When patients maintain their dental appointments with Dr. Hatcher, and brush, floss, and care for their teeth every day, they are taking part in preventative dentistry. Preventative dentistry is the practice of taking care of the teeth at all times to avoid the development of issues such as periodontal disease, which can be devastating to a patient’s oral health. Too many patients only visit their dentist when problems arise, which is a more “reactive” approach to dental care. This approach is more costly and time consuming in the long run than maintaining bi-annual dental visits and caring for the smile at all times. Dr. Hatcher and his team are committed to helping patients understand the benefits of preventative dentistry.
Preventative dentistry also encompasses procedures and treatments that are done to maintain a healthy smile. For example, sealants can be used to help keep hard-to-reach crevices from developing cavities. Patients may also need to have wisdom teeth extracted to maintain good dental health and avoid overcrowding of the teeth and pain. Patients should also visit their dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings, which can be done at each visit to ensure patients are healthy. Root canals may be necessary when large cavities cause pain and discomfort, or when abscesses or infection occurs. It is always best to maintain the natural tooth whenever possible, not only to keep the patient’s smile looking great, but also to avoid the costly and time consuming restorative procedures and treatments in the future.
Preventative dentistry is the key to achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile. It starts with great at-home care of the teeth and gums, and regular appointments with the dentist. During recall appointments, which should be scheduled approximately six months apart, Dr. Hatcher will examine the patient’s mouth and take note of anything unusual that may be happening. During this time, patients can also undergo oral cancer screenings, and enjoy a professional cleaning. This is a great way for the dentist to keep tabs on a patient’s smile and ensure that they are taking the proper steps to maintain their oral health both at home and at the dental practice.