An Ounce of Oral Health Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

At Total Health Dentistry of Encino, we focus on helping patients gain and maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime of comfort, function, and beautiful appearance. We also, help our patients understand the oral health connection with their systemic health.

Even if you don’t have dental insurance, the costs of semi-annual dental checkups and prophylactic dental cleanings are worth it. That’s because, semi-annual check-ups catch problems early before they progress, and prophylactic dental cleanings significantly help in the control of gum disease and dental decay, even systemic health. In comparison, the costs of dental and medical treatment can mount up quickly when problems are not diagnosed and treated early.

Never become lax about your home oral hygiene. Brushing after meals and at bedtime… and flossing once a day with dental floss or a water flosser are also important for maintaining your oral health.

If you have had restorative treatment, for example, fillings, a crown or crown and bridge treatment, or dental implants, they should be examined every six months to identify problems that might be emerging around and under those restorations. The latest American Dental Association guidelines emphasize the need to have dental restorations examined every six months, in order to treat emerging problems early, avoid dental emergencies, and avoid more costly treatment for tooth loss. A thorough examination of your dental restorations is always part of your semi-annual oral health exam.

A full array of dental x-rays is an essential part of preventive care, in order to discover problems early. Typically, they are recommended every 12 months. In addition to these x-rays, there are circumstances when a specific image is indicated at the onset of a problem, such as a painful tooth. So even if you have had annual x-rays, additional images may be helpful at another dental visit. It depends on your oral health circumstances and more.

Oral cancer screening is part of your semi-annual checkups. It cannot be stressed enough that early detection of any signs of oral cancer leads to early diagnosis and treatment that minimizes the discomfort of oral cancer treatment and saves lives.

As we age, our adult oral health changes. Wear and tear on teeth and erosion of dental enamel can occur even if we have the best brushing and flossing habits… and have our teeth cleaned and checked every six months. There are many factors that affect the health of your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth, even the periodontal bone that holds your teeth, and the jaw joints and muscles that allow you to function. These factors include systemic disease… diet… genetics… occlusal biting forces… medications… accidental injury and more. An adult who has been stable for three decades without need for a filling or crown may suddenly reach the tipping point of enamel erosion and find they have sensitive teeth. An adult whose large filling “held their tooth together” for over a decade, may suddenly have a large crack in the tooth due have normal chewing forces… normal wear and tear. Regular visits to the dentist will disclose the potential for this occurring as soon as possible and allow for the most conservative and least costly treatment.

Fluoride treatment is not just for children. Adults benefit from fluoride treatments, too. Don’t be surprised if your hygienist informs you about this low-cost preventive treatment the next time your teeth are thoroughly examined and cleaned. Fluoride treatment is safe. It makes your enamel stronger. Not only does remineralization of the enamel, fight tooth decay, it reduces and can sometimes completely eliminate tooth sensitivity.

Optimal oral health is necessary for whole body wellness. In fact, maintaining optimal oral health may do more to reduce healthcare expenditures throughout your lifespan than any other health measure.

When you visit Total Health Dentistry of Encino, we are happy to answer all your oral health questions. We’re not just about “doing dentistry” to restore health and make smiles beautiful. We derive true joy from getting to know you, informing you, and inspiring you to greater health awareness.