Jeffrey Spilman, DDS : Preventative Dentistry in St. Petersburg, FL
The number one thing that patients should expect when they come into my office is education, especially with their dental hygiene. I have four hygienists, one is full time, three are part-time so you get to choose your favorite one. All of them are very good at educating their patients. Obviously the key is brushing, flossing and regular visits to get their teeth cleaned. Not only will they educate them about their dental hygiene, they will go over their medical history and then I will again go over their medical history to see how drugs might incorporate into their lives and their dental hygiene. A lot of medications that people are on cause dry mouth and dry mouth can cause other problems down the road. And of course some of the surgeries they have had, where they had prosthetic hips could require premedication for them before the come into the dental office. So we do our best to try to treat the patient as a whole and not just their mouth and also very importantly, each patient will get an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is extremely too prevalent in this country and it’s not just from those who smoke and dip. There are other cases where patients with no symptoms whatsoever and cases where we have caught spots before they got too big and sent them to the proper specialist. I don’t want to say it saved their life but it certainly saved their lifestyle catching these things while they are small.
Did you know that if left in place for more than three days, plaque will harden and become calculus, sometimes called tartar? Left unattended, that calculus will begin to eat away at the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities and, eventually, bone loss. However, if you visit the dentist regularly for routine preventative dentistry treatments, you won’t ever have to worry about missing a spot when you brush and floss.
Whether you’ve never had a cavity in your life or you’ve had extensive reconstructive and restorative procedures performed on your teeth or gums, preventative dentistry in St. Petersburg, FL can help you. At Jeffery A. Spilman DDS, our preventative dentistry treatments include regular exams and cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments and varnishes, and even shower floss.
Regular Cleanings and Exams
You already know that you should get your teeth cleaned at least once every six months to avoid cavities, but did you know that regular visits to your dentist could also help with cancer prevention and treatment?
Probably the most important piece of technology that I have encountered over the years has been digital x-rays. Eighty to ninety percent less radiation. It allows us to see an instant image and it allows us to alter that image and it has been the best diagnostic tool that I could have ever imagined. The other innovation is not really a dental innovation, it’s the internet. We’ve been allowed to share x-rays with specialists and it has been very good to get consultations from other dentists just by using the internet.
When you first visit us at Jeffery A. Spilman DDS, after meeting our receptionist and completing some paperwork, you’ll meet Dr. Spilman and spend a little bit of time getting to know him and our dental hygienists. One of our hygienists will then take X-rays of your teeth and perform a thorough dental cleaning.
After that, Dr. Spilman will come back to personally examine your teeth and gums and to discuss any further treatments plans, if necessary. At this time, he will also perform a visual oral cancer screening. If anything appears abnormal, Dr. Spilman will refer you to one of the best specialists in St. Petersburg for diagnosis and treatment.
Your dentist could be the first person to notice signs of cancer in your mouth – signs which might otherwise have gone unnoticed and undiagnosed until other symptoms arose. Regular cleanings and examinations can greatly reduce your chances of developing tooth decay, but they can also potentially catch and diagnose cancer early on.
Though we can usually save an infected tooth from extraction with a root canal, prevention is always the best method. With sealants, we can prevent plaque and calculus from forming in the crowns of premolars and molars. By preventing invasive bacteria from forming colonies on the chewing surfaces of these teeth, we can not only prevent surface cavities but also deeper decay that results in the need for root canal treatments.
Fluoride Treatments and Varnishes
To further fight against cavities, we can also help strengthen your teeth with fluoride treatments and fluoride varnishes. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is known for hardening and strengthening tooth enamel. With a simple fluoride rinse treatment, you can greatly decrease your risk of developing cavities.
A fluoride varnish takes this treatment a step farther. By applying this temporary varnish to your teeth, we effectively coat them in fluoride, creating a barrier between plaque and the surface of your teeth. Though this treatment is not permanent, if applied during routine cleanings, a fluoride varnish can do a great deal to improve your dental health and prevent cavities.
In addition to regular preventative dentistry visits, we also recommend an innovative new way to floss your teeth, using your shower! Similar to the oral irrigator we use in our office, this water-powered flosser attaches easily to your showerhead and can stream a jet of water directly between your teeth and along your gumline. It is just as effective as traditional flossing and much more convenient, as you can do it when you shower in the morning or evening.
We pay special attention to prevention because good oral health is not just important to your teeth; it is important to your overall health, as well. For example, recent studies have shown that the plaque found on your teeth is strongly associated with the plaque found in clogged arteries. Taking care of your smile could help prevent heart disease, as well!
For more information on how your dental health can affect your general health or to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and exam, Preventative Dentistry in St. Petersburg, FL, call Jeffery A. Spilman DDS at 727-645-4727 today, or fill out our convenient online contact form for preventative dentistry treatment.