Exam and Digital Xrays:
Preventing Decay, also called a cavity, is obviously one of the main goals in oral hygiene so let’s talk about that. Tooth decay occurs from the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouth interacting with sugars in our everyday diet. This reaction between the bacteria and sugars produces acid and that acid then breaks down the mineral in the teeth forming a cavity.
Digital x-rays and an exam with a dentist help discover the broken down demineralized areas of a tooth known as decay. The new digital x-rays allow us to better detect this decay in areas that are not visible to our trained eye and when it is small and easy to treat. There are new and innovative methods to repair the beginning stages of decay that can lead to eliminating the need for a filling, to learn more about this visit our blog titled “What are these white spots on my teeth”. These very early stages of decay must be detected quickly thus regular consistent visits are necessary. Take away point here: PREVENTION and EARLY DETECTION with regular exams and digital x-rays is absolutely the KEY to your healthy life long smile.
Oral Cancer Screenings:
Another reason for regular and consistent exams is to screen the tissues of the mouth and neck and check for any irregular lumps/bumps or color changes in the oral tissues. Screening for early changes in the oral tissue can help to detect cancer a t a stage when it can be more successfully treated.
On the chewing surface of our teeth there are grooves and depressions called fissures. These fissures are high risk for developing cavities. A sealant is a resin material that fills these grooves and depressions and in turn prevents cavities. Sealants can last for several years, however they should be checked during regular scheduled appointments because they can wear down or break away from the tooth.
Fluoride is another excellent source of prevention. It is kind of like a “vitamin” for your teeth. Fluoride is a substance placed on the teeth topically to aid in keeping the enamel strong. Fluoride ions reduce the rate of demineralization of enamel and can actually re-mineralize teeth in early stages of cavities.