At Family Dental Practice of Bloomfield, we emphasize preventive care to keep you healthy and happy. At our practice, we are partners with our patients in developing the best possible home-care routines. Regular six month exams and cleanings let our friendly dental care team know right away if there is a concern. Our preventive care exams include:
Hygiene & Cleanings
Our skilled dental hygienists complete a thorough examination, conduct an oral cancer screening, remove plaque and tartar buildup and clean and polish your teeth to a brilliant smile. Hygienists also work with each patient to determine the best at-home care plan that meets individual dental care needs. Regular dental cleanings prevent the buildup of biofilm. This layer of plaque anchors them to the teeth and if not removed can lead to periodontal disease (gum disease/gingivitis), or tooth decay. Hygienists remove this biofilm, and help prevent these oral health concerns.
Patients who are particularly at risk for tooth decay may wish to have preventive fillings placed. Preventive fillings are composite filling material that is placed over the grooves on the biting surface of your teeth. While brushing and flossing are effective at removing most foreign matter and bacteria from the smooth surfaces of your teeth, the deep ridges and grooves on top of your teeth make that difficult. These restorations prevent food or bacteria from entering these grooves and helps decrease the likelihood of dental health issues. Preventive fillings are especially recommended for children after their permanent molars come in. Preventive fillings can last many years with proper care and regular maintenance at your bi-annual checkups.
Bruxism / Nightguards
Bruxism often referred to as teeth grinding is a habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth. This takes place most often as you sleep. Patients who suffer from bruxism are at a higher risk for cavities and tooth fractures, because their teeth are under constant pressure. In addition to nighttime teeth grinding, those who struggle with bruxism often clench their teeth throughout the day without being aware of it. This added pressure wears down the chewing surfaces of your teeth more quickly. Treatments for bruxism vary, the most common using nightguards. Nightguards are mouthpieces worn while you sleep to protect your teeth from potential damage.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer like many types of cancer is dangerous because it is often overlooked in the early stages. In the past, research showed that tobacco users over the age of 40 most frequently developed oral cancer. However, research between 2008 and 2011 showed a significant increase in oral cancer among patients under age 50 who had not been tobacco users. These younger patients frequently had increased alcohol consumption or a persistent viral infection. Research is ongoing to determine the links between these factors and increased risk of oral cancer.
The good news is that at Family Dental Practice of Bloomfield, we screen every patient for early warning signs of oral cancer at every six month checkup. Changes in tissue that may go unnoticed to the untrained eye are easily spotted by your dentist, and oral cancer is very treatable in the early stages. Oral cancer can appear to be an average canker sore or tissue change, but if you notice a sore that persists for more than two weeks, contact us for an appointment.