Preventive Dentistry in Mckinney, TX
Best Dentist McKinney
WHY DOES PREVENTIVE CARE MATTER?
Wondering why you should see Dr. Lee every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam at Experience Dental? Because preventive dentistry is the best way to save time and money, and keep your mouth healthy.
Regular checkups help you catch potential issues like tooth decay and gum disease early, preventing them altogether. In turn, this saves you from requiring treatments like fillings, crowns, and periodontal care.
Not only that, you’ll enjoy a brighter smile and peace of mind, since you’ll know that your mouth is completely healthy and free of common oral health problems. Contact us now to schedule your next appointment in McKinney right away. Our office is located at 7001 S. Custer Road, Suite 200, McKinney TX 75070.
DID YOU KNOW…
Tooth decay is the #1 most common preventable oral health issue among dental patients of all ages. To prevent cavities, make sure to brush and floss regularly and see Dr. Lee for six-month teeth cleanings!
READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT?
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PREVENTIVE DENTAL APPOINTMENT
CLEANING & X-RAYS
To begin the process, a dental hygienist will scrape tartar and plaque away from your teeth, polish the teeth with a high-powered buffing tool, then floss your teeth to remove any further debris. X-rays also are usually taken once a year to detect preventable dental problems.
COMPREHENSIVE ORAL EXAM
Dr. Dennis Lee will examine your mouth to check for signs of gum disease, cavities, infected teeth, oral cancer, and other such oral health issues.
TREATMENT PLAN & FOLLOW-UPS
After your exam, Dr. Lee will discuss his findings with you. If you have a clean bill of health, you’ll just schedule your next six-month visit. If Dr. Lee noticed an issue, though, he’ll develop a custom treatment plan, and you may need to schedule several follow-ups at our McKinney dental office.
PREVENTIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
Teeth cleanings are a form of preventive dentistry. Teeth cleanings from a dental hygienist help keep your mouth healthy and strong. Using special tools, your hygienist at Experience Dental can remove bacteria-laden plaque and tartar that can’t be removed at home. This brightens your smile, and keeps your teeth healthier, too.
Fluoride treatments use a layer of varnish that’s high in fluoride, and is applied directly to the teeth after a cleaning. The fluoride in this varnish helps attract minerals to your teeth. In turn, this strengthens your enamel, and can even help prevent and reverse the first stages of tooth decay.
Dental sealants are made of a special type of liquid dental resin. This resin is painted onto the rear teeth, and then is hardened using ultraviolet light. It turns into a tough, transparent barrier that prevents acid, bacteria, food particles, and other debris from contacting the enamel directly. When properly applied, sealants can help prevent cavities for up to 10 years.
If you have gum disease, Dr. Dennis Lee can help. We offer periodonœtal care such as deep cleanings (scaling & root planing), as well as periodontal maintenance, antibiotic treatments, and more. With periodontal care at Experience Dental, you can halt or reverse the effects of gum disease.
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
As part of every six-month oral exam and teeth cleaning, Dr. Lee will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is relatively rare, but unless the early signs of cancer are noticed by a dentist, it may go unnoticed until it spreads to the rest of your body.
With an oral cancer screening, you’ll get peace of mind, particularly if you have a higher risk of oral cancer due to advanced age, tobacco use, excessive sun exposure, and other such risk factors.
DID YOU KNOW…
Regular flossing allows you to clean an additional 40% of your tooth surface.
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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROPHYLACTIC CLEANINGS AND PERIODONTAL CLEANINGS?
Prophylactic cleanings are required for all patients. They are the regular cleanings you get every 6 months at your dental appointments. During most cleanings, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque, tartar and bacteria from your teeth, buff and polish them, and then floss your teeth to remove any residual debris.
Periodontal cleanings are different. They’re only needed if you have periodontal or gum disease. This process, also known as a “deep cleaning” is done in two appointments, usually with half of your mouth cleaned at each appointment. Your dentist will scrape away plaque and tartar from between your teeth and gums, and smooth the roots of your teeth to eliminate pockets that trap bacteria. Unless you have gum disease, you won’t need a periodontal cleaning.
