Here at Family Dentistry of Knoxville, we strive to give patients the best experience possible and do what is best for our patients’ overall dental and oral health. There will always be patients with teeth that will need crowns, root canals, extractions, and other treatments, but we like to prevent treatment needs whenever possible by using carefully planned preventative treatments in Knoxville. For example, sometimes teeth will need fillings, and we try to catch the decay when it is smaller to avoid having to do a crown or root canal or, even worse, having to extract the tooth and have a dental implant placed.
Knoxville Preventative Dentistry
Utilizing the Benefits of Routine Cleanings
With preventative services, we want to protect our patients’ teeth and do anything we can to prevent future problems. The first major preventative measure we recommend is having regular cleanings. Everyone is different in their cleaning needs, but many people just need a cleaning twice a year. This is highly recommended by both our Knoxville dentist and the American Dental Association.
A routine cleaning helps us remove plaque and calculus — or tartar as it is often called — before it gets bad, keeping the gums and teeth healthy so our patients are far less likely to develop gum disease or cavities. Another benefit is being able to recognize if your gums or a tooth is having a problem, and to catch this problem early.
With regular cleanings, we will also do exams and bitewing x-rays every year. Bitewing x-rays are necessary to see in between the teeth in those hard-to-see areas. Many times, cavities will start in between teeth and cannot be detected without x-rays. Also, with these x-rays, we are able to see the bone level and other possible suspicious areas that we are not able to see just doing a clinical exam, even with small dental instruments.
Fluoride Treatments Enhances Your Enamel
Another preventative treatment you should consider is a routine fluoride treatment. This is recommended for all children, but also recommended for most adults. It helps to re-mineralize your enamel and protect against bacteria and cavities, along with normal home care. Flouride treatment is great to help children protect their new or forming permanent teeth, as it is often more difficult for children to brush adequately.
Some adults have teeth that are weaker and the fluoride helps to strengthen them as well as protect around previous fillings and crown margins. Along with fluoride treatments, we often offer and recommend to have a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste that our patients use at night for these same benefits. Fluoride toothpaste and treatments can also help people who have sensitive teeth. The fluoride treatments are like a B12 shot and the prescription strength fluoride toothpaste is like taking the B12 supplement daily.
A Simple Way to Prevent Teeth Grinding
Nightguards become necessary for patients who grind or clench their teeth while they sleep. Many times, our Knoxville dentist and our team can see evidence of wear or cracks on teeth that the patient had no clue existed. We like to take pictures of these areas with our intraoral camera so the patient can see what we see.
A nightguard, which we create by using custom impressions or scans, gives a cushion between a patient’s teeth. Unconscious teeth grinding still occurs, but it is not causing rough tooth-to-tooth contact and creating the wear and cracks in the teeth. Nightguards cannot reverse damage, but they can help prevent or dramatically slow any future damage.
Some of our patients experience headaches, sensitive teeth, sore jaws, and tired muscles from teeth grinding while asleep. Nightguards can help resolve these secondary symptoms as well by reducing the internalized pressure caused by teeth grinding.
Knoxville Dentistry with a Holistic Approach
At Family Dentistry of Knoxville, we have seen the incredible benefits of preventative dentistry procedures firsthand and secondhand through our patients. To make certain your smile is as bright and as healthy as it can be, call (865) 383-1017 to connect with our dental office today. We would be happy to take the time to get to know you and determine what preventative methods would work the best. You can even begin with a free consultation for your convenience.