Why Preventive Care is So Important for Alexandria, VA Dental Patients

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How Preventive Care near Alexandria, VA Can Thwart Gum Disease

Preventive care near Alexandria, VA is the cornerstone of excellent oral health, and good oral health is an important component of exceptional general health. If it’s been so long since you were last in for a checkup, the safe bet is to assume that you’re overdue for one and schedule a time to come see us at your earliest convenience.

We recommend having a checkup every six months. By scheduling your preventive care visits near Alexandria, VA at regular intervals like this, it gives us the opportunity to keep a watchful eye on the overall condition of your teeth, mouth, and gums, allowing us to spot problems while they’re still in their formative stages. This allows us to identify issues when they’re relatively easy to fix, which will save you money in the long run. So you’ll know exactly what to expect when you come in for your checkup, we’ll outline the process in some detail, just below.

Our preventive care program near Alexandria, VA is broken into two parts: The cleaning and the checkup itself. Before a dentist comes in to perform an examination, one of our skilled dental technicians will carefully scrape plaque accumulations from your teeth, and once that’s done, give your teeth a thorough cleaning.

Most people know at least a little something about plaque. No matter how often or how rigorously you brush your teeth, and even if you floss after every brushing, some amount of plaque will still build up over time. It’s inevitable.

Left unchecked, plaque will cause cavities, which is what most people know. What fewer realize is that a buildup of plaque will also cause gingivitis, which is an infection of the gums and one of the most common problems dentists see. At one point or another, just about every American adult will develop gingivitis. The good news is that the problem is easily solved, and regular preventive care near Alexandria, VA is your best defense against it.

It’s important because if you go for extended periods between dental visits, gingivitis will inevitably worsen over time, ultimately leading to the development of periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.

As periodontal disease worsens, it causes your gums to begin to recede, which ultimately leads to the roots of your teeth becoming exposed. The roots of your teeth are much more fragile than the surface of your teeth because the roots lack a protective coating of enamel, which means that it’s much easier for cavities to form at the root.

As bad as that is, that’s not what leads to the majority of tooth loss in cases of highly advanced periodontal disease. As the condition progresses, your gums will continue to recede, giving the roots of your teeth less surface area to attach to. It is this that leads to massive tooth loss, and if you don’t take steps to address the problem before you get to that point, you’ll find yourself facing some relatively unattractive options.

You can opt to replace your missing teeth with dentures, which are quite common but have a raft of disadvantages, or you can opt for dental implants which are sturdy and durable but require painful, invasive surgery to install.

The good news is that it never has to come to that. If you keep current with your six-month preventive care visits near Alexandria, VA, we can make sure that doesn’t happen.

In any event, once the buildup of plaque has been removed from your teeth and they’ve been given a good cleaning, the dentist will come in to perform an oral examination, inspecting the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth. X-rays may be required to give the dentist the ability to see what’s going on under the surface.

Based on the information gleaned from the oral examination, the dentist will talk to you about the condition of your teeth and gums, and if any additional treatments are needed or recommended, he’ll work with you to map out a viable treatment plan.

The particulars will vary based on exactly what the dentist finds, but priority one will be to solve for any structural issues and repair any damage to your teeth and gums. From there, if you’re not 100% satisfied with the quality of your smile, you and the dentist can work together to map out a cosmetic dentistry plan that will see you build toward the smile you’ve always wanted.

The simple truth is that if given the option and opportunity, there are at least a few things that most people would like to change about their smiles. If you’re among that number, the twin keys to a world-class smile are straighter teeth and whiter teeth. We have a number of great options that can help you with both of those issues and we’ll outline them in brief next.

Where straighter teeth are concerned, the first thing to know is that you don’t have to spend upwards of two years wearing conventional braces. They get the job done, but few people enjoy the process. The good news is that teeth straightening technology has advanced to the point where you can avoid conventional braces altogether if you wish.

The first option to consider on this front is the Six Month Smiles program. Where conventional braces can take up to two years to do the work of straightening your teeth, the braces used in this program can do the same job in about a quarter of the time.

This is accomplished by simply taking your slow-moving back teeth out of the equation and focusing only on your front-facing teeth, which are the ones people actually see when you smile. Even better, the braces used in this program are designed to closely match the natural coloration of your teeth, which makes them a lot less noticeable, and makes you much less self-conscious while you’re wearing them.

If you’d rather avoid braces altogether, you can do that by opting to enroll in the Invisalign program. These are nearly invisible, custom-fitting caps that are worn over your teeth in sequence. As you swap out one set for the next, they serve to progressively realign your teeth. The best feature of Invisalign caps is the fact that you can take them out and put them in yourself, allowing you perfect freedom and control.

If you have a date, a family dinner, or a speaking engagement and you’d rather not be saddled with your caps one evening, you can simply take them out for a few hours and put them back in when you get home. That’s something that braces simply can’t compete with, which is why the program is so wildly popular.

Once your teeth are straight, the next big thing to focus on is teeth whitening. We’ve got some great technologies on offer here too, and we’ll talk about those next.

The most commonly used of our whitening treatments is our Zoom! In-Office treatment. People love it because it’s simple, fast, and effective. In the space of just one office visit, this treatment can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades. To give you an idea of how impressive that is, you could get comparable results by using over the counter whitening agents, but to do so, you’d have to use them consistently for up to two months! Who wants to do that when there’s a much more convenient option available?

Another commonly used teeth whitening option we have available is the Whitening For Life program. This is a DIY option you can do from the comfort of home. When you enroll in this program, we’ll start by taking an impression of your teeth.

Using this impression, we’ll create a set of custom bleaching trays for you. That process takes about a week, and once we’ve got them back from our manufacturer, we’ll ask you to come back to the office so we can give you the trays, a tube of our powerful bleaching gel, and an instruction booklet that details how to use it.

From there, you’ve got all the power and control. You can whiten your teeth any time you like, no appointments needed, and no schedules to keep. Best of all, and tying this back to our original topic, as long as you stay current with your six-month preventive care visits, we’ll give you another tube of the bleaching gel for free, for life, or for as long as you remain in the program.

In addition to this, we also offer our Kor Whitening treatment, which is specifically designed to deal with deep, persistent stains, so if you’ve got stains on your teeth that are proving unresponsive to our other treatment options, this is the one you want.

The bottom line is, we’ve got the tools and experience to get you back to excellent oral health and to help give you a smile you’ve always wanted. Give our office a call today and let’s talk about the possibilities.

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