At Westgate Family Dental we believe that preventive dentistry is the only way to keep small dental issues from turning into larger problems. We recommend bi-annual cleanings for all our patients over the age of 4. We also recommend that all our patients have at least one dental exam and one set of cavity detection x-rays one time per year as well.
Prophy (Teeth Cleaning)
Dental cleanings for both adults and children are vital to the longevity of the teeth, gum and oral tissue health. Why? The food we consume, specifically carbohydrates produce an acidic by-product called plaque (tartar); if not removed from the teeth on a regular basis. Brushing and flossing alone will not remove all of this byproduct, it only assists in the process of keeping the gums and teeth clean. The purpose of bi-annual cleanings is to remove the plaque and tartar that the toothbrush and floss cannot reach, below the gums. Over time if this plaque and tartar accumulate and is not removed, a recession and erosion process will eventually ulcerate the gums. The gums are the mouth’s natural band aid to the bone and eventually will corrupt the integrity of the bone. Because the bone holds the teeth in their natural place, once it starts disintegrating, the teeth become mobile and can eventually get to a point of irreparable damage. Just like getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles, view your oral health and teeth as the same scenario.
In some cases where a dental cleaning has not been performed for a number of years, Periodontal Disease can form in and around the teeth, bone and gums. Once Periodontal Disease is present it is difficult to completely reverse it, but it can be maintained so it does not do further damage. By doing cleanings, scaling & root planning or debridement (on a more frequent level) we can help you maintain your periodontal disease to a controllable level. We only recommend treatment that needs to be done and if it is your first time seeing us and Periodontal Disease is present will be sure to educate you about your options and give you the best possible treatment plan to keep your gums, teeth and bone as healthy as possible.
X-Rays and Dental Examination
At Westgate Family Dental we recommend cavity detection x-rays (bite-wings)(Panoramic every 3-5 years) and a dental examination once a year. By taking x-rays one time per year we are able to see in between the teeth. X-rays give us an internal look into teeth; they allow us to see what the human eye doesn’t allow. Cavities can form in between the teeth, which we cannot see and typically once cavities can be seen by the human, they have already progressed into a bigger situation. X-rays and an examination give us the opportunity to look at everything, use our instruments to find any suspect areas of decay or recession and address them immediately rather than when they hurt.