Our entire dental team places a strong emphasis on preventive dentistry. We know that with the right dental care, many common dental diseases and problems are preventable. We work hard to provide our patients with everything they need to maintain a healthy mouth, hopefully for life. Our preventive dental care treatments are designed to maintain optimal dental health and enable us to detect and treat any problems earlier, using quicker, more cost-effective, and less invasive procedures. Preventive dentistry treatments include:
• Hygiene appointments
• Digital dental x-rays
• Dietary advice and education
• Flouride treatment
• Fissure sealants
• Oral hygiene advice and education
When you first visit Smile Inn, we assess your dental health carefully to devise a suitable preventive treatment plan. The plan will show how frequently we recommend you see us for dental examinations. Most people benefit from regular six-monthly dental examinations. It is a simple routine that helps us detect any signs of disease more quickly and note or monitor any changes to your dental or medical health.
Before we begin your examination, we will ask if there have been any changes to your dental or medical health to ensure any treatment we recommend is safe and appropriate. We assess every tooth carefully for small lesions and signs of cavities and assess your gum health. The condition of any restorations is carefully checked, as these do need replacing periodically to ensure they continue to protect your teeth and dental health. We also assess your jaw joint health and any bite issues.
We also check your entire mouth for signs of disease, looking for any changes to the colour or texture, and any signs of sore spots or lumps. Once the examination is complete, we discuss our findings with you, and if you do need any treatment, we clearly explain every option. We can also answer any questions you may have about your dental health.
Your hygiene appointments are an important part of your preventive dental care routine and help you to maintain strong, healthy teeth and healthy gums more easily. Most people need their teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Sometimes we may recommend more frequent cleanings for people at higher risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay or who have medical conditions that affect their dental health.
The purpose of a hygiene appointment is to remove all calculus buildup. Calculus is hardened dental plaque and contains harmful bacteria that can infect and inflame your gums. Even people with an excellent oral care routine will not remove all dental plaque during regular brushing and flossing. By removing this build up regularly, we can help you maintain good dental health more easily. We use special tools to remove the calculus thoroughly before polishing your teeth carefully. Afterwards, your mouth should feel super clean and fresh.
While cleaning your teeth, our dentist can identify any areas you may regularly miss when brushing and flossing. If needed, they can review your oral hygiene routine with you and provide useful advice on how to brush and floss more effectively. They can also talk to you about which tools to use, including alternative ways to floss your teeth.
Smile Inn uses up-to-date digital dental x-ray equipment that emits only low levels of radiation. We only take dental x-rays when necessary, and the procedure is very safe. Our dental team follows strict protocols to minimise your exposure.
Digital dental x-rays are extremely useful when diagnosing dental problems hidden from view, for example, gum or tooth infections or signs of tooth decay in the contact areas between your teeth. We also use x-rays to monitor the position of teeth yet to come through. The digital images can be viewed immediately on the screen in the treatment room, allowing us to make a very quick and accurate diagnosis. We can also send these images to another dental specialist if a second opinion or a referral is needed.
We can take x-rays of a single tooth, called a bitewing x-ray, or your entire jaws using an OPG or 3D Cone Beam CT Scan.
OPG is short for orthopantomogram, and takes an image of your lower face, showing all your upper and lower teeth. It provides a good overview of your general dental health and might be necessary if we need to assess your wisdom teeth more fully or need to check your jaw for other issues or plan orthodontic treatment.
3D Cone beam CT Scan is computer aided imaging to assess the position, quality and quantity of teeth and important structures in the jawbones eg.nerves and sinuses.
Dietary advice and education can often make a tremendous difference in your oral health. Your dental health is affected by your choice of foods, and when you eat them. We might suggest reviewing your diet with you if we notice you have recently had some dental issues such as tooth decay, despite a good oral care regime.
By reviewing your diet, we can often recommend simple yet effective changes to reduce your risk of tooth decay and improve overall dental health. These changes may be as straightforward as reducing the number of snacks between meals or changing the type of snack to something more helpful to your teeth, for example, instead of snacking on biscuits or crisps, filling up on crunchy veggies, cheese or sugar-free dairy products like yoghurt.
Your molar teeth or back teeth are perfectly designed for grinding food, with fissures and grooves to facilitate this process. These fissures and grooves can easily trap food and bacteria and are more likely to develop cavities. Applying fissure sealants helps to protect these teeth, and treatment is non-invasive and cost-effective.
The sealants consist of a layer of very thin plastic or resin material that is brushed onto the tooth surfaces. It flows into all the fissures and soon hardens, creating a smooth, thin and virtually invisible layer that protects these tooth surfaces. Fissure sealants generally last for several years and can be replaced if needed. We usually recommend this treatment for children when their adult back teeth first push through, but we can use sealants to protect adults’ teeth, provided they are cavity-free. Fissure sealants cannot help to protect teeth that already have cavities or fillings.
Fluoride treatment is for people with certain medical conditions or taking particular drugs and those at high risk of caries, a customised fluoride regimen may be recommended by the dentist to help protect teeth from breakdown.