Most of the conditions that negatively affect your smile can be avoided with regular care. Our practice emphasizes the importance of preventive measures. By helping you maintain proper dental hygiene and by treating problems in their earliest stages, we can reduce the number of cosmetic and restorative procedures you will require in the future.
Dental Hygiene Appointments
Dental hygiene appointments are sometimes called “cleanings” because the teeth are thoroughly cleaned as part of the dental hygiene process. During this time, the plaque and tartar on your teeth above the gum line will be removed and an oral examination will be performed on your teeth, gums, and soft tissue. Polishing the surfaces of your teeth smooths out areas where plaque can collect and removes stains, making it hard for plaque to build up in the future. But oral health is more than just about having clean teeth. The integrity of your tooth and gums are also reviewed to prevent or treat periodontal disease and oral cancer. We recommend an appointment every 6 months.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects tens of thousands of Americans every year, and one case in four is fatal. As with most cancers, the key to beating the disease is catching it before it progresses to a later stage. With early detection from a routine oral cancer screening, there is a 90% success rate after diagnosis. A trusted dentist like Dr. Whitfield is truly your only line of defense against oral cancer. He and his team of dental professionals are the only ones to regularly evaluate your oral health and to notice any potential abnormalities. Gain the peace of mind that comes with a regular oral cancer screening from Dr. Whitfield. With the help of the latest dental technology, even a diagnosis of oral cancer can be successfully treated through early detection.
Most Americans experience some form of periodontal disease, often without realizing it. Periodontal disease is chiefly responsible for adult tooth loss, bleeding gums, bad breath and receding gums. The truth is, it is easily prevented with proper hygiene, home care and professional treatment. If diagnosed in its early stages, gum disease treatments are easier, less invasive and more effective. Your visit with Dr. Whitfield includes a complete evaluation of your gums and supportive tissues. At Dr. Joel Rude’s office, you will have access to advanced periodontal therapy to heal and restore your oral health.
Periodontal Supportive Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal (gum) disease, regularly scheduled supportive therapy is vitally important to your success in management of disease progression. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “following a course of active periodontal treatment and periodic ongoing care at regularly prescribed intervals is essential. Because periodontal disease or infection can recur, continuous maintenance is absolutely necessary to prevent this periodontal infection from becoming active once again and destroying what healing has occurred.
The following treatment is included in your periodontal maintenance appointment:
- Evaluation of oral health to detect subtle signs of disease recurrence
• Appropriate debridement of teeth and gums (professional cleaning and polishing)
• Antimicrobial therapy to destroy difficult to reach bacteria as deemed necessary by the doctor
• Evaluation of homecare regimes and aids
• Oral health evaluation including oral cancer screening, necessary dental films, and decay detection
• Recommendations based on individual needs as a result of medical and dental histories review
Scientific studies support the belief of experts that the most important aspect of periodontal treatment is the long term maintenance therapy. Individuals vary in their response to periodontal disease and resistance to the disease varies at different times of life. When periodontal disease recurs following treatment, it may do so without signs or symptoms to the patient. Dr. Whitfield and his team of periodontal therapist are well trained in recognizing the very subtle signs that may signal detrimental changes. Ask Dr. Whitfield and your hygienist what interval of care would be in your best interest for lifelong oral health.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings or barriers that protect the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Usually, sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. Applying a sealant to your teeth can prevent cavities and the need for fillings, which must be replaced every six to eight years. Children especially benefit from sealants.