Maintain a healthy smile (and much more) with quality, preventative dentistry in Greensboro, NC
At Triad Dentistry, we appreciate that the best dental problem is the one that never happens in the first place! This approach is focused on prevention. And effective preventative dentistry in Greensboro, NC at the office of Steven L. Hatcher, DDS combines consistent and thorough home care with professional examinations and cleanings. So, when patients brush, floss, and care for their teeth and gums effectively, every day, and maintain check-ups with Drs Hatcher, Merrell and Isharani, they are taking part in the preventative dentistry that maintains a healthy and stunning smile.
A proactive approach
Too many times, patients only visit their dentist when symptoms like toothaches arise. This is reactive dentistry. Reactive dentistry identifies existing problems and restores oral health with time-consuming, costly, and extensive treatments. Restorative procedures include extractions followed by bridges or dental implant-retained crowns and dentures to replace teeth that can’t be “saved” with root canal therapy. Why go through all of the trauma, hassle, and expense associated with restorative treatment when you don’t have to?
Preventive dentistry represents an affordable (often, 100% covered by dental insurance), comfortable, and efficient way to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Triad Dentistry’s services focus on preventing or quickly resolving the two leading causes of tooth loss:
- Gum disease
As progressive conditions, there are many opportunities for Triad Dentistry, in partnership with you, to stop dental decay and disease before they cause irreversible damage.
Your mouth contains “good” and “bad” bacteria. Researchers estimate 20 billion microbes live in the oral cavity. Since they reproduce every five hours, it’s important to remove bacteria with diligent, routine oral hygiene. If certain strains of bacteria build-up, sticky plaque forms. Harmful bacteria in plaque thrive off of starches and sugars in the foods and drinks. When they “mingle,” acids are produced that bathe your teeth and eat their way through tooth structure.
Decay may present as the erosion of the tooth’s protective enamel covering, which can produce sensitivity. Without treatment, cavities or holes develop on teeth surfaces, get bigger, and penetrate the deeper layers of the tooth. When decay reaches the innermost part of the tooth (or pulp) that contains nerves and blood vessels, significant pain and bacterial infections (abscesses) can arise, and root canal therapy can’t always “save” badly decayed teeth.
Plaque that isn’t brushed or flossed away hardens into tartar. Abrasive and porous, tartar collects above and below the gum line, where it irritates the tissues that support your teeth. To remove stubborn tartar, specialized expertise and dental instruments are required. Triad Dentistry patients love how minty-fresh and clean their mouths feel after our dental hygienists remove built-up plaque!
A combination of good home care and professional cleanings prevents early-stage inflammation or gingivitis. Like tooth decay, gum disease is progressive. When addressed quickly, the effects of gingivitis can be reversed, and more advanced stages of gum disease are avoided. Untreated periodontal disease can result in spaces or pockets between the teeth and gums. Advanced disease or periodontitis destroys soft tissues and bone. Irreversible damage requires that gums and teeth be “rebuilt” with grafting and other restorative procedures.
The 3 stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by toxins irritating the gum line as a result of plaque buildup. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis includes swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily reversed through professional care and good home oral hygiene. Periodontitis is categorized by irreversible bone loss that results from untreated gingivitis. The gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line which traps food and plaque. Dental treatment and home care can help prevent from further damage, but at this stage, the results are not reversible. Advanced periodontitis is when the fibers and bones supporting the teeth destroyed. This may cause teeth to shift or loosen. Teeth may have to be removed depending on how advanced the disease has become and if treatments are not effective. You can begin by preventing gum disease with good oral health. Pick up a brochure or ask your dentist today.
Preventative dentistry explained by Dr. Steven Hatcher
Why is preventative dentistry important?
Hi, I am Dr. Stephen Hatcher here at Triad Dentistry. A lot of people ask why prevention is so important? The biggest reason is that it’s a lot better to prevent a problem than to treat a problem.
If there are problems, then we can catch them in the early stages. It’s a lot less expensive than invasive to tackle those things when they’re minor problems.
Prevention is important to help you keep your teeth and maintain your dentition for a lifetime. A lot of people think that they will start losing teeth because they are in their 50s/60s.
With regular dental care and a correct preventative approach that’s custom-tailored for you, there’s no reason why you can’t keep your teeth for a lifetime.
How does Triad Dentistry provide preventative care?
Sometimes as we get older, people start to get on medication, their mouth gets dryer, making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
So it’s really important to have a customized solution tailored to your specific risk level in terms of how often you should come in.
Prevention is also important with oral cancer screenings. In our office, we screen for that every single time you come in.
Please feel free to contact us if you need further information.
Your oral exam
Routine visits are the backbone of preventive dentistry. In addition to professional cleaning, during your appointment, our staff discusses medical changes that can impact oral health; for instance, hundreds of chronic diseases and medications cause dry mouth, a risk factor for tooth decay. Also, x-rays identify oral problems that can’t be detected with the naked eye. At Triad Dentistry, we use digital radiographs that emit less radiation than conventional x-rays and are more comfortable for patients with a bad gag reflex and jaw pain.
Recall appointments are not complete without oral cancer screenings. Dr. Hatcher has invested in VELscope technology, which allows us to detect abnormalities early and non-invasively. When detected and treated early, oral cancers have high “cure” rates.
During regular check-ups, our dentists and hygienists discuss other factors that play an important role in preventative dentistry, including:
- Diet – Foods rich in calcium, Omega-3, and Vitamin D promote healthy teeth and gums and are linked to lower rates of severe gum disease. Add sources such as leafy greens, nuts, and yogurt to your shopping cart.
- Habits and behaviors – All nicotine-containing products impair your body’s natural defenses, and ability to fight off oral infections. Additionally, patients who grind and clench their teeth are at increased risk of dental disease and damage. Triad Dentistry may recommend customized dental appliances or night guards to protect your teeth and to support better jaw posture.
- Cleaning techniques – Your teeth are only as clean as to how well they are brushed and flossed. Our team demonstrates ways to improve the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine. We may recommend dental sealants, which are coatings that protect hard-to-clean molars from decay. Our board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Sona Isharani, encourages healthy habits among young patients during their critical developmental years.
Preventative dentistry at our office in Greensboro, NC further encourages overall well-being. The oral cavity doesn’t exist in isolation from the rest of the body. So, oral health often reflects the health of vital organs and systems. Call (336) 383-1482 to schedule your preventative dental appointment at Triad Dentistry.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: PREVENTATIVE DENTISTRY
Dr. Steven Hatcher
Dr. Hatcher is a passionate and driven professional who strives to preserve and enhance natural beauty in every dental treatment. He is keen on developing an individualist approach when it comes to treating his patients to ensure patient care is a tailor-made experience for the comfort of each client.