Preventive Care Is the Best
General dentistry emphasizes preventive dentistry. The best approach to oral health is a strong commitment to preventive care for your teeth. Preventive care comes in two parts: the oral hygiene that you perform at home and the routine maintenance that we perform at your regular checkups.
Your home oral hygiene routine should include brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing your teeth daily. You can brush your teeth more often, but be aware that too much brushing can be as bad as too little. Remember to brush gently to remove bacterial plaque without causing wear on your teeth or irritating your gums. Most commercial toothpastes are fine, but avoid whitening toothpastes that contain harsh abrasives.
Flossing is most important to remove plaque and food from between your teeth, and should be done at night before you go to sleep. At night, your saliva production drops, allowing bacteria to flourish, so it’s helpful to remove as much as possible before sleep.
Mouthwash is generally not necessary, and it can be harmful, so it’s important to talk to a dentist before you incorporate it into your regular oral hygiene routine.
The most common general dentistry procedure is a regular checkup and hygiene visit. You should have these at least twice a year so we can:
- Remove tooth deposits that you cannot
- Identify concerns about your home hygiene routine
- Detect possible damage to your teeth before restorations are necessary
Whenever possible, general dentistry is used to preserve your natural teeth. None of our restorations are as good as your natural teeth, so maintaining your natural teeth is the best approach to ensuring a lifetime of healthy, functional teeth. We may recommend sealants to help you protect teeth that are hard to clean.
Gum Disease Is a Major Threat to Your Health
Although many people think about avoiding cavities as the major concern for brushing, flossing, and making general dentistry appointments, it’s actually gum disease that is most important to prevent and treat. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, but it’s also a threat to your overall health.
Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, kidney problems, and many types of cancer including oral cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and more.
Your regular general dentistry visits give us the opportunity to remove tartar from around your teeth. These hardened plaque deposits shelter bacteria around your teeth, allowing them to grow and infect your gums. Removing tartar helps you avoid gum disease.
The Cycle of Restorative Dentistry
General dentistry also includes restorative dentistry. Ideally, preventive care would help you avoid any cavities, but since about 96% of all US adults have at least one cavity, that’s probably too much to hope for. If you do have a cavity, we will recommend an appropriate restoration.
For small cavities, we can use resin composite fillings. These tooth-colored plastic fillings are laced with ceramic fragments to improve their durability. They work well for small cavities, providing a tight seal with the tooth that helps prevent infiltration around the filling.
For larger cavities, we may recommend ceramic fillings, called dental inlays, made using our CEREC system. With our CEREC system, we offer a Premium Crown Experience for an attractive, fully ceramic dental crown in a single visit. These fillings are very strong, and can actually restore the strength of your teeth. And they’re very beautiful.
If your tooth has been badly weakened by cavities or previous restorations, we may recommend a dental crown. A dental crown not only restores your tooth’s lost strength, it provides your tooth with an entirely new surface so it looks beautiful, too.
At the time we crown your tooth, we will evaluate whether the pulp inside the tooth is alive and healthy or if it needs to be removed due to disease or injury. This is called root canal therapy, and it can take your damaged tooth and make it fully functional and beautiful again. It can last for decades after being treated.
But if we can’t save your tooth, we may recommend that it be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Sometimes dental implants are considered cosmetic dentistry, but as more insurance companies are covering them, dental implants are coming to be considered part of general dentistry.
Welcome to Your New Dental Home
If you are looking for general dentistry at a comfortable, friendly, and, above all, expert dental office in Rockland County, then we invite you to visit B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack. Please call (845) 627-7645 today for an appointment.