Preventative dentistry has been around since before written history. We, as a species, have been keeping our teeth clean for thousands of years. Over the years our toothbrushes have evolved from simple chew sticks to nylon bristled toothbrushes and then to electric toothbrushes. Advancements in preventative dentistry are not limited to home care.
Where did the fluoride trays go?
Fluoride is one of the largest advancements in preventative dentistry. Throughout its history, fluoride has shown to help prevent cavities when applied to your teeth. In the past dentists used foam or gel fluoride placed in fluoride trays that you held in your mouth. Now, we use fluoride varnish; which can be painted on your teeth and sets quickly. This allows for a continuous uptake of fluoride throughout the day. Fluoride varnish has a higher concentration of fluoride than the trays, but as the varnish is painted directly where it is needed and sets, there is less chance of ingesting the fluoride and minimal chance of fluorosis.
At our office we offer a product called Cervitec Plus. This is an antimicrobial varnish that can be used to disinfect and protect your teeth against bacteria. Oral bacteria is very opportunistic and will hide in deep grooves and fissures in your teeth as well as margins around crowns and bridges. Cervitec helps protect these areas. In the past, we may have recommended a chlorhexidine mouthwash to help you control the bacterial population in your mouth and protect your teeth. With Cervitec we can apply the varnish directly where it is needed and the chlorhexidine and thymol will provide long lasting protection for that area. Depending on your oral situation, we may still recommend a chlorhexidine mouthwash in addition to Cervitec to provide the best protection for smile.
PerioProtect uses patented trays to deliver a prescription hydrogen peroxide gel directly into the periodontal pockets where bacteria live. PerioProtect helps you manage your periodontal disease from the comfort of your home between periomaintenance visits. Using PerioProtect reduces the size of your periodontal pockets and increases the health of your gums. With regular use, PerioProtect trays can lead our team at our Evanston dentist office, to where your periodontal disease is running rampant. This allows our team to better assess how to help you treat your disease – whether by extracting a problem tooth or by increasing at home care.
Dental lasers can be used as an adjunct in the process of scaling and root planing. In this capacity, the laser treatment helps to disinfect below the gum tissue after the tartar and plaque has been removed. Combining laser treatments, scaling and root planing, and Cervitec varnish may greatly increase the health of your gums and will help combat periodontal disease.
Dental care has come a long way since the days of the chew stick. At Stephens Dentistry we work hard to make sure that you have the latest technology, products, and services available to help you take the best care of your smile. Making sure your smile lasts a lifetime is how we measure our success as a dental team.