When it comes to oral health, prevention is key. Prevention begins with practicing proper oral hygiene, along with diagnosing dental problems at their earliest stages. General dentistry treatments are a part of every good oral hygiene routine and an important part of diagnosing dental problems. Philadelphia dentist Bruce Wilderman offers this overview on diagnosing dental problems.
How Are Dental Problems Diagnosed?
Diagnosing dental problems is vital to maintaining good oral health. The earlier problems are detected, the easier they are to treat. Dental problems may be diagnosed during a routine dental exam, or a patient may experience dental pain, prompting a visit to the dentist.
During a routine dental exam, the teeth are inspected for any signs of dental problems. The teeth are checked for decay. Dental X-Rays may be taken to determine the extent of decay, as well as asses the state of the tooth. The gums are also checked for any signs of disease. If gum disease is detected, a treatment plan will be determined based on the severity of the disease. Some dental exams also include an oral cancer screening.
Treating Dental Problems
When dental problems exist, they must be identified to develop the proper treatment plan. There are a variety of treatments available for restoring dental health and treating dental damage. Dental problems, like tooth decay and gum disease, can be treated in the following ways:
- Treating tooth decay: Treating tooth decay depends on the extent of decay. Tooth-colored fillings can be used to repair damage and protect the teeth from further damage. Inlays and onlays can treat cavities on the biting surfaces of the pre-molars and molars. For severe tooth decay, porcelain crowns can restore the strength and appearance of damaged teeth.
- Treating gum disease: Minor to moderate gum disease can be treated with root planing and scaling, a treatment used to clean the teeth at and below the gum line. Severe gum disease may require gum surgery such as the flap procedure or a gingivectomy.
- Treating dental fractures: If dental fractures are diagnosed, they may be treated with porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers, depending on the degree of fracture.
- Treating other oral health issues: The signs of other health issues, like oral cancer and diabetes, may be identified during a dental exam and require additional screening by a general physician.
Dental Care Tips
Properly caring for your teeth can reduce the risk of dental problems. You can help protect your oral health by practicing these tips:
- Brush a minimum of twice a day for a full two minutes each brushing
- Floss at least once a day, being sure to floss well into the gum line
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria and plaque in the mouth
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings
Schedule a Consultation
Maintaining proper oral health requires good oral hygiene and regular dental exams. For more information about diagnosing dental problems, or steps you can take to keep your smile healthy, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilderman.