Early Detection of Oral Health Problems
Most people know that you should try to prevent a problem instead of dealing with it once it’s in full force. The reason you change your...
At Tindal Prosthodontics, we believe that we have one of the best preventive care programs in the entire country, designed to help our patients avoid small dental problems so they can’t turn into bigger ones later. In addition to being under the care of a certified dental specialist in Dr. Tindal, he also has a secret weapon in the battle against cavities and gum disease: our hygienists, Katie and Janet. Dr. Tindal had been searching for hygienists of their caliber for over 10 years when he finally completed our team, and now that they are both here, you can trust that they will always be the one performing your cleanings.
From your very first appointment, Dr. Tindal and our dental hygiene team will give you the personalized, one-on-one attention you deserve so they can come up with a treatment plan that is perfectly suited to your unique smile. Under their care, you’ll enjoy problem-free teeth for years to come.
Preventive dentistry encompasses various services and procedures, including:
Dental checkups and cleanings: Regular dental visits, typically every six months, allow dentists to monitor a patient's oral health, identify any potential issues, and perform professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
Oral cancer screenings: Dentists often perform oral cancer screenings during routine checkups to detect any signs of oral cancer at an early stage, when it is more treatable.
Dental sealants: Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to help prevent cavities. Sealants are particularly beneficial for children, as they are more prone to developing cavities.
Fluoride treatments: Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Dentists may recommend fluoride treatments, such as topical fluoride applications, to patients at a higher risk of developing cavities.
Patient education: Dentists and dental hygienists educate patients on proper oral hygiene techniques, including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, as well as providing guidance on maintaining a tooth-friendly diet.
Custom mouthguards: Dentists can create custom-fitted mouthguards for patients who participate in sports or other activities that put their teeth at risk for injury. These mouthguards offer protection against potential dental trauma.
Treatment for bruxism: Preventive dentistry also involves addressing issues like teeth grinding (bruxism) by recommending treatments such as custom night guards, which can help protect the teeth and jaw from the effects of grinding during sleep.
Dental X-rays: Dental X-rays are an essential diagnostic tool that allows dentists to identify any underlying issues, such as tooth decay, bone loss, or impacted teeth, which may not be visible during a standard oral examination.
By following a preventive dentistry routine that includes regular dental visits and good oral hygiene practices at home, patients can significantly reduce their risk of developing dental problems and maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives.
Any and all dental offices perform checkups, but none of them do it like Tindal Prosthodontics. During a dental checkup, Dr. Tindal will examine your teeth, gums, jaw, bite, and existing dental restorations to make sure there are no small problems to be addressed. By coming to see him regularly, he can prevent little issues from becoming major headaches later.
Using his observations, he’ll meticulously study your dentition and come up with a treatment plan going forward that is as unique as your smile itself. He’ll present this plan to you using a variety of images and visual aids so that you’re both on the exact same page from the very beginning.
Why are regular check-ups important?
While consistent brushing and flossing are essential to your long-term dental health, the truth of the matter is that your tools at home simply aren’t able to clean every single surface of your teeth and gums, especially if you have restorations like a bridge or dentures. As plaque lingers on your teeth, it turns into a hard substance called tartar. This yellowish mineral buildup can harbor bacteria, and it can only be removed by a trained dental professional.
However, regular dental checkups are about much more than just removing tartar and keeping your teeth clean. It’s important to have your teeth, gums, and mouth checked every six months for any signs of developing issues. Cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, enamel erosion, and more can all develop without you seeing or feeling them. Over time, these little issues can turn into big problems that need extensive treatment. During your dental checkup, we’ll strive to catch these issues as early as possible, when they’re still small and easy to treat.
Some patients avoid going to the dentist for regular preventive care because they find the cleanings to be uncomfortable. They may also hate the noises made by various dental instruments. Is that true of you? Dr. Tindal understands such concerns, which is why he has invested in the Airflow Master Piezon machine, which uses advanced Piezo technology to provide a quieter, more comfortable dental hygiene experience.
What does "Piezo" mean anyway?
