What is Preventive Dental Maintenance

What is Preventive Dental Maintenance
Posted on 09/25/2016

 Our Mission:Helping You Keep Your Teeth For A Longer Lifetime 

Our stated mission may sound catchy, but what does it really mean.  About fifteen years ago, our team spent a considerable amount of time crafting the following mission statement:

Helping You Keep Your Teeth For A Lifetime 

Then about five years ago, we changed it to our current version to reflect the current research showing the connection between dental health and total body health

Our Mission Statement quickly reminds us of our purpose.  We exist to help our patients improve their lives through quality dental care.  Internally, we use the Mission Statement to remind all our team members of our purpose.  We also use it to help make practice related decisions.  

So, what does the Mission Statement mean to you, our patients?  I am going to dedicate a series of blogs to explain what our Mission Statement means to you. 

Preventive Dentistry should really be called Preventive Dental Maintenance. 

Modern medicine has blessed us with the ability to live longer lives. In 1960, the average life expectancy for an American was 69.4 years, in 2016 it is 79.26.  That is a 14% increase.  The older we get, the more maintenance our bodies need. Whether it be prescription drugs for cholesterol or high blood pressure, cataract surgery, joint replacement, or a hearing aide. Our bodies tend to wear out and we may need some help to maintain normal function.  Our oral health is no different.    

The goal of Preventive Dental Maintenance is to reduce the amount of dentistry you may need to maintain normal function.  Our lifestyles are high stress and fast paced. Our diets are often lacking and our habits (too little sleep, smoking, sugary drinks, etc.) all stress our ability to maintain our oral health.  As your dental professionals, we partner with you to help you achieve and maintain oral health.  We provide guidance to help you achieve excellent home care and we will make recommendations for any necessary treatments. 

What does the phrase “oral health” mean to you? No new cavities at your dental checkup? That's certainly part of it. But it's really so much more than a lack of tooth decay. Good oral health means a mouth that's free of disease — which can range all the way from mild gingivitis (gum inflammation) to oral cancer; a bite that functions well enough for you to eat without pain and get ample nutrition; and a smile that lets you express your happiest emotions with confidence. Simply put, oral health is a crucial component of your overall health and well-being. 

Optimal Oral Health simply means the absence of Oral disease:

• Absence of Infection (Tooth and Gum)

• Absence of inflammation (gingivitis and/or periodontitis)

• Absence of tooth decay

• Absence of failing restorations

• Adequate natural teeth or adequate restored missing teeth to allow proper eating, speech, and 

   esthetics

• Absence of Precancerous or cancerous growths

• Absence or control of parafunction (grinding or clenching) 

Our practice promotes Preventive Maintenance Dentistry.  What does that mean?  Prevention means the action of stopping something from happening or arising.  The goal of Preventive Dental Care is to prevent loss of oral health and allow you to achieve and maintain function. 

Components of Preventive Maintenance Dentistry:

·        Home Care (click here for our comprehensive Home Care Resource)

o   Brushing

o   Interdental cleaning (flossing, waterpik, Interproximal brushes, etc.)

o   Mouth Rinses

o   Oral habits

o   Diet

·        Continuing Care Dental Visits:

Our hygienists and I will complete a thorough evaluation of your oral health at each visit.  You can expect us to complete:

o   A review of your health history

o   A review of your dental history

o   Blood pressure screening

o   Necessary Digital X-rays

o    Enhanced Oral Cancer Screening with the Velscope

o   Necessary images and photography

o   Evaluation and discussion of your oral hygiene including recommendations

o   Periodontal (gum) evaluation

o   Evaluation of your teeth and restorations

o   Recommendations for Continuing Care intervals

Once this is completed, we will review the current state of your dental health and discuss recommendations to improve and maintain your dental health.

Preventive Maintenance Dentistry may include more than just your Continuing Care appointments.  It may include repairing a tooth with a filling or a crown, gum therapy, or a bite splint to help you achieve and maintain oral health. 

In future posts, I will delve into the silent epidemic of cracked teeth, recurring gum disease, recurring decay and other issues related to Preventive Maintenance Dentistry. In the meantime, if you are interested in keeping your teeth for a longer lifetime, please contact the practice of Anthony Markiewicz, DDS for preventive care in Mundelein, Illinois.