Preventive dental care is important throughout your life, regardless of your age. Conscientious at-home oral hygiene can make the difference between outstanding oral health and a lifetime of dental problems. While personal oral hygiene is essential, it is not totally effective unless it is combined with routine professional dental cleanings.
At the office of Joel R. Koch, DDS, one of our goals is to take time to help you understand the relationship between prevention and healthy teeth and gums. Staying a step ahead of problems with preventive care is the easiest way to minimize the risk of complicated dental procedures in the future.
The oral health benefits are obvious, but protecting your teeth with preventive treatments is not just important for a healthy smile. Poor oral health and chronic gum disease can contribute to serious issues like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and even pregnancy complications.
Routine dental exams twice a year give us an opportunity to check the current condition of your oral health. Our exams focus on your entire mouth to identify problems that may be developing, like the onset of gum disease, bite problems, and even early signs of oral cancer.
If you’re a new patient, we will spend some time talking with you to learn about your expectations for a healthy mouth. Next, Dr. Koch will perform a visual exam to look for any obvious problems. Digital x-rays help us see if any problems are developing deep inside your teeth. When the exam is finished, we’ll talk to you about our findings and work with you to develop a long-range treatment plan.
Even if you take excellent care of your teeth at home, regular professional cleanings with a qualified dental hygienist are necessary to completely eliminate the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. Cleanings twice a year are sufficient for many patients, but for those with a history of periodontal (gum) disease, we usually recommend more frequent cleanings.
If we do find gum disease during one of your visits, our hygienist will come up with a treatment plan based on your needs. More frequent cleanings may be all that is needed. But if you have advanced gum disease, we will recommend a deep cleaning treatment called root planing and scaling. Whatever your needs, we’ll work with you to get your oral health back on track.
In addition to cleanings and exams, we also offer other preventive treatments:
Fluoride: Fluoride is essential for keeping your teeth strong and healthy. Most of us are exposed to fluoride from multiple sources, but if we find you or your child aren't receiving sufficient fluoride or you’re at higher risk for cavities, we may recommend a topical application at our West Chester dental office. Fluoride varnish applied by Dr. Koch provides extra protection against tooth decay when used in addition to brushing.
Dental Sealants: A dental sealant is a thin resin-based material applied to teeth that are cavity-prone or have very uneven chewing surfaces, such as molars. The sealant seals these grooves to prevent food, plaque, and bacteria from collecting, minimizing the risk of decay developing. Sealants are most frequently used for children, but we can also use them on adults with healthy teeth.
Achieving excellent oral health is possible for everyone, and it starts with prevention. If you’d like to take the first step toward making your teeth as healthy as possible, please call our West Chester dental office to arrange your next dental exam and cleaning.