Preventive Oral Health

Initial Exam
New patients will receive a complete oral exam, which includes:  A visual examination of the head and neck, assessment of the oral cavity including all soft and hard tissues, completion of charting, periodontal probing, prescribed xrays and oral hygiene education.  A diagnosis and treatment plan will be completed at this appointment.  Our highly trained dental staff will work with you to develop a cost-effective, comprehensive treatment plan specifically designed for you, based on your periodontal and restorative needs.

Preventive Maintenance

We believe that your oral health should continue throughout your lifetime.  Ageing no longer means that you will suffer from tooth loss.   Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime.  Dental health is an essential component of overall physical wellness.  Loss of teeth can result in changes in facial contour and create problems in the digestive tract.  A continuing care program is essential to achieving and maintaining your oral health.

Frequent examinations and preventive care can help the dentist to detect dental disease in its early stages making treatment easier with less discomfort.  Early detection can also help the patient to avoid the necessity of having more complex and costly procedures performed.

Tooth decay can be caused by a number of factors; the most common cause is from dental plaque that has not been removed from teeth. During a continuing care (preventive) appointment, the dentist or dental hygienist will examine the teeth and supporting structures.  A dental hygienist is a dental care provider who specializes in the cleaning and maintenance of the teeth and gums. The dental hygienist will remove any tartar present.  Tartar, also known as calculus, is simply hardened plaque.  The scaling process involves cleaning the crown of the tooth and below the gum line where plaque is often trapped.  Following the scaling, the dental hygienist will polish the teeth.  Children under the age of 18 will have fluoride applied to their teeth at the end of the continuing care appointment.  Fluoride is one of the best preventative substances for tooth decay and has significantly reduced the amount of dental decay in school- age children.

Once your oral health has been assessed, patients are placed on a preventative maintenance schedule designed specifically with your teeth in mind. Oral hygiene education is highly emphasized at our office, and at each appointment the dental hygienist will guide you in the proper homecare maintenance required to achieve the maximum health of your mouth.

At the conclusion of a continuing care appointment, the patient will be instructed to follow proper homecare and brushing techniques.  The dentist will perform a final examination and the patient is escorted to the reception desk. The patient co-ordinator will ensure that your next appointment is scheduled, in order to keep your smile attractive and healthy!

Periodontal Disease
Periodontal scaling or cleaning is completed at each hygiene appointment, and the frequency of scaling appointments is determined based on a patient's periodontal condition.  It includes scaling and/or root planning, polishing, intraoral and extraoral assessments, and updating/monitoring periodontal measurements.  Each and every appointment is accompanied by oral hygiene education, so that you may maintain the proper homecare regimen. Optimal frequency for adult cleanings is once every 6 months. Our knowledgeable dental hygienist will develop a maintenance schedule with you, based on your needs.

What is periodontal disease?

The word eriodontal literally means "around the tooth" Periodontal disease describes bacterial gum infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth.

Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, affecting three out of four people over the age of 35. In fact more than half of all adults over the age of 18 already have periodontal disease in its early stages.
The main cause of this disease is bacterial plaque: a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can turn into a hard substance called calculus (also called tartar) in less than two days. Calculus is so hard it can only be removed through professional cleaning.

Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. There are many levels of periodontal disease. These include:

This is the mildest form of the disease, which involves the gums becoming red, swollen and bleeding easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage, and most people are unaware they have gingivitis in their mouth.
Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral homecare.

Mild Periodontitis

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In the earliest stage of periodontitis, antibodies and fighter cells of the body, trying to fight off the plaque bacteria, begin to destroy the bone and tissue that support the teeth. At this stage, teeth are normally stable, but bleeding is evident and bone loss can be seen on xrays, as well as by routine measurements.

Moderate  - Advanced Periodontitis
In the mid-stages, periodontal disease can lead to more bone and tissue destruction. The most advanced form of this disease includes extensive bone and tissue loss. Teeth often become loose and may have to be removed.