Saturday, April 10, 2010

Preventive Dental care

"Prevention is the foundation of any healthcare program". In dentistry, prevention follows from regular examinations/ cleanings.
Most people going to a dentist regularly for checkups call for an appointment for a "cleaning". While the professional tooth and gum cleaning is very important, many other facets of the appointment are easily misunderstood.
This appointment is a professional cleaning, but it is also a thorough professional preventive appointment. The dentist and hygienist Should be evaluation the following areas during a preventive recall hygiene exam:
• medical history
• oral cancer screening
• TMJ and muscle and occlusion analysis
• decay
• wear of teeth and fillings
• erosion/abfraction (notching of teeth near gum line
• gum pocket and gum recession
• airway
• tooth mobility
• fractures of teeth and fillings
• esthetics
• function
• plaque levels
• bleeding gums
• diet and hygiene
• comfort/ sensitivity
• food traps

There are several tools that we use in order to gather information about a patients' dental and overall health during a preventive recall hygiene visit.
tools used to gather information include:
• sleep apnea screening
• BMI (weight and height comparison)
• neck circumference
• blood pressure
• update medications and medical conditions
• x-rays
• visual and manual exam of tissues and teeth
• percussion ( tapping of teeth to test for sensitivity
• air blast test for sensitivity
• periodontal probe for gum pockets and gum recession
• DIAGNOdent (laser cavity detection)
• intraoral camera for close-up look at teeth and tissue
• plaque measurement
• dye tablets to visualize plaque
• explorer probe to check for cavities
• transillumination light to look for cracks and cavities
• mobility evaluation to check for loose teeth
• Vizilite advanced oral cancer screening test
• Carifree plaque activity evaluation
• airway collapsibility evaluation
• bite stick test for sensitivity and cracks in teeth and fillings
• cold q-tip test to test for unusual sensitivity

These processes help us to get a good overall picture of a patients' health during a preventive hygiene recall appointment. As you can see prevention is thorough and more than just "a cleaning".

Phillip C. Neal DDS


  1. 你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度 ..................................................

  2. A few years ago, I really wasn't much attentive to my personal dental health. I thought that tooth brushing would be enough. But then I noticed symptoms that my teeth are starting to get be unhealthy, I then realize the effects of neglect. I went straight away to my dentist. Lake Forest (Illinois) has a handful of trustworthy dentists, fortunately.

    I've learned the importance of regular checkups and prevention. Thanks to the concerned dentists (Lake Forest, IL), I've learned my lesson.


About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.