Preventive Dentistry

ORAL EXAM

Dr. Shah believes that preventive care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. That is why we focus on thorough exams and checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we are also concerned about your health. A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health.

Examinations and Recalls

Regular dental checkups and having your teeth cleaned are important. Routine dental visits make it possible for us to treat problems in the early stages. During your visit, we check for tooth decay, gum disease, worn fillings and other changes in your teeth and gums. If you are an existing patient, please let us know if your medical records need updating. Tell us about any illness you have or any medications that you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs.

Initial Exam

A healthy mouth and a pleasant, confident smile, are an important part of total health. To achieve these goals Dr. Naik needs to look thoroughly at all areas associated with the mouth, gather information, and make accurate records. Dr. Naik will evaluate each patient and determine the x-rays that are necessary to ensure that the decisions for your care are based on current and complete information. Dr. Shah team believe getting to know you and your personal dental care objectives is important in this process as well. This careful approach ensures that unhealthy areas are noted, and a complete plan to achieve optimal health can be presented. This complete plan may be presented at a separate consultation appointment if your case is complex and requires more detailed analysis. A patient may then make an educated decision about how they would like to proceed with their treatment options.

Recall Exam

Once a patient’s dental condition has been restored to good health, regular checks are made to prevent problems from developing unnoticed. A recall exam is an opportunity for the dentist to again thoroughly look at all the areas associated with the mouth and compare the findings to previous records. This exam is often combined with a maintenance cleaning.

Emergency Exam

Some patients first come to our dental office when they have an emergency. There could be pain or some area of concern. Dr. Naik will examine the area in question, and may require some records or additional information, such as x-rays, to arrive at a diagnosis. Then the problem and possible treatment options will be explained so that the patient may decide on a course of action.

GUM DISEASE

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease.

The two stages of gum disease are called gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is mild gum disease that affects only the gums, the tissue that surrounds the teeth. Periodontitis is gum disease that gets worse and spreads below the gums to damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

Early-stage gum disease (gingivitis ) causes:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums.
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushed or flossed. Healthy gums do not bleed with regular brushing and flossing.

Because gingivitis usually isn’t painful, you may not notice the symptoms and may not get the treatment you need. If you don’t get treated, the disease will progress.

Advanced gum disease (periodontitis ) causes:

  • Gums that pull away or recede from the teeth.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • Pus coming from the gums.
  • A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite, or a change in the fit of partial dentures.
  • Loose teeth.

If you use tobacco, you have a higher risk of gum disease. Your gums may actually bleed less, even though they are unhealthy, and you may not realize it’s a problem until its too late. If you use tobacco, you will need to see your dentist more often.

Gum Disease Treatment

Early of gum disease is very important. The goals of treatment are to prevent gum disease from permanently damaging tissues, control infection, and prevent tooth loss. For treatment to be effective, you will need to:

  • Keep your teeth clean by brushing two times a day and flossing one time a day.
  • See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid all tobacco use. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight infection, interferes with healing, and makes you more likely to have serious gum disease that results in tooth loss.

Your dentist will want to see you for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing missed. After you have had gum disease, you may need to see your dentist every 3 or 4 months for follow-up.

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection. They can be applied directly on the gums, swallowed as pills or capsules, or swished around in your teeth as mouthwash. Your dentist may also recommend an antibacterial toothpaste that reduces plaque and gingivitis when used regularly.

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