Professional dental care is often necessary to treat dental disease and to develop personal preventive plans. Professional treatment may include cleaning, restoration of decayed teeth, and extraction of teeth that cannot be saved. Direct application of fluoride to the teeth, prescription of various mouth rinses, professionally applied topical medications, and prescribed medications including antibiotics may also be recommended.
The replacement of missing teeth with fixed bridges or removable dentures are costly procedures, which emphasizes the importance of prevention. A professional prevention schedule includes the examination of the teeth and mouth for disease, assessment of dental work, and the cleaning of teeth.
Some people require quarterly, or biannual, or yearly recall schedules depending upon their disease susceptibility and complexity of their dental work.
Dental decay in children usually occurs initially on the biting surfaces of molar teeth. Sealing the natural tooth pits and fissures with a resin material can prevent this problem.
Twice-daily toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste is a key component of any preventive program against dental decay for all ages. Daily and weekly fluoride mouth-rinses even at low (0.05% Sodium Fluoride) concentrations effectively inhibit tooth decay by remineralizing early lesions. Teeth exposed to fluoride are more resistant to decay, and the fluoride also reduces the number of acid producing bacteria in the mouth.
Various fluoride mouth-rinses, gels, varnishes, and toothpastes are available to control dental decay. Topical fluoride applications in the dental office however, have much higher concentrations than the home products.
Daily use of 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate, prescribed by a dentist, inhibits the accumulation of plaque on teeth, and is effective in reducing bacteria responsible for dental decay and gum disease. Mouth-rinse concentrations of 0.12% used daily for at least two weeks may reduce the incidence of dental decay substantially in all age groups. It has no systemic or local side-effects, although it leaves a removable yellow-brown stain on teeth. Chlorhexidine should used 30 minutes AFTER brushing with toothpaste. The foaming agent in the toothpaste deactivates the Chlorhexidine.
Professional Prevention | Personal Prevention