What Is Preventive Dentistry?
If you brush twice and floss at least once each day, why should you also go to the dentist twice yearly? The answer is that even the most dedicated of us remain susceptible to oral health issues that only a professional can identify, and early detection of these issues can save you a significant amount of discomfort and expense. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Robert F. Hawke helps Tucson, AZ, patients avoid problems and treat others before they become more difficult and costly to resolve. We invite you to learn more about why preventive dentistry matters.
What Procedures Does Preventive Dentistry Include?
A dental checkup involves:
- Visual examination: Your dentist and hygienist will visually examine your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or periodontal disease. We also use advanced handheld tools and devices including an intraoral camera to identify problems that might not be immediately visible. If you have a restoration such as a dental bridge or dental implants, Dr. Hawke will make sure your restorations are functioning correctly.
- Plaque and tartar removal: Your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar from the surface of your teeth. Despite habitual brushing and flossing, buildup can occur.
- Fluoride treatment: Some patients will receive a fluoride treatment as part of their six-month check-ups. Dr. Hawke will determine if this is a necessary step to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Cleaning, flossing, and polishing: A hygienist will use special toothpaste and instruments to clean and polish the surfaces of your teeth. Then, he or she will floss between your teeth.
- Oral cancer examination: At our office, we routinely examine all patients for indications of oral cancer during preventive dentistry visits.
- X-rays: Typically, dental radiographs are recommended once per year. X-rays help us stay ahead of any problems such as bone recession or decay.
Whether you are new to the area or have not visited a dentist in more than six months, Dr. Hawke wants to be your partner in excellent oral health.
The Importance of Preventive Dentistry
Attending regular dental checkups provides several benefits:
- Fewer serious dental problems: Visiting a dentist every six months can result in issues being detected early, when they are easiest to treat.
- Healthcare savings: When dental issues become worse, they become more expensive to treat. Preventing them in the first place is the aim of Dr. Hawke and our team.
- Education: Based on the state of your smile, your dentist can provide important tips for improving your at-home brushing and flossing techniques.
Even if you see a dentist every six months, excellent at-home care is essential.
Maintaining Your Smile between Visits
Between checkups, be sure to:
- Brush with a soft-bristled brush twice and floss at least once each day.
- Contact Dr. Hawke at any signs of issues become apparent.
- Eat healthy foods and limit your refined sugar intake.
- Avoid tobacco products of all kinds.
Book a Checkup
Whether you are new to the area or have not visited a dentist in more than six months, Dr. Hawke wants to be your partner in excellent oral health. Contact our office online or call (520) 224-1600 to make an appointment.