Prevention and Gum Care

At Dr. Deck’s office, a comprehensive teeth cleaning and dental exam are both performed during the same visit. We cannot stress enough how important it is to see your dentist regularly. Remember: Preventing disease is always better than treating disease. And, of course, regular preventive care and gum care will help you maintain that healthy, charming smile.

Professional cleanings, teeth cleaning

Professionally cleaned teeth always look better and feel great, don’t they? Many people think that a professional teeth cleaning is meant to make a smile brighter. While partly true, here is the real purpose: A professional cleaning performed by a dental hygienist in Dr. Deck’s office is an essential step toward preventing gum disease and minimizing tooth decay. As part of a professional cleaning, your dental hygienist will remove plaque, remove calculus above and below the gum line, remove some tooth stains, and polish the teeth.

Dental exams and consultation

Dental examinations help us diagnose disease before it becomes a health problem. In addition, regular examinations can save you money and time by addressing problems while they are still small and before they become either very expensive to repair or impossible to repair. At Dr. Deck’s office, your dental examination will generally include an oral cancer screening, gum disease evaluation, visual examination for tooth decay, evaluation of current restorations including fillings, plus the capture and review of diagnostic X-rays to see any cysts, tumors, tooth decay, and other problems that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Some of the things we’re looking for include plaque (a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food), saliva, and bacteria (that causes tooth decay and gum disease). We’re also looking for calculus, also called tarter. Tartar is plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and become very difficult to remove. Note that calculus below the gum line indicates periodontal (gum) disease and requires a different removal procedure.

Dental sealants

A sealant is a plastic material that’s usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth in children and adults. (Yes, we also said adults.) This plastic resin flows into, and adheres to, the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the tooth. The sealant guards these vulnerable areas of the tooth, protecting the tooth enamel from food, plaque, and acids.

Sports mouthguards

Love playing sports? Know someone who does? Reduce the chance of damage to the teeth, cheek, lips, and tongue by insisting that a mouthguard be worn during sports or recreational activities. Ask Dr. Deck’s office to create a mouthguard specifically for you or a loved one. It will fit well, stay in place, permit near-normal breathing and talking, and offer excellent protection during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.

Non-surgical periodontal disease (gum disease) treatment

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that constantly forms on the teeth. The bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. You can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease by taking good care of your teeth every day and having regular dental checkups. Dr. Deck can help with a variety of non-surgical periodontal gum disease treatments. They include scaling, root planing, placing antibiotics in the periodontal pocket, and ultrasonic cleaning. The ultrasonic cleaning process combines safe, high-frequency sound waves with a cleaning solution to “scrub” the surfaces of the teeth at the microscopic level. Dr. Deck will explain these treatments and recommend one if a non-surgical periodontal treatment is needed as part of your oral health plan.

© Walter J. Deck, DMD, PC 2012