Prevention is better than cure!

Preventative dentistry should be regarded as the best way of helping to keep a mouth healthy. It helps to keep teeth in a condition that reduces the need for treatment.

The two leading causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease, and by improving the health of the mouth, this will lessen the likelihood of premature loss of teeth.

If the dental team and patient work together on maintaining or improving the overall oral health treatments such as fillings or extractions will be reduced. Individuals with poor oral health can be given specific treatments and maintenance plans so that their oral hygiene is improved.

Prevention is better than cure

Preventative dental care works in three ways, firstly primary prevention. This offers individuals protection against dental diseases by placing barriers to stop or significantly reduce the risk of dental decay. The occlusal (or biting) surface of a tooth can have a sealant applied to make the surface smoother and easier to clean; this can prevent decay in the more difficult to clean areas of the tooth. These are known as fissure sealants.

Secondary prevention aims to detect and treat dental disease as early as possible. This is why regular check-ups are recommended for patients. Treatment may involve managing primary caries; these are the first signs of decay in a tooth.

Tertiary prevention is connected with limiting the extent of dental diseases either such as tooth decay or gum disease. This stage is about limiting damage and not the return to a pre-diseased condition.

Treatment may include secondary caries, decay around a previously treated tooth. The whole tooth structure may have to be altered in a permanent way such as a crown, bridge or in the case of tooth loss a denture may be required. Gum treatments may require several visits over several months to stabilise the tissue and to save the tissue surrounding a tooth preventing its loss.

Dental hygienist and therapist, Sophie Mae Burchell

Missing teeth should be replaced wherever possible, and North Street Dental offers several solutions for patients to consider.

Leaving gaps particularly at the front affects the overall appearance and for some results in a lack of confidence. A single space can put a strain on the teeth either side of the gap, leaving the gap will result in the teeth drifting. The roots of these teeth will become stressed as they move and this may cause them to become wobbly or to fall out as the bone and gum recede.

Teeth opposing a gap will move up on a lower jaw or down on the upper as teeth need to balance to have the correct natural bite. Patients with more significant gaps will have lost some of the facial support that teeth provide. Replacing the gaps with teeth and establishing the correct bite plane will mean patients will have the correct support and they should be able to eat comfortably with a balanced occlusion.

We have many options here at North Street Dental. If you would like more information or to book in with one of the team, call us on 01384 254 067.