PREVENTATIVE

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Preventative dentistry services in Belconnen

At Belconnen Dental Centre, we focus on preventative dentistry at our practice, encouraging patients to avoid dental problems by maintaining healthy teeth and gums. As part of this, we recommend that patients visit the clinic for check-ups every six to 12 months so that we can keep track of your dental health. Regular check-ups will allow any potential problems to be spotted and treated early on, avoiding the need for major and more costly dental work in the future.

Scale and clean (removal of calculus)

As part of our routine check-up service, patients can also benefit from a scale and clean, where the dental technician will remove plaque and calculus (tartar) that brushing can’t shift. We recommend having this done every six months to maintain good oral hygiene. While plaque can be removed from the teeth by twice daily brushing and flossing, a professional dentist must remove calculus. It’s important to brush every day to avoid the build-up of plaque, which is full of bacteria and can result in tooth decay and gum inflammation or gingivitis. Left untreated, this can further develop into periodontal disease.
 

What is gingivitis?

When your gums become red and inflamed, this is known as gingivitis, and it’s something most people will experience at some point in their life.

The gums may bleed when brushed and the redness is caused by a build-up of plaque around the teeth and gums. Gingivitis can easily be fixed by brushing and flossing daily with the correct brushing technique and a soft toothbrush.

What is periodontal disease?

Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which gradually eats away at the underlying tooth structure, including the gums and jawbone. If periodontal disease is not treated, then the teeth will loosen and eventually fall out. Smoking is the most significant risk factor in periodontal disease, although non-smokers can also get it.
 

X-rays

At Belconnen Dental Centre, we use the very latest digital imaging software to take digital X-rays. This means patients are exposed to a lot less radiation and the image produced is of a higher quality. We have Panoramic (OPG) and intraoral X-ray facilities on-site, with all of our imaging equipment registered with a radiation licence.

Bitewings

Taken every two to three years, bitewings are small intra-oral X-rays taken of each side of the patient’s mouth, showing images of the top and the bottom teeth simultaneously. Bitewings allow the dentist to better diagnose dental decay, as the X-rays show between the teeth and where they touch together. This means decay that can’t be seen in the mouth can still be detected.

OPGs

An OPG is a panoramic X-ray of the full jaw and teeth and can be used to detect dental disease and teeth abnormalities. An OPG is requested before the removal of wisdom teeth and orthodontic treatment (braces), and can also show any trauma to the teeth and facial skeleton.

Fissure sealants

Fissure sealants can help prevent tooth decay by filling in the natural pits and fissures of the back teeth (molars). The biting surface of the molars often have deep grooves that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach, so plaque becomes trapped in these grooves. A fissure sealant is a tooth-coloured film that is applied to the grooves of the tooth to seal them off and prevent plaque from getting trapped.
 

Splints

A splint is a hard plastic mouth guard-like device usually fitted over either the top or bottom teeth and worn at night to prevent damage to the teeth through clenching or grinding behaviours. Although it doesn’t stop the clenching or grinding habit, it presents a plastic surface to clench or grind against so that this is worn away instead of the teeth. It can also help to relieve strain on the jaw muscles during clenching or grinding.

Mouth guards

Sporting accidents are one of the most common causes of dental injury, so having a custom-fitted mouth guard can avoid or minimise any damage, such as broken or knocked-out teeth. As well as being painful and unsightly, such injuries are often quite expensive to replace or fix so to have a proper mouth guard made can help avoid the ongoing costs of fixing or replacing teeth.

SomnoMed

For patients who suffer from sleep apnoea, we can make a SomnoMed appliance – this is similar to a splint but when worn, ensures that the patient has a continuous open airway. The appliance stabilises or moves the lower jaw slightly forward preventing the patient’s airway from collapsing during sleep and can help with snoring and grinding.

Call us today on  02 6251 5635  for more details about our preventative dentistry services in Belconnen.

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