HOW DO YOU FLOSS CORRECTLY?
First, unroll about 18-24 inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around the index or middle finger of one of your hands. Then, wind the last few inches around the index or middle finger of your opposite hand.
Use your thumbs to pinch a 1-inch section of floss between your fingers. Gently move this section of floss between your teeth with a rocking motion. When the floss reaches your gumline, hug the floss against one of your teeth to create a “c” shape and move it up and down to dislodge plaque and bacteria. Do the same motion against the adjacent tooth to clear below both sides of the gum.
Next, gently remove the floss from between your teeth. Wind a new 1-inch section of floss between your fingers, move to the next tooth, and repeat.
WHAT’S THE PROPER BRUSHING TECHNIQUE?
You need to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. While brushing, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums, and use small, circular strokes to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.
In addition, remember to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, and to use an ADA-approved toothpaste with fluoride.
IS PREVENTIVE CARE COVERED BY DENTAL INSURANCE?
Most dental insurance policies will cover at least a portion of basic preventive care, and usually 100% is covered. Preventive care treatments include prophylactic teeth cleanings every 6 month, any necessary x-rays (usually once a year), and an annual or biannual dental exam performed by your dentist. For children, dental insurance policies may also cover the cost of optional preventive treatments, like dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
However, insurance policies do differ and it’s up to the patient to understand their coverage. Make sure you consult with your provider so you know exactly what’s covered and what will likely be out-of-pocket.
IS GUM DISEASE REVERSIBLE?
Gum disease is only reversible in the earliest stage, known as gingivitis. At this point, no permanent damage is done to the mouth’s soft or bone tissue and symptoms are mild. However, the mild nature of symptoms can also cause many patients to overlook, ignore, or not realize that anything is wrong.
If you don’t get regular dental checkups, you may leave gingivitis untreated for long enough that it develops into periodontitis. Once you have periodontitis, you will suffer from irreversible bone loss and soft tissue damage.
This is why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and regularly visit the dentist. We can detect gum disease by measuring the depth of your gum pockets with a probe. Gingivitis can often be reversed with as little as a routine dental cleaning and by regularly brushing and flossing.
However, once you have periodontitis, you’ll need a deep cleaning at the very least. Advanced stages may require oral surgery.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF TOOTH DECAY AND GUM DISEASE?
The early warning signs of tooth decay include tooth sensitivity, holes in the teeth, pain (especially when eating), and discoloration of the tooth. Tooth decay is caused by a buildup of bacterial plaque that feeds off of left behind food particles in the mouth, converting sugars into acids that erode your enamel. To avoid tooth decay, regularly brush and floss your teeth and get regular dental cleanings.
The symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. Unfortunately, these symptoms often go unnoticed and then develop into periodontitis. The symptoms of periodontitis include the same symptoms plus loose teeth, bad breath, foul taste in the mouth, tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and tooth loss.
WHEN SHOULD I GET DENTAL SEALANTS?
The best time to place dental sealants is as soon as the first and second permanent molars come in. This would be around ages 6 and 12. Sealants will reduce your risk of cavities which these rear molars are at an increased risk of developing due to the higher amount of pits and grooves. Sealants make the surface smoother for more thorough and easy cleaning and they trap out harmful acids and bacteria.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET A CHECKUP & CLEANING?
The ADA recommends that you go to the dentist for a checkup and dental cleaning every 6 months to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We will also screen you for oral cancer. This reduces your risk of developing serious oral health problems and ensures that we catch any present issues early enough that they can likely be reversed.
At the end of these appointments, we apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth for extra protection against cavities. If you have any tartar buildup which causes gum disease, this can only be removed by a dentist during a cleaning. It is also very difficult to remove plaque buildup by yourself at home. Routine x-rays may be taken, which can show us if you have an infection, damaged teeth, or decay that may not be showing any symptoms.