Preventive Dentistry

15th Feb 2014

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive Dentistry is a branch of dentistry which deals with the preservation of healthy Teeth and Surrounding tissues which concentrates on prevention of dental caries and various other Oral Diseases.

Preventive Dentistry is mainly about preserving the Health of the Oral Cavity, Teeth and their Surrounding structures. Health is defined as “A State of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease”

Preventive Dentistry is divided into 3 stages:

  • 1.Primary Prevention
  • 2.Secondary Prevention
  • 3.Tertiary Prevention

Primary Prevention:

These are the Steps taken to take measures and prevent the onset of disease and to halt the progress of any disease which is in its initial stages of development before Secondary mode of preventive measures because necessary.

Preventive treatment measures taken:

  • Fluoride Application - Fluoride application is done in many ways in the Dental Clinic or at Home Application, there are measures taken to provide supplements of fluoride for children in the form of School Water Fluoridation techniques which gives fluoride supplements to children in the vital age where tooth development takes place. And as you know the importance of Fluoride in development and also the Anti Cariogenic effect it has on Tooth structure.
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants – It is a material that is introduced into the occlusal pit and fissure of caries susceptible teeth, thus forming a icromechanically–bonded, protective layer cutting access of caries producing bacteria from their source of nutrients, Direct and indirect bonding applications are used. Common Pit and Fissure Sealants used are: Cyanoacrylates, Polyurethanes, Enamite, Bowen, BIS-GMA. The Steps in Pit and Fissure Sealants application is Preparation of Tooth, Isolation, Drying of Pit and fissure surfaces, Etching of Pits and fissures, Rinsing and drying of tooth surface, Placement and polymerization of sealant, Finally it is Occlusal evaluation.
  • Plaque Control – Educating the patients about Plaque control techniques is also a very important technique to control, arrest or reverse the degrading effects of plaque on the oral tissues. Mechanical (toothbrush, dental floss, irrigator, or rinse), Chemical plaque control. Use of fluorides to inhibit demineralization and to enhance remineralization; use of antimicrobial agents to suppress cariogenic bacteria, Sugar discipline. Tooth Brushing procedure, timings, and the type of tooth brush selection should be taught to the patients thoroughly.
  • Diet Control – Diet control is also a very important aspect of Preventive dentistry, where we need to help people be aware of the ill effects of taking lot of sticky food, Sugars during night time and not brushing their teeth, which will lead to accumulation of food and acid production leading to Caries formation and so on.

Secondary Prevention:

These are steps taken terminate a disease which has started in the Oral cavity and to bring back or restore the tissue to its normal situation. The various restorative techniques by removal of caries are the various Secondary prevention techniques.

Preventive Treatment measures:

Caries removal and Restoration by Dental cements, hybrid glass ionomer permanent cement, resin reinforced glass ionomer cement, light-cured radio opaque composite, Amalgam.

Tertiary Prevention:

It is the measures taken when there is loss of tissues in the oral cavity, the replacement of these tissues to bring back the Normal conditions in physical form to help the patient get back his psychological confidence.

Preventive dentistry is a very important part of dentistry which deals with the aspect of preventing dental problems by taking precautionary measures. Taking regular dental check ups, following proper tooth brushing and flossing procedures will prevent dental problems from occurring. Treatment procedures are important in dentistry but preventive measures are even more important. As the famous saying goes “Prevention is better than Cure”.