Piezo is a shortened form of the word piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity refers to the ability of some materials to produce an alternating current when they are exposed to certain types of stress. That may all sound like a bunch of scientific mumbo-jumbo, but the piezoelectricity actually has a number of useful applications in modern technology — yes, even in dental technology.
It is commonly used in ultrasonic scaling, which is the process that we use to remove harmful plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the teeth. The company Hu-Friedy, which created the Airflow Master machine, has harnessed piezoelectricity to create a more comfortable dental hygiene experience for patients.
How does it work?
The machine uses piezoelectric ultrasonic scaling to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. It employs the energy of ultrasonic vibration to crush and remove hard, calcified deposits and result in a cleaner, healthier smile.
The Airflow Master machine can be used for two main purposes:
To remove plaque and tartar from above the gumline with the goal of preventing decay and gum disease.
To remove plaque from pockets that have formed in the gums. This is often a part of a procedure known as scaling and root planing, which is one of the primary ways in which Dr. Tindal helps patients fight gum disease.
Advantages of Piezo Technology
Dental hygienists and dentists are trained to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth using handheld tools. That is what happens in most dental offices. However, piezo ultrasonic technology offers some significant advantages over handheld instruments:
Piezo ultrasonic technology is much more effective at cleaning deep pockets in the gums.
The efficacy of handheld instruments depends largely on the skill and experience of the person using them. The machine contributes to more predictable treatment outcomes.
Cleaning the teeth with piezo ultrasonic technology takes less time than manual cleanings.
Piezo ultrasonic cleaning machines are almost silent, which can reduce treatment-related anxiety in some patients.
The Airflow Master Piezon device from Hu-Friedy comes with additional benefits. For example, it has a smart feature that senses when there is a tougher deposit of plaque on the teeth, and it can automatically increase its power. The tips of the device are also designed to be as gentle as possible on tooth enamel while still being tough on unwanted deposits.
Would you like to learn more about the technology that Dr. Tindal uses to enhance the patient experience in our office? Contact us today.
When you come to Tindal Prosthodontics, you will always know who is going to perform your cleaning. It will be Katie or Janet, who Dr. Tindal believes are some of the best hygienists in the entire country. They both have over 30 years of experience, which gives them an expert touch that enables them to help many patients that other offices can’t. You’ll receive their one-on-one attention right from the very beginning, so they can learn exactly how to take care of your smile in the way that works best for you. Most of the patients who come to see us have had cleanings before, but not like the ones that Katie and Janet provide! After an appointment with them, it will feel like you have a completely new smile!
There are several types of dental cleanings, each designed to address specific oral health needs. The most common types of dental cleanings include:
Prophylaxis cleaning: Also known as a routine dental cleaning or a "prophy," prophylaxis cleanings are performed during regular dental checkups to maintain good oral health. This type of cleaning involves the removal of plaque, tartar, and surface stains from the teeth and gumline using professional dental instruments, followed by polishing the teeth. Prophylaxis cleanings are recommended for patients with healthy gums and minimal tartar buildup.
Scaling and root planing: This type of dental cleaning is also known as a "deep cleaning" and is performed when a patient has signs of gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces above and below the gumline, while root planing smooths the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing may be done over multiple appointments and may require local anesthesia for patient comfort.
Periodontal maintenance: After undergoing scaling and root planing or other periodontal treatments, patients with gum disease may require ongoing periodontal maintenance cleanings. These cleanings are typically performed every 3-4 months and involve a combination of prophylaxis cleaning and deeper cleaning in areas where gum disease was previously present. The goal of periodontal maintenance is to prevent the progression of gum disease and maintain overall oral health.
Laser-assisted dental cleaning: Some dental practices use laser technology as a complementary tool during dental cleanings. Lasers can help remove plaque and tartar more effectively, reduce bacteria, and promote gum healing, particularly in patients with gum disease.
The type of dental cleaning recommended for a patient depends on their oral health status, the presence of gum disease, and the amount of plaque and tartar buildup. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing dental issues.