Preventative Dental Care

What is preventive dental care?

Preventive dental care includes actions taken by a patient to prevent against oral diseases and maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. These actions include daily brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet – along with scheduling regular oral exams and professional cleanings.

Dental insurance plans tend to prioritize preventive dental care because of the important role it plays in overall oral health. 


Which services or procedures are considered preventive dentistry?

Preventive dentistry includes services provided by your dentist to reduce the likelihood of contracting oral health conditions that can be more expensive to treat and uncomfortable to experience.  The following dental services typically fall under the preventive dentistry umbrella:

  • Diagnostic services utilized to catch signs of oral problems early including:
    • Oral evaluations (check-ups)
    • X-rays
  • Professional cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments, especially for children
  • Sealants, which are coverings that are applied to the top surfaces of permanent molars to prevent decay inside the grooves that naturally occur in these teeth
  • Educational instruction provided by your dentist or dental hygienist, including:
    • Techniques for proper brushing, flossing and use of other oral hygiene aids
    • Nutritional and/or tobacco cessation counseling
    • Space maintainers for children
  • In special circumstances, preventive resin restorations or decay arresting medication applied to teeth, typically given to children at high risk for developing decay

Preventive dentistry services are labeled as such because it allows our office to monitor your oral health, promote healthy habits, prevent new disease through a variety of treatment services, and catch signs of oral health problems early. This gives you and your dentist sufficient time to identify, treat and reverse the issue.

Services such as fillings, root canal therapy, periodontal treatments, orthodontics, or tooth extractions are not considered preventive dentistry – they are instead geared towards remedying an existing problem and typically fall under the “umbrella” of basic or major procedures.

During a regular dental checkup, our dentist’s will perform an oral exam to check for signs of decay or gum disease, abnormal tooth wear, problems with alignment or mechanics, soft tissue diseases (such as oral cancers), and more. This exam is usually followed by a professional cleaning, along with sealant and fluoride application when appropriate, to ensure a clean, healthy, and protected mouth.  

Preventive dentistry services should not be ignored. Seeing us regularly and preventing oral health problems can help you maintain your overall health and wellness as you age, and save you time, money, and potential discomfort by avoiding serious dental disease