Preventative Dental Services

Maine Preventative Dental Services

It is important to recognize good health starts with having a healthy oral cavity. We offer preventative services for every member of the family. These services include new patient adult and child exams, cleanings, sealants, fluoride, mouth guards and TMJ therapy. 

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Comprehensive New Patient Exam

We perform a thorough examination, evaluating the health of the teeth, gums and surrounding tissues in the mouth. The first part of the examination consists of a thorough review of medical history including any surgeries, medical implications and medications being taken. A full mouth set of x rays is taken, which will help us see not only cavities present but also bone levels and abnormalities in the oral cavity.

The hygienist next evaluates the oral cavity in two ways. First, a visual examination is done to assess the teeth, gums and oral cavity. We also do an oral cancer screening. Any existing dental work is charted and an evaluation of bone and tissue health is done by measuring the pocket depth around every tooth (periodontal screening).

Patients also meet the dentist who reviews the x rays, listens and discusses any concerns or problems. Our goal is to help you achieve optimal oral health and keep you smiling.

Then during the final part of the visit the hygienist reviews any findings and the options needed to attain excellent oral health. In the future, periodic examinations and x rays are recommended once per year by the American Dental Association and can identify and treat potential trouble spots before they become serious problems.

Child Exam & Cleaning

Children of all ages are welcome! It is recommended that children be seen as early as one year of age. To alleviate a child’s anxiety about their visit, the dentist and staff explain every procedure in a fun, child friendly way. We want your child’s visit to be a pleasant and comfortable experience.

Their initial visit and cleaning gives your little one a great start for a lifetime of good dental health. The visit consists of an exam by the doctor, x rays if appropriate and necessary, teeth counting, a polish with Mr. Tickle, fluoride varnish and oral hygiene instructions for the child and the parent. At the completion of each visit each child will leave with a certificate and a prize for being such a great patient.

Cleanings / Preventative Treatment

Fresh breath and a healthy mouth starts with regular check-ups and visits to your dentist and hygiene team. Having a professional dental cleaning once every six months can improve your appearance, your breath, and even your overall health.

Dental cleanings are a part of oral hygiene that involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth with the intention of preventing tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. The hygienist removes hardened deposits not removed by routine brushing and flossing at home. By removing plaque before it hardens into tartar and infects your gum tissue, we can keep you and your teeth healthy.

Additionally, the teeth are polished to remove plaque and surface stain to give you a nice, bright smile. Each preventative visit to our office is an important part of a patient’s program to prevent gum disease. We want you to keep your teeth for a lifetime.

Sealants

Sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers, they can provide long-lasting protection for adults as well. A clear resin is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth, sealants serve as a shield by preventing food particles and acids from finding their way into the small crevices where decay typically starts.

The application of a sealant is recommended when a patient has deep grooves in their teeth. These deep grooves can lead to tooth decay because the toothbrush bristles are too thick to get in and clean the grooves. As a result, bacteria stays and destroys the tooth enamel causing a cavity.

Applying a sealant is a painless procedure that does not require any anesthetics. It is an inexpensive, preventative procedure that can be performed by the dentist, hygienist or expanded duties assistant.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is beneficial for people of all ages starting at infancy. It is a leading preventative treatment in dentistry that helps to protect teeth and prevent tooth decay. How does it work exactly? Fluoride makes teeth harder and more resistant to decay. It is also good for people who have tooth sensitivity or gum recession as it can protect the roots of teeth from decay as well.

Fluoride can often be found in our drinking water or toothpaste but often in trace amounts and does not guarantee 100% protection against tooth decay. For this reason, it is highly recommended patients use an American Dental Association approved fluoride toothpaste when brushing, and they should receive fluoride treatments at the dentist to maximize protection against cavities.

Gone are the days of the foam trays with the souring tasting thick gel which made fluoride application cumbersome and uncomfortable. Today it can be applied using a foam, brushed on using a varnish or by prescription toothpaste. Regardless of the method of choice, it is an easy way to help prevent tooth decay.

Athletic Mouthguards

Athletic children and adults need to protect their teeth during sports. By having a custom made mouthguard that fits perfectly, it will protect the teeth, tongue and lips from any trauma on the field. Mouthguards also protect against concussion injuries which are the most common and season ending injuries.

Athletes are more apt to wear custom fitted sports guards because they are more comfortable, less bulky and easier to talk with on the field. Examples of sports requiring guards are hockey, football, soccer, field hockey, martial arts, lacrosse and wresting. They are also recommended for basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, motocross, skateboarding, BMX bicycling, snowboarding and skiing.

Athletic mouthguards are fabricated right here at Center Street Dental and require only two quick appointments. At the first appointment an impression is made of the patient’s upper teeth. This impression provides a mold to ensure a proper fit. The second appointment is usually a few days later. The patient is fitted for the athletic mouthguard by the dentist. If everything fits properly it can be taken home that day. An athletic mouthguard is a great way to protect your smile while enjoying the leisure pursuits for years to come.

TMJ Therapy & Night Guards

Clenching and grinding can damage the teeth. When your teeth don’t fit together properly and/or the two small joints in front of your ears (TMJ joints) don’t function smoothly, pain and pressure results. You may experience migraine headaches or unexplained facial, neck, shoulder, or jaw pain. Tooth wear, teeth grinding, and chronic earaches are also common problems caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

The dentist thoroughly evaluates each individual before coming up with options for a treatment plan. There are various therapies available including moist heat, muscle massage, physical therapy, food modification, bite adjustments, mouth guards and relaxation techniques. After the evaluation, the dentist will decide on one or a combination of these therapies in an effort to get the patient out of pain and on the road to recovery.

One therapy commonly prescribed is the use of a hard night guard. This is used for patients who have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism). The guard helps stop damage to the teeth and jaw joints by providing a barrier in which the opposing jaw can glide instead of locking teeth together. It is custom fit and made at a dental laboratory. Hard night guards require only two quick appointments and can be a key factor in preventing damage to the delicate jaw joints and teeth giving patients a more restful and relaxing night of sleep.

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