Are your teeth healthy?

Surprisingly, 47.2% of American adults over age 30 have some form of periodontal disease. And it only gets worse with age. Over 70% of adults over age 65 have periodontal disease.

Most people expect that if they have dental problems, they’ll feel the pain. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and often when the pain begins, the problem has already advanced significantly. This is why regular dental checkups are so vital to proper dental health.

The good news is that modern dentists have several tricks up their sleeves to help people get and keep healthier teeth. Check out 5 of them here!

1. Implants for a Healthier Smile

On average, adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have 24.92 teeth remaining. For reference, adults with a full set of teeth have 28 (32 if they still have their wisdom teeth). Unfortunately, if you have lost a tooth or teeth and have gaps in your mouth, it can lead to problems with your other teeth shifting into the spaces left behind.

To avoid this, dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. A false tooth crafted to match your natural teeth is mounted on a titanium post that fuses with your jawbone. Once the procedure is finished, the tooth looks and feels like a natural tooth and you take care of it the same way you care for your other teeth.

2. Dental Crowns and Bridges

Other methods of replacing missing teeth are to use crowns and bridges. A crown can be used when you have a damaged tooth, but the entire tooth does not need to be removed. The crown can be mounted on the remaining part of the tooth to fill in the gap.

Alternatively, in some cases where the entire tooth is missing, the patient may not have enough healthy bone to support an implant. A bridge can be fashioned that will attach to the teeth on either side of the gap to fill it.

3. Invisalign

Everybody loves a straight smile but nobody loves the idea of filling their mouth full of metal to get it. Invisalign is a revolutionary procedure that changed the face of tooth-straightening procedures for good. Major overbites or other dental problems will still require traditional braces, but most people who are just looking for straighter teeth can choose Invisalign.

This procedure uses clear plastic trays to gently guide the teeth into a new position. The trays must be worn at least 22 hours a day, but can be taken out for meals, brushing, and flossing. The trays are nearly invisible; only a very keen observer will even notice you are wearing them.

Aside from being unsightly, crooked teeth can also harbor bacteria and allow plaque and tartar to build up, which can cause gum disease and other dental problems, so straighter teeth can also mean a healthier smile.

4. Root Canals for a Healthier Smile

Cavities and other tooth infections can sometimes creep into the interior of the tooth and affect the pulp. This is a softer area in the center of the tooth made of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues that served to bring nutrients to the tooth as it was growing. The pulp is not necessary for a fully mature tooth.

If it gets infected, the patient can either experience significant pain or may feel nothing at all; however, the infection will continue to spread and cause damage if it’s not treated. To fix the problem, the dentist will scoop out the infected pulp, thoroughly clean and disinfect the interior of the tooth, and close it back up.

5. Scaling and Planing for a Healthier Smile

A sticky film of bacteria called plaque is constantly building up on your teeth. That is why frequent brushing and flossing is necessary to remove it and prevent disease.

Unfortunately sometimes, even despite your best efforts, this plaque can build up and start pushing your gums away from the teeth. This can create little pockets where the plaque remains trapped and is nearly impossible to clean away with a toothbrush or floss.

Thankfully, it can be cleaned by a dentist. During this procedure, the dentist will carefully pull the gums away from your teeth to thoroughly clean below the gum line to remove that stubborn plaque. Afterward, they will smooth the teeth to make it easier for your gums to reattach to the teeth again. Cleaner teeth equal healthier smile.

Finding an expert dentist in Reading, MA.

Think you might be in need of one of these procedures to boost your dental health? Don’t trust just anyone with your oral health—check out the experienced dentists at First Dental Associates. We offer quality dental care for the whole family.

To learn more about us or schedule your first visit, feel free to contact us today!