We want you to join us in the belief that a healthy smile can last a lifetime. Our focus is on prevention. By maintaining proper oral hygiene and receivin regularly scheduled professional dental care, you can decrease the incidence of serious oral health problems. Dr. Caruk considers preventive dentistry as essential to providing you and your family with complete dental care.
1. ROUTINE EXAMINATIONS
Routine visits with our office enable us to diagnose and prevent problems. We will address your dental concerns and discuss treatment options. We can treat existing issues like cavities and gum disease before they cause any serious damage.
2. DENTAL X-RAYS
Dental x-rays are essential, preventive diagnostic tools that provide valuable information that is not directly visible during an examination. Some problems that can be detected with x-rays include: abscesses, cysts, bone loss, tooth decay, poor tooth position and tumors. The frequency of x-rays depends on your individual dental health needs.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, more involved treatment, discomfort, and your teeth.
3. DENTAL CLEANINGS
Medical research is confirming that inflammation is a contributing factor in many of the chronic diseases of aging – including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. It turns out that the mouth is a significant source of inflammation when gum disease is present. Left untreated, gum disease increases your risk for these serious systemic diseases.
Gum disease is a silent disease – you can have it and not even know it. A dentist or dental hygienist can tell you if you have gum disease. There are identifiable risk factors that make some people more susceptible to gum disease than others.
A dental cleaning involves removing the soft plaque and hard tartar that accumulates on your teeth. Plaque and tartar contain saliva components, food debris, and bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that lead to inflammation. After your teeth are cleaned, they will be polished to remove stains and create a smooth surface to decrease plaque build-up in the future.
We will work with you to identify and treat your gum problems. With regular professional cleanings, a plan for eliminating inflammation, and excellent home care, we can decrease your chances of developing serious gum disease.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in most foods and water supplies. It is an effective agent in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride in food and water aids in strengthening erupted teeth and those developing under you gums. Fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses penetrates the outer layer of the enamel to make teeth more resistant to decay. We recommend a professional application of fluoride once or twice a year to provide additional protection.
4. HOME CARE
A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care is one of the most important factors in achieving that goal. Your home care starts by eating a balanced diet, reducing the number of cavity-causing snacks that you eat, and properly cleaning your teeth by brushing, flossing, and using other dental aids.
Electric toothbrushes are a great invention. They have been scientifically proven to clean teeth better than manual brushes. Flossing is important to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot get. Most cavities that we find are “flossing” cavities – that is, between the teeth.
Other dental home care aids include interdental brushes, tongue cleaners, fluoride rinses, anti-bacterial rinses, and medications. We will help you find the best protocol for your health.
Sealants help to prevent cavities. They are made of a thin resin that seals the grooves of your back teeth to keep out decay-causing food, plaque and bacteria. They can be used on any unrestored tooth but are especially beneficial for children and young adults. They do not take the place of brushing and flossing but can significantly decrease your chances of getting a cavity.
6. SPORTS MOUTHGUARDS
Properly designed and custom fabricated mouthguards are essential in the prevention of athletic oral/facial injuries. Mouthgards not only prevent broken and knocked out teeth, but also decrease the incidence of concussions. Mouthguards are effective for hockey (even if you wear a shield!), basketball, and other sports.
A properly fitted mouthguard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, not bulky, cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing, and (possibly the most important criteria) have excellent retention, fit, and sufficient thickness in critical areas. Only a custom-made mouthguard can adequately protect you teeth.
Grinding you teeth at night is very common. A high percentage of people grind their teeth but only a small percentage is aware of it. Signs of nocturnal grinding include morning headaches, sore jaws, earaches, neck pain, loose teeth, broken teeth, and the shortening of teeth (especially the front teeth).
One way to prevent the effects of grinding is to wear a nightguard. Our dental guards are made of plastic and fit over all of upper or lower teeth. The guard protects the teeth from abrasion and can reduce muscle strain by allowing the lower jaw to move easily with respect to the upper jaw. A nightguard is typically worn every night on a long-term basis. It is not a cure, but it will protect your teeth and cosmetic dentistry.