Preventive Dental Care in Scottsdale, AZ
Why is preventive dental care important?
The foundation for a beautiful and happy smile is preventive care from your dentist! Along with diligent at-home brushing and flossing, routine professional cleanings and checkups from our Scottsdale dental practice can help you avoid costly procedures. With regular checkups, we’ll be able to track your oral health and help you keep your smile healthy.
Did you know…
If you don’t floss, you’re leaving plaque on 40% of your tooth surfaces!
What to expect at your preventive dental care appointment
Your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any plaque and tartar that may have accumulated. This includes flossing and scraping off plaque that has built up under the gum line with either water or an ultrasonic cleaner. Your teeth will be left feeling polished and refreshed.
Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve had your last set of dental x-rays taken, your dentist may recommend we gather these images. Dental x-rays are a useful tool to help us detect problems that may not be visible to the naked eye. The dentist will be able to see any problem areas such as cavities or infections, cracks in the tooth enamel, and make a recommendation from there.
After your dentist reviews your x-rays, they will take a close look at your gums and teeth. If they notice any potential issues, they will help you understand exactly what is going on, and how best to address it. It is our goal for you to stay informed so you can feel confident about making the right decision for your oral health.
Tailored Treatment Plan
Depending on what is uncovered in your comprehensive exam and dental x-rays, you and your dentist in Scottsdale, AZ will work together on creating a custom treatment plan that accommodates your individual needs, budget, and lifestyle. If no issues are present, we will simply determine how often you should come in for cleanings to keep your smile in tip-top shape.
Schedule Follow Up Appointment
Whether it’s scheduling a follow-up visit for a filling, cosmetic treatments, or a routine cleaning, our team is here for you. At this time we will also be able to answer any questions you may have about your insurance and payment options. We strive to ensure every visit is seamless and stress-free!
Preventive Treatment Options in Scottsdale
Cleaning & Hygiene
Coming in for regular teeth cleanings will ensure that you have a healthy and strong smile. It is recommended to schedule an appointment every six months so your dental hygienist can address any minor stains, plaque, or bacteria that may have built up since your last visit.
A diligent at-home oral care routine is just as important as coming in for your cleanings. Be sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes using fluoride-based toothpaste. In addition, floss at least once per day to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can’t be removed with brushing alone.
Digital X-Rays & CBCT
Your comfort is our priority. Digital x-rays are fast, comfortable, and high-resolution images that allow us to make accurate diagnoses while exposing you to less radiation than with traditional film x-rays. In most cases, a full set of x-rays will be taken once or twice per year, but your doctor may also recommend one if they suspect you may have developed a dental issue or if you're experiencing a dental emergency.
CBCT (cone-beam computed tomography) imaging allows us to create 3D images of your teeth, jaw, and all surrounding hard tissue structures in your mouth. These quick, accurate images give us a more complete understanding of your oral health, for more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatment plans.
Fluoride treatments can easily be added to any routine preventive visit to help keep decay at bay. Once your teeth have been cleaned, your Scottsdale dentist will simply apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel and leave it in place before rinsing it away. Fluoride works by attracting healthy minerals like calcium and phosphates which will bond to your teeth and help re-strengthen them.
Dental sealants are common for pediatric patients who may be at a high risk of developing cavities, but they are also great for patients of all ages who wish to protect their teeth from dental decay. During this treatment, dental resin will be applied to the rear teeth which have more grooves and crevices where plaque and bacteria can hide. The resin will be hardened with a UV light, creating a strong barrier that blocks food debris, acid, and bacteria from coming into contact with your enamel. When properly applied dental sealant can last for years to come!
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are a crucial part of preventive oral health care routines. Catching oral cancer early before it spreads can save a patient’s life. That’s why we always check for any potential signs of oral cancer at every bi-annual checkup.
Your dentist will examine your mouth, gums, and other oral tissues, keeping an eye out for lesions, lumps, discolored patches, and other abnormalities. If anything looks unusual, a biopsy can be taken and sent to a specialist for further analysis. Oral cancer is rare, but it’s important to be proactive and stay consistent with your oral healthcare routine, so your dentist can easily identify when something is wrong.
Grinding and clenching while sleeping is quite common. Night guards can be a great solution for this subconscious clenching. Night guards form a soft barrier to protect your teeth from the wear and tear that is caused by clenching and grinding. Your dentist will take an impression or scan your teeth to create your custom night guard. The impression or scan will be sent to a dental lab where your night guard will be made. The night guard eases the tension in your jaw muscles and alleviates the painful side effects of clenching and grinding, so you can enjoy restful sleep.
Did you know…
Tooth enamel is the hardest part of your entire body.
Have questions about preventive dentistry? Find answers here.
How should I properly brush my teeth?
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time for a healthy smile. Start by holding your soft-bristle toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums. Using small, circular strokes, clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Each quadrant of your mouth only needs about 30 seconds of proper brushing. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months and to use an ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride.
How do you floss correctly?
Start by rolling out about 24 inches of dental floss. Wind most of it around your index or middle finger and wind the last few inches around the index finger of your other hand. Hold a 1-inch section firmly between fingers and thumbs and gently glide this floss between your teeth, using a rocking up and down motion. When the floss is between your teeth, take it up into the gum line following the c-shape curve to dislodge plaque and bacteria. Repeat this for both sides of each tooth and be sure to wind a new 1-inch section each time you move to a new tooth to prevent spreading bacteria.
What's the difference between prophylactic cleanings and periodontal cleanings?
Prophylactic cleanings are the regular dental appointments you need every 6 months to prevent cavities and bad breath. Your dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth and give them a thorough flossing to ensure your smile is clean and free of debris.
Periodontal cleanings are also known as “deep cleanings” and are only necessary for patients who have periodontal disease. During these cleanings, your dentist in Scottsdale will take extra care to scrape away plaque and tartar between your teeth and gums, and smooth the roots of your teeth to eliminate pockets that trap bacteria. Deep cleanings are a part of a periodontal maintenance routine and will help patients with gum disease preserve their oral health.
Is preventive care covered by dental insurance?
Most dental insurance policies fully cover preventive care such as cleanings, exams, and x-rays. If your preventive care is not 100% covered, it will usually at least be partially covered by your policy. Some plans may also cover optional treatments like dental sealants and fluoride for children, too. To learn more about your coverage, consult with your provider and give our office a call to see how we can help you maximize your dental insurance benefits.
Did you know…
Most people smile about 40 times a day!