Prevention is always better than cure, which is why we maintain a strong focus on preventative dentistry at Weybridge Dental Practice. Preventative dentistry reduces the level of dental treatment a patient requires and helps to ensure healthy mouth and teeth. By regular dental visits, your dentist is able to detect potential issues before they occur, thereby minimising or eradicating the need for treatment altogether. Therefore, you will have a greater chance of keeping your teeth for life.
By working closely with our patients, we aim to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and the unfortunate cycle of fillings and extractions. We can also give advice to help prevent tooth wear from erosion or grinding and tailor advice to reduce the risk of oral cancer. There are also secondary benefits of preventive dentistry outside of the mouth. Poor oral health has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, premature birth and various other medical conditions.
At each and every dental examination appointment, your dentist will examine the teeth for the signs of decay. Your dentist will use various techniques and clinical experience, and possibly special investigations such as x-rays to detect decay. We aim to diagnose and treat decay at its earliest stage in order to preserve your tooth structure by keeping the cavity small and to prevent you from experiencing a toothache.
One of the keys to preventing decay is diet control. We work closely with patients to discuss your general diet and find ways of improving it in order to prevent future problems that could result in expensive dental treatment. Fluoride has been proven to help prevent decay and during your examination, your dentist can assess whether you would benefit from fluoride varnish, which can be particularly useful for children. The majority of our long-term patients are dentally stable and under regular maintenance, they rarely require new intervention.
The foundations of any structure are fundamental to its longevity. In dental terms, this involves the gum and bone support of each individual tooth. Disease of the gums and bones (gingivitis and periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss so it is vital to detect and treat gum disease as soon as possible. An early sign of disease may be bleeding when brushing and if the disease progresses it can lead to the bone resorbing away causing the teeth to become loose and eventually need extracting. Once a tooth has been removed you may require an implant, bridge or possibly a denture to replace and restore your smile and function.
We work with patients to develop effective oral hygiene routines to completely avoid reparative dental treatment altogether. This normally starts with a thorough assessment of your gums during the clinical examination and X-ray results. You may be advised to visit our specialist periodontist who will perform an in-depth assessment and start treatment, which may involve periodontal surgery, to eradicate gum disease. You will be given detailed instructions on how to improve your daily hygiene routine and once your gums are in a stable condition you may require maintenance with our hygienist.
Soft tissue lesions
A full examination will always involve a soft tissue and oral cancer screening. Our dentists have been trained to specifically detect suspicious lesions and treat as necessary. As with any ailment, early detection is crucial for improved prognosis. Advise for the prevention of soft tissue lesions will be tailored around your habits, such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
Enamel wear can lead to dental sensitivity and pain. There are several causes of this such as enamel erosion, over-brushing and tooth grinding. If you are experiencing symptoms, your dentist can detect the underlying cause and give you the appropriate advice or treatment. Advise may revolve around changing your diet regarding acid intake, revising your toothbrushing technique to prevent gum recession, and protecting the teeth from grinding with a night splint.
Here at Weybridge Dental Practice, we believe dental prevention is the key to a healthy mouth, and our treatment ethos revolves around this principle.