Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry, also called preventative dentistry, is the branch of dentistry aimed at preventing tooth decay, damage or disease and maintaining proper functioning of the mastication or chewing process. This is accomplished primarily through good oral hygiene and maintenance practices.

Regular dental exams and teeth cleaning are key elements of any preventive dentistry program. Visiting a dentist regularly and having your teeth cleaned are effective and important methods for maintaining oral health. Cleaning an remove plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing. Plaque is a build-up of microbes and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can lead to tooth loss.

Secondary preventive dentistry may include such procedures as the filling of cavities, root canals, tooth restoration, application of dental sealants or installation of caps and crowns. Removal of broken or impacted teeth, especially the rear molars known as wisdom teeth, is a very common type of secondary preventive dentistry. All of these practices are aimed at preventing further damage, disease or infection by repairing or removing the damaged tooth or tissue. Repairs of dental prostheses such as a broken bridges are considered tertiary preventions.