A healthy mouth equals a healthy body. It’s tempting to skip bi-annual dental cleanings, but you’ll likely face costly dental treatments in the future. Restorative dentistry involves more than rebuilding a beautiful, oral disease-free smile—it entails prevention and early diagnosis as well. One study found that just 64 percent of adults between 18 and 64 went to the dentist in 2015, which means a large chunk of the U.S. population could have undiagnosed tooth decay and other oral health concerns. Restorative dentistry is essential to maintain a healthy smile.
Preventing Oral Diseases
Minor dental problems such as the beginning stage of gum disease (gingivitis) and burgeoning cavities are easily treated, and addressing them as soon as they appear prevents you from needing future root canals and periodontal treatment. You may think your regular dental exams are all x-rays and cleanings, but our dentist also looks for early signs of oral cancer, TMJ disorder, a misaligned bite and several others using visual and technological techniques to survey your teeth and gums.
If you’ve had fillings or other dental treatments in the past, it’s especially important to have regular visits. Plaque can build up around fillings and cause the problem to reoccur or progress. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to tooth abscesses (infection) and tooth loss.
Aside from adhering to two dental exams per year, there are several ways you can prevent common dental problems from arising or worsening, including:
- Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes
- Flossing once a day or at least three times a week
- Rinsing with water after eating or drinking, especially acidic foods or beverages
- Rinsing with mouthwash for 30 seconds daily
Many adults have a fear of the dentist, or odontophobia, which is often caused by a traumatic experience during a dental visit in childhood. In these cases, we offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can ease your anxiety while our dentist makes sure your teeth, gums and overall mouth are in good health.
Identifying & Diagnosing Dental Problems
The need for extensive restorative dentistry treatments such as full mouth reconstruction or dental implants can largely be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. There are several symptoms our prosthodontist, Dr. Paul Binon, looks for and you could identify these issues when you brush and floss at home as well:
- Gum (Periodontal) Disease: This condition comes in three stages, and only the first phase is reversible, so early diagnosis is the best way to keep your gums in good shape. Gingivitis (stage one) typically causes bleeding along your gum line while brushing or flossing. You’ll notice red, swollen gums as bacteria build up. Periodontitis (stage two) is marked by pockets formed below your gum line that collect food and bacteria. Your teeth will appear longer as the connective tissue pulls away. The final stage, advanced periodontitis, causes teeth to shift or loosen and can lead to tooth loss.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages could be a sign of several oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, eroding tooth enamel, or an exposed tooth root. If your tooth sensitivity is getting worse, schedule a dental exam to identify the cause and prevent further damage.
- Mouth or Jaw Pain: Stress can cause pain in your mouth or jaw due to clenching or grinding, but it can also be a warning sign of something more serious such as a TMJ disorder. A misaligned bite can also cause pain in certain areas. Our prosthodontist specializes in treating these problems and can customize a treatment plan for you.
- Bad Breath (Halitosis): Bad breath is caused by a number of factors. Poor oral hygiene is one of the most common culprits. As bacteria and food particles accumulate in your mouth, your breath will start to smell. Smoking and tobacco-use, gum disease, cavities, infections, certain medications and illnesses such as diabetes and acid reflux can also lead to halitosis. If you have chronic bad breath, it’s important to rule out serious conditions and infections.
- Dry Mouth: A dry mouth can make you more susceptible to other oral health problems because a decrease in saliva prevents the natural cleansing of your mouth, leading to tooth decay. Certain medications and using an inhaler can cause dry breath.
- Oral Cancer: We look for signs of oral cancer during every dental exam because of the dire necessity for fast intervention. Dr. Binon will ask you about your family history of cancer and look for sore, spotted or tender areas in your mouth. Signs of oral cancer include bleeding sores that don’t heal, hard lumps or spots, crusty areas, and numbness, tenderness, or pain.
Treating Oral Health Problems through Restorative Dentistry
Once we’ve identified which areas of your oral health are in trouble, we can develop a treatment plan. Some restorative efforts can be done during your 6-month exams such as tooth-colored fillings, but others will require a dental specialist such as our prosthodontist. Common restorative treatments include:
- Crowns and bridges
- Dental Implants
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- TMJ Treatment
- Tooth bonding
- Inlays and Onlays
Restorative dentistry encompasses a variety of treatments and conditions. The best way to maintain a healthy smile is to treat problems as they occur. We also offer emergency dental services, so if you’ve suffered tooth or mouth trauma or have cracked, chipped or lost a tooth, we can help.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms or have been diagnosed with one of the dental problems we’ve discussed, schedule your appointment with our prosthodontist in Roseville today at (916) 786-6676 to see if restorative dentistry is right for you. Dr. Binon and our skilled staff of dental professionals serve patients in Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Rocklin, and Roseville, California.