Preventive Dentistry at Goichi Shiotsu, DDS
Mercer Island, WA
Here at Goichi Shiotsu, DDS, patient education is our top priority. When you understand how and why your mouth does the things it does, you are much more likely to take great care of it. As we all know, it costs much less to prevent an issue from happening with easy upkeep than trying to fix an issue after it has already occurred – your mouth is no exception.
The most important part of preventing dental issues from occurring is to brush and floss regularly, but also, don’t forget to come in at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and examination. Cleanings and exams are critical to keeping your mouth in great shape. When we examine your mouth, we can detect oral health maladies while they are still small, and hopefully reversible.
Non-surgical gum treatment, also known as scaling and root planing is a great way to prevent gums that are affected by periodontitis from becoming inflamed. Periodontitis is a condition that is caused by bacterial build-up below the gumline, which inflames the gums, causing infection. Non-surgical gum treatment is a procedure where we use an ultrasonic scaler below the gumline to break-up and remove plaque and tartar.
As mentioned above, good oral hygiene is the key to a healthy mouth. Brushing after meals in the morning and evening is the best way to break up and wash away bacteria in the mouth. Flossing should be done once a day to keep the surfaces between your teeth healthy. Don’t forget to come in twice a year for regular cleaning and examination!
There are a few different scenarios where teeth end up needing to be removed with tooth extraction. The most common reason for tooth extraction is extreme tooth decay. When teeth aren’t taken care of for a long time, and decay finds it’s way into the core of a tooth, sometimes we can save it with a root canal. If the damage is so extensive that a root canal won’t save it, we will recommend an extraction.
Another common scenario where extraction is an often recommended is physical trauma to a tooth that cant be repaired. Sometimes we can repair teeth that have minor chips or cracks, other times the damage is toe extensive, and extraction is the only solution. No matter the reason for your extraction, it is important that you consider tooth replacement following the procedure.
If you wake up still feeling tired or groggy, there is a good chance that you grind your teeth at night. We offer mouthguards that save your teeth from the wear and tear of nighttime tooth grinding, and can help to give you better sleep!
At the start of routine cleanings and exams, we will sometimes recommend an X-ray of your mouth. We use these X-rays to see soft spots in your teeth where the enamel is wearing thin. This is the start of a cavity. Our goals are to help you avoid cavities. When you do have a cavity, we use a dental drill to remove the infected portion of the tooth and fill it in with a filling.