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What is the Goal of Preventive Dentistry?

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

You’ve probably heard the saying “prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and when it comes to your oral health, that saying certainly holds true. In fact, it is the primary goal of preventative dentistry which involves proactively preventing problems with your teeth and gums.


Tooth with broken filling
Tooth with broken filling

If you're able to prevent oral diseases, you can avoid discomfort and also costly dental care in the future. But what exactly does preventative dentistry entail?


Below, we’ll take a closer look at the different techniques that are involved with this type of dental care and how it can help to improve your oral health and overall well-being.


Preventative Dentistry: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

The state of your overall health directly impacts your overall health and well-being. Preventative dentistry, as mentioned above, is a proactive approach to dental care that focuses on maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.


Instead of treating dental issues after they've manifested, the techniques used in preventative dentistry aims to help prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums and reducing the need for more intensive treatments is the ultimate goal of this form of dentistry.


Key benefits of preventative dentistry:

  • Reduced risk of tooth decay (cavities).

  • Reduced risk gum disease (gingivitis & periodontitis).

  • Minimize occurrences of dental emergencies.

  • Preventing tooth loss.

  • Healthier and stronger teeth.

  • A more aesthetically pleasing smile.

  • Prevent dental pain.


In addition to these benefits, an often overlooked benefit is that it can also help you save money in the long run. Dental problems don't go away on their own, they only get more severe when left untreated. In other words, treatment for it only becomes more complex and expensive if you ignore them.


Preventative Dentistry Techniques

Preventative dentistry is comprised of a variety of techniques and strategies. The goal is to improve your overall dental health and reduce the risk of complications and the need for complex dental care.


Below, you’ll find some of the basic tenets of preventative dentistry.


Education

When it comes to maintaining good oral health, education is the most important. After all, your at home care is done every single day while you only see your dentist twice a year. Dare we say that it is probably more important than your biannual dental check ups.


Dental health professionals (dentists and hygienists) emphasize the importance of developing and practicing a proper oral hygiene routine.

  • Patients are educated about proper brushing and flossing.

  • Avoiding sugary and acidic foods.

  • Eating a well-balanced diet.

  • Staying properly hydrated by drinking enough water.


Regular Cleanings and Exams

One of the fundamental elements of preventative dentistry is regular cleanings and exams. You should have your teeth cleaned and examined at least twice a year (once every 6 months).


During these routine visits, your dentist will assess your teeth and gums to check for any issues. Identifying problems early on can help to prevent them from worsening and eliminate the need for more intensive treatments in the future.


During professional cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup will be removed from the teeth and gumline. This will help prevent gum disease and also remove unsightly teeth stains.


X-Rays

Oral health problems can occur underneath the surface of your gums and between teeth. In preventative dentistry, dental x-rays are used to check for hidden issues, allowing them to diagnose problems that would otherwise go unnoticed during a standard exam.


X-ray imaging can be used to diagnose a variety of issues, such as impacted teeth, cysts, and even bone loss. If issues are detected, they can be treated before the become worse. This will help you avoid discomfort and more costly dental care.


Maintain the Health of Your Smile with Preventative Dentistry

The techniques used in preventative dentistry can help you maintain a healthy, happy smile for years to come. By preventing problems before they occur or treating them early on, your overall health and well-being will improve – and so will your self-confidence.


Preventing dental issues today will lead to a happier smile tomorrow so what are you still waiting for? Come book your next check up and cleaning with our dentists in long island city.


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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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