Protect Your Smile with Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry helps you avoid serious and costly dental problems. It is essential for achieving an appealing, healthy, and confident smile. Even though practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent a myriad of dental issues, we recommend you have professional cleanings every six months to avoid oral disease and early detection of any dental problems.
Dr. Randal A. Knudson and Dr. James R. MacNaughton are passionate about maintaining your oral health with regular dental exams and cleanings. We also use sealants and fluoride treatments to help protect your teeth.
At Lake Bluff Dental Care, we strive to develop a trusting, long-term relationship with families in Lake Bluff, IL, Lake Forest, IL, Libertyville, IL, and all surrounding communities to keep you on track by helping you maintain a lifetime of optimal oral health. Get in touch with us today and schedule your consultation!
CALL US: (847) 234-0557 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is about identifying early signs or potential indicators of health problems. Catching things in their early stages can help us preserve more of your natural teeth and gums. Early treatment means less pain and discomfort. Plus, since you won’t need extensive repairs, you will spend much less time and money in the dental chair.
This type of proactive dentistry involves your commitment to daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental cleanings and exams. Eating a balanced diet is also advised to provide the vitamins and minerals your teeth need to stay healthy. With proper dental hygiene, you can reduce your risk of getting cavities, or other dental problems. This, in turn, can help reduce your risk of developing secondary problems triggered by poor oral health.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should schedule professional cleanings at regular intervals to maintain optimal oral health. In addition to cleanings and x-rays, our skilled staff put great focus on patient education. Dr. Knudson takes the time to help you and your children learn more about proper oral hygiene to ensure that your teeth are healthy.
Exceptional Preventive Dentistry Services
Our team uses various methods to evaluate changes in your smile to help you avoid complex health issues that escalate over time.
Our preventive dentistry services include:
- Regular Oral Exams
- Routine X-rays
- Teeth Cleaning
- Sealants and Fluoride
- Scaling and Root Planing
Top 3 Benefits of Preventive Dental Care
Regular preventive dental exams can enhance your oral health by providing the following benefits:
- Lowers your risk for developing issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and more serious dental problems.
- Minimizes treatment and cost through early identification of dental issues.
- Promotes your overall health as it helps minimize dental problems related to certain chronic medical conditions.
Gum disease can increase the risk of infections and impact the health of patients with heart disease and diabetes.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
Dr. Knudson conducts a thorough dental exam, which involves checking your teeth, jaw, gums, and neck. Here is what to expect during your dental exam:
Teeth: Our team takes x-rays of your teeth. Then Dr. Knudson carefully examines both the x-ray and your mouth. We will look for signs of cavities, wear, and any other damage. Our dentist also checks on your restorations to ensure they are strong and secure.
Gums and Soft Tissues: We examine gums and soft tissue for any sign of disease, inflammation, receding gums, sores, or infections. We also use a special measuring tool to check any pockets forming beneath your gum line, which could be an indication of gum disease.
Roots and Jawbone: Dr. Knudson can understand the state of your teeth and jaw beyond the surface by looking at your x-rays. Taking x-rays periodically can also show changes in your bone structure, such as shrinking jawbones.
Chewing Function: Your oral health may also be affected by your bite. We examine how your teeth line up, muscle movement, and jaw position to verify proper alignment. A poor bite can result in uneven wear, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and headaches.
Neck and Outer Jaw: Your outer jaw area also plays an important role in your oral health. Our dentist will examine your neck and jaw to reveal signs of disease and help us take immediate action when needed.
Smile Aesthetics: Last but not least, we evaluate your smile’s appearance for any sign of discoloration, cracks, and worn or chipped teeth. This helps us understand what we can do to enhance your smile if you wish to make aesthetic changes.
Why Are Dental Cleanings Necessary?
Professional dental cleanings aren’t simply a formality or luxury that our dentist performs. Dental cleanings allow our team to help you address potential oral health risks that standard brushing and flossing may not. Even the most diligent brushing can often miss areas, especially between your teeth and towards the back of your mouth.
Over time, the plaque in these places can harden into tartar that gradually eats away at the enamel and causes tooth decay. Only professional dental cleaning can clear tartar and keep your teeth clean and healthy.
What Happens During A Dental Cleaning?
Our dental cleanings can be done in four steps with some variations depending on your personal dental care needs. These steps include:
Plaque and Tartar Removal: The primary aspect of any dental cleaning is plaque and tartar removal. We use specialized tools to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup above and below your gum line.
Power Polishing: After cleaning the teeth, Dr. Knudson applies a polish using a special brush. This process is meant to smooth out your enamel surface and remove minor stains, enhancing the overall look and feel of your teeth.
Professional Flossing: This is typically an upgraded version of your daily flossing. We use special techniques to ensure no plaque or food debris is left.
Fluoride Treatment: Applying fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel and further prevent tooth decay.
Deep Cleaning with Scaling and Root Planing
When the gums begin to pull away from the tooth due to oral disease, pockets of bacteria develop and leave tartar on the root surface. The treatment process involves irrigating the pockets to eliminate the bacteria, and then an antibiotic is applied. Our dentist uses special tools to remove hardened tartar from the enamel and root below your gum line. Afterward, we smooth out the enamel to encourage the gums to heal and secure the affected tooth in place.
How Do Sealants Help?
Besides fluoride treatments, our dental practice provides sealants to prevent tooth decay. Children benefit the most from sealants, though adults can also benefit from the treatment.
Oral bacteria often produce acids that cause cavities. This acid is a byproduct of bacteria feeding off high-sugar food debris in your mouth. It is difficult to thoroughly clean the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Dental sealants help to seal these crevices and block food debris and plaque. Sealants are helpful for children experiencing tooth decay or have emerging teeth.
Gum Disease Prevention & Treatment
The buildup of plaque causes gum disease and typically occurs in three phases. During the first phase, known as gingivitis, bacteria growth creates plaque which hardens into tartar irritating the gums. This might cause minor bleeding and redness.
As the situation progresses into periodontitis, tarter builds up and causes the gums to separate from the teeth, creating deep pockets where more bacteria and debris get trapped. In advanced periodontitis, the bacteria start to attack the connective tissue and bone underneath the gum line. During the final stage of gum disease, some people may experience tooth loss. This happens as a result of gum and bone deterioration.
Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease often begins with subtle symptoms. However, things can change rapidly, with severe and painful consequences. When inspecting your gums, take note of these symptoms and be sure to mention them to Dr. Knudson during your next dental exam:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen gums
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Sensitivity to touch or pressure
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
Protect Your Smile and Enhance Your Oral Health
Everyone loves a healthy smile, and at Lake Bluff Dental Care, we are dedicated to helping you protect it. Dr. Knudson and his team are ready to help you enjoy your smile for a lifetime with dental cleanings and effective preventive dentistry. We are also available to handle any emergency that requires immediate attention.
Our office is located in Downtown Lake Bluff across from Inovasi and two doors east of the post office. We look forward to serving all your dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
CALL US: (847) 234-0557 REQUEST APPOINTMENT