Preventive Dentistry; Brief Overview


Dental care demands a huge dedication and efforts and when the word “Dentistry” is added with word “Preventive“, it makes a sense of a dual enforcement of efforts from seekers and the professionals.

Preventive dentistry is oral care that involves education,treatment and practice of maintaining your teeth and gums. The tasks of preventive dentistry is designed to avoid gum diseases, cavities and enamel wear-which often leads to sensitivity.

Dental office’s common practices

Threaded with different procedures, this is nourished by the regular dental examination protocols in a dental chair. This supports detecting the potential for dental decay, both during the oral exam and upon reading any dental images(x-rays) taken. This very initial step, helps a dentist to recommend a patient to have his or her teeth cleaned, helpful enough to prevent cavities and gum disease. Sometimes several appointments may be necessary.

For a pediatric patient, components of a comprehensive oral examination include assessment of:

  1.  General health/growth.
  2.  Pain
  3. Extraoral soft tissues.
  4.  Temporomandibular joints.
  5.  Intraoral soft tissues.
  6.  Oral hygiene and periodontal health.
  7.  Intraoral hard tissues.
  8.  Developing occlusion.
  9.  Caries risk.
  10.  Behavior of child.
  11. Treatment for Children

In children, preventive dentistry is very important. Everyone should know early exams and cleanings (before bacteria builds up) can ensure a lifetime of dental health. After getting your kids’ teeth cleaned, reinforcing the dentist’s work with fluoride varnish prescriptions such as Varnish can help make the teeth of any patient more resistant to decay.

Sealants are another preventive measure for which your kids may be eligible, according to the ADA. As young children’s permanent molars erupt between the ages of six and 12, dental sealants are applied to the top surfaces to prevent decay from occurring in the grooves naturally found in these back teeth.

As children continue to grow, they may need to undergo orthodontics (braces), wherein they wear brackets and wires surrounding most of the teeth to prevent misalignment as the jaw matures into adulthood. Home fluoride rinse products such as fluoridated toothpaste can help make sure cavities don’t set in around the brackets glued to the teeth during treatment.

Caries-risk assessment

Preventive dentistry
Preventive dental care

Risk assessment is a key element of contemporary preventive  care for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with SHCN(Special Health Care Need). It should be carried out as soon as the first primary teeth erupt and be reassessed periodically by dental and medical providers.

Its goal is to prevent disease by

  1. identifying  children at high risk for caries,
  2. developing individualized  preventive measures and caries management, as well as
  3. aiding the practitioner in determining appropriate periodicity of services.

Prophylaxis and professional topical fluoride treatment

The interval for frequency of professional preventive services is based upon assessed risk for caries and periodontal disease. Prophylaxis aids in plaque, stain, and  calculus removal, as well as in educating the patient on oral  hygiene techniques and facilitating the clinical examination.

Fluoride supplementation

The AAPD encourages optimal fluoride exposure for every  child, recognizing fluoride in the community water supplies as the most beneficial and cost-effective preventive intervention.

Radiographic assessment

Radiographic are a valuable adjunct in the oral health care of  infants, children, and adolescents to diagnose and monitor oral diseases and evaluate dentoalveolar trauma, as well as monitor dentofacial development and the progress of therapy

Anticipatory guidance/counseling

Anticipatory guidance is the process of providing practical and developmentally-appropriate information about children’s health to prepare parents for significant physical, emotional, and psychological milestones.

Individualized discussion and counseling should be an integral part of each visit. Topics to be included are oral/dental development and growth, speech/language development, non nutritive habits, diet and nutrition, injury prevention, tobacco product, substance use/abuse, intraoral/perioral piercing, and oral  jewelry/accessories.

Treatment of dental disease/injury

Health care providers who diagnose oral disease or trauma  should either provide therapy or refer the patient to an  appropriately-trained individual for treatment. Immediate intervention is necessary to prevent further dental destruction,  as well as more widespread health problems. Postponed treatment can result in exacerbated problems that may lead  to the need for more extensive care.Early intervention  could result in savings of health care dollars for individuals, community health care programs, and third-party payers.

Treatment of developing malocclusion

Guidance of eruption and development of the primary, mixed,  and permanent dentition is an integral component of comprehensive oral health care for all pediatric dental patients. Dentists have the responsibility to recognize, diagnose, and  manage or refer abnormalities in the developing dentition as dictated by the complexity of the problem and the individuals clinician’s training, knowledge, and experience.


Sealants are effective in preventing and arresting pit-and-fissure occlusal caries lesions  of primary and permanent molars in children and adolescents  and can minimize the progression of noncavitated occlusal caries lesions. They are indicated for primary and permanent teeth with pits and fissures that are predisposed to plaque retention. At-risk pits and fissures should be sealed as soon as possible. Because caries risk may increase at any time during a patient’s life due to changes in habits (e.g., dietary, home care), oral micro flora, or physical condition, unsealed teeth subsequently might benefit from sealant application.

The Goal of Preventive Dentistry

The benefits of this form of dentistry are numerous and patient of all ages can realize its goal: keeping gum disease, sensitivity, cavities and other conditions at bay. If early signs are addressed then patient can look forward to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Arzu Gupta BDS



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