Preventive dentistry can prevent minor tooth and gum issues from becoming worrisome oral health conditions. And because it’s well-known that poor oral health plays a significant role in heart disease, diabetes, and other serious medical concerns, preventive dentistry can also keep you healthier overall.
Some of the preventive measures Dr. Pak recommends for his patients include:
A comprehensive dental examination is the foundation of preventive dentistry. Dr. Pak performs your dental exam, which varies depending on your individual needs. For instance, Dr. Pak may spend more time looking for signs of gum disease in adults and focus more on tooth decay in children.
The examination includes a very thorough review of your full medical history. This provides Dr. Pak with valuable information about illnesses you have, medications you take regularly, as well as your use of alcohol or tobacco. It’s important that you share these details with Dr. Pak, since health factors often influence dental treatments.
Dr. Pak conducts a visual exam that includes a check of dental problems you’re aware of, as well as an assessment of your risk for future dental issues. For instance, he may notice new wearing of your teeth due to grinding your teeth at night (bruxism). Dr. Pak also recommends dental X-rays to identify hidden cavities or other conditions that aren’t always visible on a visual examination.
Dr. Pak’s exam also includes screening for oral cancer. He looks for abnormalities in the tissues of your mouth and tongue, including sores or lumps, and may examine the areas surrounding your jaw to check for symptoms of oral cancer.
Once your dental examination is complete, Dr. Pak discusses your diagnosis and explores treatment options if necessary, such as a night guard to prevent further damage caused by bruxism. He may recommend sealants to protect your teeth or cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening.
A dental sealant is a plastic coating that’s painted onto the chewing surfaces of your teeth. The sealant bonds into the grooves of your teeth and forms a protective shield for each tooth that is sealed. The sealer lasts for approximately five years. Dr. Pak generally recommends sealants as a preventative measure for the biting surfaces of back teeth, or molars.