Preventive dentistry is the modern way of helping you keep a healthy mouth. It is a partnership between you and your dentist to keep your teeth and mouth healthy and to care for your health generally. Not only does this help you to keep your teeth, and means you need to have less dental treatment, but also helps to ensure that your mouth and teeth will function properly, enabling to eat, speak, and socialise without disease, discomfort or embarrassment, and will contribute to and protect your overall health.
There are two main areas of preventive dentistry. Firstly there are the things that you do, what we call your lifestyle choices. Then there are the things that we as dentists can do, the clinical processes.
By far the most important and effective area of preventive dentistry relates to what you do every day. Your diet, your toothbrushing habits, and the other things you can do such as flossing, using inter-dental cleaning aids, and mouthrinsing. These are far more important than anything else. You will find a full description of these and the actions you need to take in the Oral Health section of this site.
Much of this advice relates to general health because we know that the health of your teeth and gums affects, and is affected by, your general health. Accumulations of dental plaque in your mouth can have effects on your heart and other organs, and will complicate conditions such as Diabetes. So any advice we give you will take into account your general health, your age, and any medical conditions you may have
In the surgery we can carry out primary preventive measures such as applying fissure sealants (see Treatments section) and applying fluoride varnishes to teeth. These processes are not just for children. In fact many elderly people will benefit from fluoride applications if the gums start to recede or your mouth becomes dry. Before we do any of these things, we will carry out a risk analysis relating to your oral health, and then discuss with you a programme of preventive dentistry designed around your needs and what you want out of it.
We will also try to ensure that treatments we provide for you do not harm your future dental health. The margins of fillings will be contoured to the tooth natural shape, the join between crowns and your own teeth will be smooth, dentures will be designed to minimise damage to any other teeth.
In this way we hope to be able to prevent as much dental disease as we can, and also to prevent future deterioration in your oral health, and in your ability to eat, smile, talk, and socialise without discomfort or embarrassment.