Archive for January, 2012

Hygiene and Maintenance Services

January 9th, 2012  |  Published in Articles, Featured

The basis of modern dentistry is understanding the disease process and preventing it. For this reason, our hygiene department will be the undeniable cornerstone of our services and therefore, will be the most valuable resource that we offer you. The goal of our hygiene department is to achieve optimum periodontal health and show you how to maintain your gums and teeth through effective home care procedures.

Your dental hygienist is specifically trained and responsible for the delivery of these important services. Their roles will include:

  • Removing all debris (plaque, calculus and stain) from your teeth.
  • Providing you with the tools and skills necessary to keep the debris to a minimum.
  • Constantly evaluate both your gum health as well as home care efficiency.
  • Evaluate your specific susceptibility to dental disease.
  • Suggest hygiene appointment frequency and intervals (maintenance program).

Consider that not all people are equally susceptible to dental disease. While some have absolutely no dental disease, others will display susceptibility to either dental (tooth), periodontal (gum) or both disease processes.

Our first order of business is to advise you on any health recommendations such as smoking cessation.

Second order of treatment will be to mechanically remove as much calculus and plaque as possible. This will be limited by the extent of the gum disease as well as any areas which are difficult to access. Examples of this would be retained wisdom teeth or severely crowded teeth where access in between the teeth is difficult or impossible. Once we have removed as much of the bacteria from your mouth as possible, there will be an immediate healing process that takes place. This will continue for as long as the bacteria are kept away from the gums.

Our third order of treatment, and probably the single most important aspect of your oral health will be home care instruction. Simply put, much of your oral health and the ability to reduce your future dental treatments lies directly in your hands. Your hygienist will be carefully monitoring your home care techniques and will be encouraging you to do them on a daily basis. This is not as easy as you may think. First, we try to make this a daily habit. Even when this occurs, it may still not be dequate. Not to worry, once you have the habit, it simply becomes a matter of perfecting your technique. Home care techniques require a fair bit of manual skill and you cannot expect them to be perfect right off the mark. In many instances, with both hygiene treatments and home care, we will see continued healing and improvement for up to two years!

Consider that your dental health is not just about your situation today but about your ongoing dental health, especially as it relates to time and the ageing process. Certainly, not a very sexy subject, however, all of us are trying to limit the effects of ageing through various means. The mouth is no different and we continually see the effects of ageing. When we evaluate your dental health and create a treatment plan for you, we are looking at both your current situation as well as the future. Although you may be in good dental health today, we may notice factors such as progressing gum recessions which we will expect to continue and become a potential problem in the future. For this reason, we will be drawing your attention to these factors so that you/we can reduce the progression as much as possible and, if necessary, apply corrective treatments.

Our goal, currently, is to provide you with good dental health into your mid 90’s. This sounds rather astounding, but we have already found that an active lifestyle into the late 80’s is really nothing of note anymore. It is expected that within two generations, the majority of people will be surviving into their second century. What does this mean for those patients? It means that more time will be spent visiting all manor of health specialists (eyes, hearing, feet, spine, etc) including dentists. This means that we, in dentistry, have to become more proactive in the earlier years of our patient’s lives. If we consider that it is now unacceptable to lose one’s teeth at any time of life, we need to start the process during childhood.
It is now becoming clear to us that we need to prevent more disease in order to provide you with less treatment during your lifetime in order to avoid excessive treatments as you get older.

Its an obvious fact that the more disease that your teeth experience, the more treatments they receive and the more they become compromised. Also, the earlier in life that your teeth become diseased, the harder it will be to maintain them. The sooner we all realize this concept, the better your dental health will remain. For this reason, your dentist and hygienist will be constantly monitoring your gum health through pocket probing as well as recession values.

Whether we have completed your treatment plan or not, this maintenance process will be vital to your dental health. Needless to say that when patients fail to carry our their home care or to continue their professional visits with us, we will expect more dental breakdown than when the program had been followed

Remember, your hygienist is specially trained to provide you with the expertise to maintain your teeth and gums. Please contact us or let us know if you have any questions.

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