cavities and gum disease, and proper techniques on how to care for your teeth. For our returning patients, we will make sure to review oral hygiene with you during your recall appointments, making sure that good habits are formed and maintained.
Caries Risk Assessment
While excellent oral hygiene is a big part in preventing dental cavities and gum disease, it's only one piece of the puzzle. There are many different factors that can cause cavities. These include the types of foods you eat regularly, the acidity of your saliva, the quantity of your saliva, other medical conditions, and also just pure genetics! We will assess your susceptibility to dental cavities during your first check-up exam and continue to monitor it during your recall exams. By knowing how prone you are to cavities, we are able to come up with an appropriate and effective treatment plan with lasting results.