Preventive Dentistry in Boulder, CO
At Boulder Smile Design, we believe quality preventive dentistry is a cooperative effort by the patient and dentist to prevent the onset, progress, and recurrence of oral disease. Our approach to preventive care includes regular exams, gentle dental cleanings, and comfortable, state-of-the-art x-rays. At every preventive visit, dental sealants and mineral treatments are also offered to help strengthen and protect the teeth.
We offer the following preventive services at our dentist office in Boulder, CO:
Dental Cleanings (Prophylaxis)
A dental prophylaxis is a procedure performed to thoroughly clean the teeth. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for halting the progression or development of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Periodontal disease and gingivitis occur when bacteria from plaque colonize on the gingival (gum) tissue – either above or below the gum line. These bacteria colonies cause serious inflammation and irritation which in turn produce a chronic inflammatory response in the body. As a result, the body begins to systematically destroy gum and bone tissue, making the teeth shift, become unstable, or completely fall out. The pockets between the gums and teeth become deeper and house more bacteria which may travel via the bloodstream and infect other parts of the body. At Boulder Smile Design, prophylaxis is delivered to help halt the progression of gum disease and keep your smile in excellent health!
Oral Cancer Screening
Nearly 75 percent of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. If needed, our dentists can always provide literature and education on making lifestyle changes and smoking cessation.
When oral cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, treatment is generally very effective. Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth or surrounding area should be evaluated as quickly as possible. During the oral cancer exam, the dentist and dental hygienist will be scrutinizing the maxillofacial and oral regions carefully for signs of pathologic changes.
The oral cancer examination is a completely painless process. During the visual part of the examination, the dentist will look for abnormality and feel the face, glands and neck for unusual bumps. Lasers which can highlight pathologic changes are also a wonderful tool for oral cancer checks. The laser can “look” below the surface for abnormal signs and lesions which would be invisible to the naked eye. During bi-annual check-ups, the dentist and hygienist will thoroughly look for changes and lesions in the mouth, but a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening should be performed at least once each year.
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of the teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and often very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but will need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.
Oral Health at Home
Preventing dental disease starts at home with proper oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health. At Boulder Smile Design, we recommend dental cleanings every 6 months for healthy patients. Patients of advanced age or who suffer from periodontal disease will often require more frequent, targeted care.
Quality prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile. When you visit us for a dental cleaning, we will also review your medical history, perform an exam, and take x-rays when appropriate. Remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning
At Boulder Smile Design, every preventive exam is delivered with your total health in mind. Call today to schedule your next dental checkup or cleaning!